Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Three Riders Four Clouds And One Moon

June 28, 2016
   Went home for lunch and finished a Mickey Free on the hunt for the Apache Kid with Tom Horn and Jim Young piece.

Daily Whip Out: "Three Riders Four Clouds And One Moon"

   Mickey always looked to the sky for sign as much as he looked at the ground. Back and forth he looked. Drove Tom Horn crazy. But in the end, it was a set of zig zag clouds that pointed the way to the Apache Kid's hiding place.

Zig Zag cloud reference I captured this morning on my morning walk.

Artwork to follow.

"I am going to rattle down through the ages. . .I am damn near eternal."
—Frederic Remington


Duel In The Sun (Or In A Quiet Place)

June 28, 2016
   I was recently interviewed for a documentary on the popularity of the lone gunman, which, in light of recent events, made me wince. It's true I have made it my life work to illustrate the gunslingers of the Old West, but when I am asked a question that begins, "Why do you think the idea of a lone man with a gun is so popular?" the core concept seems a bit tainted in this day and age.

Hugh O'Brian as Wyatt Earp with his extra long appendage pointed in the right direction

   Of course, the real Wyatt Earp knew a thing or two about gunfighting:

Daily Whip Out: "This Fight Has Commenced"

   One guy basically invented the idea of the frontier gunslinger, and he was notorious for having two pistols:

Daily Whip Out: "Wild Bill Hickok Draws Iron"

   And, street fights elicited random gunfire which almost always produced a victim, or two:

Daily Whip Out: "Shot Down"

   As time went on, in the age of atom bombs, the idea of the gunfighter became somehow antiquated and "safe," to audiences of the 1950s:

Daily Whip Out: "Big Iron On His Hip"

   So, in today's world the idea of a guy walking around looking for solutions with a hog leg, can be perceived as somewhat primitive.

"Nobody ever forgets where he buried the hatchet."
—Kin Hubbard

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."
—Mark Twain

Prickly Pear And Mickey Free Redux

June 28, 2016
   File this one in the Can't Leave Well Enough Alone Department: 

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey Rides Through Cactus Field Redux" 

Hint: added additional, negative space, pricks to the prickly pears. Plus, redid Mickey to give a hint of his flag-draped poncho.

Couldn't resist "improving" another finished whip out:

Daily Whip Out: "Trigger Jim Young Redux"

Of course, both scenes are for the Mickey Free graphic novel, and that train has left the station (or, at least the excerpt "treatment" of a graphic novel).

History Repeats Itself
   The next issue of True West (August) will start dropping in subscriber's mailboxes this week. To long time readers it may look familiar:

Mickey Free Redux: Nov-Dec 2008 and August 2016 covers

This is the second cover we have dedicated to a Mickey Free graphic novel by the Top Secret Writer and myself. And, actually it's our third pass at the story (I did a two-page graphic cinema version as well), so we are hoping this is a third time is the charm deal. We'll soon see. Now, the question is, should I keep hammering on it, or should I let it go? I wonder what the Old Vaqueros have to say about that? 

"Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Monday, June 27, 2016

First Monsoon of the season

June 27, 2016
   The first monsoon blew in tonight over Ratcliff Rdige at about 7:30. Sprinkling out at 8:23 p.m. Air is cooler. Going to be muggy tomorrow, but a nice relief tonight.

Monsoon storm over Ratcliff Ridge

And here's a closer look at the same storm system:

Ratcliff Ridge In Twilight

      Went to Harold's for dinner. Met Amy's mom and fiance there and had a grand time.

"Art is certainly not a pursuit for anyone who wants to make money There are ever so many other better ways."
—Robert Henri

On the other hand:

"The reason so many artists have lived to great age is they have lived living, whereas most people live dying."
—Robert Henri (pronounced On-rye)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Baby Gangster's Paradise

June 26, 2016
   We've got a house full of kids so I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on painting, but I did noodle four skies in between Racliff Ridge trips, eating homemade Thai food and swimming sessions. 

Daily Whip Out: "Skies In Progress"

   We broke out some of the old photo albums today and noticed a couple parallels to the past. Here's a photo of Kathy with Thomas Charles, at left, circa 1986 and at right is Thomas Charles with his daughter Harper taken yesterday:

A Baby Gangster's Paradise

   The Bortschellers are en route to their cold home (Deena texted me the highs all week in Seattle and it was nothing but 70s all the way to Sunday). Before they left we took a selfie of the entire brood:

The whole fam-damily: Pattarapan, Mike, Weston, Deena, BBB, Kathy, Harper and Thomas.

