Monday, April 25, 2005

April 24, 2005
My lower back is really sore and I can't decide if it's just wrenched or if it's cancer of the everything.

We got hit with a big rain storm which rolled in last night. It's still blowing and wet out this morning (7:30 AM). Sketched mounted cowboys all morning, riding in different directions. I have problems with scale, invariably making the horse's legs too long, or too short. It's a tough balance to put a man on a horse and have them moving in tandem, without the usual cliche-central-casting poses. This is what makes Charlie Russell so amazing. In many of the scenes he painted, the horses aren't all charging ahead in perfect formation like in a movie or a Frank McCarthy painting. In Russell's horsescapes some horses are "acting up," or twitching, or shying away (invariably in the opposite direction of the rider), or sunfishing, or exploding (and the horses around him are reacting like spooked horses would) and that is his genius. He more than makes up for his sometimes primitive painting skills with his observational insights and then getting the horse and rider to look they belong together. Oldtimers in Montana could allegedly look at a Charlie Russell painting and spot horses they knew and identify their bucks and their queer quirks!

I'd like to be remembered that way with the women I draw.

It was three years ago today that Bob and Trish Brink walked into the True West store (they saw an ad for Paul's Cowboy store next door and happened in). At that time we had one thing in common: they didn’t have a clue what True West magazine was about, and we didn’t either. Ha. Actually, we had some really good talent but we didn’t have much business sense especially when it came to the dark jungle of national magazines.

Of course it didn’t hurt that Bob ran the Hearst magazine division for 23 years and Trish was the ad director at Town and Country, not to mention national sales manager at Cosmo, and the West Coast manager of Hearst’s corporate sales.

Today, Bob and Trish both come in every day. They have provided us with clarity, commitment and experience. True West has come a long way since April 24, 2002 and while many people have made invaluable contributions to our cause, it's the Brinks who generously show us all the way.

I invited them out to dinner tonight to honor the anniversary of this momentous and fateful event. We went to Shugrue's and had a grand old time. Thanks again, Bob and Trish!

”Give me the ready hand rather than the ready tongue.”
— Giuseppe Garibaldi

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