One time in high school, for a school play/drama club performance, I used a hair pick and more hair spray than the entire East Coast leg of an 80’s MetalMania tour to puff my hair into an afro to pretend I was a painter. There was no need to explain what painter I was trying to be, and nobody needed to ask. Everyone knew there was only one white guy in the history of forever who could pull off an afro:
Bob mutha-truckin Ross
Bob Ross was a gift to the world, and we weren’t good enough for him! We never did anything to deserve such awesome among us, and yet there he was.
His show, The Joy of Painting, consisted mainly of him standing in front of a blank canvas all by himself and talking to seemingly no one while he dabbed at his paints. If you stopped to watch for more than 1.2 seconds, his spell was upon you. The next 25 minutes of your life belonged to him, and you liked it!
Bob Ross owned your ass in the most calming, serene way possible. In addition, he had some of the most hilarious word choices and catch phrases imaginable. Chances are if you’re reading this you already know some of his more common sayings. ‘Happy little trees’ and ‘We don’t make mistakes, we have happy accidents’ are the two that first come to mind and make special appearances in the PBX autotune remix below.
If you’re like me, however, you have countless other quotes that bounce around in your head in his soothing voice. My personal favorite has always been, and I’m doing this from memory so it may be off a bit, “To paint a tree you have to think like a tree. Go out in your yard and talk to a tree. Make friends with a tree. Your neighbors may look at you funny, but tell them you’re an artist. They’ll understand.”
In addition to painting, his commentary often reflected his outlook on life and was always optimistic and encouraging. As proof, I offer up some of my favorite quotes from the list compiled over on Huffington Post.
Click to see my favorites after the jump, or go to Huffington Post for the full list.
“There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.”
“The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe.”
“We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.”
“No pressure. Just relax and watch it happen.”
“Don’t forget to make all these little things individuals — all of them special in their own way.”
“It’s so important to do something every day that will make you happy.”
“Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.”
“We artists are a different breed of people. We’re a happy bunch.”
“We want happy paintings. Happy paintings. If you want sad things, watch the news.”
“I think each of us, sometime in our life, has wanted to paint a picture.”
“They say everything looks better with odd numbers of things. But sometimes I put even numbers — just to upset the critics.”
“Gotta give him a friend. Like I always say, ‘Everyone needs a friend.’”
“Water’s like me. It’s lazy. Boy, it always looks for the easiest way to do things.”
“In painting, you have unlimited power. You have the ability to move mountains. You can bend rivers. But when I get home, the only thing I have power over is the garbage.”
“Don’t forget to tell these special people in your life just how special they are to you.”
“Didn’t you know you had that much power? You can move mountains. You can do anything.”
“Just let go — and fall like a little waterfall.”
“Talk to the tree, make friends with it.”
“I taught my son to paint mountains like these, and guess what? Now he paints the best darn mountains in the industry.”
“You need the dark in order to show the light.”
“You can do anything you want to do. This is your world.”
“You have to allow the paint to break to make it beautiful.”
“However you think it should be, that’s exactly how it should be.”
“In nature, dead trees are just as normal as live trees.”
“Remember how free clouds are. They just lay around in the sky all day long.”
“We don’t really know where this goes — and I’m not sure we really care.”
“If we’re going to have animals around we all have to be concerned about them and take care of them.”
“You can do anything here — the only prerequisite is that it makes you happy.”
“Go out on a limb — that’s where the fruit is.”
“It’s life. It’s interesting. It’s fun.”