👋🏻 Welcome to this week's edition of TimeMachiner. Thanks for subscribing and checking out my work. I'm happy to have you here.
What is it about Bob Ross that lives on so strongly in the modern era? He's one man who hosted a series on PBS that focused on painting. Not exactly thrilling TV, but on paper that's all it was. And that is the magic of The Joy of Painting.
A quick history: The Joy of Painting aired on PBS from 1983 to 1994. Its creator and host, Bob Ross, was a soft-spoken man with large hair and a soothing voice. In thirty minutes (and really less when you excluded the intro) Ross would transform a blank canvas into an incredible piece of art. Further, he presented an upbeat attitude that was welcoming on multiple fronts.
First, he never criticized a mistake. The "happy accidents" mantra coined by Ross is a breath of fresh air in a society where mistakes are punishable and cause people to be upset. In so many episodes he would "mess up" and just roll with it. It's how he saw things and in every session, he encouraged viewers to take chances.
Another approach of his was to make art the way you wanted. Time and time again he would encourage exploration and go "off script" with what he was doing. Didn't want to paint the tree or bird he was doing? No problem! Wanted more clouds in the sky? Go for it. Art is individual and he wanted people to be themselves.
Last, and probably most important, Bob Ross had a personality and demeanor that was welcoming like that of a grandparent when we were children. His soft tone and kindness filled the entire episode. It's well-documented that when a viewer who was colorblind approached him, Ross dedicated an entire episode to painting only in greys to prove that anyone could make art.
Ross's legacy lives on today and with the advent of YouTube, digital painting tools, and the wonderful artwork he inspired, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy making art without the mess. And that is why I'm talking about this today.
I've always wanted to paint and draw. But I'm terrible at it. I can't create anything more than stick figures. No matter if it's pencils, pens, markers, or paint, I am simply not skilled enough to achieve these things in any meaningful way. But then I realized an iPad and Apple Pencil plus a simple app like Procreate could take my very-mediocre skills and enhance them.
And that's what I did. I found this tutorial by James Julier and got to work. After lots of rewinding and Undoing and finessing the digital canvas, I was left with an image I could be proud of.
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Special thanks to the following Time Traveler Members