Iconic Bob Ross TV Painting, Created in Just Half an Hour, Hits the Market with an Astounding Nearly $10 Million Price Tag

The renowned artist who made the world fall in love with the art of painting, often completing mesmerizing works in under thirty minutes on public television, could hardly have foreseen that one of his creations would one day command a staggering price of nearly $10 million.

Yet here we are, as a Minneapolis gallery, Modern Artifact, has set a jaw-dropping price of nearly $10 million for “A Walk in the Woods,” the inaugural piece in a collection of over 400 artworks crafted by Bob Ross during his iconic TV series, “The Joy of Painting.”

Ryan Nelson, the gallery’s owner and a lifelong admirer of Ross’s work, refers to this piece, created during the show’s debut on January 11, 1983, as the “rookie card” of Bob Ross. Although he acknowledges that finding a buyer at such a high price may take time, he views this as a unique opportunity to share the painting with a broader audience.

Nelson, who grew up in a small town, recalls his introduction to the world of art through Ross’s television program and the deep appreciation he developed for Ross’s distinctive style. He emphasizes that “A Walk in the Woods” is not merely a painting; it’s a representation of “the people’s artist” – a testament to the idea that art should be accessible to all, devoid of pretentiousness.

In the inaugural episode, Ross, sporting his signature perm, full beard, and casually unbuttoned shirt, emphasized the accessibility of art. He dispelled the myth that one must spend years in school or receive divine artistic blessings to paint. His message was clear: “You can paint a picture.”

Although Ross passed away in 1995, his legacy endures. From 1983 to 1994, he hosted “The Joy of Painting,” inviting viewers to join him in creating idyllic scenes of serene streams, majestic mountains, cascading waterfalls, and charming cabins and mills – all in a matter of minutes.

None of Ross’s works, including “A Walk in the Woods,” could be described as masterpieces in the traditional sense. However, that was never the intention.

Ryan Nelson sums it up beautifully: “What this piece represents is the people’s artist. This isn’t an institution proclaiming Bob Ross’s greatness, nor is it an elite gallery. It’s the collective voice of people worldwide saying, ‘Bob Ross is great.'”

The first season of “The Joy of Painting” was filmed in Falls Creek, Virginia, and the painting from Ross’s debut episode was sold several months later to support the local PBS station. It found a home in the hands of a station volunteer who cherished it for 39 years until connecting with Nelson, a collector with over 100 Ross artworks in his portfolio.

Last year, Nelson acquired “A Walk in the Woods” and, with a firm stance, decided that it was “not for sale” at a price of $9.85 million, as publicist Megan Hoffman reveals. Although this asking price far surpasses any previous sale of a Ross painting, “A Walk in the Woods” is indeed a one-of-a-kind piece, and Nelson isn’t in a rush to part with it. The recent surge in Ross’s popularity, including a YouTube channel with 5.63 million subscribers featuring his shows, only adds to the allure of this unique artwork.

Hoffman explains Nelson’s approach: “Ryan would prefer to take it out, tour it around to museums and things like that so people can enjoy it and appreciate it. He will take offers but he’s not in a hurry to sell it.”