Bob Ross, whose relaxed 30-minute painting sessions from the ‘70’s on PBS still fascinates me, declared, “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.”

Yet, Anton Chekov asserted, “In art, as in life, there is nothing accidental.”

Well, twenty-nine days into social distancing, and twenty-one paintings later, while they both have a point, all I can say is thank heaven for Titanium White – and gesso.

In the past almost month, I have made so many mistakes that were not happy accidents! They were failures in perspective, composition, and color; some were correctable with repeated applications of titanium white; others underwent more than one coat of gesso.

But  the paint and gesso redirected my endeavors, preserved a canvas, gave me time to take a deep breath and start over. So, I was happy.


But not with my hair . . . ah . . .  that’s another post.

On one level, I concur with Chekov, but perhaps for different reasons. I believe  a sovereign and good God is never taken unawares; what Chekov believed is an on-going debate.

But a few of the pandemic paintings sure resembled accidents at early on.

So far, though, I haven’t started flicking paint on a canvas to see what emerges from the accidental application of paint —  but I may try dribbling it on paper . . . and swooshing it together to create patterned paper.

Creating patterned paper from random drops of paint is the starting point of many crafts and stationery — a lesson I saw demonstrated by a friend, and artist and a teacher.

Tori Pendergrass, seeing my latest project,  offered a wise perspective when what is in my head won’t come through my hand to the canvas:

A teacher said about mistakes, “Oh look, you have created an opportunity to make a change.”
Hmmmmmm . . .  This might apply to a few other things than a problem on my  canvas. In the TIME-OUT that is today, I have lots of time to think. We all do. (Psalm 139:23-24)


Beautiful Art

You might enjoy: Another P Problem: Proportion

Share this: