Posts tagged ‘First Nations art’

Life in the Big City

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Drawing Class:  Your self portrait in the woodland style with Anishnabe Instructor Mark Seabrook, Friday, June 7th.  I worked with 2 groups of teens at a school in Ottawa on Friday and this wild and crazy character was hanging out in the room we were working in!  Imagine having that guy staring at you first thing in the morning!  The classes went alright and gosh there are some talented young artists coming up!

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Man with Blues in 28 C weather, near the Train Yards, Vanier Parkway, Ottawa, Friday afternoon, just before rush hour traffic.

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Blazing into the city, Gardiner Expressway, Saturday morning around 7 a.m.  On my way to the Roncesvalles Open Air Market, it went alright.  Started out that morning at 2 a.m. from Ottawa, what beauty scenes at 4 a.m. in the country between the 2 cities.  By the time we shut it down it was midnight in Markham: that makes for a long business day!

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On Roncesvalles, Toronto, Saturday afternoon, open air market.  Hey there are some very nice folks who operate that market, some of the friendliest market folks I’ve come across.  They take good care of you always!

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Raven scenes, acrylic on canvas board, 9×12 inches, one of the pieces available on Saturday.

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Raven scenes, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, art work by Mark Seabrook.

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

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Fire Lake, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.

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Pages 100/101, Found Poetry Book 3.  I always stop on June 6th and remember the men and women who went to work on that day, back in 1944.

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Outside the crib in Markham, Ontario: we’re staying here for now.  I love how these folks keep the place looking Class A.  We’re a long way from the range when we’re walking up the sidewalk into this place.

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Maybe we can put our toes into this later on today!  Supposed to be a beauty 30 C here and gosh its been a long time since we’ve seen weather like this!

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The river back home: we’re a long way from our Friday 5 p.m. Summer time ritual where we stop everything, go down to the river, and thank the almighty we’re on the range, out and away from the city, the traffic, the noise and pollution.  Things are going to be different this summer but we’ll see what we can do with it.  One thing is for sure:  there are a lot of paintings to be made and a lot of fun art classes in the dream works!

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A summer morning on the range, back home, on Manitoulin Island.  We’ll get back there one of these days.  Hopefully we can bring a few friends as I have a brand new Art Making Exercise that involves dance, BIG BRUSH, and gravity!  I know it works for me but I want to see it in others!  More to come!

 

Fun Scenes!

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sunrise on the range, Saturday, May 18:  wowza!  and this was just a piece of what was going on out there.  when i rolled in around 4 a.m., it was full moon and clear skies!  decided i would wait up, watch the moon set and the sunrise: time well spent!

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good ole Bleue Eyes, chilling on the range, Saturday afternoon, May long weekend.  and gosh it was chilly alright!  i had a birch blaze going full on all through Saturday and Sunday too!  nice to cook a pot of soup on the wood stove top!

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Ten Mile Point, Manitoulin Island, Monday afternoon, May 20th.  on the road back to the slab, singing the blue blue blues…

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blazing east bound on highway 17, heading into the night, listening to “Ace of Spades” and wondering where is it all going…

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Pages 32/33, Book 3, Found Poetry.  i’m making some fun and very weird poems from Robertson D’s big words!  i’ll share one with you soon.  i’m also drawing pow wow dancers in this one seeing how Bob’s rambling on about Sioux Lookout, “natives”, “indians”, and the snooty Toronto idea in the Ontario North West.  i wonder if Bob met a real indian…  i mean really, where’d he do his research for this one?

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Book 3, Found Poetry, using The Cunning Man.  we’ll have some fun with this one and we won’t be in a fuss around it.

Saturday morning in Ottawa

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she won’t be happy until she scares the living CRAP outa me…  (i’m putting the icing on a novel project and here we are now, this morning, with a brand new idea for horror…  )(where did THAT come from?!!!)

