“It’s so important to do something every day that will make you happy.” - Bob Ross

Know what's the best way to live out this famous quote by the beloved American painter? Treat yourself to at trip to Purcellville, VA's Franklin Park Performing & Visual Arts Center to explore its newest addition, "Happy Accidents: An Exhibit of Bob Ross Paintings"! On display now through October 15th, this exhibit — presented in partnership with Bob Ross Inc. — offers a rare opportunity to view original works created by the artist during his long-running series on public television and represents the first time his collection will be on public display on the East Coast. To learn a little more about the man himself and how his work landed in Loudoun, keep reading this guest blog graciously provided by Bob Ross Inc.

Bob Ross is known for painting majestic mountains using a thin roll of Titanium White paint and the edge of a #10 painting knife that floats down the canvas “like a whisper,” but fans of his show, The Joy of Painting, can tell you there is another way to paint mountains using Bob’s technique. Bob uses a brush rather than a knife to create hazy, distant mountains in bluish or purple hues. Sound familiar? Viewers who have grown up in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains know this landscape all too well. It’s no surprise that Bob would be inspired by the Appalachians. His company, Bob Ross Inc. has also made Northern Virginia its home since Bob, his wife Jane, and business partners, Annette and Walter Kowalski, opened Bob Ross Inc. in 1983.

Bob Ross Studio

®Bob Ross name and images are registered trademarks of Bob Ross Inc. © Bob Ross Inc. Used with permission.

Bob spent years traveling between his home in Florida, the public television station in Muncie, IN where The Joy of Painting was filmed, and Northern Virginia, where the paintings he created for television are kept to this day and where the Bob Ross line of paints and brushes ships out all over the United States. Bob saw the company grow from an operation out of a basement to an office building with warehouse and classroom space.

He even lived in Virginia for a time!

Bob Ross with a baby raccoon

®Bob Ross name and images are registered trademarks of Bob Ross Inc. © Bob Ross Inc. Used with permission.

So Bob Ross had a connection to Virginia, but how did that lead to 24 of his paintings ending up at the Franklin Park Performing & Visual Arts Center in Purcellville of all places? It’s a bit of a happy accident. While it is true that Bob visited Purcellville during his many trips to Northern Virginia—and enjoyed using free time to poke around Loudoun County’s antique shops—the true reason for this location comes down to a chance conversation between Bob Ross Inc. President, Joan Kowalski, and Franklin Park Arts Center Managing Director, Elizabeth Bracey. With its setting of rolling hills, copses of happy trees, and the soft brushstroke-painted Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance, the Franklin Park Arts Center is just the sort of place Bob might have enjoyed setting up an easel to paint a while, with a pocket squirrel or two for company, of course.

Admission to
Happy Accidents: An Exhibit of Original Bob Ross Paintings
is limited, so be sure to

reserve your free ticket here!

Bob Ross eating pizza

®Bob Ross name and images are registered trademarks of Bob Ross Inc. © Bob Ross Inc. Used with permission.

About the author: Sarah Strohl is an executive assistant at Bob Ross Inc. Started by Bob Ross, his wife, Jane, and his business partners, Annette and Walter Kowalski, Bob Ross Inc. remains devoted to Bob Ross’s dream of bringing the joy of painting to artists all over the world.