Happy International Women Day!!

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Happy International Women Day!!! Go out and be all you can be!! Make today count! 
Cherish and empower the women in your life. And girls: don’t be afraid to dare, speak up and be fiercely yourself. 🌼
Is there a International Men Day? If not there should be, to focus on men’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models!

Our men deserve a lot of recognition and praise! I know I appreciate mine! 
But today is about us women! I have so many awesome women/girlfriends in my life. Thank you to all of you!. I wouldn’t be where I am without you. 
I especially want to remember my mommy, who I lost a few weeks ago and miss tremendously! She has always brought me inspiration, her courage and strength motivated me to keep speaking up for equality and inclusion. She helped me to grow with love, truth, and honesty. She helped me to choose the right path with values, morals, and self worth. She encouraged me to reach for my dreams with hope and confidence. I pray to be a mother like her, to shape my children into strong adults, full of hopes and dreams. She made me who I am today, and I will always remember her in life’s passings for no one could touch my life as she did.
On this #InternationalWomensDay! Tell me about a special woman in your life…

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Let’s make cake!

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Good Morning everyone! What a great day I had yesterday! Several prayers answered! I can’t start this one without giving praise and thanks to the lord! Thank you for answered prayers, thank you for the beauty that surrounds me, the people, opportunities, nature and the smiles that i encounter every day! Thank you for the little blessings and answered prayers you sneak into my life a little at a time. Its those little things I appreciate more then everything, while so many look for the “big things” I know that the morsels make up the cake and without them added slowly the finished product would not be as enjoyable and good. I want to savor each step as it happens, not just get it all over with now with nothing to anticipate! So thank you for submerging me into this new life and the rewards I know I will reap by staying true, patiance and having faith. Thank you for your love and grace and guidance on this every changing journey. Thank you for loving me, flaws and all.

Amen!

Have a beautiful blessed day all of you….. No matter what is happening remember be strong, patience, positive and keep hope. The little ingredients are slowly being added to make the cake of your life! Sometime we fail to see them, but they are there and you will see the finished product soon and life will taste good! 🙂 keep smiling! Xoxo

Tam

WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

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WhenYourDownToNothing
How many of you have ever run out of gas? How many of you have ever prayed that you would be able to make it to the next gas station? We all know what it means to be out of gas, to be out of our own resources and be down to nothing. How many of you have experienced God’s divine provision at just the right time in just the right way?

You got to do your part – in times of trouble it’s always a good idea to pray yourself and get other people to pray with you. It’s also important to read God’s word and have faith that God will intervene. Then it is important to head God’s word and do what it says to do!

When your heart is anchored to the heart of God you will withstand all the storms of life, and there will be storms! Because WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING!

OT
Joseph was down to nothing – He lost his freedom and was sold into slavery – wrongfully accused of rape and thrown into jail. He was at the bottom of the barrel – innocent, yet in jail in a foreign country. If that had happened to us, we would be so mad that we would bubble up like a bad paint job. God was up to something in Joshph’s life. He blessed Joseph even in prison so that all that whatever he did prospered and soon the warden of the prison put Joseph in charge of the prison. God gave Joseph the gift of dream interpretation and he interpreted the dreams of the Baker and the Cupbearer and when the Pharo needed an interpretation to his troubling dream Joseph delivered and Pharo promoted him to the 2nd highest position in the land to manage Egypt’s vast agricultural resources. Joseph stored grain and allocated it in such a way as to prepare for survival during a seven year famine. Meanwhile…
Jacob (Joseph’s father) was down to nothing. Jacob’s other sons lied to him and told him that Joseph (the son he loved the most) was dead and some eight or so years later along with the grief over Joseph’s supposed death came a severe famine that threatened to starve and kill the rest of his family. Jacob was down to nothing, but God was up to something. ReadGenesis 45:4-7 WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN

Job – lost everything – his livestock, his wealth, his children – he lost everything but his wife. He was down to nothing, sitting on a dung heap with oozing sores all over his body. But, God was up to something. God faith in Job and Job’s faith in God defeated Satan in a classic spiritual battle. The result? God restored double-fold what Job lost. (Read Job 42:10ff to end) WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

