Archive for September, 2021

Autumn in New York

the Chrysler Building as seen from 5th and 42nd, on morning No. 1, back on the streets of New York City. perfect weather for a trip to the city: toasty and warm, sun blazing. and what scenes in every direction: people of all shapes and sizes, colours and bouquet, happy and sad, horns blaring constantly, the odd mouse scampering this way and that on the side streets. for a complete and detailed playback of the scene read page 36 in SUN INFINITY MOON.

we were camped on 5th and 40th, right across the New York Public Library and what an entrance! wow. we were in a carved in stone agenda so there was no time to play with the bookies on this trip.

it’s what i’ve been saying for years! i watched the many folks and wondered if any of them have been up north of the city, into the woodlands.

ah yes, autumn in New York. i was humming the tune while walking down 5th, enjoying every scene and whiff. we didn’t have lunch at the Ritz…

me playing “cowboy” out front of St. Pat’s cathedral. folks were going in and out of there at that hour of the day.

the New York City skyline as seen from the north side of Columbus Circle. we’ve been here before but the last time the December winds were howling and it was gosh darn cold! on this day though it was a balmy 25 C. very nice.

Rumours, on 8th and… i’m not sure where we were at this point, but it was time to pull over for an afternoon splash. we didn’t have our paperwork so it had to be the patio. across the street i saw Rumours and of course wondered if Fleetwood Mac ever played a surprise acoustic gig in there. well that did it, pretty soon “Hypnotized” started playing in my mind.

waiting on the splash, on the patio, across from Rumours, on 8th. this was right around the time the kids were let loose from school and so we had front row seats to what the NYC youth of 8th Ave, just south of the Columbus Circle, look like these days. it was quite a show!

chilling with the locals in the East Village. we took a walk down that way one afternoon after all the chores had been settled. let me tell you those streets down that way were getting very spooky, the deeper we got into the village…

no time for art galleries or museums on this trip. i had grand plans about visiting the Guggenheim but no dice. while out walking the streets i was thinking about Edward Hopper and maybe walking up on the famed Nighthawks cafe! Eddie is definitely one of my personal fave artists in Art History, and one day i’m going to Chicago to see Nighthawks up close and first hand. with no art viewing i began stewing up my own Ed Hopper style images and here are a few of them:

“40th as scene from 9 floors up”, iPhone. i got to looking at this one and thought nope! Eddie would have had someone in the scene so here is attempt No. 2!

“man shackled to desk, grinding”, iPhone. i couldn’t find the right black and white contrast with the onboard tools on the cellphone and the old MacBook pro wasn’t mustering them either. so this one is a miss!

“masked Indian waiting on the 9th floor”, iPhone silvertone. this pose isn’t quite working for me on this one but we’re warming up to the idea and of course loving Edward Hopper’s work and life story even more.

and so that was our Autumn In New York! no lunch at the Ritz but time well spent in every direction! we’ll go again in the spring time, hopefully the covid thing will be in the past by that point in time and we won’t need all that paper work, everywhere we go.

Indian Summer 2021

looking to the north west, as seen from the end of our driveway, the Tuesday after Labour Day. brutal day folks if you’re an “empty nester”, like me. i’ve been down this road a time or two but this time i think it might be the real deal. the empty nest…

and so yes. i’m on my own on the range! my daddy days are over. i walked the lawns in my flashy bare feet and wondered just what in the heck is this whole trip about anyway? it was a beautiful morning, it got very hot in the afternoon!

beautiful couple of weeks into September: one day i saw a large object moving across this field. i got the binoculars and discovered it was a wolf! it was huge! times 2 bigger than our old buddy Poochie. that wolf wasn’t afraid of anything as it meandered across this open range. BIG!

of course i’ve done a lot of this: blazing down the late night highway, FM radio blasting, alone and barefoot behind the wheel. Fleetwood Mac: Hypnotized, coming through the speakers. when you work for twinravens.com you have to be mobile and available 24 hours a day, 8 days a week! and we are up to that challenge. i think this was highway 407 west bound on Wednesday night.

Saturday afternoon: September 18th, 4 p.m. it can’t be all work and no play! we’re in the mega grips of Indian Summer and it won’t be back till sometime next year, so you can bet we’re going to stop what we’re doing in the early afternoon and get out there and on the river and enjoy it while we have it!

no paintings happening between 1 and 5 p.m.

now here comes the moon! so i’ll have to chat with you later!

life and times of a famous native canadian artist…

(this was originally posted in September 2017)

ha!  i say that jokingly!  because i’m out here on the range, going on 21 days now without a note of art conversation, idea expressed verbally, or hint of a hand to hold while under the mighty Milky Way.  she’s new moon boys.  and so, alone under the almighty, with eagles roosting down by the river (what music they make first thing in the morning!) and the great wide open:  there is room to stretch the “art making arms”.  we have some good looking pieces but we’re also getting down to the bottom of the paint barrels.

