For anybody whose weekend mornings were comforted by the silky and soothing voice of painter Bob Ross as he walked his audience through the process of painting masterful landscapes — rejoice! Also, cancel all your plans through next week.
Twitch, a San Francisco–based social site for gamers, is honoring Ross’s birthday by streaming back-to-back episodes of The Joy of Painting, which aired from January 1983 until May 1994 on public TV stations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
The marathon began on Thursday, Oct. 29 — what would have been Ross's 73rd birthday — and will run through Nov. 6. There's a total of 403 half-hour episodes of America’s favorite artist in bell-bottoms teaching viewers how to paint.
Naturally, people on Twitter tuned in and freaked out.
I mean, just look at how he transforms this seemingly useless blob into a BARN.
According to a Twitch blog post, the eight-day stream is part of a larger effort to promote the company’s creative branch, aimed at showcasing users’ artistic processes in drawing, animation, watercolor, and robotics.
"Bob always knew he would reach everyone sooner or later," a representative of Bob Ross, Inc., told BuzzFeed News via email. "That was his dream. Not necessarily an increased interested in 'him' the guy, but for kids (and adults) to build on their own inner resources, make them want to create from scratch, from nothing."
"Bob is doing that little side grin half-wink right now," the representative added.
Ross, who grew up in Orlando, Florida first picked up a paintbrush when he was 18 when he was stationed in Alaska while serving in the Air Force.
Over the years, The Joy of Painting garnered what his website calls a “cult-like following” due as much to his painting prowess as to his iconic, soothing voice. No episode of The Joy of Painting is complete without a Ross-patented instructional quote, like, “Try to imagine that you are a tree. How do you want to look out here?”
In 1994, Ross was diagnosed with lymphoma and canceled the show to focus on his health. He died a year later, on July 4.
At the time of publication, more than 57,000 people tuned in to Twitch’s online marathon. Watch The Joy of Painting here.