MazArt Associated Painting Partner

Thanks to Buddy Person of Careyville, TN for bringing Marion Dutton to the United States in April of 2018, many of her fans got to meet her and her very entertaining sidekick, Gary. Needless to say, we were starstruck when she first entered the room. I think our applause at first frightened and then embarrassed her. After the first half hour, we settled in to some serious painting, and she had us wrapped around her finger.

A fabulous artist and even more amazing instructor, Marion has an easygoing style, and we all just fell in love with her and her Cheshire accent! She offered two three-day Pet Portrait Workshops where she patiently taught her version of the brunaille method of underpainting with burnt umber, similar to that used by the old masters, on Day 1. Day 2 consisted of blocking in colors, and Day 3 was the glazing and final touches. Most of us in her class of about 12 or so were experienced painters, but our mouths were hanging open at the end of the third day when we saw what we had accomplished. I took both of these classes back to back and would have kept on painting if she could have stayed longer!

In June of 2018, Marion announced her MazArt Associated Painting Partner (MAPP) program. I immediately filled in the paperwork, attached all my credentials, and dispatched it on to the UK for approval. It wasn’t long before I received my official MAPP Certificate, which gives me the authorization to teach any of her projects I have purchased. However just having learned her method was the most valuable part of my association with Marion because I can apply her method to my own designs.

Marion returned to the states in October of 2018 for her Masterclass Still Life course, which involved her unique method of free-handing the initial sketch using geometric shapes and underpainting in brunaille. This was quite challenging, but once we “got it”, it was worth it. She offered two three-day Masterclasses and I took both of them. I am so pleased with both of those paintings that I have them hanging in my dining room.

In April of 2019, many of us will return to Careyville for another MazArt Pet Portrait Workshop (or two for some of us), and I am really looking forward to painting with Marion again!

Some of my paintings done in Marion’s classes

Wilson Bickford Trained Teacher Program

In August of 2018, I had the pleasure of joining 11 other enthusiastic painters in a week of painting, learning, socializing and sightseeing with Wilson R Bickford, a fabulous art instructor in Watertown, New York. After learning and painting all day, Wilson and his lovely wife, Glenda, organized outings for the group. We went out to eat together one evening and on another day we toured Sacket’s Harbor and had some great ice cream. Another fun outing was a sunset boat tour of the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River.

I got to meet new and old friends as we spent a fabulous week studying to become official Wilson Bickford Trained Teachers. Becoming a WBTT was an honor for me. I’ve been watching him on YouTube and then later on his videos. Wilson made sure we understood his method and his line of brushes, paint, mediums, and surfaces. Yes, there was a written test and a couple of “paint something on your own” tests, which we all passed after studying our meticulous notes! Check out Wilson on YouTube, PBS, and Create TV as well as his website www.wilsonbickford.com. Happy Painting, y’all!

Advanced Seascapes

Oh, I had a wonderful time painting with fellow CRI’s (Certified Ross Instructors) at the Bob Ross Gallery and Workshop in New Smyrna Beach, FL. this past November. Ellen Tye, one of Bob’s master instructors, led us in a week-long challenge, each day painting one of Ellen’s original designs done from her photographs. I had the pleasure of painting with her in November of 2016 as well as November of 2018. If you are a Bob Ross Certified Instructor, I would encourage you to converge with other like-minded CRI’s around mid-November each year and enjoy a week of some mighty fun paint slinging! Look for the email from Bob Ross, Inc. around late spring or early summer announcing the dates. If you’re interested, you better sign up immediately because the first class fills up within a few minutes of announcement, and the second week fills up in a few days. Just sayin’. But get your name on the list even if it is filled in case someone cancels. Happy Painting, y’all!

Wildlife Certification Completed

July was a hot month just about everywhere, but it was so hot in New Smyrna Beach that I couldn't do much walking on the beach.  Also I didn't stay in an oceanfront condo this time, so I had to give up my sunrise walks and photos. 

The wildlife certification classes were a fast and furious three weeks of painting, but we finally got through it and came away with some pretty awesome paintings and ideas for other projects.  Pretty soon, I'll be adding some animal paintings to my class offerings, and I hope it will be around the first of the year 2017.  Most of them will be on 16x20 or 18x24 canvases and will require a little more time than landscapes, seascapes and even florals.  But they are so much fun!

I really enjoy teaching the Bob Ross method even more than I thought I would.  Just seeing the looks on the faces of beginners is worth all the time and effort!  

If you have never painted before but always wanted to give it a try, take a class from me or from another Certified Ross Instructor (CRI).  There is no supply list to buy, just come and paint.  Give me a call with any questions.  Happy Painting!

I'm Now Certified in Florals

I just returned from the Bob Ross Workshop in New Smyrna Beach, Florida where I studied for three weeks of intensive painting to earn my certificate to teach Florals.  I will be returning in July to work on my certification for Wildlife.  I am so excited I can't wait!  

Every time I have taken these teacher trainer classes, I have met many people from all over the world and have forged some wonderful friendships.  We share each other's accomplishments, encourage one another, and offer support during those creatively frustrating moments.  Making friends along the way makes all the hard work so much more bearable.

Being certified to teach the Bob Ross method of oil painting gives me such a surge of energy and a sense of accomplishment when I am able to show others that they can paint something beautiful in just a few hours.  I am looking forward to meeting people and expanding my painting experiences.

New Classes

This is the painting we will do on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at Hobby Lobby in Hixson, TN.

This is the painting we will do on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at Hobby Lobby in Hixson, TN.

I am so excited to begin this new journey of sharing the Bob Ross method of painting.  It truly brings me joy to watch others discover that they can paint something beautiful.  I will be teaching at Hobby Lobby in Hixson, TN, Hobby Lobby on Gunbarrel Road in Chattanooga, and possibly a location in Dunlap, TN.  I am looking for a small studio or gallery with space for classes and to display my paintings I have for sale.  

Just about anyone can learn to paint using this method.  If you have never painted before and "can't draw a straight line", then this method is an easy way to begin.  Who knows, it may lead to an interest in traditional and fine art, classes for which are available at local colleges and junior colleges.  All it takes is the desire to take that first step.  Happy Painting!

Welcome to the Happy Little Paintings Blog!

My painting career began when I walked into a Hobby Lobby store one October day in 2004. There, right in the lobby, was an easel holding a beautiful, framed oil painting with a sign underneath advertising painting classes taught by Bob Ross Certified Instructor® Joyce Meffert. I took one of the registration cards home with me.

On a whim, I called the number on the card and was advised that the class was full. I requested my name be put on the waiting list, and I just thought that was the end of that.

Later on, Joyce called me and said there had been a cancellation and asked if I was still interested. Of course I was! So I was off to my very first painting class.

I was late to class and had to sit in the back. I had never touched a paint brush to canvas before in my life, and I was terrified. But Joyce was patient and encouraging to me and the other "newbies". By the end of the class, we were all amazed with our results.

My First Painting

My First Painting

I kept this painting a secret until I gave it to my husband for Christmas. He couldn't believe I painted it! That same Christmas, my son gave me a Bob Ross Master Kit, and I began painting at home. I took classes from Joyce over a period of 11 years. She encouraged me to study for my certification to teach, and I finally did. I earned my certification on Sept. 18, 2015, at the Bob Ross Workshop in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Needless to say, I did improve over the years and am still eagerly learning new techniques. It is such a joy to show others that they, too, can create beautiful paintings using the Bob Ross technique!

This method of painting may not be for everyone, but for many, it's a fun and relaxing way to spend some time and scratch that creative itch. I hope you will join me in a class soon and experience your own Happy Little Painting!