Posts tagged ‘First Nations art’

The Dream at the End of the World

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Opening pages of Found Poetry Book 4: The Dream at the End of the World.  I loved that title and to boot: printed way back in 1991, the paper is quality stuff that can handle the sharpie markers, highlighters and thinly spread dollar store acrylic paint.  I keep saying “thinly spread” as no matter how good the paper quality is in these old books, if you layer on gobs of acrylic, bad things are going to happen to your book project.  I’ve seen it happen with a few participants and yes it can get messy fast.  And that’s when the tears start…

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Remember: this is meant to be a long term art making project.  As you can see I started this one way back on September 4, 019.  Here we are at December 15th and I have 3 pages to go!  The opening “found poem”, is 2 pages of love…

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Found poems…  Love this stuff!  As I said to participants:  what literary surprises are waiting for us with every page?

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The End of Art School, found poem No. 3, is an 8 page beauty that goes like this:

in a dream, rising up through the tranquil sleep of a warm May evening, left in its wake a delicious sense of peace, of afternoon sunlight, the dream terrain, i felt the thrill of recognition, was offering, up to him again.  

his life was out of control, sidetracked by untidy passions, impulsive missteps, messy obsessions…

daring was in his art, and his ambition seemed limitless, he was an accomplished poet as well as a musician, still, he was beginning to feel like a hired hand, and he was weary of focusing his energy on works that were not his own.

disturbing, nihilistic, quietly bizarre…

its perpetual distraction.  as summer approached, the power of his stories, the dream had shown him the way.

flirtatious, seductive, she staged mad crushes, they had become favourites among the creative elite, they were famous among the famous.

his only refuge was his imagination, he invented his own planet, “I was always trying to get away.”

found his freedom, possessed of a diffident charm, and sensible in summer, thrillingly remote, was vital and clamorous, the ancient native, life burst through the seams, wonderfully excessive, costume balls, expeditions and martinis, cleanliness and efficiency.

steady, hot, with a moon that is like a sun when it is full, a madhouse: the piano in their isolated house was wildly out of tune…

trance dancing-all of it was part of the pageantry, Sahara, the sky had a life of its own, baptism of solitude, silent country, sensation of existing in the midst of something that is absolute: the absolute has no price.

mystical undercurrents ran deep, a man transforming, the supple nature of reality, on the other side of the looking glass, alienness intoxicating, insupportable jealousy, I shall be away. 

pursued the exotic, self indulgent, he kept up his creative momentum, he transported himself, an untamed twenty year old, the two began to spin fantasies.

a protagonist in his novel, restless souls who wanted to explore life outside, purpose and spirit, it was a mystery, She laughed: “You KNOW I don’t want you to go.”

a close friend of both, i dimly remember my own face and not yours, how psychosomatic can you get?

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Of course there is room for drawing: “Fancy Shawl Dancer, who IS Mother Earth”,  sharpie marker, thinly spread dollar store acrylic.

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And room too, for experimenting with the draw and the subject of the draw:  black ball point pen with sharpie marker on acrylic paint.  Maybe there is an opportunity to create a new series of pictures from the sketches in these pages.

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Some days are tougher than others…  Sharpie marker on acrylic paint.

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“True Love: age 22, (I knew her name)”, Found poem, a 12 page extravaganza!

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Once into it, these sketches can be pretty telling…  (life on the road…  )

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And of course there is room for fun stuff!  The end page of a wildly sexual poem, from the Road Taken!

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Ah yes: room to explore, room to create, and maybe a new series of paintings in the development stages…

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Heavy duty and ultra supra TELLING!  Wow.  This drawing is from the last of the pages in the book, 384 pages of found poems, drawings, journals, love stories, memory brambles lane, black circles under blood shot eyes, spinning out in a parking lot, from soup to nuts, insanity before xmas in the city.

Yes the found poetry book project is a work in progress and an exciting exercise for the creative soul.  On Monday I’ll be back in the goodwill on the snoop, looking for another interesting title with high quality paper.

