Who was Bob Ross? 

When we think of painting itself, many of us conjure up an image of Bob Ross. The iconic American artist who taught thousands of young men and women to paint through his television series was well known for his positive outlook in life, and unique wet-on-wet painting technique.

This painting technique allowed him to paint a complete portrait in just 30 minutes, making it ideal for television viewing. Bob Ross learned this technique from television himself, training through videos by German Painter, Bill Alexander. He dedicated one of his shows to Bill Alexander out of gratitude. The two had a more than amicable friendship but their relationship later turned sour due to ego.

Bill Alexander felt that Bob Ross had betrayed him, possibly due to Bob Ross's greater success in the field. Alexander claimed that he had invented the wet-on-wet approach, called the Alimida style of painting, and that Bob Ross now thought he could do better than Alexander. The truth, of course, is that the technique goes back in time to the 15th century, and was not invented by either one. Still, their relationship remained bitter for most of their lives.

"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."

Bob Ross's television show, The Joy of Painting, aired from 1983 until 1994, when Bob Ross was forced to retire due to health issues. While it was running, it was carried by over 275 stations, and watched by millions of different people. He was well known during this time for his positive outlook in life and laid-back style. When asked about it, he replied, 

"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." 

His positive attitude and the belief that you could do anything inspired many young artists to try their hand at painting. To this day his DVDs are still extremely popular, and his following is such that reruns of his show air regularly. Recently, Joy of Painting was featured on Netflix, and is still available on a very similarly themed show, “Bob Ross: Beauty is Everywhere.”

Bob Ross died a year after he retired from his show, from Lymphoma. He left behind two sons, one of them a certified instructor in Bob Ross's techniques. He was 52. Today, Bob Ross is still one of the most well known American painters in the world, and also one of the most well paid. Although he did not receive any payment for his show, and donated all of the paintings used during each television session, he made a great deal from selling paints and the books he wrote on his technique.

His legacy continues through a large following of people who loved him, and loved his painting style. He has a fan-based twitter following of over 67,000, and a fan studio on Facebook with over 1.5 million followers. You could say Bob made an artistic impression on folks.

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