“untitled”

IMG_1151

Peter Purdy, “untitled”, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches, twinravens collection.

had the night off so i hit the local main drag here in downtown Ottawa, visited the Atomic Rooster and joined in with the opening party for local FN artist, Peter Purdy.  i’ve been a fan of Peter’s work since i first saw his “Hudson Bay blanket” painting way back in…  was it 2006?  Peter has a few irons in the art fire, hosting the local Art Battle and the Life Drawing Sessions right there at the Atomic Rooster, among others.

i’ll never forget what Peter said to me, the first time we crossed paths, back at Gallery 7a, all those years ago.  i walked in one afternoon, he looked me up and down and said:  you must be a musician or an artist.  or both.

IMG_1155

me and artist Peter Purdy, show opening, at the Atomic Rooster, April 11.

the house was packed so it was tough getting in for a close look but let me tell you i stopped a few times in front of that piece up there behind us.  didn’t matter where i was in the room, it seemed those eyes were looking at yours truly, good ole ojibwe indian boy from the Spanish River Indian Reserve, Mark Seabrook.

when i buy art it is usually pottery or…  “wearable” art.  but this one, “untitled”, had me in the crosshairs.  Pete wasn’t around at that moment so i just upped and grabbed a red marker from the bartender and put a red dot on the tag.

IMG_1152

here it is before the red dot.  that beauty is now in the twinravens collection, in with the likes of artists like Clipper Mole, Lincoln Croft, Martin Panamick, Daphne Odjig, Lynne Gerard, and others.

wow.  it is true.  you CAN, every now and again, be in the right place at the right time.

 

at night and alone

i wonder at times, often lately, what lies just up ahead not far.  i know i should be paying attention to the here and now, but with the wild goings on in body, mind, spirit, the future, the past, and my many hours alone behind the wheel of a speeding automobile, usually at night, the door is open for a great many things in the future and past.  the past in partic: the many failures in my life.

painting wise:

IMG_1332

“Binakwe Geezis”, April 5, 2017, 30×30 inches, acrylic on canvas.  Panel at left:  Private Collection.  Panel at right, upstairs in the main hall.

the moon is up and in full but it is the spring moon and one of the sounds i love to hear is the spring peepers.  back home in the town of Mindemoya, during the 1970’s, i’d go out, looking for that sound.  on the farm, it wasn’t a big trip to find it.  i think i may have heard it last night, far away, but the roar of the traffic on the 401, even my well cared for hearing, had a difficult time tuning it.

IMG_1139

“a room in Unionville, Main Street”, Sunday, April 9, 2017″

IMG_1146

“the moon over Lake Ontario, on April 9, 2017, south end of Courtice Road,”

IMG_1141

“lake Ontario, as seen from the south end of Courtice Road, April 9”

ah but there are shores we have not landed.  my dad reminded me of this and his words, after all these years, came back to me at this moment:  “There are places, boy, no one has ever been.”

and so i rolled down the highway, into the night, the first warm night of the year, wondering, pondering, dreaming, and imagining…   just what is there, up there not far from where we are now?

i had a musical soundtrack for the trip but i found myself listening to this one about a hundred times.

 

Fire all your guns at once!

and so!  the news around the campfire is the late great N.R., short for No Reservations, the Juno and Aboriginal Music Award nominated six piece musical thunder storm that grew out of the native friendship centre in Sudbury, c. 1994, is getting ready to go again.

kids are grown up!  maybe it IS time for this native rock and roll band from the past, to come back.

381582_10151052185800321_1206416983_n

NR at the Ottawa Folk Festival, way back in 1999.  a thundering rock and roll show!

385380_10151052186390321_214321667_n

NR at the Indian Summer Festival, Milwaukee, 2 weeks later.  a war whooping show!

it was ages ago i know, but i’ve never stopped dreaming about this rock and roll band.  here is a true story:  way back in art school, final year, spring time, 1987, the home stretch and victory tour coming up fast, U2 released The Joshua Tree.  i use to listen to Q107 back in those days and i remember hearing “In God’s Country”, and i remember thinking:  i don’t know how, and i don’t know when, but one day i’m going to be playing guitar in a rock and roll band and playing in a show!

i hope and pray the band can get back together and re fire the monster that was a great party band, show band, and in basic:  a really good time.

nice work.  and so we’ll see if the troops still have it.  i’m sure they/we do.  some rehearsal time of course and maybe a few walks around the block, and a couple of tall glasses of clean water…

Sweet April!

i’m a baseball fan so i’m very happy to be listening to the Bluejays, game one, on the radio and fussing with the paint brushes: now that is a grand work day for an old Ojibwe boy like me.  the sun is blazing.  sweet indeed!

IMG_1021

Woodland style Moose with 3 ravens:  acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches.  Available, we ship anywhere.

when i was in the art store this morning i saw some pretty huge stretched canvas ready to go.  one of them clocked in at 60×120 inches: wow!  as soon as i saw it my imagination placed this Woodland style Moose on that big canvas, but the complete moose right down to the hoof, with ravens deluxe.  none of this 3 ravens business.  i was seeing 13 of them! and maybe a few hundred stars!  what a picture that would be.

IMG_1096

At Toogood Pond, yesterday in Unionville, Ontario, Sunday morning coming down…  Writer:  unknown.  (i love reading/seeing this stuff.)

IMG_1098

At Toogood Pond, yesterday in Unionville, Sunday morning stroll.  Artist:  unknown.  (what is the story?  i’d love to sit down and give it a listen.)

IMG_1101

Main street, Unionville, Sunday morning, April 2nd.  (so hey…  that house style sure does stir up some ghosts for me!)

i walked the quiet streets, imagining the day when “they” let me go.

