Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Mexican Monte & Sweet Alita And The Cascading Collage Project

 August 31, 2022

   Headed down to Cattletrack Arts Compound today to work with barn wood and the Boys.

Daily Whip Out Collage:

"Mexican Monte"

   "The Boys" would be Mark McDowell and Brent Bond, very creative dudes.

The Boys Working On The First Phase

of The Cascading Collage Concept

   We're also going to be gridding images like the big spread of actual tin types and ambrotypes and carte de visits spread out in front of us. These are images gleaned from a large collection of old time photographs gifted to me by a guy who calls himself Blue Brown. I have painted on a few of them, adding details and changing others to make them pop and, more importantly, make them mine.

Daily Whip Out: "Sweet Adalita"

      Not to mention all the scratchboards I have been scratching lately.

Daily Whip Out: "The Lady In Red"

And this:

Daily Whip Out: "The Lady In The Bell Jar"

   We have some time, as the show mounts on November 1, so, for a change, that's a reasonable deadline.

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

—Douglas Adams

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Bozecards From The Edge

 August 30, 2022

   This is the guy who started it all.

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top

 Tucson Community Center, 1977

   I dropped off a box of Razz Revue magazines and Razz T-shirts at the Tucson Community Center box office and told the ticket taker they were for the band. Not only did the already legendary bluesman come out on stage and dedicate La Grange to "The Razz Revue" but several days later, I received in my mail box a simple, handmade postcard of a lowrider which was crudely cut out and pasted down and then printed out on course brown paper. The note on the back said, "Hey Mane! Dig your stuff. Send more."

   That postcard changed my life.

   Inspired, I grabbed a line drawing of mine which I did as a controversial cover for New Times Weekly in Phoenix, and took it to Copyboy on Central Ave. and had 100 postcards printed with my contact info right on the front.

The Bozecard that got me a movie deal

   I kept these cards by my art desk at the Bell-Mell Art Studio where I worked and when I would see an article I liked in a magazine, I would send the art director a card with a congrats note. That's how I got a gig at Playboy doing six pages of cartoons at $1,000 a page in 1986. But the big score was when I landed a movie deal at Columbia Pictures all because of one of these Bozecards.

   Later, when I started doing my books, I sent out even more cards, like this:

   And, this:

   And, when we bought True West magazine, I kept sending out the cards, up to this very day.

   Eventually, I paid Mr. Gibbons back when he, Ed Mell and I, went out for Mexican food after a recent ZZ Top gig in Phoenix. I paid for his mole and he told me we were even.

   So, now you know the true story about how I came to be such a fan of Bozecards.

"Lord take me downtown, I'm just looking for some tush."

—ZZ Top

Monday, August 29, 2022

Looking Back Looking Forward

 August 29, 2022

   I like to get out on the road no later than six with Uno when we do our morning walk and sometimes I am rewarded for it, like this sweet view to the north.

Rise & Shine

   Had some fun in the studio this afternoon.

Daily Whip Out: "Latina Santina"

   Not even sure what that means but I like the rhythm of it.

  Someone just told me Wild West magazine has reduced their yearly output to four issues a year, from eight. Dang.

(from the New Yorker)

   Ouch. We are being reduced to a joke, but, on the other hand, a pretty funny one. Ha.

   Dave Daiss asked us if we'd put together a poster for the Oriental Saloon in Tombstone, so Dan the Man whipped this out.

   Meanwhile, Thomas Charles and I are doing an exercise in learning better plotting. The assignment is to choose 6 books, or stories, and take them apart and study them. The very first story I read this morning was written by this guy.

"No Apache, no matter if he's drunker than seven hundred dollars, is going to leave a trail that plain—that is, unless he wants to."
—Elmore Leonard, "Trail of The Apache"

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Hannelore Baron Collages

 August 28, 2022

   Still noodling backgrounds for Phippen Art Show. Kind of dig this background:

Daily Whip Out: "United States of Whippery"

   And that is questionable, but this is not.

Daily Whip Out: "Entryway Statueary"

   I am still seeking a way to create cascading collage. A Google search found this.

Hannelore Baron discovered collage in 1964. She was so cool.

Hannelore Baron Collage

   Her media included scraps of fabric, wood, string, wire, pieces from children’s games, printed labels and other discarded items – things that she said felt familiar.She was inspired by the art of Native Americans and Africa, Tantric art, illuminated pages of the Koran, and Persian miniatures.  She said she gathered her materials with great care…”The reason I use old cloth and boxes is that new materials lack the sentiment of the old, and seem too dry in an emotional sense.”

