Livestreaming Happy Trees
October 30, 2015 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Twitch, the social media platform for video games, just launched ‘Twitch Creative': a section of the site dedicated to non-gaming videos from artists. There you'll find people creating paintings or illustrations, composing songs, designing costumes, and even glass blowing. To celebrate, Twitch is holding an 8-day marathon livestream of every single Bob Ross The Joy of Painting episode.
posted by zarq (44 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I posted a thread about Mr. Ross back in March, and within hours the Internet Archive removed all of their The Joy of Painting content. But the rest of the links in that post should work if anyone is interested in learning more about him.
posted by zarq at 2:02 PM on October 30, 2015

I normally watch Twitch (Dota 2 mostly) with the chat turned off but it's worth leaving on for the Bob Ross stream.
posted by majuju at 2:05 PM on October 30, 2015

The single best part: everyone in chat typing "gg" when he completes a painting.
posted by selfnoise at 2:09 PM on October 30, 2015 [24 favorites]

Neat, maybe they can crowdsource a painting, like when Twitch Plays Dark Souls.

Five hundred and twelve hours later, a beautiful portrait of a kappa face will be completed.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:11 PM on October 30, 2015

Neat, maybe they can crowdsource a painting, like when Twitch Plays Dark Souls.

Wouldn't they need to combine the two to even attempt to get Bob Ross to paint to a Twitch stream?
posted by Talez at 2:14 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also this weekend: Twitch Installs Arch Linux. Having beaten Pokemon the goal now is to get the collective Twitch intelligence Kappa to install the most arcane Linux distribution. (Oh, hey, Metafilter already knows about that. Oops.)
posted by Nelson at 2:17 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Most (all?) of the Joy of Painting is available on Youtube. Including some of the hour-long, VHS only shows which I've never seen before.

Due to some stress of late, I've been watching Ross probably more than I should. Almost tempted now to buy one of the painting kits and make my own happy trees. Wonder if there would be any interest in a Fanfare group where we could paint along with Bob and share the results afterwards?
posted by honestcoyote at 2:23 PM on October 30, 2015 [6 favorites]

Particularly handy if you need to let God decide anything!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:24 PM on October 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

we're actually all completely shocked at how popular this stream has gotten. We honestly just thought it was a nice way to celebrate his birthday and the launch of our new Creative section. But it's grown in crazy ways.

- When he puts his first strokes down, before they become recognizable as a tree or something, people start typing "RUINED" as though he had clearly ruined the piece.
- Of course, then it almost immediately comes to resemble what it's supposed to, so people start using "GG" and other esports terms to say that it was a nice save.
- personal favorite is VAC, which is a reference to the Valve Anti Cheat software that bans cheaters in Counter-Strike. They believe Bob's techniques are cheating.
- People occasionally talk about how little chat interaction Bob does, so clearly he's a terrible twitch streamer.

And just a million other little aspects of this are amazing. Everyone in the office is completely entranced, which is saying something considering that Overwatch beta streams are still happening. But we all just lose so much time watching trees get pushed onto the canvas.
posted by shmegegge at 4:10 PM on October 30, 2015 [26 favorites]

Ha! I've been doing this on regular old Twitch (giving composing / music theory lessons and "show us a day at work" type music production streams) for a couple years now, started back when it was in a gray area with the site's rules (it's mostly video game music composition, and I have a joystick and a VR helmet, so it soooooooorta counts in a weird sort of way?) so I guess I've been part of Twitch Creative since, um...
before it was cool!
Now that it's cool AND explicitly encouraged by Twitch, I guess I should start doing them again, and just deal with the gross-ass latency and accessibility issues (especially for my crew of blind musician friends, who unanimously prefer Periscope because apparently its chat + interface works way better with screen readers, so I guess I'm going to simulcast)
posted by jake at 4:48 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

chat is fucking awesome once you get into it
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:49 PM on October 30, 2015

I think Bob Ross, Game Dev is my new favorite Twitter account.
If a prototype doesn’t work out, don’t let that get you down. It is never wasted effort. What’s important is that you learn and grow.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:00 PM on October 30, 2015 [11 favorites]

My partner and I have been sick all week, so Bob Ross is helping a lot.

posted by you could feel the sky at 5:12 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

The best part of the chat is when Bob puts a big blob of dark on to the painting, they all type RUINED!!!!! then he does something and it becomes FIXED!!! and CLUTCH!!!

