By WR Jones

Laundry Day
Laundry Day 10″ x 12″
Oil on linen

Hey – I fought my way thru procrastination to actually finish a piece. The completion part of this painting stuff is so rare. I think that subconsciously I feel that once a painting is complete I will be taken out and shot.

I get distracted by a puff of wind. Once I mix a color I have to go the the frig for a drink before applying paint. Then the drinking means I have to pee after the first 6 brush strokes. I sit to pee so I can continue reading a book I have on the iPhone. Finished the book and showed at least some discipline by telling myself I would not get off the toilet until I found and downloaded a new book from Amazon.

When I left the bathroom I was surprised to see there was still daylight. What the hell, might as well continue painting. Here you have it; the first completed painting in nearly a generation.

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Weeds and Flowers

By WR Jones

Carnations and  Lace
Carnations and Lace
16″ x 20″  Oil on linen panel

These are flowers, they can’t really compete with my weeds.   I pulled at a weed so large this morning that I threw out my back.   Weed didn’t budge, had to get the tree trimmer for big branches.

So I’m thinking I should just change expectations, definitions, and desires.   I only need to call the weeds flowers, and convince myself of their beauty, problem sorted.   No more weed spray or pulling.   No more watering, no more fertilizer.  The flowers tend to die off without tender, expensive feeding and care.   Let them go, they are the new weeds.  Since they die off so readily I expect they will be known as “soft weeds”.  My “flowers” will grow like… well like weeds.

This idea is so brilliant I think I should get it copyrighted.   If I get the right sleazebag attorney, i.e. someone I can relate to, to draw up the paperwork, anyone with a formerly known “weed” in their yard will owe me royalties for growing my “flowers”.   There is a precedent with Monsanto charging all the farmers for using “Monsanto’s seed” that just sort of popped up in the farmer’s field.


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Focused  16″ x 20″  Oil on linen panel

This little fellow is focused and feeling no pain.

It is well known your pain will naturally diminish when engaged in a focused activity; that’s hypnosis. Works for painting and sculpting, not so well with housework. This is a good reason your wife should do those mundane tasks. You would, of course, love to do it but you need to ease your pain with some painting. Tell her that her doing the cooking, dishes, laundry, dusting, vacuuming, yard work, auto repairs, etc is the equivalent of giving you a nice massage. Let her know how much you appreciate it and how much it is saving on pain medications.

Oh ya, word of warning, be careful when and how you word this concept. Some unscientific women resist the idea. Probably why I’m on my knees scrubbing the kitchen floor, nursing a throbbing headache.

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By WR Jones

Point with Honor 16″ x 20″ Oil on linen panel

The English pointer in front was my daughter’s dog. At least that is what I told my wife and daughter. After all what 4 year old girl wouldn’t want an English pointer for a first dog? And of course, she wants her dog field trained to point and retrieve. Yep, sure she does. To go along with my conferring ownership on my daughter I was forced to let her name “her” dog. She went with the name, Brownie, and would not be budged off it.

This was my first inkling that either my daughter hadn’t mastered colors, or the idiot gene from my side of the family had been faithfully reproduced for another generation.

Posted in Humor, Landscape, Painting | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Stark Realism

I’ve recently become interested in the art movement called ‘Stark Realism’. I have been inadvertently drawing and painting images that subscribe to this for years. If ‘Stark’ is defined as having a very plain or often cold or empty appearance; unpleasant and difficult to accept or experience; bare or blunt, then I think the following two images qualify:

The Perfect Braid Charcoal


My two drawings here are then, examples of stark realism. In perusing the internet for other examples, I came to realize that the Forum Gallery seems to seek out Stark Realism painters. Here, for example, is a painting by artist Paul Fenniak who the Forum represents.


Here is another Forum Gallery artist by the name of Susan Hauptman:


Steven Assael is a Forum Gallery artist:


The Forum Gallery has somehow missed Daniel Sprick. Sometimes his still lives qualify as Stark Realism:


To better understand Stark Realism, one must look at its inception in modern art. One of the earliest examples of Stark Realism is the painting, ‘American Gothic’, by regionalist painter, Grant Wood.
American Gothic became the most familiar image in 20th century American art, launching the new genre of Stark Realism. Embodied in the portrait is a story told with the blunt force of two people staring at you while one holds a menacing pitchfork. It is discomforting to behold, but we are captivated by the storytelling aspect. We are interested in looking at it, not merely because of its beauty. Detail is an important characteristic of Stark Realism since everything within the frame provides important information. Andrew Wyeth was also a painter of Stark Realism with his Helga series. Consider the detail in Wyeth’s work.

From the middle of the last century, until now, Stark Realism has been on a slow brew, but it is the new avant-garde; post postmodernism. Start looking for it to evolve in fascinating ways, and start buying it!