Gideon was down to nothing – he had lost his confidence. The Midianite hord had ravished the land like locusts. Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress – hiding from the Midianites. He had reached the bottom of the barrel – he was down to nothing. It was at this point that God met him and directed him to deliver Israel. With only 100 men he defeated the Midianite horde and freed the land of the Midianite pestilence. WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

David was down to nothing – He lost his rights when King Saul branded him an outlaw – he had to flee the country and live among the Philistines. He was a fugitive, at the bottom of the barrel. But God was up to something. King Saul was killed in a battle and David was established as king of Israel. WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

Hezekiah King of Judah was down to nothing when he found himself surrounded by the army of Sennacherib, King of Assyria. Sennachherib demanded surrender and reminded King Hezekiah that he had already concord and sacked many cities killing the leaders and dragging everyone else off into slavery. The gods of these cities couldn’t save them, so what makes you think Yahweh can save Jerusalem? Hezekiah tore his clothes and put on sackcloth. He was at the bottom of the barrel, but God was up to something. The prophet Isaiah prophesied Sennacherib’s doom and sure enough that night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death 185,000 of Sennacherib’s troops. So Sennacherib broke camp and hightailed it back to Assyria and stayed there until two of his sons assassinated him. WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

In 2 Kings 4 we find a prophet’s widow down to nothing. When her husband died he left behind a debt. The woman came to Elisha and told him that her husband’s creditor was coming to take her two boys to sell into slavery to satisfy the debt. She was in despair, she was at the bottom of the barrel, she was a mom horrified at the thought of losing her boys. But God was up to something. Elisha asked her, “What do you have in your house?” She literally had nothing but a little oil. So Elisha told her to go to her neighbors and collect all the empty containers she could get her hands on and then bring them into her house and begin pouring out the oil into them. She obeyed and from one small vessel of oil she filled all the pots in the house and was able to sell the oil to pay off the debt and have enough money left over to live on. WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego were down to nothin when King Nebuchadnezzar condemned them to death in the fiery furnace because they stood up for truth and what was right and refused to bow before a graven image. But God was up to something, because when they were thrown into the furnace they were not harmed! But not only that, in Daniel 3:30 the Bible says that King Nebuchadnezzar promoted them in the province of Babylon. WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

Ezekiel was down to nothing – He was a young priest who lost his country to war and was carried into captivity to Babylonia. The temple in Jerusalem had been trashed and he had no place to practice the priesthood. His professional life was over. He was nothing but somebody’s slave now. He was at the bottom of the barrel, but God was up to something. In an instant God reformulated Israel’s theology. He appeared to Ezekiel in a vision in the fiery cloud with 4 living winged creatures whose appearance was like burning coals riding wheels within wheels as the glory of God descended to the earth there beside the Kebar River in Babylon. Above the expanse over their heads was a throne of sapphire and above the throne was the figure of a man glowing with the glory of the Lord. Read Ezekiel 2:1-5
God was not confined to a temple in Jerusalem, God was not confined to the boarders of Israel, God was not confined to the temple ritual, God was much more – much bigger – much holier – much more awesome than the children of Israel could imagine. God was on the thrown, and His thrown is over all the earth and He can not be confined to a box or a room in a temple. God is sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. He hasn’t abandoned his people in a foreign land, instead, He is present with them and through Ezekiel provided a prophet to lead them in their time of captivity.
WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

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Peter was down to nothin after he denied Christ 3 times. He was a miserable failure. He was at the bottom of the barrel. But God was up to somethin. Jesus met Peter on the shoreline of Lake Galilee and restored Peter’s confidence, restored Peter’s faith and restored Peter’s position in the Kingdom. The result, on the Day of Pentecost Peter got up and delivered a powerful sermon then sat down without even giving an altar call. People were convicted on the spot and asked what they must do to be saved. That day 3,000 new believers were baptized in water! WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

Paul and Silas were severely flogged and thrown into prison for casting out a demonic spirit from a girl. They were down to nothing there in that dark, dank prison. About midnight were praying and singing hymns to God and the other prisoners were listening to them. (Christians, people are observing you under pressure – what do they see?) Suddenly, there was a violent earthquake. The prison doors flew open and the chains fell off all the prisoners. The guard was about to take his life when Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” As a result, the jailer and all his household became believers and were baptized. WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

The Apostle John was down to nothing. He was an old man confined to the prison island of Patmos in Greece. He was a political prisoner, exiled for practicing his faith and leading the Church in Asia Minor. He was effectively stopped from teaching and preaching. This is a difficult spot for a preacher to be in. John was at the bottom of the barrel. But, God was up to something. Jesus Christ appeared appeared to John on the Lord’s day when John was “in the spirit.” The result? The fabulous book of Revelation. The last book in the Bible that has been a comfort and assurance to all Christians throughout the ages. John’s situation looked hopeless, but he was able to influence the Church for all time even from exile. WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

Does God still do these kind of miracles for His people?
YES! God is for you 100%!
Here is a modern account of God’s miraculous provision:

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord’s voice. The young man
couldn’t help but wonder, “Does God still speak to people?” After service he
went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the
message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in
different ways. It was about ten o’clock when the young man started driving
home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, “God.. If you still speak
to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey.” As he
drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought, stop
and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, “God is that
you?” He didn’t get a reply and continued on toward home.

But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk. The young man thought about
Samuel and how he didn’t recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel
ran to Eli. “Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.”

It didn’t seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the
milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward
home. As he passed Seventh street, he again felt the urge, “Turn down that
street.” This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection.
Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street.

At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half
jokingly, he said out loud, “Okay, God, I will”. He drove several blocks,
when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and
looked around. He was in semi-commercial area of town. It wasn’t the best
but it wasn’t the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed
and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, “Go and give the milk to the people in the
house across the street.” The young man looked at the house. It was dark
and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep.
He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. “Lord,
this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are
going to be mad and I will look stupid.”

Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the
door, “Okay God, if this is You, I will go to the door and I will give them
the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be
obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don’t answer
right away, I am out of here.”

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise
inside.A man’s voice yelled out, “Who is it? What do you want?”

Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was
standing there in his jeans and t-shirt. He looked like he just got out of
bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn’t seem too happy to
have some stranger standing on his doorstep. “What is it?”

The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, “Here, I brought this to you.”
The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway speaking loudly in Spanish.

Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen.
The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had
tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half crying,
“We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran
out of money. We didn’t have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and
asking God to show me how to get some milk.”

His wife in the kitchen yelled out, “I ask him to send an Angel with some..
Are you an Angel?” The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out
all the money he had on him and put it in the man’s hand. He turned and
walked back toward his car with tears streaming down his face. He
knew firsthand that God still answers prayers.

WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING

Many are going through hard times, weathering dark storms in your lives, myself included. have lost almost everything, my job, home, car, several friends and the love of my life….. But I refuse to give up, I refuse to stop believing and smiling. I will get past this storm and find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!  I may be down to nothing, but I know God is up to something!!

Please Join me in prayer 🙂 Stay strong!! Keep the faith!  I love you all!

Lord, you are Holy above all others, and all of the strength that I need is in your hands.

I am not asking, Lord, that you take this trial away. Instead, I simply ask that Your will be done in my life. Whatever that means, that is what I want.

But I admit that it’s hard, Lord.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t go on. The pain and the fear are too much for me, and I know that I don’t have the strength on my own to get through this.

I know that I can come to you, Jesus, and that you will hear my prayer. I know that it is not your intent to bring me to this point just to leave me in the wilderness alone.

Please, Lord, give me the strength that I need to face today. don’t have to worry about tomorrow.

If you just give me the strength that I need today that is all I need.

Keep me from sinning during this trial. Instead, help me to keep my eyes on you. You are the Holy Lord, and all of my hope rests in you.

Dear Lord, I am calling upon you today for your divine guidance and help. I am in crisis and need a supporting hand to keep me on the right and just path.

My heart is troubled but I will strive to keep it set on you, as your infinite wisdom will show me the right way to a just and right resolution. Thank you for hearing my prayer and for staying by my side.

Amen!

 

Written for The Daily Post Prompt of the Day: Storm

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

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I saw this word prompt of the day “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” , from the past and I couldn’t resist to add this video! Some of you may not know but I am Deaf. I live near Disneyland and have a annual passport. I go often and watch the shows in American Sign Language. This clip is “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” Deaf Style!!!

 

 

Signed by Disneyland interpreters Brian and Lauren.