Right now, everybody is feeling betrayed because there's a guest artist. #FREEBOB.

it's rather subgenius, when you get down to it
posted by eriko at 6:52 PM on October 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Happy dirt.
posted by eriko at 8:08 PM on October 30, 2015

I think a lot of the people in chat initially think this is some sort of troll in the style of Look Around You or Computer Show: someone trying to do something retro and out of place -- I'm further assuming that a lot of these people are just young or not from the US. This makes everything even funnier when they complain about him not reacting to chat. I want people to start doing this kind of thing intentionally now, where they basically pretend not to acknowledge chat (but actually do).

But holy shit, I never remembered him doing so many huge foreground trees. He'll have a nice scene and then BAM, a happy giant tree, kinda out of place. And the innuendo, good heavens!
posted by bonje at 9:11 PM on October 30, 2015

I was at a costume contest last night, and the winners were a couple who dressed up as Bob Ross and a happy tree. I was very happy to see them win.
posted by teponaztli at 9:20 PM on October 30, 2015 [6 favorites]

Back in about 2006, when streaming video wasn't nearly as commonplace or as streamlined, I was an avid watcher of /b/tv, a streaming channel loosely related to the imageboard. Bob Ross episodes were sprinkled in among the expected fare of anime and controversial movies. They reliably prompted the liveliest IRC conversations, which were remarkably similar in sentiment to the current Twitch chats.
posted by clorox at 12:46 AM on October 31, 2015

heh last night I got an excited email from a friend suggesting that we have a party where we watch bob ross videos and paint along with them. I think she may have been drinking. Naturally, I am totally into this idea. including the drinking.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:48 AM on October 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

I, for one, am totally on board with idea of a mefi paint along.(Even though I have the artistic talent of a drunken orangutan. )
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:39 AM on October 31, 2015

Somewhere out there, there has to be a blog of someone who has painted along to every episode of the Joy of Painting, right?
posted by jacquilynne at 1:12 PM on October 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

The single best part: everyone in chat typing "gg" when he completes a painting.

I'm really enjoying the "gg gb" (for good game, God Bless). And people getting hype over colors (Van Hype Brown!). And so many, many things about this stream.
posted by TypographicalError at 4:43 PM on October 31, 2015

Lizard Crimson!
posted by eriko at 6:31 PM on October 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is such a great combination, it's like chilli and chocolate.

Every time he drops in some highlights with a knife the chat explodes with stuff like "BEAST!", "He's gone mad!", "With no regard for human life!".

Or when he pulls out the dry two inch brush to blend things, "TWO INCH HYPE", "two inch too stronk", "NERF TWO INCH".

I hope some of it is being recorded.
posted by lucidium at 11:38 PM on October 31, 2015 [4 favorites]

He had a little rescued robin chick on in one episode. Why? I have no idea why. But man, chatters just about lost their collective minds over that one.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:58 AM on November 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Thanks, eriko. I've been watching for 36 hours before I finally figured out the real name of that color.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:19 AM on November 2, 2015

He just said "Twitch" and the chat exploded. "HE KNOWS!"
posted by eriko at 8:17 AM on November 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

I wonder how the chat room will react when they get to the baby owl.
posted by zarq at 8:23 AM on November 2, 2015

I just would really really love this to be a permanent thing on twitch, with the bob ross channel looping forever. I've had it up quite a few times during the marathon and I legit think I'm going to miss it a lot when it's gone.
posted by flatluigi at 1:57 AM on November 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


(that's Well Painted, of course.)
posted by eriko at 9:57 AM on November 4, 2015

was gonna have an early night but I'm gonna watch the final hour, god bless Bob
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:52 PM on November 6, 2015

posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:52 PM on November 6, 2015

Oh and he had his 'pet' squirrel on, Peapod... chat was suitable restrained, as you can imagine
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:53 PM on November 6, 2015

45 minutes left on the feed.

Bob's son Steven Ross is currently painting.

The chat room is now flooded with:


...and the occasional...

"Hey, Steve's pretty good."
posted by zarq at 3:15 PM on November 6, 2015

It was hilarious when Steve started shilling his dad's painting courses and the chat was:


Steve got some skilz though
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:30 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hey all. The final episode has just begun.
posted by shmegegge at 4:02 PM on November 6, 2015

And remember: RIP DEVIL.
posted by shmegegge at 4:02 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


posted by shmegegge at 4:04 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:23 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


(And possibly it looks like it's not over... well a two day+ countdown has started)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:30 PM on November 6, 2015

posted by zarq at 11:16 AM on November 9, 2015

PBS invites you to take the #BobRossChallenge.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:50 PM on November 10, 2015

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