Lessons From Blitz Art

Do you remember Bob Ross? Bob presented a PBS series “The Joy Of Painting” from 1983 until 1994. The show had an important element that people found fascinating. He could produce a credible painting in 25 minutes using tools from knives, to traditional artist’s paint brushes, to 2″ paint brushes usually used to paint the edge of a wall.

For one who has trouble producing stick-figure images, or painting a room for that matter,  it was closer to magic than art. You can find many of his shows on YouTube. I found this one quickly and think it is representative.

Bob Ross – Season 29 Episode 1

Like I said – magic.

Most people assume it involves jump cuts and so the tape is 25 minutes, but the time to produce it is much longer. Not so.

There are no jump cuts

But it is less magical than you might think. For each painting there are three versions.

  • Number 2 is the one you see prepared on the program.
  • Number 3 is a perfected version used for printed material, and
  • Number 1 is a proof of concept image prepared before the show and used as both a guide and a template.

Each version is more complete and more detailed than the one before. The final painting has evolved.

How like financial planning

Number one is the step of taking an idea and clarifying it. Composition, principle detail, resources, and possible technique.

Number two is implementation to establish the connection between the ideas and vision with possible reality.

Number three is the more advanced and complete version. The one that may sustain itself for a long time. The one where there are few fundamental changes still to adjust.

Think about that. How valuable is the doing? It adds clarity and permanence.

Financial plans will evolve further because the variables change. In painting red does not become blue, but in life fundamental changes happen. Stay connected

Things to notice

Each iteration adds something.

The first establishes the composition, the objects, the central idea, the feel, and some of the colour scheme. It probably defines which tools and techniques will be required.

The second clarifies and validates many of the assumptions in one.

The third perfects. It and subsequent ones creates durability and each discovers new facts, and lessons to carry forward.

The bits to take away

Your first plan will be neither efficient nor durable.

It takes sustained effort to make a plan useful.

Useful being defined as both efficient and effective.


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I build strategic, fact-based estate and income plans. The plans identify alternate ways to achieve spending and estate distribution goals. In the past, I have been a planner with a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency, a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business. I have appeared on more than 100 television shows on financial planning have presented to organizations as varied as the Canadian Bar Association, The Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants, The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and Banks – from CIBC to the Business Development Bank.

Be in touch at 705-927-4770 or by email at don@moneyfyi.com

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