Watercoloring – Waterboarding

By W R Jones

I’m mostly posting on FaceBook now – you can find me there as William R Jones, I think. You may need to add UCLA to the search.  I do still like blogging but have limited time.   I know the rest of you have unlimited time or at least that 40 hours you should be working.  Trust me, once you retire that free time evaporates.

Watercolor Studies
Watercolor Studies – an excellent way to pass a day in anguish

I was on a three week trip recently and didn’t have space for oil paints. I decided to take along a small set of watercolors.

Watercoloring – Waterboarding

Both a form of torture. That damn water runs all over the place making puddles and splotches as it goes. Still, it is cheaper than oil which is a big plus.

Say, did you ever use enhanced interrogation on your spouse? Really? Well, maybe you weren’t CERTAIN she was lying. Let me explain before you get all up on your high horse.

I had a 1/4 roll of masking tape in my hand. Then after a very brief distraction – going to fetch the mail before my wife saw the latest crap I bought on Amazon – the tape was gone. There was only myself, Mango, and my wife in the house. The roll was too big for Mango to handle. He does sometimes tear off a little piece to mark the spot on the floor where he wants his water bowl placed.

I certainly didn’t misplace it. That left my wife. She denied, denied, denied having seen it.

I told her if she didn’t admit the theft I was going to waterboard her. She said I didn’t need to use any water, I bored her enough with my yakking. That was enough to make anyone sing like a canary.

Later I stumbled across the roll hanging on the handlebar of my bike. I may have stopped by the bike on the way to the mail box, don’t recall.

Well, just kiss my patootie, I’m not apologizing; a simple mistake, could happen to anybody.

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By WR Jones


Teresa    16″ x 20″  
Oil on linen


I was taking a shower a few minutes ago and the line “a memory flooding back” came to mind. But really, nothing comes “flooding back” anymore. I have memories that come squirting back or maybe trickling back. “Flooding back” would probably indicate some sort of major neural collapse where a weakened part of the brain fails and then contaminates an adjacent relatively functional area.

The memories that trickle back aren’t all that dependable either. It might go like this; hmm that face looks familiar do I know her? Oh ya that’s my wife, just saw her at breakfast. Remember, she has black hair, she has black hair, she has black hair. That should help me for awhile.


I was at the rec center pumping iron this morning. Well, sort of pumping iron. I was sitting on one of those leg exercise machines watching TV. A man was saying something about the news but I was distracted by that annoying channel logo at the corner of the screen. Whoever came up with the concept of the broadcast logo on the screen for the entire program should be exterminated. Along with all his family out to second cousins in case there is a genetic link. And the person/s responsible for the scrolling ad showing some future program that appears at the bottom of the screen should be painfully exterminated.

Sorry, I digressed. So I’m trying to catch what this news caster is saying but there is a scrolling news feed at the bottom of the screen on a completely different subject. I could catch something about a woman falling 25 feet. I dropped focus on the newscaster and tried to read what happened to the falling woman. However, over the scrolling lines of news feed there was a closed caption continuously overwriting the underneath news.

Thus the thought “we are being trained for ADD” came flooding to my mind. After thirty minutes I got off the machine. I don’t remember if I actually exercised my legs or not. Maybe that memory will come trickling back.

Prone to distraction by the slightest puff of wind, I now find I’m being trained to an ever higher level of ADD.


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By WR Jones

Laundry Day
Laundry Day 10″ x 12″
Oil on linen

Hey – I fought my way thru procrastination to actually finish a piece. The completion part of this painting stuff is so rare. I think that subconsciously I feel that once a painting is complete I will be taken out and shot.

I get distracted by a puff of wind. Once I mix a color I have to go the the frig for a drink before applying paint. Then the drinking means I have to pee after the first 6 brush strokes. I sit to pee so I can continue reading a book I have on the iPhone. Finished the book and showed at least some discipline by telling myself I would not get off the toilet until I found and downloaded a new book from Amazon.

When I left the bathroom I was surprised to see there was still daylight. What the hell, might as well continue painting. Here you have it; the first completed painting in nearly a generation.

