Posts from the ‘writing’ Category

Blazing down the highway!

401 West bound, Friday night

and so with tunes blasting i hit the open road on Friday night going in the direction of the kook city: Hog Town. back in days of old i’d keep it in the left lane with that big 454 under the hood snarling and barking the entire way, flames pouring out the exhaust pipes! windows down, long hair flying, 2 door hard top, 8 track plugged up good and tight with things like Venus and Mars.

you might want the head phones on for this one!

but things of course have changed! that little BLEUE sports car of mine is a right lane only type car. that little mule under the hood can barely keep up with the posted speed limit never mind venturing into the left lane. my how times have changed. the plus side being it costs about 12 bucks to go from O Town to Hog Town and if you have time on your hands: well you know.

a change in music for a change in the what is and what have you…

nice sound system in the BLEUE car. Jazz has us wired up somehow so the phone plugs in there and whoosh: the world wild library avail. but. when you’re in the right lane the entire way, things are diff. (you might want the headphones on for this one!)(i like that piano and bass line bit at around 3:28)

Saturday morning as seen from the swanky 9th

when your presence is requested at the highest level, me being the good Anishnabe that i am, we answer that call! and so we are there as assigned.

letting them breathe

the cook had us wonderfully set up and what a grand and glorious lunch it was! that leg of lamb presented like a magazine cover and i thought about those days in Scotland, wandering their landscape for a rack of. well the cook on the 9th, she had us squared away nicely and wowza! what a feast.

feeding the wolves, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches, Private Collection.

i wondered about a field full of sheep over on the range, on the south side of the river, so maybe i could have a rack of lamb on any given Sunday but then where we are… with coyote and wolf deluxe, bear too, maybe it would be like the corn i had in my garden that one year…

another life time ago!

a very wise old man, many moons ago, once said to me: if you’re a farmer-farm it. if you’re an artist-wear it. i’ve been wondering about the roads leading in diff directions over the past several months as we bring this chapter to a close.

classic rock and roll photo: NR with 5 minutes to go!

true: i would love to see the music come back to life. visual art is slick but i’m on my own with that one. with music you have the band. with live music you have the rig, the band, the audience and the to and from. (i wonder if a helicopter could pick me up at my island hide out… )

check out the heavy duty lyrics!

at anyway: the road trip is over and the BLEUE is parked, we’re safe and away from that. wondering now: okay, where are we off to next?

Road Trip

my test came back negative so i made the drive with my old buddy Jasmine Moon, leaving the slab at 6 and gosh it was hot and slimy! it was so humid, deep in the slab, you’d break a sweat just by blinking your eyes! we managed and were soon blazing down the 416 with “Daddy’s oldies rock” playing:

if you can, put the head phones on for this one. its fun introducing a much younger generation to some music that made me stop and listen, all those years ago. as for me now: rolling down the highway, memory lane too, with this one… well lets just hey Tray! it’s been many a moon.

Variety on Saturday

we had a stash of refreshments and my thing is this: when in the swanky 9th, swank up the splash as well as you’re able.

Older photo of the drive, from before the Scotland trip?

the road into the swanky 9th: gosh it’s a flash address and we’re mighty happy to be invited to join the party. the AC is what we were dreaming about seeing how back in the other slab it was 40C on Wednesday. it was a mind boggling 30C at 1 a.m. Thursday morning! (that’s crazy.) when we arrived last night at midnight, it was a mighty cool and dry 12C. quite a change from a few short hours before!!! 2 slabs though, mighty diff!

Stacie from Malibu, Sharpie marker on 50 lb 8.5×11″ paper, artwork by Mark Seabrook.

oh my goodness Stace: if you could have seen what we saw, the sunset last night and the music along the way:

Classic Art School soundtrack

when we were pow wow dancers, remember how we pondered the idea of taking the outfits to mod music? what a dance that would have been! (of course i remember how you loved the sunsets and the open road.)

Art Journal: Moose, inspired by Norval M., artwork by Mark Seabrook

that would be Art Journal Book 5! wow! drawing on May 27th. what an art making adventure, perfect for switching gears as we’re away from painting big pictures while i sort out the differences between my old brand, Stevenson Professional, and my new brand, Golden Heavy Body. sadly, we’ve been away from painting big pictures going on 3 months now. lucky for me though the sharpie marker and repurposed book is always handy and who knows what fun things can be created on such small places.

and so we’re on the open road: it’s a beauty view from up here, the swanky 9th is a crib at the very least, and we’re happy to be here. the days, weeks, months and years flashing past, people too…

Flashing back to that summer on the farm, when she introduced me…

we need to do what we can to go in peace.

we have no idea what is going to happen over the next several days and weeks. one thing is for sure, lets hope and pray we, me in partic, don’t come across any “Karen” or “Ethel” cats either here in the city or back on our homelands, and who was that local guy at the Snore Bay Farmer’s Market who called me: a disgrace to my race… who was that guy?

