BBB's Blog

Bob Boze Bell

If you've ever wondered what it's like to run a magazine or how crazy my personal life is, be sure to read the behind-the-scenes peek at the daily trials and tribulations of running True West. Culled straight from my Franklin Daytimer, it contains actual journal entries, laid out raw and uncensored. Some of it is enlightening. Much of it is embarrassing, but all of it is painfully true.

In addition to this current journal, my early journal entries show the rocky road and money lost in the True West Business Timeline.

Bob's biography - The Unvarnished Truth

March 1, 2015
   When you are tempted to put down someone's artwork or music, remember this quote from an "artist" named Tersteeg: "Of one thing I am sure, you are no artist." He said this to Vincent van Gogh!

"Choo Choose" Scratchboard, Sunflowers and a massive book on Vincent van Gogh's artwork

   My goal today is to cull the best lines and tidbits out of the two biographies I have been reading for the past three months:

BBB sketches and Daily Whipouts amongst the massive, dueling bios of van Gogh.

   For all of us who attempt to do something original and true, there is much to admire. When Vincent was starting on his artistic journey in the fall of 1880 (when Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp and Jesse James were in their prime) Vincent was mocked, shunned and humiliated as he tried to sketch in public places. He was asked to leave more than one location and the police in Paris kicked him off the street for drawing (in Paris!!!!!). On a visit to a potato market, someone in the jostling crowd "spat his quid of tobacco" on van Gogh's paper. And it never ended. Right up to the end, Hooligans would mock him, grab his paint tubes and squeeze them on the sidewalk. That he continued to go out and seek the real things in everyday life, is damn brave. I realize this is sacrilege, but, to me, he was braver than those guys at the O.K. Corral because unlike the 27 seconds the cowboys and the Earps endured at the street fight, Vincent's fight lasted almost ten years and he endured hundreds of put downs, insults and incarceration and still went down swinging. As I said, there's much to be admired in this crazy Dutchman, but his fanatic focus in the face of scorn and failure is nothing short of breathtaking.

"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail."
—Edwin H. Land

Bob Boze 10:54 AM

February 28, 2015
   Rainy and cloudy all day. Got some dramatic formations about 4 p.m.

Dramatic Clouds over the Seven Sisters

  Worked some of the day on Van Gogh color schemes.

Daily Whipout: "Red Lake Rider"

   Having fun trying to match the mad Dutchman's pallet.

"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on them. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space."
—Johnny Cash

Bob Boze 5:16 PM
February 27, 2015
   Went home for lunch and finished a painting that has been in my Has Potential pile for a long time. The poor kid was caught between three worlds. Schooled at Carlisle, his father was Hopi and his mother a Navajo, so naturally nobody wanted him. The schooling helped, though.

Daily Whip Out: "Bisti Badman."

   He ran away from the White Man's school, evaded trackers and dogs and even the Pinkerton's. He gravitated to the badlands of the Navajo res, thus the Bisti Badlands (Bisti means bad). So, literally Bisti Badman in The Bisti Badlands is Bad Badman in The Bad Badlands, but I kind of like the repetition.

   And, since the Hopis didn't want him and the Navajos either, and the authorities at Winslow wanted him captured, he raided them all with impunity.

Daily Whipout: "The Bisti Badman Raids Across The Bisti Badlands"

"The way out of trouble is never as simple as the way in."
—Edgar Watson Howe

Bob Boze 3:36 PM
February 27, 2015
    This summer, my class—1965—is getting set for our fiftieth high school reunion. Wow! Doesn't even seem possible. All those former hipsters (myself included) would do well to heed Bob Dylan's words (from AARP magazine!): "Don't try to act like you're young. You could really hurt yourself."

Talkin' 'Bout My Generation!

   Meanwhile, Mark Fairall posted a photograph of The Exits on Facebook, performing on New Year's Eve, 1964:

The Exits on New Year's Eve, Girl's Gym: L to R: Terry Mitchell, Wendell Havatone, Charlie Waters, BBB and Wayne Rutschman. The song? "Surfbeat" by Dick Dale and The Deltones

   I mentioned that I bought the three-piece Beatle suit I am wearing in the photo from Central Commercial for $17 because nobody in Kingman would buy it, but me. As I was posting this, I realized the jacket is hanging in my office!

