Alaska January 30, 2018
The Original Happy Little Trees Are Found Only In Alaska
The legacy of painting teacher Bob Ross is vast indeed. On his PBS show “The Joy of Painting,” he kept it cool and talked the viewer through the process of painting a scenic landscape using layers of oil paints. His soothing tones and peaceful demeanor, along with his trademark afro, made him a popular figure. His paintings were consistently skillful, his style easy-to-follow and the scenes gorgeous. Few know he started his painting career in Alaska! So, when he was talking about adding in some “happy little trees”, he was referring to the boreal forests of the interior.
Robert Ross was born and raised in Florida. When he turned 18, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was sent to be a medical records technician in Alaska. He served on Eielson Air Force Base in the interior.
While stationed at Eielson, he was forced to adopt a very severe demeanor. He had to train soldiers and he had to bark orders at people all day long. He vowed, when he got out, he would never raise his voice again, and he never did.
Bob Ross first took a painting class at the Anchorage U.S.O. club. He wasn't attracted to abstraction, he preferred realistic oil painting. He found phenomenal landscapes to paint outside his window in Alaska.
Did the beautiful landscapes urge Mr. Ross to paint them or would he have been a painter anywhere? We will never know, but we know that the spruce trees of his surroundings inspired him to paint them and the hills they covered.
Bob didn't charge for his performances on the PBS show "The Joy of Painting", but he did develop a line of paints, brushes, palettes and canvases that his devotees could purchase to follow along at home.
His show was wildly successful in the 1980's and 1990's. Most of the audience didn't even paint or intend to paint. They just liked watching Bob Ross.
His trademark afro was reportedly a cost saving technique. To eliminate the need for costly and frequent haircuts, he gave himself a perm. He also had a pet squirrel named Peapod that he would have sit by him while he worked.
Bob Ross gained internet fame and the re-runs of his show garnered a whole new generation of fans. Now his name and image are internationally recognized.
Many painters find the beauty of Alaskan vistas inspire them to paint, just like Bob Ross. Many more find "The Joy of Painting" a reason to paint and the Alaskan wilderness inspires many to great works of art.
Check it out!
This Strange Phenomenon In Alaska Drove The Internet Crazy. If painting makes you hungry, try These 8 Pizza Places In Alaska Are So Good That Your Mouth May Explode.
Have you painted a happy little tree? Tell us about it the comments below.