Sunday, January 8, 2012

This blog has more than 1,800 posts & more than 140,000 Unique Visitors since March 3, 2008




"Wheel of Life" , 35"x35", © 1979 Norval Morrisseau
~ Click HERE to view the inscription on the reverse side of canvas

"I don't wish my work to be exploited, but to be properly used as an art form in its proper place where for the generations of the great Ojibway people it can be seen in the future, as well as be appreciated by all our white brothers."

Norval Morrisseau, September 14th, 1962

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* The authentic acrylic painting on canvas in this post: "Wheel of Life", 35"x35", © 1979 Norval Morrisseau; /CURRENT OWNERSHIP: Private Collection of  Ms. Maggie Hatfield/


Doug T. said...

As a Morrisseau collector I consider Ugo Matulic (Spirit Walker) to be very knowledgeable in all facets of Morrisseau's life and works.

From the time I started reading the Norval Morrisseau blog several years ago, you have been a true inspiration and constant source of information. Not a day goes by that I don't look forward to seeing what is the next posting on NM blog. I commend you for the long hours and amount of effort you put forward on a daily basis to the continuing success of the Norval Morrisseau blog.

You are a wealth of information and on more than one occasion you have graciously assisted me with the interpretation of his work.

Thank you Ugo!

Doug T., Winnipeg, MB

Halyna said...

Dear Spirit Walker,

I would like to post what I stated earlier:

"Sometimes, but not often, we come across something so powerful and insightful that it gets engraved in our souls and in our memories. That is exactly what happened to my husband and I when we saw paintings by Norval Morrisseau for the first time. It’s been almost 20 years, but the feeling is still fresh - joy and sadness, ancient wisdom and a sudden ray of humour…

We could not afford to purchase a real piece, so for a number of years, we would buy a selection of greeting cards and some books, just to have an opportunity to be surrounded by the power of the art of this Master.

Having been raised in Europe, where it was common for many to be in contact with and be surrounded by the arts and artists, I had to know more about Norval Morrisseau’s art and the artist than books had to offer. I was trying to learn more about his life, his inspirations and struggles, and how to decipher his symbolism, which touched me deeply.

In my attempts to connect my own experiences to the life and art of Norval Morrisseau I came across your blog. And what a learning curve it has been! I learned a great deal, which has helped me to form my own opinion on many things that had been unclear to that point.

Even if I might not agree with the format of the blog (being used as a repository of knowledge for such purposes), you impressed me with your dedication, your passion, and a firm stand on issues concerning the rights of and the search for truth about the late master.

As people we have different opinions on this and that. I, for one, would like to express my admiration for your valuable information, which enables us to form our own opinions. I thank you for that, Spirit Walker.

As a knowledge source, you provide valuable and timely services to the public. It is more than enough for those, like myself, who are looking for information on Norval Morrisseau to fill any gaps in our knowledge about this Great Master.

It is a great responsibility that you took on, dear Spirit Walker."

Thank you.

Halyna Klid, Edmonton, Alberta

Anonymous said...

What can I write to better the accolades you have already received since you started the fantastic research on Morrisseau and other native artists.

Your persistence on collating the facts in the face of opposition from other blogs is to be admired. I have stopped viewing such deprecatory blogs and am not surprised by the demise of these.

Following through your research material is often a lengthly process but worth the effort because it is a great learning experience.

Continue with your fantastic research and continue to make the truth prevail.

Morrisseau Art Lover

Anonymous said...

Spirit Walker ... you are to be congratulated on this superior blog honouring the genius, spirituality and depth of Norval Morrisseau.

Through difficult times, which included both insults and threats, you showed elegance in your firm determination to perservere with your "mission statement" from the very first posting of the blog.

You have honoured and also educated us in many areas of the Woodland movement.

You have allowed this movement to shine even brighter as such a deep and spiritual part of our history.

For all of this, we thank you.

Wishing you all the very best in continued blogging.

