I remember when cartoons ended on Saturday I'd start turning the dial looking for something else to watch and would come across this guy with a huge afro painting landscapes and talking so softly it was like drinking a cup of warm milk before falling fast asleep. It was master oil painter Bob Ross. He'd use a huge house brush to paint with and say the word 'Happy' more times in 30 minutes then I have my entire life. His art didn't really make me want to paint it but for some reason I would watch his entire program every time. I never purposely planned on watching it, I'd always stumble upon accidently but it drew me. Bob even had a side kick on his show several times, his pet squirrel Peapod. Perched on his shoulder Bob would paint away talking to Peapod as if he could understand him. In those days PBS shows were the closest thing to reality television and it fascinated me to be honest.
Happy trees, happy clouds, and happy accidents are part of the wonderful 'Cult of Bob Ross'. He's become a pop culture icon of sorts now and has been forever immortalized on the web for future generations to enjoy. This is my contribution to his artistic influence.
Bob Ross (October 29, 1942 - July 4, 1995) was a grandmaster American oil painter who primarily practiced the finer, more respectable arts of relaxation and kindness. His quiet, nurturing disposition was a form of therapy to the weary, and the reassuring intonations of his gentle voice hypnotized entire generations of would-be illustrators into creating a million-dollar art supply store enterprise.