   You know, like this:

Hannelore Baron "box" collage

Oh, boy. That could go really good with this:

And, this:

   And so it goes. I intend to do much more in the collage zone.

"I'm very fond of this phrase: 'Collage is not a refuge for the compositionally disabled.' If you put together the pieces in a really powerful way, I think you'll let a thousand discrepancies bloom."

—David Shields

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Retirement Tom Foolery

 August 27, 2022

   People my age spend a fair amount of quality time wondering when is the right time to retire and what the hell will we do with ourselves, day after day?

   Last Thursday, up on Christopher Creek, I got a sneak peek inside the dark side of this age specific dilemma.

Well, I guess we have to go in here.
The Landmark in Christoper Creek

   After the daily rain shower, Uno and I walked from our cabin down to The Landmark Restaurant to get some takeout. Uno especially liked the sign in front of the outdoor dining area and insisted I take his picture.

  There were maybe a dozen customers, some inside (they have a garage door deal along the north wall and when it's open, even the inside diners are looking out on the patio).

   Walking in, Uno and I encountered this gregarious guy sitting at a table, along the fence, smoking and nursing a beer. He seemed unusually friendly and I chalked it up to local custom and/or mood altering drugs.

   After I made an order to go, Mr. Gregarious waltzed over to our picnic table. He told me his name was Tom and he wanted to know if he could sit down and chat. Sure—Be my guest—was my wary response (what the hell is he selling?). In short order he told me he made a nice profit on his house in Tucson, bought a travel trailer and came up here when his wife OD'd on oxycontin and his girlfriend left him and he's thinking about getting a job as a greeter at Costco, saying he needs structure and he's going crazy. Oh, and he has even considered ending his life.

   What do you say to that? Well, what I said was Maybe you should get some help, but what I said to myself was, Thank God my wife is a therapist!

   He soon got tired of my empty banter and went to the next table to spill his guts all over again and perhaps not feel so lonely? Whatever the hell he was actually doing, it was a wake up call for me.

   We all need structure in our lives, or we'll end up like Tom.

"The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off."

—Abe Lemons

Friday, August 26, 2022

Christopher Creek Adventure

 August 26, 2022

   We took off on Tuesday afternoon to head up to Payson and on to Christopher Creek to cool off. And even though it was 110 degrees out on the Beeline Highway, I had to stop and take this photo of the Thunderheads building over the Mazatals. And, yes, that is Four Peaks in the distance.

Thunderheads Over Four Peaks

   Hit hard rain near Sycamore Canyon but it finally let up at Sunflower, then on up past Rye, and into the scrub oak and eventually pines outside of Payson. Temperature dropped to 68 degrees in the rain. After lunch at our fave BBQ joint, we motored on another 26 miles to this place.

   We rented a cabin right on the creek and unpacked in the rain.

   Cold and wet with thunder rolling across the high country pines. This is what a flatlander lives for.

Waiting Out The Rain

   For us, the daily thunderstorms were the special treat.

We sat and watched the rain with some delight.

   Came back today and stopped in Payson to visit with our old Cave Creek Compadre, Mad Coyote Joe, who, of course, turned us on to the best local Mexican Food.

   Of course, the thermometer went the other way coming down the hill, but we did encounter some outrageous shaggy thunderheads over the Mazatals.

Look at those vertical lungers, especially
the two at left. That's either Bigfoot or Barney.

   Here's my favorite part of the trip: the lounging.

Lounging On The Last Morning

"A true masterpiece does not tell everything."

—Albert Camus

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Could Apaches Actually Run 75 Miles A Day?

 August 24, 2022

   Got this a couple days ago.

   "I recently watched your video Geronimo Freedom Fighter or Cold Blooded Killer. In that video you stated that one of the amazing things about the Apaches was that they could run 75 miles a day. As a sports scientist, I’m curious to know what evidence you have to support that. I’d immensely appreciate being able to review such information." 

—Dan Wagman

   Truth be known, it has been at least two decades since I researched this and my mind is off on other quests, but I knew if I tapped into a couple of my history friends, I might get a more specific answer. I didn't have to cast far.

