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Old 09-03-2017, 03:16 PM
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EricTViking EricTViking is offline
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clotmonet
Can't argue with that. Like this thing, by some guy named Bisquick or something:



that went for 110 million. I truly believe it should be hanging in a dumpster. If someone had offered me this for $100 at the park, I would not have even stopped walking. I would have felt insulted by the offer. Bob Ross would at least get a serious perusal, because I know he has done decent nice-looking work that won't have me looking for one of those little bags they give you on rough airline flights.

I can't help but think the guy in the suit is saying something about the exquisite subtlety of the painting.

You know, it's a funny thing, but one reason I wouldn't mind having one of the better Bob Rosses on the wall is that every time I looked at it I would hear his voice. That voice calms me, and I need all of that I can get.

According to internationally respected authorities* many a Bob Ross painting can be had for a thousand or two. And there are an estimated 30,000 of them out there!

* The authority in question is the guy on the internet that told me so

Reminds one of "The Emperor's New Clothes"
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:28 PM
Clotmonet Clotmonet is online now
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Moore
Reminds one of "The Emperor's New Clothes"

Yup. I have yet to meet anyone who looked at a picture of the painting and said "Wow, what a great piece of work". I find it nearly impossible to believe that this monstrosity would please anyone's sense of aesthetics. I suppose the Paris Salon said the same thing about the Impressionists. Well if the Impressionists could overcome opposition, it raises the possibility that one day the world will so redefine its sense of art that the skull painting will become the norm. Scary, huh?
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:33 PM
JCannon JCannon is offline
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Actually, Clotmonet, that's one of the few pieces by Bisquick that I like. You have to regard it as an abstract. It follows many of the precepts of abstract art taught by my teachers of abstract painting. It's harder than many people think to come up with a composition in which the eye doesn't get "stuck" in one area.

That said, you can't count me among the Bisquick fans. Nor among the Bob Ross fans.
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:14 PM
p_nathan p_nathan is offline
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

I'm persuaded that there's an objective art. Does it have beauty? Does it communicate value? Does it signify; signify well? Does it touch the timeless?

It's a Western Romantic philosophical idea that art is in the eye of the beholder; I don't know that I've observed that in the art from other cultures prior to the interaction of that particular set of western thoughts.

Put another way, if you have to be in a certain social set to "get" the art, it's not art. The "common man" seems to have a good sense on this.....

The Art Renewal Center and the associated/linked groups & individuals seem to, I think, get at the nub of the issue relatively well, even if they can be a bit puffed up about it on occasion.

Regarding the initial topic....

But technique isn't art. Ross/Alexander were entertainers, you see - entertainers that inspired painting! They taught the craft of painting in an entertaining fashion, and Bob Ross did it so very well. Might be that one or two of Bob's paintings will go into the history books as really great works. But I think his real historical masterpiece was in inspiring so many people to pick up a paintbrush and take the adventure.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:54 AM
rembrandtshoney rembrandtshoney is offline
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Bob Ross et al make pictures that reflect the effort put in. The best paintings require a struggle. I shun "technique" where it comes before engagement with the subject. Forget technique and work with what's in front of you, everything is unique and requires a unique approach. Every painting should be the first painting you ever painted and the last you will ever paint.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:10 AM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

I remember what i found amazing the first time i watched a Bob Ross tv show. It wasn't the end result. It was all about the journey he took you on in 30 minutes. From top to bottom it was a journey of what next. The end result wasnt important. Each minute something new was happening. It was never supposed to be about producing a Monet etc.

Think of your television as a blank canvas. What you look at is either good middle or rubbish. Bobs programme was in the Great category.
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:36 AM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clotmonet
Can't argue with that. Like this thing, by some guy named Bisquick or something:



that went for 110 million. I truly believe it should be hanging in a dumpster. If someone had offered me this for $100 at the park, I would not have even stopped walking. I would have felt insulted by the offer. Bob Ross would at least get a serious perusal, because I know he has done decent nice-looking work that won't have me looking for one of those little bags they give you on rough airline flights.

I can't help but think the guy in the suit is saying something about the exquisite subtlety of the painting.

You know, it's a funny thing, but one reason I wouldn't mind having one of the better Bob Rosses on the wall is that every time I looked at it I would hear his voice. That voice calms me, and I need all of that I can get.

According to internationally respected authorities* many a Bob Ross painting can be had for a thousand or two. And there are an estimated 30,000 of them out there!

* The authority in question is the guy on the internet that told me so

Those are some strong words about one of the most important American artists in the latter half of the 21st century. Just because one doesn't understand one's visual language doesn't warrant it being so easily dismissed.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Michel_Basquiat#

Years ago, I was asked my opinion about a modern artwork purchased by a public gallery for a princely sum. We had only seen a photo of the work in a newspaper article. My response was "I don't know. I haven't seen it yet."

That said I think it's a absurd to have that kind of price on ANY artwork. We are a strange species.

As far as Bob Ross/Alexander technique is concerned, it filled a niche. It's not my thing. It gave/gives people pleasure.

I was thinking about the whole notion of creativity. We really aren't creating anything. It all exists already. We are just moving it around.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:57 AM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Phranque stated

'I was thinking about the whole notion of creativity. We really aren't creating anything. It all exists already. We are just moving it around'.

Henceforth Conceptual art is about the idea and created to navigate away from your thinking.
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Old 09-09-2017, 02:27 PM
Clotmonet Clotmonet is online now
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phranque
Those are some strong words about one of the most important American artists in the latter half of the 21st century. Just because one doesn't understand one's visual language doesn't warrant it being so easily dismissed.