5 minutes before show time: many moons ago

when you’re a person of colour, which i surely am, your steps… well let’s just say what an old man from Belarus once said to me: “to be human is difficult at times. so let god allow you to arrive safely.”

i say miigwetch to those good word.

chilling in December 2019, also many moons ago…

Snow on May 9th!

what the flipping flip is up with the snowflakes flying at this time of the year?  yeesh.  its like the whole world has gone bonkers.  this virus crapola has us pinned down 9 weeks now, going on 10, snow is flying, can’t get home, the walls are moving in closer by the minute.

better put the headphones on for this one…

okay so things haven’t gotten quite that artsy around here but if this snow doesn’t stop, i can’t guarantee you any further stories will be true!  but i can guarantee that they will be stories!

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last Sunday morning:  east of Ottawa.  it’s the best we can do for now.  i’d rather be driving the backroads between Tehkummah and Snowville this time of year but we’re a long way from that!

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i haven’t picked up a paint brush in 9 weeks.  holy mackinaw!  out where we are: the spirit just isn’t here, to do what is needed.  and so the stack of canvas, canvas boards, jars of paint, brushes too, sit.  waiting…

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the mighty raven watches but i’m sure doesn’t wonder.  this boy wonders!  when is the all clear going to be given?

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we ran this photo a few weeks ago:  since we have no painting going on we’re switching gears and picking up the guitar.  later today i’m going to give this Garage Band thing a turn.  its the onboard computer home studio and today we’re going to see if we can record the twinravens actual “classic”:  No Smoking.  that song goes back way before there was a twinravens actual!

here are the lyrics:  (i don’t know how to fix the double spacing thing so here it is in one block of text)

no smoking.  no unloading.  of your trash.  on my trash.  in the city: an indian’s day is never done!  if this weren’t the city: there’d be no shoes on my feet.  no ugly sounds in my ears.  no ugly sights in my eyes.  the only ones left: are my brother the raven.  brother raccoon.  andek esban anishnabe…  the three of us shunned (x3).  in a white man’s world.  police aint here to serve and protect.  police are here to racially profile.  guys like me in a white man’s world…

the stupid auto correct always wants to change “esban” to “lesbian”!

so yes those are the mod lyrics to No Smoking.  i wrote and recorded the song at the N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre back in the summer of 1994, in the youth lounge, using a Fostex 4 track recorder which, ha!, used cassette tapes!  i sat myself down and played track one: acoustic rhythm.  track two and three:  lead guitars.  track four:  vocal.  and in the background, it being the youth lounge over at the FC, you could hear some cats playing billiards and so the pool balls were cracking around in an off timed way which i thought really added to the kookiness of the recording.  we were in the city.  it was a song about urban indio reality.  back then it was true and more so today.  i recently added the bit about the cops.  back then i was innocent and believed in things.  today it is different.

No Smoking, just saying, has only been performed live: 3 times!  (the best reading took place at the Rivoli, Queen St. W., July 1995.)

and so we have an acoustic guitar from the pawn shop, we have this Garage Band program, the flashy microphone, and the afternoon off, with snow flying as i write.  we’ll give it all a spin and see if we can make something of it.  time is noon!  the guitar playing  might wake up my old buddy Jazz, she’s still in the bunk.  her hours have gone strange now that the schools have been closed for 9 weeks and will remain closed for another 3 at the least…  the poor kids.  what a rip off it has been for them.

Jasmine Moon is supposed to be in grade 12, graduation coming up, but will there be a party?  yes these poor kids have been ripped off.

here is some super heavy duty:

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my beautiful daughter.  and a proud father i am.  and the empty nest is looming like never before…  she talks about her own apt. and a room mate and being closer to the post secondary institution…  which leaves this old boy, i guess, free to go.

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who knows.  maybe by next winter i’ll be back to this, back home on the range, back down by the river, back in the old country, far away from the war.

Art Journals and Repurposed Books

and so we’ve made it through week 7 in lock down mode!  what a sad state of affairs out there.  and so much insanity in every direction…  especially on the roads where the serious illness really shows itself!  ick.

anyway:  as an artist working through this pandemic nonsense and the stupid goings on: there is always room to create!  remember how, back in the autumn of 018, i was going on about an art making exercise using repurposed books?  flash ahead to present day:  we’re working on book 5 and it’s coming along nicely!  an online friend asked if i would post some pictures of recent pages and so here they are:

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Fancy Shawl Dancer with the BIG EYES!  i saw how the kids are drawing these characters with the gigantic eyes and thought i would give that a go, twinravens style, in the art journal repurposed hard cover book!

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created fresh this past week!  it’s a kooky look.  not sure if it’s worth anything once the art market opens up again.

