The Joy of Painting by Bob Ross
You know him from the US television program The Joy of Painting. For 26 minutes, the painting maestro, Bob Ross, a soft spoken and virtual cult-like figure paints everything from clouds to mountains using what looks like the typical house painting brush and beckoning his viewers with his all too common ‘ you can do this’.
For almost 30 years, his television shows have become a personal and inspirational journey into nature and the beauty composed in painting for audiences all over the country and the world who share a love of nature and wildlife. For many viewers, the show is a form of therapeutic indulgence, as Bob’s quiet and nurturing disposition eases his viewers into a calm and soothing state.
- Bob Ross was born in Orlando, Florida and began painting in his late teens after joining the Air Force, where he was stationed in Alaska. During his college years, he took a lot of art courses, and his interest in art and his style matured into something authentic and distinctively his. It was after seeing bill Alexander on TV that Bob materialized his trademark wet on wet technique. After developing his own style, he started to teach across the country in 1981 traveling all over and influencing students from all over the country.
- It was during one of his classes that one of his students, a young woman named Annette Kowalski, was struck by the simplicity and beauty of his work and wanted to find a way to share the experience beyond the classroom. It was then that a partnership was formed and the Bob Ross Company came into existence. Even the initial 1982 unedited version of his Joy of Painting broadcasts was a hit, accessing over 93 million homes and gathering quite an audience. Years later, his show is still one of if not the most successful how to art program in television history and his memorable appearances on TV are fond memories for a lot of people.
- Multiple shows took on Ross’s therapeutic hosting style and used it in programs for citizens and the handicapped where a rehabilitating effect was essential. His show is broadcast in most of the major countries including Britain, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. As the broadcasts continue to flourish, more people continue to pick up his painting style and he could not be happier about it.
- Everything featured on his shows, such as the equipment, like brushes and numerous instructional materials are all designed by Ross and exuberant his personal style to millions of art enthusiasts all over the world. Bob Ross training classes are done all over the country and are conducted by over 3000 certified instructors who all possess that ‘easy does it’ style from Bob that viewers have come to adore. Among the popular painting styles are a wildlife technique and a flower painting style Ross perfected and has now taught in painting classes all over the country.
- What is interesting about the success of The Joy of Painting is that a significant number of views are not painters at all and have never even picked up a paint brush. They are just lured in by Bob’s subtle and soothing painting style that causes them to unwind when relaxing at home. Every week, hundreds of letters from all over the world pour in from views of all ages about how the show has made a positive difference in their lives and brought them closer to nature and wildlife.
Ross is credited for bringing awareness about nature to the world through his show where guests like little baby squirrels and birds have garnered popularity over the years. Viewers are drawn to popular painting techniques like the wet-on-wet technique that basically involves applying wet paint on top of another wet paint; a complete contradiction, as conventional painting methods say to let each layer of paint dry first. By using unique oil paints, viewers are able to glide paint onto a canvas with a large brush or something similar and within seconds create mountains and clouds on the canvas. Such easy-to-do methods are what make the show a success with people of all ages.