Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Buckeye Skins It Back On Cowboys & Aliens

August 31, 2011

Our latest issue features John Wayne on the cover standing over a downed alien craft with the question, "Cowboys & Aliens: Would the Duke Approve?"

The movie has failed to perform and sits at a little over $199 mil, with a reported budget of $160 mil. So it's not what they envisioned.

In my editorial, I talked about how I hated Gene and Roy jumping on cars and chasing Nazis. My friend Hugh agrees:

"I really enjoyed your comment about westerns and cars. John Wayne jumping in an airplane, Roy racing beside Nellie Belle and his faithful sidekick Pat Brady and Gene driving a car chasing Nazis drove me crazy as a young boy of 6 or 7. I actually may have been permanently scarred."

—Hugh Howard, True West Maniac #9

Meanwhile, got a letter from T. Peterson who says:

"The answer to the subject query can be nothing short of a resounding 'Absolutely!'

"John Wayne's westerns were and still are entertaining, but they missed being authentic by the proverbial country mile. The single example I offer here should suffice, but a somewhat serious movie fan or history buff could cite an array of others without so much as furrowing his or her brow.

"The firearms used in most of the John Wayne westerns had to be transported back in time for years, sometimes decades, simply because they had not yet been invented and were therefore not available during the period those films were meant to depict. The necessity of transporting firearms back in time most certainly applies to the Duke's basic, standard outfit: an 1873 Colt's civilian model revolver (with aged-to-yellow-approaching-orange simulated 'ivory' grips) and an 1892 patent Winchester carbine sporting the iconic Wayne-trademark finger lever with an oversize loop.

"Like it or not, because of the not-yet-invented firearms featured in them, most of the Dukes westerns were sci-fi.

"That's my story and I'm stickin' to it."

—T. Peterson, True West Maniac #894

And finally, in my editorial I quoted Buckeye Blake as saying, "Personally, I think it's bizarre, but it's a hoot, and I think John Wayne as an artist would embrace it."

Well, that was evidently before Buckeye saw the flick, because I got this cryptic email this morning:

"I take back everything I said about John Wayne liking Cowboys & Aliens! The DUKE would have Barb-wired and Butt-skinned every sorry son of a bitch who had anything to do with that movie!"

—Buckeye Blake

Present to Al Harper of the Durango-Silverton Railroad

August 31, 2011

My bachelor days are coming to an end tomorrow evening. After ten weeks abroad, my fave broad is coming home from Germany.

Note to self: clean the house. Ha.

Last Saturday morning we met Al Harper, the owner and CEO of the Durango-Silverton Narrow Guage Railroad at the Durango depot and presented him with a blow up of our March 2010 cover story on how Hollywood saved the railroad with the filming of the movie "Ticket to Tomahawk." Here's the photo:

Reworked a set piece for Mickey Free. After the dust and dire warning on the dry lake, the Mickster encounters four riders who fire on him as they retreat towards a roaring fire on the ridge behind them.

I've got some very strong set pieces, need to get the narrative locked down. Been working on this long enough. I know the story.

Tweaked another study of a fire in a meteor crater:

Someone I know sees a goathead in the clouds.

"Don't call me goathead."
—A Pima In-din being flown to the hospital and responding to a paramedic's plea to "Go ahead! Go ahead!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day of The Dead Billy, Buffalo Bill as The Beatles And Other Stuff

August 30, 2011

Hot, busy, hot, busy. We still are hitting 104 every day with little relief in sight. Finished a painting this morning for The Day of the Dead Show at Due West Gallery in Santa Fe. This is called "Death Stood Behind Him." Recognize that lanky Bastard in the back? Ha.

Also working on a new sequence for Graphic Cinema

Here's another shot by Lucinda Amorosano from our Monument Valley video shoot for the Westerns Channel last Thursday. Love the arrow sign: "This Way to Movie Magic"

I seem to be tipping my hat to the camera gods and thanking them for lighting the fake looking backdrop. The odd thing is that there were two rainbows arcing between the mittens, and you can't really make it out in the photos or the video. Not sure why, but it was quite spectacular. There were a dozen people who ran up to this spot when we started to set up. I did a goof on this and had Ken turn the camera around and we introduced everyone. We'll get that up when we get done with the Westerns Channel part of the editing.

