The Morning GIF: Happy birthday, Bob Ross!

Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

Bob Ross, PBS’s favorite artist, would have turned 70 today. The incredibly popular oil painter hosted The Joy of Painting, which ran nationally on PBS throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. His idiosyncratic, authentic, and defiantly innocent charm was magnetic even to non-artists in the Age of Irony. His catchphrases entered the lexicon, as everyone from Sesame Street to SNL satirized happy little landscapes filled with happy little trees and happy little skies filled with happy little birds and happy little clouds.

Ross’s philosophy was as simple and clear as his landscapes: Find what makes you happy and build it into your world, whether pigment or practical. It was as if Jonathan Livingston Seagull had returned to Earth as a Rolf Harris-like kitsch artist. This GIF, from the non-ironically popular Bob Ross GIFs Tumblr, sums it up in word and in deed. To date 29,336 happy little Tumblrers have stared into this tree-lined horizon and found something of themselves in the darkness or the light they saw there.

Lorraine Murphy

Lorraine Murphy

Lorraine Murphy is an Ottawa-based cybersecurity journalist and founding editor of the Cryptosphere. She has a keen interest in WikiLeaks and web culture, and her bylines have appeared in Salon, Vanity Fair, Serious Eats, and elsewhere.