Peace and Exasperation

By W R Jones

It was pretty peaceful painting in this cemetery.    At least until the car load of gang bangers decided to cruise through.

This is where you have to be to find some peace from incessant irritating ads.    I was relieved when Billy Mays was no longer shouting in that abrasive sandpaper voice.  I have to stand corrected after looking up his bio.  For some reason I always thought he was British.  I need my hearing aid batteries replaced.  I called him a loud mouth Brit to some Scot and she told me it was the Americans who had the loud mouths.  Ok, that is true in my case I suppose.  Anyway, Billy Mays dies and I’m  looking forward to fewer screaming ads for soap, etc.

Nope, I just heard his replacement.  A loudmouth Brit.  That started me thinking; does irritation sell?   I guess it may since these ads on TV must run into the hundred of thousands if not millions.   They wouldn’t pick obnoxious pitchmen if it didn’t increase sales.  There must be some research on the subject.  I speculate that irritation sticks with you longer than relaxation.  Later when you see the product, you remember the selling points, but the irritation has faded.

So then, would this work for romance?  If you  irritate a woman would you be more likely to stick in her mind?  I could be a good subject for a study of this effect.  I’ve irritated a LOT of people.  But maybe I overdid it so the irritation part sticks with them (probably to the  grave).  It could be that when they all hit senility I will be the only one they remember.  Too early to tell, but I don’t think  this is a viable dating tactic.

On another note of agitation –

On Mother’s Day, my wife had the gall to ask me if she had to cook dinner.   What the hell?  I told her by golly she did; it’s Mother’s DAY not Mother’s EVE, not Mother’s NIGHT.   That woman has me so irritated I will remember her ’til the cows come home.  And I need to ride the cow to work tomorrow since my car broke down.

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30 Responses to Peace and Exasperation

  1. Hi Bill,
    Yes, I haven’t been very dutiful. apologies. Glad you wrote. Keep on irritating!–it is to be remembered. “Good natured” rarely make headlines.

  2. Good to see you’re up to your old tricks again…

    I was actually thinking about painting near where my Mom is buried… It’s sort of pretty there… I just need to get over being bothered about it being a cemetery. Ah well.

  3. rahina qh says:

    beautiful handling of the trees and grass and splashes of sunlight Bill! and those fading background hills are wonderful….. except which Jones did you bury there? as for your regular rant… this one probably gets 8 out of 10 on the rant scale (i can’t give you 10 as i think you will stop trying to achieve the pinnacle of success in rants)

  4. Rhonda says:

    A painting that symbolizes your own mortality, Bill? Never! You are immortal since you’ve irritated us all “just enough” that we will always remember you :) And you know all those romantic comedies always end with the boy and girl falling in love and living happily (?) ever after who hated each other in the beginning of the movie = a subject that seems to work in the movies but maybe not so much in real life? Perhaps you should buy your wife some flowers (and then use them for still life subjects to paint), thereby killing 2 birds with 1 stone – it’s what my husband does (he’s a photographer) and I still find it funny. Maybe in another few years it will irritate me?

  5. ivdanu says:

    Wow, bill, if only all those mundane irritations would be like you and yours! We will go all day with silly smiles on our mugs…

  6. you got it…irritation or what the ad men call ‘abrasive’ speech will always sell….

    in love …hmmm jury is out on that one…
    I thought you were going to say that you told your wife that she ‘is not your mother’…so yeah…cook…..
    Now that one woud find irritating…literally…she may have swatted you one upside the head…

    very soothing painting…those greens are rich…usually very subtle color to get right…

  7. CarolKing says:

    did you go to the cemetery to paint your family plot? The one that you will be in shortly if you keep irritating your wife the way you do.

  8. lesliepaints says:

    I like how you caught the little spots of light filtering through the tree branches and the addition of the corner of the headstone peeking around the tree trunk.

  9. wrjones says:

    Rebecca – so nice to hear from you. Sorry to read about your family loss.

    Marian – thanks. I like to walk thru cemeteries; reading the headstones and speculating about their lives. Especially the older stones from the 1800’s. I imagine how they must have come in buggies and on horseback.

    Rahina – thanks for the compliment and the rant rating. I’ll try to be even more obnoxious and reach for that perfect 10 rant.

    Rhonda – I don’t have the intellect to paint in symbols. I was just practicing spelling my name in the event I need to fill out a form to get into that assisted living place. Say, I like your husbands thinking.

    ivdanu – nice to hear from you!

    Cathyann – thanks. Did you have to cook on Mother’s day?

    Carol – I was looking for some peace and quiet. Being from NYC that would be a concept foreign to you I suppose.

    Leslie – Thanks. I think I will do a cemetery series.

  10. Dawn says:

    The painting is very peaceful with the beautiful valley beyond…but it hit me hard when I saw the headstone with “Jones” written on it…and wondered if you were having fun with the painting or if it was a family plot. You did a great job with the serenity of the painting with the colors you used. I’m glad you are painting again and posting!

  11. Barbara Pask says:

    I really like this Bill, reminds me of a painting Schmid did of a cemetery. I painted in the one near here, very quiet and a bit creepy. You made me think of an episode of Seinfeld, speaking of woman remembering you. Don’t know if you are a Seinfeld fan but it’s the one where George sings his last name “Ka-stansa” lol

  12. wrjones says:

    Dawn – thanks. I changed the name on that headstone to Jones to match my feeling of serenity. The real owner of the stone would probably consider it a form of graffiti.