   "Apaches often spoke about their warrior training and play games that eventually grew into serious life saving ways of escape, camouflage, running where even horses could not, etc.  70 to 80 miles is about the max.  Even for older guys like those Apache Scouts who went with Pershing could travel 85 miles a day on foot.  I would imagine that much of that was at a dog trot."
 —Lynda Sanchez

   "As to your question about references that Apaches could run 75 miles a day, I have two suggestions: first, is Bourke’s On The Border With Crook, p.134 (original edition) where he writes in regard to their endurance, “Seventy-five miles a day was nothing at all unusual for them to march when pursued, their tactics being to make three or four such marches, in the certainty of being able to wear out or throw off track the most energetic and the most intelligent of opponents.” (note also that the scouts Crook used in the Sierra Madre Expedition would do 30 or 40 miles a day, stop set up camp, and make supper for the mounted men who would come in near dusk). The second reference is Western Apache & Raiding by Grenville Goodwin, edited by Keith Basso, p.275. “There is a power called ‘running power’ also. A man who has this power can run long distances, and even on the shortest day could run from Fort Grant to Fort Apache and get there in mid-afternoon.” A straight line between Fort Apache and Fort Grant runs across the Nantane and Penaleno Mountains and is about 80 miles. My guess is such a runner would probably cover more like 90 to 100 miles following established trails. I think there is also a similar reference in Lumholtz’s Unknown Mexico where he mentions the Apaches compared with the Tarahumara long distance races. Hope this helps."
—Michael Farmer, Ph.D.

   Oh, it helped. Nailed it, in fact. Thanks Lynda and Michael. My hat is way off to you both.

   Meanwhile, here's a mock-up of a future cover.

Full O' Crap History
   Some of us feel we have earned the right to have some fun with history. Let's face it, adhering to facts and footnotes for 33+ years carries with it a certain fatigue, and sometimes a serious historian just needs to burn out the lactic acid. You know, like some send up of Jack Handy and his pal O' Henry who meet E. L. Doctorow at a writer's conference in Iowa City, Iowa.

   Lippo Assmuss and his son, Wilbur, could not understand the woman who lived in the same house with them. Unlike other housewives from the Okoboji area, Edna had a thing for speed. She and her "bike" killed a cow once near Algona and she didn't even apologize. Another time, she and her Flying Merkel, plowed into a flock of Luther Leaguers in downtown Swea City, killing two and injuring their youth leader. She served time for that one. Later, she was banned from doing donuts in the Alsups parking lot over in Winnebago County, after a cobblestone kicked up by her rear snow tire, beaned a beaner on his way to vote for a Libertarian. She was misunderstood by almost everyone in northern Iowa except a farm kid from south of Fort Dodge who thought she had "sand." In 1927 they were married by a justice of the peace in Albert Lea, Minnesota, after her divorce from Lippo became final. Nobody in the family wants to talk about her, but someday I will.

Edna And Her Flying Merkel

"The only thing weirder than fiction is the truth-seeking-fiction in O' History."
—Old Norski Saying

More Big Storms And Female Rain

 August 23, 2022

   Another big storm rolled in over Ratcliff Ridge last night. Always striking when the foreground is lit up and the background is in deep shadow.

Monsoon II

   Let's take a closer look.

Monsoon III

Looks ominous, but it didn't roar like several other recent cloud bursts. These storm clouds blew over and then about an hour later we got, what the Navajos call "female rain." Gentle and steady.

   Still rounding up images for the Phippen Art Show.

   My curator Kristi was here yesterday compiling a spreadsheet of what is actually available for the show. She has documented, 20 paintings and 26 scratchboards already framed, with another 24 scratchboards ready for framing, for a grand total of 60 pieces. Keep in mind I told the Phippen I needed a gallery to showcase 30. There's a moral about inflation in here somewhere.

"The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!"
—Bill Watterson

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Sue On The Fence & Tall Crowns In Cowtown

 August 21, 2022

   Found this half-finished take on a certain cowgirl in the morgue this morning and thought I might add a few strokes.

Daily Reworked Whip Out:

"On The Fence With Sue"

   One of the featured characters in the new book is soiled dove, Jennie Rogers, who famously told the Denver police, "I shot him because I love him, damn him!"

   Seems she caught her beau in bed with another soiled dove. 

Daily Whip Out: "Jennie Rogers Fires"

He lived, and he dropped charges against her.

Here's a couple other versions of this scene.

Daily Whip Out:

"Jennie Rogers Fires Again"

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:

"Jennie Lets Loose In Black and White"

   Sometimes when I am looking at old photographs a back story will tumble right out of the frame and fall in my lap.

T-Bone Scaggs

   T-Bone Scaggs had a knack for hitting the high spots. He favored the high card, the high road and the high hat. He formed a gang called the High Hat Gang and he cooked up a secret deal with the Chickasaws and that led to some major angst among the law in Fort Smith. He had one partner in the High Hat Gang who he trusted.

Kelly Blubooker

And that was Kelly "High Hat" Blubooker. Unfortunately, another member of the High Hat Gang was a little less trustworthy.

Skeeter "Shifty" Gaines

   The Shifter, as the boys called him, went to the authorities in Muscogee, who, unfortunately for Skeeter, were in on the Chickasaw deal and shot him dead him on the spot. Resisting arrest was the official charge, although his wife later got a fur coat in exchange for her silence. Still, she was resentful for the rest of her life and her nephew, by another marriage, later wrote a now classic book on the affair which is still being taught in pre-law classes throughout the Indian Nations: "Beware Tall Crowns In Cowtown."

Do I Feel Lucky? Punk?

   When I look back on my crazy life, I sometimes can't believe how much dumb luck has assisted me. For example, when I was in the fifth grade I was constantly getting reprimanded for talking in class. One day the teacher interrupted a story I was telling in the back of the class room and said, "Name me two pronouns." I said, "Who? Me?"

"One becomes a critic when one cannot be an artist, just as a man becomes a stool pigeon when he cannot be a soldier."
—Gustave Flaubert

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Solving Life And Getting Wet On Whiskey Row

 August 20, 2022

   Kathy Sue jumped in the Flex with me yesterday and we motored up to the Mile High City for a little getaway celebration for the finishing of the Women's book being at the printer. 

   Checked into the historic Hassayampa Inn and walked down to Whiskey Row to meet the Stuart Rosebrook family for dinner at Gato Azul. Big storm blew in on our way there.

Kathy Sue and the impending storm

   The resulting downpour standed us in the doorway of a store off the plaza, but it was fun to actually be cool and wet for a change after a scorching summer in the Valley. Fifteen minutes later, it finally let up enough that we went thru the swinging doors of the Palace Bar and ran into this rough crowd.

House Band Meets True West

   That's the legendary Danny Romero second from left, along with his bass player, at far left, and Stuart Rosebrook our editor at True West magazine, on the right. We solved some life and had some laughs.

   This morning, we drove out to the Phippen Museum to talk about our November show with Jeannette Holverson and Neal, who will hang the show. 

Neal and Jeannette In Front of the
Upcoming Exhibitions wall.


And here's a closer look at the upcoming exhibition:

   Have some new work I finished this week but that will be for another show.

Daily Reworked Whip Out:

"We Rode All Night"

"You find your vocation at the spot where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need."

—Frederick Buechner

Friday, August 19, 2022

My Kid As The Kid And The Truth About Detail Porn

August 19, 2022

   Big clouds in the forenoon yesterday. Caught this scene at the Cahava Ranch Road turn onto Spur Cross Ranch Road.

Monsoon Majesty

   Rain hit about six last night. Really severe rain, almost hurricane level torrents. Lasted about an hour. Supposed to get another bout tonight.

   Going back into the archives and found these.

Daily Reworked Whip Out:

"The Rule Breaker" 

Daily Whip Out: "Miquilita Carrrera"

Daily Whip Out: "Celsa Knew"

   Don't tell anyone, but this last one—Celsa—is one of my favorite pieces in the entire upcoming Phippen Art Show. She is resolute and fearless and she knows the truth about what happened to the Kid. She's also sad and she's made peace with the outcome and she doesn't want to talk about it.

  I don't think I violated any child labor laws, but I do confess to using my children as models from a very early age. This is Thomas Charles as Billy the Kid holding hands with Paulita Maxwell at Old Fort Sumner. 

My Kid As The Kid

   The boy was a sport and I love the red tennies. And, here is Deena doing her thing as well:

Deena Posing for her dad.

   This was for an overly ambitious story about Honkytonk Sue as a horse trainer.

   One more salvo from a blog post I wrote about Frank McCarthy's art being labeled as "detail porn." 

Taking "Detail Porn" to Task

"If Frank McCarthy lived in Italy in the years 1500, 1600 he would have been considered another great Caravaggio and his work now would have been sold for millions and millions of $$$. His style has nothing to do with the idea that his paintings are "fine art" or not; of course they are! how many can paint and create work like he does...or did? There are those who paint hyper-realistic, realistic, impressionistic, abstract and more. The style is personal, you may agree with it or not, that's your problem. There are so many different collectors and art buyers and many are just as happy to view paintings like those painted by McCarthy!!! I would be more than happy to take that Frank McCarthy book off your hands, if you don't want it. Please let me know. Thanks...and please get rid of that stupid, inadequate and inappropriate "pornographic" connotation; McCarthy has nothing to do with it."

—Mr. Brave "Unknown"

   I love how the blog commentator, above, writes so bravely under the banner of  "Unkown".

   Here's where we currently are: basically good people are at the place where they want an authority figure to give their enemies hell, and when you find yourself at this juncture, you need to be ready for a very scary convergence.

"There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find it out when the times comes."

—Ernest Hemingway, "For Whom The Bell Tolls"