© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

Have Faith in Bob

I’ve always kind of liked Bob Ross, so when I caught the last few minutes of an episode on Public Television the other day, I watched with a smile.¬†With his afro, smooth, calm voice and soft painting technique, he’s one mellow dude to watch paint.

Time spent watching Bob reminds me a little bit of time spent at church. Compared to some other things, it’s a little more boring than the feverish pace of everyday life. And this is a good thing. It causes you to slow down, to pay close attention, and to let creation come to life.

Both also depend on and test my faith. Multiple times each episode, he does something silly that looks out of place or odd and I think to myself, “Oh, he’s really messed up this time.” But after a stroke or two, he transforms that misshapen blob of paint into a tree or a rock that looks perfectly placed, in fact, not having it there would leave and awful void. And he does this to me time and time again. His perspective and imagination of his creation are different from my own. And while I know this, and while I know that his paintings always look immaculate, I continue to doubt that he can paint his way out of each little happy accident.

But he always does.

Every time.

And in the end, it’s perfect.

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