Posts tagged ‘Indigenous writers’

Aanii 2023!

Wow! Here we are! And so far, so good. Safe. All of us.

Part of the display at the Toronto Native Friendship Centre Xmas sale, 2 weekends worth, at the end of November and early December! We had a great time and it was awesome to see some old friends once again! Some of them, not since 1982…

Our line of Xmas cards made just for the event! They sure didn’t last long! We’re sold out!

Xmas once again, on the swanky 9th, cosy and warm and out of the wilds that rolled in on us on December 23rd!

Every so often I was able to get home to the range and that is a complete 180 from what’s going on down south! Up there, with no light or noise pollution, you can create a very slick looking display using candles only! Here is our display in the south west corner of the living room on December 17th! Beautiful artwork, some of it created at the Ravenseyrie Studio and Art Gallery, Gore Bay, Ontario, Canada.

A beautiful winter mid morning on the range, December 18, 2022. Not a lot of tracks these days with the empty nest…

Driving on the 407 east bound, heading to the Via Rail Station in Oshawa, on the night of December 23, 2022. It was one of those snow storms that made the news!

Rolling up on the Via Station, thinking the train was going to arrive at 645 p.m.!

At the Via Rail Station in Ottawa, around 10 p.m. Wow! Even the train had a tough go in this weather which… Makes no sense to me but anyway, the train was late 4 hours! Our old buddy Jasmine Moon though was in good spirits and order and ready for some xmas cheer at the swanky 9.

Calm and at peace on New Year’s Day 2023. A mild spell rolled through and that wallop of snow we had on the 23rd was pretty much gone by January 1. No wind on the range in winter makes for some easy going!

Okay! So we’re off to a brand new year! And we have a few new ideas for the painting department! As soon as I’m back up there we’re cracking open the big 36×48″ canvas! And we have some fun ideas swimming about in the writing department! So stay tuned! More to come!

Love Song No. 6

as some of you may know: ages ago i was in an amazing all native rock and roll band. we grew out of the drama team at the N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre over there in Sudbury, Ontario. ah but those were some glorious and exciting times!

on stage at the Northern Lights Folk Festival (ages ago!)

the band was called No Reservations and gosh they were a wild bunch! some day we need to write a book about that one.

and so around that time, i bought a Fostex brand 4 track recorder which used basic cassette tapes. i’d plug a cassette in there and use those 4 tracks to try and make something song wise i could take to the band. of course we had that Fostex sitting around at the party house too and some mighty weird songs were recorded on there including the infamous: What to do with Sunday Afternoon… (also on my Youtube channel, warning: coarse language and sexual content in that song!)

anyway: the Fostex and all those original tapes lay buried in a plastic bin back home on the range, for who knows how long. about 5 years ago someone who knows how to transfer these old analog tapes to digital went to work on a few of them and we ended up with some snap shots of the past, which we still need to make videos for and post them to the twinravens youtube channel. for kicks you see!

recently though i was given a gizmo that connects a guitar into a computer to record on Garage Band. this thing is an Apogee brand “jam” connector. the line in is the 1/4 inch jack and the line out is this magic whatever it is that turns your guitar into a digital. but instead of plugging the quarter inch line in jack from the guitar i plugged the far end into this Fostex and boom: we can hear all these old tapes once again but this time on computer. super fun stuff especially as some of this “insane and abstract” music hasn’t seen the light of day since 1995. like: The Shadow of You. (yikes! what a song!)

anyway. i haven’t got the details sound wise figured out: how to mix these four tracks into the digital without a lot of back ground noise, buzz, and all that crap that goes with a jangle of wires all over the table top. and i’m no ACE when it comes to using Garage Band! i’m still trying to figure that one out!

but here is Love Song Number 6 for you! fussed with last night to the tune of a half a dozen beers, a lot of wiggling and waggling of wires and yes the mix is very muddy, but this is our first run at reviving these old tapes and putting them on the youtube air.

Fostex analog to Garage Band digital, first attempt.

i think i wrote and recorded this in 1994 when the band was starting up and really getting going. we were a rock and roll band so this song definitely didn’t make the set list.

i put this cheesy video together last night after fussing for several hours with the sound and those measly 4 tracks! (gosh the business of recording sound, songs and so on is time consuming! best not to be consuming a half dozen beers along the way… (we’ll try it again on the sober straight and narrow very soon!)) the drawings in the video come from that time! those are drawings of mine from a sketch book dated 1994/1995. you’ll even see the famed Stacie from Malibu in there! gosh she was a thunderbolt!

anyway! there it is! my first attempt to revive these old songs of mine that never made the No Rez set list or album list. i had a lot of fun trying to figure this out last night and yes, those tasty German beers can become a diversion in the process but you have to remember last night it was a blistering 30 C plus! up here on the 3rd floor it was smoking hot! we were down to our bikinis!

Me and Shag going to work in No Reservations

ah but the music business was fun and how i would love to get back into it. but a fella like me needs a band and right now my band is working other irons in other fires.

the glass ain’t half empty/full, its BONE DRY!

you see in the band i was never one of the vocalists. we had 3 good singers up front and that is where they’re supposed to be! a voice like mine just couldn’t run in that race but i was mighty happy to be in there on one of the guitars.

here is what the band really sounds like, with all the bells and whistles of a fancy studio production:

Nice work!

so i’ll go back to work on those old cassette tapes and see what we can scrounge up in the lost songs/Fostex dept. (might be best to start the project in the morning minus the German pilsners! ha!)

and that’s the story behind: Love Song Number 6. words and music by Mark Seabrook. artwork too, drawn over the fun times of 1994 and 1995. what art fun!

update: November 8, 2022: full moon is on the rise, very far north on the tree line to the east, out here on the open range. no wind on a night like this means sweet and wonderful beauty! the landscape is at peace which means we can be too! wonderful way to spend a Tuesday night! anyway: I wanted to re share this classic twinravens song with you. I hope you like it!

Dancing Days

At the Wikwemikong Pow wow, waiting for the grand entry! Had 2 glorious afternoons there and all was fab including the emcee who was Cheyanne and from Montana. He kept us well entertained! Weird though: entered with the Golden Age Men’s Category… And there weren’t too many of us! 300 plus dancers registered yes but us older boys, maybe 6 of us. And very few from the days of 1988. I did see my old buddy Jose G., we go all the way back to 1982! He was in the grand entry on Sunday and as I was moving up and through I saw him standing there and I said to him: you go first!

Very cool. But also 2 full weeks ago now! This summer is marching!

Summer on the Range. Lucky me! Home again, here in a place of peace and a paradise! The willow tree in the front yard is looking good this year. We were worried about it in years past, we have no idea how old it is. We never want to imagine a front yard without that tree! Yikes. But there is a lot of that going on it seems, around here, in recent weeks and months. Anyway I am here and very thankful and now that the last of the summer visitors are away and back to their home addresses, it’s time to turn this room back into an art studio! So that is today’s light duty.

Light duty as I had to take my youngest daughter back to Ottawa yesterday. We saddled up at around 7 a.m. and made our way across, a full 8 hours anyway, into the slab. I dropped her off, that was the blues, the terrible blues, but I had to run some art errands which took my mind off the sad scene. Had the car turned around and pointing west by 7 p.m. and started making my way back. Rolled into a very frosty range at around 5 a.m. What a night! And what an awesome 24 hours.

Somewhere between Deep River and Mattawa I saw a wolf on the highway! It wasn’t a full grown adult wolf and it certainly wasn’t in any hurry to get across highway 17. I saw it from a distance and managed to slow down, by the time I rolled past her/him we were eye ball to eye ball! Ready shake hands! It had the big fur coat but was small, maybe a yearling? A few miles later I pulled over to see the moon and wow! I could hear those wolves howling in the far away distance. How cool to hear them and be under the full moon like that, alone on the ultra barren highway 17 at 2 a.m. Also very cool.

Drawing Class on August 19, 2022

Confirmed this morning! We’re having a drawing class on August 19th! No art experience necessary, all art supplies provided, your instructor: ME!

We’ve done these art classes with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board for going on 4 years! Over a thousand presentations and we’ll be ready and good to go on August 19th at 10 a.m.!

This is NOT cultural appropriation, this is cultural appreciation! Your instructor: Anishnabe artist, ME, B.A., B.Ed. Good to go and ready!

This is a FREE workshop! Hope to see you there.