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fun stuff: and we need to explore!  we need to expand those horizons as best we can.

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i LOVE how you can see some of the text under the thinly spread paints.  now remember: all we’re using are ball point pens, sharpie markers, super cheap dollar store acrylic paint, a hardcover book from the goodwill, and our own wild and priceless imaginations!

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that’s the stash so far:  4 complete books and the 5th and 6th still in the hopper.  the art making tools are there as well: don’t throw those fading sharpie markers in the trash!  you can use those for “shading”, solid gold art making tools until they’re completely dead.

now where are these art journals going to end up?  for now, over on the book shelves at the cottage.  some nice light reading and looking while chilling, relaxing, shredding and spooking, on a sunny day, far away from the war.  but down the road thirty or forty years?  maybe in one of the kids libraries, daughters, nieces, nephews, who knows.

my online friend also suggested a little video and so here it is, made fresh this morning:

recorded for you, fresh this morning.  you might want the headphones on though as the sound is, well.  i used the apple iPhone to shoot this vid.  all in one take, my ramble is one of those Saturday morning in the city type rambles…  if you get my drift.

we’ll shoot that next video which shows how we create some of those slick looking and colourful backgrounds, but that is for later today.  right now we’re off to wait in line at the LCBO!

Social Isolation in Sea Major

week 6 in the books, week 7 on the door step:  the madness is full serve but we’re still in the game!  so far…  so good.  we’re past keeping our fingers crossed and now we’re just going with it.  if we ever get out of here, back to that island, we’ll be coming in “aged”.

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the crazy stuff you see in every direction these days.  as an anishnabe on the road, you can bet if i want to set me feet in the Manitou River, i’ll be setting my feet in the Manitou River.

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mental slippage is starting to show!  check this dude out:  he’s taking his walker up through the drive through at Rotten Ron’s!  as you know the in house dine is closed.  but this dude…  he’s going through counter clock.  i thought maybe it was a suicide in progress.  and check out Riverside to the right, one car rolling down the road at 6:30 p.m., Billings Bridge, O Town.  normally that road would be jam packed with insane drivers!

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our beloved mayfair, on Bank Street.  likely taken over by cockroaches by now…  so sad to see.  and THIS was on Friday afternoon, 3:30 p.m., when the war on Bank Street with the insane drivers is usually in full service madness.  that road at that point in time on a Friday is so bad, they have cops standing there between cars looking in at the drivers as they roll past.  this past Friday: you’d have better luck getting run over by a tumble weed!

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un flipping believable:  Laurier between Bank and O Connor, at 3:40 p.m., Friday afternoon.  now this one for absolute sure is a complete scene of lunacy during regular blah bitty blah blah.  you can stand on those sidewalks and see the animals rushing like lemmings, the horror.  but not this past Friday.  look at that!

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as if.  actually waiting in line to get into the LCBO.  what is the world coming to?  the spooks were in there too!  i managed to get out with my Tenuta Frescobaldi, Castiglioni, 2017.  we’re waiting now for that bad boy to get to room temperature.  wasn’t sure if my imagination was playing tricks on me the last time so we’ll give it another go around just to be sure.  (beauty afternoon for cooking!)

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today’s love poem:  That Sunday in August.

your love, sex.  Use it. Build it.  She, resting her hands flat…  feeling everything.  The lovely bed, the beautiful view.  She sent love and assurance.  She whispered “I will find you”.  She opened the floodgate inside and let it wash over.  She turned her inner river on.  

The Night Market.  a sly, charming smile.  Impressive, he said.  

She felt the warmth of his praise.  His magic swirled around her.  

And you liked it didn’t you?  You’re really going to enjoy what you’ve become.  You are mine.  

No, she barely whispered.  Her breath faltered.  Her whole body shuddered.  

You are lovely as ever.  And you are so graceful.  

He extended his hand.  She followed.  Yes, she whispered…

from the Found Poetry Book 5:  Heir of Autumn.  a work in progress.

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SUN INFINITY MOON:  the Moosonee Proof.  well the good news is we’ve spotted nearly all the outrageous errors in the first run of the novel!  true:  it was me who made 3 of them.  i let 3 slip past.  but when i said hit the print button, there were things i missed, things i definitely should have seen point blank, for example:  the cover!  the grade five clown they put on my project over at the layout, switched out my “coarse language” for his “course language”…  (ultra super mega DUH!  now:  we’re going back for a reprint with a new cover design and so i sent it over to them and it came back with…  you guessed it:  “course language” on the new and revised cover…  which means i’m going to have to go over there and kick that young dumb ass’s arse up around the moon by now.)

i was okay with the paragraph indent disasters in the first run, which had nothing to do with us!  that was them!  i was willing to let that slide.  but after we got to looking at it up close with our glasses off, like looking for gnat shit in pepper, it was then we saw the howling errors!  like i said, my bad:  i made 3 of them.  but the rest…  good gravy.