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By WR Jones

Charcoal  6″ x 8″  Oil on linen panel

Like the faux charcoal drawing above, what you see is not always what you get in a home handyman. My wife views me as plumbing repair capable. Nothing could be further from reality. Yesterday she ask me to repair a leaking toilet at a relatives home.

There are kits to do the repair at Home Depot. Really, how hard can this job be, UNLESS……. you think you can do it without looking at instructions, then break, and trash can one of the necessary pieces. I don’t know how I thought that big plastic pipe next to the flapper wasn’t important. As I looked at the first diagram of the instructions – oh oh, I need that pipe. Down into the large trash bin to fetch it. I had broken the pipe. I had to mend it or replace the toilet. But to replace the toilet I would have to buy a hacksaw and work in a very cramped space to remove a rusted bolt. Or I could buy an angle grinder, zip through the rusted bolt, and then zip through one of my fingers. Seeing the suck job I had ahead of me due to my moron-ness, I went into a road rage like state. I wanted soooo badly to foist this misery on my wife; hey, she asked me to do this job. I guess I can’t blame her for my being an idiot. Still, it might be worth a try.

I opted on fixing the broken tube. This meant another trip to Home Depot to purchase my FOURTH bottle of super glue in a month. Yep, you are reading correctly. I lost the three previous bottles of glue I used on other hopeless repair jobs. I bought a bottle of superglue gel and some epoxy that you knead in your hands then apply like putty to seal cracks. I Applied the gel liberally to the broken pipe. After waiting for the glue to dry I touched it with my finger to test. It was still wet. That left a thin wet coat of superglue on my finger. I rested my hand momentarily on the counter top. My finger stuck to the counter. With some pulling and small loss of skin I got the hand free. Then I cut off a chunk of epoxy, kneaded in by hand and applied to the pipe. This left a white residue on my finger tips. I tried to wash it off. Didn’t come off with soap. It started to burn my fingers. I read the package. Turns out you should use gloves, it is a skin irritant. I tried all the cleaning products I could find in the house with no success. In panic I used a piece of sand paper to sand down all my fingers. This worked but left my fingertips sort of raw. Further, now I can’t get into my new iPhone using my fingerprint. And I forgot the passcode. I thought well I will have to go through the 9999 possible numbers to log on. But after a few attempts the phone locks up for several minutes. I hope I can get into my phone by next Christmas to order stuff. It’s not a huge problem since no one has called me since mom died 10 years ago and all she ever wanted was payment on that loan.

Anyway all’s well that ends well as they say. That toilet hardly leaks now that I worked my magic. I’m quite certain that the plush carpet piece I placed next to the toilet will soak up the excess water. It could be looked at as a plus in that it will help keep the room humidified.

Posted in Figure, Humor, On Suffering, Painting, Writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Masterpieces and Idiots

By W R Jones

The Teacher
The Teacher    14″ x 18″   Oil on linen panel


I was at a framing shop when I noticed a beautiful large, 8′ x 10′, maple frame.  I commented on it and the frame shop owner showed me the large painting for which it was intended.  The painting was solid black, purchased at an auction for $80,000.  The buyer felt he got a bargain.    I was astounded.  The shop owner told me the painting was by a well known artist – never heard of him.  I looked him up using Google.  He is mostly known for sculpture which is as minimal in design as his painting.  A slab of steel for equally weighty sums of money.  

I thought the outlay of $80K for a solid black painting was stupid in the extreme.  But then I read in the Wall Street Journal of a solid red painting that sold for $34 Million.  What the hell is going on here?  My first thought is to question how  people that stupid can get their hands on large sums of money.  But then – maybe they are actually very smart.  They are investing, looking for a real idiot to purchase from them for even more money.   I suppose it is a pretty good business model.  There will never be a shortage of idiots.   I can’t help but wonder if somewhere down the line there may be a terminal idiot.  The last in the line before the rest of the world figures out you can pretty much paint your own solid color (or have the maid do it for you).

But what about collectors who buy these pieces for pleasure and not resale?  What is going on in their minds?   Do they see it as a masterpiece?  If you change the signature on the piece how much would they pay then?  I imagine an experiment whereby you take an actual Picasso painting and change the signature to Sever Tisthammer, a Minnesota grain farmer.  At the same time have a five year old draw something and have Picasso sign it.  I would love to be at that auction.

I’m just another of the billions of idiots without the funds to flaunt my lack of common sense.  I’m forced to promote my idiocy through everyday conversations with random passers by.  I must say I’m having considerable success.  At least locally, practically everyone calls me an idiot.

I still feel $34 Million for a signature on some red paint is a less than optimum use of money.  Maybe it is just the jealousy talking here.  I can’t get diddly squat for my signature unless it is on a check.

Posted in Painting, Portrait, Rants | Tagged , , | 8 Comments