00:49 - Source: PBS
'The Joy of Painting' returns for 200 hours

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A marathon of Bob Ross' "Joy of Painting" episodes are streaming on Twitch

Ross, who died in 1995, was renowned for his calm, upbeat demeanor

CNN —  

Relax. It should bring you unbelievable pleasure to know that Bob Ross is back.

All 403 episodes of Ross’ former PBS show, “The Joy of Painting,” featuring his soothing, folksy voice welcoming “happy trees” and “fluffy clouds” to his canvases, began streaming Thursday at 5 p.m. ET on Twitch, the online TV platform.

That’s almost 200 hours of “happy accidents,” as Ross described his serendipitous brushstroke mistakes.

Thursday would have been Ross’ 73rd birthday. The artist died in 1995 of lymphoma.

For 11 years, the frizzy-haired Ross hosted “The Joy of Painting,” which aired on PBS stations from 1983 to 1994 and has continued in reruns and online. Over the course of a half-hour, on a minimal set featuring an easel and canvas, Ross led viewers through the process of creating an artwork.

His style – always calm and joyful – attracted a steady audience transfixed as much by Ross’ comforting demeanor as by his simple landscapes with such titles as “Home in the Valley” and “Mystic Mountain.”

“Anyone can paint,” he would tell viewers. “All you need is a dream in your heart and a little practice.”

“Bob always says, ‘Let’s learn this together,’ ” recalled Annette Kowalski, Ross’s longtime business partner and painting collaborator, in an interview with fivethirtyeight.com. “He didn’t put people down, and he made people think they could do it, and together they would learn to do it.”

Ross’ sedative style made him the subject of parody, while he was alive and up to the present day.

In recent years, Ross has also become the focus of memes, many running counter to the friendly landscapes he so often painted in real life.

There’s also an Instagram account of Ross’ quotes.

Twitch is using the marathon as a way of promoting its Creative channel, which encourages a “determined community of artists, crafters and builders who have been using Twitch to broadcast their creative processes,” in the words of a press release.

We know they’ll enjoy it, even if they stumble on it by mistake. After all, as Ross noted, there are no mistakes – only happy accidents.