Sunday, February 1, 2009

On Clementine and Wyatt, Tim, and Wild Bill

Cowboy Dancing
5" x 7"
Yesterday could have been something like tv heaven if you love the movie, "My Darling Clementine". I must have watched it about 6 times! Now, I am crazy about Tim Holt, still, and good old cowboy shows, but I have to admit that I was wishing that they would have another good show on after about the 3rd time. They did have "Alias Jesse James" with Bob Hope on a few times too. I recorded both shows for a time when there isn't anything else on to watch, so I didn't really need to see them over and over.
There was one more show on that was good and that was "The Plainsman and the Lady" with Wild Bill Elliott. (Did anyone else ever think, in years gone by, that "Wild Bill" reminded them a lot of our Calvert Elliott-the man who became sheriff? I admit that I was a bit too scared to look at the man and study him enough to see if there was any real resemblance. )
I think that we had quite a few people in town who looked like movie stars. All the ladies, dressed up in their suits with their perfect hair and lipstick, back in the 30s and 40s could rival the movie stars. And some of the men looked like cowboy stars.
As I watched "My Darling Clementine" yesterday, I thought that I should draw from the action. I had already sketched Wyatt Earp dancing with Clementine at church when the movie was on earlier in January. That filled my sketchbook, so I'm back to copy paper for sketching until I get a satisfactory sketchbook. (I talked earlier of buying one, but I don't like the paper.) I wasn't really in the mood for drawing, though, with sneezing and runny eyes. So, I just "piddled" at the computer, for most of the day.
There are some movies that I could watch over and over. "My Darling Clementine" is one of them. (I confess that I am ready for a new show today, though.) I've also grown attached to "The Horse Soldiers", "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon", and the two James Garner westerns, "Support Your Local Sheriff" and "Support Your Local Gunfighter". It seems like the more I watch them, the more I want to see them. And I always see something that I missed before.
Tim Holt wasn't the big star in "My Darling Clementine", and I didn't like that he had a beard at the beginning of the movie, as did most of the other men. After all, they had been herding cattle!
In some scenes, he sounded like he had a cold. I wondered if it could be from all the dust on location. In the past, after he was killed off, I wasn't so interested in the rest of the movie. I guess I have grown up some and now I watch the whole movie.
Tim gave me some encouragement, although, of course, he never knew it. During this period, Tim had some kind of "thing" on his left cheek. In later movies, it was gone, so I guess he had it removed.
I had a cyst come up on my left cheek when I was about in the 2nd grade. It was a big ugly thing, all purple, yellow, green, blue. Of course, it looked really huge, to me. I remember that I didn't want to see myself in a mirror or even as a reflection in the bathtub faucet. I would sit backward in the bathtub so I wouldn't have to look at that colorful blemish.
As we were about to start 3rd grade, the family took me to several doctors. I guess they feard it might be a tumor or cancer. Local doctors referred us to a specialist in Houston. The whole family went, and they all looked worried. I couldn't figure out why. The "thing" didn't hurt. It was just ugly, I thought. But I was scared of what a doctor might do to me.
This doctor took me in his examining room, with Daddy, pinched my face really hard, and announced "It's a cyst". He quickly held out his hand and said, "$50, please!"
We went back to our doctors in Marlin and they arranged for surgery. I didn't want to have an operation, but I didn't want the cyst, either. I went to the first day or two of 3rd grade, then took out to have the surgery. I didn't want to go back to school because now I had a big bandage, then a scar on my cheek instead of a colorful cyst.
Mama, of course, forced me to go back.
I went for the Veronica Lake look with my hair. Mama would braid it in the morning, and I would pull my hair loose and use a little hair comb to comb my hair over one side of my face, like the famous hair style of the movies. I felt a bit safe, hiding behind my hair. It took me many years to feel comfortable with short hair that revealed my scar. In later years, it looked more like a dimple, but I know that scar is there.
It helped that Tim also had that spot on his face, although I never could see a scar where the place had been. Maybe it was makeup or plastic surgery. Anyway, it helped to know that someone else had the same thing, and that person was even on movie screens, enlarged a lot.
"My Darling Clementine", and other b&w movies, are good examples to look at if you want to study values for drawing and painting. Dramatic lighting and scenes.
Since I watch so many old movies, my youngest grandson asked me, one day, "Grandma, when did the world change from black and white to color?"
I'm still laughing. I never would have thought of that, even as a child. Of course, we didn't have a lot of color movies back then, either. Those were really special things.
In my little gesture type of sketch above, I used a Pitt pen on 64# Canson sketching paper.
It shows Marshall Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) dancing with Clementine (and, I'm sorry, but I don't recall the actress' name). Wyatt is holding the lady's wrap as they dance, possibly a polka. Clementine had on a straw hat with a ring of flowers around the crown. There were alternating white and dark flowers in the decoration, along with a ribbon that flowed at the back. Her blouse had matching ribbon on the sleeves and at the neck. I imagined that she had on a powder blue, long skirt. I don't know why I thought that, since it was in black and white!
There were lots of good images for drawing in that movie, but I liked the way that Clementine's skirt and the ribbon on her hat flowed, and the lines of Wyatt lifting his knee high, with his body straight, as they danced.
One change I need to make is to add Wyatt's coat. I have him dancing in his shirt, but, I realized yesterday that he should have on his suit coat. I was trying to get in the line of his back, hips, legs, and head and didn't think of adding the coat before the scene changed, at the time I was sketching.
Some other actors in the movie were Ward Bond, Victor Mature, and John Ireland. There were others who are very familiar, but I can't think of their names. Of course, John Ford directed.
"Stagecoach" is another western with Tim that I always watch, and was another John Ford movie, starring John Wayne. More images to practice.
I'll have to see what else is going to be on tv tonight while the Super Bowl is on. I'm not in the mood for drawing football players. The cable went off to the tv in the den this afternoon and nothing seemed to make it come back on. It wouldn't change channels last night and we discovered that the batteries were dead in the remote-we thought. But, later, it started working. Now, it was working, then changed to snow and static. Calls to the cable company didn't help. They said they could come out Tuesday to look at it! So, it looks like we won't have our usual Super Bowl party in the den. We can watch things in our bedrooms, though.
I don't know any of the teams or any of the players, so I'm really not interested. I could do some gesture drawings, but I have other things I would rather do.
Wishing Kathryn the best on her retirement!
Brazos Valley Art League meeting at noon tomorrow, Art Center in College Station.
I signed up for a new list for February called "A Thing A Day". The idea is for participants to create one new thing a day during February-a picture, a cake, a recipe, sculpture, anything creative. Then post it on the site. It started as a university project for grad students a couple of years ago. Deadline to sign up was last night at midnight.
I don't know if I'm going to be able to do it, though. It takes me so long to post things! And I have quite a few other things going. We'll see what happens.
Too many new tricks for this "old dog" to learn.
Be sure to check out my sidebar for things that are going on, and to look at various sites.
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and sign my Guest Book, if you haven't already.
Another "new discovery" is Facebook. That's very interesting. I've found so many people that I haven't seen in a long time.
We may need to do a rain dance or something. It's getting too dry, and with wind, and dry cold fronts, that makes for fire danger.

No comments: