Posts tagged ‘Indigenous Art’

Autumn in New York

the Chrysler Building as seen from 5th and 42nd, on morning No. 1, back on the streets of New York City. perfect weather for a trip to the city: toasty and warm, sun blazing. and what scenes in every direction: people of all shapes and sizes, colours and bouquet, happy and sad, horns blaring constantly, the odd mouse scampering this way and that on the side streets. for a complete and detailed playback of the scene read page 36 in SUN INFINITY MOON.

we were camped on 5th and 40th, right across the New York Public Library and what an entrance! wow. we were in a carved in stone agenda so there was no time to play with the bookies on this trip.

it’s what i’ve been saying for years! i watched the many folks and wondered if any of them have been up north of the city, into the woodlands.

ah yes, autumn in New York. i was humming the tune while walking down 5th, enjoying every scene and whiff. we didn’t have lunch at the Ritz…

me playing “cowboy” out front of St. Pat’s cathedral. folks were going in and out of there at that hour of the day.

the New York City skyline as seen from the north side of Columbus Circle. we’ve been here before but the last time the December winds were howling and it was gosh darn cold! on this day though it was a balmy 25 C. very nice.

Rumours, on 8th and… i’m not sure where we were at this point, but it was time to pull over for an afternoon splash. we didn’t have our paperwork so it had to be the patio. across the street i saw Rumours and of course wondered if Fleetwood Mac ever played a surprise acoustic gig in there. well that did it, pretty soon “Hypnotized” started playing in my mind.

waiting on the splash, on the patio, across from Rumours, on 8th. this was right around the time the kids were let loose from school and so we had front row seats to what the NYC youth of 8th Ave, just south of the Columbus Circle, look like these days. it was quite a show!

chilling with the locals in the East Village. we took a walk down that way one afternoon after all the chores had been settled. let me tell you those streets down that way were getting very spooky, the deeper we got into the village…

no time for art galleries or museums on this trip. i had grand plans about visiting the Guggenheim but no dice. while out walking the streets i was thinking about Edward Hopper and maybe walking up on the famed Nighthawks cafe! Eddie is definitely one of my personal fave artists in Art History, and one day i’m going to Chicago to see Nighthawks up close and first hand. with no art viewing i began stewing up my own Ed Hopper style images and here are a few of them:

“40th as scene from 9 floors up”, iPhone. i got to looking at this one and thought nope! Eddie would have had someone in the scene so here is attempt No. 2!

“man shackled to desk, grinding”, iPhone. i couldn’t find the right black and white contrast with the onboard tools on the cellphone and the old MacBook pro wasn’t mustering them either. so this one is a miss!

“masked Indian waiting on the 9th floor”, iPhone silvertone. this pose isn’t quite working for me on this one but we’re warming up to the idea and of course loving Edward Hopper’s work and life story even more.

and so that was our Autumn In New York! no lunch at the Ritz but time well spent in every direction! we’ll go again in the spring time, hopefully the covid thing will be in the past by that point in time and we won’t need all that paper work, everywhere we go.

life and times of a famous native canadian artist…

(this was originally posted in September 2017)

ha!  i say that jokingly!  because i’m out here on the range, going on 21 days now without a note of art conversation, idea expressed verbally, or hint of a hand to hold while under the mighty Milky Way.  she’s new moon boys.  and so, alone under the almighty, with eagles roosting down by the river (what music they make first thing in the morning!) and the great wide open:  there is room to stretch the “art making arms”.  we have some good looking pieces but we’re also getting down to the bottom of the paint barrels.

so last night around 7 i stowed the gear, set a table for one, lit a candle, cracked open a Paul Jaboulet Aine Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre (2012), sparked up the youtube for a little dinner music and instead got attracted to a documentary about alien abductions.  i watched the nutty scenes, heard the kook house stories, heard the so called experts blabbering on about all this stars and moon and space stuff and…  well the truth is i didn’t know if it was the creep show scenes they were mustering in the doc (the greys were coming out of a bright white light), the gacked out music on the doc soundtrack, the fancy French Rhone, or the 21 days alone at sea, but somehow that alien abduction jazz started rattling my rusty cage!

i put my knife and fork down and looked out the jumbo windows which face the east, they were wide flipping open of course, and kind of wondered if there was anything out there.  the pooch was sitting at attention, head up, ears tuned into something going on out there to the north east.  you have to remember:  out here in the boons, there is no light pollution, no noise pollution, no neighbours, and a whole lot of SFA once the lights go out.  SFA i mean if your jiggly mind doesn’t start playing tricks.