 

23 hours on the road

IMG_1069

what day is this?  March 25th, 149 a.m.  ah yes.  so really.  it’s only been 24 hours.  i’m here in snow covered Ottawa, shaking off the drive blues.  and by drive blues i mean: 23 hours on the road!

i started the business day on the 24th at 1 a.m.  i walked out to my waiting limo down there in Markham, it was mild for 1 a.m. in late March, threw my gear in the back seat and took off.  no radio as i had to wiggle my way out of the city and onto the big highway, with a few stops along the way.  no need to pause great music for something silly yes?

the big gig that is Markham and surrounding suburbia, by the thousands, many house lights off, a few house lights on, was quiet.  highway 7 was empty.  i rolled onto the northbound 400 and soon had the red dragon (ha!) up to a tasty and comfortable cruising speed of 150 km/h, at which point i turned on the late night radio.

“Sleep Walk”, as read by Santo and Johnny Farina, 1959!  i kid you not!  this is what came over the airwaves while i was cruising up the 4 lane highway, alone, the dotted lines flying past!  truth is a lot of tunes came over the airwaves because it is all of 550 kms from Markham to the Range via the Poison City, and a snow storm, but this is the one that started us off.

great times in Wikwemikong.  our 10 o’clock went well.  back on the road at 1215 p.m.

i had a request from one of the ladies in the outfit for some “Manitoulin Island honey”, and i had a hankering for some hemp oil out of Manitoba so i stopped by the Island Jar on my way out.

IMG_1083

she’s safely delivered this far.  here is what happened at the end of my journey:  like i said, Ottawa is a snowscape.   when you plug another 660 km drive on top of the first 550, hey man…  that’s a drive.  needless to say i was all used up when i was rolling down the 417 in Ottawa, after midnight, wondering what exit i was to take.  the mind will play tricks on you after you’ve seen that much scenery on your own, me thinks.

i got to Island Park hassle free, parked the car and thought about the gear i had stowed.  it can wait till tomorrow is what i was thinking so i grabbed the essentials:  the beer, my computer, the honey, the hemp oil and the phone.  that’s a heavy load after 1200 kms behind the wheel.  i got in the house no probs, was on my into the kitchen with the stuff when that 1 litre glass jar of f’n honey some how came loose and went sailing straight for the oak floor boards…

thank gods my big toe was in the way when it landed…  that was cushion enough, or slowed it enough, or who knows what enough, that when that big heavy jar of honey did hit the floor boards, it just rolled around for a few seconds and came to a stop.

let me tell you that is some way to end the business day…

Woodland Nights, 2 Crows

this morning we’re in the town of Markham, Ontario, just north of the good city of Toronto.  a beauty morning indeed, in the company of some wise folks: i’m here for some classic traditional teachings.  tomorrow morning at this time, we’ll be on the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, Manitoulin Island, for another round of heavy duty, traditional teachings.  and on Saturday morning we’ll be in Ottawa visiting one of those great teachers and instructors whose family roots go all the way back to the Sagamok Indian Reserve!  so.  it’s going to be a book of knowledge come Sunday morning when we can stretch our legs somewhere, in the sunshine i hope, and ponder the almighty.

IMG_1067

roses at sunrise:  beyond the fields of gold.  we had to give the song, You’ll Never Walk Alone, as read by Gerry and The Pacemakers, a listen this morning and i for one stood at the windows looking east.

IMG_1068

“Woodland Nights:  2 Crows” (detail), 2008, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches, private collection.  (On permanent display here at the residence in Markham!)

Kind of peculiar how things work out for this old bird: traveling at night…

another weekend on the road!

oh my goodness the wild things a fella can see and do in a few short days…

IMG_1030

that is home sweet home for this bad boy!  sunrise on the Manitou, Friday, ending of March Break, spring is in the air.  whew.  we’re down to seeing this a few times a season and i’m not sure how happy i am about that.  but a deal is a deal!

IMG_1043

outside Lee’s Palace, Sunday morning, 11 a.m.  Jazzy Moon had VIP tickets to a gig and so there we were on Bloor Street, Toronto.  it’s been many a moon since i found myself standing in line to get into this joint!  Sunday morning though it wasn’t me waiting to get in.  the ladies were booked and i was foot loose and fancy free to hit the streets and see some wild art!

IMG_1052

someone’s rock and roll machine!  i got to thinking, hey that ride has been there for quite some time.  abandoned?  or a classic rust bucket for those late morning rides down Bloor to Spadina?  either way, nice work.  i just hope the owner isn’t a skeleton in a nearby apartment, sitting on a couch, the tv still on…

IMG_1054

waiting at noon…  on Harbord Street.  CTS in the background.

IMG_1056

art and artists, they’re everywhere in the city!  (i wonder if those were blue suede shoes…)

IMG_1057

walking out front of the Central Technical School.  this old war horse is over a hundred years old!

IMG_1058

ah yes…  art and artists everywhere.  this wild scene is on Bagpipe Lane.

IMG_1059

that “life’s purpose” bit really got in my grill!  especially with all the kooky goings on in my world over the past several days, weeks, months and years.

IMG_1061

my old art instructor said to me:  you can’t have too much art in one day!  (this was back when i was a sprightly 21 and sorry to report, those words of his are some of the few things i brought with me from art school!!!)  so i walked myself out of the back ally and onto the crowded city street where it did indeed strike me:  yes…  art and artists everywhere, this ojibwe boy possibly one of them.

we found ourselves, me and Jazzy Moon, rolling out of the city at 3 a.m., east bound on the 401, going back to the capital city, “La La Land Soundtrack” playing, weird scenes swirling in my mind, not sure what might have been swirling in hers.  we made it though, March Break is behind us for another year.