My 51-year-old Beatle jacket

   I can't remember why I brought this in to the office, but there it is, in all its sagging glory. Thomas Charles, my son, found it in my closet when he was in high school and wore it proudly to his prom It has seen some mileage but it still rocks.

   One final note: when I was in my rocker years I loved The Stones, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC but I also had a country streak and loved Johnny Cash, The Hag and Waylon Jennings. I never dreamed these disparate styles would ever meld into one song, much less from a Country mainstream performer, but that is exactly the musical blend that Eric Church strip mines with full force.

"I like my Country rockin', how 'bout you?"
—Eric Church, in the rockin' tune "How 'Bout You?" which segues into the triple-time AC/DC guitar lick on "Thunderstruck"


Bob Boze 12:02 PM
February 27, 2015
   It would be foolish to say that Billy the Kid didn't change my life. It would be even more foolish to say that I found all the answers to life from studying him. That said, I got up this morning and whipped this out:

Daily Whip Out: "Billy the Kid And The Meaning of Life"

   Yes, I have learned some big lessons from the boy outlaw. In fact, I guess you could say everything I know about being on this planet can be traced back to El Chivato. Including humility, focus, self-depreciation when dealing with the press. Especially dealing with the press.

"I was never the leader of any gang—I was for Billy all the time."
—Billy the Kid, to a reporter

Bob Boze 10:31 AM

February 26, 2015
   Got up this morning and bailed into another Stud Stance Study. If you have my book "The 66 Kid" you know my mother's side of the family claims relations to Blackjack Ketchum, Big Foot Wallace and John Wesley Hardin. So here is another Stud Stance Study of my shirt tail cousin:

Daily Whipout: "Stud Stance Study, John Wesley Hardin"

   And speaking of cousins, two of my prettiest Kingman Cowgirl Cousins are in town for a conference in Carefree.

My Kingman Cowgirl Cousins, Sharon and Brenda Stockbridge

   Sharon (Brenda's daughter) is caressing the big lizard head coming out of the wall, outside our front door (created by Chuck Weaver, of Weaver's Stance fame). When Brenda is here we invariably trade Kingman stories and laugh about how provincial we are, for better or worse. I confess that if I wasn't married to Kathy I would probably have never gone to Europe, South America or Thailand. I might have gone to Rocky Point, Mexico and that would probably be the extent of my travels. What can I say—small town boy, small town vision.

"He who never leaves his country is full of prejudices."
—Carlo Goldon, (1793) Italian playwright

Bob Boze 9:20 AM
February 25, 2015
   Did five whip outs this morning before I went into work. Chalk it up to my lunatic role model and his insane influence.

Van Gogh Gunfighters and the two massive bios that spawned them

   One of my goals this year is to produce a series of gunfighters, in what I have come to call The Stud Stance.

Daily Whip Out: "Stud Stance Study, No. 1"

   I have long experimented with narrative boxes with varied degrees of success. Most are belabored and overwrought, but somehow, some way I want to capture the un-regimented, organic version of this study:

Daily Whip Out, "Organic Comic Strip Narrative, No. 1"

   One of the few authenticated photographs of Doc Holliday in Arizona was taken in Prescott in 1879.

Doc Holliday in Prescott, 1879

   Some people see glasses on his nose. I am one of them.

Daily Whip Out: "Doc In Glasses"

   No matter what he wore, he had a one-way ticket to the worm condo.

Daily Whip Out: "Doc In Decline"

   Grabbed another "unfinished" painting out of the Daily Whip Out pile and gave it another go:

Daily Whip Out: "The Lonely Sheepherder"

   And last but not least, a purple study, also on its way to the Daily Whip Out file, and I just had to give it a quick wash:

Daily Whip Out: "Riders of The Purple Sage"

   I realize this is pretty manic behavior, but to my mind, I am in good company. Vincent van Gogh was considered a raving mad man (see quote below), but, to me, he was crazy like a fox and besides, he is from my tribe: Beethoven, Goya, Nietzsche, Rimbaud, Jonathon Winters and many other artists were lunatics—like me. So, I aspire to a certain level of commitment which is often perceived by the larger culture as "crazy." As Rainer Metzger points out, "Society, for its part, cannot conceive that life beyond its orderly regimen might be worth living."

