Twas the day before Christmas, when leaving the house
"I’m off to my studio,” I said to my spouse.
The stockings were hung by the easels with care,
In hopes that the artists soon would be there.
The children were painting with greens, whites, and reds,
While abstract expressionism danced in their heads.
And Schar with her palette and I with my matt,
Had just framed a portrait of her lovable cat.
When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
A knock at the doorway, I drew with a hush,
Tore up my good paper and threw down my brush.
The moon of my landscape that’s whiter than snow
Gave the lustre of varnish to canvas below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But an oak taboret and eight artists so near.
With an afro so bushy, so fuzzy like moss,
I knew in a moment it must be Bob Ross.
More gesso, more fresco that led them to fame,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Vincent! now, Frida! now, Warhol and Cassatt!
On, Pollack! On, Degas! On Cezanne and Seurat!
To the top of the canvas! to the top of the wall!
Now paint away! Paint away! Paint away all!"
He was dressed in an apron, his colors all bright,
And his hands were all tarnished with titanium white.
A bundle of supplies were flung on his back,
And he looked like an artist, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as brown as his ‘fro.
The stump of a brush he held tight in his teeth,
And the fumes it encircled his head like a wreath.
He created in oils with a number five knife,
That shook when he painted his famous still life!
He was happy and jolly and had a big heart,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of my art!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the canvases, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, out the door he sure goes!
He sprang to his van, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a Barking Sands missile.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Little Trees to all, and to all a good-night!"
"Schar" is a good friend of mine and also a local artist on Kauai. She teaches "Art for Change" in my studio from time-to-time.
"Bob Ross" is a famous artist who hosted "The Joy of Painting" on PBS where he often painted his "happy little trees". He passed away quite a few years ago from cancer and is greatly missed by many (especially me). From Wikipedia: When asked about his laid-back approach to painting and eternally calm and contented demeanor, he once commented: "I got a letter from somebody here a while back, and they said, 'Bob, everything in your world seems to be happy.' That's for sure. That's why I paint. It's because I can create the kind of world that I want, and I can make this world as happy as I want it. Shoot, if you want bad stuff, watch the news."
"Barking Sands" is where Kauai's military base is located. They often test defense missiles over the ocean.