It’s true, everyone’s favourite painting show is available to watch for free on YouTube, and the internet couldn’t be more excited. In fact, the account has over one million fans!
For those who have yet to experience the sheer brilliance of The Joy of Painting, which ran from 1983 to 1994, each episode is half an hour of wholesome goodness led by American painter, art teacher and host, Bob Ross.
The idea of the show is to illustrate to viewers (no pun intended) that anyone can paint. It takes the scariness out of attempting to create an artwork and makes the whole process approachable and fun, using the 16th-century ‘wet-on-wet’ oil painting technique so that mistakes are just, as Ross put it, ‘happy accidents’.
He is perhaps most known for his fun catchphrases used on the show – ‘happy little trees’ is a particular fan favourite – and his timeless, unmistakable uniform of jeans and a blue shirt.
The show was, of course, intended to give people the confidence to paint and teach them them to do so, but it’s gone so far beyond that at this point, quickly becoming a cult favourite and providing viewers with a boost of positivity. No politics or confusing abstract art concepts to grapple with here – just good old-fashioned landscapes and goodness!
Watching Ross paint is really mesmerising: his simple, colourful strokes become landscapes before our very eyes, all while he narrates in his upbeat, glass-half-full way. The whole experience is quite zen and calming, and it’s as much of a nice break from our hectic daily lives today as it was when it first aired.
Now with a dedicated YouTube channel, fans and newbies alike can watch every episode and even buy some Bob Ross painting sets while they’re at it.
In his own words: ‘I got a letter from somebody here a while back, and they said: “Bob, everything in your world seems to be happy.” That’s for sure. That’s why I paint. It’s because I can create the kind of world that I want, and I can make this world as happy as I want it. Shoot, if you want bad stuff, watch the news.’
OK, Bob, sign us up!