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Found Poetry

Wednesday, Feb. 20th, 6:30 p.m., hosted by the Morning Owl Coffeehouse+Parlour, 229 Armstrong Street, Ottawa.  All art supplies provided, hard cover book too, plenty to choose from!  Sharpie markers on hand, ball point pens, maybe some acrylic paint but most importantly:  YOU!  The artist/writer.  Take a scroll back into the blog (wrote “bog” the first time around, ha!) to before Xmas and you’ll see my found poetry exercise, Book 1, with blue/green cover.


Book 1.  October 16 to November 25, 2018.  340 pages of found poetry, painting, drawing, song playlist, and journal.


Book 2, pages 118 and 119, Feb. 12, 2019.  Found poem:

“and still don’t”

it was nightfall when i woke
the heat of the world was different
a naked heat
a candle whose odd illumination
expanded the universe for me
Why? i asked
we sat in silence for a long time
she had sand and leaves in her hair
her precious stones of sleep in her hands
wonderful pearls and rainbow coloured stones of light
i didn’t understand…

Ah yes.  Found poetry.  Truth is I never would have dreamt up such a combination of words, and so!  This found poetry exercise could be fun and I hope to see you on Wednesday night!  We can give it a go together and see what we can find.


Mask making on January 29th:  a “never miss, never fail” art making exercise.


A Valentine’s Day card made to last!  Acrylic paint on canvas board, 7×9 inches, painted on Feb. 13, 2019 and delivered on the 14th, with sweet love words written on back.


Came across this bizarre collection of short stories and paintings, by Malcolm Edwards and Bob Holdstock, illustrations by “Young Artists”, c. 1979, over at the goodwill on Montreal Road, while on the snoop for hardcover books with quality paper for the found poetry exercise.  This is only the 2nd copy of this book I’ve seen in all my travels.  Back in 79, when I was a snot nosed early teen, running the outback and jungles of Mindemoya, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada, my mom gave me a copy of this book, either for Xmas or a birthday present.  She knew I was heavy duty into the visual arts and a sailor’s coil for late 70’s movie sci fi.  She also knew I wasn’t much for reading big blocks of text, if you know I mean.


It was this bizarre picture that caught my attention, back in 1979.  On the following page was a brief, sci fi description of what was supposedly going on:  Earthling in a heavy duty space suit examining washed up alien carcass on sunny beach, distant world.

Yeah man.  I looked at this one for a long time.  I wondered who that dude was, inside that flashy outfit.  I wondered who those weird little characters were, bringing up the rear, and I especially stared out the big farm house windows wondering what that big alien carcass was, and how big and deep could those far away oceans be, on that distant, other world…

You see we had a beach on the south shore of Manitoulin Island, down there on Carter’s Bay.  We used to call the place:  The Sand Dunes, and it kind of looked like what I was seeing in this painting.  I spent a few summer afternoons back in those days (this was in the time before “THE BIKINI”), walking down that beach, imagining I was the dude in the flashy space rig, wondering what big creatures could be swimming in the great and mighty Lake Huron of the late 1970’s.  Even though my 1979 mind was as big as the “surprise” in a Cracker Jack Box, I started dreaming up and in secret, started writing my own little sci fi story, on loose leaf paper which I stowed in my little rat’s nest of a bedroom, windows facing east.

One day, not sure when, but one of my so called “friends” was in there, back in our Monopoly/Yahtzee days, he found my little manuscript and gave it a read.  He burst out laughing, snorting and wheezing, going on about how it was the stupidest thing he’d ever read and the only place for a story like that was the garbage can…

Well that did it.  I went back to hiding in the jungles.

All these years later, of course its completely clear that my so called friends from 1979 and I were no different than the characters seen in the Dawn of Man sequence in “2001: A Space Odyssey” and it was super stupid of me to toss my space ace spy thriller.  Duh.

So much for the sci fi adventures of Buzz Buzzard, rogue army captain turned pirate space captain…

Ah the things you see at goodwill…


Not found at goodwill:  unknown painting title, unknown artist, acrylic on canvas, possibly 24×24 inches, on display at the Atomic Rooster, Bank Street, Ottawa, on December 11, 2018.  I need more $$$ in the acquisitions budget!


