Ow, Ow

By WR Jones

    This was not the motif I had in mind for the day.  Earlier I had pulled off the canyon road to paint a group of rocks high on a hill.  It was sunny and windy.  I parked along the road and set up under a tree for shade.  I hung a 10lb dumbell, purchased at Wal Mart, from my tripod to prevent it being blown over.  Once under the tree I could see it would not be enough shade.  The sun kept finding little areas of my canvas no matter how I moved the easel. 

    Because of the wind I didn’t want to use an umbrella but had no choice.  I attached it to the tripod and used an elaborate set of moves to wedge the umbrella in the tree branches.  Almost ready to go.  I put out and mixed my paints, sketched in a rough drawing, took my meditative deep breaths to relax, and … OW!  Something stabbed me high up on my inner thigh.  I looked around for a thorn bush, then OW, another sword strike lower down the thigh; a few seconds later behind the knee and on the ankle. 

    I looked down at my feet and found them and my lower legs covered with large red and black ants.  I was standing on a nest of miniature land piranhas.  They were eating me alive.  I jumped off the nest and shucked out of my pants in a pair of seconds.   Standing by the roadside in my bare feet and skivvies I was swatting the little devils as fast as I could go.  I was worried I might pass out from loss of blood, but did anyone stop to give me aid?  In a word, no, every passing car driver took a look at me, swerved away and sped up.  I just don’t get it.

    I decided I didn’t want to paint those rocks all that bad and moved on down the road.  This time I set up out on the road so I could see those evil insects if they launched another attack.  Here’s the thing.  Would you rather be bitten by an ant or hit by a dirt truck?  laying here in my full body cast, I can see an ant starting up my leg.  How did he get in here?

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

20 Responses to Ow, Ow

  1. 100swallows says:

    Picasso and I keep wondering why you don’t just stay indoors and paint guitars and newspapers and two-dimensional ladies. Outdoors is for boyscouts and bums. Or to go to the bathroom when you’re travelling.

  2. wrjones says:

    I had the right to remain silent about Picasso, but not the brains. You guys are right about the indoor painting. It is where I belong; next to the frig and bathroom. Next week I will post about my unique definition/approach to plein air. I’m bound to end up an international icon like Pablo.

    You really should pickup a few of my pieces now for use in financing your retirement. You did want to live like a monk, right?

  3. bonnieluria says:

    Please refer to my original quote:
    ” Outside Begins With OW” “.
    Say it a few times until it registers.
    Yet every time I read one of the entries on this blog, I’m already assuming that something is going to make me laugh.
    An older previous post of yours ( so indoors is not always the solution either ) had me choking over favorite corduroy pants, laundry, bleach, and painting in skivvies. I guess I could do a tag search, but I’m sure you know which one I mean.

    Guffaw-ing aside, there is always a bounty of wonderful art here too.
    Love this site.

  4. Rick Nilson says:

    Now that I know what that’s like, you might have called it “on painting with compromise”. Thanks for coming by my blog. I did a new one. “I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY I’M TALKING TO YOU”.

  5. 100swallows says:

    I thought that was very courageous of you to call Picasso una mierda. I’m beginning to admire courage more than truth lately. Retirement? At my tender age? I HAVE heard of people who retired at forty but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I don’t have birthdays like you do. Silly thing, a birthday. Charting one’s mortality.

    A monk? I don’t know if they would let me hang up your pictures in my cell. Monasteries aren’t all they seem. Most have community life–no privacy. The Carthusians give you your own little two floor house with a garden but you can’t have a cat or bird or pet of any kind–only roses. If they’d give me a cat I’d consider it. Right now I’m feathering my nest with euros, which seem very soft and comfy, and your paintings scratch a little, don’t they? Otherwise I’d consider a nice collection of them.
    I’m looking forward to your post on plein air.

  6. wrjones says:

    Bonnie, that is a nice looking foot you have there. Wonder art – you must be referring to my stuff not the BITCHing of Lisa.

    We’ll stop by for a look, Rick. Compromise is us.

    Swallows – when it comes to opening my mouth for expression without much, if any, forethought, I have more balls than a pool table. My post on my version of plein air will be a masterpiece… of rationalization.

  7. Dianne Mize says:

    O.K., Bill. There was this buy named Bill Jones. He had a brother named Jim. And his dad’s name began with an R and is mom’s name began with a W. Is that you?

    Whether or not, I’m glad you landed on my blog. Well, maybe it wasn’t you; maybe it was Lisa. Whoever. I found this blog because of it and like it so much, I’m just damned well gonna come back.

  8. It’s like Van Gogh said: one “must suffer for art.” Guess he encountered a few ants too. (Now we know the real reason for all those curvey brushstrokes.)

