October 1, 2005
Big crowd at the opening and many surprises. Our old editor Marcus Huff showed up. I haven’t seen him since he stormed out of our offices almost five years ago to the day. We actually hugged and clasped each other warmly with major slaps on the back. He congratulated me on the new work and introduced Kathy, Carole and I to his new wife.
Three major paintings sold as soon as the doors opened. Another three sold within an hour. Richard Ignarski, who drove over from Albuquerque with Bob McCubbin, bought the portrait of Johnny-Behind-the-Deuce ($600). Richard asked for and received his Maniac discount (10%) and confided to me he bought it for his forthcoming Gunfighter Museum.
My daughter came early and brought me a bottle of Chilean wine with a sweet note: “Age appears to be best in four things, old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust and old authors to read.” Pretty classy, I wonder where she got such manners? (hint: not from her dad).
A couple from Chandler bought the painting of the Milt Joyce showdown with the Earps (I hope they don’t read the blog archives here where I bemoan my failure with that painting. Ha.) They also confessed they have lived in the Valley 20 years and this was their first visit to Carefree. They heard about the show “on the radio.”
And speaking of the radio, The Tim and Willy Show pulled more than a few people out from the Valley. One pretty woman walked up to me and reminded me of several stunts we pulled on KSLX, then introduced me to her husband and their daughter Kelly, who told me she was on night shift on Wednesday, driving home half asleep, heard me on Tim and Willy’s Show and called her mother to tell her. They all came.Funny what hits and what misses. If you read Thursday’s blog I was kicking myself all the way home from Tempe, wondering aloud whether it was worth it to spend three hours and five gallons of gas to be on a radio show for fifteen minutes. Well, it was. Thanks Tim and Willy!!
At least a half-dozen people quizzed me on scratchboard. What is it? How do you do it? I need to do a demonstration here and document the phases: a blank, black piece of Essdee scratchboard ($22 a sheet), then the first scrapings of the knife, until I actually have a decent image. Then all of the extra scrapings where I actually ruin it. Could be quite instructive to younger people. Or not.
Some of my friends got more than their share of free wine at the opening. I won’t mention any names but here’s a clue: they do a lot of flying, but on this night they were really flying!
Wonderful Russ held court as he’s prone to do. After nine, when most had left, he and I tag-teamed a local doctor who was bemoaning an early Saturday morning caseload. Russ volunteered the two of us to come in and “loosen up the patients with humor and a full body enema.” I don’t think the doctor thought it was as funny as we did.
In spite of the light sales on paintings, Bill Welch and Brian Label were quite upbeat about the night. “There were some heavy hitters in here tonight. This was very good for us and for you. Trust me. We’ll sell quite a few more paintings before the show comes down in two weeks.”
Well, I certainly hope so. The sale of the six paintings puts me about half-way to paying off the framer. Ha. Sometimes I think I should have listened to the hip-hop bad-boy, Andre 3000.
“I thought I was going to be an artist when I grew up. And then I figured out artists don’t get paid.”
—Andre 3000, one-half of the hip-hop eccentrics OutKast, in Spin magazine
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