so last night around 7 i stowed the gear, set a table for one, lit a candle, cracked open a Paul Jaboulet Aine Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre (2012), sparked up the youtube for a little dinner music and instead got attracted to a documentary about alien abductions.  i watched the nutty scenes, heard the kook house stories, heard the so called experts blabbering on about all this stars and moon and space stuff and…  well the truth is i didn’t know if it was the creep show scenes they were mustering in the doc (the greys were coming out of a bright white light), the gacked out music on the doc soundtrack, the fancy French Rhone, or the 21 days alone at sea, but somehow that alien abduction jazz started rattling my rusty cage!

i put my knife and fork down and looked out the jumbo windows which face the east, they were wide flipping open of course, and kind of wondered if there was anything out there.  the pooch was sitting at attention, head up, ears tuned into something going on out there to the north east.  you have to remember:  out here in the boons, there is no light pollution, no noise pollution, no neighbours, and a whole lot of SFA once the lights go out.  SFA i mean if your jiggly mind doesn’t start playing tricks.

of course we have this guy, Roger, in the house.  Shell brought him in from Ottawa and so here he is, in the house, staring at yours truly, Travis Walton wannabe/Little Boy Blue, alone at his dining table…

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well 21 day days alone…  (see what i mean?), nights too, might cause a fuss when you’re sailing across the universe.  slip that stupid documentary with the spook house scenes in there and you’re cooking with gas.  so i booted up my Facebook and wrote a farewell message to the world, going on about this alien abduction thing and told them i was tired of hiding behind the couch with my bottle of french vin and was going to scurry off to bed, like Yoda in his death scene.

i got up to my room with a view and saw this guy staring at me!!!

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“An Ojibwe in Quebec:  A Self Portrait on June 14th”, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches.  Morgan H. Collection.  (We’re holding onto it for now.)

so by this point in time i’m about ready to soil my drawers.  i thought a little night music might help ease the creeps and me into la la land so i hit the random button on the remote and on came this:

(note the house on the open range and the one tree…  )(looking kind of like a place we sort of know…  )

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my crib, on the open range…

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sunrise on the range, Sept. 21.  the last full day of summer…

and so!  i made it through the night.  i did NOT get abducted by aliens, at least not that i can remember, Roger is still over there gawking at me, and “A Self Portrait on June 14th” is still in the collection here, on hold.  i thought i’d jump in the car and take a little ride into the city and see the madness first hand, up close, where i could catch a whiff, and maybe dust off the cobwebs that will surely develop after 21 days alone at sea, but a cooler and calmer mind at the other end of a long distance phone call this morning put those plans on ice.

and so it is back to the brushes, here, deep in Indian Summer, safe and sound back on earth.

(kind of peculiar how things work themselves out…  we’re in it now:  the empty nest…  and i’m back where i started: on the range, alone, in sweet and beautiful Indian Summer.  outside there is a blaze of sun, it’s Sept. 17th, 2021, 25 C at 4 p.m., Friday night, no kids in the house.  it’s just me and Roger.  even the pooch is gone.  cats are all gone.  mice are moving in.  but in this paradise, river running slow, lawn mowed to golf green, eagles singing down by the river, blank canvasses on the table, acrylic paint at the ready, brushes too, and a sky filled with stars in a few short hours, an artist can get along.  we’re in a room with a view and…   i must tell you:  the other day, in the afternoon, while out here alone i saw something big moving across the east field.  it was bigger than a coyote and i wondered about someone’s pooch out on the prowl, but this thing was bigger than a pooch!  i grabbed the binoculars and zoomed in to see it HAD to be a wolf.  if i had to guess, about 250 yards away, meandering across the field going south to north, and BIG!  so i yelled at it and waved but it didn’t acknowledge me, unlike the eagles.  that big wolf just kept going, in no hurry, north across the east field, over the fence and into the almighty out back.  it’s only the second time i’ve seen a wolf.  i asked the locals up at the general store if there had been any word about any wolves running and she said this place is full of wolves.  yikes.  so back in Sept. 2017 when poochie was sitting here looking out to the night, everything super quiet, pitch black, the two of us on our own, me with my splashy Paul Jaboulet and a fancy glass and poochie with her ears up and tuned into something moving out there in the darkness, just to the north east of us, maybe?

anyway.  we don’t have any splashy Paul Jaboulet today nor do we have poochie, or the cats, or the kids or anything else.  what we have is the great wide open and some beautiful climes and the night…  well we’ll just see about that Orion up there at some point in time.  and Nokomis too, maybe watch her set.  to the tune of some Chet Baker and whatever pilsners these fine folks can deliver, up there at the local.  if it IS Indian Summer, bring it on.  i’d be saying:  Nice to see you old friend.)