The Denver Post did a cover story on The Buffalo Bill Museum at Lookout Mountain outside of Denver and they interviewed me at length. Here's the link to that story:

Buffalo Bill Cover Story

Sometimes I feel like I'm gaining on historical knowledge. Gee I wonder what ol' Nick has to say about this?

"An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less."
—Nicholas Murray Butler

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Magic of Monument Valley

August 29,2011
I've always kind of avoided Monument Valley because, well, for locals like me, it's a cliche. It's like going to San Francisco and visiting Alcatraz (done it), or New York and going up in the Empire State Building (done it), or, going to San Diego and staying on Mission Beach (I'm a Zonie, had to do it). So, when we decided to go tape a True West Moment in John Ford Land last Thursday I knew we had to do it but I was kind of dreading it in a I'm-not-a-tourist kind of resistance.

But I have to admit that dang place is pure magic. As I previously reported in my blog, we arrived in a rain storm last Thursday evening with about 40 minutes of sunlight left. We traversed the park in Ken Amorosano's Dodge Ram pickup trying to find a spot to film, but it was overcast, soggy and very tentative in filming terms.

Still, we jumped out at one point and I attempted to do a bit, but the rain was too oppressive for the sound and the background was a little flat. Lucinda Amorosano shot this photo of me doing it and I just love it:

Yes, that's water running in at the bottom and that's a rainbow above the Mittens. Amazing. But the best was still to come.

After a tour of the park we came back up the switchbacks and as we rounded the turn, the sun came out and a double rainbow lit up the sky. Here we are setting up as fast as we can.

That's Sheri Riley with the wombat (a directional microphone with a fuzzy, wind sock absorber). And that's Ken Amorosano behind the camera. We are now editing to upload to the Westerns Channel what we filmed and I swear that background looks fake. It's almost too perfect.

"When the landscape become real, don't tweak it in Photoshop."

—John Ford II

In Praise of Ishmael

August 28, 2011

Home from Durango. Wrote up this email to my family:

Los Famdamos,

So the two Toms scared the Bejeesus out of each other on Saturday night. Tom Bell and Pattarapan were staying at our house while I was gone and they went up to the store and while they were gone my neighbor Tom Augherton came up the hill, saw the garage door open, beer bottles on the ground in the front yard, discarded bathing suits by the pool along with a strange brick with a cryptic, broken pottery shard on top of it, pointing at the pool in an ominous way and he thinks, "I wonder if goobers are commandeering Bob's house while he's gone?" He closes the garage door and turns on the kitchen light and leaves.

Tom Bell and Pattarapan come home from the store, see the beer bottles gone, the garage door closed and a light turned on in the house. Tom calls me in Durango and asks what is going on and I guess, correctly, Tom Aughterton is probably trying to help.

Tom Augherton looks up the hill and sees all the lights on. Now he's really freaked. He wonders if the party animals waited until I left and are boogying bigtime now!

Eventually, the two Toms got together and had a laugh. The beer bottles were from Ishmael and Rogelo working on our adobe wall and Tom offered them beers after work. Tom Bell borrowed some eggs from Tom Augherton. But here's the spooky part: neither one of them put the brick with the broken pottery shard on the edge of the pool. We don't know how it got there or what it means. Hmmmmm.

Meanwhile, I got home at three from Durango and saw Ishmael and his son-in-law, Rogelo working in the front yard. As I pulled up I realized they were making adobe bricks to replace the adobe wall in front of the water softener parked outside the north kitchen window.

It was 104 out and I was fried from the long trip and the last thing I wanted to do was talk in broken Spanish, but Ish is so nice I had to:

"Muy bien. Y tu? Hey, lukin' bueno, capitan!"

