Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Billy the Jake

March 22, 2010

To give you an idea just how deep my failure pile is, I dug deep this morning and found this failed painting, "Billy the Jake" from 1991. The painting was inspired by Gus Gildea's line about seeing young Henry in Bonita, Arizona (1876): "He came to town dressed like a country jake with shoes instead of boots. He wore his six-shooter stuck in his trousers."

As you can see it has a frustrated splat of paint at the bottom, which signifies my anger at ruining this piece. However, when I pulled it out this morning, I thought it had some potential and added a wash to see if I could perhaps redeem it. Not bad. Going to work on it some more.

I also found myself rooting around in my 10,000 Bad Drawings Sketchbooks where I found this amazing page from almost two years ago:

The drawings were studies for a Classic Gunfight we did on the Jeff Kidder shooting in Naco, Mexico. Kidder was an Arizona Ranger. Incredibly, these sketches are much livelier than anything I ended up using in the article.

Here's another page of sketches from the same sketchbook:

Yes, that's Col. Tim McCoy and his lovely wife (she "dated" JFK). I think this page of sketches summarizes my life passions almost better than anything I have ever attempted, right down to the amber glow.

Froggy Hauan and his wife Frogette, I mean Trudy, came out last night and after buying one of my paintings to take to the Gun Bank in Thompson, Iowa, they treated me to dinner at El Encanto. Had the fish tacos, trying to eat healthy (see next item). Fun talking about old times. I mentioned that, growing up in Kingman, my father got me a Ford pickup to drive to school in and Froggy said, "That's child abuse."

Even my father, a lifelong Ford man, would have had a good laugh over that one.

It was three years ago today, I was playing "Wipeout" at the old Elks Lodge in Kingman, Arizona. Three guys, Wayne and Cody Rutschman and Terry Mitchell saved my life. Oh, and Dr. Michael Ward of Kingman Regional. Thanks guys.

"In life, night comes. In literature, the sun always rises."
—Jill Lepore

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