 

Five Things

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DontBeTooBusy

Right this moment, there are many, many things for which you can be thankful. Have you stopped lately to think of them all? Life may often seem difficult, and indeed it is in many ways. Yet for all life’s difficulties, still you have a multitude of blessings, most of which are too often taken for granted.

Think of five things, right now, for which you can be thankful today. Think of five blessings, and you’ll uncover five valuable treasures which can help you to grow, to build, to create, to move your life forward.

Don’t be so busy seeking treasure outside yourself, that you fail to make the most of the treasures you already have. Rather, nurture and appreciate the blessings you have, and they will grow into more abundant blessings.

Success is not something you come upon all of a sudden. It is something which grows outward from inside of you. It is a blessing you already have, which you nurture until it blossoms. Appreciate what you have, as often and as fully as you can. Nurture your blessings, with your focus and your effort, and they’ll grow into all you could ever desire.

Share your five blessing with me if you would like below 🙂  Have a blessed day all!!

 

~ Tam:)

In response to the Daily Word Prompt :five things (you would take on deserted island) I would take my five things I am thankful for. My Boyfriend(well ex right now ha ha) , my daughter, my son, my dog and my swiss army knife ha ha

Happy Clouds! THE JOY OF WRITING ABOUT THE JOY OF PAINTING

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 BobRoss

I’m so glad you could join us today. I’ve started by preparing a new document on Microsoft Word. We don’t need anything too fancy for what we’re doing: this Microsoft Word is from 2011, Version 14.4.5. We’ve got ourselves a keyboard, and on that keyboard we’ve got 26 letters—we’ll need all of them today and some punctuation marks, too. But all you really need is your imagination and a little love in your hearts.

 

Maybe we’ll start with a brief biographical sketch, right here:

Bob Ross was a painter who hosted an instructional program on American public television from 1983 to 1994 called The Joy of Painting.

 

Ain’t that neat? Right before your eyes you’ve got yourself a real life person starting to show up on your page. Now let’s just fill this in a bit more:

 

A kindly man with a soft voice and a permed afro, Ross spent each episode gently ushering viewers through the process of painting, promising to teach anyone how to create a landscape of happy little clouds, Happy trees, calm streams and almighty mountains in just under half an hour.

Tap those keys on that keyboard gently—tap, tap, tap—not even pressing real hard, just let it come to you.

 

Broadcast on 95 per cent of all public television channels in the United States at its peak, reaching an estimated 100 million American households per week, The Joy of Painting eventually made its way to more than 20 countries across the world, including Iceland, Iran, Holland, Costa Rica and Japan.

Today, 20 years after his death, Ross endures as a cult icon.

We’ve got ourselves a background already. So I’m going to add to it a rhetorical question:

But how does one go about painting a portrait of Bob Ross through words?

My oh my. This rhetorical question is going to need a friend in the form of an answer or at least some kind of positioning statement so we’ll just pop one right here:

That’s easy: do it the way Bob Ross would do it. That is, through a series of lessons that guide you through the process itself. That way, as we talk about Bob Ross, we’ll also be demonstrating the strengths of Ross’s method: his friendliness, warmth and accessibility, the gentle and encouraging paternal instruction, the endearing but not cloying amount of dagginess. At the same time, the weaknesses of this technique will reveal the weaknesses of Bob Ross: this technique is gimmicky, lazy, shallow, a magician’s trick, all style and no substance.

Let’s get started.

 

The Joy of Art History

Here’s a tricky little term: alla prima. It’s Italian for “at first attempt” and it refers to the layering of wet paint upon wet paint. Some folk prefer to just call it “wet-on-wet painting” and that’s just fine, too.

Start with one of those terms—alla prima or wet-on-wet painting, whichever one you prefer—and just blend a few centuries of art history together on the page, there you go, noting the technique’s use from early Netherlandish painters to Spanish Baroque painters to late Rococo and late Venetian School painters, easy does it, all the way through Modernism—Impressionism, post-Impressionism, Realism, Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism—before stopping at a painter on American public television in the 1980s and 1990s.

 

There. Don’t be shy now. Grab some contrariness and splash it across the page:

Painting is beside the point: the paintings in The Joy of Painting don’t matter.

