Monday, September 18, 2017

Everybody Wants A Piece of Wild Bill

September 18, 2017
   We all want to own a piece of history. I have an original photo of Lotta Crabtree which I bought for $200 at Argonaut Bookstore in 1998. It is a treasure. I also have a rusted beer can I found at Wyatt Earp's campsite near his Happy Days Mine in 1995. It sits on my desk in my office at True West. It is a natural, or, at least a common human desire to take a souvenir home with you. It's known as "souvenir hunting" and like anything, it can be taken too far.

Everybody Wants A Piece of Wild Bill
   A year after Hickok's death Agnes Lake Hickok shows up in Deadwood with Mr. and Mrs. "Buckskin" Charley Dalton and one "Texas" George Carson.

September 4, 1877
  The widow, Agnes Lake Hickok visits Wild Bill's grave site and announces that a fenced monument to his memory will be erected with assistance from Buffalo Bill Cody, Texas Jack and Buckskin Charley.

   In September of 1877, The Black Hills Daily Times reported "The inscription on the headboard of Wild Bill's grave has become a great curiosity among people outside of the hills, and many pilgrims pay the cemetery a visit before returning east, and copy it."

September 1, 1879
   Deadwood is growing. Colorado Charlie, John McClintok and Lewis Shoenfield dig up Wild Bill to move him up to the new cemetery, high on the hill, to be called Mount Moriah. After digging for some time, the three men lift Wild Bill's coffin out of his old grave and cart it up the hill. Beside the new grave they open the casket and notice his body is white as stone. "Why, he's petrified!" Charlie gasps. After placing Hickok in his new grave, they replace the headstone. But, at this new location, traffic increases and relic hunters begin whittling away at the headboard until it is all but destroyed.

An Icon Behind Bars
   A more ambitious headstone for Wild Bill is erected in 1891, this time with a statue of Hickok, with two crossed pistol carved into the stone at the base. Erected by J. H. Riordan of New York, this impressive monument stands nine feet tall. Souvenir hunters immediately began shaving off pieces of the statue and nine years later it is all but gone.

The Riordan Bust of Wild Bill was picked to pieces by souvenir hunters.

   In 1902 another sculptor, Alvin Smith, of Deadwood, is commissioned to carve a statue using Black Hills sandstone. It is erected in 1903 and immediately relic hunters disfigure the monument. The citizens of Deadwood take drastic measures to protect it and enclose the statue with a heavy wire screen, but the relic retrievers simply cut the screen and get inside, carving off pieces of the new statue. 

The Alvin Smith statue of Wild Bill before it was was picked to pieces.

Wild Bill Behind Bars, 1919, with two souvenir hunters posing inside.

   It lasts until 1955, but by then it has no head, a leg is broken and most of the detail work on the arms and hands is gone. 

Wild Bill bowed and broken and stored in the Adams Memorial Hall, 1957

   The remains of the statue are removed and a simple slab is put in the statue's place, but it is soon stolen. Today there is only a plaque marked "Wild Bill, James Butler Hickok." So far, no one has taken that.

"Are you satisfied?"
—Wild Bill Hickok

Wild Bill Stylin'

September 18, 2017
   Still book crazy after all these years. Home stretch.

Wild Bill Stylin'
   When it comes to the Wild West, nobody left a wider range of impressive images behind than James Butler Hickok. The gunfighter, lawman and scout posed in so many different outfits it's a bit hard to track his many "looks." Unlike Billy the Kid who left only one known photo (and wearing a crappy hat, to boot), or Wyatt Earp, who never broke out of his bank teller look, Hickok always had it goin' on. 

Daily Whip Out: "Wild Bill Stylin'" (from a photo)

"Roses are red. Violets are blue. Horses that buck get turned into glue."
—Lee Pehl, horse breaker, from the new book "Orejano Outfit," by Kathy McGraine

Sunday, September 17, 2017

More Hat Etiquette Fodder

September 17, 2017
   If you are a subscriber to True West magazine you should be receiving the November issue this week. Inside this packed issue is my Cowboy Hat Etiquette feature, which is a survival guide for city folks who want to stay alive out West (Rule No. 1: Don't touch my hat!).

   One of the rules we had the hardest time with is the rule about when do you take your hat off in doors? Many current day cowboys have been influenced by their service in the armed forces, where the standing rule is: if you are inside the hat comes off. However, we found plenty of exceptions to this rule, including Cowboy Church, where you can wear your hat in church, but it comes off during the Lord's prayer.