of course we have this guy, Roger, in the house.  Shell brought him in from Ottawa and so here he is, in the house, staring at yours truly, Travis Walton wannabe/Little Boy Blue, alone at his dining table…

11873783_10155907764480321_6946935626040927129_n

well 21 day days alone…  (see what i mean?), nights too, might cause a fuss when you’re sailing across the universe.  slip that stupid documentary with the spook house scenes in there and you’re cooking with gas.  so i booted up my Facebook and wrote a farewell message to the world, going on about this alien abduction thing and told them i was tired of hiding behind the couch with my bottle of french vin and was going to scurry off to bed, like Yoda in his death scene.

i got up to my room with a view and saw this guy staring at me!!!

IMG_2139

“An Ojibwe in Quebec:  A Self Portrait on June 14th”, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches.  Morgan H. Collection.  (We’re holding onto it for now.)

so by this point in time i’m about ready to soil my drawers.  i thought a little night music might help ease the creeps and me into la la land so i hit the random button on the remote and on came this:

(note the house on the open range and the one tree…  )(looking kind of like a place we sort of know…  )

IMG_0640

my crib, on the open range…

IMG_2138

sunrise on the range, Sept. 21.  the last full day of summer…

and so!  i made it through the night.  i did NOT get abducted by aliens, at least not that i can remember, Roger is still over there gawking at me, and “A Self Portrait on June 14th” is still in the collection here, on hold.  i thought i’d jump in the car and take a little ride into the city and see the madness first hand, up close, where i could catch a whiff, and maybe dust off the cobwebs that will surely develop after 21 days alone at sea, but a cooler and calmer mind at the other end of a long distance phone call this morning put those plans on ice.

and so it is back to the brushes, here, deep in Indian Summer, safe and sound back on earth.

(kind of peculiar how things work themselves out…  we’re in it now:  the empty nest…  and i’m back where i started: on the range, alone, in sweet and beautiful Indian Summer.  outside there is a blaze of sun, it’s Sept. 17th, 2021, 25 C at 4 p.m., Friday night, no kids in the house.  it’s just me and Roger.  even the pooch is gone.  cats are all gone.  mice are moving in.  but in this paradise, river running slow, lawn mowed to golf green, eagles singing down by the river, blank canvasses on the table, acrylic paint at the ready, brushes too, and a sky filled with stars in a few short hours, an artist can get along.  we’re in a room with a view and…   i must tell you:  the other day, in the afternoon, while out here alone i saw something big moving across the east field.  it was bigger than a coyote and i wondered about someone’s pooch out on the prowl, but this thing was bigger than a pooch!  i grabbed the binoculars and zoomed in to see it HAD to be a wolf.  if i had to guess, about 250 yards away, meandering across the field going south to north, and BIG!  so i yelled at it and waved but it didn’t acknowledge me, unlike the eagles.  that big wolf just kept going, in no hurry, north across the east field, over the fence and into the almighty out back.  it’s only the second time i’ve seen a wolf.  i asked the locals up at the general store if there had been any word about any wolves running and she said this place is full of wolves.  yikes.  so back in Sept. 2017 when poochie was sitting here looking out to the night, everything super quiet, pitch black, the two of us on our own, me with my splashy Paul Jaboulet and a fancy glass and poochie with her ears up and tuned into something moving out there in the darkness, just to the north east of us, maybe?

anyway.  we don’t have any splashy Paul Jaboulet today nor do we have poochie, or the cats, or the kids or anything else.  what we have is the great wide open and some beautiful climes and the night…  well we’ll just see about that Orion up there at some point in time.  and Nokomis too, maybe watch her set.  to the tune of some Chet Baker and whatever pilsners these fine folks can deliver, up there at the local.  if it IS Indian Summer, bring it on.  i’d be saying:  Nice to see you old friend.)

New Art Cards from Mark Seabrook!

This just in: my first batch of art cards featuring some of my favourite paintings! The cards are blank on the inside, are 5×7 inches, and comes with a coloured envelope and a clear plastic wrap! Awesome! This is the first batch, we have another bundle coming in soon featuring more of my fave paintings from over the years.

If you want to place your order directly, send me an email!

And so here we are into another summer! Miigwetch. My old twinravens summer mission statement from that ultra and super wild summer of 1995 still stands! And stands tall! So here it is again for good measure, a cool 26 years later! Live, love and learn!

twinravens ART on the street!

in Unionville, Ontario on the morning of April 10, 2021. nice work! and big!

and back in November of 2020, in the town of Vanier, Ontario. also very cool!

it would be super cool to get this on a huge billboard somewhere! (anywhere!)

and this one too! of course if these were on billboards i’d have to pull over and taken another look!

a little memory lane while we’re at it, music by James Cohen. artwork by Mark Seabrook. most of these pieces are away in private collections.

bottom line is this: we need to keep working!

