By WR Jones


   This is the grandmother (on the mother’s side of the two Shahandeh boys shown in posts Work Ethic and Fishing.   When I gave the drawings of the boys to their mother, grandma remarked she would like to have a drawing of herself.   Her daughter, rather cruelly I thought, said she was too old.   I did this drawing of her in charcoal and sepia on watercolor paper.   I much prefer drawing older people.  Their faces are so much more interesting.

    Time has passed since this was drawn.  She is dead now.  I wonder if her daughter has this drawing.  Does it mean anything to her or was it long ago added to a land fill?

    When I look at this I’m reminded of a woman who ran me off the road when I was driving a motorcycle.   I was ready to unleash a torrent of potty mouth when she smiled at me so demurely saying she was sorry, but she did have her turn signal on.  I pointed out the signal was turned on after she turned into me.  Oh well, I just couldn’t stay mad at her, she was getting along in age.

    This, of course, starts a series of motorcycle memories that I bring up everytime I think of buying another one.   I had a motorcycle in Japan.   A Marine captain took it away from me (as he could do since I was not yet 21) claiming he had a responsibility to see I got home safe.   He actually took it away as a punishment for having a big mouth (Oh – I know – you would never believe that of me, huh?).

     Turns out, he very well may have saved me injury.   A week later my room mate lost his leg in a motocycle wreck.   I was visiting him in the ward as he came out of surgery.  The corpsman was not real sympathetic as he ask how he felt about being such an idiot as to lose his leg.   The entire ward of this navy hospital with perhaps 20 patients was all motorcycle injuries.

     I came back to civilian life where an office mate lost his leg as he was pulling his motorcycle out of his driveway.  His 3 yr old son was on the back.   I was in the hospital the day he was to lose the leg and the day his 3 yr old ran into his father’s room yelling, “daddy daddy, I was in the hospital and you didn’t even come see me.”

    Recently a gym instructor of mine broke her wrist while dirt bike riding and an office secretary damaged a thumb.

    I’m going to the cafeteria now; think I’ll walk. 




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24 Responses to Time

  1. Lisa B. says:

    This is a fantastic portrait Bill. Sorry your motorcycle got confiscated, but glad ya still gots both yer feets!

    I’ll bet you could do a great portrait of a Harley.

  2. This is a gorgeous portrait. Too old? Damn, that’s harsh. Guess the young woman who said that is “too old” now? I hope someone in the family treasured this drawing. Glad you know enough to stay off those bikes – nothing but trouble from those who can’t ride them safely to those who don’t “see” them on the roads.

  3. Rebecca says:

    That’s a great portait, Bill! Wow, there’s a lot of talent in that house! What about your daughter?
    Here, tell Lisa to sell her art here: Once I paid for the membership ($7), I instantly had 70 views:

  4. Rebecca says:

    My comments just disappeared! I’ll say it again..
    Great portrait Bill!! Tell your wife to try selling her art on Artfire: http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=sevenforlife&afuid=12784

  5. Jala Pfaff says:

    Wonderful portrait! The daughter of this woman was evil.

    Glad you’re staying off the motorcycles.

  6. Bill I love the drawing – there is so much personality in it.

    And about the stories of motorcycle injuries – not good news for someone who’se planning a two week road trip back to New Mexico this summer…on a bike!

    By the way – I finally posted a painting on my site.
    Aren’t you surprised?

  7. kimiam says:

    I love the portrait, Bill. You’re incredible.

    I had a friend who was in a motorcycle accident and lost about three years of his memory, including how the accident happened. We had great fun making up the events of the accident we could tease him about while he was recovering from the physical injuries.

    Of course he got a good deal. How many people in this world walk away from a motorcycle accident three years younger?

  8. Rebecca says:

    Bill, You’ve really captured her personality here, I think. This is great!

    And, your reputation preceded you with that Marine Captain..

  9. Bill, I agree with you about the character and detail in the form of the elderly. Smooth pretty skin has it’s place, but the lines and wrinkles of the old say so much more, as in your drawing.

    I had a small motorbike when I was at Okinawa, never had one since – some thirty plus years. They are fun to ride and I’ve often thought of getting one. The injury possibility is what keeps me away.

  10. Dar says:

    This is an incredible portrait. I admire the way you handle the medium, and how you place her image and round out the remaining space of the background. She was clearly a respectable, wise old broad. There is so much more character and artistry here than those airbrushed teens Lipking does. (Sorry, Jer, I’ll pose next time I’m frolicking nekked in the forest.)