Unpacked the truck and went into the house to get out of the heat. Stripped down and went for a swim, then snuck back inside to read the Sunday papers , but I heard an anglo voice out front.

Yes, it was Tom Augherton. So, I went outside and joined the confab. It was still quite hot, but we were in the shade and it was tolerable. Now here's the amazing part: Rogelo has got on long, madras shorts that come down to just above his ankles. He is barefoot and he is slopping mud into a custom-made wooden, rectangular template. He pokes his hands in, wiggles them around, munches up the mud, sprinkles some more water on from a wet rag, using the back of his hand he scrapes off the excess mud, stands up, pulls the edges of the template box upwards slowly, until a pristine adobe brick is shining in the shade. There are 22 others setting up in two neat rows.

Ishmael takes the wheel barrow over across the driveway, behind the saguaro there and shovels up dirt from over there. He sifts it through an old piece of chicken wire he found at our old chicken house, north of the tractor garage, that has shortened posts on each end. He comes back with the fresh dirt and dumps it in a pile in front of the kitchen window. Rogelo goes over to the edge of the big bush in front of Tommy's window and gathers up dried horse manure in his hands and brings it back to mix in with the mud.

"Where'd you get the horse manure?" Tom Augherton says with a laugh. Ishmael smiles wickedly and points with his chin north. I assume he got it from a certain neighbor's corral. Ha. He never said where. Ishmael explains to us that you need the dirt from two different spots (thus the dirt from across the road and in front of the kitchen window) and dried horse manure to tie it together for the best adobe.

I watched with wonder as they expertly mixed the mud, turning it over like a pancake, grabbing a dab of water from a bucket, creating a round dam of dirt, pouring water into the center, working it for about five minutes until it had the consistency of wet cement. It really is an art. And they were building the bricks with found tools (the chicken wire for a sifter, a certain neighbor's horse poop and the dirt from both sides of our driveway. Oh, and water from our well!)

Eight bricks later, Rogelo, smiled, and said something in Spanish. Tom interpreted: "He says he likes to make bricks."

Suddenly, it wasn't so hot out. We were watching two artists at work, making bricks, the way it has been done for centuries all over the world. When Tom asked if this was still in demand in Mexico, Rogelo shook his head no. Something about it taking too long to do.

Tomorrow it dries, tonight I am in awe of these Mexican artisans. Tom Augherton took the photos.

"Everything is cooler when you pay attention."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cartwright's Historic True West Moment Dinners Sold Out

August 24, 2011

Here it is, hot off the airways, this morning's promo for our True West Moment Historic Dinners at Cartwright's next door. Sorry, but tonight's dinner is sold out.

True West Moments Dinner

"Well, I guess he can't walk on water."
—BBB, pulling a John Wayne story out of his rectum when ambushed by the host

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When Bad Photos Are Actually Good, Part III (Frederic Remington)

August 23, 2011

John Langellier is doing a piece on Frederic Remington in Arizona Territory in 1888. Someone, I think it was a friend of Paul Hutton's—Brian Dippe, perhaps, sent me a washed out photo of Remington on horseback getting ready to go out on patrol. It's hard to see the detail, but he appears to be wearing his legendary pith helmet.

I assumed that Remington handed his bulky camera to a trooper and asked him to take a photo. I also figured the trooper didn't really know what he was doing so it was overexposed and he caught the horse moving away. I figured it was a moment lost to history.

Imagine my surprise when Meghan Saar contacted the Frederic Remington Art Museum in New York and requested a better copy of the photo. Was it worth the $75? Well, check it out:

Check out the pistol and holster, check out the rifle butt (can anyone tell what model it is from the stock?), check out his leggings, check out the background (San Carlos?). Amazing.

The moral? It pays to do due diligence on photos.

With that on my mind, I was cleaning in my studio this morning and ran across a failed rendering of Remington drawing in the field. I had good photo reference from Jim Hatzell's Artist's Ride. Grabbed it out of my Failure Pile and gave it a tweak:

"Same old story. Young men full of enthusiasm, old men full of whiskey."
—Frederic Remington, describing the military in Arizona, circa 1888

Monday, August 22, 2011

Doc Enraged All The Rage

August 22, 2011

Went home for lunch and finished two more Doc enraged images. As I mentioned, I had five going this weekend. This is another take on Doc's lunge at Tom McLaury. This one includes Doc's best bud, Wyatt, looking over at the good doctor with a truly "Oh, shit," expression.

While this is somewhat more accurate than the other version (posted this morning), unfortunately Doc looks like a cross between Uncle Sam and Donald Sutherland. I do like the action though, and I think there's a full blown painting in here.

Going to do two showings of this new art, the first at Due West Gallery in Santa Fe in October. Thom Ross and i are going to do a joint OK Show of our Dueling Docs, and I'm also going to be in Tombstone for the 130th Anniversary of the OK Corral fight with a book signing and art show at the OK Corral.

Now, here's the second image which is a bit more demonic. This truly is "Doc Enraged."

Someone said this looks like a cross between Drew Gomber and Skeletor, and I have to admit it does, but then that's a high compliment considering how much I dig the Doc.

"That's a hell of a thing for you to say to me."
—Doc Holliday, responding to Wyatt Earp's comment, "This isn't your fight, Doc."

Doc Lunges Into Immortality

August 22, 2011

Worked all weekend on Doc in a rage paintings. Had five different images going on Saturday, tried to finish at least one of them on Sunday but didn't make it. I was stuck, bigtime. Got up this morning at five and went for a brisk walk up Old Stage Road. Cleared out my head, got the blood going, came back and bailed into "The Lunge," which is my take on the opening of the OK gunfight. By the time Doc got down to where the cowboys were standing, he was enraged and I think he lunged at Tom McLaury, threatening him with the shotgun. Although Wyatt is credited with saying, "You sons of bitches have been looking for a fight and now you can have it," I think this sentiment applied doubly to Holliday.

Also finished "Deep In The Lot," based on the Wood-laden-Donkey In Fly's Side Yard photo:

One of the things I wanted to illustrate is the fact that, unlike the movies on the OK Corral fight and most of the representations, there were quite few bystanders who witnessed the fight. First off, a very large crowd gathered at Hafford's Corner where the Earps and Holliday waited, while rumor mongers and gad abouts ran back and forth between the cowboys' location (they moved several times, going through the OK Corral and finally, landing in the side yard of Fly's Boarding House, which is where Doc and Kate were staying). When the Earps and Holliday began their famous walk, all sorts of rubber neckers joined them walking behind at a safe distance, of course. Yes, that's Sheriff Johnny Behan at far right, on the landing between the boarding house and Fly's Photo Gallery. And that's Tom McLaury collapsing at the telegraph pole on the corner.

"History is an argument without end."
—Pieter Geyl

Friday, August 19, 2011

When Bad Photos Are Bad: Tom horn at Embudos

August 19, 2011

When I was doing the Captain Emmett Crawford Classic Gunfight on the fight on the Devil's Backbone, I talked at length with author Larry Ball, who is doing a bio on Tom Horn. Larry told me that Horn was at Canyon de los Embudos for the iconic George Crook-Geronimo parlay where C.S. Fly took his immortal photographs. Larry said that Horn was just out of the classic scene and that part of his shirt can be seen. Oh, to be that close to immortality and miss it by one foot!

Larry said, Horn shows up with his Apache scouts in another long shot by Fly, and today, I was looking for another photo and ran across this Fly photo and I think it is the one Larry is referring to:

This is also at Embudos and I think that is Horn at top right, smack dab in the middle of his scouts. Here is a close-up, and although it's blurred, I think you can see by his stance that this is most likely Horn:

For comparison, here's Horn, several years earlier with a group of packers and scouts accompanying Gen. Crook into Mexico:

That's Tom Horn, third from left, kneeling, in what appears to be the same white shirt! Notice how cowboy he looks for that time. most of the other guys look like Victorian packers, but Horn is dang cowboy lookin'.