Coming Soon!

here is the top half of the promo the folks at the Lunar Lanterns in Unionville have in Now Magazine. cool.

those paintings are some of my fave “Mukwa” pictures, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20″, in private collections except for the blue one at bottom right/left. (i had to keep that one!)

so it’s up there in Unionville, at the Varley Art Gallery, happening in April. i hope to see it myself, up close!

starting to get there… photo of the artist by the Great Terry H., photographer/teacher. that’s yours truly out there on the Manitou River, late in July 2020, deep in Indian Country while the pandemic goes on.

yes… starting to get there indeed…

Woodland School style by twinravens

(This was originally posted way back ages ago…  )

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.

January 2009 001

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

IMG_1849

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

Bear Clan with White Raven

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

IMG_1834

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!)

Moose Nahmiwan
Moose Nahmiwan, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches. Painted on the Range in March 2015.  Private Collection.
IMG_2323

Indian Residential School Survivor, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches.  Available for purchase:  $4000

IMG_5310

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

IMG_3533

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

IMG_1862

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.

(This is March 10, 2021: A quick art show for you recent followers of the twinravens blog:  we have more on the way!)

memory lane: life and times of a famous native canadian artist…

(this was originally posted in September 2017)

ha!  i say that jokingly!  because i’m out here on the range, going on 21 days now without a note of art conversation, idea expressed verbally, or hint of a hand to hold while under the mighty Milky Way.  she’s new moon boys.  and so, alone under the almighty, with eagles roosting down by the river (what music they make first thing in the morning!) and the great wide open:  there is room to stretch the “art making arms”.  we have some good looking pieces but we’re also getting down to the bottom of the paint barrels.

so last night around 7 i stowed the gear, set a table for one, lit a candle, cracked open a Paul Jaboulet Aine Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre (2012), sparked up the youtube for a little dinner music and instead got attracted to a documentary about alien abductions.  i watched the nutty scenes, heard the kook house stories, heard the so called experts blabbering on about all this stars and moon and space stuff and…  well the truth is i didn’t know if it was the creep show scenes they were mustering in the doc (the greys were coming out of a bright white light), the gacked out music on the doc soundtrack, the fancy French Rhone, or the 21 days alone at sea, but somehow that alien abduction jazz started rattling my rusty cage!

i put my knife and fork down and looked out the jumbo windows which face the east, they were wide flipping open of course, and kind of wondered if there was anything out there.  the pooch was sitting at attention, head up, ears tuned into something going on out there to the north east.  you have to remember:  out here in the boons, there is no light pollution, no noise pollution, no neighbours, and a whole lot of SFA once the lights go out.  SFA i mean if your jiggly mind doesn’t start playing tricks.

of course we have this guy, Roger, in the house.  Shell brought him in from Ottawa and so here he is, in the house, staring at yours truly, Travis Walton wannabe/Little Boy Blue, alone at his dining table…

11873783_10155907764480321_6946935626040927129_n

well 21 day days alone…  (see what i mean?), nights too, might cause a fuss when you’re sailing across the universe.  slip that stupid documentary with the spook house scenes in there and you’re cooking with gas.  so i booted up my Facebook and wrote a farewell message to the world, going on about this alien abduction thing and told them i was tired of hiding behind the couch with my bottle of french vin and was going to scurry off to bed, like Yoda in his death scene.

i got up to my room with a view and saw this guy staring at me!!!

IMG_2139

“An Ojibwe in Quebec:  A Self Portrait on June 14th”, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches.  Morgan H. Collection.  (We’re holding onto it for now.)

so by this point in time i’m about ready to soil my drawers.  i thought a little night music might help ease the creeps and me into la la land so i hit the random button on the remote and on came this:

(note the house on the open range and the one tree…  )(looking kind of like a place we sort of know…  )

IMG_0640

my crib, on the open range…

IMG_2138

sunrise on the range, Sept. 21.  the last full day of summer…

and so!  i made it through the night.  i did NOT get abducted by aliens, at least not that i can remember, Roger is still over there gawking at me, and “A Self Portrait on June 14th” is still in the collection here, on hold.  i thought i’d jump in the car and take a little ride into the city and see the madness first hand, up close, where i could catch a whiff, and maybe dust off the cobwebs that will surely develop after 21 days alone at sea, but a cooler and calmer mind at the other end of a long distance phone call this morning put those plans on ice.

and so it is back to the brushes, here, deep in Indian Summer, safe and sound back on earth.

