Bob Ross, my spirit animal.
Treating art as an unlearnable superpower is like claiming it is impossible for you to learn to swim.
Treating art as an unlearnable superpower reduces decades of hard work and practice to “oh you were born with it, you’re so lucky.”
Stop treating art as an unlearnable superpower.
^this one hundred times
Artist Bob Ross, dispensing some of his words of wisdom.
Ever watch The Joy of Painting? It’s ridiculously calming - no joke. Most people know him for his “happy little trees” but the man is brilliant. One of my distress techniques is to watch old Bob Ross episodes on YouTube. He gives advice from behind his easel in such a casual, unassuming manner as he effortlessly paints beautiful landscapes.
When discussing his tranquillity, he said, “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.”
Ross was in the Air Force for 20 years, a job he disliked because it “required him to be mean.” When he left the Air Force, he “vowed to never scream again” - hence, his teaching style.
Bob Ross would occasionally get a titch political. Stationed in Alaska, he fell in love with the mountains, even if he disliked the military mission. On his show, Ross referenced his time in the Air Force a few times, once remarking, “Oh, if you have never been to Alaska, go there while it is still wild. My favourite uncle asked me if I wanted to go there, Uncle Sam. He said if you don’t go, you’re going to jail. That is how Uncle Sam asks you.”
He spent much of his time taping his show and rehabilitating injured animals with his friends and family. Sometimes, I want to be Bob Ross when I grow up.
More Bob Ross quotes:
“People look at me like I’m a little strange, when I go around talking to squirrels and rabbits and stuff. That’s ok. That’s just ok.”
“That’s a crooked tree. We’ll send him to Washington.”
“We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.”
“Any way you want it to be, that’s just right.”
I just finished listening to an episode as I wrote this. Now, back to homework. It’s the week before finals and I’m panicked. But thanks to Bob Ross, that oncoming train feeling is a bit more blunted.