May 25, 2020

Product Review: Art Skills Watercolor

I love watching product reviews on YouTube! I thought it would be fun to make some for channel geared more for art teachers, but kids, families, and other creative individuals might enjoy watching it as well! Many of the products I’ve already purchased are from Dollar General.

May 24, 2020

It's Finished!! (I think?!?)

I think I'm finally done with this project!  It is 45 inches long and 13 inches wide!  I lost track of how many yo-yo's I created for this?!? ha ha  It has been a lot of fun, and I really do like the end results.  If you look closer at might see the beads I added to the center of many of the yo-yo's.  I have another yo-yo project in mind now....think 3-D!!!  ha ha  I need to start sewing is going to take A LOT of yo-yo's!!

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Start New


There have been many times over the years that I've become "stuck" on a concept, style, medium, brand, color(s), or technique.  There wasn't a conscious choice to become stuck.  It just kind of happened.  There are different reasons for this: a stubborn desire to make something work, a fear to try something new/different, we are comfortable doing what we've always done,  lacking vision for what's next, or some combination.  Though it is noble to see something to fruition, holding onto something that isn't working prevents us from moving forward.  Painting over a canvas, tearing out a page in your sketch book, switching the medium....when you start new you give yourself the freedom to let go of what was and embrace what is yet to come. 

Past successes and failures have the potential to get in the way of what God wants to do in our lives.  Living in what was prevents us from living in what's now.  Some rest in the glory of the past. Some wrestle with the mistakes of the past.  Both need to start new!  When we are given the gift of "today" we must seek God on how we might grow to know him more and to make him known. Our past experience inform our present but do not define it.  "SEE, I AM DOING A NEW THING!" What is it that God desires to do in and through you...TODAY.  What past experiences are you holding on to as excuses?  You've gone on mission trips, grown up in church, taught Sunday school.....but what about TODAY?   You've messed up...repeatedly, you feel like you've run from God, you are still struggling.....but what about TODAY?  Today is a day to start new!  Today is a day to trust God.  

May 22, 2020

A Dino-Mite Art Show: 2nd Grade

Our annual K-4th Grade art show was suppose to take place March 26th.
I brought home all the art work to prep it for the show (when I still thought we'd get to return to school).  We would have had two more weeks to tweek/fix/finish student work, but because of a tornado that shut down schools & then COVID-19....we did not have that precious time. There are always possibilities that a student may not have a piece of art in their class grouping because of absences or not writing their name on their work.  All attempts were made to include one picture from each student.


May 19, 2020

A Dino-Mite Art Show: 1st Grade

Our annual K-4th Grade art show was suppose to take place March 26th.
I brought home all the art work to prep it for the show (when I still thought we'd get to return to school).  We would have had two more weeks to tweek/fix/finish student work, but because of a tornado that shut down schools & then COVID-19....we did not have that precious time. There are always possibilities that a student may not have a piece of art in their class grouping because of absences or not writing their name on their work.  All attempts were made to include one picture from each student.


May 18, 2020

A Dino-Mite Art Show: Kindergarten

Our annual K-4th Grade art show was suppose to take place March 26th.
I brought home all the art work to prep it for the show (when I still thought we'd get to return to school).  We would have had two more weeks to tweek/fix/finish student work, but because of a tornado that shut down schools & then COVID-19....we did not have that precious time. There are always possibilities that a student may not have a piece of art in their class grouping because of absences or not writing their name on their work.  All attempts were made to include one picture from each student.


May 17, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: WORDS

Most think of art as a primarily visual form of communication and expression, but words play an incredible roll.  They label it, describe it, promote it, compare it, emote about it, praise it, and condemn it. Art creates conversation.  Art is communication.  A title for a work can cause confusion or clarification.  A well written artist statement can set the scene for a work or series of works that will usher the viewer in to a deeper experience because of the context provided.  A scathing review can sway our opinion of a work, artist, or venue.  Friends discussing a work of art or an artist can raise one's curiosity & desire to seek out more information.  Yes, words have a power to impact art (and artist) in a positive, negative, or neutral way.  

Words have an incredible impact.  Do you consider this in your day to day?  There are so many things happening in our world that could easily influence you in a negative manner.  Are you allowing negativity to escape from your lips?  How much do you entertain negativity in your ears, minds, and hearts? Sometimes we make excuses.  We call it "playing", "sarcasm", "truth", "honesty", "the way it is"...etc. However we choose to label it, the reality is that we can harm others with our words (piercing like a sword).  If it does not build others up, if it does not show God's love, and if it does not reflect The Word to the world around we need to entertain such things? 

Do your words HURT or HEAL?  

As you reflect on this....consider how you can change the words you hear, read, write, listen, and speak so that you might better reflect the person God has called you to be.  Do your words help, encourage, inspire, build, benefit, and HEAL? Do they show love, grace, and hope?  Do others want to know why your words, your way, your attitudes, and your actions are different from others?  

This week speak words of love, encouragement, and healing
 to someone in your life!

May 14, 2020


My wife went to one of our favorite Dollar Tree's today (getting some work books for our kids), and she was looking at the "craft" section & found this brush holder.  WHAT!!! ONE DOLLAR!!  Yes, you probably need to hot glue/super glue the legs....BUT ONE DOLLAR!!  In our area, Dollar Tree has really upped their arts & crafts game!  They recently started carrying yarn (the colors are very pretty!).  
 Anyways, I love this brush holder.  Though...I have some empty spots so now I feel I must get more brushes!!!  ha ha  Thought you all might want to check out your Dollar Tree to see if you can find any arty goodness!  Hope you all are doing well.

