Did you ever get into The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross? Truth be told, I’m a little too young to remember the show, which ran from 1983-1994. In fact, I was just 5 years old when Ross passed away after battling cancer – so even if I was watching anything other than kids TV shows, I certainly wouldn’t be putting any of the skills he taught to use. Even if you’ve never watched the show, you probably would recognize Ross himself, regardless of whether or not he’s painting happy little trees and clouds onto something. He’s just got a very distinctive look about him, with that beard and permed hair. Apparently the perm wasn’t terribly comfortable for Ross, but he adopted it before the show launched as a way to save money by not needing haircuts. And despite his discomfort, it became his trademark.
But really, to art lovers and aspiring artists, this show is like a holy grail. Recently, it has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, thanks to Twitch.tv streaming every single episode of the show on October 29th of this past year – what would have been Ross’s 73rd birthday. It was originally done as part of the launch of Twitch Interactive, and brought in 5.6 million viewers. Thanks to that publicity, Twitch created a weekly rebroadcast of each of the show’s 31 seasons which air every Monday. As well, each October 29th in the future, there will be a Joy of Painting marathon much like the first one last year.
One of Bob Ross‘s sons, Steve, occasionally appeared on the show, giving lessons and doing Q&A sessions during the show with his dad, and eventually becoming a Ross-certified instructor.
But you might not think it from looking at him…
I mean… I don’t look at this guy and think “Wow, I can’t wait to see what he paints.” If anything, I’d probably expect him to drop his paint palette, crack open a beer, light up a smoke, grab a bass guitar and start playing with a Boston cover band… But they say you should never judge a book by its cover. I mean, it was the 80’s after all, and he was a young man. I guess it’s par for the course.
And ultimately, appearance means nothing. The fact is that Steve is actually a pretty darn good painter… Just watch!
If you’re feeling inspired after that, I have some good news for you: All of The Joy of Painting is available for streaming on YouTube. To get you started, here’s the first ever episode:
There you go – there’s a little artist in all of us.