We love having fun with art, and feel that everyone has a creative side... they just may need a little help to get it out! Wet-on-wet oil painting is an especially great medium and technique for beginners -- and the Bob Ross method is perfectly suited for that!
About Bob Ross
Robert Norman Ross was born in Daytona, Florida, on October 29, 1942 to Jack and Ollie Ross. From his mother Bob learned a love and respect of wildlife -- certainly demonstrated during the "Joy of Painting" show's run with his showing of rescue "critters".
Bob’s father was a carpenter and Bob did, in fact, work with him for awhile. From time to time on the show (especially if adding a cabin to a painting), you'd hear Bob talk about how he wasn't very good at it. In fact, he had an unfortunate accident where he partially cut off one of his fingers. That's not very visible on TV, as it's on his palette hand, but this may have had a strong influence on his deciding that carpentry wasn't really for him, and in 1960 he joined the Air Force.
Learning to paint
Bob was stationed in Florida with the Air Force, but eventually transferred to Alaska... a part of his life that definitely influenced his painting style! 40% of his paintings from the show have at least one mountain.
Bob took his first painting lesson at a U.S.O. club in Anchorage, which apparently got him hooked on painting. But he wanted to be able to complete a painting, as he put it, "before the bubble burst" and his inspiration waned.
Traditional oil painting is done in layers, with a layer drying, and then new layers created, so that can take a long time to complete.
After retiring from the Air Force, Bob attended various art schools and painting classes until he discovered the “wet-on-wet” painting technique being taught by William Alexander. This method -- known as "alla prima" (in Italian, "first attempt"), and practiced by artists from as far back as the 16th century -- was what Bob was looking for, as Alexander was completing a painting on his show in 30 minutes!
Bob continued to experiment and refine his wet-on-wet technique ultimately creating his own unique version along with the custom made paints, brushes and knives to achieve his desired results.
Teaching others to paint
Bob was passionate about sharing his love for painting with the world and in 1982, along with his partners, launched "The Joy of Painting" on public television.
Filmed on a very minimalized set in Muncie, Indiana, Bob prided himself on going from start to finish of a painting in less than 30 minutes with no editing.
From 1982 through 1994, Bob recorded more than 400 episodes and the "The Joy of Painting" became and remains today, one of the most popular and well-known shows on public television.
Bob passed in 1995, but his love of painting, and joy to teach, lives on in the thousands of Certified Ross Instructors who teach his method worldwide.
“Didn’t you know you had that much power? You can move mountains. You can do anything.” - Bob Ross
Ed Mueller, Certified Ross Instructor
A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, Ed has travelled throughout the world -- which also provided the opportunity to teach classes throughout the country. He has been teaching since 2000.
"Bob's painting always fascinated me. Each step had something amazing in it. The little things, like how easy it seemed to make a sky... and that mountain looks so simple... and reflections in the water... all of it -- and Bob's encouraging teaching style -- made me feel like I could do that!"
"Being in the military, art gave me the opportunity to do something that was not regimented... and also provided a great opportunity to meet people in the areas I was stationed!"
"The best thing about teaching -- especially in the Bob Ross method -- is that everyone can do it! I love seeing people have their 'A-Ha' moment doing a class, when they realize that they really are artistic!"
"Our Instructor Ed was amazing! My husband and I have attended many painting parties and have had a few at our home as well. He was by far the best we've ever had. Everyone had a wonderful time and is asking when our next one will be. Thanks again ArtParty4U!!"
"We used ArtParty4U for my daughter’s 16th birthday party. She and her friends all had an amazing time doing the oil painting. Ed did an awesome job explaining and modeling each technique and helping us as needed. I would highly recommend using them for an event. We will be using them again soon for sure!"
"I had a painting party for my husband's 43rd birthday and it was so much fun! Ed is an incredible instructor and made the evening just perfect. Will book again! Thank you!!!!!"