   Meanwhile, we sometimes assume, incorrectly, that big hats didn't really come into vogue out West until the 1920s (Tom Mix, Tim McCoy, Hoot Gibson, those guys). Here's a guy in the 1870s sporting what can only be described as a monster brim.

Deadwood Thespian Jack Langrishe
with big hat with monster brim, 1870s

  Here's another odd twist—okay, a French twist. I was searching for art reference on theatre goers from the 1870s-80s and I came across numerous paintings depicting the theatre and bar scene in Paris. In virtually every scene, we see men and women with hats on, inside.

Toulouse Lautrec: "At The Moulin Rouge"

Toulouse Lautrec: "The Dance"

Edgar Degas: "Absinthe" 

Edgar Degas: Cafe Concert at Les Ambassadeurs"

   There must have been quite a few altercations, given those tall stove pipe hats blocking everyone's view. Now granted, this is French society, but you'd think they would be even more formal than the American frontier rubes, no? In terms of taking off your hat inside? Just very interesting, how hat etiquette evolved. I really think it was the military that changed the indoor hat etiquette, probably in WWII.

"My hats off to you, sir."
—An English Gentleman, pre 1965


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Paiutes Dressed as Apaches And A Mormon Too Funny to Be President

September 16, 2017
   Here's an interesting image. What appears to be an early photograph of Apache warriors, is actually young Kaibab Paiutes dressed up as Apaches. This was taken in the 1940s during a movie shoot. The irony is that the Paiutes were mortal enemies of the Apaches, but these young "braves" seem to be having a good time of it. 

Photo on display at the Pipe Spring National Monument Museum.

   And, by the way, the museum displays it as exactly what it is: a staged photo. I saw this photo after visiting Zion National Park last Wednesday and then traveling by Flex south into Arizona. The museum is between Colorado City and Fredonia,  in Arizona. All my life I have seen photographs of the Pipe Spring fortification and have wanted to visit it since it's in my home county, but due to weird state and county jerrymandering, the northern part of Mohave County is way-in-the-hell north of Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon and you really have to want to go there from Kingman (you can only access the area through Las Vegas and up into Utah and back down into Arizona, or, by traveling east to Flagstaff and then north to Page and into Kanab, Utah, and then drop down from there). This is the area where Warren Jeffs held sway at Colorado City (originally called Short Creek), with his polygamy empire, because it's so isolated and in no-man's-land. 

Pipe Spring Fortification today

"We have opened a telegraph office here this morning—Miss Ella Stewart operator."
—A.M. Musser, December 15, 1871. Ella Stewart is the future mother of the legendary Mo and Stewart Udall, prominent politicos in Arizona and on the national stage. Mo wrote a book, "Too Funny to Be President," and it was true at the time, although today, he might have to amend that title to "Intentionally Funny."

"Lord, give us the wisdom to utter words that are gentle and tender, for tomorrow we may have to eat them."
—Mo Udall

Friday, September 15, 2017

White Mesa In Paintngs And Photos

September 15, 2017
   For the past several days we have had a stunning view of the cliffs across from Maynard Dixon's cabin. He did several paintings of this same view as you can see from the photos and the paintings. Great stuff all around.

Maynard Dixon paintings of the cliffs across the valley from his cabin.

Maynard Dixon's "White Mesa"

White Mesa at sunset on Wednesday evening.

Sugar Something butte on the White Mesa range, also at sunset on Wednesday evening.

A stylized White Mesa in the Dixon painting over the mantel.
(sorry about the glare)

"Good to go, good to come home."
—Allen P. Bell

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Maynard Country

September 14, 2017
   This is our last day in Maynard Country. Had a great little road trip yesterday, taking in Zion, Pipe Springs and Bryce Canyon. Amazing country.

Blooming flowers in Zion National Park at dawn

Daybreak On the road in Zion

BBB in front of a clever play on words on the side of a gas station in Kanab, Utah.

Daily Whip Out: "Maynard" From a photograph that hangs in the living room of his cabin.

Maynard's art studio where I am finishing up work on my Wild Bill book.

Maynard's cabin and studio are located about halfway between Zion National Park and Bryce National Park, in Long Valley, on the southwestern edge of the Escalante Desert.