(today is March 4, 2021, minus 20 C this morning.  i love to look back: ah what glorious days there, looking back at them now.  and in Indian Summer, on the range, a paradise!  we’ll get back there some day.)

the Bear Moon

i was invited to be a part of LunarFest 2021 with the theme “Family is Everything”. their online thing is at: lunarfest.gta

here is what they created using 4 of my Bear Moon or Mukwa Geezis sketches! i saw that and thought: very cool!

photo of the artist… very scary. life in the city is far and away from life on the open range… but hey! in that photo above, you can see “Power Bird” on some strange thing of the city, on the corner of some city street, in Vanier, Ontario, Canada! i drive by there every now and again just to have a looksie.

and so that Bird Clan and Fish Clan business: you see i come from a culturally dead family. my native parents don’t know anything about the authentic Anishnabe culture, religion, or history. the assimilation police worked wonders on them. and so for many years in my Indigenous family there were no pow wow dancers, no pow wow singers, no sweat lodges, no visions quests, no naming ceremonies and so on. NOTHING! zilch. well that all changed when i reached the ripe old age of 21. i took the Raven out to the pow wow dance arena way back in 1988!

anyway. so my Indigenous parents have no idea what i’m asking when i ask them what clan we are. i asked my bio dad and of course he’s brain dead on the subject. i asked my bio mom and she was able to ask her mother what the symbols were on the grave markers up there at Sagamok Point and after a lot of going back and forth the old woman remembered it was a bird. which means bird clan, IF i have the story straight. much later we heard from an old timer up there in Sagamok IR that my father’s family might or could be fish. but we don’t know that one for sure.

but the rest of it is true! i did survive the 60’s scoop! unlike 3 of my brothers, RIP. and i did grow up in the town of Mindemoya, on Manitoulin Island. saved i was! rescued! pulled from what going to be imminent disaster and death. another close one…

i’m one of the folks who need to be reminded about the sweetgrass braid teaching and i remember it well, back at the N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre, summer of 1994. the old gal who gave the teaching was filled to the brim with wisdom of the old way and sitting in her teaching circle is something i’ll never forget.

and there it is! i am very grateful to be included in their event and if the virus hadn’t shut us down, there would have been something very cool happening over there near the town of Unionville.

of course you’ll remember that i am huge fan of the Great Mark Rothko (Jackson Pollock too!). and i’m always on the look out for more stories about the artist and their amazing creations. thank goodness for these mod communications and all the info flooding in at all hours of the night!

wow. imagine that… 1955, 6 g’s a year for everything… and here we are in virus ridden 2021. if you were at the 2008 auction in New York City, aiming to buy Rothko’s No. 15 (1952), you’d need a cool 26 million dollars just to get in at the ground level with the bidding. the painting sold for a cool 45 million after all the hooting and hollering was over with.

wowza. now that is art history!

for now, in my humble shoes, i’ll imagine a Mark Seabrook twinravens original on canvas, 60×72 inches, at an auction down the road somewhere in the future, selling for a cool 45 million, but with me sitting next to it, alive and well! (ha!)

Chi Zoogpo!

aanii. that title up there, the translation is Big Snow! she’s been snowing all night! they were right about at least a foot of the stuff. ah but it is February in Canada, and in particular, O Town! usually what i do is start out from the swanky 9th around 3 a.m., arrive here around 7, set up shop and show, and do the online teaching gig beginning around 915. everyone was going on about a snow storm so i decided to take off yesterday morning and they were right! glad i’m not out there driving in that! or trying to drive in that!

so yes: online art classes! any grade level, anywhere, anytime! the virtual classroom is not the same as being there on the floor, breathing down the necks of art students but during a pandemic, this will have to do! that little computer there hooks up to Google Meet and away we go! depending on the age group, an online virtual art class runs anywhere from 30 minutes up to 75.

in art class one we look at The Woodland School of Art, created by the late and great Norval Morrisseau. and we tackle (ha! no pun intended!) the Fish Clan. through the first 3 classes we look at The Woodland style but in the fourth class we look at mod landscape. fun stuff! why are those railroad tracks in this drawing you ask? you’ll have to attend the class to find out why! no flashy or expensive art tools are needed in these online workshops, we use the basics to get started.