Congratulations Spirit Walker !!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations SpiritWalker!

Your successful blog is now more than four years old and growing in popularity by leaps and bounds.

More than 1800 posts is a great academic achievment and has come at a great cost for many people involved at protecting Morrisseau's art legacy.

The blog has educated the public with factual information for seasoned and novice collectors. Institutes of higher learning have taken the blog and it's information as groundwork for their papers into the Native history expressed as painted art.

The blog has gone to places where newspapers have cowardly cringed to print the truth. The truth doesn't sell newspapers but lies sure do!

SpiritWalker take a bow...good work!


Zhaawano said...

Spirit Walker. After reading all of the former comments I cannot but agree with the words of praise for your work and determination - and, frankly, I could not have said it better myself. Except to add (I said it before and I say it again) that honesty is the best policy. You are the very epitome of this universal truth and - I say this as an artist and a friend - I am grateful and proud to know you. Chi-miigwech niijii.

Fredericks said...

Dear Spirit Walker,

Your website is remarkable, and your accomplishment enormous. I am sure Norval would be very proud of you if he could see what you have done to advance his name, his art, and his Native brothers and sisters.

Your sense of vision for the Morriseau and for the place of Native art in the Canadian mosaic is to be respected.


/A Portrait of the Visual Arts in Canada, blog/

Susan Murar said...

It takes great strength to live this life, to incorporate a vision that one believes in with all one's heart - something that one feels is important beyond all other considerations. Norval Morrisseau had this vision despite the controversy that he produced with his life. He had an interior strength that never gave up, a vision that he must leave us with his paintings - his gifts.

I hope that "Spirit Walker" with his vision to document Norval's life in its most significant moments (and the small details) finds the same strength that Norval found, to continue to work on this encyclopedic volume of knowledge on the internet, his blog to Honour Norval Morrisseau. It is no less than a gift to humanity. Gifts in our lives have a beauty that we cannot often see, Norval knew this as he travelled to the House of Invention to bring us our special gifts of beauty in his paintings.

We are learning more about Norval and his gifts of such immense beauty because of "Spirit Walker". I doubt that Norval Morrisseau would say anything other than, "Blessings Be".

Susan Murar, Morrisseau Sculptor

Anonymous said...

Thank you Spirit Walker for enlightening people like me about the wonderful legacy our native people have created for our multicultural Canada. I am sad that some blogs and individuals view your contributions in a negative manner and do all they can to discredit you and your dedicated work. Some even beyond that in a disgusting manner. Your readers are many and your rating is high. Ignore those whose remarks are formed in envy because they only follow the lower route that is obvious in their blogs and threats. You are doing a good job and your readers appreciate your continuing high standard of presentation.

Robert Lavack said...

Congratulations on your excellent and factual Morrisseau blog. It generated a wide range of opinions that added to the Morrisseau knowledge pool, and has done much to advance the general knowledge about Canada's aboriginal art. Your research and dedication to this cause is impressive and has been noted by readers in many parts of the world.

As you are aware, I don't fully agree with the remarks about Gabor Vadas. He and Michele took care of Norval for many years and were instrumental in extending his life span way beyond that expected. That is a personal opinion and one that doesn't deny any other.

I must admit that without your excellent research and general perseverance the Morrisseau Story would have not been told in its true form. The abuse you had to suffer for this amazes me and the fact that you continued on this task is commendable. So keep up the good work and try to be more forgiving to the Vadas family. I'm sure Norval would want that.

Robert Lavack
Prague, Czech Republic

Artist Promoter said...

Thank you for the obvious effort and dedication you have put into this site. By browsing from the beginning I have gained a much clearer sense of the artist's style and the "feel" of his work. The technical articles are also very informative.

The disputes concerning this artist's work are very unfortunate and I believe damaging to his legacy. In my view it is fine for a party to assert that they have authenticated a work if they have been able to do so. Casting doubt on the authenticity of works not authenticated by themsleves, however is not helpful and may be harmful both to the owners of the artworks and to the legacy of the artist.

