Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bob Ross

Robert Norman "Bob" Ross was an American painter, an art instructor, and a television host born on October 29, 1942 in Orlando Florida.

At the age of 17, Bob enlisted in the U.s Air Force.  they Air Force transferred him to Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska.  Alaska was where Bob first saw mountains, and snow, which were frequently used in his artwork. In order for Bob to sell his work during brief work breaks, he learned how to paint quickly.  During his time in the military, Bob held positions that he would have to yell, and be tough, and vowed that if he were to ever move on from the military, that he would "never scream again"

Bob later studied with Bill Alexander, and discovered that he was able to earn more from his art work than from his military position.

In January 11,1983, Bob first aired on PBS in a series called "The Joy of painting". Bob was the creator of the show, as well as the host. Each episode was 30 minutes. Bob would instruct the viewers with oil paint, with a quick study technique. He broke down the process into simple steps.  When Bob came up with the concept of this show, he went to the homes of the producers to demonstrate his quickness, and they were very impressed by it.

The company that produced the paints that were featured in "The Joy of Painting" kept selling out of the paints, and approached Bob to put out his own art supply line, and he did. He also put out how -to books, and offered instructional classes. The classes were taught by instructors that were trained in the "Bob Ross" method. This was very successful for him.

Bob estimated having painting between 25,000 - 30,000 paintings in his lifetime.  He believed that everyone had artistic talent and could become an accomplished artist given time, practice, and encouragement, and was often fond of saying, "We don't make mistakes; we just have happy accidents."

Bob was a juge fan of country music, and was invited in 1987 to go onstage by Hank Snow at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. He received a huge ovation.

Bob and his business partner gave Hank a private painting lesson.

Bob appeared on the shopping channel, QVC to promote his products on the air.  Afterwards, the producer handed Bob a telephone, and Marlon Brando was on the line. Bob was shocked, and excited by this.

Bob visited NYC to promote his hard cover book called "The Best of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross" to a studio audience. In 1989, he was on "The Joan Rivers Show", and in 1992, he was on live with Regis, and Kathy Lee. In 1994, he wasw on the Phil Donahue Show. Phil loves his painting techniques, and watched his videos.  Bob selected 5 audience members to come on stage to do a painting, and got Phil to do one as well.

One of Bob's sons made a few appearances on "The Joy of Painting".

Bob was diagnosed with Lymphoma, he continued to work on his series "The Joy of Painting". 

the final airing of the series was on May 17, 1994. 

Bob made an appearance in a pilot of "The Adventures of Elmer & Friends".  His appearance was recorded from his home in Florida, because he was too weak to travel to Muncie, Indiana where the program was shot.

He also did a few  "self paradpy MTV spots". 

Bob passed away from Lymphoma on July 4, 1995 in his Florida home.

On October 29, 2012, Google  celebrated Bob's 70th birthday with a Google Doodle.  It was of bob painting a depiction of the letter "g" with a landscape in the background.

For more info on Bob, please visit:




Wikipedia, also from a special on Bob that aired on PBS.






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