Friday, August 05, 2005

August 5, 2005
We all have a growing edge. Mine is learning to let go. If you have been reading this blog for more than two days you know I have a tendency to work things to death (and even rework work that has been worked to death prior to the reworking). I went home last night mulling the last two pieces of art for the CGII book. One is of Wyatt and Doc leaning out of the train as it approaches Tucson in the dusk. I wanted the pink light of the Catalinas to be seen reflecting off the windows of the train. I wanted steam to be trailing along the bottom of the car, and I wanted to portray the Rincons way off in the distance as a blue, shimmering apparition. And last, but not least, I wanted a strong likeness of Wyatt and Doc. Oh, and the passenger train cars have to be accurate to 1882. I wanted to do lettering on the side of the car (Southern Pacific?) and I wanted the hint of a gun to be seen in the darkness at Wyatt’s waist. So much for the first of two images I wanted to execute last night.

On the other one, I wanted to see the three shooters of Virgil in the darkness of the Palace Saloon under construction. We are at a dramatic angle and the ribs of the unfinished roof are overhead, with the three silhouetted shooters side by side aiming out of the darkness, their features obscured by the night, their ominous visage portending doom.

At least that's the images in my mind's eye. Of course, I got none of that. Well, maybe some of that, in a "nice study" kind of way. Two efforts, both so-so. When I invariably run into these kinds of inpasses, rather than redoubling my efforts and doing another painting to build on it, or fix the mistakes of the "study," I instead find myself doing a curious thing. I go get my train books and look for photographs of "pash" cars that ape the angle I want. I can do this for hours. I did do this for an hour before I went to sleep last night.

I had plenty of task oriented dreams: tests not prepared for, logistical nightmares of moving furniture to other towns with trucks that won’t run (in one dream I’m moving the cars along with my feet, like Fred Flinstone).

This morning I woke up at five and faced my growing edge. I decided the studies will have to be sufficient. I can do the opus version for the art show, or some other time.

I am done. There are a dozen scenes I didn’t get to do. There are more that I didn’t get to do right. But I’m not a complete slug and dog-gone -it, people like me. Or, so I pathetically hope.

"I have been reading your blog everyday now for a year. I was always interested in what a crazy life you must live in. I found this after subscribing to True West and doing searches on the internet. I like to see what you've been up to. I like to keep up on what's going on with the old West. Your blog is perfect for me to find out. You need more pictures!!!"
—Nicholas Narog

This is the third or fourth reader to request more pics, so starting soon we’ll post some shots of the art (see above for the two paintings I was obsessing about last night.)

This just in from Carole: "Marla Bush called to subscribe today. She found a copy of True West in the Billy the Kid Museum in Hico, Texas and really liked it!"

"Worry gives a small thing a big shadow."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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