I am moved to suggest that the galleries, dealers and collectors who own work should collaborate on an archive rather than divisively casting doubts on the property of others.

I have had personal experience with some of the characters in this drama (that is the dispute, not the artist!) and must say that some appear to be trying to maximize their inventory values rather than serve the collecting community. My own experiences range from having a very early work I personally know to be authentic dismissed out of hand as uninteresting, being told without provenance authenticated by the specific dealer the piece was not worth considering, being told that the party would not be interested in looking at it unless I was selling - three Toronto "experts", not one of them gave a damn about the work itself, which is exceptionally beautiful and powerful. I contrast these experience with my initial contact with you, Spirit Walker, who called me from Alberta on the strenght of a poor quality photo and provided me with more insights into the meaning and artistic merit of my piece than all the other experts combined. It is easy for me to judge intent from actions.

Thank you for this resource. It is valuable to me and doubtless many others.

David B. McNab
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada

Brenda Chabot said...

I first "met" Ugo Matulic (Spirit Walker) via a phone call from him in the spring of 2007. I am the owner of Old Downtown Gallery in Orangeville, Ontario.

I had just accepted a private collection of original Morrisseau paintings to sell and was very comfortable with their origins after having been somewhat skeptical due to "rumours" like the wind circling the art scene but never "landing and remaining". I had done a brief online ad regarding a small showing of Morrisseaus and that is how Ugo found me.

I have never regretted that. I never will.

Ugo told me about his passion for the art of Norval Morrisseau - about his respect for the man, the art, the words. Ugo told me of a blog he had started on Norval in order to do three specific things: to honour, to educate and to showcase Norval's artwork and his wonderful quotes. Ugo's passion was boundless and in time I learned that his knowledge about this very special Canadian artist was exceptional.

Through several phone calls between Calgary and Orangeville, I got to know Ugo as a dedicated, honest, very intelligent and kind man. A man with a sense of humour, an ability to enjoy life and a deep seated and very pure interest in Canada's Woodland artists.

About seven months after meeting Ugo - I received a different phone call from him - Norval Morrisseau had passed away that morning.

Ugo was now on a mission. Ugo was going to promote and more importantly "protect" the legacy of this Canadian icon. His intent has always been very clear to anyone who knows him. Perhaps coming to Canada from Croatia gives him a "wider-lens" view than we have here about the true genius of Norval Morrisseau and the importance of his art to Canada and all its peoples. There are some here who saw it - but not many. We are often a little complacent about our Canadian treasures in various genres, art included.

I do know that Ugo never sought personal attention, he never sought financial gain, he stuck firmly to his intent to honour, educate and showcase. That is all. His dream is to one day have a museum dedicated to Norval Morrisseau.

Sadly, for the interested public, the few small galleries, like myself, and ultimately, the peoples of Canada, Ugo has had to devote massive amounts of time to try to clear up the confusion in the market surrounding Norval Morrisseau's work.

We all hope this comes very soon and all of our efforts can be devoted to the beauty Norval Morrisseau left us in art and in words - his legacy.

Brenda Chabot
Old Downtown Gallery,
Orangeville, Ontario CANADA

Anonymous said...

Although not a religious person, I encourage my children to study and be exposed to the various religious beliefs as a means of broadening their understanding of life and the rules that govern international societies.

The religious contents of your blog rate high and have been of great assistance in this endeavour. The various posting of religion related to the North American natives you posted have been an enlightening experience for them and myself. Thank you for these historical details.

You and your associates are to be commended for this excellent, and I hope, ongoing presentation.

A grateful father.

Anonymous said...

Your research is definitely a marvel to behold and the legacy of Norval Morrisseau will be enormously enhanced by your work. Thank you for your strength of character which continually gets stronger in these difficult times. Thank you!