Bob Ross is the ultimate spirit animal. His iconic afro, solid blue button-down, and two inch brush mixed with his magical painting skills create the recipe for the perfect relaxing weekend. He is a father-like figure and role model to all; he made a career out of his passion, and his peaceful demeanor is evident, even through the TV. And I won’t lie; his gentle lulls of positivity and encouragement have helped me drift off to dreamland more than once.
If you have a Netflix account, you can watch Chill with Bob Ross and Bob Ross: Beauty is Everywhere. If not, no worries. There are currently 569 episodes of the classic The Joy of Painting television show on YouTube. Ross didn’t even make any money off the TV show; he just did it for fun and to spread the joy of painting with others.
Some may think there’s nothing in his life that could annoy or anger him, and that’s why he is smiling all the time. They would be wrong. This former Air Force sergeant had plenty he could grumble about. As a child, he lost part of his left index finger while helping out his dad with carpentry. He and his first wife divorced, and his second wife died of cancer.
It was lymphoma that prematurely cut off his run as America’s much beloved television personality in The Joy of Painting and eventually ended his life a year later. Despite anything he could have complained about in his life, he always had something to be grateful for—the ability to paint, his family, God’s beautiful creations to mimic, and caring for innocent woodland friends. Ross said, "Look around. Look at what we have. Beauty is everywhere- you only have to look to see it."
Bob Ross was the creator of his own world in every painting and took advantage of that. Every piece he made was perfectly unique and seemed like it was as easy as breathing for him, but looked as real and living as an actual landscape. You can really see his love of painting through every work of art.
I was inspired by Ross's passion for art and felt a little ambitious a few weekends ago, so I decided to give it a go. My dad gave me a Bob Ross painting kit for my seventeenth birthday this year, so I tried to paint “At Dawn’s Light” from Chill with Bob Ross on Netflix. It turned out pretty well, but it's nowhere near the masterpiece of Bob Ross.
I took to nature to draw some inspiration and for a tangible reference while painting. I started painting about an hour before dark because I thought if Bob Ross took about thirty minutes to finish a painting, it would take me forty five minutes at the most. I was wrong. This is why the backgrounds of some of my later pictures are suddenly dark.
My first Ross-esque painting started out fine.
My liquid white was ready to go, and my cadmium yellow and alizarin crimson were mixing just fine.
I didn't take the brush-cleaning step seriously, though, which is why what was supposed to be a radiating sunrise turned into a striped mushroom.
Then it took a turn for the worse.
Sure, they look different, but "there are no mistakes, only happy accidents," so says Bob Ross. And so say I.
I made a few more happy accidents.
But in the end, I liked how it turned out.
"Whatever makes you happy, you put in your world." - Bob Ross
So if life’s dragging you down, and you need something to pick you back up again, the answer is Bob Ross’s soothing vibes. Between his simple instructions for painting, he encourages casual viewers and those who are painting along.
I don't understand how he kept his button-down and jeans so clean, though.
The perfect anecdote after a long, stressful week is Bob Ross's placid vibes. If you need a peaceful and fulfilling weekend, put on some smooth jams and sink into the rhythmic brush strokes and melodic tones of Bob Ross.
In a single episode, you can meet some adorable woodland creatures and see a beautiful landscape come to life one stroke at a time. Even if you’re not into painting, there’s no better show for a source of encouragement and entertainment.
"The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe." - Bob Ross
So, happy painting. And God bless, my friend.