Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences...

And gaze at the moon until I lose my senses..."  (from "Don't Fence Me In," written by Cole Porter, who went to Yale & Harvard Law School and lived in Paris, Venice, New York and Santa Monica, none of them places most cowboys traditionally roam... still, it is my favorite cowboy song).

My brother-in-law was visiting from Australia; he is an insanely talented painter and print-maker and is looking to return here to teach.  While he was here, we three talked about: etching using zinc plates, painting at the kitchen table, his coming around to Matisse, diabetes, family, living alone, beaches, and we debated whether art should be taught as though the paths taken were as inevitable, and single-minded, as the unrolling of a long carpet, and we sang songs by Dan Hicks and the Lovin' Spoonful and Pure Prairie League (that would be "Amy, what you wanna do/ I think I could stay with you..."), the Allman Brothers ("Whippin' Post"),  and any other song that echoed anything anyone said.

But, on our final night, when we had pretty much covered all the topics any reasonable person could expect to have considered... we found ourselves in a French restaurant in Berkeley.  As we waited for the first course (flammenkuche to share and asparagus with pancetta and a poached egg) we started on lists: our best list, over the course of the night, was the 10 best Westerns of all time (in our humble opinion ... and the deal was, it had to be unanimous ... and the brothers were the most vocal ... just sayin').  The top 10 list, with no recourse to the web (we were in a lovely French restaurant, so here we go, un-checked), in no particular order:

open range
once upon a time in the west
the wild bunch
magnificent seven
the missouri breaks
red river
dances with wolves
left-handed gun

And yours?

So, today, thinking over both rich sauces and cowboy movies ... I also cleaned up my storage areas:

and looked, yes, again, at the pear and river painting ... I  have worked on it, yet something is wrong. So I have turned it upside down to find the spatial weaknesses ... "until I lose my senses..."

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