Migrating Paint

By W.R. Jones

The Neighbors

This is a copy of a plein air painting by David Jonas.   From watching him work I expect this small study was a demo painting for a class at the California Art Institute.  It may have taken him 30 minutes to paint.  He could paint really fast.

He has a great flair for color which I did not come near expressing in this copy.   He paints rather loose so I thought I could do a loose copy.   I figured I could do it in an hour.   After all he had to translate a real scene into a simplified version, I was just copying.

So, four hours later, I was ready to throw in the towel and kick the dog out the window.   Loose is not a synonym for inaccurate.   I was doing inaccurate and doing it very slowly.   And in the end after much struggling was unable to achieve the beautiful quality of his quick field study.

I cleaned up, had a drink, watched a little TV, wandered around the house, took off the shorts I was wearing and went to bed.

When I got up the next morning, Monday, I picked out some pants to wear to work and put them on.   As I was slipping into the pants I noticed the shorts were COVERED in paint on the left cheek area.   What the devil?   How did that get there?   After a few moments panic set in as I thought about all the places I had sat in the night before; the leather sofa, leather chair, edge of the bed, my office chair.

I went through the house and looked at every seating area – no paint anywhere.   Very strange, but hey, I know how to count my blessings.   As I was relating this story to a co-worker, she noticed I had paint on the cheek area of my pants.   Are you kidding me????   I was not anywhere near paint with these pants.   I thought it must be old dry paint from one of those times my wife told me not to paint in those good pants, but I ignored her.

My dry paint theory lasted until lunch when I went to my car and saw the matching color of paint on my car seats.  Yes that is plural – I sat in the front and the back.

Well, it is a mystery to me.  Don’t have any idea how that paint got around so well.   However, I do know how that chocolate got on the front of my shirt; I spilled it.

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19 Responses to Migrating Paint

  1. Well, if it was oil paint, you could always try removing it with some OMS or turps. Then scrub with some liquid soap and rinse with tepid water. You know, like cleaning your brushes?

    I thought this painting was charming, BTW. Next time, however, if you want it to go faster, leave out the hard stuff like houses.

  2. Bonnie Luria says:

    It’s a job, convincing ourselves that speed doesn’t matter. Only accuracy. And dagnabbit to those rare few who seem to possess the ability to achieve both.
    This is still a lovely piece Bill. The shadows of the trees on the right and the light hitting the buildings is very convincing.

    Maybe you have migrating PANTS.

  3. Carol King says:

    Isn’t it amazing how stuff just gets away from you? I don’t know why, but I have stuff that seems to have migrated over many boroughs and occassionally into other states. Maybe your little dog Mango has been transporting paint at night while you sleep? Are you not giving him enough attention?

    This painting is lovely. I find it interesting to do a study from someone else’s work. I don’t know what the original looks like, but I do like this.

  4. I hate it when that happens…
    Both “thats”…

    The attempts to try to paint something that you don’t think will be too hard and then it turns out to be the mother of all projects… You by the way seem to have pulled it off… buildings are HARD… don’t know what the original looked like but this one’s fine…

    And the paint thing. Sometimes I think it magically jumps from one spot to another when I’m not looking!!

    Be well, Bill!

  5. I think your version of this painting is pretty good. Maybe the green following you around is from Sam-I-Am, “Green Eggs and Ham”.

  6. InkSplodge! says:

    Your struggle doesn’t show in this lovely painting – love the shadows.

    It’s good to know that my husband isn’t the only one with mysterious migrating splodges of whatever.

  7. rahinaqh says:

    i think you’ve done a wonderful job with the painting, the shadows flitting across the road onto the grassy verge. as for migrating paint, i’m glad you mentioned it because i swear i don’t know how my oil paints get everywhere around the house. the worst of it is i can’t blame the dog or the family as i’m the only one dabbling around with them. well i do have a year old neice who could be a useful suspect….:)r.

  8. Lori says:

    Its a fine painting, buildings are hard to paint. All those straight lines, angles, perspective, I don’t like doing them at all. They take me a long time and I paint fast. I think its like anything else, plan the stroke, lay it down and leave it alone. Not that I have ever done that with a building. Dadgum it, now you gave me the urge to paint one again, I know I won’t like it.

    Haven’t you heard of the evil paint goblins? They are the same ones that knock your paintings off the easel into the sand jelly side down.

  9. wrjones says:

    Diana – those houses are hard. This was about as simple as you could make it but still tough. I drew it first with a brush an was so proud of how accurate it was. Then during the course of painting I knocked it out of whack by about 40%. At least is shows I don’t paint up to the lines. I’m planning on practicing some plein air houses to see if I can get a better feel for it.

    Bonnie – thanks. I think maybe my pants are
    migrating. I’m going to have to hobble them at night.

    Carol – thanks. The original has a family resemblance only looks a lot better.

    Marian – thanks. I have no idea how that paint travels but it sure gets around. Also the peanut butter seems to travel in style as well.

    Preston – thank you. That could be where the green comes from but how about the red and yellow and peanut butter?

    InkSplodge – thanks. Your husband is probably like Mr. Clean compared to me.

    Rahina – lucky you. A year old niece. If she were mine when no one was looking I would put paint on the back of her diapers and blame her. I would also blame her for the broken 9 iron, missing chess pieces, and the baseball through the living room window. By the time she gets out of jail she will be an adult.

    Lori – I would like to be of the “leave it alone” group but I’m locked into the “fuss the crap out of it” crowd.

  10. Barbara Pask says:

    Sweet painting Bill. Oil paints seem to get everywhere but I love them. You can think you are all cleaned up and then you find paint on your arm or hand or….

  11. Hey, Bill. It was a pleasure to meet you in the pool yesterday. Here’s my blog site: http://retromama09.blogspot.com/

    Hope you’re having a great day!

  12. A strong painting. Good job! I also find migrating paint all over my house. It is usually that insidious and stealthy viridian. By the way I read an article about getting paint out of clothes. It suggested Murphy’s Oil Soap and also sugested working on it from the back so that the paint would be pushed out instead of in when working from the front. (I do hope that made sense. Too bad you can’t see my hand gestures that explain all.)

  13. wrjones says:

    Barbara – thanks. I love oil paint too; really like the smell which reminds me of childhood and the paint by number sets with the little plastic capsules that would dry out.

    Connie – maybe I will wear my clothes inside out as I paint then I can clean them from the outside in. I should just paint in a pair of depends.

  14. Hmmm,could the culprit be the same one who steals one sock?
    Your fussing was worth it. I hate straight lines, too. Don’t know what is so intimidating about buildings. Maybe thinking about them instead of just looking at the shapes and colors of shadows is what makes us stray from otherwise sensible and enjoyable experiences.
    When I get frustrated, I just get some of that migrating paint and throw a bush or something right over the offending structure or call the image “lean-to on a hill.”
    Thanks to all the others for the hints on cleanup.

  15. Nava says:

    “I was ready to throw in the towel and kick the dog out the window” – well, in the light of this sentence, I’m with Carol on Mango being the usual suspect. The plot thickens.

    You’re a man of many virtues, Bill, being able to sit in the front AND the back of your own car. I’m thoroughly impressed.

    It’s actually a nice painting – I think it would be hard to have it look like the original, as loose cannot really be copied. But what do I know? As you said on my blog, I’m on my way to becoming “an old lady flower painter”…

  16. What is is with husbands who paint? They don’t know one end of a broom from another and they get paint on their good clothes. A man who makes us laugh can get away with a lot.

  17. kimiam says:

    The real question is not how the paint got there. That one’s obvious. The real question is who was that rather attractive woman with wet paint on her hand?

    Nice excercise, bills.

  18. wrjones says:

    Cathyann – Glad you got some cleaning tips now that Billy Mays is gone.

    Nava – Ok, Nava, sorry; middle-aged flower painter.

    Joanne – I looked up “broom” – a long stick used to whack the slats out of a husband who gets paint on his clothes.

    Kimiam – I LOVE your thinking. If only that had been the mechanism for paint on the butt. However, the likely scenario was me scratching myself while pondering what went wrong with yet another painting.

  19. Jala Pfaff says:

    Why did you sit in the back seat of your own car? Was it a “Driving Miss Daisy” sort of thing?

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