Strong opinions require strong words to express them. I hope I have chosen words well enough to express my powerful, unmitigated revulsion at the man's work. I don't think he's important, and I think Bob Ross was both a more important figure and a better artist. I think I understand his visual language perfectly well, thank you very much. Understanding does not guarantee admiration.

The price of his work is simply a testament to the power of having the right social network. I am positive that without his connection (whatever its nature) to Andy Warhol, no one would ever have bothered with him.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:03 PM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clotmonet
The price of his work is simply a testament to the power of having the right social network. I am positive that without his connection (whatever its nature) to Andy Warhol, no one would ever have bothered with him.
Oh, totally. I think successes like that one are always linked to connection. Everything we are and do really is all about luck. Luck of connections, luck or being born at a certain time and place, luck of having willpower, time, support, on and on it goes. I personally wouldn't hang a Basquat work in my house, nor would I want a Picasso (except to sell it), or a number of van Gogh's paintings, and he's my favourite artist. I think comparing Basquat to Bob Ross is like comparing the Sex Pistols to Liberace. It's expression and statement about the world they live in vs pretty and pleasant.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:54 PM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

At least spell his name correctly if you have strong opinions about him.
Bisquick makes great pancakes though.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:55 PM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

The sex pistols and liberace were both extrovert showmen. They were driven by publicity rather than talent. They expressed themselves outragelously to garner attention.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:57 PM
Clotmonet Clotmonet is online now
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

I chose Bisquick deliberately, actually. And I'm not really sure exactly why I should bother to get his name right.

I think the comparison with Liberace and the Sex Pistols is particularly apt. On the one hand we have a pack of talentless hacks who are already well along the way to being completely forgotten. And on the other we have someone with considerable technical ability, but with significant artistic flaws.

It's very much the same with Ross and Basquiat. I agree that I would not particularly want either hanging on my wall, but I could just barely justify hanging a Ross, mainly for reasons that have nothing to do with aesthetics. To wit, he was a big deal in pop art for a while, and was an eminently likable fellow with a wonderful (dare I say inspiring?) view of life.

End of the day, my opinion matters no more than anyone else's, YMMV. It's just one of those odd situations where I have a very strong opinion and I do apologize if it offends anyone, but I won't pretend it isn't there, anymore than I would pretend that I don't have a strangely intense admiration for all things *****cat. Oops make that kittycat.

May you be well, may you be happy, may you be free from suffering, may you meet a cat today.

Getting back to the original topic, did Ross ever go beyond what he learned from Alexander? Can he claim any kind of innovation? Did Alexander actually originate the style? If not, what came before?
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:00 AM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clotmonet

Getting back to the original topic, did Ross ever go beyond what he learned from Alexander? Can he claim any kind of innovation? Did Alexander actually originate the style? If not, what came before?

I think folks are putting too much emphasis on categorizing Ross and Alexander as a unique style. I may be mistaken, but I don't believe Alexander set out to originate a style. I believe - after many years of being a painter - he just found quicker ways and shortcuts to accomplish what is essentially just basic wet-on-wet oil painting. What both he and Ross did not do was use art teacher terminology. Rather, they taught the technique with an emphasis on teaching non-artists. At least that is my take - and I basically learned how to oil paint from Alexander (although I was well versed in drawing beforehand).

What does Alexander actually do that is so unique? He just uses brushes and knifes in certain ways - something that virtually every painter does with experience. There is nothing unique about how he begins. He starts by coating the canvas with a medium - something I have seen in numerous other art books. He works from back to front - nothing new there. He blocks-in the big shapes with silhouettes whether they are mountains or trees or whatever the subject. That's Oil Painting 101. He then breaks those big shapes down into light and shadow. He uses the largest brushes that get the job done. All basic stuff. Since it is wet-on-wet, he uses techniques to get the paint to stick without over blending. All very basic techniques for a wet-on-wet oil painter.

Many folks complain about the similarity and generic nature of their paintings - and that is a legitimate comment, in my opinion. However, the nature of completing a painting in less than 30 minutes is definitely a contributing factor. So is the fact that they are painted without specific reference. Whenever someone asks for advice when using this technique, I always recommend using specific reference to get away from the generic mountain and tree shapes that we see so often. I do have a few Alexander videos that are about 80 minutes long (if I remember correctly) and they are a cut above the usual, in my opinion, as he was able to take more time and add more detail.

If described in artistic terms, almost all my oil paintings are done in the basic techniques described above - starting by painting into a couch, blocking in the large shapes, adding smaller shapes and detail, using the largest brushes that get the job done. Here are a few done using the Alexander "technique" including a Monet copy.


I don't know much about Ross other than he learned the same techniques and shortcuts from Alexander and then went on to even bigger fame.

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Last edited by DAK723 : 09-12-2017 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:45 AM
Clotmonet Clotmonet is online now
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

I'm impressed. You have broken every stereotype of a Ross painting that I can think of. I see three kinds of light unlike anything Ross did, mountains a geologist would nod at sagely, trees of identifiable species, no happy cabins, and stone that is... uh... stony? No glassy water with a sun streak on it, no waves with the light shining through.... no happy paths...

And what you did with the light while following Monet... I'm pretty sure that would get a smile from the old boy himself. Did he ever paint those rocks in such a bright clear light?

My main objection to Ross was that I always thought he could do the sort of things you have shown above. But to my knowledge he never did.
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