In our ongoing exploration of under-appreciated style icons, this month we turn to The Joy of Paintinghost Bob Ross—with thoughts from RTH designer René Holguin.
It was a little by accident that I discovered Bob Ross—I don’t know who came first, Bob Ross or Elsa Klensch. Elsa Klensch was on CNN, and she would cover fashion. It was on Saturday mornings at 7:30, so I would wake up just to watch that. I don’t know if Bob Ross was on after that or whatever, but it was like, “Okay. I’m awake now. I’m not going to go back to sleep.” And so I would start flipping channels, and I would land on PBS and just kind of be mesmerized. Like, “Oh! What is going on here?”
There was a very therapeutic quality, because he was soft-spoken. He was very methodical and thoughtful and organized. There was a gentleness to him. I liked the fact that everything was organized and tidy. But he also made me realize that some mistakes are okay—or how to solve a mistake. And that there’s perfection in imperfection, which later I learned as wabi sabi. But he kind of just said, “It’s okay. Be free. Have fun and give things a try.”