Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bent Saguaros, And Damn Godd Advice From Dali

May 23, 2013
I am always on the lookout for good art models and I met this young, well-dressed reenactor at Buck Montgomery's Wild West Show in Glendale a while back. I thought he had a great look and it's so rare to find a young guy who is into it. Got his name and number, but lost it. Anybody know this young, authentic looking man?

Believe it or not, one of the attractions to moving to Cave Creek back in 1986 was the copious amounts of saguaros in the area. We are at 2,200 feet and that seems to be the elevation that the big sentinels agree with the most (not surprisingly, Tucson is at the same elevation). Anyway, our house looks down into Cave Creek, and down in the bottoms are very big saguaros, some of which have dramatically bent arms. I sketched this big, fifty footer not long after we moved out here:

You don't see these specimens on postcards, probably because they aren't the classic shape, but I find them fascinating and beautiful in their own right. I have been told by oldtime Creekers that the reason for the bent arms is because the creek bottom holds down the cold air in winter and the saguaros get frostbite and instead of growing straight up, they twist in agony to survive. I'm checking with a botanist to see if this is true.

Working on the Bisbee Massacre for the next issue of True West and amazingly, no photos of the five (some say six) perpetrators have surfaced. It was a celebrated case and I can't believe C.S. Fly didn't take their photos during their incarceration in Tombstone. No photos of their hanging either, which is just quite odd. Of course, the lynching of John Heith is one of the most reprinted photos in Western history, but why the others were not captured on film is a real mystery to me.

And, also working on The 66 Kid:

Sir Wolfgang, of this site, sent me a great book on Salvador Dali. I had never really been a fan of his art, but the book, "50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship" is absolutely hilarious AND full of great artistic advice:

"The movement of your stipple brushes must be as mechanical and indifferent as you human organism will allow. And finally, the movement of the fan-shaped badger brush is the most rapid of all—so rapid that it cannot even be seen, exactly like the wings of the hummingbird."

And, then, there's this little nugget of wisdom: "It is undeniable that every good painter drools."

He's serious!

"The two most fortunate things that can happen to a painter are, first to be Spanish, and, second, to be named Dali. Those two fortunate things have happened to me."
—Salvador Dali