 

That might look ugly or nasty for now but that’s just because we aren’t finished yet. Be patient. Back up the statement:

Arguably the word “painting” in the title The Joy of Painting refers not to the noun “painting”—the thing of painting as work of art—but to the verb “painting”—the act of painting as work of art. After all, the bulk of the show concerns itself with the process of painting, only unveiling a finished product as the end music starts and the closing credits roll.

 

Oooh we sure are getting somewhere now. Pick up your two-inch Background Brush, the widest of all Bob Ross brushes, because we will be making some very broad brush strokes here.

 

In this sense, Bob Ross belongs to the legacy of action painters such as Jackson Pollock, whom Ross once derisively and perhaps unfairly misremembered as “Jackson Pollard.” The words of American critic Harold Rosenberg, who coined the term “action painting,” are instructive here. He described the canvas in the age of action painting as “an arena in which to act,” saying that “What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event.”

Ross’s paintings, then, are only the aftermath of an event—the residue of his performative artwork. But where other action painters tended towards abstraction, Ross straddles figuration. His simple landscapes with their lack of accurate rendering are actually a hyper-effective distillation of his calming manner and method into a representational framework. A happy little cloud is more than just a happy little cloud: it is the encouragement that you too can paint a happy little clouds, it is the supreme ease with which Ross paints a happy little cloud, it is the soothing voice that tells you to “paint a happy little cloud.”

Cluds

The Joy of God

Pop culture references are a real nice way to keep it fun. So let’s start by sprinkling some scenes from British sitcom Peep Show, from the episode “The Interview.”

Jez is sitting on the couch, flipping through TV channels, when The Joy of Paintingappears.

“Blimey, what’s God up to?” he asks, referring to Bob Ross.

Later in the episode, Jez is back on the couch, flipping through TV channels again, while Mark tosses up whether or not to call his work crush Sophie.

“Okay, listen,” Mark says. “If God’s doing mountains or sky or water, I’ll call; if he’s doing trees or critters, I won’t.”

“Alright, let God decide,” Jez replies.

They turn on The Joy of Painting and, sure enough, God is painting some clouds in the sky and Mark calls Sophie.

Ain’t that just a sweet conceit? It’s a silly little joke but it’d be nice to just flesh that out more.

The God comparison isn’t that farfetched. Consider Genesis. Ross’s emphasis and approach when creating a painting in some ways mirrors the story of creation. There’s the speed: God created the world in seven days; it takes Ross less than 30 minutes. And Ross’s focus on process not outcome and his reluctance to hone in on too fine a detail can be construed as an appreciation of the miracle of creation, as opposed to the minutiae of creation, above all else. There’s no florid description of the infinitesimal fractal striations on leaves in Genesis: God just said, “Let there be,” and there it was and it was good and that was that.

You won’t be able to see this on my page now but in an early draft I made the argument that Bob Ross could in fact have been a manifestation of God or at the very least Jesus, especially when considering the way his afro forms what looks like a halo in Greek religious iconography and the fact that he was at one stage a carpenter.

But none of that is a strong argument now, is it? We’re going to leave it out, but we aren’t going to call it a mistake: there are no such things as mistakes, only happy accidents. As when painting, when writing we can just cover up our early happy accidents. I’m going to go right over that early paragraph with a new paragraph, a reimagining of Genesis:

1:1  In the beginning Bob Ross created the heaven and the earth.

1:2  And the canvas was without paint, and void; and darkness was upon the backdrop of the WNVC studio in Falls Church, Virginia. And the Spirit of Bob Ross moved upon the airwaves of American public television.

1:3  And Bob Ross said, Let there be a happy little tree: and there was a happy little tree.

1:4  And Bob Ross saw the happy little tree, that it was good: and Bob Ross divided the happy little tree from an almighty mountain and maybe an old wood cabin just over here.

That’s just a bit of fun there. We gotta make ourselves smile from time to time. But let’s get back to business and finish the thing:

Ross was a mortal man, but he was a mortal man possessed of the powers of the divine. It’s worth considering Isiah 40:6-8, which reads, “All people are like grass and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

This analogy is especially apt when skimming through all 403 episodes of The Joy of Painting—eleven years of Ross’s life condensed to an approximate total running time of eight days, nine hours and thirty minutes. There are cyclical and seasonal changes, like the blooming and withering of flowers and trees: Ross’s jeans wax and wane between dark and light blues and his dress shirt occasionally blossoms from staid white into vivid pinks, all while his afro expands and contracts, sometimes presenting as a tightly coiled, desultory dark brown, sometimes as an electric, wiry profusion glowing with hot streaks of light brown.

