Fiction – Joy of Painting – Season 31

Here is one of perhaps two or three Joy of Painting fanfics and probably the only Joy of Painting alternate universe fanfics that exist.

The painter brushed the last tufts of grass on the painting, unmindful of the lights and cameras behind him. He picked up his palette knife and made scratches in the paint, here, there, everywhere.

“Now we’re going to take our knife and put in all the little sticks and twigs and things, all the little doers that will make people think you spent hours on this with a one hair brush.” He turned his head and smiled. “And we won’t tell ’em any different, it’s our secret. Now we’re not in it to sell paintings, but if you happen to want to, things like this will really make ’em stand out.” He worked for a bit more until he was satisfied.

“Looks like we’ve got ourselves a painting,” he said. “Now let’s give it a signature. As always we use a script liner brush and some permanent red, with a tiny bit of paint thinner till we have a consistency about like ink…”

As he continued his familiar patter, he found himself wondering what he was going to do with himself now that he had completed his thirtieth season. No one else knew it yet, though he was sure his producer suspected, but he was just minutes away from announcing that he wouldn’t be back to Muncie. Even at fifty-one he felt the creak of winter in his bones, the slow march of age, both relics of a hard life. He wanted some time to walk in the same beloved woods he’d been painting for years, just enjoy them without fear of busting leave or letting down the recruits.

In the luggage back at the hotel were title papers for a little cabin a few miles outside Anchorage, the same place he’d lived for more than a decade. It was the same kind of place he’d painted countless times. It sat on ten acres of forest, had its own well and a good woodstove, and best of all it was situated right near a singing little brook that he could listen to as he went to sleep.

The thought of the cabin made him smile as he gave his final farewell.

“And from all us here, happy painting, and God bless, my friends.” He waved at the camera and the paint spattered camera operator.

Right now said camera operator was looking at him with a little concern. “You all right, Bob?”

“Yeah, just a little stiff today. Seven episodes in one day has to be a record, even for me.” Bob wiped a sneaky tear from his cheek. “Thirty seasons. That’s a lot of paintings.”

“It sure is,” said Ralph the camera man. “Well, at least we get a little break now. For a few weeks at least, because I heard we’re doing another season.”

Bob was just opening his mouth to say something when Shirley burst in. She was the office lady out front and she rarely entered the studio proper.

“Mr. Ross?” she asked. “There’s someone to see you.”

“Who is it?” Even though he had to be careful these days, Bob liked visitors.

“Well, that’s the odd thing.” Shirley adjusted her glasses as if she wasn’t seeing straight. “He says his name is Rob, that you’ll know him, and he kinda looks like a clean cut version of you.”

“Rob’s here?” Bob’s face split in a grin. He hadn’t seen his twin since they met on mutual leave, oh, twenty years ago, and Rob had told him he’d been accepted into the Army Rangers. Rob was intensely private, as was Bob, and he’d never mentioned this brother on the air.

He dropped his palette, trotted past Shirley on tired feet, heading for the front office. A tall man was standing there, standing straight, wearing a pair of slacks and light blue shirt, but looking like he wasn’t used to it. His chin was shaved blue and his head ended in a flat top that was nearly geometric. When he caught sight of Bob, his blue eyes lit up but there was a question in them.

“Rob, you old cuss, it’s good to see you!” said Bob, breaking the ice. He reached out to hug his long lost twin.

“Bob, you magnificent bastard, what in hell have you been doing with yourself, getting rich and famous on me?” The brothers hugged hard, pounding each other’s backs.

“Well, I guess I haven’t done too badly for myself at that,” said Bob. “Mostly I do what I like to do, and help other folks do that too.”

“And make a happy buck off the special paints and brushes and stuff with your name plastered all over them,” said Rob with a grin. “Not that I mind, I think it’s great. How many more years you going to do this painting thing?”

“For the rest of my life, I guess,” said Bob, “but I was just going to let them know that I wouldn’t be back for next season of the show.”

“Why not?” Rob looked a bit concerned now, and searched his brother’s face for an answer.

“Well, to tell you the truth, I’m getting to the point where I’m repeating myself more often than not, in paintings and not just words. And I’m getting tired, Rob. I think maybe I’ve earned myself a few years of peace. I’ve got a plan to run a little wildlife sanctuary, where I can help hurt or sick critters, and maybe paint things just for myself. I just signed on a nice piece of property and I’m all set to move in a couple months.”

“I’ve got an idea,” said Rob, mischief dancing in his eyes. “I’ll come over to your place. You take a month or two, teach me how to paint your way. I’ll grow myself a beard, and I’ll take over your show and see if anybody notices the difference. I’ll bet you no one does.”

“You? Lookin’ scruffy like me and changing up your painting style? That’ll be the day.” Bob never could resist a good bet, especially when it was combined with a fabulous joke. “Sure, why not? You can have half my old jeans. I still want the other half, I’ll be needin’ ’em. And I’ll teach you to feed squirrels, and introduce you to the Bird Lady here in Muncie. I know she’ll want to be in on this. It’ll be a hoot.”

Rob clapped his brother on the shoulder. “All right, sounds like a plan then. You finish up in here and I’ll meet you outside. Wouldn’t want to let the kitty out of the burlap quite yet.”

