I love me some Bob Ross and his Joy of Painting. Every Sunday as a teenager, I would watch his show while getting ready for church, and more than once it made me late. Sorry, Jesus - a white man with an afro was making me more zen than a three hour Pentecostal shout feast.
I think it all started with my dad, also a painter and a PBS fan. My earliest memories with Bob were with him. Seeing as the show started a year before I was born, Bod, like his friend Mr. Rodgers, was there for me since birth. I may not have picked up the paintbrush yet, but I was learning.
When I reached high school and the time came for oil painting my sophomore year, it was Bob Ross paints that we used, and one technique we learned was his fast "wet-on-wet" style (insert off-color remark here). I was finally putting all those years to use.
Though I became and remain more of an acrylic man, his lessons stuck with me - and I can still pop out a landscape in under an hour if I feel like it (I accept PayPal or cash).
My first test of my Bob Ross skills came my senior year of high school. A few days before the fall play, The Curious Savage, opened, I was asked to produce a sea scape for a prop. I never half ass anything, but I only had a short amount of time. So I picked up a brush and pallet knife, and by the end on my art class I produced the above painting. Not too bad for a rushed job.