July 11, 2005
Had a long day in Phoenix. Finished a couple of gouache paintings of the suspects in the Morgan Earp murder at about eight a.m., and stopped at Document Depot in Cave Creek and got color xeroxes of them. Dropped the original off with Gus at the office and headed into the Beast. Took Central and stopped at Alphagraphics and gave them about twenty originals to have color xeroxes made. Also made about fifty black and white xeroxes of my scratchboard work. Got to Armstrong-Prior at about 10:30 and bailed in as John and Alexis primed the hand press and we worked on designs for an art piece that is to go with the Blaze Away! motiff (and will be sold at the art opening in September). I let the two of them lead because they have better fine art instincts, while mine run more towards the symmetrical and magazine layout zone. Both John and Alexis pushed the images into odd angles, some going off the paper, and ghosted the images through press trickery.
After lunch we had about six big suckers in the drying rack, but something was terribly wrong. They seemed lame to me. I kept biting my tongue. Don’t panic, I thought. Be cool. It’s going to be okay. Have faith. The problem was it looked like a scrapbook with found images glued onto a big piece of note paper. It was quite first level, if you know what I mean.
At lunch John and I talked about how a true artist is always open for the unexpected and ultimately goes with the accidents and odd turns and ends up in a completely new place. At least in theory. We agreed that this is true in music also. Alexis added poetry to the list.
Still, I was clearly worried. I just didn’t feel like the session was going in the right direction and I was paying for this one ($600).
Finally at about three I asked John if it was too late to do the rusted plate technique we used a couple years ago. He jumped at the idea, went in the back and brought out several large pieces of metal with imperfections and rust galore. He and Alexis inked up these puppies and reran the big images back through the press. Viola! It was a thing of beauty! Instant patina and authenticity. Now everything jelled and it looked like an old newspaper or archival document that had been moulding in an attic for 127 years. I really loved it and it saved the day.
Got home at 6:30, tired but satisfied. Swam laps and went to bed early.
"Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal."
—Old Vaquero Saying
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