A wise man once said: “There are no mistakes–only happy accidents.” And that wise man was Bob Ross, the artistic frizzy-haired host of the much-loved, but often parody-ed, PBS show The Joy of Painting.
Last month, fans of Ross’ melodic voice and serene landscapes filled with fluffy clouds and “happy trees” were absolutely delighted by the announcement of a week-long Joy of Painting marathon hosted by the Amazon-owned online television streaming platform, Twitch.
The marathon includes all 403 episodes of the cult-classic and will last approximately 8.5 days. That’s a lot of mountains! The company’s decision is certainly no mistake; the marathon is being used as a fun, nostalgic way to promote its Creative channel which, in the words of a press release, encourage a “determined community of artists, crafters and builders who have been using Twitch to broadcast their creative processes.”
The marathon began last week on Ross’ birthday, October 29, and drew in an incredible 800,000 viewers within the first 24 hours. During its press time, it was revealed that 60,000 individuals were watching the channel simultaneously.
The Joy of Painting aired on PBS in Canada, the U.S., and Europe between 1983 and 1994. The concept was fun, yet simple: each episode lasted 30 minutes and involved host Bob Ross in front of his easel, giving simple lessons about landscape techniques in oil paintings. Ross would finish a painting by the conclusion of each episode.
Though Ross has sadly been dead now for 20 years, he is still remembered by even today’s youth due to recent appearances in internet memes and references in popular culture. Though he is often the subject of jokes and mimicry, others have also been pointing out the merits of the show and how it can be used as an excellent tool to get people excited about art. Ross’ friendly attitude is engaging and his easy technique makes the series a fun guide for beginners and art enthusiasts alike.
While many are simply enjoying the Twitch marathon, others are taking to Twitter to report that they have been painting and doodling along with Ross, mostly through Microsoft’s Paint program. What a world we live in, eh?
The Joy of Painting marathon can be viewed on Twitch until November 7.