Wiki Pow wow weekend

Civic holiday, or Haweater Weekend, middle of the summer party time, but in this camp it is known as the Wiki Pow wow weekend: we’re going dancing today at noon. First time I took the raven for a spin in Wiki was way back in 1988! Today we’re wearing the same outfit, same feathers, same Indian, only diff is there are a few more years on the rig. Photos to follow!

classic sunrise on the range, early July. how fortunate are we, to be here since May 1st! we’ve seen every sunrise uninterrupted!

the range at sunrise: that crib is a place of peace! since the ladies are on the road, its been turned into an art making super shop! the dining room table is 8 feet long and it can hold a lot of paintings in progress now that we’re not dining with the ladies come sundown.

classic summer afternoon on the range: looking north. wowza! smoking hot!

you can’t see them but out there somewhere are the mares. 8 of them, living off the land. I’ll try and snap a photo of them one of these fine mornings.

found paintings! this one, from May 2016, was hidden deep in the stash and one morning I was rooting through it and ta da! nice work. I’m keeping this one!

another one from the stash: May 2016. we’re keeping this one too! both paintings: 7×9″, acrylic on canvas board, now in “The Artist’s Collection”.

“family man”, 16×20″, acrylic on canvas board, sketch, Ottawa years, likely 2020. I like that one. that one might go nicely up to 24×36 inches on canvas.

okay so the pow wow is a few hours away, we have time to enjoy the open range, beauty sunny morning in progress, another sunrise seen, and the agenda is filled with light duty, we can enjoy the entire day.

Dancing Days are here again…

tomorrow is my first day back at the pow wow in… how many years has it been? 2 we know about for sure. tomorrow’s pow wow is here in O Town, capital city, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, planet Earth. last time I danced in this neighbourhood was likely around 2001. the raven though goes all the way back to 1988!

said raven in 1988:

yours truly at the Wikwemikong Indian Days and Pow wow, 1988. version 1 of the raven and the first summer I was on the dance floor in my own regalia. that outfit was described as “artsy… “

version 2 of the raven, at the Wikwemikong Pow wow, 2013.

and so! what will the 2022 version look like tomorrow? I can tell you this much: the vest I wore when I was dancing on those cooler afternoons back in 1988, for some reason doesn’t fit anymore… I mean yes I can get my arms in but for some reason the bottom 4 buttons won’t work… if you get my drift…

quite actually: the rig has seen a lot of action over the years. we’ll see how it goes tomorrow but then let’s remember the forecast for tomorrow afternoon is 30 C! a real raven lies low on such a warm afternoon so we’ll see…

switching gears: fun stuff! fun words about the novel: SUN INFINITY MOON


super cool!

yes. fun stuff. which gets me to thinking about the cobwebbed “Fighting In Hell”. it was written in February but gosh it opened up a can of worms and TNT that might have best been left alone. after my old buddy Blake passed, I was thinking about his art journey and I wonder if he ever kept a journal, say, going over the days he was in art class with Mr. Norval Morrisseau at the front, doing the teaching.

well I had no flashy art teacher like Norval M., but we managed to get a few pictures done along the way and so, perhaps, when we get back from the pow, back to the range, back to the big peace, we’ll go back and take another look at “Fighting In Hell” and see if it can be saved. (I still like the cover design!)

anyway. if it’s pow time tomorrow, lad get some sleep tonight!!! we started our day at 2 a.m., watched the moon rise and saw that celestial event that was in all the papers. and made the 9 hour drive to this crazy and smoking hot city! we’re in the AC now though on the swanky Island Park address, so all is good in getting ready to dance tomorrow.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Father’s Day 2022

we’re on the swanky 9th to spend some time with the top boss of the outfit, he turned 93 the other day! wowza. 93 big ones… our old buddy Blake Debassige only made it to 65, RIP Blake. I should have stopped when I had the chance last Saturday around noon but noon is a terrible to time to pull in for a visit.

new paintings! 24×36 inches, acrylic on canvas and created in late May! we’ve been creating these since 2013 but have never had a line up, a half dozen or more, all in the same room together. we put the idea to the test and the results are interesting!