Two months later, the 31st season of the Joy of Painting aired. Bob was snug in his log cabin up near Anchorage, sitting in his easy chair with a glass of iced tea. The old TV set flickered as it brought him the latest episode of the Joy of Painting. Rob wasn’t doing too badly, considering. The wig looked good and his beard had grown in well, so he really looked the part. His touch with a palette knife was delicate enough for the wet on wet technique, his manner was gentle and his patter was nearly perfect. Except for one flaw.

“All right, now we’re going to put in some rocks in this stream, and some waves, and all these little dooters…”

 

Argh! Midlife crisis!

I jest, I jest.

Well, maybe I have a little midlife crisis.  I’m about to…. (drumroll please) switch from acrylics to oils.

It happened like this.  Due to the neighbor problems that caused me to buy a house in the first place, I hadn’t felt much like painting in quite a while.  Who knew acrylics can go bad inside a sealed tube?  When I was transferring my stuff from apartment to house, I realized that nearly every tube and bottle of acrylic paint was lumpy, half coagulated, and resistant to re-mixing.

ART DISASTER.

Or is it?

Living in this house with all its possibilities has caused me to think a little more creatively – and since I’ve always wanted to try painting with oils, and have rediscovered the wet on wet painting technique via Bob Ross, why not replace my acrylics with oils?

Problem solved, opportunity found.

The cost is a little higher, yes, okay maybe a lot higher, but like the watercolors and colored pencils I used on the greeting card you see above, oil paints take a lot more punishment before going bad.

For cleaning I am going to use orange oil (similar properties as lavender spike oil, used by artists before turpentine was common) and for those really hard jobs, stinky mineral spirits.  I don’t want to use odorless mineral spirits because most of the danger is still there without the warning signs.  This will be supplemented by an open window, and open door, and an exhaust fan in my study/studio.

Some of my brushes will still work.  My canvasses can be reused.  Same with my gesso.  I think this will be an interesting adventure, and hopefully start a love affair with oils.

So there you have it… my version of a midlife crisis.

 

Entanglement – a story that transcends time and space

Dave Plassman’s patient fans finally have something new to read.  There is a new science fiction novel out, called Entanglement, and wow is it a rollicking journey!

Our main character is a recent graduate of  the University of Washingon,  Somewhat at loose ends, all they want to do is make enough for rent and gas.  They sign up for what advertizes to be a dream study to make an extra hundred dollars. That sleep study is more than it appears, and it turns into something that involves both virtual reality and interplanetary travel!  Will this intrepid student ever get home?  Will they want to?

People who are interested in the mind, memory, space travel, and ancient civilizations will enjoy this book.  Best of all, there’s a bonus prequel story at the end that has several surprises of its own.

An eBook version is available now and paperback is coming soon!

https://www.books2read.com/u/3J0PDv

If you want to read more of Dave’s thoughts about space travel and the future of humanity, visit him at his blog:

Energy Minimum Road to Outer Space

Entanglement Cover 800.jpg

 

via Daily Prompt: Patience

Love, in fact, is one of the most powerful forces in the universe.

Hello, we’d like to share a story from one of our fellow bloggers, Brittany aka Blissful Britt… Every Life Deserves a Fighting Chance In July of 2017 I said a painful goodbye to the cat that I grew up with. His name was Shampy, and I was eight years old when he entered my life.…

via Every Life Deserves a Fighting Chance — Katzenworld

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fact/

The suspense is over

In case anyone was on tenterhooks about this, I actually decided to celebrate the winter holiday this year.  We made a pretty neat tree with more lights than I thought possible to put on one, topped off with a stuffed penguin.  There are gloomy days right now, even here in sunny Arizona and the lights are a welcome touch of brightness.  Though it’s difficult to see, I have small folded paper cranes among the branches as ornaments.  It’s a great reminder of light, life, and good cheer!

Along with the annual holiday story that I do with my family, I’ve also updated the anthology that we published last year.  Yuletide Lights now has sixteen stories and a fresh new look.  It’s available in eBook and paperback formats.  Personally, I recommend the paperback format, as it’s a nice weighty little volume, but the eBook version still has all the pen and ink illustrations so you won’t be missing out on anything.

The stories, as the subtitle suggests, are all heartwarming tales of home and family, both in farm and city, and sometimes with a dash of humor sprinkled in.   These aren’t stories of big, extravagant Christmasses – but rather ones where a few boughs of freshly picked holly and maybe a store-bought box of cordial cherries make or break the day.  There are little girls who dream of ponies and find out what having a real one is like, hard working moms, old houses, shabby towns and always plenty of love.  I hope you’ll decide to check it out, even if it’s just to read the sample excerpt on Amazon.

eBook

Paperback

Yuletide Lights Cover 2nd edition ebook 800.png

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tenterhooks/

A Book to Help Cats

Yes, it’s out!  Also, it contains a story I wrote about my own cats.  Check it out!

Completely Cats – Stories with Cattitude is Published! To say the Completely Cats team has had a roller coaster ride over the past few days would be a huge understatement. At around 10 am UK time on 21st August we announced the publication our book, Completely Cats – Stories with Cattitude, on Twitter and Facebook.…

via Completely Cats – Stories with Cattitude is Published! — Katzenworld