Spiritual Practices: Watching a Little Bob Ross

Author: Adrian Williams
May 26, 2020

Bob Ross’ popularity has exploded in recent years among young people as his “happy little trees” have sparked memes, halloween costumes, and painting parties in his honor. It’s easy to understand why. His soothing voice, quiet paint strokes, and simple nature scenes create a calming effect. 

I also think Bob Ross can teach us a lot about spiritual practice. Take a while and explore the youtube channel. 

Bob Ross YouTube Channel

When you watch him paint, notice how he’ll start with a giant, dark splotch in the middle of his canvas. He starts spreading on some colors that look like a kindergartener’s  finger painting. Then right before your eyes, those splotches change into a beautiful landscape. After a few minutes, you are sure if you had a canvas, you could paint that landscape too. 

In his world there are no mistakes, just “happy accidents.” Grace and forgiveness are a given. 
His love of painting is effusive. With solely enthusiasm, he makes us believe that the world is happy, friendly, natural, and changeable. He encourages us to pursue a path of joy and make some happy accidents rather than not to try at all. 

As you watch, I encourage you to notice your breathing, thoughts, and feelings. What would it mean to think of our landscape as something we can physically change? How do you think God might be transforming the ugly splotches in your life into something beautiful?


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