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Forces of Nature

Bob Ross’s “Northern Lights” is a part of his “Forces of Nature” oil painting collection. Here he used wet-to-wet painting technique wherein “the painter continues adding paint on top of still wet paint rather than waiting a lengthy amount of time to allow each layer of paint to dry. ” (Wikipedia) Initially, the “Northern Lights” brought chills in my spine. It is a painting of a somber landscape presented with extreme beauty by the painter. Though, for me, it is not as realistic as the paintings of other artists, still Ross was able to depict the depth and the power of his art.

At first glance the painting seems like a dull and bleak landscape. Its black background depicts a desolate mood in a winter night. Add to that the freezing sensation suggested by the snow covering the mountains and lake. All is quiet and lifeless, except for the frozen trees that look more like a silhouette than the actual trees. Ross did not even include any animals that would have suggested life and motion. If I am in the painting, I would feel loneliness and dullness that could lead to depression. But if you would look more into the details of the painting, you would see and feel something majestic and grandiosity while watching it.

If you would just set your eyes at the subtle elements, you would think of the painting more differently than what you would feel at first glance (as what I mentioned above). First, the painting expresses evokes mixed emotions of idleness and vitality. Though the overall mood is dark and bleak, the few colors the northen lights has bring out illumination in the frigid wintry night. It is as if the night skies have given hope to a desolate night in the mountains The subtle brilliance of colors lighten up the mood of the entire cold mountains it would look as if calm and joy has been restored in the previously depressing and somber place.

Second, notice how Ross painted the rays of the northern lights. The rays somehow represent the brilliance of the skies and of the mountains. This exhibits the majesty of the scene despite the enveloping darkness. Though Ross often painted snowfilled landscapes because of his exposure to Alaskan natural scenes, this shows the depth of emotions and spirituality not usually seen in his other paintings. Ross presented in the Northern Lights a canvass of a calm and hopeful spirit that is victorious against all odds and dark moments in life.

While most of his paintings portray joyful and colorful scenes the Northern Lights stood out as one of his majestic artworks yet, for in this his artistic expression transcends beyond art and reaches towards his philosophical and religious view that there is hope and joy beyond grief and disdain and that the most beautiful of things come from the most depressing episodes in life. Works Cited “Bob Ross” Wikipedia. 26 Apr 2009. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Bob_Ross>. Ross, Bob Northern Lights. 26 Apr 2009. <http://nature. desktopnexus. com/wallpaper/32506/>

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