Archive for July, 2018

July 30th: a day at the office

oh my goodness there are amusing adventures at nearly every turn out here, on a sunny summer day!  i had planned to start the day with some paintings in preparation for the upcoming Wiki Pow wow weekend, Aug. 4, 5, and 6th.  those folks also host an art show and sale over the weekend and i have the good fortune of being one of the artists in the show!


examining a “print” of a fake Norval Morrisseau, 99 bucks, on board the M.S. Chi Cheemaun, 9 a.m. boat out of South Bay Mouth, July 30th.   i wonder who gets the 99 bucks for the fakes?  you remember the fake Norval Morrisseau scam from the mid to late 2000’s?  well now some genius is making prints of the fakes!  yes, amusing adventures at every turn.

so yes, i was planning on some brush work yesterday morning followed by an afternoon on the river but the lovely ladies in residence had other ideas!  and so we were on the 9 a.m. boat, sailing from South Bay Mouth to Tobermory.  the lovely ladies were on their way back to the city, but they asked me to come along anyway for the boat ride and what a grand idea it was.  beauty day for sailing.


sailing across the gap:  the great Lake Huron at left, the great and mighty Georgian Bay at right.  fab day for being out on the great big blue!  wowza the things you can see and the change in scenery in just a few short minutes out here on the south east end of Manitoulin Island!


Cove Island Lighthouse: out past there is the great Lake Huron.  can you imagine being posted here, say back in the 1940’s?  Cove Island is a huge chunk of real estate with all the bells and whistles of a landscape untouched.  yeah…  Easter to Halloween out there on your own…  i wonder if you’d go bonkers.


Cove Island shoreline:  i think i’d be happy out there for the summer, paint brushes and canvasses, a typewriter for that great Canadian novel, a canoe, and 10 cases of shiraz, 10 cases of chardonnay.  i’d love to canoe to this spot and spend one of those heat waving summer afternoons, bikini and…


Manitoulin Island as seen from the M.S. Chi Cheemaun, noon on July 30th.  the ladies bid me farewell at Tobermory and took their limo down highway 6 and into the madness that is the GTA.  i turned around, got back on the boat and sailed away, back to the island paradise.  how about that sky line at noon!


after a brief visit with the good folks at Neon Raven Art Gallery, West Bay Indian Reserve, i was at my private paradise, German pilsners in one hand, notebook in the other!  3 p.m. on the Manitou River!


another perfect afternoon in another perfect summer time!  wowza!  catching a few rays and pondering the next move.


Providence Bay at sunset, July 30th.  what a day and a great way to start the business week!  here it is the end of sweet July on the island, and its times like this i have to pull over and ask myself:  are you getting the most from your days?

one thing is for sure:  the paintings i didn’t finish yesterday are still here today!  but also too is the river, the green and blue and the sunshine!  hmmm.  July 31.  we’re going to have to max this one out somehow…

Summer scenes!

wowza!  hey we’re rolling right on through the grand and glorious month of July!  and we have not been sleeping in, or staying close to home!


outside of hair, make up and wardrobe:  that’s part of the crew getting one last look before they’re taxied to the set.  (psst!  this was in Scotland…  sometime during the week of June 4th to 8th!)(don’t tell anyone!)


fake dirty hands:  on the set, and waiting!  (that gig seems like another life ago!)


Jasmine Moon:  riding across the great Lake Huron, July 6th!


at the club on July 11th!  tanned feet in those famous shoes always wins them over!


Jasmine Moon: going through some old ballet dance moves while riding across the great Lake Huron, July 18th!


Cove Island Lighthouse, July 18th.  a beauty evening for sailing!


sunset on the range:  July 23rd.  a sweet place of peace to call home sweet home.


sunrise on the range:  July 26th!  wow!  and i mean ultra wow!  yes there is a special place, a private place, for family and close friends, where a paradise really is right here on this good island!

i haven’t forgotten how to paint! there are many of them right here, on the range, being created.  we’ll have some photos to share very soon!

