Painting Into a New Hobby

I am a golf professional. In fact, many of you have taken lessons with my at the Sugarbush Resort Golf Club. But due to our current world of quarantine, kids, more time, kids, and keeping kids entertained, I had to rethink what I could call myself this winter.  Lets go with entertainer extraordinaire.  Like many of you, I had to figure out activities to do to keep my family from going insane.

As a teacher of golf for many years, I always considered myself a good communicator and capable of figuring things out.  SO, how hard can it be to entertain my 8 year old daughter and my 4 year old son?  Whoops. Let me tell you it was a challenge. Skiing has helped, but we needed some activities for home as well.

We started with origami, then guitar (no chance), then exercise, then piano (better than guitar but still a work in progress), then puzzles. On and on we went.  All the activities had some degree of success, but none were anything to write home about.

Then one day while Christmas shopping, I ran across a calendar display.  I always buy my wife a calendar, as she loves to keep track of our everyday activities.  I saw puppies, cars, sunsets, etc., until one caught my eye.  It was a calendar full of paintings by Bob Ross.  You know, the polite, Jordache jean wearing, afro haired hippie who loved happy clouds, happy trees, happy mountains and generally enjoying everything about painting.  I remember watching him as a child and being mesmerized by how he could make a blank canvas into an amazing landscape.  He made it look so easy.

When my wife opened her gift on Christmas morning, my daughter asked what it was and who Bob Ross was.  Luckily, I was able to bring up some old shows on YouTube.  Within 5 minutes, both of my children were hooked, along with me.  I can honestly say I had not taken an art class since Art 101 with Roger Zulauf in seventh grade…dare I say 34 years ago.  I never considered myself artistic, although I feel on the golf course that I play the game that way.  I can use my imagination and creativity to curve a golf ball or read the break of a putt, but I couldn’t draw a stick figure if I needed to. Or so I thought.

With enthusiasm, I bought some inexpensive canvases, got out the paint brushes and paint that we have had for a year but never used, and set ourselves in front of the tv.  Before you know it, we chomping at the bit to make our masterpieces.  He made it look so easy.  Crisscross the blue across the sky, dab the green across the bottom, brush the black diagonally, clean the brush, blend it in…..viola!

Well, we started, and 5 minutes in, we were confused.  Why did ours look nothing like his? Being the golf instructor, my job was to keep up the enthusiasm.  “It looks great.” “Just try this.” “I see the happy little cloud above the happy little lake.”  Needless to say, when we were done, we were not Bob Ross.  But I was able to say I have never had more fun doing art, and I enjoyed every minute of watching my children be kids.

That being said, we are now on week 5 of “Bob Ross Saturdays” and we are still having a blast painting, getting better, seeing our happy blotches becoming happy landscapes, and ultimately just enjoying growing as a family together.

So what’s the point of all this? Whether its art, music, golf, skiing or whatever activity you want to challenge yourself with, have fun, don’t get down, and before you know it, you will become better.  Of course, there are others who can help you become better, like me with golf or Terry Barbour and team over the Ski & Ride School with skiing. I mean hey, there’s a reason our motto is “Be Better Here”.

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