10 Bob Ross quotes that will brighten your day

Bob Ross
Bob Ross in his studio. Acey Harper/Getty Images
  • Bob Ross was born on October 29, 1942 – he would be turning 79 this year.
  • His PBS painting show, “The Joy of Painting,” ran from 1983 to 1994.
  • Though he passed away in 1995, his legacy and words of wisdom live on today.

Bob Ross starred in the popular PBS instructional show “The Joy of Painting” from 1983 to 1994.
Bob Ross painting.
Bob Ross. Acey Harper/Getty Images
The show ended the year before he passed away.

Throughout his career, Ross was known for his calm demeanor and soothing voice. Though his main passion was painting, Ross also offered words of wisdom on life, success, happiness, and sadness. 

Even now, on what would have been his 79th birthday, his advice on life offers confidence and reassurance that it’s OK to make mistakes because they’re just “happy little accidents.” 

Here are 12 Bob Ross quotes that will brighten your day. 

“You can do anything here – the only prerequisite is that it makes you happy.”
Bob Ross
Bob Ross on ‘The Joy of Painting.’ PBS Digital Studios
He also said, “You can do anything you want. This is your world.”
“Look around. Look at what we have. Beauty is everywhere – you only have to look to see it.”
Landscape
Forests and mountain landscape. Robert.Jones.Official/Shutterstock
Ross believed in the beauty of the world, which he often depicted through his paintings of valleys, forests, and mountains.
“I really believe that if you practice enough you could paint the ‘Mona Lisa’ with a 2-inch (5cm) brush.”
Bob Ross instructor
Bob Ross instructor teaching a class. Robin Marchant/Getty Images
Ross believed that with enough practice anyone could be an artist. His entire show was about proving that point, but his words could also be applied to success in all aspects of life.

He also said, “This is your world. You’re the creator. Find freedom on this canvas. Believe that you can do it, ‘cuz you can do it.”

“You have to allow the paint to break to make it beautiful.”
Bob Ross
Ross’ quote speaks to the duality of good times and bad times, success and failure, winning and losing.

As he also said, “Gotta have opposites, light and dark and dark and light, in painting. It’s like in life. Gotta have a little sadness once in awhile so you know when the good times come. I’m waiting on the good times now.”

“Gotta give him a friend. Like I always say, ‘Everyone needs a friend.'”
Bob Ross
Bob Ross painting in his studio. Acey Harper/Getty Images
Ross believed that no one should be alone. On his show, “The Joy of Painting,” Ross would invite some of his friends to paint with him.

On the subject, he also famously said, “There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.” 

“We don’t laugh because we feel good, we feel good because we laugh.”
Bob Ross
Bob Ross with his son. Bob Ross/Youtube
Ross, pictured with his son, believed in finding happiness in the small moments, especially when painting. He also said, “We want happy paintings. Happy paintings. If you want sad things, watch the news.”
“I guess I’m a little weird. I like to talk to trees and animals. That’s OK though; I have more fun than most people.”
Bob Ross
Bob Ross on ‘The Joy of Painting.’ Bob Ross/Youtube
Most of all, Ross suggested people embrace their oddities and express themselves both on the canvas and in real life. 
“If we’re going to have animals around we all have to be concerned about them and take care of them.”
Bob Ross
Bob Ross feeding a bird. Acey Harper/Getty Images
In this photo, he feeds a bird.

In honor of Ross, Michigan started the Happy Little Trees program that teaches inmates in correctional facilities horticultural skills and plants trees throughout the state. The goal is to repopulate state parks with thousands of trees. 

“They say everything looks better with odd numbers of things. But sometimes I put even numbers – just to upset the critics.”
Bob Ross
Bob Ross in his studio. Acey Harper/Getty Images
Ross’ quote speaks to doing things in your own way.

As he also said, “The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe.”

“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
Bob Ross
Bob Ross painting in his office. Acey Harper/Getty Images