October 4, 2023

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Bob Ross’s first work from The Joy of Painting is up for sale

Bob Ross’s first work from The Joy of Painting is up for sale

Modern artifact

“A Walk in the Woods,” which Bob Ross painted live in 1983, is on the market for nearly $10 million.


It is difficult to determine the value of a painter and everywhere Cultural icon Bob RossBut $9.85 million is a good start.

The first live painting of The first episode of the beloved Ross series “The Joy of Painting” is looking for a new owner after being kept safe for decades by one of the gallery’s first volunteers.

Painted live in January of 1983, “A Walk in the Woods” embodies everything audiences loved about Ross and his positive artistic mission. It depicts a tranquil forest scene in shades of gold and blue, and is painted with “Ross’ Favorite.”Wet on wet“, with deceptively complex-looking brushstrokes, and of course an abundance of happy little trees. In the lower left corner, Ross’s signature stands out in red.

The work was acquired by Minneapolis-based art gallery Modern Artifact earlier this year. Before that, it was owned by a volunteer at the Falls Church, Virginia PBS station where the first season of “The Joy of Painting” aired. The volunteer purchased it in November of 1983 at a fundraising auction at the station, a few months after it was painted. It has been verified by Bob Ross Company.

Modern artifact

A close-up of the work shows Ross’s iconic signature.

Modern Artifact owner Ryan Nelson said Ross’ work has seen increased demand over the years.

“The driving force behind the growing demand for Bob Ross paintings appears to be the collectors themselves,” Nelson said in a statement. “Nostalgia, social media, and the growing interest by the general public in the character behind the art have all contributed to its current popularity.”

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The gallery is offering the painting at $9.85 million, but Nelson says he’s in no rush to sell.

“It’s a unique painting that can’t really be replicated,” he said. “Ideally, we would like to share it with a museum or traveling exhibition to allow as many people as possible to see such an exciting work of art.”

“The Joy of Painting,” which aired on PBS from 1983 to 1994, became a cult classic along with fellow PBS hit “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.” Even now, 40 years after it first aired, people are still watching old episodes Paint along.

Ross himself also became an icon for his kind, positive teachings and his belief that anyone can make beautiful art.

“I believe there is an artist hidden deep inside all of us,” Ross said He says at first From the first episode of “The Joy of Drawing”, minutes before starting the work that now holds great value for many. “I hope you have your brush ready, and a dream in your heart.”