Focused


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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Colorblind

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.

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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

blueboycharcoal2

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.

fenniak00-220x160

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

SusanHauptman_SelfPortraitasPrimadonna_web-118x160

Steven Assael is a Forum Gallery artist:

assael25-107x160

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

sprick_vanitas_med

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
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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Faux

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

Auction

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.

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Lost

By WR Jones

First Day of Spring
First Day of Spring – 14″ x 18″ – Oil on linen panel

BuyNow

See this one horse, er one truck town?  I wouldn’t be able to find my way.  Simply too many streets.  Well, not so many streets as much as the one street has two possible directions.

I’ve been spatially bereft since birth.  I probably found the nurse’s breast by mistake.   That part of my brain that should have been devoted to determining where I am in the world was crowded out by a neural structure devoted to whiffledust.

My first memory of being lost was at the age of 5 when we visited relatives in a small Iowa town.   I wandered off.  As soon as I realized I was lost my lower lip started quivering, tears began to flow, and my nose got runny.  Some adult found me and took me to mother.  I’ve been using this same technique ever since.  I did have a learning curve about whom I could use this particular technique on.   Certain people are sympathetic when confronting tears, others just kick your ass for sniveling.

I have many painful memories of the old days with road maps.  Long hours looking at maps and street signs.  I know I’m on this street but am I going north or south?  What does north and south stand for anyway?   The top of the map is always north so what is the point of talking about that stuff?

I once spent a week doing some work for the Navy in Washington DC.   Flew in from California, picked up a rental car and drove to hotel.  They told me I did not have a reservation.  I insisted I did as I watched as the reservation was made.  They informed me that while I did have the correct hotel name, I was in the wrong town,  Oh.

Got to the right town and hotel.  Let’s call that point A and we will call the building I was working in for the week, point B.  Monday morning, going from point A to point B I got lost.  This was to be expected.  Tuesday morning from the same point A to the same point B I got lost again.  Wednesday was an embarrassing repeat of Monday and Tue.  Thursday the same.  Now I look like a complete nitwit.   Thursday evening a woman flew in from CA to go with me to a meeting on Friday.   I told her (I wouldn’t have but expected others to rat me out so wanted to appear to be forthright about my issues) about being lost 4 days in a row going between same two points.  I assured her that I had the route locked in my mind now.  No worries about getting to meeting.   Started out confidently.  Eventually my sense of passing time tells me the bad news – there is no living way I’m on the correct route.  I stop to ask directions AGAIN – I’m in the wrong state and heading further away from my destination.   I have no recollection of getting back to CA.  Maybe they boxed me up and mailed me.

Then came the miracle of GPS!  I would never be lost again.

Last week I was driving with my wife in Los Angeles.   We left a hospital in San Fernando valley to drive to LA.  I knew the route like the back of my hand.  I was ok until I made that one wrong turn.    No problem, I will get off at the next off ramp, get back on in the other direction and retrace my path.  As bad luck would have it, there was no on ramp going the other direction.   This turn, that turn, nothing.  Finally my wife gets fed up and turns on the GPS.  Except for the “rerouting” mantra getting back on track was a breeze.   Then I shut the GPS off as I knew the rest of the route.  And I did, thus I can’t explain how I made that wrong turn.  That 50/50 chance stuff is bullshit.  I get it wrong 100% of the time.  My wife turned on the GPS again and told me if I touched it she would bounce my head off the steering wheel. 

I have some struggles typing this post.   This computer seems a little different.   I hope I’m in the right house.

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A Mother’s Love

By wr jones


“Erika” in a sort of Sargent pose – oil on  linen 36″ x 24″

Neighborhood Watch
Neighborhood Watch  -  oil on linen  -  I don’t remember the size and am too lazy to check.  He weighs 5 lbs and this is 3/4 size painting, you do the calculations.

Mango Resting
Mango not watching the neighborhood – off duty position.

I read an article about a woman with a cat and a child.  The article didn’t mention it but it seems she got the cat before the child was born.  Turns out the child is allergic to the cat.   On finding this out the mother took a belligerent stand about never getting rid of the cat.  The way it read in the paper made it seem that getting rid of the child and keeping the cat was a option.  Instead mother came up with  a plan to dose the child daily with allergy pills and eye drops.  I hope the kid has a loving grandparent because if the cat turns up allergic to the kid, sonny boy is history.

I would choose my daughter over Mango (most of the time anyway).   Mango wouldn’t care that much.  He would head out the doggy door and look for a better life elsewhere.  I’m not sure how much better life he would expect to get.   We feed him, wipe his butt, carry him everywhere and give up our pillows nightly for him to sleep comfortably.

You can’t buy these paintings for any amount of money – within reason of course, oh hell, just make me an offer.

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