When I was a kid I absolutely loved watching Bob Ross on PBS. If you’ve never seen him, Bob Ross is an oil painter who did televised tutorials for years. He would drop little nuggets of wisdom while he created absolutely gorgeous landscapes.
One of his favorite pieces of advice was to always remember that accidents were just opportunities to create little details in the paintings that bring it to life. Happy little clouds or trees that give the painting depth and character when you least expected it.
I would watch his show any chance I got, and recently I was pretty stoked to find they had episodes on Netflix. I always thought it would be really cool to follow along with his tutorial but never actually thought I could.
When it comes to the left brain/right brain battle I am definitely left brained. I like rules and structure, painting seemed way too artistic for me. I love to write, I love to do needlework. I like patterns and rules.
But man, I really wanted to be Bob Ross!
A couple of summers ago I was invited to a bachelorette party, we were going to be doing one of those wine and paint parties that have sprung up everywhere. I won’t lie, I was not looking forward to it. The day of the party I figured I would make a fool of myself, but I was willing in the name of friendship to go.
What I found was that I actually had a lot of fun. Even in the most artistic endeavor, there are rules and structure if you know where to look. Acrylic painting follows patterns, you have to layer the paint, use the rules of the color wheel to create the shades you want. And luckily, it’s a really forgiving medium!
Since that party I’ve taken a couple of classes at local art stores, I’ve pushed my other friends to go with me to more wine and painting classes, and I have done a ton of youtube tutorials.
It’s amazing what you can find on there!
Dustin has even been game to go with me and it’s been a fun bonding experience for us to see how the same tutorial leads to such different pictures.
I’ve got a couple of canvases that are actually pretty terrible. But I keep them because they show me how much I’ve learned and how far I’ve progressed. And I even have a couple of my favorites hanging up around our house. Reminding me that we’re only limited by our own fears of failure.
I’ve been working on translating that lesson into more areas of my life. Currently I’m working my way through finishing first e-book. It’s the story of our infertility journey and that has been a labor of love and sadness for the last couple of years.
My blog, Little Blog on the Homestead has been on the back burner the last year. And I’m pretty excited to start transitioning it all to Crazy Lovely Life. Homesteading is something I am still passionate about, but when I started blogging I was still living pretty exclusively in the Left Brain world.
Crazy Lovely Life will be more free. I’ll be exploring more aspects of our life there and I can’t wait to share that with my followers, and find new ones too! When I turned 30 in September I decided that this was going to be a good year. And I’ve been working to make that a reality.
Painting has brought new joy and freedom and creativity into my life in a way I was least expecting it. It was one of life’s Happy Accidents that Bob Ross was pointing out to me all those years ago.
If you’d like to follow along with my journey, see lots of my attempts at painting, and way too many selfies as I complete my 30 by 31 list I hope you’ll follow me on Instagram. If you’ve also had to deal with the heartache of infertility please come join The Infertile Life on Facebook for some wonderfully supportive ladies who’ve all been there.
Life is what we make of it, and sometimes what can seem like an irreversible mistake or obstacle can actually be the beginning of something truly lovely.
2 thoughts on “Happy Accidents”
I so love your paintings, especially the girl in the rain and the beach one. Bob Ross has always been an inspiration and made me wish I could paint, too. Maybe some day I’ll pluck up the courage to give it a shot.
Thank you for posting and sharing your work. I adore your paintings. The girl in the yellow dress especially speaks to me. If I’d seen that at a gallery, I’d have bought it in a heartbeat. You’re truly exceptional.