Sir Bob of Ross, the painter

“We can have any size stone we want in our world”

-Bob Ross

One of the repeated themes in this episode was the idea of ‘our world’ and ‘his world’. Bob Ross is very aware that we are making this world up as we go and that we have the power to do what we want with it. We can add more stones in places he didn’t, he might put in another tree that we might not, and that is the beauty of it. He recognizes that our world, our work, is going to be different than his and that is what makes it so special. 

“Nothing worse than an angry tree”

-Bob Ross

It’s true. There isn’t anything worse. Have you ever seen a crazy tree? No? That’s because if you did, you probably wouldn’t be reading this.

“I like to get a little crazy here”

followed later by—

“Let’s get a little crazier”

and then—

“Let’s get crazy, what the heck.”

-Bob Ross

One of the many things I admire about Bob Ross is that whenever an idea pops into his head that he deems as ‘crazy’, or risky or not exactly expected, he never backs down. He doesn’t say ‘let’s get crazy and put a big old rock here, well, actually no, let’s not’. He just goes for it and tries it out. The results are often surprising and fantastic. 

“Maybe right in here lives just a great big old tree.”

-Bob Ross

This is the sort of small detail that nonetheless impacts the overall energy of Bob Ross. Nothing just is. He doesn’t say ‘there is a big tree right here’. It lives. The tree lives, the boulder lives, the river lives, everything is alive and thriving. {can you tell I am a fan?}


Bob Ross leans into his stories. He gives personality to the things he paints with little sayings and comments, but he doesn’t just say one quick phrase and move on. He continues the narratives that he begins and lets them inform his work. I would like that to be how I approach this class, to lean into the stories.

{i very much enjoyed the special appearance from peapod}

One reply on “Sir Bob of Ross, the painter”

[…] “we are making this world up as we go and that we have the power to do what we want with it.” This attitude is why I think of Bob as one of ds106’s guiding lights. This class is what we make of it. Our sites are what we make of them. Our education systems sort of train people to try to figure out what the boss wants, and then do that. But really, it should be about what we want to get out of the systems. It’s our world. […]

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