Monday, August 21, 2006

August 21, 2006
A reporter for The Arizona Republic came by today to do a story on True West for the business section. Bob Brink sat in on the meeting to insure I wouldn’t give away state secrets, although, one could merely go read the business timeline (above) to get the true genesis of the song Highway to Hell. Jody Snyder, Health Care Reporter, was quite impressed with Bob and Trish Brink and how uptown the operation is. Jody admitted to me later, “I wasn’t expecting such a professional operation.” I think she expected to find me sitting on the floor, mumbling and digging around in a knap sack. Sorry, that is so six years ago.

Came home for lunch. Studying thunderhead clouds today. I’ve got great reference, right out my studio door, but it’s funny how hard it is sometimes to get up and go look. I get stuck in my photo reference and it’s never, ever as good as eyeballs on the actual subject matter. There’s a big, anvil shaped thunderhead building over Skull Mesa, even as I type this. Just came back in with an eyeful of detail. Very few artists capture the burning marshmallow effect of summer clouds stacking skyward with that mushroom cloud pleating that goes on. That would include me, but I'm working on it.

I’ll post some of my efforts tomorrow. Here’s a Remington Ridge study I did yesterday, emulating a Petley postcard color scheme, a la 1945. Not sure I got it, but learning as I go.

Heatwaves 101: Or, Like Minds Think Alike
“I seem to recall that in the movie Lawrence of Arabia, when Omar Shariff is first introduced, it's in a long shot of him riding a camel toward camera with that same mirage effect you were describing.”
—Steve Lodge

“Instead of driving to Red Lake, why not rent Lawrence of Arabia? Remember when Omar Sharif is coming to the waterhole where he meets Peter O'Toole for the first time? He is first seen in the distance as a shimmering puff of dust. Then you can see that it's a man on a camel, with the heatwave effect, seeming to float above the desert floor. With a DVD, you could freeze the film, and see exactly what's going on, and at what point the hovering stops and the rider is on solid ground again. “
—Lauren (aka Sallie Chisum), Maniac #19

“Concerning the desert mirage, if you remember in the movie Lawrence of Arabia there is a wonderful effect when they photograph Omar Sharif riding toward the camera, on a camel i believe. they use a long lens and it seems to take him about five minutes to get to the position where he reins up in front of the camera. plenty of that bobbing up and down and heat wave stuff. takes a while to even make out it is some guy riding.”
—Gus Walker, The Mapinator

And speaking of Arabia (time and again), Kathy and I stumbled onto a real sleeper on cable last week: Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven with Orlando Bloom, Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons. It came out last year and I vaguely remember thinking it was religious because of the title, so I never bothered to check it out. Big mistake. Whatever misconceptions came with the title is more than made up for in fantastic battle scenes and sweeping desert panoramas that rival and in some ways even surpass Lawrence of Arabia. Many eye-popping scenes of cavalry charges and the clever way Scott amped up the artillery (huge, slinging contraptions that deliver flaming medieval napalm) and tremendous sword fights, with clanging metal and spraying blood matter. And the ultimate complement is from Kathy who is not a blood and guts gal, but she really flipped over this movie as well. I’m going to buy the DVD. It’s that good.

“You either cater to the masses or you kowtow to the elite. You can’t have both.”
—Ben Hecht

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