I was scrolling through Netflix the other night and noticed that “The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross” was a choice. Of course I couldn’t resist and relived a bit of years past by watching Mr. Ross, with his infamous hairdo and wide paint brush, take a blank canvas and within minutes create a beautiful landscape with a wide array of color choices and mixtures and brush stroke. Frequently he would place a “happy little tree” in this space or that, and I always loved that if he did have a slip of hand, he could make something new out of whatever it was. I would always wait too for him to mention using blue ochre (which he almost always did) because blue has always been my favorite color. In fact some of my favorite paintings that he would create were heavy on the blue ochre. I also preferred the mountain scapes to the meadows, and in my mind, the painting wasn’t complete without a stream or river. However, in order for his paintings to really take life, he had to use more than one color or landscape idea. He couldn’t just use blue all the time. He couldn’t just wow us with a mountain and a stream every single time. Beauty and authenticity and creativity actually came from the differences in color and the changes in the background. The happy little trees were probably happy because they weren’t placed in the same position and painted with the same color and brush stroke every single time. The differences created the beauty and uniqueness.
We now find ourselves in polarizing times where our opinions on politics, sports teams, family, religion and maybe even what color to paint the happy trees, comes into direct opposition in some form or fashion with those around us. I hope that we can always remember that the differences truly can make for a more meaningful and beautiful outcome. Your preferences and beliefs are no less important than my own and vice versa. You may like red when I prefer blue, but maybe instead of being enemies we can both understand each other’s point of view in liking a particular color though we ourselves might not prefer the same and maybe, just maybe, from time to time enjoy the combination of the two and paint with purple.
I am proud of Amory, Mississippi. For what some would consider a small town, we have people of all ages from all walks of life with different ideas, different motivations and different perceptions. Though these differences can at times create a sense of tension, they most often meld into a beautiful painting of what a true COMMUNITY should be…an expression of love and care for our town. You want to come help us paint some happy little trees? We always have more room on the palette.