Archive for August, 2020

3:45 a.m.

UE and Percy, just as UE was moving in.

arrived on the range at 3:30 a.m., expecting to see my old buddy Percy, the Black Cat, either on the outside of the sliding doors wanting in, or on the inside wanting out! arrived this morning though and nothing.

he’s been reported missing in action. and this is two weeks now.

Good Old Percy

that’s him back in the old days, at least 5 Novembers ago. that Black Cat was the first one to move into the Range, way back on May Long Weekend, 2010.

Black Cat on a Winter Night, acrylic on canvas, 10×10″

good old Percy and Spooky are the subjects of many paintings and 2 children stories i have yet to illustrate.

acrylic on canvas board, 12×16″

so it is 4:30 a.m. and he’s not around. i let him out on August 16th, Sunday morning, after the rain. i let them all out at the same time. and i didn’t see which way Percy was going. it was nothing unusual to let them all go like that.

little did i know that was the last time we were ever going to see him.

Back in the City

somewhere in O Town

after driving all night i arrived in O Town some what bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to plunge. gosh it was a bluesy and spooky scene loading up and going down that driveway that takes me out of the magic that is the range, to the highway and the wild world beyond. before i left the range i shot a bunch of videos with a narrative and i have yet to look at those but maybe one day they’ll be on the youtube channel. it was a video journal: house was empty, no one around. no sounds. just me going down memory lane in each room, bar the squeal.

somewhere in O Town

and so having spent 23 days in paradise, on the mighty blue and green, in the river, in with great company and amusing conversations, old time and old style board games it was BOOM! a complete 180! not only in the sights and sounds department but in the “smells” department as well…

somewhere in O Town

the brutal part about coming back was no Jasmine Moon! she was still out there having a good time, doing that Wild Joe thing, living the good life and well she should at the ripe old age of sweet seventeen. but let me tell you that walk on Monday morning, August 17th, tornado warnings too, Covid crap on every street corner, the spooks, masks, noise, exhaust, the police, lost souls, lost soles, empty cans, broken glass, torched rubbers and plastics, mangled automobiles rumbling down back streets, rats, lost birds, sick dogs on leashes, signs everywhere telling you don’t do this etc., people actually bending down to pick up poop…

somewhere in O Town

there are stories to be told, on every street corner in this town and judging by the appearance of the storytellers, some real doozies! some folks might be fibbing but you never can tell around here.

sunrise as seen from the swanky 9th, Aug. 22

it was back in the limo at two minutes to midnight, August 21, and away to the cosy climes and good food at the swanky 9th. made the all night drive down the 416 to the 401 to here with many stops along the way to hear those summer night sounds, which will soon be gone till next year! i was planning on highway 7, a drive through the country, but folks on this end questioned the safety of a night drive through the wilds, me with my reputation intact and wild night drive stories, none of which is me lying.

and so we made it and here we are in a very swanky room up where there is a view! and the host is someone too, with some pretty amazing stories, all of which are true!

art journals and repurposed books

Inspired by the great Norval Morrisseau and his piece, Water Spirit, 1972, this is my version of, with the twinravens actual applied, in book 6, art journals and found poetry in repurposed books. for more info and a demo, visit my youtube channel! i finished book 5 a few weeks ago and gosh it is a story to tell! i can’t guarantee you those are true stories but i can that they are some stories!

we pulled this idea out and introduced it to some folks i’ve known for 20 years. or thought i’d known! i had no idea they were visual artists! i gave them the basics in the how to’s and let them run with it, this was up on the Range, Day 4 in paradise, on one of those smoking hot summer nights. well she took the idea and turned it into something very slick looking, completing a dozen pages while she was with us. truth is i was amazed with what i saw. you see this art making project: art journals and found poetry using repurposed books, is solid gold real estate if you’re willing to follow through. book 5 took me from December 28th last year to July something, and yes folks it really is a one of a kind work of art filled with some pretty sexy poems! but like i said in the youtube videos: these books take time to complete! and you have to stay with them! in the end you’ll have an amazing book of art which could be mighty telling somewhere down the road a year or two.