"If you see a frog on top of a fence post, he had help."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Cowboys & Aliens Kills Tonto's Werewolves

August 19, 2011

Just got a link from Meghan Saar that confirms everything I was speculating on two days ago about the Lone Ranger meets the Werewolves of Disney:

Here's a page of Billy the Kid sketches I did a couple years ago, which reminds me, Paul Andrew Hutton did the narration for a sweet little piece on Billy the Kid's letters to Lew Wallace. They used a bunch of my artwork.

“Action is hope. There is no hope without action.”
—Ray Bradbury

The Five Stages of Last Night's Haboob

August 19, 2011

After work last night, Ken Amorosano and I went next door to Cartwright's for drinks. I bought him a Gray Goose martini and I had a glass of wine, plus some appetizers ($70, biz account). Afterwards, I went up to Bashas' for groceries ($53, house account).

Got out of there at about six-thirty and noticed the sky was quite stormy and wind was kicking up. Stopped at the Cave Creek post office to check the mail and got a call from my neighbor Tom Aughteron who warned me we had a big Haboob (dust storm) rolling into our neighborhood. By the time I got home it was blowing pretty hard.

Unpacked the groceries, then went outside and stood on the deck in the breezeway and watched the storm roll in over the Seven Sisters. Took a mental snapshot, went inside to the studio and whipped this out:

Phase I of Last Night's Haboob.

Went back outside and watched some more. Spectacular sky, turning a dull orange from the setting sun burning through the haze of the dust storm:

Phase II of Last Night's Haboob

Repeated the process, laying in color very quickly, just getting the impression of what I was seeing. As the light started to fade, the glow started to shrink:

Phase III of Last Night's Haboob

It started to sprinkle and the air was wet, but it never poured down, just kept up a steady sprinkle, which was nice. Within about five minutes the golden sky darkened to a small patch:

Phase IV of Last Night's Haboob

As the storm dissolved and the light faded, splotches of bright color burned through the darkening sky:

Phase V of Last Night's Haboob

Thus ends our tour of last night's Haboob.

"Would a Haboob by any other name sound so silly?"
—Old Vaquero Question

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When Bad Photos Are Good, Part I

August 18, 2011

Working this morning on another study of "Deep In The Lot":

Work in progress: "Deep In The Lot"

This is based on a photograph of the actual site of the gunfight, in the side yard of Fly's Boarding House.

When Bad Photos Are Good
In the mid-1990s, historian Gary McClelland was looking at Fly photos and he suddenly realized this non-descript, fuzzy photo of a wood-laden donkey was actually a photo of the site of the most famous gunfight in Old West history. What tipped Gary off to its location is the Episcopal Church, at left, which is just up the block from the gunfight site and totally nails the location. So, that is Fly's Boarding House on the right, and Fly evidently stepped outside his studio (off camera, at right) and took this photo. We can see the back of the Harwood house (to the left of the donkey) which is where the cowboys were standing, along the east side, when the fight began. We also can see part of Addie Bourland's shop directly across the street from Fly's. She was a major witness to the fight). A woman stands next to, what appears to be a wagon, at far left.

Now what is amazing is that many people had seen this photo and nobody recognized the significance of it. Someone told me you could buy it for $100 until Gary spotted the location (the price is rumored to be $40K today). It now belongs to Steve Elliott of Tombstone and you can see the original in his museum, The Tombstone Western Heritage Museum on Fremont Street, about three blocks east of the site in the photo. Fitting, no?

"While it's been said a picture is worth a thousand words, the right picture is worth whatever a crazy Old West lunatic will pay."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Black And White And Red All Over

August 17, 2011

For the past couple decades I have wrestled with the usage of black in my artwork. Most of my fine art friends do not use any black in their oil paintings. I believe Ed Mell mixes Thalo Green with Ultramarine Blue to approximate black in his work. The idea is that you can mix your palette so that color is king and that color creates any effect that life can offer. And the knock against straight black out of the tube is that it kills vibrancy in a painting. So, I have tried hard to avoid using black right out of the tube in my gouache paintings. In my graphic novel work, this has led me to experiment with sepia and dark brown:

And sepia and red:

Then, over the weekend I read a quote by James McNeill Whistler that "line matters more than color" and that "black is the universal harmonizer." And come to think of it, Whistler's art is quite heavy with black and it looks great!

