Clouds are very, very free

We tell people sometimes:

we're like drug dealers,

come into town and get everybody absolutely addicted

to painting.

It doesn't take much

to get you addicted.

Tender as a mothers love...

And with my mother, that was certainly true.

Trees cover up a multitude of sins.

The trees are oh so soft,

oh so soft I freakin' love it.

You know me, I gotta put in a big tree.

Try to imagine that you are a tree.

How do you want to look out here?

That's a crooked tree. We'll send him to Washington.

We don't know where it goes. We don't really care.

We want happy paintings. Happy paintings.

If you want sad things, watch the news.

Let's just blend this little rascal here,

ha! Happy as we can be.

We're gonna make some big decisions in our little world.

You can put as many or as few as you want in your world.

Just lightly blend it, one hair and some air

And just go straight in like your going to stab it.

And barely touch it...barely touch it.

We don't make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.

-An arrangement of things Bob Ross once said  


Taking inspiration from a serendipitous phone call that began their collaboration in 2012,  Crissman and Poe added their phone numbers together in the winter of 2016 and divided that number by 2 to find their collective phone number which would have been located in Pompano Beach, FL had it been a whole number.  Crissman and Poe subsequently drove to Pompano Beach to meet those with phone numbers adjacent to their collective phone number, and along the way they learned to use the Alla Prima technique to paint seascapes at the Bob Ross Institute in Ross’s hometown of New Smyrna, FL.   

‘Alla prima’ (italian meaning ‘at first attempt’) is a method of painting in which layers of paint are applied on top of still wet previous layers of paint, dramatically reducing the amount of time required to make a ‘finished’ painting. The technique allowed Bob Ross to produce his dramatic and imaginative landscape paintings in only 27 minutes on his beloved show “The Joy of Painting’, which ran on public access television stations across the United States from 1983 to 1994.

“‘The Alla Prima Institute’ and/or ‘Alla Prima All’a Time’” imagined Bob Ross and the Alla Prima technique as a supportive and critical framework equally ideal for swiftly producing paintings, as for engaging participants in conversations which might reveal and create potential values / meanings / intentions in the improvisational work as it occurred in real time. Welcoming the public to freely join them, Crissman and Poe painted along will all 33 episodes of Bob’s Ross’ ‘The Joy of Painting’ in which he painted seascapes - resulting in 90 paintings. All of the paintings were made on discarded canvases with discarded paint and brushes from Northwestern University, where Poe is currently a graduate student. Upon finishing each painting, placement was dictated by spinning the (Lazer Globe, 2018). The performance was documented via a Youtube Live stream, which recorded the activity in the space, as well as the playback of the previous day’s recordings. Participants were welcome to title, price, and sell their paintings in the exhibition.