4 Happy Little Homes—A Tribute to the Late Bob Ross

Last modified date

Today would have been the 70th birthday of Bob Ross, the beloved PBS instructor who taught a thousands to paint and entertained a generation of TV viewers. Through his show, The Joy of Painting, the soft-spoken man with the iconic afro brought painting into the homes of millions. We thought it only fitting to honor Bob Ross with a collection of his paintings depicting houses.

To celebrate his birthday, Google dedicated its Google Doodle to the soft-spoken man with the iconic afro. Various articles about the mellow artist sprang up across the web today, many linking to PBS Digital Studios recent compilation of Ross’s famous lines set to music in their video, Bob Ross Remixed.

Bob Ross’s one-of-a-kind style was as admired as it was mocked. The “serious” art world scoffed at the friendly painter’s simple “wet on wet” painting technique, and various parodies of his show were created over the years. However, despite the laughs, Ross remained a man beloved by many and he remains pop-culture icon long after his death.

The Seattle sketch comedy show, Almost Live, famously parodied Ross with various comedic sketches over the years, some ending with full-blown Vietnam flashbacks. Following their release, many were surprised to learn the extremely mellow artist who painted “happy little clouds” was actually a military man who served 20 years in the Air Force. It turns out there was a lot about Ross that people didn’t know. Even now, looking over some of his most famous quotes it’s surprising to see just how funny he was. It’s not wonder they are often repeated by a generation of fans who weren’t even born when his show first aired.

It’s been 16 years since the painter’s death, but it’s easy to imagine him high above on a happy little cloud, painting a happy little house beside a happy little river without a care in the world. RIP Bob Ross. You are missed.

Ryan Nickum