   After Maynard's death in 1946 (he died a month before I was born), Dixon's wife transferred the ownership of the cabin to a painter named Milford Zornes who lived and worked here for 33 summers. There is a small catalogue of Milford's paintings in the cabin and I have enjoyed seeing his work, as well. He was very prolific and lived to be 100. He was also a teacher who had good observations on art, like this"

"An artist's job is to know what to leave out."
—Milford Zornes

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Maynard Dixon's Cabin & Art Studio

September 12, 2017
   Yesterday we motored from Page, Arizona, across into the wilds of southern Utah, where we landed at Maynard Dixon's cabin, near Mount Carmel. I am holed up here, in his studio, until I finish the Wild Bill book.

The 1870s irrigation ditch that dissects the Maynard Dixon cabin and property.
Very isolated, comfy and intimate.

Art print in Maynard's studio of an early, but very fine Dixon piece.

Here is the north light part of the studio with bucking art print in context.

The opposite corner of the studio, featuring a bronze of Maynard by Gary Ernest Smith.
That is my nude model, Kathy Sue, fresh from an assignment in Germany. She's very good.
Always shows up on time. Never complains. Okay, some of this is made up.

Maynard's studio, which was built to his specs the year after his death.

All in all, not a bad place to be holed up.

"At last I shall give myself to the desert again, that I, in its golden dust, may be blown from a barren peak, broadcast over the sun-lands."
—Maynard Dixon poem, May 16, 1935

Monday, September 11, 2017

On The Road Deep In In-din Country

September 11, 2017
   On a road trip to In-din country today. Got a first hand view of one of the premiere slot canyons in the world, Antelope Canyon, which by the way is an underwhelming name for such a spectacular canyon. It would be like if you named the Grand Canyon "The Trickle." Perhaps Serrated Canyon, or, Funnel Cake Canyon, or, even Cataract Canyon, no, sorry, that one is already taken. Anyway here's Kathy and I photographed at the bottom of said canyon, in a spot known as the Tear Drop. 

Photo by our Navajo tour guide Natasha.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror."
—Oscar Wilde

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Wild Bill And The Grateful Dead's Long Strange Trip

September 10, 2017
   Getting set to hit the highway this morning for a little road trip with my honey, who just got back from Germany. Wrapping up some loose ends on the Wild Bill book. With all the unadulterated stretchers and yarns without substance, that have been told, and retold, it's very hard to get a handle on the real Wild Bill. However, there are some snippets of actual letters that speak volumes about what he actually saw and experienced, like this excerpt, in a letter to his family:

"I have seen since I have been here [sights] that would make the wickedest hearts sick."
—James Butler Hickok

   He was in Kansas at the time, in 1856, so that makes some sense. But what exactly could have been so wicked and heart rendering? A plague of locusts? Drunken debauchery? Lesbian fur trappers? Our imagination runs rampant, but James doesn't tell us. Still, we intuitively know, that the raw and "untamed" frontier was boiling with plenty of outrage and cruelty on all sides, especially including Mother Nature.

   In another letter he describes the state of the state:

"I looked ahead of me to where the roads crossed and saw about 500 soldiers agoing on and I looked down the river and saw some nice steamers, and they were all going on and that is the way with all the people in Kansas (he spelled it as Cansas) they are all a going on."

Daily Whip Out: "Wild Bill Rides On"

Daily Whip Out: "Pretty Near All These Stories Are True"

Daily Whip Out: "Wild Bill Mule Man"

   As I mentioned, in spite of all the windys, there are plenty of first person accounts that stir the blood:

"When about half mile from [Fort Zarah] 'Wild Bill' Hickok, on a dandy horse, came riding by on a a run, shouting as he rode by 'Lee's surrendered! lee's surrendered!' He was a striking figure as I noticed him, a large broad-brimmed hat on his head, long drooping mustache, long flowing hair that fell about his shoulders, a brace of ivory-handled revolvers strapped to his waist, and an extra pair in holsters that fitted about the horn of the saddle where he could reach them instantly."
—William Darnell, 1865

   Like Wild Bill and Huck, we are lighting (?) out for the territories this morning. And like Wyatt and Billy in "Easy Rider" Kathy and I will be searching for America.

