Bob Ross The Joy Of Painting

By Posted on 55 Comments 2 min read

Have you ever seen the late Bob Ross, the artist, on television? If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, follow on.

Bob Ross

Bob was an American painter/artist who became popular in the 1980s on U.S. television where he presented a half-hour show, teaching anyone that wanted to watch, how to paint. For some reason, the BBC has started showing his programs over here on BBC FOUR. It must be one of the most relaxing half-hour shows that you can watch, whether you’re interested in painting or not. His paintings seem to be scenic with mountains, trees, rivers and a cabin.

They’re Your Mountains

As soon as the program starts, you can see it was recorded in the 1980s by Bob’s hair alone. That aside, I find Bob totally infectious, the way he starts a painting, keeping the viewer informed about his every move. “We’re going to put some mountains right here, about halfway up the canvas, now don’t forget, they’re your mountains, no one else’s.” Of course, he’s already painted the sky, blue with lots of swirly white puffs that really look the business.

All The Colours Of The Rainbow

On his left hand, is his giant palette with a rainbow of colours around the edge. He’s certainly not economic with the paint, there are huge blobs of the stuff and you can see why when he picks up the two-inch brush! I don’t use that much paint when I decorate the house! A quick dab of Prussian blue mixed with titanium white on a fan brush and voila, he has a whole forest painted at the base of the mountains. How does he do that?

Scrape And Scratch

He uses something that I would describe as a putty knife. One of those tools you use for filling holes in wood with poly filler. He paints a whole cabin with his knife and a few deft turns of his wrist, “..it’s an old cabin and it’s been by the river for years. The undergrowth outside is taking over.” Brilliant, a scrape and a scratch and there it is before your very eyes. I wish I could do that.

Contagious

As I said earlier, watching him paint even if you have no intention of painting, it’s a great way to relax and spend half an hour of your time. Trust me, it’s great. Reading about his life, it’s a shame that he died so young, he was only in his fifties. I’m not sure if it’s on every night or just some nights, but I highly recommend it just for the feel-good factor.

The Joy of Painting on Wikipedia.

Photograph Copyright: Brittanica

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55 Comments
  • John
    October 9, 2020

    Honestly, I actually did watch this program, in spite of my age! Perhaps this has a bit to do with my photography? I was young, yet found watching this man paint. Seemed so mellow.

    • Trev
      October 9, 2020

      I find him very relaxing to watch. Thank you, John.

  • angloswiss
    October 9, 2020

    I might be an ex pat, but since old age has krept up on Mr. Swiss and I, our routines are slightly different. Mr. Swiss hugs the bed earlier than I do in the evening so I am left with the TV to myself. Some tie ago I started to watch the BBC programes and now and again I saw this programme about how to paint. I could never really paint, despite trying, but like to watch hime now and again. I did not know they were US repeats from many years ago, and that the painter is no longer amongst us, but it is an interesting programme to watch, although not every evening. Thanks for the article, it explains a lot for me. It does make a pleasant change from the daily repair shop and Garden Rescue (which I also love to watch).

    • Trev
      October 9, 2020

      I think that’s the magic of the program, you don’t need to paint, you can watch and enjoy the magic unfold all in half an hour. Thank you 😊

  • jenanita01
    October 9, 2020

    Yes, we have spent many pleasant moments watching Bob Ross. He makes it look effortless!

    • Trev
      October 9, 2020

      It’s magic in front of your very eyes. Thank you 😊

  • Peter's pondering
    October 9, 2020

    Sounds like good old fashioned slow entertainment. I’ll look it up.

    • Trev
      October 9, 2020

      It’s half an hour of magic in front of your very eyes, thanks Peter. 🙂

  • Libby
    October 9, 2020

    I think they have put him on due to being unable to make programmes plus it might encourage people to ‘have a go’ during lockdown. We have been enjoying watching and some of his catch phrases litter our conversation ‘happy little clouds’ etc. It’s on Monday-Thursday every week at the moment. Easy watching even though they are all very similar.

    • Trev
      October 9, 2020

      You hit the nail on the head about his little phrases which I find wonderful. I think the basis for his every painting is sky, mountains and a river with trees and of course, a hut. Thank you, Libby. 🙂

  • Eileen
    October 9, 2020

    I’ve been watching. He’s on Monday to Thursday but is pushed aside – usually to make way for sport – at fairly regular intervals. As you say, it is 30 minutes of calm in this mad world we currently inhabit.
    My one complaint – that the Beeb, for whaterver reason, started with one of his later series and then went back to the earlier ones.

    As someone new to oil painting (a few evening classes in 2019 at our local university), I was looking forward to seeing how he developed his unique style, which you can’t do if it is shown out of sequence. I am also a left-hander and was surprised (why?) to find pallette knives are right-handed! At least with a two inch paintbrush you can use either hand.

    I must admit to getting fed up (now and again) with yet another sky, clouds, mountain, trees, water combination – and very often shout at the TV when he paints in a huge tree which covers some delicate tree in the background, but on the whole I’d sooner watch Bob Ross than Eastenders.

    • Trev
      October 9, 2020

      Thank you, Eileen. I never gave the left-handed approach a thought. I must admit that I’m watching now, more out of curiosity than actually learning anything. I just find it’s almost like magic how he gets a fan brush and then there’s a tree. Amazing. As you say, it’s calm in the middle of this madness. Thank you again, Eileen, best wishes with your painting. 🙂

  • Yetismith
    October 9, 2020

    I’ve always so wished if I could have one thing it would be talent like that! I can draw a bit but only when I am messing about. If I try hard it turns into nothing:(

    • Trev
      October 9, 2020

      Yes, it’s quite something to do what he does in half an hour. Thank you, Yeti 😊

  • Windwhistle
    October 9, 2020

    I did a lot of painting when I was in school (eons ago), but nothing I did approached what Bob Ross did — with such ease! And with brushes so much bigger than I used.

