Thursday, October 7, 2010


Oops...I didn't mean to do that...I need another piece of paper...I messed you have an eraser?...sniffle...tears...I'm sorry!

Statements made by children (and adults) in art production experiences. Have you heard or said any of this yourself?

In a previous post, I shared Elizabeth's Peterson's "lessons learned" from engagement in good art lessons. One of my favorites dealt with the dreaded "MISTAKE."
■“Mistakes Will Happen, Work with Them”
Something may go wrong, but it doesn’t mean you need to stop or throw your work away. Instead, work with it. The stray mark can be turned into a flower.
Peterson's latest post at The Inspired Classroom expands on the teachable moments when mistakes are declared. She suggests how to react and respond in our own process and to the behaviors of our students. She aptly models the quote she discovered in a bathroom:
"There are no mistakes in art, just surprise ideas."
Again these art experiences Peterson describes so vividly mirror life and provide our students with opportunities to practice behaviors which just may help them to become happier, healthier, creative, and productive citizens of the world. Where else in the curriculum do they learn such necessary lessons?

As Peterson states: "That’s one of the great things about the arts.  When you give students opportunities to really work with things and make mistakes in a non-threatening atmosphere, they learn to adapt and see things differently." Be sure and read her POST.

And think about your own ability to persevere, to work with what I call unintended marks, or consequences. Sometimes the unintended consequences result in better outcomes than those art... and LIFE!

Other than the types of mistakes Peterson points out where a good lesson is learned and you might say, “I’ll never do THAT again!”...
Maybe..."There are not so many mistakes in LIFE, just surprise ideas."
“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”
Have you ever had the "unintended" turn out better than the "planned?" In art or life? Please share!

Recycling for the ARTS!

One of my new artistic (and environmentally conscious) pursuits is to develop and share ideas for using recycled items to create art. I am exploring options, saving bottle caps, and designing activities to implement with teachers and students. 

Due to limited resources, modeling the use of recycled items might even be a good way to begin the "Studio Days" idea with faculty, staff, and students in the College.

Please add any cool ideas you have and join us at The Green Art Classroom: A network of environmentally responsible art educators.

The Imagination Factory
Creative ways to recycle by making art.
The lessons and activities include drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, papier-mache, marbling, and crafts.
Non-Trashy Recycled and Trash Art
The artists featured here exclusively use recycled and/or trash to make pieces of contemporary art. These artists practice the art of “upcycling”, or literally turning everyday trash into creative treasures.

Check back for photos of and reflections on teacher-created art from recycled materials!