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!


Elizabeth Peterson said...

Thanks again, Paige for replying so wonderfully to my post. It seems that mistakes is a topic of interest among many educators and artists. It's what we deal with all the time. The trick is learning how to learn from, grow with and move forward with them. ...and how to share that with our students!

Paige V. Baggett said...

It is a relevant topic Elizabeth. I have a previous post dealing with mistakes from a parent point-of-view as well:

October 7, 2010 7:46 PM

Elo Martin said...

Dr, Baggett,
I really enjoyed reading your post about "Mistakes". I remember when I took Art classes I used to have an eraser close by because I knew I would make some "mistakes" and I wanted my drawing to be perfect. And one day my teacher told us we weren't allowed to use erasers, it was very hard but I realized that everything cannot be perfect and that's what makes life so wonderful and diverse.
I think that teachers, parents and guardians should let children make mistakes and work with it. They need to understand that mistakes are good and useful because we learn from them.

Shawshaw24 said...

I really like the quote, "Life is the art of drawing without an eraser" You have some very insightful points in this blog. I agree that students should be more exposed to the arts and they should learn to embrace "unintended marks."

Great post!

Sarah Pierce said...

Paige Baggett,
My name is Sarah Pierce and I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I loved reading your post. I love drawing and art, and I thought I could relate to this post as someone who likes art, as well as learning about life. I think sometimes we all wish we had an eraser at some point in our lives and could do something over, but then when I think about it, why would we want to do that? Look at us now. Every mistake we have made in life made us who we are today. We could keep erasing and erasing until everything is perfect, but nothing in life is perfect. I think I have turned out pretty good in life without using an eraser. Life is a learning process. I learn from my mistakes. I try to do the best I can at everything I do. I am happy with the decisions I have made in my life and I am proud of the person I have become.

Kellie Grandquest said...

I am also in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I enjoyed reading your post. It gives me a creative way to think about life. If it weren't for all of the decisions that I have made in my life (both good and bad) then I wouldn't have the same perspective that I do now. I think that it is choices and decisions which make people unique. So, in the end, like a piece of artwork, everyone is a little bit different.