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October sketches

to colour or not?  a mighty fine question!


7×9 inches, acrylic on canvas board, October 2, 2018.


7×9 inches, acrylic on canvas board, October 2, 2018.


7×9 inches, acrylic on canvas board, October 3, 2018.


7×9 inches, acrylic on canvas board, October 4, 2018.

hmmm.  a walk around the block might be in order.


under the Milky Way

we’re back on the range and when we arrived, 10 p.m., it was nippy but clear:  above us:  the mighty Milky Way, stretching from north east to south west!  WOW!  you can’t see anything like that when in the grisly clutches of the capital city.  also going on out here at 10 p.m.:  absolute silence!  in the distance, far away, the waterfalls filled with salmon, making that yearly trek.  also a huge change from the sirens, the screaming, the howling and crying, going on within the wilds of the capital city, at that hour.

nope!  we broke out of the city and at good speed.  (ha!)


“the glass aint half full or half empty, it’s fully and completely BONE DRY”, life in the capital city, at 544 p.m., September 26th.


“Tuesday night at the AFOA conference”, Oct. 2nd, Shaw Centre, downtown Ottawa.  gals from the north country singing that north country song:  i snapped this photo as this tune on the set list was ringing bells!  i have no idea what is happening with “Inuit throat singing”, and sure, you can wikipedia the thing and get the local high lights of who is selling the most records and getting Juno awards for using it, but i mean really, out there in the actual north country, where there are no big wifi passwords to wonder about.


“the drive home”, Mattawa, Ontario, 5 p.m. on October 4th.  half way in what is about a 9 hour drive.  that’s the mighty Ottawa River and over there:  Quebec.


“at home on the range, in October”.  now this was not taken this weekend, it was a few years back when Thanksgiving weekend was in the middle of a heat wave.  wowza!  that’s the Manitou, flowing free!  as seen from the north bank, on the trail, half way from the house to the waterfalls.  a classic place and a place of peace!  this weekend we have some cloudy skies: a not so photogenic photo op.  but the maple is still there and so is the river, filled with salmon.


“good ole Smokey, on the back 90”, one of my fave maple trees, out there where the mares keep cool/warm.  the pooch is in the tall grass.  photo from…  was it 2013?

well that is what a sunny Thanksgiving weekend looks like up here in the grand and glorious north country of Manitoulin Island!  but today, like i said, we have clouds!  and tomorrow might be rain.  so we’re going into the archives for some photos to share.  it is colourful out here but we need that blaze of sun to light the place up.  with or without the sun, the moon and the stars, the salmon are in the river by the dozen or more.  you can hear them before you see them.

AND!!!  very soon, once the movie comes out, i can start sharing with you, some of those fun “behind the scenes” photos from that wild adventure overseas back in June!  so stay tuned for those!

Happy Thanksgiving!


on the road: show bizz style

i’m set up at the AFOA National Conference here at the Shaw Centre in downtown Ottawa.  the banner out front reads:  Human Capital, Balancing Indigenous Culture and Creativity with Modern Workplaces.  the corporate lead sponsor is the First Nations Bank of Canada.  well we’re here for 3 days and we’ll see what kind of banking can be done between now and noon on Thursday.

my road show sets up pretty quickly.  i rolled into this place with a suitcase on wheels.  some of these other folks have what looks like a 3 ring circus!  wowza!  glad my gear stows nicely in a basic.  i came down here on the Ottawa transit bus, number 11, rolling down Montreal Road and into the downtown for 115 p.m.  the show was up and open for business at 130 but officially this rock and roll road show doesn’t open until 6 p.m.  we have some time on our hands!


“Looking for Venus in August” 16×20 inches, acrylic on canvas board, painted in or around August 21, 2014, on the range.  we have this one here!  pulled out of retirement!


“Raven at New Moon” 18×24 inches, acrylic on canvas board, painted in or around December 15, 2017.  we have this one here too!  lets see if we can find it a new home over the next couple of afternoons.

we have a ton of paintings here, we won’t be out gunned between now and noon tomorrow but if we are there is a stash at the crib and we’ll be going back there after nine tonight.  its nice to see this little art show spread out and on display.  that’s some nice work on the display, if i do say so myself!


