I used to enjoy all sorts of painting when I was younger, but my efforts ceased when I left school. Until recently, when my interest was rekindled by the TV program “The Joy Of Painting”, presented by Bob Ross.
Bob Ross comes across on screen as a charming and delightful man, who sees beauty and wonder in everything around him. A favorite Uncle, for whom nothing is too trivial or unimportant. His TV shows were made as public access television in the US, and are being shown in the UK on the Discovery satellite channel, well worth watching, even for those who don’t want to pick up a brush.
I have had fun doing the paintings, and although I’d be the first to admit that they are the work of a novice, I do think my work has improved over the course of the four paintings. Every one has something that I particularly like, but everyone also has (at least!) one thing that I’m not happy with. Still, I guess it’s the dis-satisfaction with certain elements that will drive me on and give me a goal to improve. Below are my first four efforts!, Click on each image to get a larger view.
Well, after (only! haha) about a six year break, I finally got some time to start painting again, and left is my latest effort. I am hoping that I’ll be able to do some more painting this year, I certainly expect to improve on my average of one every six years! (Or one every 3 houses, depending on how you want to count it!)
Now in 2005 I’ve tried to get the year off to a good start. One of my resolutions this year has been to try and increase my painting output, and to that end I’ve done one painting already this year, an interpretation of a photograph I took of a forest path.
I won’t say much about my seventh painting, as it was really a bit of a disaster. I had tried to do another one in a similar vein to my previous one, but my foundation wasn’t very good and it just didn’t work out. I may try to rework it at a later date and, who knows, maybe I’ll be able to salvage something from it.
To try and get my confidence back a little I tried a small painting, called “Snow Birches” that looked like it might be a little easier. It worked really well and I was pleased with the result, so much so that I regretted doing it on such a small canvas, 30cm x 20cm, (about 12″ x 8″)
At this point I finally showed some of my paintings to an “outsider” for a bit of a critique. Something that I had been quite nervous about really. They had some quite positive things to say about some of them, particularly the “Snow Birches” and “Forest Path”, which has been a great boost to my confidence, to the extent that I am now considering having a couple of my efforts properly framed and entered into a local event next year that is open to both professional and amateur artists. Who knows, perhaps they may even sell?
I followed the small “Snow Birches” with a larger version, 75cm x 50cm (30″ x 20″) using different, more subtle colours. It worked quite well too, although the photographs that I have taken of it don’t really show the colours very well. I think I may have to experiment a little on the same theme, as it is a nice painting to do with a lot of potential for colour variations for different effects. This painting is currently available in our Etsy.com on-line store, See the link on the right hand menu.
To try something a little different for my tenth painting I tried my hand at a seascape for the first time. I was a little disappointed with the sky (I didn’t really achieve the “feel” I was looking for) and my rocks need a bit of work, but I was pretty pleased with the way that the sea, waves and beach worked out. I also realised, after the event, that this was the first “portrait” format painting that I had done since my second effort!
So here I am, in May 2005, just about a year after starting to paint again, and I’ve done five more paintings (not counting the disastrous one). Of course, when I’m away from home, I can’t really do any oil painting. I have been thinking about trying my hand at some watercolours, as It would be easier for me to take the supplies and materials for that off-shore with me. If I have any success, I think I’ll have to put them on a separate page, and keep this one dedicated to my Bob Ross style “wet-on-wet” oils.
I had a few ideas in my head for my next painting, and I decided that I should do some small versions to see which ones would work before doing a big one. This one, “Forest Sunlight”, was to be the first of the ones that I tried, and I don’t think I’d even finished the under-painting before I was thinking that I’d wished I’d just gone ahead and done it on a big canvas!
Well, after my thoughts on the last painting, I decided to go ahead and try it on a bigger canvas. In fact, I think this may be the biggest one I’ve done so far at 30″ by 24″. The colours are a lot brighter, ‘warmer’ and a little more vivid than in the smaller one, although the photograph does seem to exaggerate it a little.
First Half 2006
So far, 2006 has been a very busy year, both on the home front and at work. This has left little time on the surface to do the sort of painting that I would have liked. As a quick ‘fix’ I did a third version of the ‘Forest Sunlight’ painting. Size wise, it was between the two that I had done previously and, in it’s finished form is of course slightly different from the others. At the same time I started another painting that I still have to finish. It is a bit of an experiment, and for reasons that I will explain here at a later date, I really do hope that it works!
This painting, “Sunset Pines”, is one that I have wanted to try for a while. It is a little different from the ones that I have done earlier, as it is largely painted on a dry canvas, rather than with a thin, slick layer of oil paint already on it. It didn’t quite turn out as well as I had hoped, but I was quite pleased with the result. It is definitely one that I will try again (or, at least a variation, using the same technique) In my new blog, I have included a series of small ‘step-by-step’ photographs of both of these paintings in progress. This painting is currently available in our Etsy.com on-line store, See the link on the right hand menu.
First Half 2007
As you may have guessed, I didn’t get any more painting done in 2006, and 2007 has been equally busy so far, again both on the home front and at work. I have only managed to do this one painting when I was, again, visiting my parents in Scotland. I said of the Sunset Pines that I’d like to try something like it again, only this time I’ve combined the idea with another desire that I’ve had, that to do a moon-light painting. So as a result I have ‘Full Moon Rising’. Before I left Scotland this time, I packed up my ‘paint box’ and took it with me. I don’t know if I’ll have time when I’m in Colorado to do any painting, but at least I will have my paints with me if I get the opportunity!
Some of my paintings are now available on our Online Store: AlbaRanch
Bob Ross 1943-1995