I don’t know if you got everything you wanted on Christmas, but we here at Open Culture have what you need. And that’s a very special Bob Ross Christmas Special. No special guests, no musical numbers. Just Bob, his palette filled with phthalo blue, Van dyke Brown, and other favorite paints, and a solid black canvas which Bob turns into a Christmas Eve snow scene. (In 2018, Ross’ official YouTube Channel posted all 31 seasons of The Joy of Painting online, a total of 403 episodes.)
While watching (and maybe following along at home), consider that Bob Ross accidentally invented ASMR with his shows, all those years ago. His pleasant, slightly gruff southern accent complements the sound of the swishing brush and scraping knife on canvas. Consider also the percentage of people who watch these not to paint, but to meditate or go to sleep. (There’s an app for that.)
Bob Ross *is* the sound of a Christmas Eve nocturne, a moment when the air is crisp and clean, a little bit of peace falls over the world, and there’s a chance to reflect. It’s time to start a new canvas. The possibilities are endless, and you can always change as you go. Heed Ross’ famous words: “We don’t make mistakes. We have happy accidents.”
Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.