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Power Bird, acrylic on canvas, 18×24 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Made fresh this past week and using a new brand of acrylic paint!  The last of my Stevenson Professional Acrylic, and I mean the last, we’re down to the bottom of the barrels, I’m pretty sure we only have a half dozen paintings remaining in those paint barrels.  Very sad for me as Stevenson was my brand since all the way back in art school.

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Power Birds, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Originally it was a black and white but with this new brand of paint in the house, it’s time to explore and see what she can do.

Just ten days before Xmas and…  yikes: another year will be in the books.

 

Art Battle Tonight!

hey i was called up for tonight’s Art Battle here in Ottawa!  for those of you not in the know:  they give you a 16×20 inch canvas, acrylic paint, an easel and 20 minutes!  all you have to do as the artist is bring your own brushes and your own ideas!  i’ll tell you right now they have some pretty decent painters signing into this show, folks who can get it done fab style within those 20 measly minutes.  i am not one of them!  i can get it done in 20 but have never made it out of the first round.  maybe tonight is my night!

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that’s me back in April, thinking i had a great idea but nope!  (truth is: no matter how big the house i always come down with a serious case of the butterflies…   complete with shaking hands…  )

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that’s way back in 016, the Halloween version and big time NO GO to the 2nd round.

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in Ottawa on Friday night!

and that’s way back in 015, on my first visit to the AB, with NO DICE!

at any rate, it is a fun time, fun to be in with those other artists, and fun to be in the show!  we’re in a new venue this time, 250 City Centre, which is not downtown.  how it got the title of City Centre when its way out in the middle of nowhere is beyond me.

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Big Bucks = Happiness.  Acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  maybe tonight i should stick with the basics.

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Indian Residential School, Hell on Earth.  Sketch.  Acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Artist Collection.  or maybe i should attempt a “statement”.

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Stacey from Malibu, sharpie marker on 8.5×11 paper.  Artist collection.  one thing is for sure there is no time to call up Stace for advice on what to paint and what to wear.  i know what she would say though about what to wear:  You have one life to live, don’t put it off to tomorrow.

i’ll let you know how it goes!

 

Woodland School style by twinravens

here is my version of the Anishnaabe Woodland School of art, founded by the great Norval Morrisseau, and introduced to the art world in Toronto, way back in September 1962.  what a great artist journey/adventure Norval M. went on after that!  all the way to the National Gallery of Canada in 2006/07.  i’m a long way from having my work in the N.G.C.!  but here is my version anyway:

A Self Portrait on November 30th by Mark Seabrook

Self Portrait on November 30th, acrylic on canvas, 30×40 inches.  Private collection.

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Feeding the Wolf, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches.  Private collection.

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Anishnabe at Full Moon, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches.  Artist collection.

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Bear Clan, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches.  Artist collection.

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Water Spirit, Homage to Norval M., acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches.  Private collection.  (the paint wasn’t even dry when that one went out the door!)

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Moose Nahmiwan, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches. Painted on the Range in March 2015

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Indian Residential School Survivor, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches.  Available for purchase.

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Anishnabe Woodland Nights, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches.  Private collection.

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Power Bird, acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches, getting ready to ship out.  Private collection.

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Me, standing next to a Norval Morrisseau acrylic on canvas at the National Gallery of Canada.  A lot of us anishnaabe boys who are painters owe a salute to the great Norval M. and his high and mighty work.

Paintings by Mark Seabrook

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Power Bird, acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available for purchase as of Oct. 3/019.

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Power Bird No. 5, acrylic on canvas board, 9×12 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

I have to admit I’m having fun with these pieces in frames!  Normally we sell them as unframed canvas boards but I decided to switch things up last summer, and so here we are in October with a sizeable collection, getting ready for that show in November!

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Power Bird No. 6, acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Tehkummah Scenes, acrylic on canvas, 8×10 inches, from the original run in 2013, artist collection.