Life and Times of a Famous Native Canadian Artist, Vol. 2

HA!  joking of course.  we are back on the range.  we:  me and the ghosts that haunt me.  the gals are out there somewhere, on the road.  i’ve been out here on my own, on the range, for a brutal 5 days and 5 devastating nights.

we’re a long way from that travel day!  and we’re a long way from the kooky goings on in the mind, when riding the subway from Kipling Station to Bloor and Yonge.  yes lads that was quite an afternoon.  our movie star days are behind us for now.   my hair is slowly growing back.  i don’t look like a Klingon anymore.  i’m closer to Francis Ford’s version of the older Dracula:  the dude with the red outfit, laughing at Johnny Boy…  it will be “hat day” for daddy for another 300 days at least.

and so the gals are out there somewhere.  and i am here alone.  not spooked by aliens and abductions like last September!  nope!  no, we’re onto something diff now.  the mighty blue and green is out there.  the river is running slow.  slow like Labour Day.  there isn’t a sound save for the sand hill cranes buzzing the giant fields to the north.  and its wonderfully and beautifully hot.  time is 8 p.m., it has to be a grand and glorious 28 or 30 C, blue sky, no breeze.

had the run around this afternoon: the mighty painting drop off.  a whole winter’s worth delivered to art gallery addresses here on the island.  while muddling, i kept thinking about the river, and how grand it would be to be out there sun tanning, toes wiggling in the mighty Manitou.  of course out there you need a freshener so i stopped along the way to pick up a few German pilsners.  and thank goodness i had the wellness of mind to pick up something decent in the wine department down south, before i came up here.

it’s hot alright.  so we’re cooling with a Kistler Les Noisetiers Chardonnay, 2016, Sonoma Coast, perfect for a very warm summer evening where there is no need for much of anything as we have it all right here.

well almost all of it.  the girls come home sometime tomorrow night.  an address like this needs a few ladies.  their 6 inch heels clicking on these hardwood floors and their bikinis out drying on the line come this time of day!  ah yes.  i anxiously await their arrival.  the lawns are mowed.  the sunflowers are growing.  the hummingbirds are here.  and the moon is arriving closer and closer to dawn.  perfect timing for the ladies.

all the windows have been open for the past ten days.

and so here i am, alone, looking east:  17 acres of open wilds, green and blue.  Tuesday night.  July 10th.  what a grand and glorious summer night.  the chardonnay is precisely what the doctor ordered!  the 17 acres is part of what must be 10 thousand acres of wilds.  especially towards the north.  out there somewhere are the coyotes and we don’t want to be shaking hands with them tonight.

and finally:  my novel, a project i have been working on since 1996, is on the club house turn!  i have people looking at it right now, formatting, and i hope to have it in my hands and in your hands by July 30th!  it is a horror story.  it is a nightmare landing right here on earth.  it is a filthy and vile tale of wild Indian-ness.  but it is also very real.  the reason it took so long to finish is i didn’t have an ending.  then one morning on Island Park, back in April 2017, i was visited by a dream, and there was my ending, already written for me.  and so i wait for that formatting, a cover, we can agree upon, and STAMP!  roll it.  push the print button!

and that is the truth:  i did not have an ending.  mom is long gone.  going on, well it will be 5 summers since she came out this way.  gosh i miss her.

it was me and mom, we said and signed a contract, back in July 1996 (oh those WILD DAYS!!!) that we would each write a novel.  she wrote Once Upon An Island and had it self published, produced into a theatrical production complete with original music and yeah, they did alright with that.  silly me:  i never read the book nor saw the show…

but like i said.  it was the very wild mid to late 1990’s.  NR was a going concern back in those days.  a house on fire.  we needed all hands on deck to manage that one!  or miss manage as it turned out!

water under a bridge i blew up long ago.

and so here i am.  on the range:  a paradise on earth, alone!  but in a very comfortable chair, in a room with a view.  and no noise pollution.  no light pollution come 11 p.m.  just me and the great wide open, the flashy chardonnay, my fun shorts, my tanned toes on the mowed grass, and a library filled with books of wild adventures.  a pipe to smoke.