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waiting at the diner in Westboro, hoping she will show, Friday night, an artist in the city, alone as usual…

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“Afraid to Wake Up”, acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches, from September 13, 2000.  Private Collection.  (so nice to see you again my friend, so much has happened since September 13, 2000 man.)

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Found Poetry Book 2, started on December 20, 2018 and finished on May 9, 2019!  an enjoyable project, telling too!  i thought i was finished with the idea, Found Poetry: repurposing hard cover novels from the goodwill but the other day i came across a brand spanking new, never been opened copy of Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man.  i guess it was too well written for someone!  i grabbed that one off the shelves for 2 bucks and we’ll see what we can do with Bill’s flash words, the quality paper of 1994, and an Anishnabe’s wild and unruly hand of savagery!  go Daddy!

 

At the Art Battle

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Hey that was FUN!

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Didn’t make it out of round 1!  Hey like I keep saying:  there are some serious and heavy duty painters in there!  But I’ll let you in on something:  no matter how big the house, or small, when it’s show bizz, I always get the butterflies.  And the butterflies come with shaking hands!

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Thought I’d try a twinravens landscape, Tehkummah Winter Scenes.  I took 2 shades of blue and a black but what I should have done was taken a splash of green!

Many thanks to my friend Hedra for these photos of yours truly in action.  I’ll have a video posted to my youtube very soon!  And if you get a chance:  check out an Art Battle! It’s a very cool show!

a Walk Around the Block

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Deer Clan sketch, 7×9 inches, acrylic on canvas board, February 019.  Folks we are getting close to saying good bye to Stevensons Brand acrylic paint…

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Black Cat and a Raven, sketch, 9×12 inches, acrylic on canvas board, February 019.  Based on a true story too!  Back on the range, one autumn afternoon many moons ago, good old “Whitey”, the cat with blue eyes, climbed a very tall tree out by the waterfalls and yup:  along came a few crows.  I switched out the crows for a raven.

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I thought she was holding out on me.  Turns out…  what I thought was a roll of 20 dollar bills, ready for our trip to the downtown yesterday, was nothing more than dog poop bags…

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Nice work!  At the “How to Breathe Forever” show, Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond St. W., Toronto.  “Onsite Gallery offers powerful, thought-provoking exhibitions of art, design and new media to stimulate conversations on critical issues facing Toronto and the world.”  (Corporate pitch just inside the door)

Also just inside the door:  “OCAD University acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudensaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we stand and create.”

I got to thinking: folks around here (Toronto) have better luck seeing an Indian on the skids, half snapped on Boone’s Farm, up there on University and Queen, than a live beaver, which of course is on a useless nickel.

As for the artwork, speaking of beaver, it was created by an artist from Waskaganish!  I didn’t see the details on the cards but I’m guessing they are a student at OCA.  Nice work, beadwork too.  I wonder how they’re liking the big leagues of downtown, a far stretch away from the mighty woods just east of the James Bay.

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Ink, colouring pencil on super duper high end paper, unknown North Country artist, Onsite Gallery.  The show runs to April 14th so you still have time!

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A genuine fake Norval Morrisseau, front window, unknown gallery just east of Onsite Gallery, Richmond St., Toronto.

They’ve got the scam artists front and centre in this swank place!  You can bet two Indian Head nickels that a fella like me, actual and authentic, and an active artist, couldn’t get through the front door with his work, into this joint.  You can also bet two more of those nickels that the folks in here don’t sport the same pitch as the OCA guys when it comes to the “acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of…” bit.  As in: if I were to walk in there and question said phoney in the picture above, how long before they’d be dialling up security to “escort this ‘gentleman’ to the door…”?

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“Indian Residential School Blues”, 36×48 inches, acrylic on canvas, by Anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  (alive and active, authentic too!)  Here at twinravens.com we aim to cause a fuss.

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Acrylic on Canvas board, 9×12 inches

Ah yes…  a twinravens landscape, going back to the mighty ranges just west of the town of Tehkummah, Ontario, Canada.  (We also aim to go above and beyond the woodlands!)