also:  i sent copies of the book to twenty so called professors in the indigenous studies departments, at universities around Canada and the US, hoping to hear back.  this was back last August.  i didn’t hear from any of them!  now i will say this:  a lot of these so called indigenous professors, Ph.D.’s, who claim to be indian, to me, sure do look like a bunch of white boys.  white boys in the same way our old scam artist and Grey Owl wannabe Joe Boyden looks…  and Joe B. is the biggest scam artist of them all in recent years.

when you’re an indian, a real indian, who actually looks like an indian, AND have spent the entire work career at the front with actual indians, you can come up with some pretty weird feelings watching white boys passing themselves off as indians, finishing first in the classic game of Cowboys and Indians.  but then: who IS owning and operating these publishing houses? (cool grammar huh?!!!)

i will say this:  i sent a copy over to the book reviewer at Anishnawbek News, over there near North Bay, Ontario (Anishnawbek News is a paper that’s been around for 30 years anyway) and i didn’t hear squat from them!  nothing!  or our old buddy at CBC in Suds:  Waub.  he never returned my call!  same with Rose over at UNRESERVED, cbc crazy indian show one hour a week!

so i’m at a bit of a loss over here wondering:  Just how does a real indian get in the door to one of these big league houses?

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some real indians:  that’s me and Mr. S.C., 50% of the rock and roll band:  No Reservations.  AND!!!  Brothers in Arms.

anyway.  the tuned up version of SUN INFINITY MOON will be ready soon.  for those of you who bought a copy of the black and white cover version, the first run, i owe you a 7×9 inch acrylic on canvas board painting!  just send me an email and detail where you bought it, and i’ll send you a selection of 7×9 inch canvas boards you can choose from and i’ll send you one free of charge.  how is that for a deal?

like i said:  i didn’t see all the howling errors in the first version.  i should have taken more time when i looked at the e version the layout folks sent.

ah.  it is what we artists call:  The Artist Proof!  and if you bought one, well i owe you.

bottom line though is:  the HORROR story is there, intact.  with or without the jungly super errors throughout the layouts.  (the hard copy is more horror than the actual story!!!  ha ha!)

here is one of my favourite pages from the novel:  BE WARNED:  COARSE LANGUAGE AND ADULT SUBJECT MATTER.

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ha ha!  from:  INFINITY, of SUN INFINITY MOON.

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ah well.  here we are, at the end of week 6 in this ridiculous situation the world has gotten itself into, week 7 soon to start.  we’re lucky to have a few levers to pull: what do we want to do:  paint pictures?  write song lyrics?  write stories?  create new music on the guitars?  or maybe it’s time to crack open that red, it must be up to room temperature by now.

lastly:  every now and again i see at the bottom of my posts that the comments are turned off.  i don’t mean for that to happen!  if i could figure out how to use this blog thingy, that stuff would never happen.  because we want you to leave comments!  and we enjoy hearing from you!

many thanks, miigwetch, and best of luck staying healthy!

oh yes and i almost forgot!!!  some of you asked about the H.L. cooking scenes with those sweet “preparations and kitchen sounds”!  found the vid on youtube and so here it is!  you might want to put the headphones on for this one.

always enjoy!

Social Distancing Blues in A

and so we’re in the thick of it now.  wild stuff is running rampant here, there, and everywhere!  it’s Saturday night in the slab and we’re following Doc Spook’s advice: when in like this, enjoy good vins and good cooking!  so i am cooking and the vin is closing in on room temperature.  while we wait for that to happen an IPA from England lights the way!

truth is: i’m not much of a cook.  i always do it Rez style, and i’m talking back woods Rez style, back woods like down by McBean Harbour in Sagamok style.  there AIN’T no flash to what we’re cooking.  but i fancy it in day dreams.  when we’re out there on the open range in sweet home sweet home, back on the Manitou River, down there on the Range, things are different as we’re usually in the company of some very exotic and beautiful ladies in bikinis: and so!  the cooking has to be classic show bizz style.

you better put the headphones on for this one:

that trick with the egg flying and the spat:  i need to learn that one!  mind you:  what we’re doing in our kitchen tonight is baby shit along side what this dude is doing.

and so it is Saturday night: we’re in, where we are hopefully safe.  the cooking is on going.  the vin is.

this is super social distancing!

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out there on the streets of O Town:  one morning on the walk to work last week:  the flipping streets were empty save for this black bra.  it was empty too as you can see. how long it’d been there i don’t know but it wasn’t there the day before…

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Power Bird with Medicine Bundle, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches, by anishnabe artist and ruthless wild man:  Mark Seabrook.  (experimenting with new paints…  )

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Calling Up the Almighty:  Assist. various inks on wood panel, 11×14 inches, by anishnabe artist and exotic dancer:  Mark Seabrook.  while we fuss with the new paint selections, there is room to go back to the good old days.  i’d be one for visiting them!

