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Old 09-12-2017, 04:36 AM
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Raffless Raffless is offline
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Clotmonet

You are obviously not in the music industry lol.


"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"

https://www.discogs.com/lists/The-Gu...ums-Ever/10967.

No. 3 Not just this list but most.

How important were they? Well groups like Oasis said that its the most influential record in history and pure genius.

Talent doesnt always come with technical ability. Sometimes talent is raw and uneducated and uncivilized. Think of an artist called Frank Auerbach. Very punk rock of its day. Forgotten? No. Described as hugely influential.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Auerbach

Your example is totally not apt my friend.



I do get your overall drift in a kind of way though. Just not this point you made.

A lot of talk is mentioned about Bob stealing Bills idea and using it to make a name for himself. But this i find hypocritical. As most artists steal ideas from others. Even Picasso said "Good artists copy. Great artists steal".

Last edited by Raffless : 09-12-2017 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:27 AM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

It wasn't just Bill's idea and art that Ross stole, it was his whole life's work and sole creation.
I've never seen such a complete television show rip off in my life, it sickened me, and Bill was not happy about it either.
Picasso would get sued, his cacophemism* about "stealing" is only legal if it is no more than being inspired by other's work, but copping them right down to a "tee", violates copyright laws.

*(an expression perceived of as being harsh, but in a humorous context)
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Last edited by sidbledsoe : 09-12-2017 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:52 AM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

I agree he ripped him off Sid. But if it was pure copyright theft why didnt Bill sue Bob??(not Bill Sue Bob lol).

The tv companies have strict copyright legislation too so they could have sued. If they didn't why not?
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:58 PM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffless
Clotmonet

You are obviously not in the music industry lol.

Well, it lends me a certain objectivity don't you think? Sure, the Sex Pistols would seem hugely important to anyone in the industry, but that's just because anything that happens in music seems a hundred times more important to musicians than it does to the general public. Same thing happens in the visual arts. Was Monet important? Go out on the street and see if random people even know who he was. But he's the center of the world to me.
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:16 PM
Clotmonet Clotmonet is offline
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

What Bob Ross stole:

A set of techniques, which pre-existed Alexander
A limited set of compositional ideas
A format for a TV show

What Bob Ross didn't steal

Bob Ross's personality
Mass marketing savvy
That Voice
The afro

I don't think anything Bob did was immoral any more than it would be immoral to set up a car dealership a block away from an existing one.

Anyhow, I still want to know if Bob ever broke out of the box. Abstracts? Pointillism? Cubism? Surrealism? Did he ever experiment like that?
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:49 PM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffless
I agree he ripped him off Sid. But if it was pure copyright theft why didnt Bill sue Bob??(not Bill Sue Bob lol).

The tv companies have strict copyright legislation too so they could have sued. If they didn't why not?
IDK the details but I am not sure why PBS would ever want to sue PBS.
Ross dedicated his first show to Bill Alexander.
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Last edited by sidbledsoe : 09-12-2017 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:47 PM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

I find it a perplexing story Sid. He felt betrayed yet nothing was done. Hr was a bullish chap Mr. Alexander not the sort to lie down. Yet they steamrolled him. I saw the show he mentioned him in too. Now whether the tv contract waived any rights he had and he signed this we'll never know. But such blatant copyright plagiarism infringement wouldnt happen today. I think he didnt have many supporters at PBS thats for sure. (KOCE).
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:38 PM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

I think that since Alexander's PBS show was done airing in 1982 - and Ross's program began airing in 1983 - there was no animosity between the two at the time. Supposedly, there were even PBS promos made that showed Alexander "handing off the brush to Ross" as if Ross was his successor. Since these were both PBS shows, I doubt any copyright issues existed. And since Ross was not yet selling his own products, this could only be good business for Alexander's own company which started in 1983. I think what eventually irked Alexander the most was when Ross began selling his own products that were for the most part exact copies of Alexander's products. So the copying was more extensive than the items mentioned a few posts ago, including: Magic White, which Ross called Liquid White, as well a a black and clear version of the mediums; the Alexander shaped palette knives; the larger 2 1/2" and 1" brushes. (I guess Ross's larger brush is only 2" - so not a direct copy!), as well as some of the other painting accessories.

According to one website, Alexander's company could not keep up with the demand for supplies and suggested Ross form his own company in 1987. Somehow, this seems unlikely to me, but perhaps the website knows more than I. But, anyway, Ross's company took off and made millions and Alexander's remained small and probably made little! That would annoy me too, knowing that the ideas, techniques and the products were something I developed and now someone else was reaping the benefits! And probably with not even a thank you!

Don

P.S. Alexander did return to PBS with a number of additional series - often with another co-painter - a few years after his original Magic of Oil Painting went off the air in 1982.

A link to the website I mentioned:

http://tumblr.austinkleon.com/post/28263827800
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Last edited by DAK723 : 09-12-2017 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:55 AM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

They started out on good terms but by 1991, Ross would not mention Bill's name.
According to this 1991 New York Times article when Bill was still alive,
Quote:
the rivalry between Mr. Ross and his former mentor, William Alexander, is bitter. He (Ross) declined to name the teacher who first inspired him, explaining somewhat uneasily, "Now he is our major competitor."

