One of the things I really love about baseball is how far back the statistical record goes, and how large of a sample size exists to test hypotheses for validity. In this 538 article, Walt Hickey takes a look into the occurrence of the different visual elements in Bob Ross’s paintings on his PBS show. It’s fascinating to see it broken down like this, and the probability of different elements appearing in the same painting is equally interesting.
I also learned something interesting that I never noticed before. “[H]is cabins never had chimneys on them … because chimneys represented people, and he didn’t want any sign of a person in his paintings.”
Of course, there’s examples of cabins with lights on, and those with chimneys, but they’re in the minority. I find it very interesting that he liked the added depth of human-built structures, but didn’t want their direct presence felt in the scene. Maybe it’s about the structures being abandoned and allowing nature to overtake the surroundings and heal.
I’m not trained in art interpretation, so I’m in a wild supposition mode. However, it seems like a sound hypothesis on which to expand. To the internets for research!