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A Bob Ross original from his first show heads to auction, bids start at $9.8 million

This may be the most expensive '80s hotel art we've ever seen

A close up of the first painting Bob Ross painted on his TV show.
Courtesy of Modern Artifact

If there are any ’80s and ’90s kids who grew up watching Bob Ross paint his way into your heart, the holy grail of items is up for sale. The only problem is you have to be a really rich Bob Ross fan to afford it. The iconic painter oozed charm and positivity, using his calming voice to make us feel safe and cozy no matter what was going on. Watching him churn out paintings of stunning landscapes made everyone fall in love with art, and if you have the bank account, you could fall in love with a unique Bob Ross painting.

The first painting Bob Ross did on his TV show hanging up.

The never-ending obsession with Bob Ross 

There was a show that raised us right, teaching us anyone could be an artist while bringing us unconditional happiness. The Joy of Painting was that gem, and Bob Ross led us on a journey in each episode, taking us from a blank canvas to a happy little creation with trees, clouds, mountains, and all kinds of beautiful scenery found in nature.

His show spanned 403 episodes across 31 seasons, bringing the good vibes by showing us we could not only make mistakes but that we could turn our oops into something even better than we originally intended. Though the show went off the air in 1994, thanks to the world of streaming, fans have been able to find and revisit Bob Ross and his kind spirit over the decades. 

YouTube launched every episode on an exclusive Bob Ross channel in 2015, Netflix jumped on the palette in 2016 and again in 2020, releasing various later episodes of the series, and Tubi wanted to make sure everyone could learn how to add happy little mountains to their life when they released 30 out of 31 seasons for free on their platform in 2020.

An up close look at Bob Ross's signature on his painting.
Courtesy of Modern Artifact

How to bring a bit of Bob Ross home

A coveted, one-of-a-kind piece of artwork is for sale from the first episode of the first season of The Joy of Painting, titled A Walk in the Woods. The painting captures a gorgeous nature scene with trees lining a beautiful stream in a wooded area.

For each episode, Ross would paint three versions of the piece — one before the show to use as a reference, the one during the show, and a detailed one after the show that would go into the books he sold. The one up for grabs is the version Ross painted on the show, and he signed his name in red in the bottom left corner of the painting.

Since it is such a nostalgic piece, there’s nothing most of us will be able to do but wish and dream about owning an item like it. With a hopeful price tag of $9.85 million (as requested by the seller), the majority of us will have to wait and see if it sells — and what it goes for.

Knowing Bob shot all of those episodes for free, making his money from selling his books, art supplies, and how-tos, it hurts a little to see it up for sale. As Indiana Jones would say, “It belongs in a museum,” for all of us to be a little happy to get a glimpse of it. If the bid for this masterpiece is a little out of your budget, there is a fun Chia Pet Bob Ross novelty gift you could probably afford instead.

Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
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