Sunday, November 27, 2005

November 27, 2005
We’ve had nippy mornings for the last four weeks but today is our first blustery, cold day. Had a fire in the studio wood stove and it felt good.

I was sorting out a box of reference materials this weekend and had it in the breezeway on a table. Woke up to paper and photos spread all over the entrance way. In the scattered mess I found a page of notes from an art class I took from Burne Hogarth, dated January 10, 1989. It was floating in Buddy Boze Hatkiller’s water dish and he was drinking out of it. Slapped him away and grabbed the paper and put up on the table to dry. Picked up everything and, of course, found more art class pages and got to looking at the Hogarth notes. Some really valuable and handy information on figure drawing (Hogarth was a master illustrator and cartoonist who did what I consider the classic graphic novel on Tarzan). I took the lass at Scottsdale Artist’s School. They bring in top-rated artists from all over the world and you study and work with them for five days.

Among some of the drawing gems Burne gave us: “Never draw the head first. Always draw the torso, then the limbs and do the head last. If you draw the head first, it has the tendency to be like a cork bobbing on the water and you try to fit everything under it and it rarely works out.” And: “an ape is one third as tall as a man but is four times stronger than a man. A gorilla is ten times stronger than a man (this is Trarzan related info).” And “The middle of the eye lines up vertically with the edge of the mouth and the top of the ear lines up with the top of the eye socket, while the bottom of the ear lines up with the mouth.” And “The shroud of Turin is a fake because if you take a cloth and wrap it round an actual human being it would be four inches wider. Whoever created it didn’t know their anatomy proportions.” And “A woman’s knee looks like a baby’s head.” And “Your elbow cannot pass the center of your chest.” (try it) And “The tip of your little finger ends at the third knuckle of the neighboring finger.” And “Your foot is the length of your forearm.” And “Your eye is the size of a ping pong ball.”

Great stuff, much of which I had forgotten, so to the Big, Bad Kingman Wind we had today, I say, “Thankyou.”

I got a call from my mom at about ten this morning, saying her and Lou were watching TV last night (they live in Cody, Wyoming) and they mentioned True West magazine twice on the news. “What was that all about, Robert?” they wanted to know. I said it’s probably our naming Sheridan the top Western Town in the latest issue. She said they went on and on about it.

Note to self: Listen more to Bob Brink. The Top 10 Western Towns was his idea.

Yesterday at three Kathy and I got dressed up and drove up the Beeline Highway, past Fort McDowell, to just past milepost 209, then turned northwest into a long, dusty draw and pulled up at a classic, early day Arizona ranch, The Circle Bar. There, tucked between saguaro clad cliffs, sat a cluster of white chairs a stone’s throw from a fishing pond, on an open, polo sized field. The bright green grass of the field looked beautiful against the desert cliffs and big Cottonwood trees along the creek. We parked and made our way to the chairs, and told the 12-year-old usher from New Jersey, we were friends of the groom. It was a beautiful setting for the wedding of Adam Hawkins and Rachel Tullio

Lots of Arizona politicos in attendance, including former congressman, Dennis DeConcini (who is Adam’s Godfather). After the big kiss we retired to an open-sided barn structure (actually more of a pavillion) where there was an open bar, live chamber music (I gave the stringed quartet a standing ovation when they played the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.”). Then we settled into a catered meal by Chef Razz Kamnitzer (a local legend). We started with Indonesian Carrot Soup, followed by Smoked Mozzarella Salad, and then Filet Mignon with red wine sauce, herb crushed potatoes and veggie bundle. It was hands down the best catered meal Kathy and I’ve ever had. Plus, Adam has a wine business so all the wine was top notch. Sat with old friends, Dean and Roxie Bacon and a bunch of photographers (lots of talk about the decimation of their biz by the digital revolution)

Watched the newlyweds cut the cake and feed each other (seems like such a primitive ritual, must be an old tradition going back to when food was symbolically important?), danced, posed for pictures and took off for home at about 9:30. Really a fun wedding, and I learned something, which the judge who married them said during the ceremony:

"In the art of marriage, the little things are big things."
—Michael Hawkins, former Winslow Little League rival and current Ninth District Court Federal Judge

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