Bob Ross has become a sort of patron saint to many artists of this generation. With the advent of social media, his likeness can be seen every where from memes, t-shirts, and tapestries. I even received a Bob Ross themed cereal this Christmas called “The Joy of Cereal” something that I’ve come to treasure very very much. The man is an absolute icon of art in the 21st century.
This admiration of Bob Ross by the younger generation might be a bit resented by older folks in the art world who perhaps see Bob and his painting style as cheap and not fine art. Ross used a technique called alla prima, or wet-on-wet, a style of painting used by painters for hundreds of years in which the artist applies layers of wet paint on another layer of wet paint that allows for a finished product faster than traditional oil painting. This is a style of painting that Ross himself called “The Lazy Man’s way of painting” and not fine art, An easy why of painting.
Now be that as it may, I never cared for that whole high arts low arts thing, sure certain arts are more revered and what not but I honestly think anything you can create that looks good is impressive and should be seen as a work of art! Besides, people who get hung up on that sort of thing are missing out on the point of Bob Ross. The man has a sort of mystique around him that is totally captivating, his calming voice uttering positive and encouraging things, interesting hair and paintings of marvelous landscapes make for an almost mystical presence of a man. He makes you feel like he’s talking directly to you and that he wants nothing more in the world than for you to succeed, he believes in you and you believe in him. Our generation is a pretty sensitive one, I will admit, that’s why I think we’re so taken with him. Bob Ross is a pure ray of light in an often dark world. He may not be DiVinci or Michelangelo, he never tried to be, nor wanted to be. All he wanted to do was be himself and paint happy little worlds and make happy little painters!