"In America, people leave home and go out in search of America. People in England don't set out and leave home and go in search of England, that would be quite preposterous."
—Sam Cutler, British tour manager for the Grateful Dead in the documentary "Long Strange Trip"

Friday, September 08, 2017

Hair Wars II

September 8, 2017
   Lots of heated discussion around here about my comment in the last post about the "respected" historian who claims Wild Bill Hickok was homosexual because he wore his hair long, "like a woman." Several people have demanded that I out him, but I will not. And, as I mentioned yesterday, said historian is a World War II guy and he hated the hippies with their long hair who came along in the sixties. Still, it's a good example of how someone college educated, can still be so short-sighted and prejudiced—over hair length! But, as Mark Twain allegedly put it, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

Wild Bill: The Original Long-haired Country Boy

Got this from the Top Secret Writer:

   "Long hair was a major statement in the 1860s-70s West as well. Long hair went out of style in the 1850s and was certainly done in for most folks during the Civil War (lice, grime). Westerners like Hickok and Cody wore their hair long as a statement that they were mimicking the old-style plainsman/mountain man. It was also a dare to their Indian opponents to come and try to take it. Santanta once taunted Sheridan by asking him to let his soldiers grow their hair long so his men could take worthy scalps. Sheridan said he couldn't cause the soldiers would get lice." 
—Paul Andrew Hutton 

Captain Jack Crawford Agrees with Hutton:

Arizona Daily Star —Tucson, Arizona—Nov 16, 1887

Thanks to Gay Mathis for sending me this.

"Hair today, gone tomorrow."
—Some balding guy, who looks at me every morning in the mirror

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Long-haired Country Boys

September 7, 2017
   Honking on book. Got up this morning and took a swing at the subject at hand. 

Daily Whip Out: "Long-Haired Country Boy"

Hair Wars 
  As I was painting this, I flashed back to the 1960s when wearing long hair was a defiant and dangerous life style choice. This probably sounds overly dramatic to young people today, but you could get your assed kicked just for having hair that came over your ears. In the early seventies I was a regular customer at Mr. Lucky's, in Glendale, which had an upstairs room for Country, and a basement room for Rock. I was a basement kind of guy, in more ways than one. The problem was you had to walk in the front door of the upstairs area and hang a right to a ramp going downstairs. More often than not there were cowboys in that area waiting for a chance to get in a lick or two on a "Long Haired Commie." I never got accosted physically, but there were a few choice comments aimed my way.

Long-Haired Country Boys

   Of course in the eighties cowboys started getting high and letting their hair grow, and the tension subsided a bit. It didn't hurt that two of the icons of Outlaw Country, Willie and Waylon, wore their hair long. Although it must be said that when I saw Waylon in 1967 at JD's In The River-bottom, he had slicked-back Nashville hair and he kept ribbing his drummer, who had a pudding bowl Beatle cut. Waylon smirked, more than once, that he and the other short-haired members of the band were going to take him outside and thrash him good.

   All of this hair raising consciousness brings me back to Wild Bill. As I began to research the Old West seriously, I encountered a respected historian who was adamant that Wild Bill Hickok was gay because of his long hair. The historian was a World War II guy and he thought the mere fact that Hickok wore his hair "like a woman," was "proof" that Wild Bill was a homosexual. 

   This, of course, is downright ridiculous and silly beyond belief, but it just shows how much we judge the past by our current prejudices.

 Hair Wars II
   As Mark Twain allegedly put it: "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Got this from the Top Secret Writer:

   "Long hair was a major statement in the 1860s-70s West as well. Long hair went out of style in the 1850s and was certainly done in for most folks during the Civil War (lice, grime). Westerners like Hickok and Cody wore their hair long as a statement that they were mimicking the old-style plainsman/mountain man. It was also a dare to their Indian opponents to come and try to take it. Santanta once taunted Sheridan by asking him to let his soldiers grow their hair long so his men could take worthy scalps. Sheridan said he couldn't cause the soldiers would get lice." 
—Paul Andrew Hutton 

Reporter: "How do you sleep with all that hair?"

George: "How do you sleep with your arms and legs attached."

—Beatles press conference, August 21,  1965

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Water Damaged Photo Surfaces As Painting

September 5, 2017
   Invariably, when I am doing a book on a historical figure, I always want to illustrate the missing elements of their story. In the case of Wild Bill Hickok, I am intrigued by Agnes Lake and her first husband, Bill Lake. In spite of them being circus performers there is not a lot of coverage on their lives. For example, if they had a wedding photo taken, what would that look like?

Water Damaged Photo Surfaces As Painting
   I hate water damaged photos but if you deal with old photos, it's a fact of life. And, eventually the damage takes on a beauty all by itself. Plus, it makes an image look more authentic.