Version 2

i want to run this one again as a reminder! yes: we are nearly finished with the jungle edits in version one. once in the clear we’re going to run version 2 and see what can be done! having recently read through it nose to nose: I quite enjoyed it, even after a few hundred thousand reads in the creation process. i say that as i know some folks did NOT enjoy it! then one day in the city, i was out there in the thick of it, with Q, CBC playing and Neil Young was giving an interview and said this:

miigwetch NY!

and so yes: many thanks and a big chi miigwetch to NY for saying such things at that point in time, when i was up to my elbows in a lot of wild things of wonder, novel too!

GO!

Summer Vacation (4)

oh boy… here we are, on Sunday morning, August 16th. today is the day we have to saddle up and go back to the city… yikes. but first we must wait for the car! on Thursday the alternator went in Shell’s Buick and the good folks at the local garage said the best they could do was this Wednesday. so we’re down to one car! and Shell had some work bizz in O Town so she left good and early on Friday morning and has been gone ever since-leaving me out here completely alone AND car less! no car in the drive! i had to walk the 2 miles up to the general store on Friday afternoon, no biggie, to get my refreshments and folks its been a long time since this lad walked like that! it was a wonderful stroll, heat blazing down, no traffic, just me, the open back road and my wild imagination. so no car. day 3. i had plans for my Saturday/Sunday but nope!

River scenes I want to remember!

out of the three weeks here we had every day a blaze of sunshine except 2 and this morning. so my holiday prayers were answered! i wanted some serious bikini time and i got it!

Tent city on the front lawn!

the gang made some nice work of it-turning the front lawn into a community! the days were gosh darn boiling hot and the nights were darn right cool! truth is its always the blues seeing the folks roll up their gear and pack it away, leaving empty spaces behind.

One of those August mornings I dream about!

some mornings its nice to walk the grounds around the crib, other mornings its nice to take a drive around the backroads out here. there is always something to see when you’re moving real slow!

On the 15th Sideroad

riding around one morning i saw this! what a scene! and what peace and quiet in every direction! exactly what i wanted!

An afternoon on the range

oh my goodness there are wonderful scenes in every direction out here! and so wonderful to share them!

limited the computer time to a half hour a day

the view at dinner time: looking east over the open range and what a view! no need for any computer time with something like that going on out there!

sunrise after the meteor shower

some of those August nights featured the best show in town-a meteor shower and we sat on the new front deck and enjoyed the show. remember: no light pollution or noise pollution out here! of course the sunrise out here is also quite a show!

the west lawn

no time this year to mow that section but what we ended up with was quite colourful and something worth looking at! i’ve got an oak tree out there that is digging in!

Friday morning alone

and so she took the car and left me completely alone out here. our summer visitors are gone. just one man alone in paradise. i wanted to drive out and see some of the local art galleries on the island but with no wheels: no dice!

the green and blue at 2 in the afternoon

the sun was blazing on Friday, peace in every direction, but no voices! no conversation. that is when i started thinking about maybe hoofing it the 2 miles up to the local to grab me a splash!

on the road home, suitcase in my hand

took 50 minutes to walk up there, a quick gab with the ladies, turned it around and started walking back, suitcase filled with drinkables, and found this place. now i drive through here all the time, that’s 2nd concession going east/west, but i’ve never walked it! not out by this stretch. and so i cracked open that suitcase, found me a rock on the shady side of the street, and cracked open one of my refreshments and watched this show for a good hour! no traffic!

