Happy Accidents

Author's painting of the Aurora Borealis as per Bob Ross instructional video
My Painting

Do you recognize the term used in my title? For those who don’t, long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away lived a calm, soft spoken man named Bob Ross. Bob hosted a show on PBS where in 30 minutes or less, he painted a natural scene while narrating instructions for his viewers. He made it look so easy, but more so, he was so calm and so happy. While no one has said so outright, I think Bob Ross and Mr. Rogers must have been related.

I painted the picture above at our local library when, pre-Covid 19, free painting classes were offered. The library supplied all the materials, hired an instructor who played a Bob Ross video and gave positive encouragement to all attendees.

Can you see the little cabin in the corner? I asked my daughter if she knew what my painting was, and I was so happy when she answered correctly! Do you know what the painting depicts? Let me know in the comments below.

The demand for these free classes was high, so I waited about a year and a half before signing up again. Below is the painting we did in my second class; my version is on the right.

by Bob Ross
by Betty

I was happy with how my painting turned out. I really like how you can almost see the ice on the pond on the right. At one point when I was painting the tree, the instructor said, “You are getting it”, meaning the technique. Here I am 60 years old, and I felt as happy as a little kid whose mother put her painting on the refrigerator door. Since I am not longer a little kid, I showed it to my daughter instead.

The following Christmas, my daughter gave me “The Official Bob Ross Coloring Book.” I didn’t use it for several months. But on our recent trip to Meramec State Park where we had no phone service, no hot spot, no wifi, no digital TV, out came my coloring book and my markers. It was really relaxing to sit at our campsite, enjoy the scenery, and … color.

Picnic bench with coloring book on it.
Life in Retirement

In case you don’t know or can’t remember, the entire quote:

Anything we don’t like, we’ll turn it into a happy little tree or something, because as you know, we don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.

Bob Ross 1942-1995


  1. I watched Bob Ross for decades. I do paint, but I was never as good as Bob. You did very well in your painting. I see the cabin, trees, and mountains in your painting. I must confess I am not sure about the colors in the sky – perhaps a sunset.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Bob Ross. He was inspirational to me and many others. I tried my hand at painting a few years ago. My kids liked my paintings and took them all to their house. Sometimes I think about painting again but alas, too many hobbies and not enough time in a day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It sounds like your paintings were a success! I liked Bob, too. It’s good to have a lot of hobbies – it shows a zest for life. I like the library classes because they furnish everything, and I can try my hand at painting easily. Thanks for reading, and stay safe!


  3. Thanks for sharing about Bob Ross. He truly believed that anyone could paint. It’s therapeutic just listening to him! I have an app that tells bedtime stories to help you sleep. Bob Ross is on there—you can’t even see what he’s doing, but it lulls you to sleep just to follow along in your mind. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, his voice is very calming. The coloring book has a number of his quotes. Thanks for your comment, and I hope you have a good day and a restful night. 🙂


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