"I guess I'm a little weird. I like to talk to trees and animals. That's okay though; I have more fun than most people."

Happy birthday Bob Ross!


Bob Ross (October 29, 1942—July 4, 1995) was an American painter and television host. He is best remembered as the host of the PBS television series The Joy of Painting.


Ross was born Robert Norman Ross in Daytona, Florida. As a child, he lost his index while working as a carpenter with his father. He dropped out of school after ninth grade and joined the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed in Alaska, where he first saw the snow-covered mountains that would later become a recurring theme in his work. It was also in Alaska that he took his first painting class. He began selling his work, earning more than he did in his position in the Air Force.

When he returned from the Air Force, he attended art classes at several different schools. Eventually, he learned of the "wet on wet" technique. Using this technique, Ross learned to paint whole pieces (mostly landscapes) in under an hour.

By 1983, Ross became the host of the PBS television series The Joy of Painting. The show consisted of Ross instructing viewers in step-by-step painting techniques. His gentle voice and demeanor became trademarks of the show, and it gradually grew into a $15 million business, expanding to include art supplies and how-to books.


He appeared on other television shows occasionally throughout the rest of his career, including on The Joan Rivers Show, as well as on live shows with Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Phil Donahue.

He filmed a series of MTV spots that parodied himself a few years before his death.

Even today, Ross remains one of the highest-paid American painters.


"We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents."

"The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe."

"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."

"Remember our Golden Rule: A thin paint sticks to a thick paint."

"That's a crooked tree. We'll send him to Washington."

"You can do anything you want to do. This is your world."


Clips from The Joy of Painting



Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Wednesday, 29 October 2014
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