August afternoon on the range

i’d like to think i maxed it out. i mean yes i didn’t cover all the bases, art galleries included, and missed visiting with folks i said i would get to. but i did get my time in with the land, the river and the sky. and i needed to see that. to smell it! to hear it! to feel it under my bare feet! and of course to get myself that full body tan. so that part of the mission is accomplished.

if all goes well i hope to get back for Labour Day weekend. if all goes well we can cover those missed bases. but who knows, that is a long way off, looking at the calendar right now.

well i drove all night to get over here, way back on July 24/25th and it looks like i’ll be driving all night to get back. i sure hope we have light duty tomorrow morning after 9.

Summer Vacation (3)

Fire Woman, 12×16 inches, acrylic on canvas. Private Collection.

came across this one the other day, hadn’t seen it in years! i took it off the owner’s wall for a little looksie on the back and there it was: February 1991. oh my goodness those wild days… and my how times have changed.

also changed: the town of Mindemoya on a Saturday morning! what a ghost town! i mean it was tumble weed city over there anyway but now its getting as bad as ghost town and spook house Manitowaning. you see Mindemoya had a Farmer’s Market going big time on Saturday mornings in the summer time. it was my mom, the late great Marion Seabrook who told me, way back in 2013, to set up shop with that crowd to see what we could do. turns out she was way right and i was way wrong when i initially scoffed at the idea. not only was it a great place to do some Saturday morning business but that vendor group was also very cool. it was fun to meet up with them every Saturday morning. and the folks at the Mindemoya FM did it up nicely with a coffee and cakes stand, AND live music! Big J on the sax was my personal fave, playing the Cole Porter song book! plus me going into an old childhood playhouse: the Mindemoya Arena, the memories were rolling in!

well that ain’t happening anymore! i drove by there and nothing doing! too bad. it was a going concern for a few hours. and for me, it was a lot of fun on a Saturday morning.

Summer skies over the Range, August 2020

and so we spend our Saturday mornings in a diff place these days, but our Saturday afternoons are always spent, when home anyway, on the land and on the river! what a sky! you don’t see that in the slab!

Sunrise in August: you can’t miss any of them!

a walk first thing the morning, out here, gosh: which trail to choose?!!! we’re lucky that way in that there are indeed many trails a fella like me can take.

One of my personal faves: “The Tree on the South Shore”

i walked by there this morning at sunrise (above photo was taken in the later afternoon) and saw two red head woodpeckers working together! also flying by: 2 geese, 1 kingfisher, a grackle, and a half dozen hummingbirds!

The Crib at Sunrise in August

she’s a quiet crib now: many of our guest have returned to the cities, the last of the VIP’s left on Monday but there are still a few special guests here, there, and everywhere.

the Van Gogh’s at sunrise

a little colour along with a splash, good food, the open windows, the bikini, the bare feet, the tan, some slow jazz, and a splash… oh yes. i’ve already mentioned that!

Good ole Smokey, on the North side.

you can spend an afternoon x 20 at this very spot in late July and August and completely relax! and i’ve got me 14 of them and hope to have me 4 more of them before its time to go.

a true and close friend!

i can’t begin to tell you how glad i was about the fire ban being lifted. we haven’t had a blaze out here in years! has it really been 4 summers?

Many places to explore in bare feet!

i told the ladies: i’ll chill with you till noon but after that i’m on the river. so if you want to chill with me, you’ll have to come to where i am. AND!!! bring your swimsuit!

more of vacation 2020 to come!

Summer Vacation (2)

Anishnabe with Bear Clan, acrylic on canvas, 24×36″

And so! Neon Raven Art Gallery up there on the West Bay Indian Rez IS closed! Well that’s too bad as we had a lot of artwork moving through there. I must be cursed! Pacha Arts at Bloor and Bathurst also folded up but for a completely diff reason, if you catch my drift! And Cube Gallery in O Town is also cobwebbed and boarded up! Seems wherever I hang my pictures-we close the gallery! (We’ll have to take that up with the boys in accounting.)

Big Sky Country on the south east of Manitoulin Island!

The other day an army taxi flew by, 1500 feet? Other than that the sky out here is ruled by the birds and clouds and the colour blue!

Lost in my own back yard…

It hasn’t always been super blue skies out here, the other day we did have rain and some heavy duty overcast-not a bikini day. So I suited up in my jungle gear and went in the opposite direction-to the back 50 where I hoped to come across some straggler firewood. When we first landed here, back in 2009, I went out back and cleared an area in the woods, “The Boys Club”, where we lads could gather and enjoy fine cigarettes and german pilsners, woodsman conversation and general issue Nature Therapy. I had been working on the hide out for 6 years and it was becoming quite the gentleman’s club.

The other day I was out there and… Well. Mother Nature has reclaimed the place! To start with I couldn’t find the entrance trail into the forest. Once I got in there and after stumbling around in the mega jungles for a half hour I had no clue as to where I was-no where near the club. Turns out I was 500 meters south of where I was supposed to be!

The Boys Club, 4 years after being left untended.

When I finally did arrive at the club I found this! The last time I visited, 4 years ago, those maples weren’t there and neither were the billions of raspberries! No trace of my trails or lounge area! Awe shucks…

A blaze on the river, first one in 4 years!

The skies did clear and we managed to spark one up! Fire ban was lifted and so we had a good one roaring complete with the Milky Way above.

It was tough to drag some of those kids away from their devices…

The ever famous campfire on a summer night: sweet! I quite enjoyed that!

My old buddy, the Great Jasmine Moon

Jazz brought out the marshmallows and the hot diggity dogs, we did alright with it. Jazz and I and our campfire days go way back to a cool 2010, late spring.

Perfect summer evening on the range.

Soon the gang arrived and we torched that straggler wood down to nothing but ashes. Fun times with fun folks and some fun conversation!

Well there is a lot more but we have some things we need to do and of course the sun is blazing so sitting here at the dining room table makes no sense! I’ve got me a brand new bikini and we’re putting it to the test with 9 big ones! Today we’re going for day 10: big sky, big sun, big tan!

More to come!

Summer Vacation (1)

i’ve been out here over a week now and we’re maxing it out time wise! and of course entertaining folks and friends! its been a perfect plan!

Early on a July Morning

those first seven days were a blaze of sunshine and smoking hot climes so i told the gang: i’ll chill with you until noon but after that, if you want to find me i’ll be out there on the river!

Working on a sun tan!

oh my goodness what a glorious way to spend a summer afternoon: out there on the Manitou River! we’re a long way from the war!

The Green and Blue in late July

and so for the most part we have been here, on the range, morning, noon and night. and what nights! the Milky Way is a beautiful thing out here!

A brand new stage for big game stage shows!

as an added bonus, the lads put a new deck up and gosh its been a long time coming but here it is now. they’ll be back sometime soon to put the rails on and the steps but in the meantime we’ve been out there and yes, what a view!

There is an eagle up there somewhere!

on one of those summer afternoons last week we were visited by an eagle. he flew in, landed in the trees down by the river and watched the lads taking the hay off the east field. he didn’t stay very long. he took to the skies, flapped his huge wings a few times and off he went, sailing upwards in big circles, up into the clouds. i asked the lads, how long did it take him to rise up there and disappear? one of them said 30 seconds.

Providence Bay

of course my early morning drives through the island country side are a must! one morning i found myself down at one of my fave destinations: Providence Bay! i had to see it for myself, this high water level folks have been going on about.

The Clear Waters of Lake Huron

oh my goodness what a grand way to start a summer day! and yes, that water is up high!

14×18 inches, acrylic on canvas

we sent this one off: it is an idea we’re still working and one day i hope to see it as a 36×48 inch canvas. (no more Neon Raven Art Gallery, up here on the West Bay Indian Reserve!)

well folks its taken me 10 days to sit down and write a journal entry! the plan was to keep a running journal through the time i’m here but after day 2 that idea went right out the window! i’ll hopefully snap more pictures as the adventures out here continue!