Monday, July 02, 2007

July 2, 2007
Got word last night that our neighbor Ed Ratcliff passed away early Sunday morning. He had been sick for some time. I often talk about Ratcliff Ridge in these posts, which is the long, saguaro-studded ridge that runs along behind his house. Our kitchen window looks out on it, and at various times of the day, in storms and in sunlight, or shadow, it lights up in mysterious ways. I have painted it numerous times. Today it looked particularly stark and bright.

I continue to follow the red-black color scheme in my daily sketches. I don't know where it is taking me, but I'm along for the ride:

Drove into the Beast yesterday morning and met my daughter Deena and her boyfriend Frank at El Matador for the best huevos rancheros on the planet. (Frank bought). Afterwards we drove up to the Phoenix Art Museum to see the premiere of the Mexico And Modern Printmaking Show. Many of my woodcut and litho heroes were represented, including Posada (he created all of those skeleton images that are so hip now) and Diego Rivera. Very inspiring. Bought several books in the gift store ($112 Sue account).

Then drove up to Taco Villa on west Camelback to meet Bob and Mica Steinhilber. Bought them lunch, got three Tacos Monterrey to go ($36 something, Sue account), then drove to Bob's to pick up a stretched canvas he built for a stagecoach painting commission I have.

Got home at one, swam, took a nap, sketched, did laundry, cleaned the kitchen and read my new books. All in all, a perfect day.

"I have now reigned about 50 years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot. They amount to fourteen."
—Abd Er-Rahman III of Spain, 960 C.E.

July 1, 2007
Joe Y. and Mad Dog Nelson came by to put the tire on the John Deere and start it. Drove it out in the yard to limber up the old 1940 popper. Felt good. Gave Joe and JD hardbounds of the new CGIII.

Worked all day at home on red schemes. Still scorching hot out. Stayed inside most of the day and worked. Going to swim some laps now (5 P.M.) and watch a movie, or two. My neighbor, Tom The Mayor, from down the hill, gave me Like Water For Chocolate the other night and I watched that. Muy Mexicana. Enjoyed it.

Trying to get untracked on cleaning and organzing the studio. Can't seem to get started. Reminds me of an old vaquero saying:

" It's the job you never start that takes the longest to finish."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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