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I am Bob Ross

It’s time for another Monday! We’ve got an inch of snow expected today – but spread out throughout the day so hopefully the roads will never be too terrible.

I have a fun blast-from-the-past story for you today. When I was a kid, my Dad and I would often sit together on Saturday mornings and watch Bob Ross. Did any of you ever watch his show? I remember how we’d both laugh at his “happy trees” comments and we’d cringe when he had a brilliant painting all done (in our opinion) and then he’d add a tree or something and we’d groan thinking he’d ruined the entire painting, only to see him magically paint it in…

He was a talented guy. 🙂

Anyways, I love it when weird and bizarre things like that intersect with my life. My mom signed us up for a Bob Ross painting class! We had the instructor come to the house and walk us through painting a picture just like you’d see in one of his shows. Exciting!!!!

Upon arrival, I knew this was going to rock:


Oh yeah – gimme those happy trees!!!

We had the kitchen set up as the studio. My mom had a friend joining us and then there were my mom, dad, brothers Matt & Alex, Ben and Me.

We picked the picture we were interested in doing and she had the canvases already set up. Each canvas was prepped with black paint on the bottom and the variety of oil-based paints.


We got to work prepping our canvases and then got started on our skylines. It’s amazing because we were all pretty tentative but everyone was pleased with how their sky turned out. We were officially painters! 😉

The original painting had mountains but only Matt and I were attempting them. So we got a quick tutorial and then we were left to slash through those beautiful clouds and attempt mountains. br3

Matt and I stared at one another in horror. I will admit, I just held the flat metal blade with a glob of black paint on it over my canvas for a long time before getting up the nerve to slash through it!

Those first slashes are so scary because you think you’ll totally ruin your painting…


Matt, Ali, and Ben’s canvases – halfway through:


Mom and her friend Pam’s (non-mountains) half-way through:


The whole class took 5 1/2 hours. We took a brief break for lunch. Honestly, it was both exciting and very stressful. I am most definitely NOT a natural painter and I am way too critical of everything I do. It’s both easier than you’d think and harder as well, depending on your perspective.

Don’t worry – just keep painting happy trees!!!!


The final steps were adding our water, making rocks, and finishing details. Ben gave up about 3 hrs into class, decided he wasn’t a painter, and played on his phone the rest of the time. Matt gave up 5 hrs in. I hung in there but I can see how it is easy to get frustrated. Plus, it took a long time to finish the painting.




What was amazing to me was how different everyone’s paintings looked even though they were the “same” painting. Everyone has a different type of brush stroke, a different angle, etc… and all those things contribute to a slightly different finished product. We loved seeing everyone’s finished painting – actually, they all looked amazing!

Mom and Dad’s side-by-side:


Up close:


Crazy how similar and yet so different!

Matt’s finished painting (I love his dead tree running along the side of the water):


Ben’s painting:

(Ben said there was a forest fire and most of his trees died. Also, his rocks all fell under-water and are not visible. Ha!)


My painting:


The paintings need to lay flat and take up to three WEEKS to dry! After that we’ll look at getting them framed and find a fun place to hang our new artwork. We’re thinking Ben’s painting might be a Christmas gift for his parents.


I wanted to be fantastic on my first attempt and I’m acknowledging that up close, you notice more flaws than if you sit back and admire the picture as a whole. It was hard but challenging. I told Mom if she ever wants to do another one to sign me up!!


4 Responses

  1. I am impressed – those look great! I have always wanted to take a class like that. John and I did a watercolor intro class and really enjoyed it. i have wanted to take another, but can never fit them in my time schedule.

  2. I TOTALLY remember when that show was on! haha Those paintings are beyond awesome!! So cool!

  3. Wow! Nice job on the paintings!!!

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