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Friday, July 1, 2011

BOB ROSS

Posted for Melanie’s blog hop, Crowning Moments at “Here’s Living the Dream”
http://hereslivinthedream.blogspot.com/  I am not sure this is a “Crowning Moment”, but this show made me not just accept people who were a bit “different”, but also taught me to appreciate and embrace their uniqueness. 
                                             BOB ROSS


Do you remember Bob Ross?  Bob Ross was that painter dude on PBS. It’s OK; you can admit you watched him.  It turns out there were many closet Bob Ross fans.  Bob was boring, boring, boring.  And yet when he was on, you could not change the channel.  His quiet demeanor and slow delivery was hypnotic.

Bob Ross finished a painting on every show in under an hour.  His style was deliberate, slow and calm.  The result was quick and amazing.  I guess his paintings were not museum quality works of art, but his TV style was classic.  He taught his technique as he painted.  Every step of the way it looked as if he would take a nice painting and ruin it, but every change was an eye opening improvement.

Not happy with a beautiful stream, Bob had to add some trees. 

“I think I’ll add some trees here, you can too if you want.  It’s your world; you can put them where ever you want.  There that’s nice.  Over here perhaps some bushes.  I think a little grass would be growing around the bushes, and right by the stream I think I see some happy little cat tails.”  As easy as Bob stated what he saw, it was on the canvas. 

Bob used a different brush for each of his special effects; instant leaves, snow on tree limbs, dead branches and more.  He didn’t just mix any colors; it would be “titanium white”, or “cadmium red”, “burnt siena,” “yellow ochre”, and “midnight black”.

The move that impressed me the most was the reflection on the water trick.  Bob had his lake and his trees on the bank, now he needed the trees to reflect on the water.  Grabbing a dry fan brush, Bob drew the brush quickly over the trees down across the water and created a perfect reflection in seconds.  “No FUCKING WAY,” I would respond to this move no matter how many times I witnessed his technique.  If this was not enough, Bob would then step back and look at his world on the canvas and say, “I think there is a little breeze today.”  He then cleaned and dried his fan brush and stroked sideways with a slight wiggle across the water and the perfect reflection was now a slightly distorted reflection representing the ripples on the water that a slight breeze would cause.

Bob Ross was not a master painter.  I don’t believe his works sell for large sums of money.  Maybe that’s because he could create a beautiful landscape in less than an hour.  There must be thousands of Bob Ross originals in circulation.

I think the man was a genius!  He would capture my attention for an hour, even though I had no real interest in painting.  I thought I was the only one who appreciated Bob Ross.  I never mentioned to any one that I watched his show.  I never knew there were other Bob Ross fans.

Bob Ross died in 1995 from lymphoma.  He was only 52 years old.  When I learned of his passing, I mentioned to several people that I missed this strange artist.  He had a fluffy afro hairdo, a full beard, and he sounded like Mr. Rodgers as he painted.  “Oh yeah, you mean Bob Ross.”  Was the inevitable reply.  “He was great, I watched him all the time.”  Apparently there were millions of Bob Ross fans.  I am no longer ashamed to admit I could not change the channel when he was doing his thing.

I miss you Bob.  I think I’ll put a tree over here, it’s my world I can put it where ever I want.  Maybe, just maybe there is a little stream running happily through the trees!  I never saw these things before, thanks Bob, for pointing them out.

For those that don't know Bob Ross check him out on You tube -Bob Ross.

For more stuff buy "Maybe It's Just Me!" at rosedogbooks or Amazon http://adf.ly/1MJqD
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12 comments:

  1. Initially, I thought, "I've never heard of Bob Ross!?" but as soon as you talked about his quiet demeanor, and image of an afro creeped into my head and I wondered if that's who you were talking about. Then when you mentioned adding the trees, I knew! How interesting! I forgot about him! He was amazing and hypnotic to watch! Didn't times seem so much slower and simpler then? I wonder if kids today would be able to sit and just watch him create his magic pictures? I think this is very fitting for my "Crowning Moments!" hop, if nothing but to reflect on B.R.'s many moments that he shone. Thank you for the blast from the past. I wish I would have appreciated him more - I was fairly young - but who could forget him?

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  2. I've never heard of Bob Ross but I'm from backward Australia. I loved reading this post though! Your writing is as quiet and peaceful and hypnotic (but not at all boring) as you describe Bob Ross as being.

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  3. Yes,he was a genius, and a kind soul as well, someone who could inspire others and show they too could create.

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  4. Melissa Tugya loved Bob Ross and you did mention to me about your liking him before. However, every blog and every story from the book is a rerun I heard on the way to a soccer game or to baseball practice. I remember you telling me about how retards are now special when I was 10 years old on the way to a soccer game. And how gifted and talented is BS.

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  5. Joe

    I have no clue who Bob Ross is I am afraid, but apparently I have had a delivery at my new house of a book by some crazy author who goes by the nickname 'Cranky Old Man'.

    Only 7 days until I ge tout there now, so I am looking forward to sitting in my rocker on the back porch with a glass of Pinot Grigio in one hand and your book in the other. I just hope that Steve hasn't read it by the time I get there at the end of next week, because he seems to think that he will find you even more amusing than I do - but then he is slightly older and more cranky than I am - so much so that I call him Oscar (the Grouch) a lot of the time!!

    Hope you are enjoying your holiday.

    Lou :-)

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  6. At the University of North Texas, there is a dormitory that used to have a Bob Ross day in homage to this wonderful character. I loved when he made clouds, "swish, swish, swish."

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  7. Like Daisy, this Aussie has never heard of Bob Ross before but he does sound interesting and not at all boring. Who wouldn't enjoy watching a beautiful piece of art being created in an hour?
    I hope they play some reruns to keep the Bob Ross fans content.
    Rewinding with the Multiple Mum

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  8. Bob Ross sounds a little like the Australian Rolf Harris. I used to watch him as a child. A picture created before your very eyes! Amazing. What a talent.

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  9. Another Aussie who haven't heard of Bob Ross but your writing brought his work to life.

    Rewinding with Pilesofwashing.

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  10. Bob Ross sounds like Mr Squiggle? What an interesting concept for a television show - I wonder if it would get airtime now? Thanks for Rewinding - I wish you'd posted one of his paintings on this post so I didn't have to google him! x

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  11. I watched him too! And so did a bunch of my friends. It was so incredibly relaxing.
    I always couldn't help but laugh when he would talk about "happy little trees."
    Thanks for reminding me of quite a blast from the past.
    and I like the new blog header! Nice to get know the Cranky Old Man a little better. :)

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  12. Cranky old man me - I found my 1979 passport and there it is - my affro haircut. Not only did Bob Ross copy my ideas but he also copied my haircut.
    I demonstrated painting techniques for 20 years in public places from 1976 and sold videos showing how anybody could paint.
    Have a look at this short video. (I did not have an afro when being filming)
    http://youtu.be/Jpy49RgkM6s
    And you can see I am for real here. http://www.youtube.com/speedpaintingdvds LenHend

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