Another beauty at the Atomic Rooster, December 11, 2018.  Unknown title, unknown artist.  I think that one’s oil on masonite but I’m not 100%.  Yes…  we need a lot more $$$ in the purchasing department.



the mad city…


Lacasse Ave, Ottawa, 530 p.m., January 23rd.  freezing rain about to begin…


untitled and unfinished:  what do you think, put the ravens in or leave it blank?  acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  January 19th.


i think i’ll keep this one.  acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  January 19th.


mask making, January 16th.  there is room for a lot of games when it comes to an art activity like this one.


plenty of room for play!  and this is a good thing.  right now the big canvas is in sleep mode.  a lot of fun stuff has been in sleep mode as i worked my way through to the completion of an unfinished project that has gone on that way for much too long!

and lets not forget sunday morning:  such a beautiful dream…


minus 30 C

welcome to Canada!  minus 30 in the wind and it is all of what they say it is!  FRESH!  i’m going out there soon as i need some brand spanking new super and ultra fine paint brush tips.


Pages 230/231, Painting and poetry book project, autumn 2018, acrylic and sharpie marker on paper c. 1992.  looking back on it now, that project/journal is mighty telling!


Pages 266/267, Painting and poetry book project, autumn 2018, acrylic and sharpie marker on paper.  hmmm…  (all will be explained in the upcoming novel about to be released!)


Tehkummah Winter Scenes, 7×9 inches, acrylic on canvas board, c. 2014.  Private collection.  if i were back home i’d imagine seeing something like this!  but we are still in the city.


photo from a long ago August afternoon.   we’re a long way from those summer climes!  i’m dreaming about those as i gear up for a ride downtown to the art store, today we’re after some super fine tip brushes, no matter about the minus 30 bizz:  it is beautiful Canada.  happy new year!

Art making ideas for the holidays

hello there!  i was downtown just awhile ago carrying a little hard cover book which caught the eye of one of those fancy downtown gals!  she wanted to know what i was reading as it was clear, something very strange was happening with the pages.  said book:


i told her it was my latest painting and poetry project!  which is in basic:  going to the goodwill, finding a hard cover book with a title you’re attracted to (title on this one:  Every Living Thing, by some whoever now long dead), tossing the paper cover into the trash, and turning the thing into some kind of poem, journal, short story or song lyric.


ownership!  that is of course the opening few pages which you absolutely must make into your own.  i used various art tools here:  sharpie markers, blue ball point pens, old and used up highlighters.


pages 2 and 3:  using the “black out or block out technique”, i saved the words that meant something to me and scribbled over what i didn’t need.  and of course added my mighty raven of the night, who is flying over the fields back home!  the “love story” reads as follows:  beauty, a picture…  want to go away.  Ah well, I said at length, I must be on my way.  The silence lasted for a few moments.  There was the faintest tremor.  It was hardly visible.  looked calm and unworried, there was no reason for it…

for art making tools it was mostly ball point pen to scribble out the text that meant nothing to me, a yellow, blue and pink highlighter, and a used up old sharpie marker!  boom!  that’s it!


i got tired pretty quickly with that ball point pen, scribbling out the words i didn’t need! thank goodness i smartened up and started using a sharpie on an angle to cover things up.  oh yes!!!  the trick here is when buying a used hard cover book over at the goodwill, make for darn sure it has some quality paper inside.  this one i picked not only because of the title but the paper too, was quality stuff, thick and full bodied, just the way i like them!


of course the story in this novel was completely lame!  i got tired pretty quickly of reading all the boring crap that was in it!  some pages…  there weren’t any words or phrases that caught my wild eyes so instead of trying come up with something cool in the words dept., i whited out the page with dollar store super cheap acrylic paint.  so here we have white and black cheap-o acrylic paint, and fine tip felt marker.


more black acrylic paint, more sharpie markers, and borrowing images from local but long lost cultures, to hopefully say something about me…


revisiting old compositions and designs created by my daughter Jasmine when she was just 5 years old.  (she’s a genius level visual artist!)  art tools:  white and black acrylic paint, sharpie markers.


