Bob Ross binges

Sometimes, I go on Bob Ross binges.

I’m not ashamed to admit I watch with a mixture of wonder and green envy at how someone can make a happy little tree emerge from a paint blot.

I drew a little when I was young, in the sermon notes section of church bulletins or the margins of math homework, but I lost interest before I developed any talent.

I guess I can add art to the list of things I abandoned when I was younger, but now wish I’d continued.

Something about “The Joy of Painting” — Ross’ long-running show in which he churns out what I believe to be a museum-quality painting in less than 30 minutes — lulls me into the belief I might be able to paint.

I don’t know if it’s the fact Ross refused to allow his viewers to consider mistakes anything other than “happy accidents,” which sounds good to a guy prone to a lot of them, or the fact he manipulated paint on a canvas like a puppeteer pulls strings.

Maybe it was the way he quietly explained each move it took to make a mountain from what looked like a mess.

Paintings are the highlight of each episode, but there might be other reasons the Bob Ross YouTube channel has 4.1 million subscribers 25 years after Ross’ death.

Maybe it’s the way his timid tone goes against the grain of a loud world, which seems like it gets louder by the day.

Maybe it’s the way Ross looked to turn messes into parts of masterpieces.

It seems like some people today might spend hours looking for a zit on the Mona Lisa, just to point it out.

We live in a world full of talking heads dying for a debate, but count me in with 4.1 million people who know a little peace and quiet goes a long way.


This post is a response to Sue’s prompt, which is “quietly.”

4 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed this post, Casey. Who doesn’t love Bob Ross & his happy little tree guys?! His quiet energy was infectious without a doubt.

  2. Casey: Bob Ross is the greatest. I thoroughly enjoy watching him. If ever we get together I will explain why I like him so much. It is a long story. At any rate he was a great painter. Thanks for the post.

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