Every Day’s a Good Day When You Paint


Today’s entry is inspired by a man that inspired me during my youth.  Bob Ross.  Yes, the painter.  And no, I don’t want a big curly ‘fro like he had (now thirty years ago…).

Bob Ross in the eyes of many was a teacher.  He was a man that could make a mountain landscape look as easy to paint as a male stick figure.  He was soft spoken, easy going, and had a great outlook on life.  At least that is what he projected.

Who else could give you the confidence to pick up a brush and put it to a canvas and create a world that looks like it would exist anywhere but probably only exists in your mind.  With common comments like, “this is your world, you can make anything you want”, how could you not believe it was true.

He was a motivator.  Each time he said “all you have to do is believe” or “if you can imagine it in your head and believe it in your heart, you can put it on the canvas” he wasn’t just teaching how to be a good painter, he was instilling self-confidence.  He was teaching one of the greatest lessons we can all learn in life…the lesson that will be the foundation to all success that we achieve.  That lesson: believe in yourself and your abilities.

Bob Ross taught me that I can create whatever I want on a canvas.  I can bring to life any picture that is in my head. I  can be just as inspiring to others as he was to me.  I can achieve whatever I truly believe is possible.

So what is so hard about actually believing that concept and moving forward with the idea?  We all at one point in our life, maybe even at this current moment in time, have had an idea or a motivation to accomplish something but never even tried because we didn’t believe it could actually be done.  I know I have.  I still have an empty canvas.  I still have unwritten songs and unpublished books.

What is the hold-up?  What is holding me back? Me.

I was Bob Ross’s friend.  He didn’t know me personally.  I didn’t know him outside of that 30 minutes each week that I saw him on KBYU tv.  But he talked like everyone was in the studio painting along side and receiving personal tutelage from a modern-day. hippie-looking Michelangelo.

And that kind of comparison would really bring out his critics.  To them, he wasn’t a master painter.  He was a hobbyist that couldn’t do anything more than a nature landscape.  Well, Jackson Pollock doesn’t even come close to inspiring me…other than to give me a slight glimpse of hope that I can drip, spill, and splatter paint on a canvas and fetch $100,000 for it.  But because he already did it, and I don’t have the right name, it won’t happen.  So, I would rather follow the instruction of Bob Ross and paint something that I can look at an enjoy.  If I want something that looks like a Pollock painting, I want it to come from my five-year-old.

This is my life.  I need to paint the picture that is in my mind.  I need to share my world.  I need to give of myself.  If I don’t, I won’t have a good day.  Because, everyday is a good day when you paint.  Bob said so.  Don’t believe me?  Why don’t you listen and watch for yourself.  Just click here.

So what motivates you.  What inspires you.  What is holding you back from sharing your world and accomplishing that joy that you search for?

In my world there are happy trees, happy clouds, and happy rivers.  It’s a great view, which I intend to share more often.

— Just another view from a palmtree.



Like a chicken with its head cut off.

The Little Red Hen House

Once again I have had a dry spell.  Not weather-wise, because believe me, Utah has not been dry this spring.  But in my blog posting, I have gone for a few weeks without writing.  Once again I was really busy and didn’t make time for it.

I have had a couple of projects that have kept me busy lately.  First of all, work at my office has picked up.  I have had some multimedia training projects that needed to be developed and they have taken quite a bit of time.  The projects have either been really big, which by nature takes a lot of time.  Or they have been smaller but with short time lines.  Or, they have been high enough priority that they took precedence over everything else.  Or they have been a combination of more than one.

Truth be told, they have all been good projects.  They have just taken a lot of my time.  This is not a complaint, though, but an explanation as to why I haven’t been writing.

At home I have had a project that has taken a lot of time too.  About three months ago we decided as a family that we would raise chickens.  So, we went down to the local CAL Ranch store and picked up five chicks, one for each of our children to care for.  Thanks to the kindness of neighbors, we were able to use some supplies that would help us to raise them initially.

We knew that eventually they would need a chicken coop.  We explored our options (buying, building, stealing one from someone that already had one) and after all was said and done, I decided that I could probably build one cheaper than we could buy one.  I started looking for plans online.  I even looked at pictures of coops that could give me some design inspiration.  Finally, I found the one I wanted.  It cost roughly $1,600.00.  Yeah, I can build it cheaper.

I started out estimating the amount of materials that I would need.  I started pricing it all out.  I started thinking I was the next Bob Villa of chicken coops.  Maybe someday I will have my own t.v. show that will be called “This Old Coop”.  I could go around renovating and remodeling old chicken coops.  I am sure there would be a huge viewer following and it would be played every Saturday on PBS stations around the country.

Then I started to build the coop.  I am no Bob Villa.  I realized that those three experiences I had as a teenager framing walls for a new building were not going to help me.  I couldn’t remember the basic building techniques I had been taught.  But I was not going to give up… especially because I have been collecting wood-working tools over the last few years that I was finally going to be able to use.

Because I wanted a level surface to build on, and because I didn’t have room in my garage, I started building on my driveway.  People in the neighborhood were probably thinking I was adding on to our house.  I wish I had been (we could use the room), but in response to their questions I would tell them I was building a “time-out” shelter for misbehaving children.  The looks on their faces were definitely troubling.  I will probably get a call from DCFS now.

But seriously, it was a big project and Mother Nature was having fun keeping me from completing it.  There were so many rain days between start and completion that a two or three day project took me almost three weeks.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t working on it each day during that time.  I had to work one day, rest three while it rained, then work a day again.  That is why it took so long.  But after all the time had gone by, I finally finished.  It’s okay though because on those rain days I was able to work on my multimedia projects at the office.

Now I am trying to get a garden planted.  But guess what… it is raining.  Maybe tomorrow.  I have already cultivated the dirt, and I have a fenced run to keep the chickens from eating what I plant, so I just need a good-weather day.  In the meantime, I am wandering about with so much going on and not so much cooperation from outside forces that I feel like a chicken with its head cut off… wandering around until I run out of energy and drop dead.

Okay, maybe it isn’t that bad.  But it certainly has been a joy to get these projects done.  Isn’t that how we all feel when we get projects done?

Just another view from a Palmtree.