70 years ago today, a man was born that would revolutionize how we viewed art. In his hay day many, including myself, probably viewed him as annoying and unimaginative. But with just a black room, a blank canvas and his signature afro, Bob Ross invited us into his world to explore the Joy of Painting.
I was never the biggest fan of Ross. I felt that he was the laughing stock of the art world the way that he would refer to everything as happy this and happy that. As a budding artist I found greater creative release in drawing band logos, horribly disfigured monsters and super heroes on my own time when I wasn't instructed by Beth Yoder, my elementary school art teacher. I wasn't until recently that I truly began to appreciate what this man has done for the art world.
Where most individuals wouldn't take the steps to visit an art museum, let alone a small gallery of an unknown artist, many people knew who Bob Ross was and his work. He brought art to those who would never go out and experience it for themselves. He made the individuals who would paint along with him each week feel like they were creating new worlds for themselves. He introduced us to the true power of art, how it can make a person feel to create something new. And he nailed it on the head when he expressed each show that it is a good day when you paint. Even if you are the only one who will ever see your own work, you have added something to the world by doing that.He talked about painting from the heart and art for the sake of art (a theory I hold very dear to my heart). As an artist and no longer a student I have grown to appreciate what this man has done for the art world. His mentality, his passion, his love of painting.