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“Man Changing Into a Thunderbird, panel 1, in reverse”, cheap acrylic paint, various inks, on 1990 issue paper, hard cover repurposed book, Found Poetry Book 5, a work in progress, by anishnabe artist and brutal savage:  Mark Seabrook.  while we’re waiting for paint to dry, we can muddle over what some folks have said to us, me in partic, anywhere along our way.  those “some folks” do not like us!  and they do not like me and my ways of savagery.  to them it is evil and bad.  to me its another day at the office, here in Canada.

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“Writing on the Wall…”, cheap acrylic paint and various inks on 1990 issue paper, hard cover repurposed book, Found Poetry Book 5.  if you ascertain my meaning…

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the guitar is always there, waiting for us.  anyone can pick it up.  (my old buddy Carlos said that!)  and so while we ride out the storm, this Yamaha  FG-345 ii that i scammed out of a pawn shop over there on Montreal Road will assist in the to and from.  i’m an old school guitar player who liked to record on a Fostex.  this Garage Band stuff on board the mac book isn’t like the old school “cassette tape” that i know and love.

recording on said Fostex.  that’s me on the 12 string, one Sunday morning many moons ago.  you can hear Shag in the back ground at the beginning, he’s in the kitchen cooking up breakfast.  but that is also him on the background vocal.  if you do listen to it:  BE WARNED:  coarse language and sexual content. (best to put the headphones on for this one…  )

ah yes.  the Fostex.  a 4 track recorder great for on the spot song writing for old timers like me.  i really like those 12 string notes at 45 seconds into this recording.  i took the song into the No Reservations rehearsal hall but the boys rejected it, saying it was too camp fire.

i on the other hand think its an awesome snap shot of “one of those days”, back when we were a lot younger, when 201 was one of the coolest spots and…  this one though was recorded at the corner of Simcoe and what do you call it, over there in N’Swakamok.

“What to do on Sunday Afternoon” was written and recorded and performed by yours truly!  i just made it up on the spot using Shag’s 12 string.

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how grand it would be if Shag and the boys came over to my place and we ran through some of those old No Rez selections and booted around the idea of recording those other 12 songs we had in the hopper.  the world needs to hear things like:  The Creator Song.  Broken Home.  Thunderbird.  Red Doggg Blues.  You Had Me But I didn’t Have You.  Concrete Shoes Love.  Baby You’re a Crocodile.  Bats With Wings.  That Night in the Byway.  and one of my personal faves that we only played in the club:  Drive In Theatre: We Actually Watched the Movie…

we’re still cooking, 2.5 hours in.  i think the vin has arrived at room temp., so my thing is this:  why wait till later?

or as my dad would say:  Why take any chances?

more fun cooking vids from one of my fave movies:

Be safe!  Stay out of trouble!  And don’t get yourself killed, or worse!

Many thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

 

February 29th

so much drama in the news these days!  while waiting for paint to dry:  so many strange things coming in over the wire:

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can’t open a cell phone without seeing “stuff”.  WILD stuff…

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made a late night drive to Toronto, as always, listening to CBC, and this one came on and holy SHOOT!  Pat said a few things in this show, good authentic gravy i thought she was talking about me…   (i had to pull over and make a phone call!!!)

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pop up art show:  on the corner of McCaul and Dundas, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  24×36 inches on gallery canvas.  my Stevenson paint getting lower and lower…

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safely in the gallery on Dundas, across from the AGO.  that is a John Laford hanging with the twinravens.com.

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on Dundas W., Toronto:  everywhere you go these days!  and i’m not talking about Snoop!

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medicine bowl, at the corner of Rideau and Sussex, Monday afternoon, Feb. 24th:  protest/rally, downtown.  they had the hand drums there as well.

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signage at the rally/protest on Monday afternoon, corner of Sussex and Rideau.

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INSANE cbc news story cooking up over the past 18 to 24 months.  what is the world coming to when the so called Senate has someone like this on the payroll?

it’s getting to be that if you’re indian in Canada, you aint safe.

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you know the story?  (Found poetry book number 5, a work in progress.)

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“I was 14, She was 32”, found poem, Found poetry book 5, a work in progress, art therapy exercise number B.  it’s amazing, the fun you can have with a repurposed book, a few sharpie markers, and a guided exercise like black out poetry.  we’re using these fantastic art making exercises to cool many.

while in the storm: i try to use art and peace!  and love!

