Sunday, October 02, 2005

October 2, 2005
I woke up at four fretting about the weak sales on the art. Much mulling about what I could have done better. We got zero coverage in The Arizona Republic (although we got a nice plug in the Scottsdale Republic zone section). I know many of the editors and writers at the main paper, but evidently it didn't help. Ultimately, I'm afraid my press release efforts were too little, too late. I should have been hammering these media contacts much sooner. In the good news department.Curtis Riggs of The Sonoran News has expressed interest in doing a photo feature on the show. That will definitely help us for the two week run of the show. We got no support from the Desert Advocate (where the Cowboy Legacy Gallery actually advertises!). That was a shock, considering the publisher, Karen Seemeyer is a friend of mine. I don't think there was any malice involved, it's just a case of the event slipping through the cracks. I thought the gallery was taking care of it and put it out of my mind. This happens to us at the magazine all the time, (events getting short shrift based on the flow of so many things happening) so it's hard for me to get too upset about it.

Ultimately, I dedicated myself to create more due diligence for the rest of the two week run. On the 16th, the show moves to Tucson at the Transportation Museum. The show will premiere down there on October 21. This isn't a battle, it's a campaign, and I need to keep the long view and keep fighting. I ran an impactful quote a few weeks ago: "If you're facing the right direction, keep walking."

Kathy and I went into the Beast at two to see the much touted movie A History of Violence. ($14 for tickets, but got a free, small popcorn with our AMC cards, but bought a bottle of water, $3.25. Ay-yi-yi! $3.25 for a small water? Imagine paying that twenty years ago? I can't even imagine). Ironically I???m writing a View piece for The Arizona Republic on violence in the Old West, so I was particularly interested in seeing this movie, because of all the raves about what it says about violence. When I saw the disclaimer at the beginning, "Based on a graphic novel" I should have known what was coming. Turns out it's not an in-depth look at violence at all, it's just an excuse to show violence with comic book plotting. Like Sin City, it was five miles wide and two inches deep. How they got all of those great actors, like Ed Harris and William Hurt to be in it is beyond me. And speaking of Hurt he is absolutely fantastic. You have never seen a "mobster" like this. Incredible. He made the whole movie worth seeing for me, but sad to say, the film's integrity is about three degrees from Death Wish III.

We were at Desert Ridge, so after the movie I ran over to Aaron Brothers and bought more watercolor paper and more gouache tubes of paint ($45 Sue account). Then Kathy wanted to go to Barnes & Noble so I followed her in there and lo and behold there was the new issue of True West, facing out, visible from the doorway: "Is The Wyatt Earp Era Over" The big red X blasted off the stands and the white space really set it off from the avalanche of titles around it. Hats off to Daniel Harshberger who designed it. They only had four left (I believe they get 10). That really cheered me up and I caught myself going to different parts of the store and seeing if I could still see the magazine, and I'm happy to say I could see it all the way from the calendar clearance table.

Afterwards we went to Rockfish and had dinner ($27, includes tip), then to a birthday party for Lynn Hauss (our new neighbors, building downstream from us).

Got home about eight and checked my Email. Had a couple raves about the show and that was nice. Here's two of them:

"You should be very proud of yourself. Last night's gallery opening was a BIG HIT, with tons of admiring folks and LOTS of great vibes for True West. You really are an Arizona treasure and I hope all this doesn't burn you out, because you are so special. I loved the art work, wish I could afford some of it, and felt proud to be among your entourage last night!!!! Love you, pal."
--Jana Bommersbach

"Thanks, Bob, for your thoughtful inscription in my book. It was great to be able to see your art in 'full size'. I hope it was a good show for you. Naturally, if I win the lottery, I am going to come to you first for that really awesome portrait of Billy. That's a real 'wow'. I still think a few votives would have been appropriate -- ha ha.

"Mike and I enjoyed the Stillwell Purchases the Farm (aren't you glad I don't title art for a living), and I was really really taken in by the Tunstall Purchases the Farm. Powerful stuff. Love it."
--Linda B. AKA Sallie Chisum

And speaking of Sallie and John Chisum, the other day I got a question about the term "airtights" being used in the movie Chisum. Although I got some great answers from the experts, I got this interesting reply from a Chisum, the movie, expert:

"Well, as promised earlier today, I ran the film, Chisum in search of the
word "airtight" and never heard it once. I've never heard the word in the film all the times I've seen it. In fact, I've never heard the word used in any Western.

"I watched the film tonight on DVD with the English subtitles on, just to make sure I'd catch it. Still, nothing. In fact, there is no reference to food in the film at all, even during the party scene. So, I'm afraid our friend in search of an answer might be a little confused."
Ed G. Lousararian, publisher of WILDEST WESTERNS magazine

My guess is that the guy was confusing Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid with Chisum, since both include John Chisum as a character.

"Celebrate what you want to see more of."
--Tom Peters

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