CXC is busy


This little pooch is a neighborhood friend of Canadian watercolor artist, Diane Michelin, from the Vancouver Island coast of British Columbia. Diane says whenever she is outside and this dog comes around he walks over and sets on her feet. So she took a photo of him – from above; posted it to Facebook and I took that image as inspiration for this image and added a bit of Sam Stovepipe, Sage of Gar Island wisdom, to make this eLITHOGRAPH titled, ‘Dog Porch: Zen Friends”.

I have been busy with new pieces, collaborating with more people and bringing a new level of technique to the eLITHOGRAPH process.

Following are few of the pieces I have been working on … and Kudos ‘n Thank You’s to those who graciously allowed me to continue the rending of influence initiated by their infusions of creativity.




Papa’s 2-Toned Wet

061113_ooak_papas-2tone-wet_barblessPapa said Jesus did His best work when He reached down, under-the-water’s-surface and pulled a person up. They were drowning. They’d already give’in to the idea they were gonna die. They’re workable. That’s the kinda house I lived in: Papa’s 2-Toned Wet.

Papa said when Jesus tried to work with people on top of the water, they weren’t easy to work with. They’s too much of themselves. Those people who’d gone down – were stiff – well …somebody else had to deal with them.

Kinda like fishin’. Papa liked wet-flies. He said fishin’ right ‘neath the surface was where you got a serious fish. Fishin’ on the top, that was easy. T’wern’t that hard. Fishing way down on the drag-bottom, that weren’t hard neither. Sorta like chuckin Kentuck’chuck’bait … or, what other folks called, fishin’ with dynamite.

But gettin’ the fish on a bite, right under the surface – at the line between their world ‘n ours – that was real fishin’. That’s Papa’s 2-Tone Wet. Well, part of it – at least.

Growin’ up in our family, there was rules, ‘n there was rules. Not many, but there was rules. One rule that Papa had – and no one dared to break it; least whys not when he was ’round; or kept right secret like, soes he’d be most likely not t’ EVER find out; was simple.

Fishin’s not about draggin’ the bottom, rakin’ the surface, killen or braggin’. Fishin’s ’bout one thing – and one thing only – fightin’ chance.

The fish gives you a fightin’ chance when you come to the water, to do your ‘fishin’ thing’ – whatever it be. So, h’it’s only fair that you give the fish, a fightin’ chance as well. That’s why he only used, the method he called, The 2-Toned Wet.

H’it weren’t no secret that my Papa liked fish and fishin’. But it was a hugemongeous secret about how Papa was able to be so lucky at turnin’ fishin’ into catchin’. Most folks thought he has some sort of deal with the water-spirits that helped him with catchin’ fish. But Papa just laughed. Laught good’n’hard …and loud… when he heard this said. Papa said the only spirit he knew of – anywheres near his fishin’, came from a Ball Mason quart jar. And he said most of them spirits were damned liars.

Papa no longer casts the 2-Toned Wet fly over the creeks of our home area. But, his shadow still casts quite a line over folks in these parts. Folks done asked ’bout Papa’s fishin’ luck and how he came to be in possession of his knowledge of 2-Toned Wet and I just ignored them. Then –I begun’ta realize that my bein’ all quiet’n’such ’bout Papa ‘n his gift, caused me to lose touch with Papa and his fishin’. That’s somethin’ I don’t ever wanna lose touch with.

So, I finally decided; since Papa is now only fishin’ in our memories; to write down what I know about Him and the 2-Toned Wet.

So, this is where Papa’s story begins … on a cool-runnin’ mountain stream, deep’steep in rhoady-shade hidin’, nestled like a baby’to’a’tit in a hot Tarheel afternoon’s rays; blazin’-hot-rays’, too, from an unseasonably hot June sun; alone and wonderin’ where the fish had gone.”

The eLITHOGRAPH, Pappa’s Two-Toned Wet, is an image size – 10″ x 8″, watercolor style image when printed. There are four panels of PTTW images. The image shown above is the Barbless version. There are three panels displaying the other versions. Shown below in the bar-panel (from left to right) you find  the  Club, Button and Hookless, styles of the PTTW wet-fly.



This fly and the story came out of an influential article, written by the well-known, and highly-respected Canadian-born, (now residing in the Bahamas) fly-fishing and TV personality of the popular fishing show, What A Catch, Kathryn Maroun.

Kathryn and I had started an online conversation, on Facebook, a few months before the ‘article of influence’ was published.  Our conversation of origin was over her current struggle with  Late-stage Lyme disease.  During her months and months of treatment, pain, agony and suffering, she began rethinking the whole issue of pain.  And in this she began rethinking her position as a ‘hooking angler’.  Read Kat’s story to get the full-story and her message.  Watch the video: The Evolution of an Angler.  Read the article in WOW online.

The upstart of the video and conversations with Kat was, her disclosure of a new-found preference for the use of a ‘hookless-fly’; a fly without, not only a barb, but NO POINT!  As I told Kat, I had been using a ‘hookless fly’ technique for the better part of 15 years.

