Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Card from Walters Falls

now that winter seems to be here to stay
having finished shovelling and blowing the lane
I sat down  to look at a painting outside
it reminded me of ice fishing

Friday, December 20, 2013


among the snow bombs
deer in evidence 
close to the house
an open spring 
a distillation
of recollection
of imagination
in transition
cross fade

a number of paintings 
in their interaction describe
a place in perception wherein
the peripheral of vision 
different realms  
at right angles 

as the earths crust 
ignites in the 
change of state 
from solid to lava
molten shell cools around
solid surface remnant
and RNA 
in prion form
like a 

message in a bottle

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Video: Kenny Baldwin at Peter Beckett Gallery 2008

Recollections from my “Accidental” Art Gallery– 2007-2008

 I had no intention of opening an art gallery. It began as a one month solo exhibition. The Leftside Gallery was  well suited to exhibiting large paintings, Unlike stage actors, painters are usually a few steps removed from their audience so I decided to start paying the rent to see what would happen.

Observations: Cultural Anthropology and
Field Notes, Winter 2008

My initial exhibition included paintings and artifacts that related to sailing and wooden boat building –I had been living aboard a wooden ketch on Martha’s Vineyard during the previous winter.   The work in the windows has more to do with free-jazz and the winter landscape but for some reason the art gallery still attracts a disproportionate number of sailboat enthusiasts. Perhaps it’s their spirit of adventure.

I had been doing  free-jazz-painting collaboration in the gallery with Kenny Baldwin and Roger Martindill. I went to art school with Roger.  Kenny played music with Graham Caughtry – who was one of my favorite Canadian abstract painters from the 60s– so we were all familiar with improvisation in both languages. Some of the paintings were continued outside in the woods to include quieter voices. These paintings were the basis of the final exhibition which ran until March 15th 2008.

WinterJazzLandscapes 66 x 80 in.

"To have a jazz trio rehearsing in the gallery on Friday afternoons
was a pleasure. It reminds me of my artist-in-residence days in Santa Fe– painting with piano and opera soloists rehearsing next door."


Monday, November 25, 2013

art supplies
and a birthday
in Blississauga

November 19th


re. the chorus of the universe

of course there is an orchestral conductor 
but no, not the entity, 
but rather 
the cumulative simplicity of 
the laws of physics
from the swaying trees 
into the wild gestures of their extremities
of course i'm at odds with the pulse of the 
designer mainstream -group- think -consumers
turning their backs on 
the rhythms of nature- 
having erroneously assumed 
dominion over nature 
denying a connection 
to that which you oppress 
being "natural"
what bad habits of logic 
you humans have acquired, 
said the Orca, 
shaking her head- slowly 
in comparison with 
the beating wings of a 
humming bird
their hearts of course
to the rhythm of 
the task at hand

and that's why
ballerinas are advised against 

November 17th

new MVfluid dynamics
of multi-dimensional plaid 
48 x 66 photo to follow

as the bare branches 
shake the last of the 
seeds free to 
hit the metal roof
so chickadees and nut hatches
can help with the planting
and swaying in the wind 
 rattling twigs 
sing a rhythm
outside of time
dancing the transition
fragrant heart-wood 
drying in
recollection of
a hundred summers
into letters to a young poet
in case a listener is waiting 
in the wings

two dozen curious 
wild turkeys
started in the lane while 
i was loading slabs on the truck
and stuck around to supervise 
hanging the blade on tractor #2

in moonlight 
the howling

Nov 16th

while driving around
through the eye of the storm
with cainsaws cables and winches
i took down  dangerous trees
for the safety and the challenge
at Baldwin's and the McGee's

Nov 15th-2013

Under  the Coyote Moon
36 x 60 in.

the distant song 
in the moonlit calm
after weeks of blowing 
snow and rain
the lumber stacked 
with care and strain
prepared again 
for winter 

November 9th, 2013

the sounds of 
leaves and keys
and branches and trees
in the sounds of rain
as it shifts back and forth 
from water to ice
as the lumber falls into
layers of species 
and dimensions
finally under
cover woven
in the race against
snow another
permutation of
plaid overseen by 
chipmunks and 

nov 1-13

His grandmother said' " let me see your hands"… then snorted,
"you haven't done an honest days work in your life"

the value of contrast; 
to find your self 
your head 
a shake

the pleasure of work         
which arrives
when it's over
but when, the work is out-of step 
with the main stream dream
like air-drying the trees 
that have succumbed to
the changing and 
doing one's best to be
filling the forest's dreams
for example,
one might wonder 
if a Sitka spruce
bound by imagination
over-looking the Pacific might be
longing to be a mast on a sailing ship or to
travel the world with a view from the 
top a guitar
but, closer to home
if the red elm that died of thirst
becomes the rail of a boat under sail
and crosses an ocean to a continent that
was once connected
is that not a 
transcendence of time?

having accomplished a string of physical necessities…
chain saw gaskets and carb kits
brakes,  a "U" joint,  and snow tires
tractor hydraulics and batteries….
Eric and his sawmill finally rolled in the lane
in a confluence of lucky accidents

a number of treasures that have been 
languishing here since I arrived
thirty years ago have stepped forward 
to be part of this
on-site sustainable harvest... 
milling, air drying and
imagining what the 
wood might like to be. 

fifteen 7' aluminum 2"x"6 extrusions
lay on the gravel, graded with the blade
that came with the second 
seventy-five year old tractor
to be covered with the galvanized
industrial roof steel off-cuts

portable sawmill days,  Oct 29 and 30-2013

Sawmill Day

after weeks of rain
anticipating the second
sawmill day 
the magnificent elm
offers bulwarks to 
the Seawind.
the Ash,
strapping for the 
tractor shed
and table tops and beams
and dreams live
in the live-edge Cherry

Grass Roots Forest Management, Day Two;

Tractor #1 one 
dragged the trees with-in reach 
of the mill's hydraulic arms
the set-up worked
in a sequence to 
fill the improvised skids and 
to allow an escape route
the "character" logs -
the figured and the spalted
were left to the end

three of us ,
our senses honed through anticipation
to into focused collaboration of
an improvisation dance, so
what if  dance 
is a bridge back to
some timeless necessities
and the maple that was sprouting
fall Oyster Mushrooms when
i went looking for some
"dirty" wood were eaten that night 

( spagetti recipe )

my arms are remembering working
in a pleasant harmony of
tingles, numbness and pain
after a day of  grading, 
loading and stacking
in the wind and rain 

the last log 
a maple that has stood
too near the back corner of the studio
knowing for thirty years that 
it was  destined to go
farther a field than

the other two pieces were quickly cut and 
dragged down the lane with unanimity
at the end of a very long day

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

changing season

oct 21 -13
Swaying trees and
the sounds of rain
falling leaves in
a gust of wind
the Beech leaves 
more orange/brown 
than the school bus and green 
of the Maples

The weather today reminds me of a visit to Belgium in winter.

The Beech leaves 
that cling through the winter 
rattle a familiar 
to the 
cross-country skier

One of the benefits of the computer's page of thumb-nails; 
the documents of paintings evolving
falls within the context of the surroundings.
Time,  the spiralling outward of the seasons
and the gathering of experience as opposed to the 
chronological ticking of mortality.
One of the benefits of difficulty reading,
juxtaposed experience
becomes the source of opinion

more familiar to musicians than to painters
brings the structures of bridges to mind

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

thirty paintings camping out

I'm going to go out to see 
if any of them
are playin' tunes