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Sitesorted Art

Art in the Making

View art work by Sitesorted artist, Emily King. Feel free to comment on blogs and images of paintings posted on this blog. web site: shop:

Bob Ross – Fine Art fiend or friend

Rhetoric Posted on Sun, June 12, 2011 17:00:59

Many a Sunday morning of late, I’ve found myself reclining on the sofa with my 6yr old daughter watching that well known programme ‘The Joy of Painting’. There’s no better way to relax than to the dulcet tones of Bob Ross, his affable demeanour, the sound of a 2″ paint brush on canvas and his anecdotal musing whilst executing paintings from his imagination. Possibly the only Sunday morning relaxation equivalent for me is watching Nigella baking, cooking or whisking up some sort of hybrid recipe to get you salivating and writing your next shopping list. In fact you could say there’s a similarity between Bob Ross and Nigella in this regard, neither of them purists and both of them divulging short cut secrets to impressive or satisfying outcomes.

Bob Ross, however, may be outcast from fine art as something of a McDonalds of the art world. His work does have a slightly conveyer-belt look to it as the trees are always the same: pine trees painted with the same brush and technique, mountains carved with the same painting knife in the simplest of application – HOWEVER, what I love about him is his mission to dispel the myth out there that most people can’t paint. You don’t have to be a member of the RA to be a painter after all. You don’t have to sit rigidly at your easel replicating the subject matter before you in a long and drawn out process of execution. What he encourages people to do (mostly newbies to the painting world) is not to be afraid of the paint brush or canvas in the first place, not to be afraid of your own imagination, that certain, albeit formulaic objects are easier to paint than you might think – over and over again, without fail. Just changing the composition or the light or colour palette and you have a whole series of paintings.

What I glean from Bob Ross is his positive attitude towards paintings which is infectious. He says, “If you aren’t enjoying painting, perhaps it isn’t for you” – painting should be all about enjoyment. He’s also famously quoted as saying that, “we don’t make mistakes, we just have happy little accidents”. He instructs viewers on composition by endearingly mentioning that a “happy little tree” needs a friend just here, painting one in next to it to “keep it company”.

He’s probably THE MOST portrayed artist in satyr out there – just search u-tube for Bob Ross and you’ll find more spoofs than the real thing. Well known for his 70’s afro hair (particularly noticeable as a white guy), his softly spoken voice and his gentle American accent, he’s an easy target to the world of comedy. However, his contribution is not to be scoffed at – his chief aim most apparent in making painting accessible to all is an admirable endeavour in itself. This is surely to be celebrated not ridiculed. (Although, the spoofs will always be amusing yet predictable).

I for one felt hugely miffed when googling him one day to find out that he’d passed away, much the same age as my own father – sweetly enough it saddened my 6yr old too. I also learnt that he’d held a position in Alaska whilst serving in the army, where most of his inspiration for painting was derived. Also, interestingly enough, he’d vowed when leaving the army never to shout again. Can you ever imagine this guy shouting? SIR, YES, SIR! I for one can’t.

I very much doubt I will grow weary of his programmes for the shear calm it exudes on a Sunday morning shared with my little girl, but also, the little gems he presents here and there that I will carry with me on executing my next paintings.


Dad’s comments on Art

Rhetoric Posted on Thu, June 09, 2011 15:47:21

I once recommended Dad to take a look at a web site featuring Chris Forsey’s work. He demo’ed at our art group regularly and I just love his work. (now a member of the RA).

Here’s what Dad had to say:

“Thankyou for the link to Chris Forsey’s site. I agree with you that it’s inspirational, it makes you want to get cracking & do something cultured & useful, like a good painting. His style is a little illustrational for my taste (ie. the reality of the perception is not the priority, the quality & general feel of the finished product takes precedence) but that’s not a criticism. He’s got a great confidence and obviously really enjoys doing it. Doing a painting is a bit like playing a piece of music, it could be improvisation, or it could be a performance of something someone else composed. But the performer’s technique & ability (chops, as they say in the jazz world) will always be the most crucial factor for the audience. Of course, a piece of music takes a while to get through, whereas you can view a painting in one hit.” 15.02.08

My brother and I are hoping to get a site up and running featuring Dad’s art work and possibly doing prints. I’ll let you know as and when things appear on there. (for future reference).

Over and out.


Rhetoric Posted on Mon, June 06, 2011 12:00:09

It’s All About Atmosphere

As I first started creating a treasury lists featuring some of my favourite fine art on Etsy, I realised how much I’m drawn to Impressionist or Abstract styles of painting and why. I love to see highly textured paintings, good use of colour and more of a suggestion of the subject matter (in most cases, landscapes). Sometimes, I’ll come across art that is sooo finely done, sooooo exact in it’s replication of the subject matter that I almost feel disappointed, disappointed that it’s too realistic and looks less like a painting and more like a photograph. If I want to look at photographic realism, I’ll look at a photo – photography is after all an art form. It’s the feel or the atmosphere of a scene that I love to see captured on canvas or paper, where you’re imagination is prompted and you feel you could lose yourself in it.

Whenever I see photographed stages of a painting in a book or online as a demo, I often find the preparatory stages more exciting than the finished piece. My brother and best friend were discussing this last night and they both agreed that expressionism or abstract art tends to carry far more energy with it.

This obviously is my own personal taste and others may feel more moved by realism. I appreciate the skill that’s required to produce highly realistic art, but it just leaves me feeling cold.

Hmm, food for thought.

It’s All About Atmosphere by sitesorted on Etsy