Sunday, February 10, 2019

Choose To Be a Happy Little Cloud

I don’t know why this little story made me smile so bigly. Maybe I’m world weary in general or, more likely, just tired of condescending elitists.

In any event, how bad can things be when a class of middle school art students stage a Paint-Like-Bob-Ross flash mob? The class donned baby blue button down shirts and curly wigs and followed along with a soothing Bob Ross instructional video on how to paint happy little trees. 

The schtick was the idea of their Madison Middle School art teacher Brady Sloane.

Her pre-Advanced Placement eighth-grade students had been stressing about projects and grades but still pumping out high-quality artwork. So Sloane hoped for a way to reward them for all their effort.

She put on her thinking cap. Or, rather, her curly wig.

Sloane became Bob Ross, an art world legend thanks to a resurgence of his public broadcasting television show from the 1980s and 1990s and internet culture's love for memes. – Abilene Reporter

Honestly, how can you not love this? Middle school art students paying homage to a guy that you know every elitist in America looks down their nose at, even if he was on PBS for decades. They refer to his style as “pizzeria art.”

Okay, I see their point

Imagine their contempt if they knew that Bob Ross had an 18 year career in the Air Force as a drill sergeant before launching his art career, where he felt his calm speaking manner would offset the 18 years he spent barking orders at people.

Image result for bob ross air force

Or that the man who never charged PBS a dime for making the hundreds of painting shows they aired did make millions of dollars on marketing his own line of paints and painting tools to amateur artists. Perhaps that helps explain why he was so vilified in the art world:

"I am horrified by art instruction on television," said Richard Pousette-Dart, an Abstract Expressionist who teaches at the Students Art League in New York. "It's terrible -- bad, bad, bad. They are just commercial exploiters, non-artists teaching other non-artists." He added, "I don't teach a technique or a method, I nurture students to find their own." – NYT

You’ll be happy to know that the painter of happy little clouds ignored his critics. Nor did he exactly have an abundance of respect for some of them either, especially the abstract expressionists, saying: "If I paint something I don't want to have to explain what it is."

So you can see why the man – and his legacy – must be destroyed. I expect we’ll soon be hearing allegations  of cultural appropriation leveled against Mr. Ross (posthumously), Ms. Sloane and her students. You see, while Bob Ross (RIP) was a white man, that head of curly locks? A perm. He didn’t own that Afro any more than Rachel Dolezal.

That’s right, Bob Ross had straight hair.

Related imageBob Ross, in his early Air Force days (l) sported a Tom Brady ‘do

Let the character assassinations begin. I choose to be a happy little cloud today.