Sleep stories, which are a cross between Books on Tape and bedtime stories, are the ideal vehicle for Ross’s style of meditative art instruction.
I too listened to the Bob Ross sleep story on Calm (which I use daily to support my meditation practice). It was sort of lovely. But honestly, I’d never really thought that much about his voice, and it has been amusing to me to hear how many people were taken with it.
This is more of what fascinated me about Bob Ross:
“The magic of Ross’s show was that he essentially skipped over the really hard part of realistic painting: translating the actual world into a flat image on a canvas. That process can be incredibly frustrating and nearly impossible. The fun of painting by formula is that it turns painting into a project requiring only persistence and a steady hand, offering the reward of an expected final product rather than an adventure that may come to naught.”
This is where the magic happens. I’m lucky enough to work from a home studio. A layer can go down while breakfast is in the oven, and be dry for the next to lay down before lunch. I have big sheets of painted plywood covered over with clear plastic sheeting resting on top of my grandmother’s porcelain-top table. I have easels too, but I tend to work flat for almost everything that is 12×12″ or smaller. The paints, inks and mediums I use most often live on my table. The ones I use less frequently are tucked away in the #elfa drawers in the corner.
Working from home gives me a lot of flexibility and more time to work than I would have if commuting was part of my day. It means I can do as much or as little as works for me on any given day, and gives me a chance to be inspired while passing by. It also means more time with #marigolddog and #sadiecat .
I’m primarily an intuitive painter, so part of my work is about really showing up. I need to be present with the painting so that I can tune into the flow of color, balance, contrast, texture, movement, space, and density. Which means I have to be present with myself too. My regular meditation practice helps me clear my mind and develop focus. Writing helps me sort myself out, discover approaches and new connections between ideas. Paying attention to my body helps me manage my energy and make choices that best support my health.
I try to document my work for my own benefit, and so I can share. I take photographs as layers are laid down. And I document my choices in my art journal. And I believe it is a good thing to show your work.