  11. Aletha says:

    What a wonderful drawing. She looks like she knows a wonderful secret.

  12. This is a really nice piece, Bill. I do hope it is still being enjoyed by the woman’s heirs.

    You should do some more portraits of old women sometime.

  13. Hi Bill, wow, this portrait is wonderful! it looks like you really captured her spirit. Holly

  14. lbtowers says:

    Bill, this is your blog partner in crime speaking. I know you may think I’m blowing smoke up your derriere, but I really like this portrait.

  15. wrjones says:

    Lisa B – Thanks. I think I’m better off without the motorcycle. I need to walk more anyway.

    Rhonda – Thank you. It is not that I’m smart enough to stay off the bikes; I just can’t afford one. I’m looking pretty cool on my skateboard.

    Rebecca – Both these comments ended up in spam. Maybe because they had a link. My daughter paints but not my wife. You did know that Lisa and I are not married. We are not living together either or even in the same town. We are doing good to be on speaking terms much of the time. She has always harbored a grudge that I was once nominated for a Nobel prize in literature (by my friend Bobby, after a night of rum and coke). Apparently Bobby doesn’t have all that much influence as I never received the prize.

    Jala – Thanks. I know lots of evil people. I don’t know; I just like hanging with them.

    Cara – you ride carefully. I don’t want to be an “I told you so” with you. I’m delighted you are painting, will be right by.

    Kimiam – I love that first line of your comment. Going to frame it. Do you think you could do it again in a MUCH larger font? I suppose if I drive into a tree at 60 I can take a few years off. But my years are a mess already. I act like a 3 year old but lead the life of an active 75 year old.

    Rebecca – Thanks. I just opened my mouth around that captain, and surprise, I was in trouble. Who would have thunk it?

    Preston – stay off them. A bit of fun is not worth an arm or leg or memory loss. (well, some memories, anyway). If lines on your face say more, I think I’ve got a War and Peace on mine.

    Dar – you have made my week – Thank you Thank you.

    Aletha – she probably knew a ton of secrets.

    Diana – Thanks. More old women? I’m drawn more to those middle aged women, you know, 12 or 13.

    Holly – Thank you.

    Lisa – What a surprise to see you in this neck of the woods. I’m still coming by on Friday to try the early wine. Happy hour at about 3:30?

  16. 100swallows says:

    Bill, I like this one too. I didn’t know Lisa sometimes blew smoke that way or I would never have worried that you’d think I was doing that. I don’t even smoke.

  17. Rebecca says:

    Thanks Bill for not voting for me!!! Now, you can send your wife over there to vote for #1 to cancel you out!! LOL

  18. Bonnie Luria says:

    Bill- this piece is a beautiful homage to aging, a process that ignores none of us.
    You have captured something so regal and elegant here and perhaps have even flattered a lady who has felt invisible because she isn’t 22 anymore.

    It’s offensive to see anti aging creams being advertised on TV, as the 12 year old model smoothes some kind of carnuba wax on her face and talks about how wrinkles just seem to disappear.

    I like what you included as much as what you left out.
    This lady has lived and has earned having her portrait done.

  19. wrjones says:

    Thanks, Swallows – Lisa smokes, drinks, takes drugs, and paints. We are trying to determine her most destructive vice.

    Rebecca – I’m so sorry I thought that was a self portrait and I was voting for you.

    Bonnie – Thanks. I hope that lovely foot of yours never gets a wrinkle.

  20. Carol King says:

    YOU HAVE A POTTY MOUTH? Stop it!!!!!

    Love the portrait of granny. I hope it’s not in a landfill somewhere. She deserves to be admired in a beautiful frame.

    You are very talented. Maybe some day when I’m as old as you I will be able to draw as well.

    (THAT WAS A JOKE!) :)

  21. wrjones says:

    Carol – I have a potty mouth? Here is the thing, I do read your posts from time to time; so does WTF stand for what the foouey?

    I hope you do get as old as I and way beyond and draw like a wizard!

  22. Don Gray says:

    A beautiful portrait, Bill. Full of character and feeling.

  23. gypsy-heart says:

    Okay..next time I will scroll down before I comment. So now I have two most favorites!! Beautifully rendered!

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