Bob Ross is the most well known TV painter of all time, but Did you know he was also inspired by another painter on TV before him? Did you also know he was not always as calm as he was on the show? This and more will be exposed in this series of facts of a Great American and great person Bob Ross.
1. He kept wildlife as pets growing up in Florida.
As a kid he kept a alligator in the bathtub. Even grown up Ross kept squirrels and birds.
2.He was a Air force Sargent, and used to yell a lot.
He spent 20 years in the Air Force, and his final job in the USAF was as Master Sargent. Which meant he was the guy who yelled at the soldiers to make the bed or scrub the latrines.
3. He was inspired by a TV Painter before him, who also had a show on PBS.
German painter Bill Alexander had a TV show on PBS from 1974-1982 which did similar paintings to what Ross would in " The Joy of Painting". He used the Alla Prima technique also called wet on wet like Ross. Ross discovered this show while as a bartender in Alaska in 1975. Bill Alexander would later become his mentor and he would protege under him as well.
4.Ross Hated his perm, but kept it because it was economical
Painting was not a money making profession, so Ross did the perm to save money on haircuts. He hated it, but kept it because it became his image and decided that's how people would remember him by.
5. He was a huge star in Japan.
The show aired twice a day in Japan. It was dubbed. When he visited the country he was mobbed by fans
6. He worked for free on PBS.
Bob did the series from 1983-1994, but never made any money off his paintings or his show. All his money came from the Bob Ross Inc. His paint sets and other merchandise as well as teaching his classes.
7. He filmed each season of 13 episodes in just 2 days.
Thats right! Each season was completed in a matter of 2 days! There were 31 seasons in all which means each quarter was a new season.
8.Art supply stores kept his products at a distance.
Most stores kept them in a distance in a corner of the store
9. Bill Alexander was not thrilled with his success.
Bill thought Bob had betrayed him. He trained him and thought he was copying him. In reality Alla Prima was around since the 15th century.
10. He was missing part of his left index finger.
He lost it in a table saw incident when he was a young boy, but was hardly noticeable on
TV due to his pallet.
11. The majority of people who watched his show did NOT paint along with him.
Only 10% of viewers painted with him. The other 90% just liked to watch him.
12. He made three copies of each paintings before each episode.
He painted one as a off screen guide, and the third was snapped by photographers at each stroke of the brush for reference books.
13.Nintendo did plan a series of Bob Ross Video games.
Nintendo did plan to make Joy Of Painting video games, but ran into production problems. Who knows, We could have seen Bob Ross take on Bowser and the Koopas or Gannon in Hyrule
14. He never sold ANY of his paintings.
He did however donate them to PBS Stations for auction or as prizes, but Bob never pocketed any money from them.
15.He had also planned to do a Children's show about Wildlife.
In the early 90's He had planned a TV show called Bob's World about wildlife, sadly he died before it was ever a reality.
16. You can visit his workshop.
His workshop in New Smyrna Beach, Florida has a museum of his works as well as a gift shop and painting studio where classes are held.
17. He did a commercial for MTV.
18. He was rarely asked for interviews.
He never turned them down, but was just rarely asked.
The happy little painter sadly died on July 4th 1995, but he lives forever in pop culture, YouTube Twitch, and in our hearts.
So with that said, Happy painting my friends!