Happy Little Accidents…

I have never been the most artistic person in the world. Despite this I appreciate art very much. It is enjoyable to stroll through Chicago’s Art Institute. There you can see paintings by some of the greatest artists who have ever lived, such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Georges Seurat. I have often thought that I don’t really have any true talents, at least not to the same degree as these artists.

When I was a teenager, my friend Charlie and I would watch episodes of the “Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross. I know he is not even close to being as great as the artists that I mentioned above. However, he seemed to make things look so easy. It was always sort of a desire of mine to try my hand at doing a class where I could learn how to paint like Bob Ross.

He had such a calm demeanor. Bob also seemed to enjoy everything that he did, especially when it came to “beating the devil” out of his brush as he would dip it in paint thinner and then whack it against the leg of the easel on which his canvas was sitting. While watching Bob, art seemed like something that I could do. Why couldn’t I mix up some phthalo blue and some titanium white and paint some “happy little clouds?” I might even be able to add some Van Dyke brown or some yellow ochre and paint some trees. Why shouldn’t I be able to create a world where mountains and streams live happily side by side on canvas? With these thoughts in mind I did indeed take a class with a “Bob Ross Certified Instructor.” What I didn’t foresee was that my color blindness might be a detriment to creating my own world on canvas.

As a birthday gift, Amanda bought us a session with a certified instructor that would show us how to paint in the style of Bob Ross. My sister-in-law Alice tagged along as well. We were all excited to try our hand at creating a landscape with lots of “little happy trees” and pristine mountains. However, as soon as we got started I knew this was going to be harder than Bob made it look on television. For one, I could not tell the difference between the various shades of red and green that were on our palettes. I have always had a difficult time distinguishing between dark greens and reds. Therefore, it was almost impossible for me to follow along as the instructor was telling us which colors we should mix together to create various parts of the landscape that we were painting. Despite my struggles it was still fun trying to create something.

I can safely say that I will never have any my work hanging in the galleries of any great museums. However, it was fun to fulfill my desire to try my hand at painting. I would definitely take another class. I am just not sure if the results would be any different. I’m certain that my painting would still resemble something that a 2nd grader has done. I’ll stick to writing. It is a place where I can escape. I enjoy putting my thoughts into words. It helps me to create a world in which I feel happy. Plus, I don’t have to clean any brushes afterwards. Oh, and just in case you were curious to see my painting. Just take a look below and tell me what you think. I made lots of “little happy accidents” as you can see. However, I am not to worried about it. I am sure Bob would have something positive to say. I don’t think he ever expressed any negativity. That just might be the best lesson he ever taught.

A Ryan Bradshaw Original

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