we shall cue this one and let it play.  we are in complete and total peace out here.  and so it is time to visit the lawn, the maple trees, the river and the great sky, with this one playing in the house, which of course i can hear, as all the windows are open.

another glass of this chardonnay will do it.

home sweet home

broke out of the city 8 a.m. Friday morning and good thing too!  it was forecasted to be smoking hot weather wise, humid through the roof, and everyone in the GTA knows that the 400 highways out of Toronto anytime after 12 noon on a Friday, in the summer time, are INSANE!  we managed to break free and arrived on the range just after 3 p.m.


home sweet home on a classic summer evening:  lawn mowed, clear blue skies filled with bird song.  no noise pollution.  and at night, no light pollution.  unless of course you count the full moon blazing and the fire flies buzzing:  light pollution.  (ha!)


ah yes… the sweet Manitou River flowing through the front yard.  and this year it’s running way slow, slow like Labour Day.  (she’s running slower than pictured)


and those summer nights…  summer in the country.  summer away from the city, far far away from the wild goings on downtown.  far from the subways, the trains, the planes and the taxi stand.  far from the drunks and the drugged, the dispossessed.

out here at night its the night hawk wings skidding on the summer sky.  read the classic Anishnabe poem:  Cruising Back to the Ranch with My Young Friend.  or the poem inside the liner notes of the album, Starfish, by the Church.  that says it right there!


but i’ve been on the road since October 21, 2017.  a place like this, out here, needs maintenance!  it needs a grounds keeper and a gardener.  last year i was on the road for ten months and when i finally arrived home for the summer i found this!  the lawn had gone native.


last summer after 10 months on the road:  hay field with crows.  truth is the lawn isn’t as far gone this year but it is a mess out there.  it is one gigantic nightmare out there.  its so bad i don’t want to take a picture of it!

but i am here now.  and with some free hands i’ll soon turn this place around so we’re looking at some measure of civility in the big wilds.  you see i like going out on the lawns on a summer evening, a tasty red swirling in the glass or some of that 15 year old scotch we smuggled in from overseas, handy and dandy!  i want that front lawn mowed like a golf course!


of course there are some things you just don’t mess with.  the Manitou River is one of them.  this beauty rolls past our front door night and day, 365, and let me tell you it is just fine as is!


The Manitou River:  it’s good to be back home!  It is July 1st, Canada Day, and we’re back to stay, 8 glorious weeks!  and pretty soon there are going to be some very lovely ladies in residence!  now that is really what this house on the range needs:  the sound of the ladies, laughing…


p.s.  if all we have to fuss about is the condition of the lawn:  you know life is pretty darn good!

also:  the poem in the liner notes of the album:  Starfish, by The Church, 1988

Good, now and forever, music reach and awakens,
Swimming in the shallow end, down, down, remember
A need, a gnawing longing for what ?
Shapes and faces come slowly into mind
Glissando Australian insects out there signalling
The sound of Dad’s car in the drive
Lying in the grass, watching the sky
The piano washes over thoughts, the smell of crushed mint
The ants which come out as it begins to get dark
Helplessness, planes miles up turn on their lights,
Child, oh child, the tastes in our kitchen,
Not knowing the right words but wishing long and hard
Golden clouded moon, enveloped by the family
Melting further the cracks in the pavement become chasms
Shrubs whisper, walls conceal adult pleasures
A mere hint and we’re gone too
Forever, beautiful things, the shop that sold shadows
A walk down the path towards our old home
Mercurial touch of past summers
The sheer wait of nostalgia
Maria, now long dead, glide through this tonight
Shimmer, disappear and return
Emerging random memory in flux
Falling felled the flowering kingdom
Finding buried tin soldier years later
The sounds of a carnival way off in the valley
An abandoned nest, the sprinklers splash on in darkness
Windows glimmer dim waiting for her at the edge of dusk
Distance, our hesitant conversation, someone calling
A bucket full of starfish, warm rain, the long sleep
Deep dream, dream of now, now and forever good