Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Thomas at Fort Thomas

July 29, 2015
   I was looking for a Raymond Chandler book the other day, hoping to poach weather descriptions of early Los Angeles for my Wyatt Earp feature. I distinctly remember his eloquent writing about Southern Cal weather and capturing in a phrase, rainstorms with drops of rain as "big as nickles." Never found the books, but did find this:

 Thomas Bell, 9, posing in front of the Fort Thomas sign,
 December 18, 1992, 6:05 p.m.

 We were on our way to Glenwood, New Mexico to stay at a hidden resort for my birthday, the next day, and then on to Lincoln, and we were late, but Tommy freaked out when he saw the sign and we had to stop and take the photo.  We got in to the resort very late and they served us a cold meal and we stayed in a cold cabin. The next day it snowed as we drove on to Lincoln and the kids had a snowball fight on the side of the road. At the time, Mr. Fort Thomas, was also big on Mangas Coloradas and was constantly bugging me on this trip to tell him stories about the Apache war chief.

   Got up this morning and reworked a painting that is the kicker to my Earp feature for the October issue. Remember those 1950s films of the early atom bomb tests where the house explodes? I had that film in my mind as I took another pass at this painting

Daily Whip Out: "Wyatt Explosion #2"

   And when all the hot air and gaseous emissions finally aligned, the bomb went off and the results were nuclear.

   Sometimes when I try to improve these paintings like this I ruin them, and sometimes I make them better. I usually never know the outcome until it's too late, but at least I take heart in something the Mad Dutchman said about this:

"A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book."
—Ernest Hemingway

   No, wait, wrong guy—but great quote. Here's the actual quote:

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."
—Vincent van Gogh

1 comment:

  1. Wyatt Explosion #2 is great! With its angles, points and flames, it reminds me of Wyatt (Kurt Russell) in "Tombstone" shouting, "...I'm coming, and Hell's coming with me!" Wyatt looks like the Devil incarnate, here.


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