Twitch is a network most famous for live streaming video games, and it is devoted to showing players going through games, broadcasts of esports competitions, as well as other things related to gaming. In an especially odd move, the gaming streaming network began airing a marathon of all 403 episodes of Bob Ross The Joy of Painting, and it is causing quite a stir as thousands are watching what this artist could do with just paint.
Mashable reported that the Twitch community has embraced Bob Ross and his The Joy of Painting show. There is even a Bob Ross emoji with his signature afro, and it will run until November 6th on the Bob Ross Twitch account. Kotaku, also a news outlet devoted to video games, has reported in a recent tweet that 37,000 people are watching Bob Ross paint right now.
For those who are not familiar with Bob Ross, he is a painter who was first sergeant of the US Air Force Clinic at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. It was this location that inspired Ross to use the snow and mountains that became constant themes in his paintings. It was also during this time when he would learn how to paint, and do it very quickly. During his military service, he was expected to be quite irritable when giving orders, and there are reports that when he left the service, he would never scream again.
If this claim is true, Ross apparently lived up to it on The Joy of Painting. The show was a very simple set-up with Ross at his easel, showing audiences how to paint, and his voice was always in a calm tone. He would use his wet-on-wet technique of painting, and would often end his show with a painted masterpiece created within the short running time. The Joy of Painting lasted from 1983 until 1994 and was broadcast on PBS.
It is understandable why Twitch viewers have become enamored with Bob Ross' work. There is something about him doing what he loves and sharing it with people in a very non-confronting manner that just calms people down. He is not only remembered for his signature look but also the way he advised viewers to paint "happy trees," which was practically his catchphrase. He was also famous for what he called "happy accidents," for he never seemed upset at accidentally using his paintbrush, but always found a way to make even mistakes a part of the painting.
Sadly, Ross died of lymphoma at an early age of 52 on July 4, 1995. It is not surprising that his legacy lives on, as CNN recently quoted his positive spirit and saying: "Anyone can paint. All you need is a dream in your heart and a little practice."
The reason why Twitch is running Bob Ross has to do with promoting its Creative channel, which, according to a press release, is a "determined community of artists, crafters, and builders who have been using Twitch to broadcast their creative processes".