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Norman Robert Catchpole

Catchpole's Studio

Ignite the Passion

Every Picture Tells A Story

Select Artwork accompanied by a story written by Poet/Author Hendrik Bennink.

Michael
February 2023
Based on a photo from The Washington Post
(their first visit to the Vietnam War Memorial)

 

Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

1.5" Profile

30"x24"

$899 C plus shipping


Hey Michael, what are we both doing here?

How long will it be before we disappear?

Into the mud and guts of this new frontier,

It’s pretty straight forward, it’s all too clear.

 

Michael all this shit weighs a goddamn ton

I don’t know about you but I think I’m done

Don’t you feel like we’re always on the run?

From the loudest voice or the biggest gun.

 

And Michael, why am I so afraid?

Hiding behind a sandbag barricade

Backed up by a terrified child brigade

Somehow I feel like we’ve both been betrayed.

 

I was only eighteen and so were you

We were young and stupid with nothing to do

Bold and naive we didn’t have a clue

You’re looking at me and I’m looking at you.

 

Beneath the wasted beauty of a setting sun

I’m feeding the belt into your Vickers gun

The inane devastation is never done

The facts are twisted and the web is spun.

 

We are tangled puppets caught up in a lie

No explanation we’re never told why

Thrown on the front line and left there to die

Kill or be killed is the mournful battle cry.

 

Strike up the band and snap to attention

This isn’t a war it’s an intervention

A call to arms to relieve the tension

Apply the cure skip the prevention.

 

Look out Michael, looks like they’re on their way

How many lives will be destroyed today

Another round will blow those boys away

Their dance of death is like a grotesque ballet.

 

Large tanks till the earth leaving blood in their tracks

Choppers dive dispersing machine gun attacks

We’re surging forward, we’re watching our backs

We’re stuck in the mud we’re ditching our packs.

 

The sky is exploding it leaves you spellbound

Hey Michael why did you have to turn around?

I cradle your head above the blood soaked ground

As I wait for a medic who can’t be found.

 

We were never there and you never died

No gray ashes flew and nobody cried

Most of us are still crippled inside

Except the crass old men who cheated and lied.

 

Petty Cove, Maddox Harbour
November 2022
Based on a photo by RuthAnn Catchpole

Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas 

1.5" Profile

40"x30"

$1250 C plus shipping

Fishing boats sway to the rhythm of the ocean’s waves as they lap the boulders along the shoreline.  A silver bird circles a blood red sun and sails across the swelling breakers of the tempestuous ocean. A fisherman tugs at his knitted watch cap inspecting his worn nylon nets by the mornings new born light.  Woodsmoke hovers along the shoreline before drifting up to the cabins scattered amongst the rolling hillside.  Dolphins and whales self propel from the water as the local fishing vessel’s head out to an uncompromising sea.  Lobster traps on lengths of knotted nautical rope are anchored in the cold, dark, mysterious waters.

 

Trawlers sweep the ocean’s floor taking all that they can, but always expecting so much more. Seabirds screech like the weight of the world rests upon their outstretched weathered wings. They stumble into chaotic flight patterns and noisily vanish onto another horizon.  Deckhands and watchmen sing mythical and drunken sea shanties as they while away the interminable hours.  The helmsman eyes his compass and navigates the ravaged vessel across the undulating water. Ghost nets hover above the ocean’s floor senselessly entrapping their oblivious bounty.

 

As the daylight surrenders to the call of the evening, fishing boats slowly return to the shores. A strip of fiery light streaked across the diminishing skyline is extinguished with the blink of an eye. The lighthouse keeper swings his glimmering lantern as he navigates the rocky path along the jetty. A woman on the coast steals nervous glances at the shoreline as she rests a glowing candle on her window sill. She places a pot of coffee on the wood stove then double checks the frequency on her amateur radio ... and I am out here watching the shifting constellations hoping that maybe the sky will explode, my telescope trained sharply on Sagittarius I am waiting for the darkness to encompass me.

Blue Haze
May 2020

Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

1.5" Profile

40"x30"

$750 C plus shipping

 

A Blue Heron explodes out of a gray horizon, It’s majestic wing span envelops the gently blowing breeze.  It falls from the skies like a seasoned paraglider, and comes to rest in the murky marshes of Mary Lake.

 

It stands like a stone statue, stoically observing the skyline, the shoreline and the waterline. His head pivots with the click of a camera shudder.  It’s large wings unfold and the magnificent bird takes flight, effortlessly crossing the span of the lake until it disappears from sight.

 

Upon the shore the artist’s gaze is transferred from the skies to the Nikon camera strung around his sunburnt neck.  He smiles wistfully, walking slowly, to the small log studio he carefully constructed with his calloused time weathered hands and enters the studio anticipating the images he has captured on his camera.  His easel and naked canvas await the deft brush strokes that will slowly bring the Blue Heron back into his world ...

 

Right to Norman Robert Catchpole.

Old Cabbagetown
February 2022

On display at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 
Queen's Park, Toronto, ON 
Sept. 2022 - Jan. 2024

Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

1.5" Profile

30"X40"

$1475 C plus shipping


CABBAGETOWN 1939 

 

Yesterday’s heroes become tomorrow’s men

History unfolds then it begins again

There’s scattered ghosts drifting down the alleyways

The morning sun peeks out through a filtered haze

 

Cabbagetown girls smoking menthol cigarettes

Handed down in time by sister suffragettes

You’ve come a long way baby, don’t you look back

Keep one eye open, you’re still under attack

 

Moss Park boys meet girls on Parliament after dark

Hiding in the shadows they kiss and strike a spark

The women haunting Jarvis know what they’re about

You can try to leave but you’re not getting out

 

Rooms to let on Sumach, just twenty five cents

The unemployed drink gin. the petty thief repents

Broken men and women staring at four walls

Kids crack the mortar with India rubber balls

 

Boarded up basement windows in need of repair

No one wants to know what’s going on down there

Working class zeros waltz on factory floors

They dance through the streets as the foreman locks the doors

They ride the Streetcars to the unemployment line

They can’t crack the mold, it is there by design

 

The kids at Regent Street School all have big dreams

At fifteen years of age they’re just misplaced schemes

River rats on River Street, they all know the score

This is all there is there isn’t anymore

 

They paddle up the Don, find themselves in jail

Another power outage, another system fail

Someone forgot the cages when the zoo left town

We’ve got lots of room, why don’t you come on down

 

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