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Denise Mayo

My Inspiration

By: Denise Mayo
College Now Course - SD 10

A 4-year old girl stands in front of her TV, with her home made easel, trying to mimic the beautiful creations of the calm, soothing artist with the Afro. "And we'll put a happy little tree right over there...there are no mistakes, just happy accidents..." To this day I still laugh at this picture, as do many others, but this picture has stayed with me all my life. Bob Ross, the televised artist that is known by almost everyone that I have ever met, is my, if you will, hero.

As far back as I can remember, and even before that, I have watched Bob Ross on TV. Over the years he has inspired me and I guess you can say that he has partially contributed to making me the person that I am today. I learned to paint from him and his show "The Joy of Painting," which actually is still on at the same time to this day. He would paint beautiful landscapes with oil paints using unique techniques that I have taken on as my own over the years. Painting landscapes of all sorts has become my specialty.

Painting is one of my favorite pastimes and is something I don't think I am ever going to let go of. My grandfather, who is also a wonderful artist, says that I got my talent through blood. This may be true but Bob Ross has definitely enabled me to express this artistic bent. He has helped me to sharpen my artistic skills and has allowed me to find a way to relax and express myself. Painting is my way of letting go and showing people that I know I am good at something. My paintings are my pride and my sense of accomplishment.

Bob Ross has given me the ability to see the world in different ways. After listening to his many anecdotes and seeing his interpretation of the world around him, I find myself looking for the beauty in my surroundings, too. From the way the trees blow in the wind to the shapes and patterns that the clouds form in the sky, every little thing is an inspiration for a future painting. I find myself noticing the colors and structure in things that I know many others neglect to see. Even when I am driving down a New Jersey highway or looking out at the ocean, I study the flow of the hills or the way the water meets the sky. Also with his simple little sayings, "There are no mistakes, only happy accidents..." I have come to learn that mishaps in life are not as bad as you may think. There is always a way to fix them and turn them around. Sometimes mishaps may even lead you down a new and different road that can possibly be for the better.

Now, being 17, I look back at the 4-year old girl watching Bob Ross on TV and see a child with light in her eyes, finding something that she loves and somebody she can learn from. Even though that home made, 13-year-old easel has been replaced with a new store bought one, and the finger paints have been put aside to allow professional oil paints to come and take their place, the ideas behind these objects remain the same. The ideas that I have gained from Bob Ross will always stay with me, influence the way that I think and contribute to the choices that I make in life. This may seem a little far-fetched but the fundamentals are what make us and I have learned many of mine from Bob Ross.