Students Enjoy Making ‘Happy Little Accidents’ at Bob Ross Painting Sessions


Photo by Arnav Mehta

Students meet after school to partake in a Bob Ross painting tutorial.

Nanuet’s students have found a creative new way to unwind.

Nanuet Art teacher Jared Mesibov has begun hosting Bob Ross painting sessions in his room, serving as an exciting new opportunity for students looking to get away from school life. Following a painting tutorial from the legend himself, students are guided in painting sessions with an onscreen video tutorial. 

While the video tutorial guides painters, students such as Junior Nashita Anis enjoy the freedom that comes with the activity.

“You don’t have to follow the tutorial that Bob Ross gives; you could just freely paint on your own and just see what happens; and it’s just kind of fun and it takes you out of society,” she says.

Bob Ross (1942-1995), who started his TV painting series in 1983, has served as an icon for art and art tutorials. Best known from his television show The Joy of Painting, featuring phrases such as “happy little accidents,” Bob Ross has remained as an iconic figure in modern culture.

The club’s tranquility is also enjoyed by Junior Genesis Llamuca.

“I like how you can follow your own way and you work the way you want to,” she said. “The video’s more like a guide, and you just follow along. You have free will of what you really want to paint and it takes you out of the stress from school and the outside world.”

Sophomore Genevieve McKenna also reflected on how the activity helps her de-stress after a school day.

“This activity helps me not be as stressed as I usually am whenever I’m in class or at home,” she said.

Students, like junior Noor Huda, enjoy the community and the open-ended opportunities the meetings provide. 

“I feel like it lets me get lost into this one piece of canvas and I love seeing how everyone else transforms their version of Bob Ross’ painting into theirs,” she said.

Mr. Mesibov hosts the sessions in his room. 

“I think this program is important because it allows kids to come in from their daily stressors and just have a moment to explore the possibilities that they actually do have through painting,” he said.

There are so many possibilities of art, in and out of the classroom, Mr. Mesibov explained, emphasizing artists can make their own “universe” and explore it through art.

“We could do anything on the canvas and art in general kind of motivates us to be better than ourselves and to make the world a better place,” he said. “And I feel like we all kind of need that.”