Unfinished

By W.R. Jones

    I have a plethora of unfinished work.  This is a small watercolor study for a planned oil painting.  I did part of a face and part of a hand and none of the oil painting.  I have LOTS of plans that don’t workout.

    But I’m not the only one –  I bet my alma mater, UCLA, planned to win that football game; not lose 59 to 0.  Jeeeesus.  I’m talking to my lawyer later in the week (after they release him from a short stint in jail – it was a minor legal infraction as I understand).  I think we may have a case against the university for gross devaluation of my diploma and extreme embarrassment at ever having set foot on that campus.   Still, I’m better off than the members of football team.  I imagine them burning their jerseys, sitting around the training table with heads hung low, looking at each other, and mumbling, “Shit, now we’ll never get laid.”

    On the other hand with my daughter attending USC – I’m wearing a new jersey.

    But, really, should we expect a professional college team to perform to some standard?  Many painters don’t feel the need.  Robert Burridge, that nearly world famous paint slinger wants his students to have “fun”.  Wait a minute, aren’t they supposed to learn something as well.  When you attend class what is more important – fun or learning?

   Lucy was telling me about family friends of hers.  This couple was FOCUSED on LEARNING.  So, they paid $16000 per year tuition for a private school for their daughter starting in kindergarten.  However, the school focused on FUN.  They did not want the parents interfering by helping their child to read/write at home.  Now it is after third grade and the daughter can’t read or write worth a hoot.  The parents are livid but still stupid.  They are quitting their jobs to move to a new town where tuition for their daughter is less costly.  I would think for $16000 a year one could find a pretty good tutor.  I wonder if their daughter is having fun. 

    I’m making personal progress.  This weekend I threw away an unfinished painting thus changing that project to finished.

    My daughter informed me last night I should make it clear the hand is not connected to or related to the face.  It is two separate studies on the same piece of paper.  She was trying to figure out how anyone could hold their hand in this position relative to the face.

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This entry was posted in Humor, Painting, Rants, Watercolor. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Unfinished

  1. Carol King says:

    lovely start to a completed painted. her face has a great expression.

    I’ve started a number of things that end up being completed by going into the trash.

    this painting business is HARD WORK. sometimes it’s no fun at all!

  2. bonnieluria says:

    Just the fact that you keep at it, proves that it IS fun, or, like the rest of us, you’re seeking penance.
    Not pennants like your disgraced team, though.

    Art is hard, watercolor is the Triathlon.

    I admit being encouraged to learn here,that even great painters have trashed their work and had miserable days with it.

    Glad too that I don’t have to send any kids to school anymore…..

  3. wrjones says:

    Carol – a lot of times it is no fun. That is what the wine and pills and Good ‘n Plenty are for.

    Bonnie – Sometimes I think it must be the pain that is attracting me to “pain”ting. I’ve taken to sitting on broken glass while I work. But usually by the time I break the glass I’ve finished off the bottle so it is not that painful. Hope you made it through the storms without losing all your roses.

  4. Livid But Stupid would be a good name for a rock band.

    It was a nice study, but I know that sometimes it feels good to throw stuff in the trash or the burn pile.

    Oh, and BTW, you’ve been awarded the Brilliante Weblog Award. You can stop by my blog to pick it up at your convenience.

  5. Melinda says:

    This is a strong watercolor study. If you haven’t lost interest in it, finish it or crop (no, not cr#p) it and make an oil study.

    Some parents equate money with value, but that ain’t necessarily so. We lucked out in our provincial berg in AZ and found BASIS, a public charter school that has been ranking number one to three in the nation for the last three years. Writing a check blindfolded just won’t do anymore!

    Fritz Scholder would occasionally take a utility knife to a canvas that “had defied him.” Don’t you just love that term?
    However, I prefer to blame you for my unfinished work this week. You, and Lisa.

  6. wrjones says:

    Thanks Diana, I did stop by but could not find the Brilliante. Do you suppose some wretched thief took my trophy before I arrived? Anyway, I’m honored that you chose to lie to me. Could you just mail me a cookie?

    Melinda – I’m not allowed to have knives except for the dull plastic types. I guess I could spread peanut butter on those paintings that defy me. That could get expensive and messy. I’d better buy at Costco to get a bulk deal. Hey, why don’t you try writing me a check blindfolded? I think that would be a lot of fun. We could do it on the phone. Call me, you can close your eyes and I will tell you what to write. Do you have a LOT of money?

  7. Bill – the painting is wonderful – breaths on its own – as for myself, I wish I had a dollar for every unfinished project I have under my roof…

  8. Bill!
    You must be a fun family to be around around the time of the cross-town game!! Do you draw a chalk line down the center of the living room?

    That is a GREAT watercolor! Maybe it’s unfinished but it’s still wonderful… great expression…

    Here’s the next question…. Do you have stacks of paintings leaning against your walls? Are they ever finished???

  9. Hold the phone, W.R.!…I’m a UCLA alumnus as well (BA and MA in fine art). 59 to 0! What sort of shit is that!! I’m going to burn my degrees. Ya know, my first semester in ’65, I flunked out. I was a science (meteorology) major and that WAS NO FUN!!!!! I got back in fall semester after two college summer school classes as an art major. That was fun!

  10. Edgar says:

    So let me see if I understand. You planned to make a painting. You did a sketch of it. Then you threw it away. And after that, it was “finished,” and all you have is a photographic record?
    … I think that’s called Conceptual Art.

    It’s a lot like fantasy football, without the betting. So, fantasy football can be a lot more lucrative.

  11. Now Bill, about that Brilliante Weblog Award from Diana Moses Botkin, … well you couldn’t have looked very hard … easy as pie to find! Go back and CLAIM IT, it’s an honor to receive an award at any time!

    On second thought, maybe you should let Lisa claim it! She’s far more technically adept. BTW, nice watercolor study, LOVE the “dreaming expression” on the young ladies face.

  12. wrjones says:

    Cara – Thanks. I also have a collection of unfinished pieces, but I found finishing isn’t so hard if you simply toss em. With my memory I soon forget they ever existed.

    Marion – it is fun to have family attending the different schools. Between us, my daughter and I have attended UCLA, UCSB, UCSD, UC Irvine, and USC. My new sports strategy is to wear USC colors for football and UCLA for basketball (but I’m flexible depending on which team is having a good season). I do have quite a few paintings leaning and in boxes.

    David – I just knew you were intelligent. I never flunked out and graduated with honors but once had a 1.79 GPA for a quarter; played way too much golf.

    That’s right Edgar, only a photo left, and that has been heavily retouched in photoshop to make the painting look reasonable. I expect many endevors pay better than trying to make money off paintings that don’t exist.

    Janet – I’m going right now to have another look. I may need you to come with me.

  13. Dar says:

    The painting is beautiful. You’ve created a dynamic perspective with her head position in relation to her shoulders, and presented such a lovely expression. “The hand,” while well done, reminds me of an old Michael Caine movie.

  14. wrjones says:

    Thanks Dar – Does it remind you of a hand in the movie or a jar of grape jelly?

  15. Barbara Pask says:

    Better to have things waiting to be painted than no idea what to paint. I say so many things to paint so little time. Hope I always feel that way. I just love your blog, funny stuff.

  16. wrjones says:

    Thanks, Barbara. I used to have difficulty coming up with any idea what to paint. Now I’m like you with way more ideas than time.

  17. Hey… I went to UCSB and USC. Dare I ask WHEN you went?
    You’d probably guess they hadn’t built it yet when I was there… But boy did we have fun at UCSB. I guess we might have learned a few things too. Let’s see … destroy brain cells partying… build brain cells studying… hmmmm… It’s lucky I had any left when I did post grad at USC!!

  18. Nava says:

    “This is a small watercolor study for a planned oil painting.”

    Ahhhh, et tu, Bill? You and Bonnie Luria are breakin’ my heart. I have expressed my gutted lamentation on her blog here.

    It’s a great one – wonderful dreamy expression, good composition and a glorious background. you just need to develop the hand so it doesn’t look like Thing from The Addams Family.

    Oh, and between a doctor who feeds you placebo and a lawyer who’s in jail – you have my ultimate sympathy!

  19. wrjones says:

    Marian – I attended UCSB in the mid 70’s. My daughter is in her 2nd year of medical school at USC now. Do you go to the football games? I would like to go for the pregame tailgate party then watch on a big screen in comfort somewhere.

    Nava – The hand seems ok to me. It is not related to the face but a separate study. She was sitting on the floor leaning to one side and supporting herself on the hand as painted. I don’t mind the placebos, they seem to work and have minimal side effects. Also, it is good to have a lawyer who has been in the trenches so to speak. I don’t look down on watercolors – they are just too hard for me. In oil you can screwup over and over and still recover, not so with watercolor.

  20. Erin M says:

    with all your witty ranting, I want to know your feelings on all those political ads ;)

  21. wrjones says:

    Erin – You are perhaps unaware of this but I’m the strong silent type who almost never voices his opinion although it is always the correct one.

    However, that said, I may mention the subject on the morrow. In case you can’t wait, the short answer is “Take those people out and shoot them down like dogs.”

  22. Hi, nice, fun blog, gorgeous study…it looks complete, not like a sketch.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I finally finished Chief Five Crows, they will be shipped off to Boston soon!

    mj

  23. I like the picture. It is as if the girl saw something that surprised her in a nice way. She turns, looking at, adoring the subject in her view.

  24. wrjones says:

    I like your thinking, Preston. I know they call drawing/painting for a written work as illustration, what do they call the reverse where you create narative for a painting? When I do it, it is called bullshit, but your work is poetry.

  25. Nava says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhh – I hereby apologize and am wallowing in guilt over what I wrote about Thing. Y’see, I thought the hand was supposed to belong to someone who had his/her arm around the girl’s shoulder. As a separate study – it’s glorious, and I envy your ability to do hands – I am still struggling.

    Oh, and you’d be surprised how fixable watercolor can be – as long as you’re not after the perfect washes.

  26. wrjones says:

    Ok, Nava, you are forgiven. I really like that word glorious could you come back and use it some more (on my stuff not Lisa’s).

    I’m going to be doing some watercolor “attempts” this weekend. And, no, I very much doubt I’ll be posting it.

  27. Karen Phipps says:

    I feel your college football pain… we sat in the drenching rain in the end zone to watch Michigan get their ass kicked by Notre Dame!! Almost as bad as BYU…

  28. wrjones says:

    Karen, you poor thing, I hope you don’t get a runny nose. Maybe God likes those religious schools.

    I like your work and will add a link when I get back to a real computer and not this phone.

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