Monday, May 31, 2010

A few paintings...

Still in training at the Bob Ross Art Workshop. Love it! It has been very, very hard on me physically but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I am no great artist, that is for sure, but here are a few paintings that I have worked on over the past couple weeks...

(I'm sure this goes without saying, but these images are copyrighted by law and may not be used in any way. Thanky!)

I have to say that this certification is about the same as the first...I'm having good days and bad days. Florals Cert is more technical, though, so it is tougher in some ways than Landscapes. You can paint a happy tree on a hill and if it looks like a tree on a hill in any way shape or form, you're usually A-OK. But if your pansies look like giant mustached flower monsters? NO. Just no.

I swear I laugh my butt off every time I look at my pansies...they are THAT funny. My roses are a little creepy too. I have a LOT of work ahead of me before I am worthy of teaching this technique...that is for sure. But I have hope that I will eventually get it. Lord help me! LOL...

Four days left. Then home again to the Gulf Coast. I haven't ignored our oil spill situation, just haven't had time to blog about it yet...I will eventually.

Hugs to all.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Passion Matters!

(At the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse in beautiful Ponce Inlet, not far from the Bob Ross Art Workshop in Florida)

I have to give kudos to the folks at the Bob Ross Art Workshop for making these long road trips to Northeast Florida worth the time and money. Their business is very well operated and their certification training is extraordinary. And they're just darn sweet, too! It is such a relief, because as someone who lives waaaay below the poverty level, this pursuit has been a serious step of faith. Five years ago, if someone had told me that I would be a Bob Ross painting instructor today, I would have laughed in their face with utter disbelief.

I'm a left-brainer with no natural artistic talent. My first certification was in Office Administration. I've run so many different offices, I could write a book (and plan to, thankyouverymuch). I like non-fiction such as history, biographies, law, and medicine. I'm slightly (or maybe definitely...) OCD about order, symmetry, and correctness. I'm a nostalgic, introverted, internet-savvy office nerd. I have systemic disease that leaves me with poor motor skills, severe pain, endless exhaustion, and the occasional brain fog. But in the midst of that, I have managed to stay on the President's List in college ever since I started a few years ago. I have to admit, of course, that does not include a lot of math. It is my Achilles' heel and will ultimately be the downfall of my 3.9 GPA. But I digress...

I say all of this to say that I am proof that if a person truly has a passion for art, they can train to be an artist. You don't have to be born with it. Some people are, and that's awesome. Some people, like myself, can't draw a straight line for nothin'! If you are like me, please be encouraged by the fact that art is an outlet available to everyone, and you CAN learn it. If you love art and wish you could do it - DO IT! Take the plunge! Throw your fear of failure out the window and give it a try. You may find, like I did, that it's not all about drawing straight lines. PASSION MATTERS! And like Bob always said...with patience and practice, you can make it happen. I am making it the grace of God, the love of family and friends, and the support of my wonderful childhood dream is in progress. It is overwhelming. It is hard. It is humbling. It is amazing. It is the gold at the end of my rainbow.

Life sure has its surprises, doesn't it? It has its ups and downs, and my trees aren't always happy, but I am thankful and blessed to be where I am today. Alive. Mostly functional. Doing better than expected in some ways...worse in other ways...but that's the way it goes. I am forever striving to keep things in perspective, be grateful, and seize the day.

Today is a gift. That's why they call it the PRESENT. :)

God bless and talk to you soon,


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cool Flowers

I'm in Northeast Florida and had my camera handy when I passed by these beauties. Anybody know what they are?

(Click to see in larger view)

Thanks in advance!

Monday, May 24, 2010

VLOG from my favorite place!

Sorry for the tongue-tied rambling...I was EXHAUSTED.

So blessed to be in Florida. Having a rough time physically a lot of days, but not taking one minute for granted.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Live from Daytona Beach...meeeeee!

I'm not dead! Just absolutely, positively EXHAUSTED! But surviving my training so far. I can't say that it's going extremely's SO HARD...but I am hopeful that I will eventually "get it" and I'll be worthy of teaching this technique...

This was Day 2 and Day 3 of Bob Ross Florals Certification. I lovingly call it BOOT CAMP, because that is exactly what it is. Brutal, I tell you. But worth it and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now. I love the Bob Ross Art Workshop so much. It's odd how much it feels like home to me (unlike college...what a different feeling that is! Not bad...just VERY different), I've always felt like I belonged there even when my paintings SUCK...ha! I just love it and it is rare that I find myself in a place where I am completely's surreal. In a perfect world, I'd paint happy trees (and flowers, and animals, etc.) at the BR Workshop in NSB for the rest of my life. Of course, that would require winning the lotto, which I don't see happening (since I don't play...and there is no lotto where I live anyhow).

My trip hasn't been without its drama...that's for sure. What was supposed to be a 9.5 hour drive turned into 11.5 hours due to an insane thunderstorm of doom complete with flooded interstate, a stalling borrowed car, and a very soaking wet Kelli. Then the next morning when I went to leave for my first day of training, I had a flat tire. A forty dollar cab ride and a twenty dollar tire change, but I made it to class, THANK GOD. I'm having some rough moments physically, but I've made it through class so far and I am so very thankful to be there. I love love love my teacher trainer and his assistant...they couldn't be more fabulous and I will miss them greatly (again!) when I have to leave. My classmates are great too...and the motel staff...everybody! Florida rocks!

I guess that's all for now. I'm about to pile up in bed and play with my Appalachian Dulcimer for a few minutes before turning in for the night. This weekend is going to be PACKED with fun, and I look forward to meeting some of my online friends in central Florida for the first time. WOOT!

I'll talk to ya soon...with more pics and maybe a video too.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Traveling mercies needed

I'm headed out on a 9.5 hour road trip. I've had 1.5 hours sleep.

Prayers very much appreciated!

Will blog when I get there, if possible.

Love to all!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Definitions of Grace

I survived my third full time semester of college, and I am finally, officially a Sophomore. And not only did I survive, I managed a 4.0 GPA. I have no problem admitting that this was undeserved, though, as two of my instructors went above and beyond to make sure that I did well in their classes.

One teacher kept in touch via email and extended her deadlines for me, and I was able to bring my grade up from a 70 to a 92 at the 11th hour. Holy come-back-of-the-century, Batman. In another class, I managed to raise my grade from a C to a B but my teacher curved it to an A. And let me just say that he must have played baseball in his youth, because that was one heck of a curve ball. Of course he doesn't acknowledge it, so all I can do is say thanks and move on. I'll find him on campus and give him a hug someday.

Funny thing is, neither one of these teachers have met me in person. The classes were online. They didn't know me, or my character, or how sick I was (other than the casual mention of it via email). Yet they trusted in me, were patient with my worrisome emails, and showed me mercy in such a difficult time in my life, knowing that they'd probably never even hear from me again after the end of the semester.

That, my friends, is a definition of grace.