One Poppy And A Bone To Pick

By W.R. Jones

    Lisa is whining again.  I SO put her out by asking for a photo.  A Herculean task to be sure.  Let us see, that would require selecting the file, another click to attach it to an email, and yet a third click to send it.  OK, I can see why she would balk.  That would tucker out her tennis playing arm and leave her team vulnerable to defeat. 


    She told me about this fantastic painting trip with hills aglow with blooming poppies.  Orange as far as the eye could see and she had found this wonderful complete set of bones which looked, to her trained eye, to be tyrannosaurus rex remains. 

    With my secret desire to be an old lady flower painter I headed off into the desert looking for these floral vistas.  Here is what Lisa directed me to.  ONE damn poppy, and the little orphan wasn’t even in the right place for my painting.  I had to dig him up and move him.

    After she mentioned bones, it occurred to me they might work in my piece.  Once locked on to this concept I couldn’t let it go even after that lazy woman’s refusal to help me.  I had to go back to the desert, shoot Peter Cottontail, skin him, then set for months waiting for the bones to bleach.  I lost over two months wages while I sat in the desert over these bones.  For that reason I’m raising my price on this piece only to $12.  Once again I will cover the cost of framing, shipping, insurance, and a piece of Lime pie that I will include as a good will gesture to you, the first person to ever buy one of my paintings.

    And thanks a lot, Lisa, for showing me those bones you found.  Now you’ve put me off plein air painting entirely.  I’m not going if they have creatures like this out there, and something even bigger may have killed this one.

    I’m going to create a plein air enviornment in the safety of my home.  I will add a sunlamp then connect an umbrella to my easel to block it.  Then another sunlamp to shine directly on the palette to simulate the umbrella not working worth a damn.  I have a atmosphere program which lets you select from 50 birds and 30 insect sounds.  It also has cows, dogs, horses, church bells, etc.  I will play that.  Depending on the insects I select I may have to put on some insect repellant.  I will put some books and a pail of water under one foot to simulate standing in a stream for that perfect view.   Finally, I will tape a National Geographic outdoor photo to the easel.  That’s the scene I’m painting.

    There’s no worries about copyright here.  My copies are so poor there is no way anyone will recognize a connection, and even if they did, no jury is going to convict me.  They would jump up in unison and say, “Let the poor old devil go.  Just look at his work; he has suffered enough.”

This entry was posted in Humor, Landscape, On Suffering, Painting, Plein Air, Rants. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to One Poppy And A Bone To Pick

  1. 100swallows says:

    That old skull, if it is a skull, is very clever, Bill. (It’s also clever if it’s a rock.) It puts us in the foreground. Without it up front the viewer would go back and get that damn poppy and its shadow. And then there’d be nothing left but those tumble weeds or stumble weeds which block the path. Is that fence back there electrified? Careful when you pee.

  2. Hey thanks for stopping by my blog to comment. It made me visit your site and I am so glad! What a kick! Thanks for the laughs and the extra dose of serotonin.

  3. W. R.: Ya got wit and gotta love it! What a greeeat idea!…a faux plein air environment indoors!!! Leave it to the frogies (you ain’t French are ya?) to invent fru, fru words for Outdoor painting! And didn’t they also invent Faux for fake?! Why they don’t even spell right!!! What’s up with that!!!!! I’m gettin hot under the color thinking about all this, so I’m goin to sign off and get liquored up. I will, however, add you as a link to my blog first.

  4. wrjones says:

    100swallows – Damn, whatever I paint seems to end up looking like a rock, e.g. my cows in Wyoming. I once got hung up on an electric fence while going after a pheasant. When you are being shocked you can’t figure out what is happening. After I finally fell away from the fence I decided the bird had won. I went straight home and had a hamburger.

    Diana – thank you for visiting us. Come back anytime you are looking to read some wiffledust, er, fine literature.

    David – stop by for a drink. Bring the bottle please; grfxho recommends Ciroc. We can discuss ways to straighten those French out.

  5. I enjoy the humor as well. No point in getting all up tight about painting.
    I also am glad you stopped by my blog the other day, and spoke up, so I could find you.
    I will come back often, because I really like how you both write, at least what I have read so far.
    Best picture of a poppy and a rock that I have seen in a long time.

  6. lbtowers says:

    That is not a rock Frank. Cut me some slack. Bill did not have a reference picture of a skull, so you are adding fuel to a fire by calling it a rock. I am going to have to stretch Bill’s canvases for A YEAR now.

  7. silvina says:

    This painting is a riot! One little poppy. I live a few minutes from the poppy reserve and have seen masses of these flowers covering the hillsides.
    I set out to find the poppies two weeks ago, got lost and came across a flock of sheep and their shepherd. I interviewed him and took pictures of his flock instead of painting the illusive orange flowers.
    Love your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine.

  8. wrjones says:

    Frank, Frank, please refer to your Gross Rabbit Anatomy book. You will see this is a fine Peter Cottontail rendering. It is practically a formal portrait. I have future plans on doing the neural system hanging from a fence post.

    Silvina, I am a great sheep painter. Send me a photo. The fuzzy little critters. I like to walk up to them and pluck some wool. Sometimes I use it to repair by brushes and sometimes to knit socks for grfxho. They don’t seem to enjoy the process as much as I do.

  9. O.K., O.K., I appologize. I did not see it clearly. In my affort to read as many of these great posts as I could I did not click on the enlarge like I should have.

  10. kevmoore says:

    Your poppy locating skills seem to preclude you from ascending the illegal heights of opium warlord Bill. too bad.

  11. gypsy-heart says:

    Next time she sends you to a site you best take some bread crumbs. At times, you have been pretty mean to her, so I think she has ulterior motives!
    I keep telling you pay back is hell!

    I left you a comment a few posts back, but you just ignored me!:O I was only teasing about Mango. :)

    Seriously (which is difficult to be here)..I like the piece most especially the lone red poppy!

  12. wrjones says:

    Apology accepted, Frank. Simple rule here, if I say I painted a rose, and to you it looks like a rat turd; train your mind to see a rose.

    Oh, Kev, when I read your comment I got this terrible sinking feeling in my stomach. I myself am more of a meth type dealer. I like that the teeth decay and fall out. That way you can recognize your good customers and give them a small
    discount. I prefer to sell to friends and family. Mom’s a good customer although she is a little behind. It will be a shame to take her house. Still, the county runs a pretty good home for old people.

    I think Lisa might be the opium queenpin. That is why all the poppies disappeared directly after her trip. I’ve overheard her students mention that their habits were very expensive. I thought they were talking about her painting classes. This explains how she could trade in that Nash Rambler for an 08 Ferrari, and why I’ve seen her recent ads for a real painter to be her blog partner.

    Gypsy – the only reason I did not answer your last comment is that I have been in the hospital for liposuction and a lip job. If I ever miss again you can contact me at for a direct chastisement. Also, my birthday is coming up so we can discuss what you might get me.

    I’m very hurt by your comment on my RED poppy. It is supposed to be orange. My orange looks red, my cows and rabbits look like rocks. I feel like I’m painting for the blind.

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