Sunday morning, February 14th, 2021: the boon docks north east of Markham, Ontario, just north of highway 7. i like to take a Sunday morning drive no matter the season. doesn’t matter where we are either! no train on Sunday morning! i was out there waiting for the store to open so i could buy some Valentine’s Day flowers…

hanging with the likes of Norval Morrisseau! that’s at the Bay of Spirits gallery across the street from the Art Gallery of Ontario. and speaking of the Fish Clan, there it is, cruising with the Power Bird.

sadly there have been no art shows and no university pow wows or any opportunities at all anywhere. the last show i did was the York University pow wow way back on March 7, 2020. what a downer!

ah. things will turn around soon i hope! before they do, it is the online and virtual classroom with your Anishnabe instructor: Mark Seabrook, B.A., B.Ed. ah yes! we are qualified!

Classic Holiday Story time!

The latest news on the Indian front!

thursday afternoon shortly before happy hour i thought i’d take one last look at the latest Indigenous news on cbc.ca and found this one hot off the press! i read with amusements as it seemed like i’d heard this bed time story before!

Old news around the Indian campfire.

not sure if Joe is playing the Indian card these days, he IS lying mighty low now that his ex is pitching her latest work.

Hail to the Chief, Canadian version!

i rolled into the Swanky 9th last night around midnight, settled in for a few, turned on the news and BOOM! here is the latest.

now don’t get me wrong: good work is good work. if someone is doing good work, it needs to be enjoyed.

more old news on CBC, from another story, many moons ago…

as a visible minority walking down the capital city streets i don’t have to go far before i run into racism from crooked cops, general issue slack jawed gawkers, suits and who knows what all, and some of those white boys still call me Chief! (i stole the line out of the movie “Jeremiah Johnson” and i reply calling them: pilgrim. i hear this: Hey Chief! and i yell back: Howdy Pilgrim! (ha!))

but i digress! i read with interest the latest story and wonder: who is it in the HR dept. who give these folks the green light? and what kind of wool is over their eyes?

it didn’t take long before the funny papers started in on it! thank goodness for lightning speed entertainment on a Friday afternoon. (story broke on Thursday near quitting time)

also in the funny papers on Thursday and Friday: it does make a fella like me wonder, yeah, why didn’t they? but it is entertainment and we’re paying for it.

more funny papers from the end of the work week.

i saw this one and like i said: good work is good work. or in this case, amazing work is always going to be amazing. holy wowza! it reminded me of that melt down scene from the Met, one year ago:

at the MET, December 2019

we went over this one back in art school, and i remember the instructor saying to us, all of us, YOU couldn’t paint that water… (and they were right! but then neither could the instructors!)

sunrise on December 19th, as seen from the Swanky 9th

well this old Indian boy keeps moving forward and thank goodness we’re still on the right side of the daisies. this morning’s sunrise was indeed a pleasure and last night’s moonset, also a pleasure. mighty cool though!

we’re going to use this one for a thing that might be coming up in Unionville in the new year. if it goes as planned we’ll share a few photos here. we’re also using this one for the re boot of SUN INFINITY MOON which goes back to the printers very soon! i hope and pray in the re boot we have all the i’s dotted and all the t’s crossed… (sheesh.)

SUN INFINITY MOON artist proof

it was fun to see it in hard copy but we need to go quite a few better.

the re boot

hopefully we’ll be seeing this soon but not before Xmas which i’d hoped for.

cool hair do

and we won’t be sporting this slick hair style come anytime soon as the deal in Scotland has been put on hold. me and Joe ain’t going. (the real Joe, not the fake Joe) so for now, the hair stays.

we’re rolling up on that holiday season when we can take a few days off and move to the rear, get some hot chow and maybe switch out the socks. looks like it won’t be the same as in years past, virus, grey zones and all.

for me anyway, it’s one of those times of the year where i find myself staring out the window, a new year not far away, and what’s up there, ahead not far? but also a time to reflect. what have i done with this year in pandemic?

so if you catch me standing there, staring out the window, you know what’s going on!

for me the holiday season is always a chance to pull over, look back, think about the future, and enjoy the wild and crazy here and right now news stories! yes indeed! news, for a fella like me, worth watching.

Feeding the Wolves, acrylic on canvas, 36×48″, Private Collection

well if there are two wolves we’ll have to continue to pay attention. (the two wolves: not authentica! the anishnabe and the wolf: authentica!)

UPDATE!!!

FRESH AND HOT OFF THE PRESSES! I GUESS THE “TRICKSTER” AIN’T SO TRICKY AFTER ALL…