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okay we’ll try this again.  the last time we darn near let the cat “outa the bag”!!!  whoops!

before we get into the art news check this out:

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that is yours truly many moons ago:  screen shot from a vid.  the only reason i bring that one up is i want you to hear this song: 

that one:  was it really track 4?  all i know is we played it in the live show right after the initial bombardment: 4 thundering NR songs that absolutely got that audience to take notice.  this is the one the ended that bombardment and what a way to start the show.  ah but those were some show bizz daze…  fun times.  (psst:  we need to get the band back together.)

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someone in our recent travels asked if i knew a thing or two about the guitar and i said yes, that in the past, i had dabbled with it.  well another someone in the higher up heard that…  and they also knew about the band.  that “someone” is down the road another 10 year further than me, and let me say this much:  it is fun to know there are a few native folks out there who remember!  folks who are in a driver’s seat.

ah.  here is another for good measure:

we tried to open the show with that one but it was best to close the show with it.  (road show stories too!)(check out Danny Boy on those drums!)(he was a WIZARD!)

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i was standing in the “sweet spot”: where i could hear all the guitars and vocals on the stage!  ha.  with all that rock and roll can you believe at times, on stage, it’s difficult to hear things?

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of course i had to put this one on:  that’s Jen playing the congas, and that’s me watching the clock!  Buffy Ste Marie was up next and we didn’t want to keep her waiting!

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the new t shirt!  you know i’ve seen that shirt running around here and there:  strong, resilient, indigenous.

well.  when you’ve been around a bit, you’re tired of the flavour of the month with these words from overseas trying to tell us what we are.  first it was:  savage.  then it was: indian.  then it was:  native.  then it was:  aboriginal.  now it’s: indigenous.  and i, along with a few other old soldiers wonder what in the heck is it going to be next month?!!!

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so someone asked me what’s up?  i said:  i joined the resistance when i was 13 and have been fighting ever since.  i am powerful, i lived, unlike quite a few of my brothers in arms, who are KIA, or MIA.  i am authentic!  i am a real ANISHNABE.  i am not one of these fake Joseph Boyden/Grey Owl wannabeeze…   i won’t get scammed by a white salesman down on Hazelton Lanes, trying to sell me a 20 000 dollar “FAKE” Norval Morrisseau painting!  and i am not colonized:  i never bought into the religion from overseas and i sure as hell never thought a minute about the so called queen and “big ears”, that son of hers who went and got his ex wife killed and would likely F up a cup of coffee if he had to make it on his own.  nope!  that is supposed to be your future king?

well my queen is Queen:  We Will Rock You/We are…

(“My Melancholy Blues” is a close second!) 

you better listen to that one with the headphones…

wearing the shirt:  that is the GREAT JASMINE MOON, at the 2nd annual AFN Round Dance, O Town, a weekend ago.  and she is ANISHNABE.  still in training.

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speaking of Joe Boyden:  there sure are a lot of his books turning up in the Salvation Army bookshelves!  i know he made his millions playing indian, pulling the wool over who knows how many white eyes, and red eyes (ha!) but let’s just hope for a minute that there is still a chance for us real indian writers.  not sure what word to use these days!  savage.  indian.  native.  aboriginal.  indigenous…  flipping aliens…

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in progress, and using the LAST of the Stevenson paint…  (boo hoo!)  24×36 inches on gallery canvas.  it looks like we might have 6 more paintings at best, in Stevenson before we have to find that new brand.  i’m hoping a professional indio artist will take me under his/her wing/wings.

in the spirit of:

forget about the lame version by Ed V.  this is the real version.  my thing is this: if you can’t do it better than them, leave it alone.  as far as i’m concerned:  Ed V. SUCKED!  i’d say leave it alone dude but we know they handed him a great big fat pay cheque for that one!

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ah yes:  No Rez, we need to get that band back together.  the principles are still around!  and we’ll say this!  those songs are still relevant today:  like:  Putting Up a Barricade!  Native Pride.  Civilized Man.  Road Is So Long.  Dreamcatcher.  Logging Road.  Hollywood Indian.  actuals.  authentica.  NR was the real deal and still is.

i used to think the term “survivor” was a bit too big, but yes, i was way wrong about that.

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i know the dad who adopted me and saved my life, he was a ww2 survivor.  truth be told i’m not so sure how he came back from that.  but he was a survivor.  my 3 older brothers are dead and my 3 younger ones are missing.  what does that make me?

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at any rate:  the poison runs thick and strong, and it’s in us.  we need to water it out of us.  if we can keep the water clean which seems like a chore these days with the pipe lines and train derailments and jumbo jets and etc.

(cue in the music, Frankie!)

 

And SO! x 2

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I hate to see it go as it IS one of my personal faves:  but it is going.  And gone.  That is acrylic in a water colour technique, finish depending on the “tooth” of the canvas board.

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Another of my personal faves, shipped out, and gone.  The empty spaces on my walls…  Like a lot of things going on around here.  Thank goodness for Nadja, there in the blond hair, she’ll keep a close eye on things.

