14 happy little facts about Bob Ross and his paintings

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Bob Ross is greatest recognized for his now-legendary PBS show, “The Pleasure of Portray.” He talked viewers via each painting, step by phase, in a calming tone. He inspired people today to paint with thoughts tailor-made to be printed onto an inspiration poster, like, “You can do it. All you require is a desire in your heart.”

Ross’ exhibit aired from 1983 to 1994, when he was identified with lymphoma. He died in 1995 at 52, but his legacy lives on in the extra than 400 episodes of his series. The helpful artist’s notoriety has ongoing to bloom with products like coloring books and Halloween costumes. There’s even a Run for the Trees Content Little 5K held per year in his honor that supports tree planting at state parks across the U.S.

In this article are 14 joyful very little details about Bob Ross you might not have recognised.


1. He was an Air Force drill sergeant

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Ahead of he grew to become recognised for his minor trees, Ross had a major voice as a U.S. Air Power drill sergeant based in Alaska. His tender-spoken television persona was in immediate contrast to his time put in barking orders at new recruits. The Quiet app features voice recordings of episodes like “Happy Minimal Zzzs With Bob Ross.” Fans can also check out out the present-day Bob Ross podcast that honors his legacy.

2. He discovered to paint observing a different artist’s present

Ross was in an Alaskan tavern when he initially observed William Alexander’s PBS clearly show, “The Magic of Oil Portray.” He credited Alexander for teaching him his moist-on-moist approach. Alexander impressed Ross to convey happiness to his show, and trees.

3. Ross donated quite a few paintings to PBS

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At the finish of each present, Ross experienced created a accomplished portray. He donated many of them for PBS donor drives and fundraisers. In 2023, the initial painting he created on air went up for sale at a staggering selling price of nearly $10 million. “A Wander in the Woods,” from 1983, attributes his common happy very little trees.

4. Ross was lacking part of a finger

Due to a childhood incident encouraging his carpenter father, Ross lost portion of his left index finger. Hardly ever 1 to allow difficulties quit him, he adapted to accommodate the decline. If you in no way discovered this inspite of seeing many episodes of his show, which is most likely mainly because he held the palette with his remaining hand, blocking the affected finger.

5. His legendary hairstyle was a budgetary choice

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Originally, Ross says he permed his hair to save cash on haircuts. By the time he could afford haircuts, the perm was component of his image and experienced to stay, even with him reportedly not even getting a admirer of those people limited curls.

6. Even the pros struggle to mimic his strategy

When Ross framed his present as a 50 percent-hour tutorial on how to paint, it is safe and sound to say most viewers just like seeing him perform. Nevertheless, there are instructors accredited in Ross’ soaked-on-wet system that can instruct you how to paint landscapes like the late master. A single of those certified lecturers, Kathleen Sheppard, explained to a community PBS station in Columbus, Ohio, that it took her 8 hrs to total a Ross-style painting when she initially started out.

7. He once established a portray in gray for a color-blind gentleman

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Ross encouraged his viewers to send out in painting concepts and pics of their completed art. He chose to do one particular painting after assembly a guy who explained he couldn’t paint because of to his colorblindness. Ross thought “anyone can paint” and produced the episode to replicate that. He combined brown, blue, and white paint, but the last final result was a greyscale portray entitled “Shades of Grey.”

8. He painted gold panning tins just before canvases

While Ross his regarded for trees on canvases, he begun out painting landscapes on gold panning tins. Through his military stint in Alaska, he bought the gold pan paintings for additional cash.

9. He genuinely liked animals

For the duration of Ross’ childhood in Florida, he kept an alligator in a bathtub, nursing it back to well being. Although he’s recognized for loving little trees, he also loved tiny animals as an grownup. Just one of his favorites was a squirrel known as Peapod the Pocket Squirrel that he generally carried, as the title indicates, in his pocket. His fowl buddies also manufactured appearances on his show, which includes Hoot the Baby Owl, Midnight the Crow, and Mr. Jay the Bluejay.

10. Ross was a world feeling

Ross may possibly look like the quintessential fashionable American painter but he taught painting and his clearly show was broadcast in nations around the world outdoors the United States which includes Japan, Costa Rica and Mexico. Beloved in Holland, there’s even a Bob Ross amaryllis flower in the signature pink with which he signed his title.

11. He worked for free of charge

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Ross considered sharing his portray approaches and content views was more than enough. He labored at PBS for no payment, earning cash from Bob Ross, Inc. The store also options free of charge how-to films and Bob Ross function solutions.

12. Ross could movie an whole time in two days

Ross was regarded to movie an whole season of 13 episodes in only two days. Filming so promptly let him return to his genuine enjoy: educating artwork lessons in man or woman.

13. His paintings are in the Smithsonian

In 1990, Ross spoke to the Orlando Sentinel of everyone currently being equipped to paint a image they ended up happy of. Even if “it might never hang in the Smithsonian. but it will unquestionably be anything that they’ll hold in their household and be happy of. And that is what it’s all about.” Though most of Ross’ paintings are stored at the Bob Ross Inc. warehouses in Virginia, his paintings are now also in the Smithsonian’s selection. In 2020, several of his paintings, an easel, palette and brushes were obtained for the American History Museum in Washington, DC.

14. A 2024 ‘Joy of Painting’ reboot attributes unseen Bob Ross paintings

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Ross had presently produced eight paintings intended for the unfinished 32nd season of “The Pleasure of Painting” that weren’t seen by the public. In April 2024, artist Nicholas Hankins commenced recreating these paintings in “The Joy of Painting with Nicholas Hankins” on PBS.

Sarah Lewton contributed to this report.

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