A signed work made by the artist Bob Ross for the first episode of his popular show "The Joy of Painting" has hit the market with a staggering list price of more than $9.8 million. Photo courtesy of Modern Artifact
Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A signed work made by the artist Bob Ross for the first episode of his popular show The Joy of Painting has hit the market with a staggering list price of more than $9.8 million.
The 24"x 18" oil on canvas painting, titled A Walk in the Woods, was created in 1983 at the start of the artist's televised career and is being sold by Modern Artifact in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The painting was described by Modern Artifact as the "most historically significant Bob Ross original painting ever created."
"I think each of us at some point during our life has wanted to paint a picture," Ross says at the start of the episode. "I think there is an artist hidden in the bottom of every single one of us. Here we will try to show you how to bring that artist out."
Ross, who developed an interest in painting after attending an art class during his 20-year career with the U.S. Air Force, died in 1995 at the age of 52.
His instructional painting show, which aired from 1983 to 1994, was so beloved that he gained widespread popularity after his death, aided by the Internet.
The show has been celebrated for Ross' soothing voice, cheerful demeanor and encouraging approach to teaching people how to paint serene natural landscapes, primarily using the wet-on-wet oil painting technique.
He often used phrases like "happy little trees" and "happy accidents" to describe the unplanned but beautiful moments that could occur in the process of painting.
"It is exceedingly rare to find any Bob Ross episode pieces, and this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to own the very first one," the gallery said in its listing. "Although Bob Ross paintings have become highly sought after by collectors, the market is still emerging."
In describing the provenance of the piece, the gallery said the painting has only had one owner -- a person who was there at the time Ross painted the piece.
"It was difficult to define Bob Ross' style in terms of contemporary art. It was closest to Pop Art, due to his celebrity status and the concept in which it was created," the gallery said.
"Except for the early gold pans he distributed while stationed in Alaska, he never really sold his works."