August 10, 1981 Letter to Shirley (BRLA) from Rockmore (714 Orleans, NO)
Long time no hear - what’s up - I stopped booze for a long time I hope - it was a tough and somewhat destructive 3 mos. once off but Rita and I survived the test - barely - I would appreciate a firm decision from you as soon as possible on “Dream of Busboy” - if you are not able to acquire it at $2000 please let me know now - (but I do want you to have it).
I have a possible new contract with a Chicago gallery - (woman) dealer is very expert and I send in Sep. etchings, drawings and watercolors for her gallery and she is going to show all to Joachim the head curator of paint, etc at the Chicago Art Institute - I think I will turn down George Wein Jazz Fest commission, also Jaffe Pres. Hall, also Phoenix comm. because with Wein, Jaffe and Bill May the hassle ain’t worth the $ - as Rita correctly states, I should do my ptgs. and let people come to me - I will not deal with commissions again if I can help it - if Jaffe behaves I might do that one but I doubt it because when you commission an artist for a major project it should be automatic $1000 advance - and follow up of interest - I have completed 50x82" “Fantasia 1" plus a great 24x48" oil of Alpine John standing in a forest at night - plus I will do next a portrait comm. maybe 2 - and a little girl J. White's daughter with large duck and Ruthie the duck girl with small ducks, both 24x30 for 2 of my best frames - later I will do a large version of the crew of ship which I sold for too little at the Bar but I need cash and not BULLSHIT -
I may have a show of big on location watercolors with Oreck if she behaves better after we talk and if I can do (in Sep and Oct-Nov) 18 or so - also I want to do those books later and am starting a new “stream of consciousness” 50x82" - that series will be constant - so, with drinking in the past I look forward to a very productive year and I hope lucrative - I do wish you would the next time you visit bring 2 or 3 books so I can photo every page into my new camera - please - no word from Grimsby so I wrote a final request for a decision at $5000 - if not, I will ship it to the gallery (a top gallery) in Chicago if she and her partner OK it later - and try it out there - of course it will take a month or more to recover fully from the last BINGE but I am better all the time - I never want to feel that miserable again - take care and don’t get neurotic about ‘Busboy’ - I just want a decision - WRITE
October 16, 1981 Note to Shirley (BRLA) from Rockmore (714 Orleans, NO)
Don’t forget to send what you can - I spent too much on frames and supplies and could really use it -
Also - the last 2 weeks have been incredibly productive and the 74" Wein canvas you must come in and see soon
Write and send a check -
Hope all is well with you...
Noel’s been off vodka for 2 weeks and things are much better.
written on back of envelope by Rockmore: P.S. hope you are O.K.