I imagine that when you read that title, you felt a warm spot spring up in your heart. If not, I truly pity you. For those of us who did, we remember coming home from school after a day of equations and crayons smell, grabbing a pop-tart and flipping on the tube. Sure, there were cartoons, but sometimes we would come across a soothing voice wielding a colorful palette of smudges. This voice belonged to Bob Ross.
Although Ross died in 1995 of lymphoma, his show The Joy of Painting is still shown regularly. I was lucky enough to catch an episode before my evening class the other day, and it brought back the wonderment it always has. Watching a painting be created is a sight to behold, and truly transcends all demographic barriers. The speed with which he paints is a feat in and of itself, as he doesn’t wait for anything to dry. He adds layers, sometimes to your dismay thinking “The painting is fine how it is!” but then when he finishes adding the “little something going on” you finally see the vision he had all along.
The man was as soft-spoken as you will find, so it may surprise you to find out he was in the military and was yelling at people on a regular basis. This is what prompted him to take on his laid back philosophy after his military service. He was stationed in Alaska for a large part of his service, which shows in his beautiful landscape paintings featuring large mountains and lakes.
Here are a couple of his paintings, for your enjoyment: