Through the 1980s and the early 1990s, Bob Ross’ work hosting ‘The Joy of Painting’ on PBS captured the imagination of multiple generations. Now, Netflix’s ‘Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed’ has director Joshua Rofe delve into Bob’s life and work, with the people closest to him talking about Bob’s influence and his final days. Bob’s son, Steve Ross, an established painter himself, is also featured in the documentary. So, let’s find out more about him then, shall we?
Who is Steve Ross?
Steve Ross was born in August 1966 to Bob Ross and his first wife, Vivian Ridge. In the documentary, Steve talked about how his parents’ relationship was shaky while he was growing up, eventually leading to their divorce. Then, Bob raised Steve as a single father in Spokane, Washington, when he met his second wife, Jane. Steven remembered looking at his father’s paintings and being stunned. Bob spent almost all of his free time painting, eventually turning it into a career.
Much like Bob himself, Steve also had a soft voice and a calm personality. During his father’s 11-year run hosting ‘The Joy of Painting,’ Steve occasionally made appearances painting sceneries and landscapes. In a recent interview, Steve also talked about his father’s trademark voice that he used on the show. He said, “He wasn’t actually quite that soft-spoken in real life. It was almost a voice whisper on the show; they had to turn the volume all the way up.”
But Bob’s declining health and eventual death in July 1995 had a profound effect on Steve. He dealt with depression shortly after his father died of cancer, and at one point, thought about driving his car into oncoming traffic. Before Bob’s death, he wanted Steve to do what he did, but Steve wanted to strike out on his own, leading to a few arguments between them. His thinking about life and death forever changed after his father passed away.
Where is Steve Ross Now?
Sometime after his father’s death, Steve stopped painting altogether. But many years later, he came back to the fold again and learned that his work also affected so many others’ lives, just like his father’s had. More recently, Steve has held painting workshops in some parts of the United States teaching the “wet-on-wet” painting technique. Now in his 50s, Steve said that he has turned down many offers to do a show of his own because of the amount of work that goes into it.
Steve said, “You have to do at least three complete paintings for each show. You do one that sits off-camera that you use for reference while you’re taping, the one you do in front of the camera, and a third one afterward with more detail to be included in a book. It’s a grueling process.” Apart from holding workshops, Steve has maintained a low profile. Not much is known about his personal life. Steve lives in New Smyrna Beach in Florida, the state where his father spent his final days.
Read More: Where Are Annette and Walt Kowalski Now?