I had developed this in response to what I was seeing as too many injuries – leading to death or greater potential for fatal release – of fish, through improper handling, that were intended to be released as catch-n-release.  So, instead of hooking the fish, I would cast a fly that has no hook to ‘hold the fish’.  The only ‘catch’ I would have would be the length of time the fish retained possession of the fly in its mouth.   Thereby giving new meaning to the old fishing mantra, ‘The Tug is the Drug’.

As part of the story, Pappa’s Two-Toned Wet, I have introduced 4 types of hook/bend designs for fishing a barbless to near to total-barbless fly.f  Thank you Kat for the inspiration that brought about Pappa’s Two-Toned Wet!

Streamside: CEC2010-001

”Yet, this type of ‘weirdness’ is the nature of such mystery.”
story ©2010 Les Booth; painting, Streamside, ©2010 Diane Michelin

Freestone Palette

Colors trace wild run
Essence of time freely flows
Life intensifies

Freestone Mystery

Penticton Herald, ePenticton Herald News
Josh Mavenhome Penticton Herald / Saturday Edition

Many unsolved mysteries exist around the world, but the 1998 unexplained disappearance of a Victoria, BC woman still has people down in Keremos shaking their heads.

This clip, from the article, written by my uncle Thomas Mavenhome, about the 1998 cold case, fills in some background for those unfamiliar with the 11 year old mystery.

‘Four weeks ago, Provincial Conservation Officer, Sarah Tumewatter, and BC Fisheries Biologist, Jon McCormick, stumbled upon a mystery on Bumblechoock Creek, north of Keremos, BC. The events of 23 September, 1998, still remain no closer to being resolved than they did on that fall Sunday afternoon, 4 weeks ago.

“We have no clues, other than the personal items and still alive brook trout, found, yesterday, on the banks of Bumblechook Creek. We are quite baffled. We simply have no idea where Jane Manson is today.”, said officer Tumewatter in an interview on Friday; 23 October, 1998.

Jan Manson, well known Victoria resident, is an attractive 32 year old, red-haired, athlete, fly-fishing aficionado, respected outdoor artist and conservation advocate. Ms. Manson, single, went missing Sunday 23 September. The answers to her whereabouts are still a complete mystery.

Tumewatter and McCormick were conducting a 10-year stream assessment of Bumblechook Creek, along a remote stretch of water in the upper reaches of the rough country, north of Keremos, BC, when they came upon a very strange scene.

Tumewatter and McCormick rounded a bend on the creek to find, neatly laid out on the rocks beside the stream, a fly-rod and reel, a landing net and a very much alive, brook trout.

Officer Tumwatter said both she and McCormick spent over 2 hours combing the area, after placing a call to report the strange findings to the Penticton BCCO office. Within an hour after the phone call – they were joined by other BCCO personnel. BCCO carried on the search, around-the-clock, for the next 14 days.

By the time the official search was canceled, nothing had turned up. No prints. No clothing. No personal items. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

There were no shoe prints anywhere. None. No prints of any kind.  Not along the creek; into the creek bed; nor back up into the woods.  McCormick said it was as if Manson was,”… just transported away. Gone. Without a trace”. ‘

Ms. Manson’s 1998 2-dr GMC Jimmy, bearing the custom trademark of a – Screaming Brook Trout – located on both lower door panels and rear tailgate, was nowhere to be found in the vicinity.  Despite extensive searches all across Canada, Alaska, the lower 48 United States and even into Mexico, no trace has been found.

Bumblchook Creek’, is said to have more than the occasional black bear and a rare appearance of cougars.  But neither animal is suspected to be involved in Manson’s disappearance.

BC Conservation Officers identified the owner of the fly-rod, reel and landing net and therefore the missing person – as Ms. Manson – from the name, email address and drivers license number, marked on each item.

Many speculations have arisen over the years as to the whereabouts of Ms. Manson.

Some say Manson fell into Bumblechook Creek’s icy waters, drowned and was swept downstream, over the 14 meter waterfall, downstream roughly 1/2 kilometer. But the water was thoroughly checked; above and below the falls. Nothing turned up. Most feel this was most unlikely.

Others say, she fell, suffered a concussion and amnesia then either staggered out of the area or was possibly lost and died of exposure.  But that too, seems unlikely.  The area was thoroughly searched; thousands of motorists and people in the area were canvased;  nothing; not so much as a ‘maybe’, was uncovered.

One popular theory is that Manson, a very pretty 32 year old, was abducted and kidnapped by the fabled remnant of the Spanish conquistadors, said to be living in the wilderness around Bumblechook Creek.  No one has officially documented the veracity of the claims as to whether these mythical residents  really exist. But wild and fantastical stories abound. With many claiming to have had contact with them; and some even claiming to be descendants.

The list of speculations continue, and continue to grow.  Many are fantastical enough to even make sense. But not seriously, unless you’re under the influence of mind altering chemicals first.

Yet, this type of ‘weirdness’ is the nature of such mystery.

Maybe it’s to be as Tumewatter said in an interview on the 5th anniversary of the unsolved missing person’s file.  “Some things just remain a mystery. Until something else shows up, that’s how we’ll have to look at this case.”

Yes, maybe so.

For now we only have the image of the fly-rod, reel, landing net and a live brook trout to help us conjure up the actual events that have led to this mystery.