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…

Summer scenes!

wowza!  hey we’re rolling right on through the grand and glorious month of July!  and we have not been sleeping in, or staying close to home!


outside of hair, make up and wardrobe:  that’s part of the crew getting one last look before they’re taxied to the set.  (psst!  this was in Scotland…  sometime during the week of June 4th to 8th!)(don’t tell anyone!)


fake dirty hands:  on the set, and waiting!  (that gig seems like another life ago!)


Jasmine Moon:  riding across the great Lake Huron, July 6th!


at the club on July 11th!  tanned feet in those famous shoes always wins them over!


Jasmine Moon: going through some old ballet dance moves while riding across the great Lake Huron, July 18th!


Cove Island Lighthouse, July 18th.  a beauty evening for sailing!


sunset on the range:  July 23rd.  a sweet place of peace to call home sweet home.


sunrise on the range:  July 26th!  wow!  and i mean ultra wow!  yes there is a special place, a private place, for family and close friends, where a paradise really is right here on this good island!

i haven’t forgotten how to paint! there are many of them right here, on the range, being created.  we’ll have some photos to share very soon!

Life and Times of a Famous Native Canadian Artist, Vol. 2

HA!  joking of course.  we are back on the range.  we:  me and the ghosts that haunt me.  the gals are out there somewhere, on the road.  i’ve been out here on my own, on the range, for a brutal 5 days and 5 devastating nights.

we’re a long way from that travel day!  and we’re a long way from the kooky goings on in the mind, when riding the subway from Kipling Station to Bloor and Yonge.  yes lads that was quite an afternoon.  our movie star days are behind us for now.   my hair is slowly growing back.  i don’t look like a Klingon anymore.  i’m closer to Francis Ford’s version of the older Dracula:  the dude with the red outfit, laughing at Johnny Boy…  it will be “hat day” for daddy for another 300 days at least.

and so the gals are out there somewhere.  and i am here alone.  not spooked by aliens and abductions like last September!  nope!  no, we’re onto something diff now.  the mighty blue and green is out there.  the river is running slow.  slow like Labour Day.  there isn’t a sound save for the sand hill cranes buzzing the giant fields to the north.  and its wonderfully and beautifully hot.  time is 8 p.m., it has to be a grand and glorious 28 or 30 C, blue sky, no breeze.

had the run around this afternoon: the mighty painting drop off.  a whole winter’s worth delivered to art gallery addresses here on the island.  while muddling, i kept thinking about the river, and how grand it would be to be out there sun tanning, toes wiggling in the mighty Manitou.  of course out there you need a freshener so i stopped along the way to pick up a few German pilsners.  and thank goodness i had the wellness of mind to pick up something decent in the wine department down south, before i came up here.

it’s hot alright.  so we’re cooling with a Kistler Les Noisetiers Chardonnay, 2016, Sonoma Coast, perfect for a very warm summer evening where there is no need for much of anything as we have it all right here.

well almost all of it.  the girls come home sometime tomorrow night.  an address like this needs a few ladies.  their 6 inch heels clicking on these hardwood floors and their bikinis out drying on the line come this time of day!  ah yes.  i anxiously await their arrival.  the lawns are mowed.  the sunflowers are growing.  the hummingbirds are here.  and the moon is arriving closer and closer to dawn.  perfect timing for the ladies.

all the windows have been open for the past ten days.

and so here i am, alone, looking east:  17 acres of open wilds, green and blue.  Tuesday night.  July 10th.  what a grand and glorious summer night.  the chardonnay is precisely what the doctor ordered!  the 17 acres is part of what must be 10 thousand acres of wilds.  especially towards the north.  out there somewhere are the coyotes and we don’t want to be shaking hands with them tonight.

and finally:  my novel, a project i have been working on since 1996, is on the club house turn!  i have people looking at it right now, formatting, and i hope to have it in my hands and in your hands by July 30th!  it is a horror story.  it is a nightmare landing right here on earth.  it is a filthy and vile tale of wild Indian-ness.  but it is also very real.  the reason it took so long to finish is i didn’t have an ending.  then one morning on Island Park, back in April 2017, i was visited by a dream, and there was my ending, already written for me.  and so i wait for that formatting, a cover, we can agree upon, and STAMP!  roll it.  push the print button!

and that is the truth:  i did not have an ending.  mom is long gone.  going on, well it will be 5 summers since she came out this way.  gosh i miss her.

it was me and mom, we said and signed a contract, back in July 1996 (oh those WILD DAYS!!!) that we would each write a novel.  she wrote Once Upon An Island and had it self published, produced into a theatrical production complete with original music and yeah, they did alright with that.  silly me:  i never read the book nor saw the show…

but like i said.  it was the very wild mid to late 1990’s.  NR was a going concern back in those days.  a house on fire.  we needed all hands on deck to manage that one!  or miss manage as it turned out!

water under a bridge i blew up long ago.

and so here i am.  on the range:  a paradise on earth, alone!  but in a very comfortable chair, in a room with a view.  and no noise pollution.  no light pollution come 11 p.m.  just me and the great wide open, the flashy chardonnay, my fun shorts, my tanned toes on the mowed grass, and a library filled with books of wild adventures.  a pipe to smoke.

we shall cue this one and let it play.  we are in complete and total peace out here.  and so it is time to visit the lawn, the maple trees, the river and the great sky, with this one playing in the house, which of course i can hear, as all the windows are open.

another glass of this chardonnay will do it.