Bob Ross and the Joy of Painting
July 27, 2012
This PBS video has been all over the Web recently, and it brought a huge smile to my face. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Bob Ross's The Joy of Painting was a staple of public television programming. Bob Ross was an enthusiastic proponent of the idea that anyone could be a painter, and his show illustrated how a limited color palette and a few simple brush and knife techniques could be used to create amazingly lifelike landscapes.
I never watched Bob Ross to learn how to paint. Like many people, I tuned into Bob Ross on Channel 19 for a dose of his mellifluous odes to "happy little clouds" and generally blissed-out demeanor. It is almost impossible to be in a bad mood while watching Bob Ross. In fact, I think Bob Ross may have been a modern-day bodhisattva.
Bob Ross passed away in 1995, but his legacy lives on. I'm sure many people were inspired to try painting for the first time because of his show. Even more of us remember him as someone who brought us joy in half-hour doses. If you're an aspiring painter or just need a dose of good-natured positivity, you can still find Bob Ross here at MCPL and on YouTube.