Friday, August 04, 2006

August 4, 2006 Bonus Blog
Back from a trip into the Beast. At 11:30, I dropped off a couple dozen of my books at the Westin Hotel to put in the BBB Suite. Paige Lund assured me they would take care of them and monitor them. These books come out of my stash and I have to pay for them (about $15 a pop), but I have felt for some time that the suite should have some of my books on the coffee table so guests can see what all the hub-bub is about (the walls being covered with my paintings, my name on the door, and a huge photo and bio that would make even my mother blush).

From the Westin I drove down to the Ritz Carlton at 24th Street and Camelback for a speech to the judges of America association or some such org. I was the last speaker and they were ready to go home so I made it light and bright. By the way, the service in the Ritz is extraordinary. Normally when I go to these gigs, you come in the front door, ask a desk clerk or concierge where the speech is, tell them the group and they look at you like they don't have a clue (or care). Then you ask people passing in the lobby with name tags on where the speech is and they don't know (although they sometimes care), and eventually you find the banquet room and inside are these dull eyed people setting up chairs and tables for a luncheon and when you ask them when it starts or what the group is they shrug (at best). This has happened so many times to me it's just expected.

So imagine my surprise when I walked into the Ritz and a gentleman in an Armani suit and an ear piece like a secret service agent welcomed me to the Ritz, asked how he could help me and then escorted me to the banquet room and asked me if he could do anything else for me. Once in the room, the entire crew (three guys and a manager) came over and asked me if they could assist me with putting magazines on the chairs, they got a table for me, hid the dolly and helped me set up. And even asked me questions about True West!

And the lunch was excellent. Shrimp and carnitas fajitas, Caesar salad with sopapillas for dessert. The best hotel banquet lunch I've ever had. I am very impressed with the Ritz Carlton. It's amazing what good management can do for an experience.

The speech went very well (the judges and their crews are quite zany), sold about five books, many comments about True West and the Westerns Channel. Got back to the office at three.

First Images From The Top Secret Project
For the past three weeks I have been hard at work trying to create a narrative art style that will work with the top secret project we commenced in Bisbee last month. Here are some of my first attempts at fashioning a style that falls somewhere between Frederick Remington (yes, two of the scenes are direct lifts from his paintings), Charlie Russell and Charles Dana Gibson. The goal is to thread the needle between accurate artwork in vogue in 1888 and yet modern enough to look new. Not an easy task, but a worthy goal, and I put it out here to show how far I have to go and also to document the process. It will be interesting to me to see if the work improves or a new or different style comes out of it. Should be fun. Here we go!

"The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else."
—?Martina Navratilova

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