Courtney Eilhardt

Bob Ross

So if you don’t already know, a few seasons of Bob Ross’ painting show, The Joy of Painting have been available on Netflix recently. I’ve been binging on it lately, as his attitude of effortlessness in both painting and hosting fascinates me to no end. Since I didn’t know much about the guy, I decided to do some research. Apparently there’s more to him than his hair and paint brush..


He’s well known for his calming disposition and soothing voice, but what I didn’t know until recently was that before his show (of which he filmed a whopping 403 episodes - all for free) he was actually a Master Sergeant in the Air Force.


“I was the guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work. The job requires you to be a mean, tough person. And I was fed up with it. I promised myself that if I ever got away from it, it wasn't going to be that way anymore."


I never would have thought that someone so breezy in demeanor could ever have had past characteristics such as that - I just had figured he had always been that way. And I’m sure he didn’t become the patient calming guy he wanted to be the day after he got out of the Air Force. I’m sure there were many failed attempts - but it goes to show that with a conscious effort and practice, you can change old habits and form the characteristics you want to be known for.



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