Today is a good day. Not just because it’s Friday, but because the very first episode of the very first season of Bob Ross‘s The Joy of Painting is now online. If there’s anything that can perk up your afternoon, it’s some “almighty trees” and some “nice little bushes.”
“I think each of us sometime during our life has wanted to paint a picture,” muses Ross at the beginning of the episode, which first aired on January 11, 1983. From the get-go he speaks in his trademark soothing voice, has his hair in that unforgettable perm, and leaves the top buttons of his button-down shirt undone. Bob Ross’s paintings may have been labors of love, but Bob Ross the style icon was readymade.
“I think there’s an artist hid in the bottom of every single one of us,” he continues. “You know, we have avoided painting for so long because I think all of our lives we’ve been told that you have to go to school half your life, maybe even have to be blessed by Michelangelo at birth to ever be able to paint a picture. And here we want to show that that’s not true — that you can paint a picture right along with us.”
One of the things I’d forgotten about The Joy of Painting is that it doesn’t really show you how to paint so much as give you tips and encourage you to try and follow along. But hey, it’s much cheaper and cheerier than an MFA (and much calmer than any current art-themed TV shows). “Anybody can paint,” says Ross. “All you need is a dream in your heart [and] a little practice.”
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