    • Trev
      October 9, 2020

      Yes, he makes the paintings look so easy, that’s all part of his magic. I’m sure if you keep practising you’ll get as good as Bob. Thank you, Windwhistle. 🙂

  • Rosaliene Bacchus
    October 9, 2020

    I’ve watched a few of his videos available on YouTube. He makes painting look so easy and lots of fun 🙂

    • Trev
      October 9, 2020

      Thank you, Rosaliene. Making it looks lots of fun is half the battle to teaching us all. Thank you again. 🙂

  • June Lorraine Roberts
    October 9, 2020

    I remember him well 🙂

    • Trev
      October 9, 2020

      Thank you, June. I’ve never seen him before, but he does make the magic happen in only 30 minutes. 🙂

  • Dave Kingsbury
    October 9, 2020

    Who knew watching paint dry could be fun? Love it when he says, ‘Here’s a happy little tree/cloud/fence …’

    • Trev
      October 10, 2020

      Lol. Thank you, Dave. 🙂

  • Msdedeng
    October 10, 2020

    Oh my gosh! my husband showed me his videos about two years ago. What a coincidence you mention him here 🙂 🙂
    He’s great at what he does!

    • Trev
      October 10, 2020

      He is a joy to watch, very relaxing. Thank you 😊

  • sundaymorningwithsandy.com
    October 10, 2020

    Whenever I was flipping around and saw this, I would have to stop and watch. His voice was so soothing!

    • Trev
      October 10, 2020

      Thank you, Sandy, I agree, it’s a very soothing voice 😊

  • Iqra Aqib
    October 10, 2020

    I love Bob Ross videos! I even made two of his paintings following his tutorials (of course they don’t reach the perfection and skill that Bob Ross can achieve) and I look forward to hopefully painting more.

    • Trev
      October 10, 2020

      It’s great that you had a go and he has helped. He’s certainly has a laid back attitude as well as talent. Thank you, Iqra. 😊

  • Herb
    October 10, 2020

    Yes, Mr. Ross was pretty amazing. Made it look so easy, too.

    • Trev
      October 10, 2020

      It’s great viewing, thank you, Herb. 😊

  • Raj
    October 10, 2020

    That’s fascinating

  • SueW
    October 10, 2020

    In the nineties daughter Sophie became hooked on watching his programmes, what was it he used to say.. let’s happy a happy little tree just here? Or something like that. We have a good number of sophie’s copy cat pictures somewhere under stairs!

    • SueW
      October 10, 2020

      Paint a happy tree not happy a happy tree!

    • Trev
      October 10, 2020

      I can understand why your daughter became hooked. He has that way of capturing your attention, almost in a hypnotic way. Thank you, Sue. 😊

  • Invisibly Me
    October 10, 2020

    My dad seems to be catching this on TV a lot recently. I’ll have to add this to a future mindfulness & stress-relief post: Watch yourself a bit of Bob Ross 😉

    • Trev
      October 10, 2020

      That’s a great description, stress-relief for this show. It’s almost hypnotic. I hope you get to see it, Caz, it’s well worth half an hour of your time. 😊 Thank you, Caz.

  • jazzyoutoo
    October 10, 2020

    As I have never heard about him I got curious, watched a video – there’s an official Bob Ross you tube channel – had to keep me from thinking that painting is easy – he makes it look easy – yet I didn’t go to buy canvas, paint and a brush.

    These times can make us think we’re invincible, that we can do anything! I myself think I could become a drummer, which is perfect nonsense. I could always keep me from buying a drum kit… I call it lucidity. 😂

    Have a great weekend!

    jose

    • Trev
      October 10, 2020

      Well, thank you for this Jose. Enjoy your weekend too.😊

  • Carfax
    October 11, 2020

    ❤ have a nice sunday!

    • Trev
      October 11, 2020

      Thank you, you too. 😊

  • Lisa Orchard
    October 11, 2020

    I remember him. I used to watch him when I was taking some down time. He was a great teacher. 🙂

    • Trev
      October 11, 2020

      Thank you, Lisa. He certainly is a great teacher. Almost hypnotic the way he talks. 😊

  • Smithasbakelove
    October 12, 2020

    I never saw his videos but now I want to. Thanks for sharing.

    • Trev
      October 12, 2020

      Thank you very much for your kind words. Very much appreciated and I’m sure you will enjoy Bob Ross. 🙂

  • KINDNESS WISDOM
    October 13, 2020

    Magical Artist every person interprets art differently. Thank you for sharing your blogs ❣️

    • Trev
      October 13, 2020

      Thank you. 🙂

  • SMB
    October 13, 2020

    That is amazing! Painting is considered to be a type of meditation. A medium of expression and self-connection. Even watching the creation of an art can be calming and meditative, I guess.

    • Trev
      October 13, 2020

      Thank you, yes, I find just watching him for 30 minutes is very calming indeed. 🙂

  • Amanda Ricks
    October 20, 2020

    I vaguely remember seeing him a couple of times when I first moved to Canada. His style was certainly unique and interesting.

    • Trev
      October 20, 2020

      I find him so relaxing to watch. Thank you, Amanda. 😊

  • Laleh Chini
    October 22, 2020

    He made it look easy. He was wonderful.

    • Trev
      October 22, 2020

      He did, that was part of his talent, making it look easy and showing everyone how. Thank you, Laleh. 😊

  • bekitschig
    October 23, 2020

    I absolutely adore this show! Maybe one of the best things TV ever came up with!!! (Three excalamtion marks is not enough for that!)

    • Trev
      October 23, 2020

      I agree with you, thank you so much. 🙂

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