GULF SHORES — You can make birds, yeah. Make birds. Or perhaps clouds that were a happy accident.Most importantly, as the beloved host of PBS' "Joy of Painting" series Bob Ross used to say, …
GULF SHORES — You can make birds, yeah. Make birds. Or perhaps clouds that were a happy accident.
Most importantly, as the beloved host of PBS' "Joy of Painting" series Bob Ross used to say, "You can do anything you want."
That means you can learn to paint landscapes just like Ross, and Julie Fjetland can teach you how.
Fjetland visits South Baldwin County several times a year to offer Bob Ross "Wet-on-Wet" style painting classes.
She became a Certified Ross Instructor by attending Bob Ross Landscape Certification Training in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, in 2014.
We'll pause here to let you Google how to become a Certified Ross Instructor.
Fjetland thought so, too. She stumbled upon the course while living in Minnesota where she owned an art gallery. A group of paintings were brought in one day that looked like Bob Ross paintings. They were, but they were created by another certified instructor. The seed was planted.
If Ross had been in the room, he may have casually advised Fjetland that "the way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing," as he often told his afternoon television audiences.
After attending the three-week course in landscapes, she returned to Florida the next year to become a Certified Ross Floral Instructor and again the next year to earn accreditation as a Certified Ross Wildlife Instructor.
Now she lives in Florida and teaches the courses in her hometown, but she also takes her art studio on the road, stopping in points to include Alabama.
During the class, she teaches students how to prepare their canvas, which requires covering it in a liquid base coat that allows the paint to be blended directly on the canvas rather than on the palette. This lets the paint slide and mix, making it a very forgiving medium, Fjetland said. Normally, working with oil paint means the artist has to complete one color and allow it to dry before moving on.
"That's OK if your interest stays there," she said.
Students who dabble in the Ross method can finish a painting in as little as three hours.
Fjetland said the class is for all ages and all levels. She said she often has repeat students who find the Ross method of creating to be relaxing.
And, Fjetland said, they always have fun inspired by the easy-going host of a legendary cult classic. You can almost hear Ross behind her lilt, "We don't laugh because we feel good, we feel good because we laugh."