3 shades of acrylic with black and white.  we’re getting far into the book by this point and the word pickings were getting very slim…  so at times you’ll really have to flex your visual artist muscles to keep it entertaining.


if it can’t be poetry, it can be a story, or a trip down memory lane…  (same 3 shades of acrylic with a black sharpie)


the book is 342 pages and it might be a challenge up around page 300 or more, especially when its a garbage story!  so you have to hang in there, mix it up, fool around, play.

now this is no fast art making project.  i started on October 16th and finished on November 25th.  depending on the mood, etc., i was fussing up 10 or 20 pages in an evening while my daughter was doing on her home work.  and i have to admit, looking back at it now, it does say quite a few things about where we were at that point in time, autumn 2018.  very telling!

with Xmas holidays coming up fast, you might need a little art making exercise to keep the troops off their gizmos and this might be a good one.  like i said:  find a few old novels at the goodwill, books with interesting titles and quality paper inside, get some dollar store acrylic paint, some sharpies, some highlighters in a rainbow of colour, some ball point pens, a few fine tip felt markers, a fancy full bodied red, get the fire going, put some jazz on, and away you go!  create something fun.

the fancy downtown gal said she loved the idea and wanted to take it home to her family over the holidays!  and so here you go young lass, the idea, which is not an original twinravens idea, but yes, it is a great idea!  have fun!


had an email from my niece yesterday, she is a fan of the Outlander series, and over the weekend she saw the latest episode with me running around in back!  ha!


to run it again, and connect a few dots:  that’s me and what’s his name, hanging out between takes.  we’re somewhere in the woods, near the town of Killiecrankie, Scotland where we spent a month playing cowboys and indians.


here is a little photo album Joe put together.  that’s me and him at top, hanging out in the trenches.  that might be one of the Poundmaker boys sitting to my right, out of frame.  Joe had the guts to get next to Claire but i sure didn’t!  Joe also said no way when it came time to walk into that hair salon!

Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 9.50.57 PM

and so there i am!  in one of the trailers on youtube!  ha!  doing a thing they called “the bear dance”.  we were in the studio that day, dancing around the fire, sweating like mules whooping up some pow wow dance moves for the movie making folks.

funny stuff.  down right kooky!  yes we were back ground scenery but when someone is offering you a free trip to Scotland, meals and a bunkhouse too, well come on, you gotta go!


me and Joe at the Toronto Native Friendship Centre arts and crafts sale, December 1 and 2.  (my hair is growing back nicely but i’m hearing all the one and two liners, like:  Hey Shorty Long Back, where’d you park your motorcycle? (truth is i liked that one!)  or this one:  Let me guess… your fave song is still Achy Breaky Heart…  (me:  eye roll goes here.))

On the Road


this morning at 7 a.m., Markham, Ontario, Canada.  December 2.  the good folks here on the 9th have the holiday cheer in progress and it sure does bring back a lot of good and fun memories.  (dreams too…  woke up in the middle of night…  after dreaming about “Her” again.)


Thursday night, November 29th,  at the corner of Armstrong and Hamilton, Ottawa, Ontario.  i had the pre show jitters so a walk around the block i suspected might calm me.  when you’re going into a class to teach art and art making, even though i’ve been in the business for 30 years, you never know what you’re going to meet up with, or who!


at the Morning Owl Coffeehouse and Parlour:  art making in basic, an introduction to acrylic paint on canvas board, a sold out show, Thursday night in Ottawa.  that is half of the participants, the other half are busy behind me.  now hey!  that was a lot of fun!  very many thanks to the lovely Sadaf for hosting the event, pouring the vin, and making sure all was in grand order throughout the 2 hours we were hard at it!  this was Class A.  next time, how about we try an introduction to landscape?  or one of my personal faves:  painting and poetry, hand in hand.


The Chateau Laurier as seen from Elgin Street, November 29th, 11 p.m., walking home after class.  (the Chateau Laurier is NOT my home!  ha!)