So, this brought me back to my black and white work, where I did straight up black ink work:

Dang. Quite strong. So my task today is how do I fuse the two together? It's tough learning this stuff and I don't have the best teacher, either. Gee, I wonder what ol' Henny has to say about this?

"A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher, and a worse student."

—Henny Youngman

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Whislter's Mother Gives Truth to Line

August 16, 2011

Been wrestling with color for a couple of years now. I try to do a color study every day, often just pushing different colors around trying to find what works and what doesn't. This has led to some progress and modest success:

I've also worked hard to disccover the strength of black and white work:

Been a fan of James McNeill Whistler from afar. But, that has changed. I'm reading David McCullough's The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, and in it McCullough introduces us to Whistler, the famous artist, with the anecdote about the boy Whistler attending West Point and failing everything but drawing. He was discharged, after three years, for failure in chemistry. "Had silicon been a gas," he loved to say, "I would have been a major general."

Now, how do you NOT like that guy?!

Given that I flunked chemistry twice in high school and almost didn't graduate (had to take a science mail order course from Phoenix Union to "walk" with my fellow MCUHS grads) I have since tried to be a better student and have tried hard to learn what I didn't want to even try to learn in my youth. Now, to leverage what I've learned about black and white, with my recent attempts at mastering color, would ol' Whistler, or his mother, have anything to say about that?

"Ma, line matters more than color, and black is of greatest importance because it is the universal harmonizer, besides you, of course."
—Whistler, to his mother

More OK Prep

August 16, 2011

Found another old painting of the OK Corral sequence, this one done in 1981 (I really wanted to come out with my version during the centennial of the fight, 1881-1981, but although some of these scenes made it into Arizona Highways in 1986, I didn't make it out with my full version until 1993).

It shows Ike Clanton, far right, commiserating with his cowboy pards, while Frank McLaury peers up Fremont Street to see if the Earps are coming down. Although I missed it with the big building to the rear of the lot, I like the horse and saddle.

Meanwhile, did another prep sketch for the Deep In The Lot painting I want to do:

Still working hard on new OK Corral images, but shifted gears this morning and cleansed my palette with a San Carlos twilight desert scene I call "Curly Offered Up the Grizzly Skull to the Moon."

"When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free."
—Charles Hughes

Monday, August 15, 2011

OK Problem Solvers

August 15, 2011

Went into the Beast on Saturday and joined my son Thomas Charles and his girlfriend Pattarapan for Mexican food at Asadero, a street style Mexican grill place on 16th Street, then a movie and wine at the Filmbar. Saw "Armadillo," a documentary about Danish troops at a forward base in Afghanistan called Armadillo. The combat footage is amazing, similar to "Restrepo," and as a matter of fact, the punchline to both docs and "The Hurt Locker" is exactly the same: the combat soldiers all get addicted to the bonding and the action and can't wait to go back.

Here's an update on our Classic Gunfight featuring Captain Emmett Crawford's tragic death in the fight on the Devil's Backbone. At press time I did not have the name of the Cochise County sheriff who showed up 200 miles into Mexico and tried to arrest Dutchie, an Apache scout who was wanted for murder in Arizona. Well, not only did Allan Radbourne send me the name of the sheriff, but he sent me the name of the deputy who came with him: N.F. Leslie. I emailed Allen back and asked, if by chance, this would be the famous Buckskin Frank Leslie of Tombstone fame, and here is Allen's reply:

"The very same. N. F. Leslie had been with Wirt Davis' battalion of Indian Scouts in 1885. He carried dispatches from Davis to Crook at Fort Bowie, from where the the general's aide wrote to Captain Davis on August 18th: "Gen. Crook sends by Leslie the Chiricahua, Dutchy, and another Scout, whom he believes you will find useful." Leslie also carried with him $200 in subsistence funds as the Scouts commands operating in Mexico required cash, specifically coin, to purchase supplies, whereas in the field in the U.S. they would usually have used QM vouchers.

