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Happy Birthday, Bob Ross

Monday, October 29th, 2012
By Twistie

(Image Via Gentlemanbeggar, whose post you should definitely check out for a giggle or three)

I’m going to come clean here: I never in my life have watched an episode of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. I’m not a painter. I frankly find his paintings simplistic and slightly cheesy. Make that a big ol’ hunk of Monterey Jack. Even the phrase ‘happy little trees’ makes me itch all over.

And yet I do have a sneaking respect for Bob Ross. Whatever I may have thought of his paintings, his phraseology, or his show, the fact remains that he did a hell of a lot to get millions of people to try doing something creative. He taught them that mistakes are nothing to be afraid of. He encouraged them to use their imaginations to bring themselves and others happiness.

Were all of the people he inspired Picassos and Van Goughs in the rough? Hardly. I’m sure quite a number of the paintings he inspired others to do are the visual equivalent of Vogon poetry. And yet, someone out there had to be better. Several someones, I’m sure. And those special few have gone on to create much better paintings.

Others, I have no doubt, quickly realized that painting wasn’t their medium, but knew that somewhere out there was the right form of self-expression for them. They went on to try other creative pursuits, such as sculpture, photography, needlecrafts, weaving, and beading. Maybe they were better at those. Even if they were no better at them, they found more happiness.

Even the people who were No Damn Good at painting and didn’t really care found happiness doing something creative. What’s more, they didn’t harm anyone while doing it.

And so today I thank the late Bob Ross on his natal day for bringing joy and creativity, and yes, even the (grits teeth) happy little trees to so many people.

Buy a Munny, and the Money Goes to Charity

Monday, June 11th, 2012
By Twistie

Crafts are big these days. It seems sometimes like everyone is doing them, and some big name celebrities have come out of the crafting closet to tell us what they like to do. Julia Roberts will be drawing on her actual knitting skills in an upcoming film, Tom Cruise bought Katie Holmes a sewing machine for her birthday… and Rosie O’Donnell is making art out of Munny Dolls for charity.

The whole point of Munny dolls is to take a blank shape and breathe your own life into it by decorating it in any way you see fit. O’Donnell uses Sharpie markers to paint them in unique designs. She then sells them in her Etsy story for $200.00 a pop.

Of course Rosie O’Donnell doesn’t need the money for herself. Star of stage and television with books on the market… yeah, she’s got plenty to live on. Instead the money goes to her charity, Rosie’s Theater Kids, which brings instruction in music, dance, and acting to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have access to performing arts programs. As a one-time drama jock, I heartily approve this idea. Arts programs are being cut all over the country, and kids need access to more than just the three r’s.

I also approve the idea of someone using art to support the arts.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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