Following the delightfully entertaining debacle that was my real trip to the virtual world, with all its follies, foibles, twists, turns and (most importantly) ice cream for the long suffering LadyDrake, I had to relax. And to this unhinged paragon of technical mediocrity the best way is with calm, soothing tones, pretty colors, and as little surprise stimuli as possible. That’s right, we are talking about the king of the canvas, the baron of the brush, the prince of oil paint, none other than the man himself, Bob Ross.

I first came across the soft spoken painter a number of years ago, my ramblings and wanderings through the internet had taken me near and far and I kept seeing happy little trees and happy little clouds. I had stumbled onto the Bob Ross Twitch channel from Twitch plays Pokemon (Hail Helix!). I was enthralled, here was a man who was so dedicated to his craft that he had his hair styled in such a fashion that his whole body looked like a paint brush. In 25 minutes a blank canvas would be transformed before my eyes, a whole world would appear in front of me, all the while he was talking about how he created these amazing landscapes.

Shortly after that I started watching. At first it was good background noise while I was playing whatever 4X I was into that month. Something began to change however, and eventually I found myself watching The Joy of Painting more than I was commanding my troops, developing my economies and generally figuring out how to deal with the blood thirsty Gandhi. One day I had forgotten to boot up the game all together and was just watching these videos. Not long after that I figured it was time to give this whole painting thing a whack. Ohh, I didn’t realize just how deep this one went (not as long as the VR series, I promise, unless you like it, in which case, it will never end).

When I first brought up the idea to LadyDrake (good old, LD), and framed it in the coloring therapy light, she had to give it a good long think. Thankfully she thought some coloring therapy would be good for me. Unfortunately she didn’t realize that what I was talking about was full on oil painting, canvases, pallets, the whole works, she has since learned to ask a lot of questions up front about exactly what the hell I am about to get up to.

So an undetermined amount of money later we were walking out of the local art supply store with everything we were going to need to get up and painting. We had it all, pthelo blue, pthelo green, sap green, umm, alizerian crimson, . . . . and umm. . . . . yellow, and of course titanium white. What ensued next I can only describe as yet another first attempt that ended like most (if not all) first attempts, which means total and abject failure. I ended up painting a big brown picture, which was convenient because that’s about what it felt like when I was done. A massive pile of undetermined brown ‘stuff’ that would be better if it were quickly dealt with and forgotten. The best part was what took the Bob Ross a half hour to make a beautiful picture, it took me 3 hours to make something that not even a mother could love (I know, I asked mine)

But from those humble beginnings will, hopefully, come something that is worth a damn. Tune in next week to find out what happens when I decide to see if sap green really tastes like sap (spoiler: it doesn’t).

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