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Mark Seabrook, outside J.E.H. MacDonald’s house, Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, last spring, before the Scotland gig.  I knocked but Jimmy Boy wasn’t home.  (I could have passed myself off as one of the “Indian Group of Seven”, ha!)

Well this old Anishnabe boy and artist keeps rolling along, paints and brushes at the ready.  Maybe some day I’ll have my name on a window in Toronto, announcing a twinravens show, with folks waiting in line, hoping to meet the artist.

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From August 2, 2018, on Dundas St. E.  Beauty day and evening in the city.

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At his studio way back on June 20, 2017.  Did I ever tell you the story about seeing his fancy give away doctorate paper work from OCA?  It was there at his studio, in an amusing display space!

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Rubbing shoulders with the famous:  that is the mighty Jen B., lead singer of the great Anishnabe rock and roll band:  No Reservations, on July 6, 2017 (back stage, a half hour before show time!).  Not only is she a classic rock and roll vocalist and show woman, but she’s a super talented First Nations visual artist as well.  Hopefully we’ll cross paths again, sometime soon!

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Speaking of great First Nations artists: The great Jazzy Moon, on the last evening of summer holidays, Labour Day Monday, September 2, 2013  It was just me and Jazzy Moon left on the beach, Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island, the night before the start of Grade 6.  We had the beach to ourselves and the swings too, the sand, the water and the sky.

You see I’m a father who stayed pretty close to his daughter.  I was there when all those important things happened.  But here today, March 10, 2019, I am up here on the swanky 9th, Markham, Ontario, Canada, and she is in Paris, France, viewing up close and personal the likes of the Mona Lisa, the tower and the cathedral.  How I wish we could have seen it together.

(There should be some ceremonial or ritual thing for us old boys whose daughters are powering up to fly away.)(Empty nest looming like never before…  )

October sketches

to colour or not?  a mighty fine question!

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

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

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

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

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

so many paintings, so little time…

well the truth is there is a lot of time.  24 hours boys.  that’s what we have to work with.

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“water spirit”, 2018, 7×9 inches, acrylic on canvas board.  artist collection.  i’m liking that grey: made with phthalo blue, cadmium red middle, and white.  (we need that room and drying rack that was the print making room, back in art school:  a very large room with big tables, and a drying rack that looked like it would hold around 200 pieces!)

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“bear clan”, 2018, 18×24 inches, acrylic on canvas, private collection.  there is the colour scheme at work on something a bit bigger but lets imagine that colour scheme up around 36×48 inches…   hmmm.  i’m going to need to go back home for that one!

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“wolf sketch”, 2018, 7×9 inches, acrylic on canvas board, private collection.  yes and how about this idea, developing into something on a 24×36 inch canvas…   (you see this is what i’m talking about:  so many paintings…  )

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South Bay Mouth, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada.  April 30th.  peaceful scenes at home:  it was just me, the great wide open, a canada goose and a dead deer…

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my birch tree, on loan from Mother Earth:  my old buddy “whitey” and i go back almost ten years now!  this one is up there on the 20th Side road, right along next to my morning walk.  May 5th.

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the entrance to the crib.  May 11th.  you see that baby grand over there:  no one is allowed to play it!  in all my days walking through the lobby i’ve never heard a single note coming from it except for the time i put my grubby paws on it and plunked out the first four bars of “October, Autumn Song”.  wasn’t long before security was there yelling “what in god’s name is going on here?!!!”

yes lads we’re in a strange land when we’re away from home…

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and so we find ourselves at times, down in the parking garage, out of sight of the many security cameras, listening to some CBC…

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“Portrait of the Artist, standing outside the MacDonald house, Thornhill, Ontario”,  J.E.H. wasn’t home…

well if my hair gets cut, it will grow back.  and these paintings don’t get made on their own!  the hands of an artist, well.  i guess you could say all of the artist is needed at the table today.  so lets have some fun with it along the way.