   So, last weekend my goal was to do a wedding portrait of Mr. and Mrs. William Lake and make it appear as if it only recently surfaced after years in a gambler's trunk. Here is my study:

Daily Whip Out: "Lake Wedding"

"The only thing a gambler needs is a suitcase and a trunk. . ."
—The Animals, House of The Rising Sun

Stealing From The Best
   I spend inordinate amounts of time looking for authentic costumes and, or, inspiration from other artists. I want to get the clothes and the look of the times right. First stop is my library of books featuring painters from that time period. This is a good example.

I pride myself on always stealing from the best: in this case, Degas.

Not sure if this dress is entirely accurate, but I like the mood: Norman Rockwell

   Went home for lunch and whipped out this first pass at it. It's a little too red, but you get the idea:

Daily Whip Out: "Mr. Mrs. Lake Wedding, No. 1"
   Decided it needed another layer of definition and "noise" so I got up this morning (Wednesday) and added another couple washes:

Daily Whip Out Tweak: "Mr. & Mrs. Lake Wedding, No. 2"

"That a thing made by hand, the work and thought of a single craftsman, can endure much longer than its maker, through centuries in fact, can survive natural catastrophe, neglect, and even mistreatment, has always filled me with wonder."
—Susan Vreeland, author who died this week at age 71

The Duke of Dust & Kiowa Ghost Riders I and II

September 5, 2017
   The Duke of Dust could not resist adding a little detail to a scene he posted last week.

Daily Whip Outs: "Kiowa Ghost Riders, I and II"

   Almost gives it a cinematic effect of the riders coming out of the dust. 

"History may de divided into three movements: what moves rapidly, what moves slowly and what appears not to move at all."
—Fernand Braudel

Monday, September 04, 2017

She Married Two Wild Bills

September 4, 2017
   Agnes Lake married two Wild Bills. The second one we all know, but the first one was a clown of some renown: William Lake Thatcher. I think of him as a Civil War era Sammy Hagar. 

Daily Whip Out: "Clowning Around, Literally" From a photo.

   Billed as "Master Thatcher" early in his career, the east coast native performed in a number of equestrian acts with multiple companies between 1834 and 1840. Some believe he suffered a bad accident while performing dangerous stunts on horseback and he was forced to switch his circus performances to the clown arena. After the 1841 season he focused on witty clown routines and developed a bit with his two dogs, Bibo and Rolla. He worked with multiple circuses before he met and married Mary Agnes Mersmann in New Orleans in 1846. Together the two traveled the country, with Bill becoming the "Master of the Arena" and "Director" for the next 20 years. The Lakes finally started their own circus because they were tired of not getting paid when the shows they worked for went out of business. Bill Lake developed a reputation as a solid performer and a steady employer.

Daily Whip Out: "Mr. & Mrs. Lake"

   The Lake's Hippo-olympiad and Mammoth Circus was doing quite well and the circus veterans, Mr. and Mrs. Lake (the Thatchers used Bill's middle name professionally) had plans to buy a horse farm in Kentucky, right across the river from Cincinnati, at the end of the 1869 season.

A Bad Customer
   The Lake's Hippo-olympiad and Mammoth Circus took a swing through rural Missouri, landing at  Granby in the southwestern part of the state. 

August 21, 1869
   After the evening's regular performance the ushers begin clearing the tent of circus goers who had not bought admission to the bonus feature, a minstrel show. A young, local ne'er-do-well is found hiding under one of the seats and when confronted, he refuses to leave. Bill Lake is summoned, who walks straight up the miscreant and tells him to pay up or get out. Jacob Killian (also spelled as Killyou, Killyon and Killen) gets smart and tries to pull a revolver, but Bill—used to dealing with punks like this around the country—immediately disarms the young man and escorts him to the door by the scruff of his collar and throws him out. Lake keeps Killian's pistol, and the local authorities are summoned. Humiliated, Killian stays at the entrance cursing and threatening to kill Lake. He finally leaves.

   Bill Lake returns to his duties and gets ready for the minstrel show. Before the show begins, a local Deputy Marshal named Bailey shows up to interview Lake. Bill tells the lawman he will keep the young man's pistol and relinquish it in the morning.

