Archive for February, 2021

the Bear Moon

i was invited to be a part of LunarFest 2021 with the theme “Family is Everything”. their online thing is at: lunarfest.gta

here is what they created using 4 of my Bear Moon or Mukwa Geezis sketches! i saw that and thought: very cool!

photo of the artist… very scary. life in the city is far and away from life on the open range… but hey! in that photo above, you can see “Power Bird” on some strange thing of the city, on the corner of some city street, in Vanier, Ontario, Canada! i drive by there every now and again just to have a looksie.

and so that Bird Clan and Fish Clan business: you see i come from a culturally dead family. my native parents don’t know anything about the authentic Anishnabe culture, religion, or history. the assimilation police worked wonders on them. and so for many years in my Indigenous family there were no pow wow dancers, no pow wow singers, no sweat lodges, no visions quests, no naming ceremonies and so on. NOTHING! zilch. well that all changed when i reached the ripe old age of 21. i took the Raven out to the pow wow dance arena way back in 1988!

anyway. so my Indigenous parents have no idea what i’m asking when i ask them what clan we are. i asked my bio dad and of course he’s brain dead on the subject. i asked my bio mom and she was able to ask her mother what the symbols were on the grave markers up there at Sagamok Point and after a lot of going back and forth the old woman remembered it was a bird. which means bird clan, IF i have the story straight. much later we heard from an old timer up there in Sagamok IR that my father’s family might or could be fish. but we don’t know that one for sure.

but the rest of it is true! i did survive the 60’s scoop! unlike 3 of my brothers, RIP. and i did grow up in the town of Mindemoya, on Manitoulin Island. saved i was! rescued! pulled from what going to be imminent disaster and death. another close one…

i’m one of the folks who need to be reminded about the sweetgrass braid teaching and i remember it well, back at the N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre, summer of 1994. the old gal who gave the teaching was filled to the brim with wisdom of the old way and sitting in her teaching circle is something i’ll never forget.

and there it is! i am very grateful to be included in their event and if the virus hadn’t shut us down, there would have been something very cool happening over there near the town of Unionville.

of course you’ll remember that i am huge fan of the Great Mark Rothko (Jackson Pollock too!). and i’m always on the look out for more stories about the artist and their amazing creations. thank goodness for these mod communications and all the info flooding in at all hours of the night!

wow. imagine that… 1955, 6 g’s a year for everything… and here we are in virus ridden 2021. if you were at the 2008 auction in New York City, aiming to buy Rothko’s No. 15 (1952), you’d need a cool 26 million dollars just to get in at the ground level with the bidding. the painting sold for a cool 45 million after all the hooting and hollering was over with.

wowza. now that is art history!

for now, in my humble shoes, i’ll imagine a Mark Seabrook twinravens original on canvas, 60×72 inches, at an auction down the road somewhere in the future, selling for a cool 45 million, but with me sitting next to it, alive and well! (ha!)

Chi Zoogpo!

aanii. that title up there, the translation is Big Snow! she’s been snowing all night! they were right about at least a foot of the stuff. ah but it is February in Canada, and in particular, O Town! usually what i do is start out from the swanky 9th around 3 a.m., arrive here around 7, set up shop and show, and do the online teaching gig beginning around 915. everyone was going on about a snow storm so i decided to take off yesterday morning and they were right! glad i’m not out there driving in that! or trying to drive in that!

so yes: online art classes! any grade level, anywhere, anytime! the virtual classroom is not the same as being there on the floor, breathing down the necks of art students but during a pandemic, this will have to do! that little computer there hooks up to Google Meet and away we go! depending on the age group, an online virtual art class runs anywhere from 30 minutes up to 75.

in art class one we look at The Woodland School of Art, created by the late and great Norval Morrisseau. and we tackle (ha! no pun intended!) the Fish Clan. through the first 3 classes we look at The Woodland style but in the fourth class we look at mod landscape. fun stuff! why are those railroad tracks in this drawing you ask? you’ll have to attend the class to find out why! no flashy or expensive art tools are needed in these online workshops, we use the basics to get started.

Sunday morning, February 14th, 2021: the boon docks north east of Markham, Ontario, just north of highway 7. i like to take a Sunday morning drive no matter the season. doesn’t matter where we are either! no train on Sunday morning! i was out there waiting for the store to open so i could buy some Valentine’s Day flowers…

hanging with the likes of Norval Morrisseau! that’s at the Bay of Spirits gallery across the street from the Art Gallery of Ontario. and speaking of the Fish Clan, there it is, cruising with the Power Bird.

sadly there have been no art shows and no university pow wows or any opportunities at all anywhere. the last show i did was the York University pow wow way back on March 7, 2020. what a downer!

ah. things will turn around soon i hope! before they do, it is the online and virtual classroom with your Anishnabe instructor: Mark Seabrook, B.A., B.Ed. ah yes! we are qualified!