20×30 inches, acrylic on canvas: that was the first one to go! and this artist boy likes what he sees. a fella like me can look at something like that all day and get along with it.

old work: 16×20 inches, acrylic on canvas board, April 1986! all the way back to art school! that is the sketch for the painting: Clouds Over Lake Mindemoya, 30×40 inches approx., and the first painting I sold, fresh out of art school. so Doc, if you’re reading this, send me an email, I’d love to see the big painting again.

also created on the same day as the sketch for Clouds Over Lake Mindemoya, “the Tree”, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches, April 1986, Art School Days. Oh my goodness I do remember that morning when I painted these, at the apt. on 2nd ave, Owen Sound.

while going through the inventory last week I came upon these 2 sketches and thank the almighty we hung onto them. 36 years… where did they go?!!!

the sky at home on the range, 5 a.m., June 15, 2022: you can see what inspired the paint brush strokes in the above sketches! on June 15th I woke to the sound of thunder! how far off I sat and wondered… started humming a song from 1982… (the song: Don’t Answer Me, Alan Parson’s Project. she sent me what I thought was a “mix tape” but it turned out to be 90 minutes of Don’t Answer Me, over and over and over. I liked the song and never minded it. little did I know she was trying to tell me something… )

the front yard on June 14: there are 2 of my maple trees and they are off to the races! I visit them every morning! I have 8 of them I took from the farm back home in Mindemoya, back when they were saplings, and look at them now, 10 years in. I also have 2 oak trees charging up! one day someone is going to have an amazing front yard out there!

we’ll have to go there some day and see it for ourselves. many thanks to folks at Bay of Spirits Gallery.

in the news:

gosh the crazy things some folks get up to.

like this one:

another one of these phoney Indians or as the new term for it goes into the history books: “Pretendians”. this stuff always gives me a chuckle as I wonder who is it in the hiring committee? who was it at Penguin who bought into Joe’s story and gave it the go ahead? who was it that bought into Michelle’s bit and gave her the go ahead? who was it who bought into the Carrie thing and went forward with it?

as for me and my house: I’m dusting off the raven and getting ready to hit up my first pow wow in at least 2 years! the one I’m dancing in is at Ottawa, we’ll be there on Saturday, June 25th, and I want in on that Grand Entry! I just hope I can gather the rig and have the goods good to go come noon next Saturday. it has been a very long time since we rolled the raven out onto the dance floor. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I love a fun book review! we’re still having a lot of fun with our novel: SUN INFINITY MOON. posted in the above photo, a quick review recently sent. and I signed on for a few Manitoulin Island summer festivals as a “storyteller” and will be reading chapter 2, “Last Month” or as it is known in prize winning literary circles: “The Lottery Ticket”.

the good folks at utmscribes called it: harrowing…

anyway. happy Father’s Day. (I was a young father once.)


and so! there it is, a copy of the first run of indigenous horror classic: SUN INFINITY MOON! online and ready for purchase!

in my mind this was going to be a great movie but then I got to thinking: how do we film a forest burning down, for show business? how do we film a UFO coming down and pulling off an alien abduction, all based on the music of Chet Baker? how do we film a Gordon Smiley style car crash up there on highway 69 in the middle of the night in the middle of a long ago summer time? how do we film 2 authentic Indians on their way to a pow wow, one of them for dancing, the other going to carry one of the flags? how do we film a torrid sex scene without using porn?

so many questions…

the original idea was rejected by IMAGINATIVE, the local indian film whatever. but lets say Steve or Quentin gave it a think:

there is the new version, version 2, typo error free I hope, and already on the market. new cover art by yours truly! let’s remember that the first publisher we talked to said they wanted to do it but… they wanted to “edit it for story flow and content”. I scoffed at the idea thinking and knowing: what the flipping do they know about “Indians and the land reserved for Indians”?

and so we go out on our own for now with this, and hopefully the right “big leagues” publisher comes along, a publisher that knows actual and authentic, not a publisher who buys into a Joe Boyden scam. we need a publisher willing to do the research!

we are always actual.

The Scream, Native Style…

I got to looking at this again and started imagining up a little fun spoof series of paintings…

I’m going back to the range in early May, this time to stay, and I’m bringing a stack of blank canvas of all sizes: this boy is bottled up! We need the light and space of the almighty to stretch those art making arms and legs! The swanky 9th is indeed swanky, but we need to throw some paint around and that can’t be done in here!