Dutchy was discharged after his service with Davis and returned to Fort Apache, where he was enlisted by Lt. Shipp on 9 November, 1885, for service with Crawford's battalion. It seems likely that Leslie was deputised for the job because he knew Dutchy by sight."
—Allan Radbourne

Round Five of The OK Corral Fight

Started work this weekend on my fifth go round on the Tombstone street fight. My first attempt at capturing the fight—round one—was in 1981:

Rather naive, but I at least got the cane right. At that time I didn't know that Holliday (second from left) was wearing a broad brimmed hat and was dressed in gray. I revisited the sequence in an ambitious round of artwork for my Illustrated Life & Times of Wyatt Earp in 1993. And revisited the fight the very next year when I published The Illustrated Life & Times of Doc Holliday, 1994.

This is Virgil Goes Down done during this period (still doing the cane, ha.). I returned to the fight for Classic Gunfights, Volume II, in 2005:

Did this scratchboard (above) of the fight last year and this led to a different perspective of the OK fight:

This is a study of the Earps and Doc all shooting at Billy Clanton. Perhaps overstated but not far from the truth. Notice that Billy is flipping his pistol to his left hand after being hit in the right wrist by one of the many bullets coming his way.

About a month ago, I started noodling a different perspective of the fight, from deep in the lot, utilizing a Fly photo of the scene (owned by Steve Elliott in Tombstone):

Over the weekend I did ten preliminary skies for my new round of scenes of the fight. It was quite cold and stormy the day of the fight with snow flurries reported, by Parsons, in the Huachucas, so I wanted to capture a stormy sky for my new scenes. This is a study—Wyatt Commences to Fight While The Guy Who Precipitated The Fight Flees:

I'll have more after lunch. So, what do documentaries on Iraq and Afghanistan have to do with the OK Corral fight? Gee, I wonder what ol' Gay has to say about this?

"The real problem is what to do with the problem solvers after the problems are solved."
—Gay Talese

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mas Brujas Y Mas Memories

August 12, 2011

Got up this morning and got on the road before daylight, traipsing up Morning Star on foot to the top and back home. Fed chickens, turned on their mister and delivered Tom's paper down the hill. Got some energy to execute another bruja, so grabbed a patina painting out of my To Be Continued File and added a bushy-haired femme fatale I call "Bruja Number 9":

Number 9, number 9, number 9. . .She may look familiar. Here's "Bruja Number 5":

This is the witch who sewed the American flag on Mickey Free's serape. And here she is on a walk in the desert:

I have to admit, I knew several brujas growing up in Kingman but my memory grows dim on their specific powers over me. I will say this—I have spent my life trying to impress all of them, and two of them are dead, but I'm still trying to impress them.

"Memory is the only way home."
—Terry Tempest Williams

Thursday, August 11, 2011

From The Dentist's Chair to El Kah Brohn

August 11, 2011

About a year ago, I was sitting in a dentist's chair staring out the window at a pale gray sky while the scraping sounds of the ever present suction tube forced me to pay attention to what I was seeing.

I came home that day and attempted to capture that sky. Laid down a subtle wash, holding back and trying to be extra subtle, then set it aside.

I found that wash last weekend and decided it was time to do something with it. Having just been to Ed Mell's house on Sunday I was inspired by several paintings, most notably a subtle watercolor of the Grand Canyon by master Gunnar Widforss. As I marvelled at the subtle tones, I made a mental note to myself: "Stop overworking washes. Stay SUBTLE, dammit."

This morning, working from an old photograph of model Flint Carny, I boldly laid in the figure of a Mexican bandit without any aids or tracing paper. Got some decent stuff going, but had to quit about 8:40 and head into the office.