Magic White is a registered trademark, so Ross merely changed the name, I am sure he (or the company that sold it) also did whatever they had to do to avoid any possible litigations.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:50 AM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

This falling out though surely is all about business rather than Art. Which really says neither of them were artists.. They were both just business men. And in business you have to be ruthless not nice with your competitors. Mr Alexander the jovial businessman. Mr Ross the ruthless businessman. (This is just Mr Trump going through my head).

Ps. I have zero political persuasion just watch the Apprentice

What id really like to know is did Bill Alexander really invent the wheel? Or was there someone he stole from.(that never made it to tv). That again is something well never know. Now im thinking how Thomas Edison got his patents in first despite not being the first. Business is business as they say.

Last edited by Raffless : 09-13-2017 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:27 AM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffless
This falling out though surely is all about business rather than Art. Which really says neither of them were artists.. They were both just business men.

You should read Bill Alexander's autobiography before making the statement that he was not an artist. He was an artist for approximately 30 years before he appeared on TV. He began as mainly a portrait artist. Eventually he traveled across Canada and the US struggling to make a living - selling paintings and working odd jobs. He occasionally was able to sell in galleries. At some point he realized that he needed to produce more paintings - doing a painting that took weeks to complete was not keeping bread on the table. He began experimenting with wet-on-wet painting. This enabled him to find some success doing painting demos in shopping malls where he sold his paintings for pretty cheap and would occasionally find students interested in learning oil painting. He found that he really enjoyed teaching and getting others inspired by painting and his own love of nature. His experience with painting live in front of an audience - and painting fast - led him to try to pitch the idea to TV - since he was living in LA at the time. It was, much to his surprise, a success. As a business man, his success was very minimal. It took him many years to develop Magic White - which he ultimately developed with the help of a paint chemist. Eventually, as he did his demos, he sold Magic White along with his knives and big brushes to anyone interested in trying his techniques. Luckily for him, he often ran into folks willing to help. Someone made the knives for him which were nothing but cut down putty knives. There seemed to be no interest or ability to turn any of these products into any type of business venture that went beyond selling a few of these items whenever he did his demos.

So, no, I would not look at Bill Alexander as someone who was primarily a business man.

Ross, on the other hand, I know little about and there seems to be almost no information about his life as an artist before meeting Alexander and becoming his student. If the internet article is correct, he didn't start selling his products for a number of years after his TV show began to air. Perhaps those that watched his shows from the beginning can confirm or deny if this is true. But, I think it is fair to say, once his business began to flourish, he took full advantage and no longer gave Alexander any credit.

Don
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:03 PM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Dak sometimes as Artists we sell ourselves out. From being creative spirits we become hardened businessmen. No i havent read his autobiography but i have watched both Bill and Bobs tv shows in entirity. Bills earlier work(which you pointed out) wouldnt have fitted into the 30 minute format PBS(koce) wanted. So i feel you are wrong in saying he wasn't a businessman in the end.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:32 PM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffless
Dak sometimes as Artists we sell ourselves out. From being creative spirits we become hardened businessmen. No i havent read his autobiography but i have watched both Bill and Bobs tv shows in entirity. Bills earlier work(which you pointed out) wouldnt have fitted into the 30 minute format PBS(koce) wanted. So i feel you are wrong in saying he wasn't a businessman in the end.

I never said Alexander wasn't a business man in the end. Nor did I say that he wasn't - to some extent - a business man throughout his career. You said he wasn't an artist - just a business man.

Quote:
Which really says neither of them were artists.. They were both just business men.

My post was an attempt to point out that he was indeed an artist - and was an artist for many years before engaging in any substantial business activity. I realize few people have any idea of his life story. Just wanted to illuminate.

Don
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:33 PM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAK723
he took full advantage and no longer gave Alexander any credit. Don
They were bitterly at odds and also were each other's major competitor. Ross may have been under a gag order and told not to mention Bill as being his mentor any longer, by the company Ross was associated with. After all, they copied the complete line of Alexander Art supplies, they changed the names of the materials, show, and books, and probably didn't want to fuel any more evidence that Ross and Company copped the entire schtick from Bill and his company, in case of possible litigations.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:56 PM
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Re: Bob Ross/Alexander technique - what's your opinion?

A quick perusal of YouTube will reveal that the number of Alexander imitators will probably only grow larger. Two of them are Brandon Thomas and Kevin Hill. Hill has been mentioned here before, and by most accounts is producing fairly high level paintings. But also sells the same brushes and angle-cut palette knife that Alexander and Ross do. Apparently, as these are essentially hardware store type brushes and knife, they are free to be copied and sold without any patent concerns. Another guy selling his versions of the knife and brushes is Brandon Thomas who has his own YouTube channel (not sure if his "show" appears on TV anywhere, although he titles his videos, "Season 1, episode 4, for example). His "show" is called "Painting with Magic" which is either a tribute to Alexander's original Magic of Oil Painting or just a way to get the search engines to find his videos when you are looking up Alexander's old show. He also sells his version of Magic White, which he calls Amazing White! I'm sure the list goes on....

I guess it shows that the basic techniques continue to have a wide appeal, regardless of who the painter is.

Don
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