   At the front entrance, Killian has returned and tells the doorkeeper he is "not a quarrelsome man" and that he is willing to "pay to go in." The Sedalia Weekly Bazoo reports what happened next:

"While they were talking, Marshal Bailey and a Mr. Thompson were standing facing Mr. Lake, not three feet from him. Killyon again approached from behind Thompson, and throwing his revolver over Thompson's right shoulder, shot Mr. Lake, the ball entering about three inches above the right nipple, coursing, apparently downward towards the heart. Mr. Lake staggered a few yards and then fell down on his hands and said, 'My God, boys, I am killed; carry me home.' He was immediately carried to his room in the Southwestern Hotel, but expired almost as soon as it was reached."

   Everyone scatters and ducks for cover, including the deputy. In his panic to escape, Killian trips and falls, accidentally discharging his pistol a second time, but he manages to slip out of the tent and escapes into the night.

   Agnes offers a $1,000 cash reward for Killian's capture, but her desire to see justice done will take a long time and in the end, it takes a very unsatisfactory turn.

"War is both the simple shape of the arrowhead and the complicated life that it annihilates."
—Karl Ove Knausgaard, "Autumn"

Sunday, September 03, 2017

The Real Mrs. Wild Bill

September 2, 2017
   When he was a boy, James Butler Hickok idolized a frontier hero and it was this guy:

Kit Carson statue, 1911

I really like this statue. The photo comes from the A.R. Mitchell Museum in Trinidad,  Colorado.

The State of The Statue Situation
   In my opinion most statues suck. The vast majority are gray globs of mediocrity (Hey, I'm a painter). You could remove 90% of them and I wouldn't miss a single one. But to remove a statue because some dimwitted, anti-history goofball is offended, is asinine.

   But that's just me.

The Wild Bill Girl Who Got Away

   It's actually Jenny Smith, Jerry Terantinto and a fat dog whose name I can't remember. This was a photo reference taken at Pioneer Living History Museum at Pioneer, Arizona, circa 1996.

    Meanwhile, I've been studying Mrs. Wild Bill. Agnes Lake Thatcher was a formidable woman. True, she ran away with a clown when she was 19, but then most women do.

   Actually, she ran away with a real circus clown, Mr. William Lake Thatcher.

An Advertisement featuring Agnes Lake Doing The Slack Wire Trick

   Agnes did this stunt to draw customers, walking up the slack wire to the top of the Big Top and back down. She also did the same stunt but in another variation, when she would push a wheel barrel with another performer riding in it, on the wire, straight up the slope and back. Crazy stunts like this were Miss Lake's stock in trade. But her main claim to fame was her horse training abilities.

Daily Whip Out: "The Stunning Mary Agnes Mersmann" 

   She was just a child, in 1833, when her German immigrant parents brought Mary Agnes and three of her siblings to America. They eventually landed on a farm near Porkopolis (slang nickname for Cincinnati as the premiere American city for hog production). Soon enough, she was a stunning, precocious teenager who went to the circus and fell in love—with the aforementioned clown.

   Later, she ran her own circus and married Wild Bill Hickok.

   So, why is she totally forgotten?

"Because myth beats reality every time."
—Paul Andrew Hutton

   More on that calamity, later.

"I have decided to leave my past behind me. So, if I owe you money, sorry. but I've moved on."
—Russ Shaw, Jr.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

The Size And Shape of Things to Come

September 2, 2017
   Someone asked me what size sketchbooks I use to do my Daily Whip Outs. Here are the three sizes I use. 

Daily Whip Out Arsenal: "My Three Sketchbooks"

From the left: my trusty 11" X 14" (95% of my sketches come out of this size book), then we have the more compact 9" X 12" book which I carried to France and Germany last month, and then, on the right, is the little feller, 6" X 6" which I intend to use more because it frees me up quite a bit (I did this little study of The Sundance Kid as a literal kid, and I plan on using it, as is, in the forthcoming Hickok book). My tools are also shown, big fan brushes and gouache palette, upper right, along with some very expensive German felt tip pens (upper left). While I enjoy the German pens—I bought them at an art store in Wiesbaden—they are quite limiting, to me, because they don't have the flare of a brush and they tend to dry out quickly.

Daily Whip Out Arsenal: "My Three Sketchbooks, With an In-din Emphasis,
Plus A Couple Recent Watercolor Boards for Size Comparison"

Daily Whip Out Arsenal: "Paris, France Emphasis"

"I see by the size of your sketchbook, you are happy to see me."
—Mae West, in my dreams