Bob Ross

Bob Ross Signed Original Northern Lights 24” x 18” Oil on Canvas Painting


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Artist: Bob Ross
Title: Untitled, similar to Northern Lights
Medium: Original Oil on Canvas Painting
Size: 24" x 18"
Year: Circa 1980
Inscription: Signed "Ross"
Documentation: Includes a certificate of authenticity

In 1980, Bob Ross began experimenting with his now iconic wet-on-wet canvas painting technique. Previous to this time, he painted directly on velvet. The wet-on-wet method allowed him to complete detailed landscapes quickly and effortlessly.

Bob Ross's years spent living in Alaska influenced the scenes he chose to paint, as seen in this oil on canvas painting. The whites and blues of the artwork perfectly capture an ethereal winter scene. Ross typically painted mountains, lakes, snow, and log cabins. Notably, his natural sceneries rarely contained human subjects or signs of human habitation.

This original oil on canvas painting is signed "Ross" and includes a certificate of authenticity. Created circa 1980, this painting pre-dates the show and as such no rendition of this exact imagery was created on air. Thematically, it's most similar to "Northern Lights" from season 8 which aired in 1986.

About Bob Ross

Having spent his entire artistic career in front of the TV camera shooting "The Joy of Painting", Bob Ross was one of the greatest advocates for painting in the late 20th century. Known as a painter of uniquely soothing voice, who always painted "happy" images, he was watched by millions and eventually reached the status of a living icon.

He started his career in the US Air Force, where he spent 20 years, mostly in Alaska. In 1981, he abandoned the army to pursue painting. In the early years, he was struggling. This is when his signature perm was born, as a way of cutting haircut costs, a style he wore and hated throughout his life.

Ross remained dedicated to landscape throughout his entire body of work, which counts around 30.000 paintings. His works are populated with trees, clouds, lakes and streams, and only an occasional cabin. Known as a sincere environmentalist, he often painted various small animals, bringing them often to the studio. Interestingly, very few of his works ever depicted a human figure. The technique he used is called "wet on wet" or "Alla Prima", dating back to the Renaissance. Still, it was difficult to define Bob Ross’ style in terms of contemporary art. It was closest to Pop Art, due to his celebrity status and the concept in which it was created. Except for the early gold pans, he distributed while stationed in Alaska, he never really sold his works.

Even today, more than twenty years after his death, he remains an Internet sensation. In 2015, over 400 episodes of his famous TV show "The Joy of Painting" were added to the official Bob Ross Youtube Channel. In 2016, his other painting television series "Beauty is Everywhere" began streaming on Netflix. Furthermore, numerous series have paid homage to Bob Ross in various ways, while Google keeps posting Google Doodle and birthday tributes to the painter every year.

A calm, happy person, Bob Ross kept a democratic, open attitude, claiming that anyone can paint regardless of talent, only if they are ready to practice enough. We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents," he used to say. And the people loved him for it.

Born as Robert Norman Ross in Daytona Beach, Florida on October 29, 1942, the meticulous painter died of lymphoma on July 4, 1995, at the age of 52.

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