• Young artists learn from Bob Ross

  • Young artists experience "The Joy of Painting."

    • email print
  • Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
    Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Bob Ross was the creator and host of “The Joy of Painting,” a Public Broadcasting System television program that first aired in 1983 in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe.
    Harrold Youth Center Program Assistant Rachel Lewis found a way to use one of the episodes from “The Joy of Painting” as a creative way to enhance the technical art instruction for her art students. She prepared all of the materials the students would need in advance and modeled the process with them during Ross’ televised directions.
    “We can use different techniques and demonstrate the effect each has on the painting being created,” Lewis said. “They love painting. They really do. If there is canvas available to them, they will use it.”
    Bob Ross continued broadcasting episodes until 1994 when he became too ill to continue. However, the popularity of “The Joy of Painting” and Ross’ inspiring method as an on-air instructor have resulted in the show maintaining a presence on 21st century media platforms such as YouTube and Netflix.
    “I used to YouTube Bob Ross because I like his teaching method and the calmness of his voice,” Lewis said. “Then, Netflix released two seasons of his show and made it easier to use to supplement teaching in this way.”
    Sarah Noble, Brian Reneau, Anna Tomson, Kent Tomson and Makenna Yurisich were the seventh- and eighth-graders participating in the painting class for youth center students. Each said they enjoyed Ross’ unique instructional approach to art.
    Noble, who had painted before using watercolors, said she liked how differently each of the students’ works ended up when finished. She said using acrylic paint for the Bob Ross project was fun.
    “Painting with watercolors takes a different type of skill than using acrylic paints,” Noble said. “It is interesting creating art this way.”
    Lewis said Ross created the art on his television show using oil paints. She said choosing acrylic paint for the students to work with in her class was done for practical reasons.
    “Bob Ross worked mostly in oil paints, which take a more developed level of painting skills to use artistically,” Lewis said. “For an introductory class like this, I prefer to use acrylic because it is easier for the students to use while learning. Both types of paint produce good work.”
    The Bob Ross painting class was one of the themed program offerings at the center in July. Lewis said the class presented students with a first opportunity to paint landscapes. She said oil paints can take four to five weeks to dry, but acrylic paints dry within minutes.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Since these guys like to take their work home with them after the class, using acrylic was the most practical choice for us between the two mediums,” Lewis said.
    Harrold Youth Center, 45 Biddle Blvd., offers a 9,000-square-foot multi-purpose gym, a dance studio, technology lab and homework center, a television lounge and a game room. The center sponsors age-appropriate activities as well as youth leadership and development programs.
    A calendar of programs is available online at the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation website at https://leavenworth.armymwr.com/categories/cys-services.
    Students must be members of the youth center to participate in its activities. To register and access required forms, visit https://webtrac.mwr.army.mil.
  • Comment or view comments