Joy of Painting (with frosting)

You know Bob Ross, right? The big haired “happy little trees” TV painter on PBS? From the 80’s and 90’s?





Given that my New Years resolution to “meditate every day” has not been working out well (plus who can concentrate with our new federal administration?), I have sought Bob Ross’ show to help me relax. The show is ridiculously soothing (and hilarious) to watch. He just paints these really lovely outdoor scenes, narrating his techniques and the paint colors, while adding a sprinkling of encouraging thoughts.


“I’m going to mix a bit of Sap Green with Burnt Sienna and just make a little tree here. Just moving my brush back and forth to make some bushy branches. And you know what I always say, everyone needs a friend. Let’s make another tree to go with him. Just go out and talk to a tree. Make friends with it. There’s nothing wrong with being friends with a tree.”


Ever since I was little and watched Bob Ross on television, I have wanted to paint along with him. I have always wondered if anyone actually ever did that. I mean, you’d need quite a bit of preparation beforehand (maybe people video-taped the show?!).

In any case, with his show re-released on Netflix, I decided to try to “paint” along with him, using frosting. I perused “Beauty is Everywhere” season, and settled on trying “Valley View” with Bob.


Before I got going with the actual cake decorating, I started watching the show, so I could write down all of the colors that he expected me to have (and make them with frosting).

Did he have his own line of paints or something? Because the colors that he listed at the beginning had some very specific names (e.g., “Titanium White,” “Alizarin Crimson,” “Cadmium Yellow,” “Van Dyke Brown,” and “Phtahalo Blue.”) Ummm… what?

Anyway, I tried my best by making a whole bunch of different colors and doing some basic prep to my “canvas.”

I did most of my “painting” last night after Ansel went to bed. I didn’t take a lot of pictures of the “progress” because the lighting wasn’t very good, but Aaron did take this picture of me in action.


My “painting” technique with frosting was really just to squeeze some colored frosting and use a kitchen knife as a brush of sorts. For some of the detail, I just used piping techniques.

It’s obviously not a perfect replica of Bob’s final product, but he really encouraged me to do my own thing throughout the episode. “We don’t make mistakes, just happy accidents.”


The cake wasn’t bad either. A gooey chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream.


In other news, I just got back from a work trip to Portland, Oregon where I got to see a lot of wonderful dear friends and engage in some really exciting work. And eat lots of incredible food and drink incredible beer. (Below is the list from Base Camp Brewing. I went with the Ultra Gnar Gnar obviously).


But after a looooooooong day of traveling back to Ohio (which included a “sleep-over” in the PDX airport), I was so happy to get back to my family. And watching Ansel try to feed puzzle pieces to Aaron.


2 thoughts on “Joy of Painting (with frosting)

  1. I love it, Katie! Chris and I were Bob Ross and a happy tree for Halloween last year and ran into *another* Bob Ross and happy tree couple at a bar. The bartender was so excited! Good times.


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