Monday, April 12, 2010

Nature helping poor art imitate nature

Inspired by all the good artistry going on at Lapin's Garden, I tried to get in touch with my inner Bobness
and paint a freehand picture of the southern Bitterroot Mountains.  It has been years since I've tried to do any oil painting, and I was never very good at it, anyway.  I quickly remembered why I haven't tried it in years.  It's never near as easy as that afro-wearing individual makes it look.  He takes a few quick strokes with his knife and makes gorgeous looking mountains, and then he dabs his fan brush around to make a bunch of realistic "happy little trees." 

I think my paint must've been too dry, because it didn't spread properly to make good mountains, and it wouldn't stick to the canvas, so my trees just weren't happy at all.  By the time I was about two-thirds done, I got disgusted and quit.  I exiled the unfinished painting out to my deck.

I took this photo from a safe distance.  The painting looks better the farther away you get from it.

Then Mother Nature stepped in.  During the last big snowstorm, the snow blew in horizontally out of the north.  While I was out playing Thoreau, being "self-appointed inspector of snow-storms and rain-storms," I noticed that the wind had plastered some of the fresh snow onto the painting.  The effect was pretty cool, giving the painting more of a three dimensional look.  (The trees still ain't happy, though.)

I may take another shot at painting a mountain scene in the near future, but don't look for me to be growing my hair out into an afro any time soon.


  1. EVERYONE is an artist and don't sell yourself short, you don't have to be a high falootin' aesthete to paint. Looks like a pretty good effort to me but you must come up with a recognizable signature. "o thats a can recognize it by the 'CFM' at the bottom"

  2. I used to watch Bob Ross just to enjoy his enjoyment of painting. (My outdoors scenes look like stick figures, so I never indulged in buying any oil paints.) I would enjoy watching a show by you: "Now you have your painting. Don't worry if it looks like a buffalo walked across the canvas. Just set it out in the snow or rain -- or put it in the shower if you live in Arizona -- and let Nature complete the masterpiece."

    PS - I think your painting is beautiful!

  3. Thanks, all! Mary, that is pretty close to how I would do it, if I absolutely had to host a painting show.

  4. Ok - I'm SO impressed. I wouldn't know where to start painting unless it was paint-by-number (then I guess I'd start with 1). Your painting is fantastic and I think you should finish it and hang it up. Seriously.

    Silly you - you are already growing an afro, it's just a little misplaced...on your chin.

  5. You make me sick! I couldn't paint something like that if I a real artist sedated me, put the brush in my hand and painted it for me.


  6. Well, thanks for the votes of confidence. I was just disappointed because I knew how I wanted it to look, but the paint wouldn't cooperate. I'll take another shot one of these days. I missed my chance today because it's already snowing.