That’s real nice. Now the final strokes:

Other changes are permanent and irreversible. That is, Ross withers. His beady eyes retreat into a nest of wrinkles, white creeps into his whiskers, the softness of his voice wilts, becoming more a weak softness than a calm softness. The one thing that remains constant and unchanging are the paintings. The happy little trees of Bob Ross endure forever.

The Joy of Humanity’s Adverse Impact on the Environment

We’re gonna have ourselves a little fun now and do something different: we’ll be painting a picture using only numbers.

Some of these numbers I’ve taken from Walt Hickey’s “A Statistical Analysis of the Work of Bob Ross” from statistical blog FiveThirtyEight; the rest took only a moment to google. Some are odd, some are even—makes no real difference. You can choose whatever numbers you want for your own essay. Remember: You can do anything you want, this is your world.

Percentage of Bob Ross’s paintings with at least one happy little tree: 91%

Percentage of Bob Ross’s paintings with at least two happy little trees: 85%

Probability that Bob Ross, having painted one happy little tree, will paint another happy little tree: 93%

Percentage of the world’s land mass that is covered in happy little trees: 31%

Percentage of the world’s natural forests that have already been destroyed: >80%

Percentage of deforestation that is caused by either subsistence farming, commercial agriculture, logging and fuel wood removal: 99%

Percentage of Bob Ross’s paintings that feature the visible presence of people: 0.52%

(By the way as hinted in my other posts, please keep an eye open and follow me if you’re interested in reforestation, we will reveal soon our plan to do this!)

 

 

The Joy of Voice

Seeing as we had some practice using numbers just then, we’re going to try them again for this part. Those of you just tuning in now, don’t fret: it’s a small one, a little one-digit critter. We’re going to pop it right in the middle of our opening sentence:

Bob Ross once claimed that only three per cent of his viewers actually painted along with him.

That wasn’t too hard now, was it? Let’s try a double-digit:

That leaves 97 per cent of Ross’s viewers without brush or paint or canvas in hand. What were they doing?

It’s all coming together, get yourself started on that answer:

Leaving aside the fact that some want to literally watch paint dry, most watched for relaxation purposes. The calming qualities of the show can be almost wholly attributed to Ross’s voice, which Alessandra Stanley, in an article for the New York Times, described as “the aural equivalent of Demerol.”

One could even argue that his voice was the most painterly aspect of the entire show: his smooth drawl mimics the viscous, mellifluous ooze of paint, while the subtly scratchy burr that undercuts his voice blends in with the sounds of a brush or knife scratching against the canvas. And still, that only goes part of the way towards explaining his voice’s narcotic effects.

Okay, we’re all set up and ready to go. Let’s put this part aside and jump into some fine detailing for a bit. We’ll bring in an expert to cast an authoritative hue on this little scene.

Ross’s Southern accent could be a factor. Linguist Lee A. Pederson believes it is an accent far superior to the Northern accent.

“The North,” he says, “was largely settled by immigrants who learned English as a second language and were heavily dependent on the written word. Southerners, on the other hand, have always relied on the spoken word. In that respect, Southern speech is closer to the native speech of England, and often to Elizabethan England. It is a much more sensitive and effective medium of communication than Northern speech, for the most part, because it is so rooted in the spoken word.

“Southern speech is also noted for being more melodious and various than other dialects because the vowels are long-embraced.”

Oh, that’s nice, all that detail really makes it pop. Keep filling it in.

The prevalence of glide deletions before voiced consonants, pin-pen mergers, vowel breaking and vowel elongation in Ross’s speech seems to indicate he is a speaker of the Lowland Southern dialect specifically. Cropping up in areas that had a high proportion of slaves in pre-Civil War times, it is essentially a living trace fossil of the movements of America’s slaveholding aristocracy, who spread the dialect to regions suitable for plantation-style agriculture and steered clear of the mountainous and drier areas that are now, as a result, dominated by the Inland Southern dialect.

