Frogger

By W.R. Jones

    I wanted to paint this intersection in plein air but when I found a spot I could paint from, the view was not what I liked.  I only found the view from the center of the road of interest.  This painting is deceiving in that it has no cars but there is a steady stream of them going through.

    I got my camera, waited for a break in traffic and sprinted to the middle of the road.  Ok, it wasn’t a sprint, but it felt like a pretty good clip.  Brought the camera up to shoot but was so nervous about the oncoming car I jerked the shot then ran back to the side of the road.  I looked at the result; blurry.  Damn, I had to go back out there.  Waited for the next opening and ran to the center; again I lost my nerve as I could see the approaching driver on the phone; jerked another shot, ran to the side of the road – blurry.  Oh, Christ, I’ve got to go back.

    I ran back out determined to get this right.  Stood my ground, took a deep breath, counted to 1 and took the shot.  I ran to the side of the road to check; good.  Oh, no, I’m on the wrong side of the road, I’ve got to cross again to get to the car.  I was in the middle of the game of Frogger.

    When I made it to the car my nerves were seriously damaged.  I could not drive home in this condition.  I had a few pulls from my emergency flask then headed home.

    I’ve got a new attorney, Ms. Gloria Allgreen, I chose her as I thought the name might influence the jury if they were politically correct tree huggers.  She says I’m extremely lucky, those were her exact words, that I was only going about 1 MPH when I hit that old couple with white canes crossing the intersection.  Apparently I nodded off an fell onto the emergency brake which slowed the car down from the 85 MPH I last remember seeing on the speedometer.  I was going this fast trying to make it home before I fell asleep which often happens if I go a little heavy on the emergency flask.

   Still, looking on the bright side of events, there are no cars driving through my little space here at county; I can relax a little. 

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9 Responses to Frogger

  1. Dar says:

    I’m glad you didn’t get run over, even if you did end up in the hoosegow.
    Bill, um, this is, um, a really incredible painting. I tend to look at design as much as painting prowess (except in my own work, in which I fly by the seat of my pants on both counts, except when it’s this hot in my studio and I’m painting in my undies. how’s that for an aside). You demonstrate some amazing design work here. Don’t ask me to be specific, because I hate rules and formulae. I could say something about the diagonals, or all the rising motion, or the perspective of the road leading me in, blah blah blah. I could also get all existential, and mention the before and after ‘trees’ ( I like that one), or the road of life, and what’s around the corner, blah blah blah. Can we just agree that it’s brilliant?
    I also like the variety of green you found. I am usually not a fan of landscapes, because I’ve seen too many orange or purple skies. (notice I haven’t painted any landscapes yet, so I am the annoying armchair landscape critic.) I would buy this, but my husband is suspicious since all my comments mention undergarments.

  2. wrjones says:

    Thanks, Dar. You can’t go wrong mentioning undergarments in a critique. It is a guarantee the reader will plow through to the end. Tell that husband of yours to get you a good air conditioner and you will be happy to wear a full length mink burka.

  3. Hi Ed.

    talking about undies . . . I’ve been reading about Gustav Klimt (you know, painter of “This Kiss”). He was a reclusive guy, and he worked in what was essentially a long dress, with nothing underneath.

    anyway, this painting was worth the effort! love the way the road and the railing on the right draws me into it. and wonderful variety of greens.

    Holly

  4. 100swallows says:

    Bill: that’s a nice picture but a mean curve. And the highway people didn’t make it any safer by standing that telephone pole so near the road. If I were approaching it fast and I saw a harvester,say,blocking the curve,it would be a bad bet to go right of the pole, so I’d have to go left of those trees.

  5. I have done several illegal middle of the road snaps. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. What’s usually in the flask? Is that a hillside orchard or vineyard in the upper left?

  6. Anna Surface says:

    Wow! Lovely, lovely painting! I know about that game Frogger and standing in the middle of a busy road for a photo. One time, a fellow stop and asked if I were okay. I just held up my camera to him for the explanation. Glad you played Frogger and survived! LOL Too funny–your story. :)

  7. wrjones says:

    Holly – thanks for the compliment, I think, unless it was meant for Ed. My name is Bill. Mom used to call me a horse’s ass, so maybe you have me mixed up with Mr. Ed,the talking horse’s ass.

    Damn, Swallows, I almost had this painting sold to Dar. Now that she knows the pole is in the wrong place, the deal will collapse. After you noticed the error I checked it and sure enough I have it too close to the road. Now I have to go to the utility company and beg them to move the pole so my painting is correct.

    David – I think that is a small orange grove. I have Vincent Can Gogh Dutch Chocolate vodka in the flask. I like to sip on it and talk on the phone while I drive.

    Anna – thank you. Can I come live with you and Preston? Just for a few months/years until I get back on my feet.

  8. gypsy-heart says:

    Another saga from Bill’s painting adventures! If I ever go with you I will pack a survival kit along with my art supplies…like a bullet proof vest, a crash helmet, etc.

    I like this piece very much!

  9. wrjones says:

    Thanks, gypsy-heart. We would have a great time. A few tugs on my flask and you would relax and throw all that survival junk away. I do think you should bring some peanut butter sandwiches, however, I’m hungry.

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