Sunday, September 28, 2003

September 28, 2003
Finding a ton of stuff as I’m cleaning up the studio. I’m trying to find an image of Billy shooting Olinger from my second Billy edition, and of course, I’m finding everything but that. A museum in Australia wants the image for an outlaw show they’re doing.

I keep finding half-finished paintings that are far superior to my “finished” product. One in particular is of Sheriff Jim Roberts (I got the photo from Marshall Trimble). I did the painting for the Westin Hotel series on Arizona Western outlaws and badmen. When I started the project last year, I did two quick studies of him. I found both today and the second one is stiff as a board (trying too hard) but on the first one I wasn’t even going for a likeness, I was just trying to get a sense of the form, etc., His eyes don’t line up correctly, his neck is too skinny, but for all the mistakes, he is alive, he’s got attitude. His skin is believable, the planes of his face have depth and while it’s certainly not perfect as a likeness even, it’s sooooooooo much better than the painting I handed in. What does that say? For starters, probably not anything I want to hear. Ha.

Well, here’s a possibility: stabbing at shapes is akin to hacking at a side of beef. You will get it off the bone, but it isn’t edible (needless to say, I’m making this up as I go along).

While many predicted the death of irony after 9•11, I think it certainly took a big bite out of it. I was watching Turner Classic Movies (one of my favorite channels) and the beginning of a 1940's movie started with the big orchestration and it sounded so righteous, and full of conviction. We are too jaded today to even allow that. Too bad, it sounds so good.

“Your sons weren't made to like you.  That's what grandchildren are for.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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