Saturday, October 22, 2005

October 22, 2005
Tomcat is in Flag visiting his "homies." He's got my truck and is supposed to return this afternoon.

I had dinner with a tv producer on Thursday night. He's in town to talk about doing a documentary on the Cowboy Artists of America, whose annual show opened last night. We ate at the Pink Pony, a venerable steakhouse in Oldtown Scottsdale. I had a ribeye, medium well, with baked potato and house salad with bleau cheese. He had the same, although he had a beer and I had a glass of cabernet ($48, I bought, incudes tip). We talked about the state of the biz, rumors and several projects he is doing including a finished doc on the Comanches that airs on the History Channel in November.

Earlier in the evening, Bob and Trish Brink, Joel and Laury Klasky and I manned a booth at the Thursday night Artwalk on Main Street. Handed out hundreds of mags and talked up the locals. Big crowd, maybe six thousand or so. Ran into Arizona Republic reporter Dolores Tropiano who blushed telling everyone I was her very first interview many years ago, and that she was so nervous. Funny. She wants to do an article on the mag and my new book (still more residual benefits from the press release sent out a month ago).

Got home about midnite. Long day, but good promotion for the magazine. I was quite impressed with everyone for giving up their evening to help the cause. We had a couple of people approach us about advertising, so that was worth the effort right there.

On Friday, Trish and crew burned up the phone lines to bring ad sales for the January issue into he winner's circle. We are already 10% higher than last year and Robert Ray offered to give them another couple of days to bring the number closer to 20%. This kind of cooperation from production speaks well of Trish’s leadership and her relationship with Robert is very encouraging to me. In the past there has been a nasty adversarial deal which didn’t help the bottom line at all.

Beautiful weather out this weekend. Took two bike rides in the morning, going all the way to the creek up on Rockaway Hills. Buddy Boze Hatkiller jumped right in the water and slurped around. Ran into JD on the road and told him about more packrats in the ‘49 Ford. This is the third time I’ve had them. I've hosed 'em, put cayenne pepper all over the engine, and they still come back. He recommended a have-a-heart trap, and said he captures at least one or two packrats a day. I asked him what he does with them and he said, “I drown ‘em.” Ha. Some heart.

Came back and picked cholla out of the engine of the '49 and hosed down everything. Called Eric to come out and replace the chewed wiring.

Went into the studio and whipped out six drawings and prepped three big watercolor boards for the Mexicali Stud story. When Ed Mell and I were on the roof last Tuesday looking at a dramatic sunset I asked him how he would paint the back of the bright orange clouds rolling over our heads in the technicolor twilight. He told me he would back in some red and yellow (into the blue) to deaden the backs and that he would also deaden the blue part of the sky, which he said was “too electric.” He confided to me that many artists try to match the actual blue, which we were seeing quite vividly, but that it gets too electric and kills the actual sunset effect. He told me if you deaden the blue just a skosh, and the back of the clouds (away from the highlights) it makes the highlights jump right up and sing. Man, that was worth the whole damn plein air trip right there.

“It's easy to stop making mistakes. Just stop having ideas.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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