For all who looked at the Google doodle and wondered who is Bob Ross, well you would never have guessed. If Bob Ross were alive today, maybe he would be painting Google’s second “g?” We can’t know that of course because Ross, a painter who hosted a popular PBS show on how to paint, died in 1995, long before Google became a household name. But on what would have been his 70th birthday, Google celebrated him with his very own Google doodle, showing him painting the “g” while a squirrel rests on his shoulder. Incidentally, Google doodles started three years after Bob Ross died.
Perhaps many inside the halls of Google never saw Bob Ross at work on his PBS show where he demonstrated the steps to painting “happy little clouds.” On his palette, Prussian Blue, van Dyke Brown and Burnt Umber mixed together would form the outline of a mountain that would eventually become snow-capped with a little help from some Magic White. Ross encouraged viewers to study nature, “study what happens in a tree.” That’s the best way to paint nature, he said.
In his PBS show, “The Joy of Painting,” Ross’ voice had a soothing tone, and it is rumored that many people watched the show to relax and fall asleep. In an interview, he said that he was determined to use this soothing voice because he had been in the military where his job was to yell at people. It was his military stint in Alaska that inspired him to paint his signature styled snow-capped mountains and fluffy white clouds. Of course in the digital age, Bob Ross lives on in several YouTube videos including an iconic remix with autotune. As it turns out, there’s an entire Bob Ross empire with a line of art supplies. Now everyone can learn how to make a “happy little tree,” using a fan brush, and making little taps on the canvas.