Monday, November 03, 2008

November 3, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Graduated from cardio rehab today. My 36th visit to Paradise Valley Hospital at 38th St. and Bell Road. I'm proud to say there has been improvement in all the categories. I've gained four pounds ("all muscle," according to Beth: 174 pounds). Got a T-shirt and a hug from the girls. Still plan on going back there once a week just because, like most slackers, I work harder with supervision (and when women are watching me).

Want to see what sketches number 7.397, 7,398 and 7,399 look like:

Very nice desert effects if I do say so myself. The top sketch of a canyon is actually from a photograph of China from the Sunday New York Times Travel Section, but I was intrigued by the rimmed highlights on the ridges and it reminded me of the rock formations around Wickenburg actually.

The second and third sketches are New Mexico inspired. The middle sketch is not far from the Trinity Site (in my mind) and the bottom illustration is actually a color poach from N.C. Wyeth, who painted "Pyle's Barn" in 1921 (I assume that's Howard Pyle and not Gomer) and I was amazed that he created a nocturne with such a light palette. I copied the colors, changed the barn to an adobe and, there it is, Fort Sumner before the flood (not intended, but a "happy accident.").

Speaking of Old Fort Sumner. . .

Back To Billy
I have been busy reactivating my Billy the Kid synapses (and photo reference) for the January issue of True West which will feature El Kid in a new feature we are calling "Two-page Westerns."

I have been contacted by a gentleman who is doing a new Billy the Kid museum and wants me to paint an original of Pat Garrett and the Kid, together. I have two concepts: one is Garrett and the Kid outside the Lincoln County Courthouse when Pat brought the Kid back to be hung in the Spring of 1881. The other painting concept would be of Garrett with his hand on the Kid's shoulder, on the snow covered parade ground at Fort Sumner. In the background is the Garrett posse with the other prisoners and the dead body of Charles Bowdre (we see his feet sticking out of the wagon).

It's funny, but I guess you could divide my life into three periods: BBB and the Young Billy (age 8 to 21, when I came under the spell of the Kid through the pages of True West magazine); the Immature Billy (when I rediscovered the Kid at age forty and flew to New Mexico every chance I had doing research on the Kid for my book which was published in 1992, then four more years as I totally reworked it and added many dozens of illustrations and photographs); and now, the third phase: Post-heart Attack Semi-Mature BBB Billy.

I say "Semi-Mature" because you can't really be a Billy the Kid fanatic and be totally mature. It just isn't possible. Just ask my wife—and every wife of every guy I know who loves Billy the Kid.

Gee, I wonder what ol' Nathaniel has to say about this?

"The present is burdened too much with the past. We have not time, in our earthly existence, to appreciate what is warm with life, and immediately around us."
—Nathaniel Hawthorne

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