Show bizz…


sunrise as seen from the 9th, Markham, Ontario, Saturday morning, September 8, 2018.  we’re back to some of our fave spaces from last spring and winter!


sunrise cont., as seen from the 9th, Markham, September 8th.  scenes can change pretty fast!  happy to see it.  down below, that’s highway 7 at McCowan.


blazing into the city of Toronto at 8 a.m., Saturday morning, going to the gig.   these road shows are fun stuff and the things you see along the way are worth something.


untitled sketch, winter 2018.  7×9 inch board.  that is Stevensons Acrylic used in a water colour technique.  i’m going to play around with this idea a bit more before we go to the canvas.  it’s a very old composition from a sketch book going all the way  back to 1991!


twinravens, 5×7 inches, on board, July 2018.  i had this one on the table and got to looking at it, thinking i might like to keep that one.  pretty soon a young lady came along and she got to liking it as well.  her father was there and they made up their minds that they were taking it.  i said if you don’t take it, i’m going to take it!  (it’s happened in the past!)

we’re back in Ottawa this morning via highway 7, a beauty drive and the scenes along that way, well, i haven’t been down that road in ten years.

the good news is:  i have my paints and brushes moved in!  we can get back to work!


and so i have crossed that great divide between summer and autumn: for me that is summer leading up to Labour Day, autumn landing on the Tuesday after. today it is Thursday and i’m back in the city.

when i threw open the back door this morning at 630, the 1954 classic: The Rear Window, came to mind. we have just such a scene but in a modern way, complete with dope smoke wafting in from all directions and hookers wandering around, general issue guttersnipe and a few monkeys in the yards and trees it seems…  ah yes, town of Vanier.  i think the heat and humidity might have been getting to a few of them.  we have no Grace Kelly look a likes walking this part of town or coming to visit me, near the window out back, but we do have a great many windows and i’m up here on the 4th floor, the windows across the way aren’t far off.


sunrise on the range, way back on August 17th.  a grand and beautiful scene, private too!  we have no curtains on our windows back home.


waiting in line to see the show:  Praying Hands, on Dundas Street East, August 2nd.  truth be told i’m not so sure if it was worth waiting in line for…


you still have time to see Confluence, at the Gore Bay Museum!  we LOVED the show!


Gore Bay on August 30th.  is that my darling Sadaf, out there on those rocks?


untitled sketch on canvas board, 16×20 inches, 2015.  artist collection.  i found this one recently and asked myself:  where is the big canvas of this?  perhaps this autumn it will find its way to a 24×36.


untitled sketch, Bic pen on 70 pound paper, March 10, 1995.  artist collection.  (hey Tash, do you remember our spring time in Toronto, March 1995?)


“Raven at New Moon”, acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches, December 15, 2017.  artist collection.  (word around the campfire is this year’s painting selections were “dark”…  hmmm.)


11 a.m. on the range, Friday, August 31st.  not sure about the rest of the team but i was counting down the hours and working at making the most of them!


“Going Anyway”, words and music by Mark Seabrook.  is that one in Crossroads Cant Collective?  (i’m still looking for a female vocalist for that one!)


at the corner of Bank and Somerset, Ottawa, August 26th.  and so we switch out our country flip flops for some “well heeled” city shoes, switch gears and move on towards the next objective!


we’re a long way from September of last year, when i was on the range, alone, for 6 brutal weeks, trooping through Indian Summer, paint brush in hand, scared about being abducted by aliens, drinking fine red wines into the late nights and…


bar hopping on August 26, Ottawa.  that’s at the Royal Oak on Bank Street.  and so we walk on over to a new place, and a brand new adventure, hopefully some brand new paintings will follow.  off with the cottage clothes and into this city stuff, to see what we can see!  and carrying a book instead of a laptop.  the book is:  A Farewell to Arms.

ah well…


a sunny afternoon in paradise:  home on the range, in Tehkummah, August 9th.  ultra wowza!  you can not be painting all the time!


working on the tan, August 9th, 5 p.m.  plenty of room and time for some sun worship!


sunrise on the range:  August 17th.  if you stay quiet for a few minutes, you can hear that quiet turn where autumn begins landing.


sunrise (cont.) on August 17th.  yes…  the summer is quietly getting up and walking away.


my feet in Providence Bay, Friday night, August 17th:  waiting for the kids at the fair.  my how times change.


at Providence Bay beach, Friday night, August 17th:  i wonder if some of these are the same stones i walked with, 35 years ago…


as i watched the scenes unfold, i thought about the town of Ayr, and the good folks who live there.


at Providence Bay beach, Friday night, August 17th.  alone with the stones…  (the kids were at the fair and the rest of them, i have no idea!)


ah but i could stand here and watch these scenes through the seasons!  and there are many times i think i have.

and so the kids were at the fair and i wandered the beach.  1015 p.m. they were good to go and we rolled out of Providence Bay going east on The Government Road.  the night was ultra and supra mild, i had the window down and the kids were in the back, going on about what they’d seen.  i kept it slow as a deer could jump out at any moment, i’d already tagged one on that very road, in another automobile, in what seems like another life time ago.

we rolled up to our turn in the road, and of course that’s when it happened.  a raccoon ran out in front of us and of course the dumb ass got himself killed right then and there.  the kids screamed:  what was that?!!!  i told them it was nothing and made the turn but i could tell something “weird” was going on with the car.  we got into the drive and it was pretty clear, even in the pitch black of night out here, that the front end of the car was falling off…

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…