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Qatuwas Acrylic Mural--18'x10'

This is a mural I made with a Student, Sharon Wilson. It commemorates the Qatuwas Canoe Journey of 2014. This painting shows the four Heiltsuk crests, Raven, Eagle, Wolf, and Killer Whale paddling the canoe. The figure in the stern is the human, who, as steward of the land and sea, is in the steering positon. The background shows Denny Island and other land features of the territory in front of a sunrise, stars twinkling out, symbolizing the rising strength of the Heiltsuk people, as they pull (literally)together. 

The figures in the canoe might be humans wearing masks, or they might be transforming into ancestral counterparts--again meant as a strengthening process, or a part of the decolonization process.

The title "Qatuwas" (Canoe Journey) refers to an annual gathering of canoes from nations stretching from northern BC to Oregon. While it is often held in Washington state, the first gathering was held in Bella Bella in 1993, and then again in 2014.

I am happy to share these pictures of some recent paintings I currently have on display at the West Coast Community Craft Shop in Port Hardy. Next time you are in Port Hardy, please drop by Cafe Guido for an espresso and check out some of my work. Thanks to Davida for supplying these photos.

Me in front of a painting I did back in about '92 or '93. Title of the painting is 'Funhouse', after the Iggy Pop album. It is upstairs at Taf's Cafe down on Granville Street. Drop by and check it out if you are out shopping for Fluevogs.

Just a quick announcement--I will be showing some of my recent paintings on an ongoing basis in the gallery upstairs from Cafe Guido in Port Hardy. I sent a group of five down last week, and they will be sending me pictures once they are on display. Stay tuned here, and I will link to facebook.

This painting might seem like a departure from the other paintings on this site. Actually, this is representative of a style I developed throughout the 1990's, so it's more of a return to roots. I created a gallery on this site called "Freeform Paintings". I did that, because I really shy away from the term 'abstract'. I really think of this painting as figurative. The point of something like this is to evoke a kind of joyous horror--the feeling of being crushed by an ecstatic crowd.

I have had a few people compare paintings like these to Picasso, which by any means is a complement. Certainly Picasso is one of the painters I greatly admire, but the tone I am really going for is more like this:


Or this:


And of course, this:



I am not sure if it is because i feel that the world is probably headed for a second dark age, or if it's just an aesthetic thing, but there it is.

In a few words: dark, wet, chilly. Mostly dark.


My days start by walking the dog. I live about 50 yards from the ocean. There is no beach here, per se, but rocks, logs, barnacles and about a hundred years worth of broken glass. There is no sand to grind the glass into frosty little blobs. Instead it remains wedged between kelpy rocks, sharp and slimy.


When the tide is low, I walk close to the water's edge, dodging clam squirts as they dig away from my footfalls. At high tide, it's log to log, or I'm in the water. The beach, such as it is, faces east, so I can spend summer mornings thawing myself out a bit, as the sun will have been up three or four hours before me--if it really ever sets in the summer; even at the darkest time of night, the sky remains a deep teal with only the brightest stars and planets showing. 


Spring and fall are the glory times--sun fighting through milky fog, great blue heron flies wearily away when I approach with the dog bouncing along beside me. These are the times when the coast really is the coast. Big tides trailing the water with flotsam, and air that is not really salty, but carries with it life and decay.


Winter for me starts when it is no longer light enough to pick my way along the obstacles, and I have to walk on the street. It's not just that the sun rises so late and sets so early, it's also the deep overcast that sucks the colour out of midday that leaves me craving a bit of blue and a few splashes of yellow. But already, the lopsided year is coming around.

It's a bit foggy.

Sun rising again.

Reality TV. A rerun; 

This week's show is coming to you live

Portable Sunrise.

Reach in and listen

to the gulls: the current,

running through the channels.

remote control. 




It has been a few years since I moved from the city to the Great Bear rain forest--territory of the Heiltsuk Nation on British Columbia's outer west coast. This fragile, yet enduring ecosystem is one of the last great and truly pristine areas of wilderness in the world. Wolves, Grizzlies, Killer Whales and Ravens abound. The longer I spend in this area, the more I appreciate the subtleties of life here--the curtains of moss and curtains of rain--the conversations between ravens and eagles.
The outside world, in the form of encroaching oil pipeline and tanker routes threaten the entire region, lending a sense of unease to a region that has survived a hundred years of clear cutting and overfishing. The feeling that it is all disappearing is what drives my current work. 
Ravens and eagles, apart from being central to local mythology, sit as sentinels to the forest, watching everything from a proprietorial point of view. Indeed, they were here before us, and, presumably, will be here long after. I am lucky enough to be here to record them.