   Amen, brother.

". . .society dictated that he would play the part which, in a sense, he was made for. Van Gogh was now a lunatic."
—Rainer Metzger, in "Van Gogh The Complete Paintings" writing about the events after Vincent cut off his ear lobe (and not his entire ear, by the way)

Bob Boze 11:29 AM
February 24, 2015
   Pulled a half-finished painting out of my Potential Pile this morning and gave it a go for about a half hour before I came into work:

Unfinished Daily Whip Out: "Doc and Wyatt—Brothers In Arms"

    It's so fascinating to me that Doc Holliday allegedly only used a shotgun once, at the so-called O.K. Corral fight, and threw it down in disgust, but he is forever linked to that weapon as the oodles of shotguns in private collections with his name on them attest.

  We had some pretty dramatic clouds this morning. Big storm blew in yesterday and the clouds were still hanging around today:

Ratcliff Ridge, this morining

   Went home for lunch and whipped out a little study of a certain dentist showing his cards:

Daily Whip Out: "Doc Holliday, Read 'Em And Weep."

   A belated Christmas present from Linda Stewart, a Facebook fan and fellow artist, from Anthem.

 Weston's New Pony from Linda Stewart

   Thought about exercising this afternoon, but sat down until the urge passed.

"Don't try to act like you're young. You could really hurt yourself."
—Bob Dylan, in AARP magazine

Bob Boze 3:05 PM
February 23, 2015
   The latest issue of Phoenix Magazine hit the streets this week. Nice write-up on my show at the Tempe Historical Society:

Phoenix Mag BBB

   Raining pretty hard here at the True West World Headquarters. Went home for lunch and worked with Curator Cal a bit on filing my massive amounts of Daily Whip Outs. Ate a Christmas tamale from Carole Glenn (last one!). Dang that was good. Then back out to the studio and to whip out a scratchboard version of the Hualapai Historian:

Daily Whip Out: "Scratchboard of The Historian"

   Thanks to Gay Mathis, I decided this would make a good True West Moment on Hualapai modesty:

A Serious Hualapai Insult
   110 years ago, female members of the Hualapai tribe wore their hair heavily banged, with hair covering their cheeks and even their chins. There was a reason for this, and one anglo photographer found out the hard way: "I wished to make a photograph of a woman I had long known and been friendly with. As her eyes and face were scarcely distinguishable, I took the liberty of putting back the hair from her cheeks. She arose in anger, and for three years refused to speak or meet with me. I had given her the most serious insult a man could offer to a Wallapai woman."
—George Wharton James

"As a painter I shall never amount to anything important. I am absolutely sure of it."
—Vincent van Gogh

Bob Boze 2:28 PM
February 23, 2015
   Finished the Van Gogh book last night (got bored with the Oscars and went in the bedroom to read). Lots to say about the mad Dutchman, but suffice to say, it wasn't just Vincent—that is one crazy family!

   An update on my painting of the Hualapai historian. I took a photo of the painting with my phone and posted it yesterday, but this morning I came into the office and scanned it, and I think you'll notice a little stronger hues and color:

Daily Whipout: "The Historian"

   And here is the source material, an article by author George Wharton James, July 1903--The Four Track News, was founded in July 1901 by George H. Daniels. Illustrated magazine of travel and education. Published by the Passenger Department of the New York Central and Hudson River railroad in NY.

A Wallapai Story Teller

   Thanks to Gay Mathis for sending me the info on this publication, and also for including this anecdote:

"The [Wallapai] women generally wear their hair banged over the forehead, so that the eyebrows are almost covered, and the rest of the hair is cut off level with the shoulders, so that a well-combed head of hair falls heavily around the whole head, covering the major part of the cheeks and sides of the chin. I once made an interesting discovery in regard to this almost complete covering up of the face with the hair. I wished to make a photograph of a woman I had long known and been friendly with. As her eyes and face were scarcely distinguishable, I took the liberty of putting back the hair from her cheeks. She arose in anger, and for three years refused to speak or meet with me. I had given her the most serious insult a man could offer to a Wallapai woman."
—George Wharton James

"I like fruit baskets because a fruit basket enables you to mail somebody fruit without appearing insane."
—Demetri Martin

Bob Boze 10:16 AM

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