When I was in high school, things were ugly. At home. I was pretty creative (at the time) and my one refuge, aside from drinking attending social events with friends, was Art class. It is not a required class, but in the 3 years I attended school**, I was enrolled in 4 Art classes. At the risk of being over dramatic, let me just tell you that I don’t know how I would’ve managed without that class.
We were on block scheduling (similar to college classes) so I had about 2 hours each day with my fellow Art students to create and chat and try new things. The teacher, Mrs. Hughes was my favorite teacher ever. She respected the students, let us make our own decisions with regard to projects, but had a mothering way about her as well.
My friend, Ashley and I always joked about how we idolized Bob Ross, you know artist super star of The Joy of Painting. While working on a project, we could often be overheard giggling and saying things like, “let’s put a happy little cloud here”. Who could ever watch the Joy of Painting and NOT just fall in love with Bob – his kind personality, soft spoken way, his care and concern for nature, his awesome ‘fro.
I was trying to find something on TV today that would just be background noise while I worked. Everything I saw on the TV guide was drama, soap operas, celebrity news shows. But then I stumbled upon The Joy of Painting, and couldn’t help but watch the first half of the show, absolutely in awe of Bob’s genius. And it brought me back.
Suddenly, it was first period and I was sitting at my artist’s table with the Art chronies. As we worked on various projects, we would talk about what was going on in our lives, make fun of eachother, crack jokes about other people, all without the lecturing tone that you usually find in any given classroom. I miss those days of having 2 hours a day to lay back, relax and create.
Thank you Bob. Even though you’ve passed from this Earth, you continue to bring a smile my face and inspiration in the word you did while you were here.
** I realize this first paragraph makes me sound like such a slacker in high school. For those who are new to this site, let me just catch you up before your first impression is tarnished. I only physically attended 3 years of public high school, after which time I graduated early so I could attend college and therefore escape the aforementioned madness going on at home. So, it was a productive exodus from high school. Okay, so now you know.