For this week’s assignment, I watched season 17, episode 10 – “Old Country Mill” and was yet again (old time watcher) left with an overall sense drowsy peace, creativity, and happiness! I remember when I was a kid and would have to stay home sick from school, we would watch Joy of Painting because it was usually on during the daytime on PBS, and we weren’t allowed to watch junk all day.

Watching this episode, from right at the beginning, Ross mentions that he wants this painting to be warm and cozy because that’s just how he was feeling that day. The use of warm colors, soft brush strokes, and a peaceful and serene scene saw his mood that day realized on a canvas. I think this resonates with me because it reminded me that every day we wake up and have thoughts or feelings about what the day will hold. We do not always get to be the bright or colorful selves, sometimes we need to be the warm and cozy selves, or even the dark and stormy selves. These emotions and feelings can shape our world, and even when they are not the ideal picture we hope for, they can still be beautiful and inspirational.

One other comment that Ross said which really inspired me was “to let the canvas do the work for you.” I generally think of myself as a glass half full kind of person, and I could not agree more with the suggestion that it is far easier to swim with the current than to try and swim against it. Sometimes this comes easily, but others it definitely does not. As a beach lover, and ocean swimmer, one of the risks that we all know are very serious, are rip tides. I think of this “letting the canvas do the work for you” in terms of swimming and getting caught in a rip tide. It likely will happen at some point, and the most experienced swimmers can still run into serious trouble if the do in fact get caught in one. However, the safest way to get out of one is to swim parallel to shore – not towards the shore which is likely the first instinct that comes to mind when you are panicked.

Finally, thinking about this class while watching this episode, I was inspired to find the beauty of the process of creating something, and not just the finished result. Ross demonstrated how the entire painting could be beautiful and only after building up the layers did the final image appear as a complete thought.

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