Guest Post by Carolyn Dube: Oops!

I love Carolyn Dube, and not just because she loves color as much as I do. She’s got tons of energy and a great sense of humor—remember the video she and her BFF Maria McGuire did at Art is You in Nashville last year?
So I asked Carolyn if she’d do a guest post for us here, and I love what she has to say:
I messed up. I made a mistake. I ruined it. I failed. These aren’t the most encouraging thoughts, but they were the thoughts that ran through my head until I learned to say “oops.” Saying “oops” reminds me that what just happened is an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly.
Oops is a silly word that I can’t take too seriously because really, are any of my art mistakes something to worry about? NO! Does worrying about them help me in any way? NO!
Oops happen all the time in my studio. I have now come to appreciate them as gifts that take me in a direction that is even better than where I was expecting to go! Here are a few of the oops in my work.
Freeman-Zachery Dube 2
I have patience issues. I didn’t let everything dry before I started stenciling on this page with stencils by Terri Stegmiller and Lizzie Mayne. Part of  the orange paint in the top corner was pulled up when I lifted the stencil.  A mistake? Nope. Just an oops.
Freeman-Zachery Dube 1
The opportunity in this oops? It’s a place for texture, more purple, and to break up all the orange at the top!
Freeman-Zachery Dube 4
I had a great idea to use this elephant stencil by Nathalie Kalbach on an art journal page. I started the background and when I put the stencil down I realized it was larger than my journal. A horrible tragedy? Nope. It was just an oops.
The opportunity in this oops? A chance to see how the elephant looked walking into my art journal. If I hadn’t made that oops, I never would have thought to try this.
Freeman-Zachery Dube 6
As I put the butterflies down on this tag I realized there was no space at the bottom for the quote. Did I ruin it?  Nope.
The opportunity in this oops? I had to find somewhere else to put the quote. When I decided to put the quote in the color charts made with Pam Carriker’s stencil I needed a longer quote. That led me to look into an old book which gave me the playful words.
Freeman-Zachery Dube 3
My mistakes used to bring me disappointment, anxiety and frustration. Now they bring me opportunities. Now I hear encouraging words in my head when things don’t go as planned and my time in the studio is filled with joy.
If you would like to see more of Carolyn Dube’s colorful journey, you can find her at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter @CarolynDube1. Her stencils are available at StencilGirl Products.
U4102_CM_StencilGirl.inddTo find out more about the joy of creating with stencils, check out Stencil Girl: Mixed Media Techniques for Making and Using Stencils, by Mary Beth Shaw, the founder of StencilGirl Products.






Ricë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.


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3 Responses to Guest Post by Carolyn Dube: Oops!

  1. MariaMcGuire says:

    There is NO OOPS where you are concerned Carolyn Dube! You make every OOPS AWESOME!!!!

  2. judysheart says:

    Carolyn, if you’re reading this.. Bravo, my friend. Great write up by Rice and great post by you. Your colors are intoxicating. <3

  3. Mary Nasser says:

    Great post, Carolyn!
    You are a brilliant artist!! And remind us constantly that art is fun and play!