The Joy of Painting — or rather, the joy of listening to Bob Ross’s hypnotizing voice which was once described as “the aural equivalent of Demerol” — can now be experienced again online. The late PBS star’s official YouTube channel has, for the last seven months, made select clips of Ross teaching his techniques for “happy little trees” and “pretty little mountain”-filled landscapes available. But now, 13 full episodes from his first season are viewable in their entirety, including the premiere, “A Walk in the Woods,” the uncharacteristic “Ebony Sunset,” and the subtly different “Winter Mist,” “Winter Moon,” and “Winter Glow” (perhaps the season was a favorite subject because he took his first painting class in Alaska while in the Air Force).
Ross, who died in 1995 at the age of 52, started his show in 1983. He believed there was an artist in everyone, and it was his mission to show viewers how to bring out their inner painter in just 30 minutes. “We have avoided painting for so long because, I think, all of our lives we’ve been told that you have to go to school half your life, maybe even have to be blessed by Michelangelo at birth, to ever be able to paint a picture,” he says in the premiere. “And here, we want to show you that that’s not true, that you can paint a picture right along with us.“
A 1991 New York Times profile of Ross estimated his empire of how-to and coffee table books, videos, and art supplies at $15 million. He claimed he had produced nearly 30,000 paintings.
Season 1 of The Joy of Painting is available to view here.