Bob Ross

  • American artist
  • Born October 29, 1942
  • Died July 4, 1995

Robert Norman Ross (October 29, 1942 – July 4, 1995) was an American painter, art instructor, and television host. He was the creator and host of The Joy of Painting, an instructional television program that aired from 1983 to 1994 on PBS in the United States, and also aired in Canada, Latin America, and Europe. Ross went from being a public television personality in the 1980s and 1990s to being an Internet celebrity in the 21st century, becoming popular with fans on YouTube and many other websites many years after his death.

Traditionally, art has been for the select few. We have been brainwashed to believe that Michelangelo had to pat you on the head at birth.

If you learned how to make a cloud, your time is not wasted.

There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.

Most painters want recognition, especially by their peers. I achieved that a long time ago with TV. I don't need any more.

I was the guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work. The job requires you to be a mean, tough person. And I was fed up with it. I promised myself that if I ever got away from it, it wasn't going to be that way any more.

One of the questions that I hear over and over and over is, 'What do we do with all these paintings we do on television?' Most of these paintings are donated to PBS stations across the country. They auction them off, and they make a happy buck with 'em.

People see you on television, and they think you make the same amount of money that Clint Eastwood does. But this is PBS. All these shows are done for free.

There are thousands of very, very talented artists who will never be known, even after they are dead.

I tell people, 'You can do this.' And they write back and say, 'You were right. I can do this. And now I believe I can do anything.'

Traditionally, art has been for the select few.

If I paint something, I don't want to have to explain what it is.

I stay hidden. I'm sort of hard to find.

We get letters every day from people wanting more mountains. As many as I paint, they still say, 'Give me more mountains.'

I don't intimidate anyone.

I believe, I believe every day is a good day when you paint.

Most painters want recognition, especially by their peers.

I don't intimidate anyone. Instead, I try to get people to believe in themselves.

Within one hour of touching the brush to canvas for the first time, my students have a total, complete painting.

I never turn down requests for interviews. I'm just rarely asked.

We show people that anybody can paint a picture that they're proud of. It may never hang in the Smithsonian, but it will certainly be something that they'll hang in their home and be proud of. And that's what it's all about.

I really believe that if you practice enough you could paint the 'Mona Lisa' with a two-inch brush.

If you study my paintings, there are no signs of human life.