Bust 'em Up Bobby: Bob Ross


Since today would be Bob Ross' 66th birthday, today's "Feel Art Again" will feature the happy painter himself, at the request of reader hannah. After studying up on Ross' life, try our Bob Ross quiz from our "˜80s Week back in April.

1. Bob Ross' landscapes were influenced by his years spent in Alaska working for the U.S. Air Force. Ross spoke of the beauty of Alaska, saying, "Ooh, if you have never been to Alaska, go there while it is still wild. My favorite uncle asked me if I wanted to go there—Uncle Sam. He said if you don't go, you're going to jail. That is how Uncle Sam asks you."

2. Teaching a quick-study technique on his 30-minute public television segments, Ross believed everyone possesses artistic talent and can become accomplished artists, given time, practice, and encouragement. He often told viewers, "We don't make mistakes, we just have happy little accidents."

3. The Joy of Painting, Ross' show, has spread worldwide to be shown in Greece, Turkey, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Hong Kong, Colombia, and the UK. Ross described the popularity of his painting technique thusly: "We're like drug dealers, come into town and get everybody absolutely addicted to painting. It doesn't take much to get you addicted."

4. Ross enjoyed painting because, "In painting, you have unlimited power. You have the ability to move mountains. You can bend rivers. But when I get home, the only thing I have power over, is the garbage." Yet despite Ross' lack of power outside of painting, IMDB lists his nickname as "Bust "˜em up Bobby."

5. Sadly, both Ross and his second wife, Jane, died of cancer. Jane passed away in 1993, and Ross followed two years later, in 1995.

A larger version of Bob Ross' "Autumn" is available here. Fans should check out Bob Ross Incorporated and Happy Afro! (a fan site). "Feel Art Again" appears every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You can e-mail us at feelartagain@gmail.com with artist suggestions or details of current exhibitions.