"I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that is poetry."
—John Cage, in his 1961 "Lecture On Nothing"

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Solving Life With My Kids And Their Kids

June 25, 2016
 Fathers can only relax when their kids are home. I got this from Sandra Day O'Connor's father who said he couldn't totally relax unless his kids were in his house. Here are both my kids with their kids at our kitchen table.

Thomas, Harper, Deena and Weston in our kitchen this afternoon,
solving life and laughing. Doesn't get any better than this.

Friday, June 24, 2016

High On Ratcliff Ridge

June 24, 2016
   "Look how big they are grandpa." Weston said, high on Ratcliff Ridge. He turned three today.

Weston admires the mighty saguaros that spike Ratcliff Ridge

Weston In Awe of a giant saguaro on Ratcliff Ridge

"How'd they get so big, grandpa?"

"They drank a lot of water.."

"Why'd they drink so much water, grandpa?"

"They're very thirsty."

"Why are they so thirsty, grandpa?"

"It's the desert."

"Why is it the desert, grandpa?"

"Oh, look a bunny!"

Working on hand gestures. 

Daily Whip Out: "Finger Pointing Study"

"Nobody ever forgets where he buried the hatchet."
—Kin Hubbard

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Weston Watering, Tall Walking Clouds & Whining Weather Wimps

June 23, 2016
   Got a full house this morning, with all the kids here, along with their spouses and their kids. One of them has a birthday tomorrow. He'll be three. Today, he and I hit the road early, before sunrise to get out and see Cactusland and all the "funny bunnies" on the road. I counted four, but when I asked Weston to tell everyone how many he saw, he counted to 20, so I feel pretty confident he has a future in media.

   When we got back from our walk he helped me water.

Weston Watering A Very Thirsty Spanish Dagger

Leave it to the Navajos to come up with the perfect name for those magnificent summer storms that roll through northern Arizona in the summer time. 

Daily Whip Out: "Tall Walking Rain"

To All You Whining Weather Wimps

   My good friend E.J. Montini has written some excellent columns over the past three decades, but today's column in the Arizona Republic is required reading for anyone who wants to call themselves a Zonie. In part he say, in regard to everyone whining about our furnace like heat: "Heat is good."

"It doesn't feel like it. but it is.

"Heat keeps us honest.

"Heat reminds us that paradise comes with a price. . ." and then he offers this advice:

"Okay, get a pencil.

"Are you ready? Here goes:

"Shut up."

E.J. goes on to say he often gets calls from out-of-state journalists researching our heat waves and who always want to know how we can "bear to live in such a place" as Arizona. Here's how he answers them:

"I say, first, that we can 'bear to live in such a place' because Arizona is beautiful.

"I say, our city, our state is unrelentingly interesting, filled with curious, furious, passionate people of all ages and ethnicities and political persuasions.

"I say that people who live in Arizona don't back down after that first really hot day in June. When Arizona's big, nasty summer is waiting for us jut ourside our front door, thrusting his chest at us and breathing his terrible hot breath in our faces.

"I say the reason we can 'bear to live' in the desert is because we love it here. And because we are not wimps."

Pretty cool, eh? Like I said, required reading if you want to live here and call yourself a Zonie.

"In America there are two classes of travel—first and with children."
—Robert Benchley

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Save A Prayer for Lefty Too, He Only Did What He Had to Do

June 22, 2016
   Did a scratchboard this morning before I came into work for my good friends down at Santo Press. This is inspired by the Willie Nelson-Merle Haggard song. 

Daily Whip Out: "Save A Prayer for Lefty Too."

   Working on a big feature on the most famous stroll in the history of the West. That would be the walk these guys took:

Daily Whip Out: "The Walk Down"

   We're going to track everyone's movements on the morning of October 26, 2016. You know, stuff like this: "I slept late the day of the shooting. Got up about one or half-past one o'clock. I went to the barber shop to get shaved." Or, so said Sheriff John Behan.

"I was coming from my house to Bauer's meat market to get some meat for dinner. I saw quite a number of men standing in a group together on the sidewalk by the door of the market, and I passed on into the shop to get what I went for, and the parties in the shop were excited and did not seem to want to wait upon me."
—Martha J. King

"I was standing at the Post Office with Mr. Dillen of the firm of Dillen and Kenealy. . .I walked down as far as Fly's [rooming house], and there I saw Sheriff Behan and four farmers. As I approached, one of them, Mr. William Clanton, put his hand on his pistol, as if in fear of somebody. When he recognized me he removed his hand."
—William Cuddy

   Of course, we all know where this story ends:

DailyWhip Out: "Wyatt In Hollywood"

"And long may his story be told."
—Wyatt Earp theme song