Found in great swathes stretching across parts of Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Georgia, the Lowland Southern dialect begins to peter out just below Daytona Beach, Florida—Bob Ross’s hometown. Could this imply that the calming properties of Ross’s voice are, at least to some degree, the result of a false nostalgia for a time fraught with deeply troubling moral failures?

The Joy of the United States of America

Pop some Bright Red, Titanium White and Phthalo Blue on your palette and let’s paint ourselves a picture of Bob Ross as a symbol of both the light and dark side of the American experience.

In The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa, former chief art critic for the New York Times Michael Kimmelman—“the most acute American art critic of his generation,” according to Robert Hughes—describes Ross’s landscapes as “resolutely American”; in an article for the New York Times titled “The Master of Creation in 26 Minutes,” he calls the entire Bob Ross phenomenon “quintessentially American.”

Throughout the book and the article, Kimmelman draws parallels between Ross and both contemporary and historical American values. Referring to the fact that Ross produced more than 30,000 paintings over the course of his life, Kimmelman notes a “Yankee work ethic,” which can be traced back to the influence of Puritanism in the New World; looking to more recent times, Kimmelman says Ross’s promise of instant gratification—paint a picture in under 30 minutes!—isn’t “so different, ultimately, from what MTV offers.”

The strongest link Kimmelman suggests is the one between The Joy of Painting and the spread of therapeutic recreation in the United States after the 1940s, when the forty-hour, five-day workweek gave rise to a middle class with time and money to burn. Painting in particular, and painting-by-numbers especially, “was a natural fit for a society looking for a bit of self-expression but reluctant to stray outside the bounds.”

We got ourselves quite a lot of Kimmelman on the page. That’s okay, he’s alright. But maybe we should mix it up. Put your own reflections down, whatever you think might be relevant:

There’s the fact that Ross was a military man: he joined the United States Air Force at the age of 18 and served for 20 years, reaching the rank of master sergeant. He was an enterprising, self-made man, too, who only permed his hair to save money and who, with that thriftiness and some hard work, built a million-dollar business. He died on the Fourth of July.

You need to have dark in order to show light. Not too much—this is a happy place—but enough so our light will show. Let’s dive a little deeper, get some of that really dark dark, an almighty dollop of the blackest of Midnight Black, and put something here like:

We can’t talk about Ross without also mentioning William Alexander, a man born to a poor family in a small East Prussian village in 1915, surrounded by the desolation of the First World War. “Nothing but dead cows and machine guns bared and lying around and skeletons of soldiers half-buried with boots sticking out of the ground,” he later wrote.

Even so, he joined the Wehrmacht by the time the Second World War rolled around and was captured by Patton’s Third Army while fighting on the Eastern Front. Upon his release, he immigrated to the United States of America. There, he gave lessons on his quick and easy painting technique and, from 1974 to 1982, hosted an instructional television show on PBS called The Magic of Oil Painting, wherein he taught viewers how to paint landscapes in just under 30 minutes. One of his students was a young US serviceman called Bob Ross.

 

Speaking to the New York Times about how his former student allegedly copied his technique and became a direct competitor, Alexander said, “He betrayed me.” The betrayal, however, speaks to far more than just a personal spat. It’s emblematic of America’s dark history of looting and plundering, filtered through the modern sheen of neocolonialist appropriation.

 

Alright, let’s not fiddle this to death. We’re gonna wind this up and save the document onto our desktop. For our earlier drafts we already used the filenames ‘Bob Ross rough draft’, ‘Bob Ross draft’ and all the ‘Bob Ross final’s—‘Bob Ross final 1’, ‘Bob Ross final 2’, and ‘Bob Ross final 3’, even ‘Bob Ross final 3.1’ and ‘Bob Ross final 3.2’—so I’m going to call this one “The Joy of Writing about The Joy of Painting.”

Now get your email client—any will do—and create a new email, attach this document right in there and get that email pointed at the email address of the editor. You can sprinkle a little “Hope you’re really well!” and “I’m at my computer if there’s anything you’d like me to look at,” and, for good measure, “Again, I’m so sorry it’s so late,” then hit Send. There. That’s done. A fantastic essay in just 30 minutes.

 

From all of us here, I’d like to wish you happy writing and God bless, my friend.

 

 

BoatTam

One of my first paintings, Bob Ross taught me how to make some “Happy little clouds! ”

 

This post was written for the Daily Prompt Challenge: CLOUD