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Bob Ross made me do it

How the softly spoken painter altered the course of my life

By Rachel DeemingPublished 12 months ago 5 min read
bob ross mountain cabin painting:86084 by Bob Ross

Watching Bob Ross painting has always been my go-to relaxation activity. No spa or relaxing bath for me! No, I grab myself a glass of something, an elderflower cordial, and maybe a snack to nibble on and plonk myself on the couch to watch the fuzzy haired maestro himself. I can feel the tension tangibly releasing itself from my shoulders and neck as I drift into his creative process, like an air pillow. I love it when he mixes a bit of "Prussian Blue" and "Van Dyke Brown" and seemingly dabs it onto a canvas in a random way but revealing way, creating phenomenal pictures.

When I'm sat, I completely absorb myself in the process. My favourite moment is when he starts; that first placing of paint on canvas. I think it might be one of the most positive experiences I have ever had, like turning over a new leaf or starting afresh - the first footstep on a rocky trail to discover a new vista or new sensation. Virgin paint although that sounds a little risqué in the context of Bob Ross.

I wouldn't tell the people at work this. They'd think I was weird. They already thought I was weird. I think I'm the only normal one there. Their concerns are always so trivial - what should I wear? Do you think he likes me? What TV do you like? Have you seen this TikTok video? Laugh, laugh, laugh. Inane and annoying. So shallow. Attention span of a sparrow.

I mean, I'm not high-minded either. I watch documentaries sometimes - true crime - and the odd rom com. I do love a rom com. Something cheesy and with a happy ever after. One that makes you feel warm inside, like your heart is having a hug.

But I find their chatter vacuous, empty and lacking in any depth. And they find me boring and tedious.

I try sometimes to talk about the stuff I like but no-one wants to listen. I bet they've never visited a museum or an art gallery. Probably don't know what they are. They never talk about the beauty of nature, the calm in the green. It is an alien environment for me, my work place, but one that needs to be tolerated for survival purposes.

Or at least it was.

When I leave work, I want to be soothed, transported and watching Bob Ross is just the ticket. His layered approach to painting, the application of colour upon colour, building his picture from white nothing to a clearly vibrant view is just, in my view, awesome. How does he create such vistas?

It's his voice too, not just his skill. His calm, whispering tone as he describes what he's doing, like it's just you and him, makes it so close. I love it. It's the closest thing that I've had ever had to intimacy and I don't mean sexual. It is something much more pure, like having a friend solely devoted to you, who understands you completely. He talks to you, sharing and asking your opinion, like you matter and you and his painting are the only things in that moment. I know that he doesn't respond but I don't expect that of him. I am just content with the dedication.

And now, he has literally transported me into one of his pictures. You can't see me but I am there, sitting outside the cabin, watching the ripples on the water and feeling the chill from the mountains as the wind travels down into the valley, brushing past the happy little trees. But I am there. I'm there now. I don't need him to draw me in to prove it to you.

I decided to change my life when I was watching Bob Ross. He had already carved the mountain with his knife and a combination of "Yellow Ochre", "Van Dyke Brown" and "Dark Sienna" and was taking his thicker brush and the bristles were shaping the trees from splodges to forests. He hadn't got to the lake with the reflection and the cute little cabin just yet.

I was nibbling on some crackers, I think, when I decided that I needed to slip into the picture.

It was him who made me do it. Leave my world behind. Enter my little piece of heaven. And that is what it is. Heaven.

I wasn't sure what to expect, living in one of Bob's paintings. Do you know that one of the work idiots suggested to me that Bob Ross was less than wholesome? He said that he had heard on one of those social media nonsense platforms that they all watch that all of his pictures were of places where he had buried his murder victims? Bob Ross was a murderer? I was appalled! That's a lot of dead people buried in beautiful places. Of course, it's nonsense and monstrous nonsense at that. The man is a peach, anyone can see that with not a bad bone in his body.

But I was incensed. How dare they besmirch the one thing that truly matters to me? I realised that I had to get out of there. They were tarnishing everything with their surface slickness, glaring at me with its artificiality, its false nature.

I mean, the most severe he ever gets is when he "beats the devil out" of that brush against the leg of his easel to get rid of the paint thinner, before he picks up the "big old round brush" ready to dip it again into the array of colours on his palette. Nothing quite like a knife cutting in to "Titanium White". And even that beating feels playful and light, like flag waving at a royalty visit.

Anyway, I suppose you are wondering what he made me do? He made me sell a painting and the result?

Life, that's what.

I bet you were thinking with all that talk about heaven and my depressing workplace and leaving that I'd topped myself, didn't you?

No, not me. I'm still very much here. In the here and now. In a Bob Ross painting.

Money is the great liberator, isn't it? A painting provided me with my freedom. All that time spent appreciating works of art meant I had educated myself. A fortuitous find at the flea market snapped up for a ridiculous price and sold for a ridiculous price. Not a Bob Ross painting but an artist more revered. I was holding on to it but Bob convinced me to sell it. He presented me with the desire for an alternative and I accepted.

Sold a painting to change a life. Mine.

I bought a little cabin on a whole load of land. I have a mountain in the background, a lake in the foreground and Nature's plumage flaring around me.

I am alone but I am no longer lonely. I left my life and Bob Ross made me do it.

A strange story from me, those of you who read me regularly will notice - a sort of pseudo-appreciation of a great artist who I do actually watch because I find it very relaxing. However, I have great work colleagues who seem to listen to me, at least, and may find me interesting!

I love art but I couldn't find a picture on which to base a story until I was watching Bob Ross and thought that I would write one based around him and his fabulous talent.

Who wouldn't want to live in a Bob Ross painting?


About the Creator

Rachel Deeming

Storyteller. Poet. Reviewer. Traveller.

I love to write. Check me out in the many places where I pop up:


My blog






Beware of imitators.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (2)

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  • Naomi Gold11 months ago

    I thought this was a true story until the very end. You had me immersed in your words like the protagonist was immersed in a Bob Ross painting. Bravo!

  • You know what? I've actually heard of that conspiracy theory about Bob Ross, that he has his victims buried at all the places that he has painted, lol! I truly enjoyed reading this story!

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