Sunday, October 03, 2004

October 3, 2004
Yesterday Scott and Len from Creative Framing delivered the last two Spanish rodeo posters and hung them in our living room. They are massive and magnificent and it was well worth every penny ($980 biz account). All told I think I paid $150 for the posters, $75 getting them home from Valencia, and $1,500 for the framing. A small price to pay for something that gives us so much joy.

Speaking of joy, I was drawing and listening to Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion this morning and something he said really impacted me. He was talking about his daughter and how the slightest thing she does gives him meaning and pleasure (even when she's being selfish and he and his wife are basically the "Secretary and Treasurer" of her world). He said he is tired of his own story (LDL levels, too many carbs, stress tests, etc.) and that if you want to know your real story, your kids know it. And that we are here to tell our parent's story, and our children will tell ours. Through my tears I realized, well, for one thing I realized I'm getting too much estrogen, but also, that is the story I am telling in all of my books and any future books. My father comes from the green of Iowa (and he loved road trips!) and my mother comes from the harshness of the Mohave Desert and she was a cowgirl. One is a family of farmers, the other ranchers. And where those two stories meet, where the green meets the brown, where the corn meets the prickly pear that is the place I want to illustrate and write about.

There is a somewhat famous regional photograph of a little kid running down a carport driveway of a 1950's suburban tract house. He's crying and he appears to be trying to retrieve a wayward tricycle that's rolling toward the street. Off to the right is the pristine, high desert of New Mexico, probably the Sandia Mountains behind him, and a big storm is brewing in the sky overhead. The juxtaposition of the two, the pre-fab of the home vs. the raw, untamed desert is the heart of my experience and inspiration.

Of course, True West magazine is a perfect fit with that story, but if I am given the time, I intend to expand even more on my parent's story.

I worked on two paintings today, one of Wyatt Earp in the Oriental Saloon, and the other of Charlie Storms, the gambler who lost his life there. Storms was in his sixties and there is no known photo of him, but I think I know him, and I think he had on green-checked pants at the time of his death (Yes, this is inspired by all the colored pants patterns I saw in the Arabia Steamboat Museum.)

"That it will never come again is what makes life sweet.”
—Emily Dickinsonn

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