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A Woman (Our New Hero) Is Working Her Way Through The Joy of Painting

We are big Bob Ross fans here at mental_floss. From his work, to his hair, to, well, just about everything about him (seriously, everything), we’re Ross devotees through and through. But we may have found someone even more loyal to the cause. A woman named Nicole Bonneau is painting her way through Ross’s PBS show, The Joy of Painting.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Bonneau says she got the idea for the project after a particularly blissful binge-watch of the show with some family around the holidays. While it began as a casual musing, the many appeals of the project soon convinced Bonneau to embark on the journey. Among them? It’s a long-term stress-reliever and creative outlet, and art is in her wheelhouse (she studied painting at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design).

Of the 403 paintings from the show, Bonneau is only through 13 (that’s all of the first season)—a pace she predicts will get her to the end in about 10 years. While she says she wasn’t a big fan of Ross before the project, Bonneau did tell HuffPo that she remembers seeing the mild-mannered painter on TV when she was around 12 years old, and he had inspired the purchase of an oil painting set.

We can relate to Bonneau’s love of Ross’s incredible way with words. She told HuffPo: “My favorite thing is when out of nowhere he’ll say something incredibly dark. It’s so unexpected. For example, I feel like whenever he paints an old cabin, he always makes up some story about what happened to the owner of it. Sometimes [the cabin owner] has a bad drinking problem and that’s why he doesn’t take care of his house. Sometimes he falls into the river and drowns. It’s very interesting.”

You can follow “Almighty Painting” on Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram, and if you’re feeling inspired to follow in Bonneau’s brush strokes, you can find The Joy of Painting episodes on YouTube and Hulu.

[h/t Huffington Post]

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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