Tuesday, August 09, 2005

August 9, 2005
More storms, more rain. Cool now. High eighties.

Last night we met Xavier Amador at El Encanto. Had a margarita and a shrimp, from a shrimp cocktail off of Jake the Snake's plate (Kathy was bugged at me for doing it, but I was hungry and he's in college). Xavier is the man who rescued Buddy Boze Hatkiller off the streets of Manhattan. He also put up with both Deena and Thomas when they were on Long Island two summers ago. Good guy. His sister had brain surgery yesterday at the Mayo Clinic and he flew in for it.

We’re doing a Zorro piece in the next issue (yes, the sequel to the Antonio Banderas and Katherine Zeta-Jones-Douglas is coming out this fall) and Dr. Paul Hutton sent us a juicy poster of Zorro: The Gay Blade, starring George Hamilton. Too camp for words. How Hutton finds these things is beyond me, but he does. He even has an extra house to put all of this stuff in.

Speaking of an extra house, I wish I had bought one when I had the chance. Our neighbor’s ranchito north of us sold for $380,000 two years ago and it just sold for $800,000. Man, how big is this real estate bubble going to get before it bursts? It kind of feels like the dot.com bubble, doesn’t it? We paid $36,000 for two and a half acres in 1983. Just over Ratcliff Ridge they are selling five acre parcels for $500,000. Just for the land! Beyond the aesthetic high, strictly investment wise, I really should have bought land instead of a magazine.

We’re posting more images from the forthcoming book Blaze Away! Back in March I made several furtive trips to Tucson to try and get the right angle of an 1882 Southern Pacific train coming into the Old Pueblo. I also got reference photos out at Houghton Road, where Papago Station once stood. Both paintings came out rather nice. Yes, that's A Mountain in the background and I painted in the A just to be devilish (there was without a doubt no A on A Mountain in 1882. So sue me.)

My current goal is to do a cloud study every morning. Really fun. Most artists can’t do good clouds. Ed Mell is the big exception. He is a master of the form. I have a ton of reference and need to start developing it. My plan is to create good, dramatic skys, then put in the galloping posses later. Could be fascinating.

"It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating."
—Oscar Wilde

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