Robert “Bob” Norman Ross (October 29, 1942 – July 4, 1995) was an American painter, art instructor, and television host. He is widely known for creating and hosting an instructional painting series called The Joy of Painting, which aired on PBS from 1983 to 1994. With an incredibly calming voice and a permed afro, Bob Ross became an internet sensation in recent years with a younger generation of fans who were most likely very young or not alive when his show aired in real time.
Most recently, Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting has taken on a life of it’s own over at Twitch.tv. Bob has an entire channel dedicated to mini marathons of his television series and nearly 2000 + people tune into at one time. His channel currently has over 10 million views and that continues to rise with each 9 day marathon and mini marathon.
Each year, in the days leading up to Bob’s birthday Twitch will host a marathon of his series in celebration and in an effort to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I believe Twitch airs a mini marathon, including his final episode on the day his final episode of The Joy of Painting aired, May 14th, and on the day of his death.
Bob Ross passed away from cancer at the age of 52, not long after his wife passed away. Bob didn’t have a commanding presence like some, but he had this incredible talent and calming nature that could just grab your attention. His painting technique was rather a unique style, wet on wet oil painting. If you have ever watched his show you will understand that his technique has this incredible effect on making his paintings brilliant and fantastic, and all he ever painted were landscapes.
But, what makes the Bob Ross Twitch channel so amazing is actually the chat section. If you have tuned into an episode you will understand why people have a tendency to freak out while Bob is in the middle of painting. He uses the same 2 inch brush to paint on canvas that people use to paint a wall and some how he paints clouds and mountains and grass and “happy little trees.” I honestly am about to lose my mind thinking about this.
What I have noticed from tuning in is that the number one most used word is RUINED in the chat. The reason that word is used so frequently is because there are times when you think Bob just destroyed this beautiful painting he’s spent 20 minutes creating. I’m serious. He will paint these majestic mountains and a glorious sunset, then he will draw this freaking huge tree trunk right in the middle or side of his painting and you just lose it. BOB! WHAT ARE YOU DOING MAN?!?!?
How can you not laugh at the commentary? I mean really. People are just losing their minds when he does something crazy, but then he some how saves it. I mean it’s not just a simple stroke Bob. IT’S NOT! It’s some sort of painting sorcery.
In all seriousness though, if you haven’t watched an episode of The Joy of Painting please do so. If Twitch just isn’t your thing, which I understand, Netflix also has several of his seasons available for your viewing pleasure, just type in Beauty is Everywhere and start watching. I love to watch an episode or two before bed because no matter what kind of day I had, his voice and his joy always makes me calm.
Plus, watching him clean his paint brushes makes me super happy because he get’s so excited about it.
The last thing I want to say about Bob Ross is that he is so inspirational. In each of his episodes he will say something that is just so heart warming and up-lifting. He only wants the best for all of his views and he always felt that painting was a way to express yourself and find freedom.
And with that, I will call this article finished.
Thank you Bob Ross for sharing your talent with the world. You may not be painting anymore, but your voice and vision for the world continue on and touch the lives of people every day.