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Weeds and Flowers

By WR Jones

Carnations and  Lace
Carnations and Lace
16″ x 20″  Oil on linen panel

These are flowers, they can’t really compete with my weeds.   I pulled at a weed so large this morning that I threw out my back.   Weed didn’t budge, had to get the tree trimmer for big branches.

So I’m thinking I should just change expectations, definitions, and desires.   I only need to call the weeds flowers, and convince myself of their beauty, problem sorted.   No more weed spray or pulling.   No more watering, no more fertilizer.  The flowers tend to die off without tender, expensive feeding and care.   Let them go, they are the new weeds.  Since they die off so readily I expect they will be known as “soft weeds”.  My “flowers” will grow like… well like weeds.

This idea is so brilliant I think I should get it copyrighted.   If I get the right sleazebag attorney, i.e. someone I can relate to, to draw up the paperwork, anyone with a formerly known “weed” in their yard will owe me royalties for growing my “flowers”.   There is a precedent with Monsanto charging all the farmers for using “Monsanto’s seed” that just sort of popped up in the farmer’s field.


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Focused  16″ x 20″  Oil on linen panel

This little fellow is focused and feeling no pain.

It is well known your pain will naturally diminish when engaged in a focused activity; that’s hypnosis. Works for painting and sculpting, not so well with housework. This is a good reason your wife should do those mundane tasks. You would, of course, love to do it but you need to ease your pain with some painting. Tell her that her doing the cooking, dishes, laundry, dusting, vacuuming, yard work, auto repairs, etc is the equivalent of giving you a nice massage. Let her know how much you appreciate it and how much it is saving on pain medications.

Oh ya, word of warning, be careful when and how you word this concept. Some unscientific women resist the idea. Probably why I’m on my knees scrubbing the kitchen floor, nursing a throbbing headache.

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By WR Jones

Point with Honor 16″ x 20″ Oil on linen panel

The English pointer in front was my daughter’s dog. At least that is what I told my wife and daughter. After all what 4 year old girl wouldn’t want an English pointer for a first dog? And of course, she wants her dog field trained to point and retrieve. Yep, sure she does. To go along with my conferring ownership on my daughter I was forced to let her name “her” dog. She went with the name, Brownie, and would not be budged off it.

This was my first inkling that either my daughter hadn’t mastered colors, or the idiot gene from my side of the family had been faithfully reproduced for another generation.

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Stark Realism

I’ve recently become interested in the art movement called ‘Stark Realism’. I have been inadvertently drawing and painting images that subscribe to this for years. If ‘Stark’ is defined as having a very plain or often cold or empty appearance; unpleasant and difficult to accept or experience; bare or blunt, then I think the following two images qualify:

The Perfect Braid Charcoal


My two drawings here are then, examples of stark realism. In perusing the internet for other examples, I came to realize that the Forum Gallery seems to seek out Stark Realism painters. Here, for example, is a painting by artist Paul Fenniak who the Forum represents.


Here is another Forum Gallery artist by the name of Susan Hauptman:


Steven Assael is a Forum Gallery artist:


The Forum Gallery has somehow missed Daniel Sprick. Sometimes his still lives qualify as Stark Realism:


To better understand Stark Realism, one must look at its inception in modern art. One of the earliest examples of Stark Realism is the painting, ‘American Gothic’, by regionalist painter, Grant Wood.
American Gothic became the most familiar image in 20th century American art, launching the new genre of Stark Realism. Embodied in the portrait is a story told with the blunt force of two people staring at you while one holds a menacing pitchfork. It is discomforting to behold, but we are captivated by the storytelling aspect. We are interested in looking at it, not merely because of its beauty. Detail is an important characteristic of Stark Realism since everything within the frame provides important information. Andrew Wyeth was also a painter of Stark Realism with his Helga series. Consider the detail in Wyeth’s work.

From the middle of the last century, until now, Stark Realism has been on a slow brew, but it is the new avant-garde; post postmodernism. Start looking for it to evolve in fascinating ways, and start buying it!

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