‘Fun’ not ‘fine’ art


PENDLETON — Carolyn Reese had so much fun in her first Bob Ross-style painting class that she invited her friends along to the next one.
On Saturday morning, Reese, Kristy Porento, Stacy Stout and Tara McClain participated in Andy Klise’s and Stephanie Dumas’ class at Gallery 119 in Pendleton.
Klise, 56, of Pendleton is a certified Bob Ross-style art instructor, and his daughter, Stephanie Dumas, 35, of Middletown, is taking the class to become certified, too.
Together they offer classes twice monthly, teaching the Bob Ross method of painting.
“We bring art into your living room,” Dumas said. “Everybody can be an artist.”
Dumas has been painting since she was about 5.
She said as a child she was obsessed with Bob Ross.
“I had no idea he was in Muncie, but I remember crying when I heard that he had died,” Dumas said.
Ross, a Florida native who died in 1995 at age 52, was a painter and art instructor. He filmed his show “The Joy of Painting” from 1983 to 1988 at WIPB-TV’s studio in Muncie. The studio is now part of Minnetrista museum and gardens, where there’s a permanent exhibit, gallery and workshop dedicated to Ross.

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Dumas has taught acrylic art classes in Carmel. She said her dad inspired her to take the Bob Ross certification classes.
Klise did not begin painting until about 20 years ago.
“I watched a show called ‘Orange County Choppers,’ and I loved the airbrushing on their bikes,” he said.
He took several classes to learn airbrushing and discovered he had a talent for it.
“As I was leaving Hobby Lobby one day I saw a sign for a Bob Ross painting class and decided to give it a try,” he said.
After completing that class he decided to become a certified Bob Ross instructor.
He took his first week-long class in July 2021 in Florida.
The next two weeks were in April 2022 at Minnetrista.
“A candidate takes the first class and then is evaluated where a decision is made if they will be invited back to finish the course,” Dumas said. “Some people didn’t realize that the class was a certification class and thought it was just for fun.”
She is waiting to take her second class for certification in October.
During the two-hour class at Gallery 119, students learn how to paint a picture using the Bob Ross oil painting method called wet-on-wet, which allowed a work to be complete without allowing layers to dry.
On Saturday, there were plenty of “happy little trees” — a phrase Ross is known for — and in some cases, “happy little accidents.”
Klise demonstrated how each layer of the painting is created, while Dumas walked around and made sure the novice painters understood what they were supposed to be doing.
“Even someone who has never painted can do this,” Klise said.
In addition to instructing, Klise also paints pictures and donates them to be auctioned for charity. His favorite charity is Corgi Canine Bandits, a charity that helps with veterinarian bills.
The four women who attended Saturday — three sisters and a friend, one from Pendleton and the others from Indianapolis, Greenwood and Terre Haute — took the class.
Pendleton resident Reese said, “I live across the street from Andy, and I have been trying to get him to teach classes for years.”
The next class is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, March 19, at the gallery, 119 W. State St.
The plan is to offer classes twice a month. Each class is capped at eight students.
Klise and Dumas are also available for private parties.
“I promise you’ll have a good time and you’ll be pleased when you leave here,” Klise said. “It’s fun art, not fine art.”
For more information about classes at Gallery 119, visit PASgallery119.org/events or call 765-778-0986 during regular business hours, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

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