Today’s Illustration: Why Can’t You Find Them?


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Who:  Robert “Bob” Norman Ross

Born — Daytona Beach, Florida, October 29, 1942
Education: Dropped out of school in the ninth grade — joined the Air Force
Military Service — 20 years in the U.S. Air Force
Experience — took his first painting lesson at an Anchorage, Alaska United Service Organizations club
Married — Wife Vivian Ridge (1965-1977) & Jane Ross (1977-1992  / died), Lynda Brown (married in 1995)
Children: One son, Robert Stephen “Steve” Ross
Died — in Orlando, Florida, July 4,1995 — age 52
Popularity — Twitter page  — more than 13,000

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What:  The most famed television painters-artist of history.

“The Joy of Painting” — a 27 minuted television show from 1983-1994

“In each 27-minute episode, Ross would paint one landscape from start to finish, shepherding viewers through his process with a soothing disposition, entertaining commentary, and an occasional guest appearance by his pet squirrel, Peapod.

Ross didn’t get paid for his shows. But Bob Ross, Inc. — which he partially owned — used the platform to sell paints, art supplies, workshops, instructional videos, and merchandise. By 1991, it was a $15m/year ($29m today) enterprise.”

♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦ ♦♦♦♦♦

“During each half-hour segment, Ross would instruct viewers in the quick, wet on wet oil painting technique, painting a scene without sketching it first, but creating the image directly from his imagination, in real time. He explained his limited paint palette, deconstructing the process into simple steps.” — Wikipedia

“Ross was well known for phrases he tended to repeat while painting, such as “let’s add some happy little trees.”

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Highlighted Quotes:  From The Article — “Why it’s nearly impossible to buy an original Bob Ross painting?”
(Link To PDF Article on Bob Ross)

“But there’s one thing you won’t often see for sale: his artwork.

During his lifetime, Ross produced tens of thousands of paintings. Yet, only a handful of his works have popped up for sale in recent years. When they do appear, they often fetch $10k+ and attract dozens of bids. . . . . For years, collectors and fans have clamored to own their own piece of Bob Ross lore. Multiple art dealers told The Hustle that demand for his work is extraordinarily robust.

But Ross paintings are a bit like diamonds: vast in volume, scarce on the open market.

Major auction houses — Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Phillips — have no Bob Ross sales history. Craigslist draws a goose egg. A scan of eBay only turns up 3 sales in the last 6 months, 2 of which are of dubious origin.

Where the heck are those 30k paintings?

When Ross died in 1995, Bob Ross, Inc. (and thus, the paintings) became the sole property of Annette Kowalski and her husband . . . .

Today, 1,165 Bob Ross originals — a trove worth millions of dollars — sit in cardboard boxes inside the company’s nondescript office building in Herndon, Virginia.

Joan Kowalski, Annette’s daughter, and the current president of Bob Ross, Inc., tells The Hustle that the company had never really given the paintings much thought.

“The paintings have always just sort of been here,” she says, with a chuckle. “We were sort of behind the times… it never occurred to us that anyone would want them.”

The company . . .  gets constant inquiries from folks about buying the paintings.

But they’re not for sale.

Our only mission,” Kowalski says, “is to preserve the mythological wonderment that was Bob Ross.”

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Key Biblical Concepts:

  • talents
  • gifts and abilities
  • serving
  • witnessing
  • mission / missions
  • the Gospel
  • hidden away

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Sermonic Usage:

  • “Likewise, for some believers, it never occurred that anyone would want to hear the Gospel message . . . .”
  • “Some believers have just stowed away their talents, and those talents sit in “cardboard boxes” — unused.”
  • “The Gospel is not for sale, but the mission of the church is not to preserve some wonderment about who we are . . . . ‘I wonder what they do every Sunday morning in that church?’ . . . . 
  • “Sharing the Gospel should not be “a bit like diamonds . . . a great number of believers who know its message, but scare on the open market.  ‘If our Gospel be hidden,’ it must not be because of us.”
  • “There are talents, abilities, gifts which are never used because ‘it never occurred to some that anyone would want to see them used.'”
  • “The Gospel will never be ‘clamored for’ and ‘the demand will never be extraordinarily robust.’  Nevertheless, it must not be stowed away by those who possess the message.  It must not be ‘nearly impossible to hear the original Jesus story of salvation.”

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Ohter Information & Links:

Some PDF Pages From “Happy Clouds, Happy Trees”

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