Home sweet home: behind the house is the art bridge. The art bridge is where the abstract expressionism happens. And we be brewing and stewing big time about paint flying through the air!

An afternoon in the summer: that’s the view! And I’m going to be parked at that very table with either the canvas and paints or the keypad, Fighting In Hell in progress.

And at night: hopefully a lot more of this.

The Scream, Native Style… what fun can we have with that when we get back home? We shall soon see! Wish me luck!

April 10, 2022

wowza where does the time go? one thing is for sure: it does go!

I managed to get home at some point during the winter! A few mornings on the range with the sun blazing in that big eastern window had me dreaming up scenes of glory once the spring peepers arrive. We’re still a few weeks away from getting back to stay…

She blazes night and day and I was so happy to see it again! I don’t know if this sounds weird to you but I talk to that river. One of the many things I told it was I’ll be back again soon, this time to stay.

The cedar grove next to the river: a place of peace and a paradise anytime of the year. Yes when I get back I’ll be spending a few afternoons in here, in peace and mostly likely in prayer.

One of the reasons I was up there was to pick up some paintings for the gallery in Toronto. If you want to see them up close, visit the Bay of Spirits Gallery, right across from the AGO. That one is a 30×30 inch acrylic on canvas, using Stevenson paint. The late great Stevenson and folks we’re getting mighty close to the bottom of those paint cans… Pretty soon all paintings will be made with Golden Heavy Body.

18×24 inches on canvas board and I can’t believe this one lasted 2 summers at the house gig down at the beach at Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island! I’m betting it won’t last long where it is now.

24×36 inches, acrylic on canvas. Nice work. Slip that into a black floating frame and BING! Anyway those are 3 of the 5 shipped out this past week.

Pages from the Art Journal in progress! The book is The Highwayman by R.A. Salvatore and what a bundle of wacky words in that book! Weirdness. Managed to cobble a few trashy love poems with the every trusty theme: The Summer of 1979. Found poetry that is… Found like a friend who I haven’t seen in 43 years… (oh oh.)

The Scream, Native Style. More pages from the art journal, a work in progress. Of course I love always the work of Edvard Munch! Hopefully one day we’ll be over there to see them up close. I also love the work of Ed Hopper but the drawing I did in his style, in this art journal, just wasn’t up to grade C. So hey these art journals are a fun project! I’ve been working on this one since December 13, 2021, book repurposed, found, saved from the rubbish heap, thanks to the folks at the Goodwill. For more info on my take with the art journal, visit my YouTube channel.

We’re going to start letting go of the many sketches we have. After 40 years of art making the sketch books are everywhere around here and yes, it is time to let them go. This one is on 100 lb paper, acid free, 11×14″, one of what must thousands of sketches.

Sketch, 11×14″ paper, acid free, 100 lb. One of I don’t know how many we have here.

What we’ll do is post the sketches on another page and if you’re interested, DM, we ship everywhere.

Highway 7, Markham, Ontario, Canada, as seen from the swanky 9th. This was snapped the other day, after the first big warm rain of the year. It’s where we are for now. The plan was to come home to stay, on Easter Weekend but of course, that ain’t happening… I’m going to miss that full moon again and gosh darn am I going to miss the spring peepers too?

Oh my goodness… A weekend or two ago we had to visit the Danforth area. Shell went into a custom shop and I walked the streets, having not walked the Danforth since the spring time, 1990. I came upon this place and holy smokers. Tash, do you remember that Sunday afternoon in a long ago April, when you took me here? I was wearing my olive drab army pants, a black Guns n Roses t shirt, a blue jean jacket, a black trench coat over that, my yellow ochre leather gloves, my raccoon skin hat and my black jungle boots. I sure do remember what you were wearing!

Portrait of the Artist as a Middle Aged Man. At the club, the last show we got see before the pandemic closed everything. I know everyone is hoping we’re at the end of this pandemic. Hopefully the night clubs will reopen and WE can get back out and have some fun, seeing some fun shows. Dressing the part as well. I’m tired of spending my days and nights in my pyjamas.

For now though it’s the grubby and shabby, the big windows up here on the swanky 9th, the road home another few weeks down the way, the art making tools at the ready, a phone that isn’t ringing, an art journal, the good work of the cobbler, and me: blazing at the bit. Come on! Let’s start this thing!