    Barbara – thanks. I don’t find cemeteries creepy; only quiet. We will all be there one day (in my case sooner rather than later). I am a Seinfeld fan but don’t remember any particulars much after the program has ended. I’d be afraid to sing my last name as it would be soooo embarrassing when I forgot how to spell it. However, it might be annoying enough to keep me in her thoughts. I’ll give it a try and let you know.

  13. Just discovered your blog through Leslie Paints. Love your work

  14. 100swallows says:

    Hi Bill! I see you found a model that didn’t move much, though even this one looks like it will keel over before too long as that tree root grows and flexes. Is that my imagination or does it lean towards Fisher’s even now? (Was that only my mom’s expression or do other people say “leaning towards Fisher’s, or Fisher’s garage”? I always liked that.) That’s a well-painted tree, maestro.
    I like old cemeteries too. If you ever get to Europe, to Rome, don’t miss the Protestant Cemetery there.

  15. wrjones says:

    Richard – thanks.

    100swallows – thanks. I may one day get to Europe but it is doubtful I will have time for more than the obvious tourist spots. Yep, you can take your time painting in a cemetery; they aren’t going anywhere.

  16. kevmoore says:

    Bill, I’ve neglected your view of the world for too long.

    Loud-mouthed Brits abound, let me assure you. I was in a punk band with one. At least he has a sense of humour, unlike a certain chap-thankfully his name escapes me- who advertised a product named Sillit Bang! Yes, it includes the exclamation point. You might think that a company with such a ridiculously named product would make an enormous faux pas in their hiring of a spokesman, and you’d be right. This guy is more effective as an irritant than a can of mace to the eyes. I don’t know quite what effect they sought to achieve, but i know this: I will never, ever buy a bottle of Sillit Bang! as long as I live. And I still don’t know what it does, save to cause me to run screaming from a room when the ad comes on. Next time you’re in that graveyard, can you dig a plot for the Sillit bang! man? If he isn’t already 6 feet under, he should be.

  17. wrjones says:

    Hi Kev – Hard to neglect my world view; I’m one of the loud mouths. However, it doesn’t seem to move my painting product. I must be missing something. I will pay more attention to those ads that irritate me to the point of kicking Mango. Now the poor dog flinches whenever those ads come on.

  18. kevmoore says:

    It’s a new twist on Pavlov’s theory.

  19. CarolKing says:

    You hoo? Are you taking a dirt nap in that “jones” plot in your painting?

  20. wrjones says:

    Kev – Great observation. I will crank up the volume on one of those screaming ads to verify the little mutt salivates.

    Carol – I have a recalcitrant (a gentleman’s way of saying shitty)painting that I can’t get a handle on, and can’t let it go as would any reasonably normal person. I will post it along with pent up bitter diatribe as soon as I paint the little devil into total submission.

  21. Hi Bill,
    Are you on vacation. sniff.

  22. I have spent six years taking my summer plein air college students to the historic Sacramento Cemetery… blissful drawing and painting of head stones and bigger-than-death monuments… no irritation… unless you think about the direction that your own MORTAL soul is heading…this can lead to irritability… oh well…I always think when I wake up each morning “this is the first irritable day of my life”. See, Bill, irritability does have a silver lining.

  23. Interesting — um — signature (or resting ancestor perhaps). The plot thickens.

    Irritating talk as pick up line. I don’t know about that one. (Though it’s probably a good way to find a spouse.)

    But, hey!, you’ve already got one of those!

  24. Not sure which is my fav as I liked all your latest work very much! :)

    ~Morri aka gypsy-heart

  25. Pegi Sue says:

    Bill, I would like to do that “obnoxious test” with men. I think I could stick in someone’s mind!!!!
    Hey you stupid %&^$), why are you %^*(&(^ staring at ME????? Yep, those things stick in peoples minds!!!LOL

    Soon I shall finish the Flamingos and post them on my blog. The whole moving thing just really took my ability away. Tiny studio, all dark, not good for painting!!

    Thanks for always being here for me!!!!:)

  26. wrjones says:

    Rebecca – no where near vacation although I’m going to West Virgina next week. I’ve been overloaded at work and not getting any painting/drawing done. I totally understand you are suffering without my words of wisdom to give guidance to your wandering soul. I will try to get back before you wander off into the weeds.

    David – my soul is not HEADING anywhere, it is long down the path with no return. Anyway I don’t want to pay for a plot and stone, just burn me and have my ashes turned into a diamond. Then I suppose you could make a ring out of me. That means cutting the stone. Don’t throw away the chips that is still me.

    Aletha – The name on the stone was chosen because I could look up in my wallet how to spell it.

    Morri – thanks. Good to hear from you.

    Pegi – Do the experiment! Let me know how it works please. There is nothing quite like a lovely woman calling you a useless idiot to make the heart flutter.

  27. CarolKing says:


  28. connie says:

    Oh, Bill, where art thou? I am missing your posts.

  29. wrjones says:

    Carol – damn – my alarm went off late.

    Connie, Leslie – nice to be missed. I just got back from vacation. Had a hell of a time finding my family. They had changed their names and moved. Not to worry; I found them. Boy were they surprised to see me. I guess they were too shocked to express the joy they must have felt at my return.

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