We’ll put all the little clouds in and let them dance around and have fun. We don’t need any guidelines or formats. All we need to do is just let it flow right out of us. They say everything looks better with odd numbers of things. But sometimes I put even numbers—just to upset the critics. Son of a gun. It’s almost like something out of a fairytale book. The first step to doing anything is to believe you can do it. See it finished in your mind before you ever start.

Let all these little things happen. Don’t fight them. Learn to use them. This is an example of what you can do with just a few things, a little imagination and a happy dream in your heart. This is unplanned it really just happens. I spend a lot of time walking around in the woods and talking to trees, and squirrels, and little rabbits and stuff. I’m a water fanatic. I love water. Be brave. Don’t hurry. Take your time and enjoy.

Use absolutely no pressure. Just like an angel’s wing. Trees grow in all kinds of ways. They’re not all perfectly straight. Not every limb is perfect. Look around, look at what we have. Beauty is everywhere, you only have to look to see it. For the lack of a better word I call them hangy downs. All you need to paint is a few tools, a little instruction, and a vision in your mind. Isn’t it great to do something you can’t fail at? Let’s go up in here, and start having some fun

Let’s make a happy little mountain now. We don’t have to be committed. We are just playing here. This is a fantastic little painting. Isn’t that fantastic? You can just push a little tree out of your brush like that. We don’t make mistakes we just have happy little accidents. Just make a decision and let it go.

Brown is such a nice color. In painting, you have unlimited power. You have the ability to move mountains. Isn’t that fantastic that you can make whole mountains in minutes? Just go back and put one little more happy tree in there. In nature, dead trees are just as normal as live trees. It takes dark in order to show light. You have to make those little noises or it won’t work.

It’s a very cold picture, I may have to go get my coat. It’s about to freeze me to death. Let your imagination be your guide. When things happen – enjoy them. They’re little gifts. If you overwork it you become a cloud killer. There’s nothing worse than a cloud killer. Just think about these things in your mind and drop em’ on canvas. It’s a good way of getting rid of all your anxieties and hostilities. If I paint something, I don’t want to have to explain what it is.


You don’t have to be crazy to do this but it does help. The only prerequisite is that it makes you happy. If it makes you happy then it’s good. Think about a cloud. Just float around and be there. And just raise cain. Of course he’s a happy little stone, cause we don’t have any other kind. The light is your friend. Preserve it. We need a shadow side and a highlight side.

Decide where your cloud lives. Maybe he lives right in here. Let’s put some happy trees and bushes back in here. Let’s put a touch more of the magic here. A beautiful little sunset. Maybe there’s a happy little waterfall happening over here. Once you learn the technique, ohhh! Turn you loose on the world; you become a tiger.

Anytime you learn something your time and energy are not wasted. I guess I’m a little weird. I like to talk to trees and animals. That’s okay though; I have more fun than most people. If it’s not what you want – stop and change it. Don’t just keep going and expect it will get better. Every time you practice, you learn more. Let’s put some happy little clouds in our world. Let’s get crazy. It’s life. It’s interesting. It’s fun.

Each highlight must have it’s own private shadow. We don’t want to set these clouds on fire. We’ll lay all these little funky little things in there. We’re not trying to teach you a thing to copy. We’re just here to teach you a technique, then let you loose into the world. Let’s have a nice tree right here. You want your tree to have some character. Make it special. We artists are a different breed of people. We’re a happy bunch.

See there, told you that would be easy. Fluff it up a little and hypnotize it. All you have to do is let your imagination go wild. Anything you want to do you can do here. Don’t be bashful drop me a line. Maybe he has a little friend that lives right over here. Little trees and bushes grow however makes them happy.

Play with the angles. We touch the canvas, the canvas takes what it wants. We spend so much of our life looking – but never seeing. God gave you this gift of imagination. Use it. A tree needs to be your friend if you’re going to paint him. Tree trunks grow however makes them happy.


You’ve got to learn to fight the temptation to resist these things. Just let them happen. I thought today we would make a happy little stream that’s just running through the woods here. Nature is so fantastic, enjoy it. Let it make you happy. We don’t have anything but happy trees here. A fan brush is a fantastic piece of equipment. Use it. Make friends with it. In life you need colors.

We don’t really know where this goes – and I’m not sure we really care. I sincerely wish for you every possible joy life could bring. This is where you take out all your hostilities and frustrations. It’s better than kicking the puppy dog around and all that so. All kinds of happy little splashes. You need the dark in order to show the light. Everyone needs a friend. Friends are the most valuable things in the world. Work that paint.

Just relax and let it flow. That easy. You can’t have light without dark. You can’t know happiness unless you’ve known sorrow. With something so strong, a little bit can go a long way. That’s a son of a gun of a cloud. Maybe there was an old trapper that lived out here and maybe one day he went to check his beaver traps, and maybe he fell into the river and drowned. Let the paint work. Put light against light – you have nothing. Put dark against dark – you have nothing. It’s the contrast of light and dark that each give the other one meaning.

Let’s give him a friend too. Everybody needs a friend. But we’re not there yet, so we don’t need to worry about it. You have to make almighty decisions when you’re the creator. Everyone is going to see things differently – and that’s the way it should be. Van Dyke Brown is a very nice brown, it’s almost like a chocolate brown. Everybody needs a friend. Absolutely no pressure. You are just a whisper floating across a mountain.

Sometimes you learn more from your mistakes than you do from your masterpieces. Don’t be afraid to make these big decisions. Once you start, they sort of just make themselves. Everything’s not great in life, but we can still find beauty in it. If you do too much it’s going to lose its effectiveness. Let all these things just sort of happen. Trees grow however makes them happy. I want everbody to be happy. That’s what it’s all about.

It’s so important to do something every day that will make you happy. Just think about these things in your mind – then bring them into your world. See how easy it is to create a little tree right in your world. A tree cannot be straight if it has a crooked trunk. Don’t fight it, use what happens. Only think about one thing at a time. Don’t get greedy.

In your world you can create anything you desire. Nothing’s gonna make your husband or wife madder than coming home and having a snow-covered dinner. We have a fantastic little sky! Exercising the imagination, experimenting with talents, being creative; these things, to me, are truly the windows to your soul. If you don’t think every day is a good day – try missing a few. You’ll see. Clouds are free. They just float around the sky all day and have fun.

There isn’t a rule. You just practice and find out which way works best for you. Let’s build some happy little clouds up here. I like to beat the brush. Maybe, just to play a little, we’ll put a little tree here. There we are. The only thing worse than yellow snow is green snow. By now you should be quite happy about what’s happening here. Give him a friend, we forget the trees get lonely too.