The enduring magic of Bob Ross

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On July 4, 2020, Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents opened in Penticton, in a gallery on the shore of Okanagan Lake, with mountain views that would have delighted Ross

David Secor/Penticton Art Gallery

Ross was right about so much. “There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.” Or, another famous quote: “we don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” But about the fate of his work, he has been posthumously proven wrong., his PBS show – where he taught what looks like a simple method of creating landscape oil paintings

As the weirdest summer draws to a close and the kids prepare for back to school – whatever that looks like – I decided to embark on one more adventure; the weirdest cultural road trip. It would be just a couple of days, but long enough to visit the beach, do some summertime things and spend some time with Bob Ross.

All of this is in spite of the absence of international tourists, and the fact that attendance is kept limited for physical distancing. Every time I went by the gallery during my short visit, people were queuing outside.As soon as we walked into the building, we encountered a woman bursting with emotion, having just seen the show.

At the centre of the exhibition is an area set up to look like a 1980s TV room with Bob Ross being broadcast from the very contemporary flat-screen.Then, the paintings. They represent all of the genres, calendar seasons and TV seasons, with the exception of season three. art gallery – is another matter. Crawford acknowledges these might not be “great” paintings, but he pooh-poohs those who would pooh-pooh his show.


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