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Twinravens, Winter Scenes, acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.IMG_8998

Tehkummah Scenes, acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Big Bucks!  Acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Power Bird, acrylic on canvas, 8×10 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Visiting from Over Seas, acrylic on canvas board, 14×18 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

We ship anywhere.

And so yes:  I’m having some fun here framing up these new pieces and going through the collections, framing up a few of the war horses, pieces I just couldn’t part with, playing with a new look.  And it IS fun.  We’ll be ready for that show in November!

 

Life in the Big City No. 2-07-06-019

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Walk way into the National Gallery of Canada on July 6th.  Inside: AC.  Outside: 39 C.  Did I ever tell you I will never say mission accomplished until I have something like this building, on 500 acres of the south shore, on the limestones of Manitoulin Island, with a view of the great Lake Huron?  Not as a gallery but as my personal crib!  (My old buddy Scott said:  how are you ever going to heat a place like this?  I said:  we’re only staying here for 6 months of the year! (Ha!))

I was at the gallery for the Gauguin Portraits exhibit:

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There she is!  Tehamana has many parents OR The Ancestor of Tehamana, 1893, oil on coarse fabric.  Tehamana is shown with flowers in her hair, holding a fan and wearing a contemporary missionary dress (those goddamn missionaries!) of the type introduced by European Christian missionaries.  Surrounding her are enigmatic spiritual referents: glyphs (taken from Easter Island tablets), a female figure (possibly Hina, the goddess of creation), and three hovering heads (spirits of the dead).  This portrait merges a colonial present with a mysterious, mythic past.  Those goddamn colonists!

Anyway.  I have been waiting my entire art life to see this painting in actual, up close.  We covered that base first thing yesterday.  “Self Portrait with Yellow Christ” was an also must see but in that section:  NO PICTURES allowed!  It was there!  And I spent a solid 20 with that one!

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Super heavy duty:  Melancholic (Faaturuma) 1891, oil on canvas.  One day I want to sail to Tahiti and visit those legendary Tahitian women.

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Young Christian Girl, 1894, oil on canvas.  Painted after Gauguin’s first sojourn in the South Seas, this work is an evocative synthesis of Breton and Tahitian imagery.  The economy of form and intense colour create a powerful sense of the spiritual.  The brilliant yellow cloth of the girl’s missionary dress fills the canvas, becoming a luminous embodiment of pure faith.  (words by NGC.)  Standard fare on any Art History curriculum!  I edited out the bit about those goddamn missionaries…

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twinravens on July 6th, markers on heavy paper, 2019, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  well at least for a day I can report that my original art DID hang on the walls of the great National Gallery of Canada!  (ha!)  They had an art station set up for anyone who wanted to fuss and I surely did!

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Ah yes:  the Great National Gallery of Canada.  It was along this way where I ran into the great Alex Janvier!  You’ll have to scroll back into this blog to read about that adventure!

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The Martyrdom of Father Brebeuf and Lalemant, c. 1843, oil on canvas, Joe Legare (1795-1855).  Saw this and wondered if a Mr. Kent M. was inspired by such things way back in his early days…  Slip some high heels on those Indians and BINGO!

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The Daffodil, 1910, oil on canvas, Laura Muntz Lyall.  First NGC purchase of an impressionist work by a woman!

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Boy with Bread, 1892-99, oil on canvas, Ozias Leduc.  Classic Canadian Art History fare.

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The Death of General Wolfe (detail), 1770, oil on canvas, Ben West.  Once again I saw this and started wondering about our old buddy Mr. Kent M.  Slip some Frederick’s of Hollywood 7 inch heels on that Indian and flipping BINGO!

IMG_8207Super heavy duty:  Renoir’s almighty from 1903.

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Mega:  Monet in 1903.

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Ultra!!!  Vin in 1886.

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Holy Smokes!!!  Matisse in 1926.  He too, stood the same distance away from that canvas! Wowza!

