Friday, March 13, 2009

On Making a Mess

Dear Friends,

A group of kindergarten students from Michigan visited my web site recently and watched how I painted a mural on a large piece of Tyvek that I rolled out on the floor of my studio. They were wondering how I could step on the painting while the paint was still wet. While I tried not to step on the wet paint when I was creating the mural, you can see from the photo here that I do sometimes get paint on my shoes when I am working. Making pictures and creating art can sometimes be a messy job. But that’s ok. I’ve grown to enjoy the spots and dots that my work sometimes leaves behind and occasionally, without even realizing it, the inadvertent mess or the “mistakes” I make, end up seeming more interesting than I ever would have expected. I have even made art out of the materials I use to create my pictures such as these yogurt container lids saved from my lunch that served as my paint tray.

But a good smock or apron can help keep your clothes clean while you use paints or glue or colored chalk.

Keep up the good work!

Eric Carle

P.S. I am a yogurt fan and am happy to have my work featured on Stonyfield YoBaby Yogurts!


  1. So cool! Love that your paint gets everywhere! Plus, what a great idea for "green" art! =)

  2. Art IS everywhere! Thanks foe sharing!

  3. love the shoes!!!
    my oldest has always said the sign of a great artist is how messy you are after :)

    we are doing activities for your book tomorrow!!! i'm blogging all about it!

    me and my 2 girls love your books!!!

    So glad you make such wonderful books!

    Happy 40th Very hungry caterpillar!

  4. I just found your blog from your official Eric Carle website. What a neat insight into your thoughts. I am a 2nd grade teacher who is a reader of your work. Next week we will have a literacy center full of your books. Thank you for sharing your talents with so many books. I treasure them from my own childhood days.

  5. Our Kindergarten has featured a 'Celebration of Eric Carle' for two years, and we have SO much fun! The process is indeed is the creator of the process! We are so blessed to have experienced your amazing gifts and talents. May your days be filled with honey covered yogurt shoes! :)

  6. When I was a little boy, The Hungary Caterpillar was my favorite book and you were my favorite author. I saw Google used the book for their first day of spring special picture and it made me want to come here and tell you this.

  7. What a wonderful lesson to give the world - that even our "accidental mistakes" can be beautiful and part of a great outcome. You really have given the world a wonderful little piece of you in your books. Well done!

  8. I just discovered on Google thattomorrow is Very Hungry Caterpillar Day. I loved to read your books to my nursery school classes and my children years ago. I am currently making a Very Hungry Caterpillar Quilt to hang in my daughter's kindergarten classroom. She is now a teacher too. Now that I know about the celebration, I will do my best to complete it this coming week. I'll post it on my blog when it's done. Thank you for enriching my students' and children's lives with your beautiful artwork and wonderful stories!

  9. I am often telling parents to not worry so much about their kids getting messy when they are creating, maybe if they hear it from you they believe me, it's okay .

    Thank you so very much for inspiring so many of my lessons over the years, and making my quiet time with my son that brighter.

  10. I adore your shoes :)

    Congrats on the 40th Anniversary of the Very Hungry Caterpillar (or as some small children say... Catapidd'r) :)

  11. I found your blog via Allie (commenter above!). I really enjoy your insights into making art - thanks! :)

  12. Mr. Carlyle-

    You so rock! Do you paint in the same shoes all the time? What do you do with the pair when you are done.

    I would wear them "out", to dinner or what not. ha ha.


  13. I was just showing my 2nd graders in library today your mural making videos. Among the oohs, ahhs, and cools.... a repeated question was "Did he get paint on his shoes?" I will be sure to show this picture of your shoes next week in library class. The kids loved looking at your art today. One student said he is collecting your books and has put them on the top of his Christmas list this year. Thank you for your wonderful books and art. You have truly touched so many lives around the world including my own. Thank you from rural Western New York!!

  14. It would be amazing for you to send that class your shoes! They would be tickled!