This is a blog about fiber-art crafting, and I intend to keep it that way. But I also do lots of other things with my life: work, writing, being a pet-mommy, cooking, baking, painting, etc. Sometimes I want to share some of those things too, so I’m designating Sundays as my day to go outside my normal realm and talk about those other aspects of my life.

Today I want to talk about painting! This past Christmas my Honey bought us oil paints and brushes and everything we needed to learn from the great Bob Ross, since he’s finally on Netflix. I took to it a little better than my Honey did, in terms of enjoyment, and I’ve done three paintings now. (Not many, I know, but tidying up is such a hassle, plus with the fumes it’s got to be warm enough for me to open a window.)

20161224_134040 This was my first attempt at a Bob Ross painting – and it ended with me finger-painting the snowy bank and water at the bottom. It’s unfinished on the sides – which I may or may not go back to – and as I was cleaning up I tripped and put my hand across the paint, smudging it a bit.

It wasn’t quite a disaster, but it wasn’t easy either. Going into it with little experience painting and NO experience with oil paints made it hard to gauge how much paint to use, how it was going to behave, and how to use different brushes well. If you’ve ever watched Bob paint, you might think, that goes pretty slow. If you’ve ever tried to paint with Bob, you know how quickly it feels! Keeping up that first time was a struggle, in part because of not knowing much about oil paints, and in part because we were trying to do everything just right (which I clearly did not!). Still, I was proud of myself for doing it, and excited that I enjoyed it!

The second time I pulled out the oils was a lot better. I knew what to expect more – both from the paints and from Bob. (And from myself, too.) I decided just to keep up as well as I could and not worry about getting things “just right.” I had a few “happy little accidents” and tried to correct them as best I could. I think letting go of what I expected made the process go more smoothly, and helped me learn more about how to work with the paints and brushes instead of trying to force them to do my will.

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Attempt Number 2 at painting with Bob

20170506_084711After finishing my second painting, I took a step back and started thinking about what I could improve. The list is pretty long, so I won’t bore you with it, but it inspired me to do the same painting a second time the next weekend. Certain aspects improved, others did not.

I was most surprised to see how different they were, even though I used all the same colors, brushes, and instructions!

I’m not in love with the trees in the second one, so I might go back in with some green and white to paint over them so they aren’t so brown, but on the whole I think it’s pretty good for a third try! I definitely need more work with clouds and trees, but I’ve got time and don’t need to rush anything!

This whole experience has reminded me what it’s like to be a beginner at a new craft. I’ve been crocheting for so long that I take the skill for granted. It isn’t easy to learn new things, but it is worth it. And the most important thing, of course, is that you enjoy what you’re doing! Most of us have jobs that aren’t our favorite, or spend lots of time on chores or housework. So when we choose a hobby, we have to make sure it’s something we have fun with – otherwise what’s the point?

Do you have any hobbies that are new for you? Or any stories about being a beginner? Please feel free to share in the comments!

Until next time,

Emily

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