August 19, 2003
Running on empty. Literally. I’m going to drive up to the office this morning and I have maybe enough fumes to get through a gas line (both Circle Ks have been out of gas for two days).
Jeb R. hit a home run at the Westerns Channel yesterday. They passed on the proposed gunfighter doc but have counter-proposed a bumper series featuring a middle-aged narrator who they claim “has the camera presence of a Dennis Hopper.” This commentator (that would be me) would give a 60-90 second True West moment and it would run every day. This actually might work better than the full-blown show on the other network.
My painting skills come in spits and spurts. I finally got up to speed on Sunday and although I did six cover paintings I think I could have really nailed it with another dozen or so. I read a great piece on the production of movie posters and the company that produced the classic Jaws movie poster did 691 scenes before they hit on the classic image of the shark coming up from the deep towards a swimming babe. The problem they kept having is all of their other poster images looked like upset dolphins. It took them 691 tries to get to the genius angle of looking at the underbelly of the shark so we could see those vicious teeth. Amazing.
I also talked to Abe Hays at Arizona West Gallery in Scottsdale a year or so ago and he told me Maynard Dixon (one of my illustrator heroes) would sometimes do 85 pen and inks before he captured a single, simple scene. So, I think the dozen or so paintings I did for Billy’s Big Breakout was just a warm-up. Unfortunately, one of the warm-ups is on the cover of the next issue. On the other hand...
“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing is, stop digging.
—Old Vaquero Saying
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