November 6, 2005
Last night the Brinks had the entire True West staff up to their new home to celebrate the record numbers we logged for the January issue (which goes to the printer tomorrow). Their stunning territorial style home is nestled on the side of Black Mountain and was designed by Bill Tull in the 1970s. It had begun to fade a bit, when the Brinks bought it earlier this year and they basically revived and renovated it.
It was a fun evening with wine and homemade margaritas brought by Robert Ray (the secret, he told me, is in squeezing seven limes and putting that along with the lime pulp in the mixture and letting it sit overnight. Wow!). We had steaks and twice baked potatoes and salad, with apple and pumpkin pie and ice cream for dessert. The meal was quite good and so was the company. After six years, I think we finally have the makings of a real team, and I was particularly cognizant of how loose and happy two particular employees seemed to be, as it relates to the new lineup.
Speaking of Robert Ray, last night he landed on the concept and is encouraging me to do three gunfights at the same time, so that my artwork will build, and then stay there, in terms of quality. I plan to take his advice and stay with it. I churned out a dozen drawings and as many color studies today.
Yesterday, Kathy and I grabbed the electric chain saw and took after all the desert trees in our back yard. I pruned up one mesquite and three palo verdes and Kathy took over and did six more palo verdes while I went up and did the recycling. When I got home she loaded up the Ranger (only one pair of gloves) with ironwood branches (really stickly little boogers with razer sharp spines every two inches). We lashed it all down with bungee cords, and drove it down to Happy Valley Road to the Phoenix landfill ($15 cash to dump, free if we could tell them what color our Phoenix water bill was. We guessed blue. They laughed and we confessed we were from Cave Creek and on a well). Too bad they strip searched Kathy.
This morning I bailed into studies for a big desert storm with lightning and horse shaped lightning. God awful stuff, mostly mud. Kept going. Did ten mud puddles. I feel like I’m hopeless and a lost cause. This is so typical and cyclical.
Now Kathy is up on the roof putting up the Christmas lights. Threw her up a bottle of water a few minutes ago.
I let go and did some loosey goosey paintings, one which became “Castle Rock at Midnight.” The photo reference was from So-Hi Estates in my father’s front yard looking at Castle Rock, looming in the distance. Yesterday I found wonderful photo reference of Tomcat perched on rocks on north highway 93. Great twilight effects. Classic Kingman rock formations, almost surreal. Just did two more color studies. Flailing and failing. Mess ah potania, gouach-ania. Frustrating.
Deena went to Halloween parties last week dressed as Tipi Hedren from the Birds. She posted the photos online with the warning: "Not parent friendly." Kathy said they were okay, but I didn't even go there.
“He who has daughters is always a shepherd.”
—Old Vaquero Saying
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