Famous Floridians: Bob Ross

I absolutely suck at painting. For real. But I love, love, love to watch Bob Ross paint. It’s like seeing magic happen right before my eyes. He was truly gifted and his voice was so very soothing. I guess that’s why he remains popular nearly 25 years after his death.

I also love that just about the time I’m thinking: Ok, he’s surely going to mess this painting up bad! All of a sudden it pops and you have this dazzling work of art. That’s the magic part. He would simple say it was “a happy little accident” as he continued to paint his “happy little trees.”

Bob Ross Painting4
On a Clear Day: Watch him paint this on YouTube.
  • Bob Ross was born in Daytona Beach in 1942. He was raised in Orlando. Later in life he also lived in Alaska, which led to the recurrent theme of snowy mountains in his work.
Ocean Sunset
  • His biggest fan was a little squirrel he saved from near death. “Squirrely Wirrelly Brown” loved to keep Bob company while he painted.
Bob Ross Painting
Winter Glow
  • All of his paintings were donated to PBS stations. He derived his income from his line of art supplies and instructional books.
Bob Ross Painting5
Golden Glow
  • He typically painted three copies of his paintings. One he would complete before the show. He would keep it off camera as a guide for the painting he would complete on the show. A third he would paint in more detail for his instructional books.
Bob Ross Painting3
Mountain Stream
  • His signature white man ‘fro was not natural. It was a perm. He didn’t like it that much but he kept it because his fans loved it.
Bob Ross Painting2
Bubbling Stream
  • He served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. He retired with the rank of master sergeant. When he left, he vowed to never yell or raise his voice again.

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