Bob Ross night encourages students to create intricate masterpieces

Geneseo Late Knight put on an event in the Union Ballroom for students to paint along with a video of artist Bob Ross on Jan. 26. Bob Ross is famous for his follow-along painting videos. Students enjoyed using this event to make intricate creations (Catherine White/editor-in-chief).

There were no mistakes, just happy little accidents, at Geneseo Late Knight’s An Evening with Bob Ross Paint Night on Saturday Jan. 26 in the Union Ballroom. 

Ross, painting enthusiast and former host of the instructional television show “The Joy of Painting,” passed away in 1995, but his legacy still remains prominent amongst young adults who adore his serenity. 

The ballroom was filled with eager students ready to follow Ross’s instruction on the big screen to create their own masterpiece. The episode featured Ross instructing his viewers to create “Purple Splendor,” a snowy scene with a log cabin in a purple haze.

GLK provided students with their own canvases, paint, brushes and “magic white” paint—a Bob Ross specialty.

Despite Ross’s calming demeanor and welcoming invitation to his viewers, panic ensued once his instruction began. Attendees exclaimed when they attempted to mix colors and cover their canvases as Ross did. As the episode went on, the struggle continued and it was obvious that creating masterpieces was not as simple as the angelic Ross makes it out to be.

Some students stayed strong and followed the episode until the very end, while others gave up and decided to create something original while their artistic inspiration spoke in the background.

Communication major senior Annalee Bainnson was overwhelmed by the pace of the episode, but enjoyed the outcome regardless.

“I think it was overall more stress than I needed on a Saturday,” Bainnson said. “I mean I made a good painting, but it just wasn’t what I was supposed to do, so I’m happy overall.” 

On the other hand, communication major senior Vincent Lema mainly came as a Bob Ross enthusiast, but once he decided he couldn’t keep up with the painter, he decided to create a ship scene instead.

GLK Graduate Assistant Thressa Zimmerman, one of the coordinators for the event, appreciated each students’ individual process even if they did not follow Ross’s instruction blindly.

Zimmerman explained that they initially planned to have students paint a sunset inspired by Geneseo, but some technical difficulties led them to show the “Purple Splendor” episode instead. Still, the painting reflected the small town and colorful feel of Geneseo.

“We wanted this to be something that everybody could enjoy no matter what skill level they may be at,” Zimmerman said.

GLK bounced off last year’s success of the event when they had to turn students away because they ran out of supplies. So, this year they upped the supplies and prepared for a high attendance, according to Zimmerman.

“We found that students tend to enjoy the more crafty, hands on events … so we thought that a really fun way to start off the semester might be with painting,” Zimmerman said. “Who better to teach painting than Bob Ross himself?”

Even though it may have been difficult to recreate Ross’s famous “happy little trees,” students still left with colorful pieces of art created by their own hands.

GLK will continue with art-themed events on Thursday Jan. 31 with an art workshop by artist Steve Prince in the Union Lobby and Kinetic Gallery.