Finding Inner Peace With Happy Little Trees

Concordi’ART Bob Ross Night the Perfect Foray Into Art Therapy

Ireland was comfortable settled with a glass of wine and her paints, following along Bob Ross to create her own work of art. Photo Ireland Compton

I walked into Reggies Wednesday night to see a projector set up on stage and art stations waiting for painters to arrive. As one of the first people there, I had prime choices when it came to seating arrangements. I sat front and centre, not wanting to be too far away from Bob Ross and his instructions.

Going into this event, I wasn’t expecting to feel as comfortable and supported as I was, but wow was it a nice break from the hustle and bustle of office life.

The stations were neatly organized and I settled in, waiting to express my creativity and contend with legendary painter and lover of happy little trees, Bob Ross.

This week has been one of those weeks for me, and yes, it’s only Wednesday. With midterms in full force and production in progress for The Link ‘s magazine, it was bound to be a hectic week. But, when the opportunity to attend a Bob Ross painting night—organized by Concordi’ART—came up, I was the first to jump on it.

As people started rolling in, I felt very secure, something I wasn’t necessarily anticipating. Painters found their easels and organizers checked in on us. They explained how the night would go and let us know that if we needed anything, they would be there to help.


I’ll admit, I was a little sceptical of my art abilities going into this event, but overall I was excited to get the chance to do something fun and lowkey.

What struck me as the night began was how open and supportive the environment was. As the video started to play, people cheered and organizers reassured us that there was no rush to get through the video. Need more time? They would press pause to give everyone the chance to catch up.

At first, I was determined to match Bob Ross’ actions, but as the night went on I got more comfortable with the idea of painting to my liking. As Bob Ross put it, there are only happy accidents.

At first, I was determined to match Bob Ross’ actions, but as the night went on I got more comfortable with the idea of painting to my liking. As Bob Ross put it, there are only happy accidents.

Throughout the night, we were served wine and snacks, and encouraged by Concordi’ART members, who had stopped amidst their duties to take celebratory shots while we painted. To break up the event and give people a chance to catch up, one organizer came up on stage to ask a trivia question.

The first question: “As you may or may not know, Bob Ross served time in the military. How many years did he serve?”

A few people shouted answers and were close, more than 20 and less than 25. The girl sitting to my right raised her hand and answered 23, which was the answer they were looking for.

Next, “Which branch of the military did Bob Ross serve in?”

Someone shouted “Navy!” incorrectly and taking my chances, I raised my hand.


I was right, but I wasn’t expecting what came next.

“Will the two of you join us on the stage?”

I didn’t expect to be involved in any competitive painting at any point in the night, but yet I soon found myself on stage.

Unbeknownst to me, I had been pulled into a speed painting contest. The goal? Paint Bob Ross and his happy little trees in under a minute.

Ireland was called on stage to perform an art battle. Photo Ireland Compton

Suddenly the pressure was on. I grabbed my brush and did my best, as did my opponent, and we garnered equal support from the audience—and earned ourselves an extra glass of wine.

The evening continued and everyone painted to the best of their abilities. One person leaned over and asked if I was an experienced painter, and I won’t lie, that made me feel really great about myself. While I was there to have fun and take it easy, the competitive, perfectionist side of me was appeased.

As the video came to a close, painters cheered for the work they did and put the finishing touches on their masterpieces.

I left feeling refreshed in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. Mostly, I felt proud of what I had accomplished in the two or so hours I had spent there.

Journalism is a hectic career to embark on. It’s messy and chaotic, and demands a lot from those who choose to practice it.

Often as journalists, we work ourselves to the bone, striving for quality reporting and to tell the stories that so desperately need to be told.


This can lead to a lot of things, and one of those things is burnout. I’m sure all you journalists—and any other students, really—out there have felt this at some point or another, but there are days where it feels like you’re running on empty. There are weeks that feel never ending, like there’s no energy left to give.

This was exactly the break I needed to be able to reset and feel like myself again. The supportive, no-pressure environment made it the perfect way to disconnect from a high-stress lifestyle.

If you ever have the chance to attend a Bob Ross painting event, or any painting event for that matter, I would highly recommend it. Who knows, Bob Ross and his happy little trees might just help you find your own peace of mind.