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Going back to the MET:  that story…  of me walking in there, stone aged, and seeing this!  Have mercy: I’m going to see a quack.  Hopefully we can sort out the weird-ness of what… what is this weird attraction?  The quack is also an art historian (hobby horse!) and knows a thing or two about the Indians and land reserved for Indians.  Plus…  she IS pretty attractive dot dot dot…

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Other MAD scenes in the MET:  this was actually in there, in the MET, on a Thursday afternoon in December…  (kooky…  )

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Check out the date:  March 10, 1995.  My how some drawings tell the tale!

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Flash Back!  May 1991.  That’s me, in Belmont, Manitoba on a Saturday afternoon.  We’re on the road to Whitehorse, a well oiled machine, show bizz, rock and roll.  But on this afternoon I had to get the van serviced so I took off alone, left the apes in Brandon, and found myself in Belmont.  Put the van in the line  up and started walking through this one horse town.  Took lunch at the diner, fresh, old time sandwiches made while you wait.  Wrote a letter to my sister. Thought about “her”.  Imagined myself back home, swimming in the warm waters off the south end of the island.  Tanned my feet both front and back.  Read the NY Times, the paper was at least 12 years old.  Drank a sweet fifth of Hoola, with a cut of water.  Rolled in the sunshine.  Imagined the war: on going, in lands far away.  Smoked home grown.  Wore my black bikini.  Settled under the sun.  Drove the island roads with the window down, my left arm hanging out the window.

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When I got back home from Scotland the lawn was a mess!  Lucky for me we had a suitcase filled with 20 dollar bills.  So I fired up the lawn mower and tried to rescue my lawn.  This is 10 days into July, 2018:  I was out there alone.  The girls were on the road.  What madness went on and off and out and in.  I snapped this photo of the crib at sunrise and remembered when I was over there, all I could think about in those final hours over there, was getting back home.  And surprise!  There I was.

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Sunrise in summer:  on the range.  This was in July 018, smoking hot and super dry!  I was there and I was thanking my lucky stars I’d made it home!  I was VERY happy being there in the summer of 018.  Wonderful memories.

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Middle

In the grand and glorious summers of the past, this one in August 014, we see many a grand and glorious scene:  this one looking due north, out where the horses are.  We were in the house and noticed the wind had changed so we went out for a looksie and saw the north sky had turned to a boiling thousand shades of grey!  Fantastic!

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On stage with NR back in 017:  We need to get the band back together.

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Sister JEN!  Working the magic.  She owns the show.  Summer of 017.

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Before the gig:  we might look cool but we’re not!  We’re both scared.  It is show business.  And no matter how many times you do the show, rehearse the show, when you put a crowd of folks out there, you’ll have butterflies deluxe.

Mask making with Mark!

Mask making with Mark!

Mask making:  that hand design… We’ve alway been ahead of the curve.  (the mask making exercise is SOLID GOLD real estate.)  All ages, no matter where.

Closing poem:

CRUSING BACK THE RANCH WITH MY YOUNG FRIEND

to see what we can see
come night time in a room
full of books, paintings, feathers and bones
the window wishes west
while the sun is arriving
at six in the summertime
she sleeps above the trees
below the stars
not a second close
enough to please me even mildly
in a red willow wind
curtains whisper quiet sins
moon
the island still
silent stars
the way she was stolen
by your quiet smile
into the night
when the drums are distant
shadows of the pines
cooling dew grass
the fringes on her shawl
the ferns are spooky
barefoot during the night
the feathers and bones
of a crooked crow dying
modern day pow boy
wishing well into the night
think about the moons you have missed
treating your life like you had nine
words by mark seabrook

 

 

Saturday Night Blizzard!

Well maybe it “aint no” blizzard like the folks in NFLD whooped through in the past 24 hours but here in O’sville, outside, now, 6 p.m., it aint pretty.  And it IS ice Flipping cold!  that is why I’m tucked away in here, in the crib, with the fake fire going, fake fireplace on the TV, 2D logs burning bright, warm as toast, snug as a bug, nestled up next to a Henschke Cyril Henschke Cab slash Sauv slash Franc slash Mer mixarama.  The folks are pitching it as extra dry but I’m telling you right now its twice the sweet as I like them.  Ah well.  It IS a snow storm out there.  And those Australian Vins on a cold winter night are something to write home about.  I’d write home if I had one…

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And so!  It IS a blizzard, I’m in for the evening with the vin and a book.  Thought I’d re read the “CLASSIC HORROR STORY” by kooky Sinclair Ross:  The Painted Door.  Of course when I was sporting, many moons ago, we’d make that trip, a mile anyway…

Things have changed since then.  Now, as an old man, we don’t need to wade through classic Canadian horror stories as we have enough of them stowed in our own story telling departments: if it were a library, a mighty library it would be as some of us did!  I was reminded of that when I crossed paths with an old soldier today:  same age as me!  We laughed and cackled our way through stories about the ages, old names, old places, now all dead and gone.  Yet we remain: Two Anishnabe, from the same year, many times in the same places, with the same people, yet never crossing paths until today.  Slick stuff.

