Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bob Would Be So Proud Of My Accidents

When I was pregnant with our girls, I was bedrest almost the entire pregnancy, which left me with a LOT of time to do absolutely nothing. One of the things I did enjoy was watching "The Joy Of Painting" with host Bob Ross on PBS. Our local PBS station would do a marthon of his shows all afternoon/evening, every Sunday.

Bob never ceased to amaze me when he would paint. He used large brushes and putty knives, and he could do the tiniest and most intricate details with those. He start off slapping or smuging some paint on the canvas, and in literally less than 30 minutes, there would be these absolutely gorgeous nature paintings that had mountains, streams, waterfalls and there were always "happy little trees" as he called them.
Bob died in 1995 at the age of 52. He often said on the show that he believed everyone had artistic talent and could become an accomplished artist if they gave it time, practice, and encouragement. Every so often you would hear him say "whoops" and then he'd add "We don't make mistakes, we just have happy little accidents." , and he'd turn that "whoops" into something that looked like it belonged in the painting right from the start.

When I was diagnosed recently with my "happy little issues" as I like to refer to them (yes, in honor of Bob), I was informed of the importance of reducing the stress in my life. I actually found myself in Hobby Lobby one day wandering around thinking to myself "Ok, lets find something to do. I don't care if it's playdough or shrinky-dinks, but darn it, we are going to reduce my stress."

I saw a starter set of acrylic paints and across from them were canvases. hhhmmmm. Painting. Bob Ross. Trees. Can it really be that hard to paint a tree? I bought a pad of canvas papers, paints and a few extra brushes and went home to make Bob proud.

The first thing I painted was a definite learning lesson (x3). Oh my. I pulled up a picture of Bob Ross on the computer and bowed before him and his talent. Painting a tree that actually looks like a real live tree is not an easy thing to do. Mine looked like some sort of aliens, and they scared me. They had to go.

I thought maybe nature wasn't the way for me to go. Maybe abstract was more my style, so I painted this picture. I call it "Finding Dena". This was painted early on when I was trying to figure out what meds would work and what wouldn't and who would I be when it was all straightened out. I wrote my name in 4 different places on the canvas and then put pieces of tape in different patterns to paint over and around. Once those dried, I moved the tape and painted more. As you can see, it's very chaotic and doesn't seem to make any sense at all. That's exactly how I was feeling. Everything was chaotic and I couldn't make sense of it all, but through it all I was on a search for myself. Some of the names were partially or mostly covered and some were barely covered at all. Just like how I felt. Oh and you know what I learned from this painting. Abstract isn't for me. Each time I look at this picture it gives me a headache.

About a week later I was looking at a stain-glassed window at the church and I loved how the colors blended together in a seemingly nonsense type of way and yet something always comes forth out of the colorful nonsense. So that's what I did. Just random blotches of different colors of paint, with the white cross coming forth from the randomness.
Ok, so it didn't turn out as masterpiece-like as I had pictured it in my head, and instead it looks more like something done by a toddler VBS preschool classroom. But it was relaxing, so that was the point, right? lol
The goal for my newest painting was to show a relaxing scene. Trees, blue sky, bushes, calm and serene.
It started off ok, but the yellow "blob" at the bottom right, is actually supposed to be a bush. LOL
The tree in the middle that rises out of view was a last minute addition - a happy little accident. You see, I had painted another bush and it was to resemble this bush I had seen at the lake this past weekend. It had these long stems that rose up out of it and at the top of each was a fuzzy ball type flower. So that's what I painted. Only they looked more like nature-colored balloons on a string stuck in a bush. The tree in the middle hides the balloon bush, except it appears that I missed a couple of the fuzzy balls. To me it looks like a head and shoulders that are peeking around the tree.
But, Bob never made people. I saw him paint a deer once, but it was a happy little deer on all fours standing by the river. If only Bob were here. He could take my happy little accident and turn it around for me. Since that can't happen, I guess I'm stuck with some guy with no face peeping around a tree.
That doesn't sound good or happy.
Great....I've painted an expressionless nature stalker.


Becky said...

L. O. L. I love your journey of enlightenment through the world of Bob Ross. I used to watch him all the time too. He did squirrels sometimes.

LMBO at nature stalker.

skoots1mom said...

i have an oil set and have yet to crack it out of the've started and done very well i think. i bought some acrylics and brushes and thought i might try painting flowers on small candle holders first...
i'm a bob ross fan too
i loved his painting, but i used to just love to hear him talk...
his whispery voice will always be in my head ... i still watch him on occasion when i can't sleep and they show his reruns in the middle of the night...
keep painting you've got a great eye for color...:)

Kelly said...

Bob Ross was a favorite of mine too. I actually like the stained glass and cross picture. Didn't look preschool bible school to me at all.

Susan D said...

I used to watch him too. He made painting look so easy. Not so for me, I need three things to paint: time, patience, and talent. Sadly I lack all three. lol. Keep at it girl you're doing great. Blessings, SusanD

Jenny wren's nest said...

My husband painted a lot of Bob Ross's pictures, and He was good at it, the secret is to use Bob's paint it is very expensive but the quality is worth it.

I just blogged about pain and how painting help me cope with it, there is nothing like zoning out while you are doing something like art. I started out with lessons and took off from there.