Went home for lunch and whipped out a little Cottonwood Springs Fight gouache for the June issue (Classic Gunfights). Well, actually, whipped out is a tad of an understatement. I started at noon and finished at four. Ouch!
Pretty ambitious. Everyone wants to show the fight from Wyatt Earp's POV (myself included, see Classic Gunfights, Volume II: The 25 Gunfights Behind the O.K. Corral) but this time I wanted to illustrate what it would look like from the cowboy camp, right after some stranger appears at the top of the bluff, levels a shotgun and blows away one of their friends. Running to their fallen comrade, the cowboys (alleged to be Pony Deal, Johnny Barnes, Ed and Johnny Lyle, Milt Hicks, Rattlesnake Bill Johnson, Bill Hicks and Frank Patterson) unlimber their hardware and send a blistering return fire at the two horsemen on the ridge (Wyatt Earp and Texas Jack). In the withering fire, Earp has his bootheel and his saddle horn blown off, in addition to receiving bullet holes in his coattails. Texas Jack, meanwhile has a binocular strap shot away and his horse is killed. The rest of the Earp party were not hit as they were straggling behind on the trail and as you can see from this perspective, the cowboys could not see them either. In fact, Wyatt finally forks his horse by backing away from the lip of the bluff. Hopefully, all of this makes sense now from this perspective. It never did before when we utilized the terrain at Mescal and Iron Springs (long thought to be the site of the fight).
Did several other Cottonwood Springs fight sketches last night for the rest of the layout:
Need to finish in the morning. Issue goes to press tomorrow afternoon.
"Anger is a short madness."
—Old Vaquero Saying
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