Happy Accidents

A couple of months ago, I started taking an oil painting class. The class is in the style of Bob Ross and the instructor is “Bob Ross Certified“. Yes, there is such a thing. I had grown up watching Bob Ross and always enjoyed his easy going and eccentric style. Taking a painting class was something that I had wanted to do for some time, but had always been intimidated by the idea.  I think mainly because my father was an artist, I shied away from picking up a paint brush. While taking the class, the instructor asked if I had pursued any other arts. When I told her that I played guitar and liked to sing, she said that she figured as much, since I had been humming to myself the entire class. After a couple of classes, I started seeing potential paintings everywhere. One night I told my wife that the sunset sky looked like a Bob Ross painting. With her quick dry wit, she responded with, “Ah yes, nature once again trying to imitate Bob Ross.

Each class lasts about five hours and starts with a blank canvas and ends with a finished picture that may or may not look like the instructor’s painting. That’s okay though, because she strongly emphasis taking artistic liberties and adding our own vision to the paintings. While the class is tiring, it is also invigorating. There is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment leaving with a finished painting that didn’t exist a few hours before. Perhaps my favorite part of the process is the Bob Ross philosophy that there are no mistakes, only happy accidents. I’ve made plenty of happy accidents with my paintings, but all were able to be corrected.  Sometimes by myself and sometimes with the help of the instructor. It’s something that resonates far beyond the palate and the canvas.

As educators, we get to experience a similar joy of starting with a blank canvas and walking away with a finished picture when we work with students each day. We start with a vision of where we are going and use the techniques we have learned along with our instincts and add color to children’s lives and help shape them into all they can be. Also, like Bob Ross, we learn that there are no mistakes, just happy accidents. The best educators correct as they go and don’t avoid mistakes, but learn from them and model that for their students. Like painting, the world of education can be intimidating. Don’t let that hold you back. Jump in and grab your brush and make this year your masterpiece!



from Bob Ross

“Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.” 

“The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it.”

“Let’s get crazy.” 



My first attempts at oil painting



  • Monday, September 9: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM (Kindness)
  • Tuesday, September 10: REED (Stromberg) 8:15 AM,  Health Care Plan Meeting (Gruenewald) 9:00 AM, REED (Pisko) 9:05 AM, 9:50 REED (Trantham), Fire Drill 1:30 PM
  • Wednesday, September 11: Parent Meeting (Wennstrom) 8:30 AM, Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, September 12: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM


  • Monday, September 16: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, Self-Assessments Due in Pivot, iReady Testing Window Closes, F&P Testing begins
  • Tuesday, September 17: Achievement Team Meeting 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, September 19: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Tornado Drill 10:00 AM
  • Friday, September 20: Lifetouch Picture Day in the East Commons


  • Monday, September 23 – Friday, September 27: Book Fair in the East Commons
  • Tuesday, September 24: Literacy Night 6:00 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: