Sunday, December 07, 2008

December 7, 2008
Overcast and cool out. High sixties today. Stayed close to home all weekend. Working on studies for Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett. I've been commissioned to do a big portrait of the two of them for a new museum in Ruidoso.

Also working on the next installment of El Kid. Inspired by some of the new graphic novel work being done and featured in today's New York Times. Stopped by Atomic Comics on Cactus Road in Paradise Valley, when I flew in from Georgia on Thursday. A surprising amount of Western subject matter is out now, including the revised series on The Lone Ranger and a new one called Caliber. Very strong art. Always goads me to do better.

Lost two more classmates from MCUHS this week. George Dell and Walter Seapy, both of whom probably heard about my dire predicament last March, and now they're gone.

Speaking of goading and being gone, Kathy got me to go to Jazzercize both Saturday and today. I really don't like going, but she kept pestering me that it was good for my heart, and I hate to admit it, but I half enjoy the Pony and the Freddie (dance steps from the sixties), but of course, they have renamed the steps to fit the Jazzercize franchise, and, or, copyright. I was the only male at both classes and it was kind of perverse to be in a church down on Lone Mountain Road, doing pelvic thrusts to Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman," and yelling out, "Hell Yeh!" along with the ladies, but I must admit that my latent Lutheran guilt was quite pronounced, even after a quarter century of hibernation. Funny what that early stuff can do. How deep it goes.

My mother would be proud—Hell, yes!

Harvey Mackay had a thought provoking column today (he's syndicated but I read him in the Arizona Republic). It was on the concept that it takes about "10,000 hours of practice to attain true mastery." This is so amazing, since I am in the process of doing 10,000 bad drawings (I just finished my 7,610th sketch this afternoon). This is from Malcolm Gladwell's new book, "Outliers," which I have some problems with, but nonetheless, the concept of 10,000 applying to all forms of mastery is a nice touch in terms of what I'm practicing. Gee, I wonder what else he has to say about this?

"Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good."
—Malcolm Gladwell

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