Painter Bob Ross Honored With Google Doodle
Monday’s Google Doodle honors the 70th birthday of Bob Ross, the popular painter and television star who rose to prominence on the PBS show The Joy of Painting. In the Doodle, Ross is sitting at a stool painting the second “g” of “Google” on a canvas against the background of a serene nature landscape with a rushing stream, pine trees and snow-capped mountains. Ross is accompanied by a squirrel on his shoulder, as squirrels were often featured on his show.
Ross was born on October 29, 1942 in Daytona Beach, Fla. He began painting at 18 while in the Air Force and later studied under William Alexander, who hosted his own show The Magic of Oil Painting. It was from Alexander that Ross learned the wet-on-wet style of painting, in which layers of wet paint are applied on top of each other. This caters to a fast painting style because one cannot let the first layer of paint dry before applying the second layer. Ross popularized this wet-on-wet method when he started his show, The Joy of Painting, in 1983. Soon he had his own line of art supplies and how-to books that became a lucrative business, as well as his own teaching method called "The Bob Ross Method," which trained teachers in this wet-on-wet technique. Ross's son, Steven, is a Bob Ross instructor.
Ross drew audiences in not only with his captivating painting style, but also with “a voice so soothing that its effect was once compared to Demerol,” the New York Times wrote in his obituary.
The Joy of Painting ran until 1994 when Ross had to step away in order to focus his efforts on battling with cancer. He died on July 4, 1995 at the age of 52. Ross's legacy lives on to this day, and people can find old episodes of The Joy of Painting on YouTube, many of which have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of views. The video featured below has over four million views: