Thursday, October 14, 2010

I remember...

I remmebr watching those instructional painting shows on PBS. A guy or a gal would come on the air with a blank canvas on the easel in front of them, a brush in one hand, and a palette of colors hooked over the other thumb. He'd start talking and his brush would go ZIP! ZIP! ZIP! and there would be a mountain range or a tree trunk festooned with multiple branches. Another little quiet--almost whispered--series of words that sounded more like an incantation than a description and the mountains would frame a forest rimmed lake or the tree would spout leaves of many colors.

In half an hour, the artist host would produce a finished product that could hang on any wall. Oh, it wasn't "great art" or any thing. You could tell that. I mean, the dude wasn't starving, or trying to make a "statement" or anything like that. They just wanted to finish a good painting in a brief period of time. What was on that easel at the end of 30 minutes could hang on anyone's wall, however, and draw compliments. It was magic!

I've no idea how many aspiring artists/hobbyists these folks inspired--or scared away--over the years, but they could easily instill a feeling of incompetence in someone just starting out. It would be like watching Harlon Ellison write a Nebula winning novel in one week--while sitting in a store front window. Or Isaac Asimov write a Hugo winning short story--on the table cloth while waiting for after dinner coffee to be served. Guaranteed to produce a life-time case of writer's block in a novice.

Bob Ross one one of those.

demotivational posters - BOB ROSS
see more Very Demotivational

1 comment:

Rev. Paul said...

My wife & I loved to watch Bob Ross on PBS. His "happy little cloud" (or cabin, or mountain, or tree ... whatever) was always fun and engaging. We also laughed every time he'd slap the thinner out of his brush by beating them rapidly on his easel.

When he was on, we had an elderly neighbor lady who said he inspired her to paint. To be painfully honest, she wasn't very talented. But he did inspire her to try - and wasn't that the point?

He was fun to watch. Thanks for reminding me.