We got to that story sharing place where I told him about that night at the International on Kathleen Street, N’Swakamok, summer of 1995:  I was in there with one of the killers, as back up.  He was in there looking for someone but he never told me why he was looking for this person.  We sat ourselves down at a table and ordered drinks and pretty soon this young Anishnabe dude came along and sat himself down at our table.  This dude knew the killer and they were chatting up a storm, going on about “stuff”.  Well I’d heard enough after about 20 seconds and said to the killer:  Is this the guy?

As I said that I was reaching inside my coat with my right hand and the dude FREAKED!  He put his hands up right away and said Hey Man!  I didn’t do anything!

Of course he was right.  I was just reaching into my coat pocket to get my cigarettes, to see if he wanted a Marlboro Red.  Back in those days you could smoke in the bar.  It was kooky to see though how that dude nearly shit his pants when I did that.  Ha ha.

It has been one of those winter days.  Cool too though when you cross paths with folks of the same vintage.

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Girl From the North Country, Found Poetry, Book 5, a work in progress.  Drawing by Mark Seabrook, Anishnabe artist.  Truth is I have NOT been drawing over the past few or several years and…  They were right.  It does go away if you don’t keep at it.

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Anishnabe Kwe, Found Poetry, book 5.  So yes, we’re still working at it.  The book is 400 plus pages and the story is INSANE!!!  So we’re mostly painting over the pages of text and making this one into a book of drawings.  There are a few poems in there but not as many as in the past books.  The drawing practice has been good for this old boy.

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Ed Hopper at the MET.  Remember how I was going on about that meltdown at the MET, back in December?  Well here we are a long way from, and here they are in no particular order, the paintings that brought on the meltdown…

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Have mercy.  You can read a ton of books about this one but when you’re standing where he once stood:  the same distance away I mean, there is a fine line between living out your dream and shitting your pants on the NY subway.

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Good Wowza.  If you are a visual artist, and you walk into a room and see this…  Well lets just say this:  I was in there looking at this and wondered if maybe it might have been better had I been KIA in the Great Hay Wagon Disaster of 78.  (If you don’t know what that is, scroll back through a few blog postings…  )

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Good Gawd!  Anyone out there reading this:  are you a painter?

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Jeepers H. Mary and M.F. Joe!  You read about it.  You see a small picture in an art history book text.  But then there it is.  Wowza x 2.

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Stop.  Stand.  And Stare.  Holy chocolate wagon wheels someone actually created this with their bare hands…  (Q. And what am I doing?  A.  A GREAT BIG FAT NOTHING.)

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OFMFGF.  We went over this in art school for days.  Detailing it, went over it, shoulder to shoulder on our hands and knees, going over every inch of the details with an extremely powerful art history instructor.

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Yup!  I was nearly a sobbing wreck by this point.  Just like that time I watched the first 5 minutes of the movie:  UP.

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Okay.  No words.  There it is.

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Have mercy!

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Absolute melting point:  if you’re an art enthusiast and dreaming…  If you see something like this, in the MET, after all these years…   (Well lets just say it will be the crows nest for me.)

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Here though:  something turned.  I may have rounded a corner with this one.

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Stopped and stared.  Imagined Mr. R. standing there too, cigarettes in hand…  ages ago.

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K.M. in his gear, making the presentation on Thursday night to a darn near a sold out show.  He had his book, getting his words straight, but what I was worried about is that he was going to fall off those great big high heels he was wearing!  He didn’t fall off his shoes and it was a great performance, and a great show:  glad to be there and see it first hand.  That painting of course, if you scroll back through the blog, you’ll  see it up close, from that night long ago…

And so the snow storm continues.

alone at Carter's Bay in a long ago summer time

alone at Carter’s Bay in a long ago summer time

I dream about the beaches back home: the wind and the waves, the sun, the earth, the sky.  The blue and green.  And yes:  The sienna, the gold and silver.

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Oh la la!  There will be time to get back to those water falls and that river where I call home.  I usually travel at night.  I’ll arrive at sunrise!

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When you live a bit, silly things like a snow storm are nothing.  Rooms in a house, the “Famous Cockroach Incident”, a thousand mile drive at a hundred miles an hour, the summer of 1995, the lawns between her house and mine at age 12, her red jacket…

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I’ve got a home waiting for me.  Yes I’m the road now but I’ll be home soon.  For now though, we have the art, the road, the snow storm, the flash Australian Vin, and the stuff not worth mentioning out the front window, the back window and the side windows:  life i the city in mid January.

Keep on keeping ON!