Worked on Classic Gunfights (Doc's Deadly Impulse) and a new department, "Artists We Love." Called The Phippen, Dave Powell, Ed Mell and Buckeye Blake to talk about images.

Went home for lunch and pulled out the stops. About half way in, the outlaw spoke to me: "They call me Kah, or, they call me Brohn, but nobody calls me El Kah Brohn to my face."

El Kah Bron It Is

We sent a copy of our latest issue with the cover story on "Cowboys & Aliens: Would the Duke Approve?" to Ron Howard and his handlers rejected it without opening it: the box marked "Unsolicited" was checked on the return. Too bad. I think he would have gotten a giggle from it, assuming he's not despondent about the current box office, which come to think of it. he just might be.

"All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves."
—Amelia E. Barr

Who Are You? Roger Daltrey and Kathy Radina

August 11, 2011

Dinner at Cartwright's last night was sellout fun. I mean that in the literal and figurative sense. Carole Glenn joined me and we had fun. Sold some books, told some lies, told some truths, challenged everyone to try and figure out which was which. Next dinner in two weeks. Be there.

Woke up this morning, put two slices of Mad Coyote's homemade bread in the toaster and went out to the end of the driveway to get the Arizona Republic. Saw a black dog that roams the neighborhood coming by and he gave me the evil eye as he sauntered by. This dog belongs to the son of the jerk who reported my dogs several years ago, siccing the town marshal on me. I immediately thought of grabbing the dog, tying him up and calling the town marshal. Decided that was quite juvenile and immature and let it go.


Came in the house and grabbed the two slices of Mad toast and sat down to read the paper.

By the way, you too can have fresh and yummy Mad Coyote homemade bread. Joe himself tells how: "I send out a blanket E-mail saying that I'll be at C4 [Cave Creek Coffee Co.] around 10:30 the next day (usually Wed) or I can deliver in the Creek. I'm currently making 40 loaves one day a week and hoping to build the list to 60 loaves 2 times a week. They are pre-baked weight of 600G and sell for $5."

If you want on the list, send me your email and I'll forward it to Joe.

Inside this morning's Republic is a feature on KDKB (Krazy Dog, Krazy Boy Radio) turning 40. Doesn't even seem possible. On the second page of the feature is a photo of the "KDKB staff" with the Who singer Roger Daltrey. Here's the pic:

The irony is that only two people in this photo are "KDKB staff." AND, one of the civilians is my wife Kathy Radina, standing, second from left in the back row. That's Wiliam Edward Compton kneeling at left. He is, of course, Carole Compton Glenn's brother, and he is the Godfather of KDKB and progressive radio in Phoenix. He was only mentioned once in the article and then in a glancing reference, which is just bad history, but typical of what happens as the years roll on and lesser lights command the stage (are still standing) and hog the microphone.

After I got into work, Carole Glenn called Linda Thompson (third from right, standing, and the only other on air personality, or staffer, at KDKB in the pic) and Linda gave us the following ID info: that's Ty Thompson at left (Linda's ex); Roger Daltrey, center standing; Linda, Patty Souvall, Alta Distributing; last guy on right unknown. Next to Bill is Dave Gordon of KWFM in Tucson (an FM sister station in the Old Pueblo). Woman at right is unknown, perhaps Dave's significant other.

Also, according to Linda, this photo was taken at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in LA for the unveiling of a Roger Daltrey solo album in the mid seventies.

As Dan The Man Harshberger put it this morning: "You would have thought that the Republic

would have spent a couple of minutes and found out the names of the people in the photo…this is history after all, and without naming names it's like finding an old photo in a bin with nothing written on the back. What a shame."

As a big fan of history, I agree. Gee, I wonder what the lead singer of the Who has to say about all this?

"Who the ---- are you?!"
—Roger Daltrey

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cartwright's Dinner Tonight Sold Out

August 10, 2011

Just got word that our second True West Moments dinner at Cartwrights's tonight is sold out (56 dinner reservations).

Next dinner in two weeks. Better book it now.

"Good food goes down better with history."
—Old Vaquero Saying