Sunday, August 20, 2006

August 20, 2006
T. Charles is in Philadelphia and returns to Manhattan on Tuesday. His week-long cross country journey took him to Durango, Denver, Lawrence, Iowa City and Chicago. He said he liked Iowa City the best because it had great book stores and the coffee shops were quite lively with excellent conversation (of course this is the report the dad gets and I imagine his friends get another version: “Great snatch and crystal meth in Cleveland!”).

Kathy and I had a nice quiet Saturday. I worked until about four on artwork (see yesterday’s heatwave postings), then we went down to Fry’s for groceries. Ran into Karen Bell (no relation but she worked for me in the mid-nineties). She has 14 grandchildren, but doesn’t look like it! And all of her kids are quite attractive as well, which partly explains the impressive output.

Dropped off dry cleaning, got gas ($2.79 a gallon, $34.77 house account), had an early dinner at El Encanto. Huge crowds. Wedding party and a 45 minute wait. Sat in the bar and had Sonorna enchiladas with an egg on top, plus two Coronas ($35 cash, Kathy treated).

We also stopped at T-Mobile to see about a picture phone. I was impressed by the Tor-Forge editor’s blog where she took photos with her phone, at an art museum, and posted them on her blog. I want that! Going to cost about $150, but I ultimately decided to wait because I’ve got at least five machines (iPod, Mac Laptop, digital camera, Pict Bridge and Stop Frame) which I know how to about half use, and the idea of one more machine with a learning curve, kind of stopped me. Anybody have any recommendations on trick phones?

The Top Secret Project
One of the sub-themes to the Top Secret Project is the death and dying of one way of life and the birth of another. Or, put another way: for everything we gain we lose something, and for everything we lose, we gain something. Some of this is going to be controversial (at least I think so. The Top Secret Writer thinks I am being an old lady and no one will flinch or care).

Much of this will be unspoken, but will be hidden in plain sight inside the illustrations (see BBB Graphic Novel Manifesto). For example, I’ve got a big stand of green and yellow Spanish daggers, out front, near the road, that are wilting and apparently dying. The once tall and proud bayonets are twisting in agony and curling to the ground. Even though I water it every week, part of me is worried I’m drowning it with too much attention (but this just adds to the metaphor). I made a vow to go out and draw it, last week, and finally got out there today, at about ten when it was already too hot. Nonetheless, I picked a spot in the shade of a mesquite tree and as the dogs both joined me (they don’t want to miss anything), I started rendering the dying gasps of this once magnificent and proud plant. Hostile environment? Too much water? Not enough? Those are the questions. It was transplanted from another more successful stand, and while it thrived for a while in the present spot, it started to wilt and go south quite a while ago. I wish I knew how to save it, but even in its death throes, it is a beautiful thing to behold.

If this doesn’t stand in for the plight of a certain band of Native Americans, I don’t know what does.

”Drawing is not what you see, but what you must make others see.”

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