I can honestly say, among with many other artists, that some of my first memories and desires for art came from watching it on TV. I didn't grow up in museums and galleries, or have lavish coffee table books showing the masters, my introduction to the arts came from Bob Ross and other "craft" painters on air Saturday mornings. Now, I'm in no means elevating Bob Ross's technique or saying that his landscapes are examples of exemplary art, but to a 10 year old, watching him carve out a mountain, or make glassy flat water was enough to get me excited about creating something myself. Those few sparks, along with other influences like my parents, grandparents, and school friends, are what most likely steered me toward this life I'm living.
I've always thought that art, and in particular, the making of art, is such an interesting thing, and completely different for each artist. Now a days I get my watching fix from the painting dvds of Scott Burdick, Jeremy Lipking, Burt Silverman, David Leffel, Casey Baugh, Richard Schmid, and others (My bookshelf is getting pretty full). But for those millions of average viewers and aspiring children that don't know about these "insider" videos (let alone finding the money to buy them), there still isn't much out there except for some old re-runs.
All of the above to simply say - "I think there should be more".
One glimmer of hope is a show titled "Star Portraits." This show originated from the BBC in Europe and is now airing on Bravo Canada (new and improved with a new host). Sadly I can't get this here in Connecticut, but thanks to YouTube and the rest of the internet, we can all get an episode or two. The show combines a Star personality with three portrait painters who battle it out for two weeks. In the end, the Star picks their favorite and gives some money to a charity. The viewer leaves inspired, enlightened, and very interested in next weeks show.
Here are a few links I found:
The old BBC Show: YouTube
Bravo Show: www.starportraits.ca