“My first memory of Bob Ross was like many – watching him on PBS.”
While Chris Taylor’s first encounter with Bob may have been similar to many teenagers in the 1980s and 1990s, his later encounters with the PBS icon were not the ordinary kind.
After seeing “The Joy of Painting” on WIPB-TV, Chris and his grandmother began trying their own hands at Bob’s wet-on-wet technique®.
In order to be ready anytime the painting bug bit, the two would stock up on supplies at Painted Memories art shop in Yorktown, Indiana.
It was through connections with the owner that Chris first met Bob.
Reflecting back on it now, Chris has said, “From the first time I met Bob in person, his encouragement in my skills and me as a person … led to this relationship and this friendship. I didn’t realize how special that was at the time, but I certainly do now.”
As Minnetrista worked on developing the Bob Ross Experience, Chris generously shared his memories and private collection of Bob items to assist the exhibit in coming to life.
Mentor & Mentee
As a mentor to Chris, Bob would exchange letters with the budding artist and whenever he was in town he would try to meet with Chris – often inviting him to the television studio to watch the filming of “The Joy of Painting.”
During one such visit Bob and the WIPB crew had a rare hiccup – causing Bob to stop filming partway through an episode and begin again.
Handing the partially finished canvas over to his young friend, Bob told Chris to take the canvas home and finish it himself. What resulted was a unique canvas completed by mentor and mentee.
To this day, Chris speaks fondly of the support Bob showed him. While he of course encouraged Chris’s artistic skill, more importantly Bob supported Chris in finding his life’s passion.
Today, Chris conducts painting workshops as the resident Certified Ross Instructor® at the Bob Ross Experience, generously sharing his gift with Bob’s fans worldwide and the Muncie community. He offers private lessons in his downtown Muncie studio.
Chris is also the Senior Director of Sports Production (Sports Link) and Associate Lecturer of Media at Ball State University.
More About Chris
To find out more about Chris’s story check out the documentary “The Bob Ross Experience” produced by Ball State PBS.
You can also listen to “The Happy Little Podcast” where Chris shares his story with host Ron Scalzo.
And if you’re interested in seeing some of Chris’s artist skill, come visit the Bob Ross Experience exhibit at Minnetrista or his studio in Downtown Muncie.
At Minnetrista, visitors will find six original paintings by Chris in the recreation of the WIPB television studio.
Get In Touch
Chris is always available for collaborations and demos worldwide. If you want to chat about painting, Bob Ross®, The Joy of Painiting®, sports media, goldendoodles, music or anything else, don’t hesitate in reaching out.
Bio courtesy of Jessica Jenkins | Minnetrista Museum & Gardens