Most of us have seen at least one episode of Bob Ross’s classic art show, The Joy of Painting. But few know the full story behind this beloved painter and his iconic show. Read on and take a look at the life and legacy of this one-of-a-kind artist.
The Early Years
Bob Ross was born in Daytona Beach, Florida, on October 29th, 1942. His father was a military man who was often away from home; his mother worked as a waitress to make ends meet. From an early age, Bob showed an aptitude for art—he loved drawing pictures and making sculptures out of clay. By high school, he had already developed his trademark "wet-on-wet" oil painting technique that would become his hallmark style. After high school, he joined the U.S. Air Force, where he received training as a painter and decorator. He eventually rose to the rank of Master Sergeant and served for 20 years before retiring in 1981. It was during his time in the military that he further developed his unique style of painting, which gained him fame later on in life.
A Star is Born
In 1983, PBS launched The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross—and the rest is history! With its soothing music and calming narration, the show quickly gained a cult following among viewers who appreciated Ross's easygoing approach to art instruction. Over the course of 11 seasons, he taught generations how to paint “happy little trees” and “almighty mountains” using his trademark wet-on-wet oil painting technique. His catchphrases like "happy accidents" entered popular culture; even people who never painted before could quote him verbatim!
Legacy Lives On
In 1995, Bob Ross passed away after a battle with lymphoma—but his legacy lives on through reruns of The Joy of Painting which still airs on many PBS stations today, and memes featuring his iconic afro hairdo and catchphrases such as “happy little trees” or “we don’t make mistakes; we just have happy accidents!” He left behind hundreds of paintings that still hang in galleries around the world; some have even sold for thousands of dollars! In recent years there has been renewed interest in Ross's work thanks to various streaming services like Netflix carrying episodes from his show. It just goes to show that anyone can find joy in creating something beautiful—even if it's just "a few happy little clouds."
From his days as an airman to the present day, Bob Ross has been an inspiration to many people around the world with his calm demeanor and gentle spirit. His passion for art was infectious; it helped millions of viewers learn how to paint beautiful landscapes without getting overwhelmed or discouraged by mistakes along the way.
We can all take something away from Bob Ross—be kinder than necessary because you never know how much it can mean to someone else!
We're sure you'll enjoy the following Bob Ross collection. Take a look and start a collection of Happy Little Things!