Tehkummah Scenes, 9×12 inches, acrylic on canvas board.  and so today we are at the Indian Friendship Centre in downtown Toronto, going to work on day 2!  we’ll have this canvas board available along with 50 others, ready for your xmas shopping!  we had a great day there yesterday, meeting up with a few old movie buddies and some folks from a very long time ago.

now me and Joe, we were on the movie set in Scotland back in June.  i had never met the man until we were over there, hanging around the back stage area.  but of course i’d seen him around before that, and i had definitely seen his artwork, and knew this man wasn’t fooling around.  yesterday i walked into the FC and who is the first person i see?  there’s Joe setting up shop.  so i said in a loud twinravens twang:  holy smokes i didn’t know they had movie stars at this sale!!!  (me and Joe, get this:  there must have been 500 people or more that went through that movie audition at the Toronto FC back in March, and the only 2 people from that session they picked, were me and Joe!)

yesterday i also crossed paths with a lady who i’d not seen since my Debajehmujig Theatre Group days!!!  now that goes back to 1990 and 91.  it was a summer afternoon in the town of Manitowaning, on Manitoulin Island, at a diner, and so the story goes:  i was writing at the time (20th Century Indian Boy, a one act play for Debajeh which they toured in 1993!) and so that is how i described myself:  a writer.  BUT!  i was also doodling on a napkin at the diner and she ended up taking the napkin and said to me yesterday:  you described yourself as a writer but i saw that drawing and wondered if maybe you were an artist too!

that was just too COOL!  all these years later!

now i want to thank you folks for writing and commenting about my sweet Tasha Darling and her not showing up in dreams, as requested.  some of you asked about wild and crazy Stacey and if i had a drawing of her and yes i do!


Fancy Shawl Dancer, fine tip Sharpie Marker on 50 pound paper, 8.5×11 inches, July 1995.  Artist collection.  Stacey from Malibu.  (originally from Turtle Mountain!)


Traditional Dancer, fine tip Sharpie Marker on 50 pound paper, 8.5×11 inches.  July 1995.  Artist Collection.  Mark from Mindemoya, Manitoulin Island.  (originally from Sagamok Anishnabek First Nation!)

and so i wrote these words around that time…

“he was from the north country and dressed in the colours of the night, she was from the south and dressed in the fire from the light…”

Words and Music by Mark Seabrook.

(Tash wore red but Stace wore black…   just like a you know who…   )

No Dice…

well of course sweet Tasha Darling did NOT come to me in dreams as per requested.  instead it was Stacy, that wild young thing from Malibu, who has been haunting my dreams since i turned sixteen…


rock and roll line up card: pre show jitters, Art Battle, Wednesday Night, November 21st.


the art island, ready to go to war!  in the Arts Court, right next to Saw Gallery, right down town on a super ice cold and windy night!  (looked like a sold out show to me!)


the sacred text…  (you know i’m always very much interested to see what the other artists choose and how much they load in terms of paint, for a 20 minute brush with show bizz!)


and there she is:  a raven, always willing to go that little bit extra…  (that’s 20 minutes on a 16×20 inch .75 canvas)  and SOLD!!!  at the auction on site, later that evening.

it was a great and fun time, as always, at the Art Battle.  there are some super class A shooters in that crew and the stuff they were making in that final round: wowza!  we’re talking the big leagues.

tomorrow we’re back at it:  it is Paint Night w yours truly!   we’re at the Morning Owl Coffeehouse and Parlour, 229 Armstrong St., Parkdale neighbourhood, Ottawa, Ontario!  doors open at 630 p.m., wine and other fun stuff on the go, all the paints, brushes, and canvas boards will be there and your instructor:  Mr. Mark Seabrook, B.A., B.Ed., world famous Anishnabe artist will be there and ready to assist!  (world famous…  ha ha!)

no artistic experience necessary!  just come out, cost is a measly 12 bucks and hey!!!  art making and a glass of vin?  yeah baby.

as for that super talented Stacy…  she’s quite a dream as well.