  9. Gosh! I can’t imagine why anyone would speed away from a man standing on the side of the road in his skivvies! :lol: And I can’t help but laugh when I “visualize” this scene! :lol:

    Can’t wait to read your piece on plein air! It kind of scares me that your “rationalizations” always seem to make sense … :?

  10. Well, I think it only fair if I actually look at the painting this time. I usually skip to the writing so fast cause the wordpress sites load the text first.
    I like the way you painted the trees Bill and the loose brushwork in the flowers/ grasses along the side of the road.
    You crack me up. Skivies LOL, of course no one stopped to help, they saw you beating yourself and could not see the ants as they went zipping along at 55.
    Miniature land piranhas is an excellent way to put it.

  11. wrjones says:

    Janet – if my wiffledust is making sense, you should be very scared. Is there a mental health facility near you? Did you get your spouse straightened out on the full extent of his duties, ie, everything?

    Frank – thanks, you will always have the option to read or just look at pictures when you visit. We are working on providing cookies and milk and the occasional lap dance to our visitors.

  12. wrjones says:

    Diane – I’m the other BJ, the one that found those wonderful flower paintings of yours. I will be borrowing from your designs for future paintings. You should send me ideas instead of making me work so hard,

    Aletha – Van Gogh and I will forever be connected by our common suffering and inability to sell paintings. I do not plan on shooting myself but I may overdose on Redvines.

  13. Your story reminds me of a Twighlight Zone show I once saw. The ear mite entered the ear, traveled through the head causing god awful agony, then exited the other ear. The patent was happy the ordeal was over with until the discovery of the thousand eggs the mite left along its path.

    Great painting and story.

  14. So Bill, busy this weekend? Are you “marching” in a Memorial Day parade or something?

  15. wrjones says:

    Preston – do you TRY to leave panic in your wake? I was up all night with a flashlight and magnifying glass tweezing ant eggs off my thighs. I think I have some on the back of my neck as well, but everytime I turn to look, the back stays out of sight. I asked my wife to get them off me, I don’t even want to attempt to describe the look she gave me. Thanks for the compliment and the panic; it got my heart rate up for 8 hours. No need for the gym today.

    Janet – I’m afraid if I describe the full joy of my weekend it might do you mental damage from envy; I’ll give you a brief glimpse. Saturday I worked on a full length, 72″, portrait with a LOT of drapery. I don’t know what I was thinking to start this piece. I keep telling myself “I’m learning, I’m learning.” The voice in the back of my head keeps saying, “I’m being punished, I’m being punished.”

    Yesterday I went shooting with my son. I shot his new .45 and didn’t do that bad I felt. At least this time no one was screaming “take the pistol away from grandpa and make him sit in the LOCKED car!” I don’t think they were anyway. I had put on a double set of ear protection as the man shooting next to me was firing some LARGE bore rifle that was causing me ear pain. So, perhaps that wasn’t a friendly wave everyone was giving me. I thought their expressions didn’t match the unbounded joy they were showing by waving so hard.

    And, finally, to top off my joyous weekend I have to remove and replace some moldy silicone from around the shower base. I told my wife to do that why I was painting in Taos. She disobeyed; what do you think her punishment should be? And, and, I don’t want to hear, “living with me should do the trick.”

  16. Dianne Mize says:

    Bill, the “other BJ”. You can still make fun of old lady flower painters ’cause there’s no way I’ll ever be one, age notwithstanding. Glad you like my flowers. Be careful what you borrow, it might nibble at you.

  17. gypsy-heart says:

    I like this piece…I like the line movement especially the yellow line in the road at the bottom. makes me want to see what’s on down the road.

    I would not have picked you up either..I would have called 911 but then you may have ended up in a mental hospital..eh? :)

    Ants I can deal with..we had a bear on the island. He tore up the fence in five places!
    Alligators I’m accustomed to, but bears not sure about them as a live model! :O

    Thanks for the story and sharing the piece!

  18. wrjones says:

    Dianne, when I “borrow” from your lovely flower designs I will be painting under the name “Wilma R. Jones” so I won’t have to take any flack from the boys down at the corral.

    Gypsy – I know you are teasing me. You would have stopped and said something like, “Bill, put your pants on and stop whimpering. That is only an ant bite not a saber tooth tiger. Where are your meds? Let’s get you back on schedule.”

  19. Dar says:

    Boxers or briefs? Men’s or ladies’? It might have an impact on whether or not I pull over to help. But you can be sure I would have at least rolled down the window and offered a “hey baby.” (I can’t whistle either.)

    I see where all the cool kids are hanging out. It’s always happy hour.

  20. wrjones says:

    Well, Dar, a “hey baby” would have made my day. I wear very colorful men’s briefs, unless I’m home alone wearing heels (this can happen if I’ve been painting too many flowers).

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