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This one rattled me.  That’s the super gorgeous Jennine as a 17 year old, shortly after she moved to Manhattan from Union City.  What struck me was the photo looked like it could have been photographed earlier in the week, yet here we are in 2019, and Jennine is long gone, dust and bones.  It reminded me of what the great old lady:  Jean Hodgson of Mindemoya, once told me, back before 1994:  Don’t be anyone but yourself.  And it also reminded me of what the great Jack Seabrook once said to me way back before 2002:  Don’t be putting things off to tomorrow.

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Yes, I will not say Mission Accomplished, until I have a building like this on that 500 acres, on the south shore, Manitoulin Island, as my personal crib.  That’s on the walk way out.

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Mother and Child, 60’s Scoop Survivor, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches, by anishinabe artist Mark Seabrook.  On display at the Atomic Rooster, Bank Street, Ottawa.  The Atomic Rooster is NOT a lounge at the National Gallery of Canada, ha!  Priced to sell:  $3200.

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I Miss You, acrylic on canvas, 18×24 inches, by anishinabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Also on display at the Atomic Rooster.  $500

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The Green and Blue, mowed trail back home, thousands of acres, by anishinabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Priceless.

Even though the farm back home is indeed a work of art, it is a work of genius, a paradise on earth, in a place with zero light and noise pollution, and something imagined and realized, there is another place too, in the imagination…

Here is the video from yesterday’s walk through.  Be warned:  it is a full ten plus minutes.

 

art work by Mark Seabrook

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“Power Bird”, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches.  Private Collection.

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“Power Bird, 2018”, acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches.  Private Collection.

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“Woodlands at New Moon”, acrylic on canvas board, 18×18 inches.  Private Collection.

Bear Clan with White Raven

“Bear Clan”, acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches.  Artist Collection.

A Self Portrait on November 30th by Mark Seabrook

“A Self Portrait on November 30th”, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches.  Private Collection.

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“Anishnabe at Full Moon”, acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches.  Artist collection.

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“Feeding the Wolves”, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches.  Private collection.

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“Tehkummah scenes”, acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches.  Private collection.

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“Tehkummah Scenes”, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Private collection.

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“For Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women”, Acrylic on canvas, 36×58 inches.  Artist collection.

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“For Missing and Murdered Women”,  Acrylic on canvas, 30×40 inches.  Artist collection.

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“Tehkummah scenes”, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Artist collection.

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“Tehkummah scenes”, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Artist collection.

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“Joe Boyden meets Grey Owl”, Bic pen on sketch book paper, 8×10 inches.  Private collection.

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“Stacie from Malibu, Fancy Shawl Dancer”, Sharpie marker on 65 pound paper, 8.5×11 inches.  Artist collection.

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“Power bird”, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Private collection.

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“Anishnabe portrait”, Sharpie marker and ball point pen on bristol board, 18×24 inches.  Artist collection.

And many more of course, email me if you’d like to see others that ARE available, we ship anywhere!

Miigwetch and Happy Canada Day.

a place of peace!

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the road to home:  we’re back on the island, in our hideout paradise!  it is a glorious time to be out here, in with the green and blue!  what love!

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young love birds:  ah yes, there is a lady in the house!  thank goodness for her!  when you’re in paradise with some good company everything is wild roses.

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Happiness is Big Bucks!  5×7 inches, acrylic on canvas board, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  found the frame at the goodwill, doctored it up and boom!  i like that one.

we’re back in the slab first thing tomorrow:  back in the art battle!  but this one is over at the Museum of something or other, across the river in Hull or whatever they call it these days.  anyway:  i believe it is an all indigenous art battle!  we’ll let you know how that one goes.  but first we are going to max our day here on the land:  blue skies and green grass, a river and a black bikini!

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there is plenty of time for more of this!  (we can make that drive to the city through the night: no use in spending a day in the car as far as i’m concerned!  lets do that one at night!)