May 10, 2020

Metro Nashville Online Student Art Show

Metro Nashville Public Schools usually has their annual Mayor's Art Show at the Frist Museum Every Spring.  Because of being out due to COVID-19, the did not happen event did not happen this year.  Our coordinator for visual art wanted to have "something".  She put out the call for student art work...either created during the school year or through online learning.  I brought home my entire K-4th art show to prepare before finding out that we'd not be returning.  I thought I'd share the images I submitted for the digital show.  If we are given a link to all the submissions I'll share it on here.  Our show was dinosaur themed (I'm so sad it won't be show is my craziest time of the year, but also my favorite!!).






Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: OPEN


PERSON A  "I don't get abstract art? Abstract art is stupid!"

People have strong opinions about art.  They will often draw a line in the sand concerning what they feel is art or what they may consider to be good art.  Though I do enjoy a good debate every once and awhile, I do not believe it is my place to "defend" my perspective on art/good art.  I do feel it is my place to "educate" others when the opportunity arises (in a non-condescending manner).  I come from a place of exposure, in depth study, and diverse training from a multitude of instructors from multiple perspectives.  This is not to say that my thoughts on art are"better", but it is informed differently than most.  When others express their opinions, they are sharing out of their experience, understanding, and perspective.  There is great value in this.  As an "art person", I should listen, ask questions, and encourage others to think about/process/unpack their opinions/beliefs about art.  If I remain open to what others are saying...they may remain open to learning, growing, and experiencing art.  If I am closed off  or try to shut them down, they will be less likely to open themselves up again.

Being open does not mean compromising your beliefs. Being grace filled does not mean you are allowing others to walk all over you.  In Colossians 4:5-6,  we see an admonition to believers in their actions and interactions towards others.  We are not called to be confrontational and demeaning.  We are not called to be finger pointing zealots.  We are not called to be callous spewers of religiosity.  NO!  We are called to be wise, grace filled, and conscientious to the individual.  This means we must be open to share our own story.  We must be open to hearing their story (without judgement or condemnation).  We must be open to give and speak the grace that has been given to us.  Our actions, attitudes, and words need to reflect that life and love. God is all about relationships.  We should be about relationships.  We need to listen more.  Ask questions without expectations.  Encourage others to think, process, and unpack their own journeys. If we live life this will be amazing to see how God might use us when we're open.   

May 07, 2020

Throw Back Thursday: Chihuly

In 2010, Chihuly was on display at The Frist Museum & Cheekwood here in Nashville.  Our school district had a huge push to share the work of Chihuly with our students.  I was on the team that developed lessons, lead professional development, and created web resources for our teachers to use during this time.  I loved this display of work created by my students.  It was located at the front of our school where everyone entered the building.  What a "WOW" factor!  His work is suppose to be returning to Cheekwood this summer (though I'm not sure what will happen with COVID-19 and such?!?).  Might have to bring back some of these projects.  

May 04, 2020

Sewing With Mr.E: How to Make a Yo-Yo

I've had a lot of you ask how I make the "yo's" for the yo-yo wall hanging I've been working on.  So here is a video to give you the details.  Please remember...I'm not a "professional" seamster/clothier/tailor! So there may be things I do that are cringe worthy for those of you who have more experience with a needle and thread. 

May 03, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: WATCH

It is easy to allow outside sources to influence our inner creative dialog.  Sometimes we are seeking constructive criticism.  Sometimes we are seeking affirmation. Sometimes people offer unsolicited opinions. Whatever the case might be, if we are not careful we can allow such things to begin seeping into our heart, our mind, and our art.  We begin to think that our work isn't good enough, our ideas are not strong enough, or that we lack social media star power (a seeming prerequisite for any type of success in today's world). Half truths and whole lies cause us to doubt ourselves or compromise our artist integrity.   Our work begins morphing into what is trendy and acceptable to the masses. We need to watch what we allow to take root in our artistic lives. We need to watch our own thoughts, words, and actions so we do not feed into the destructive patterns that can crush our creative pursuits.

What does it mean to "watch over your heart"? Some translations use the word "guard" instead of watch.  When one watches or guards something.....they are attentive.  They know who or what SHOULD be going in or out.  They know who or what IS going in and out.  They are also empowered(given the tools and training) to do what is necessary to insure these expectations are accomplished. Do we truly "watch" or "guard" our heart?  Do we allow things to enter in that should not?  Right now we are faced with information and opinions as diverse as the fish in the sea.  We can easily allow the confusion, contempt, and consternation of this world to impact our lives.  We can allow pride and stress to have a place in our hearts.  Is that what the Lord desires for us? NO!  We need to be living the life God has given us.  That life is rooted in love.  What are you letting into your heart...your mind...your life?  What actions do you need to take to truly watch/guard your heart?  

April 28, 2020

E-Kids Weaving

As most of you know...I have three children (6, 8, & 11). My kids are pretty "artsy", and love to try the projects I've been creating videos for.  My older two are TOTALLY into the circle weaving.  My 11 yr old already has plans for her "next" circle weaving and the colors she wants to use! ha ha 
 If you aren't sure about circle weaving...check out this post ( ).
 I think 2nd grade and up can find success with circle weaving.  

April 27, 2020

What are you making?

During this time of "social distancing" and "safer at home".....there is a bit more time & opportunity to create.  I've had an idea for a fabric piece, and finally started working on it.  I've posted on social media...and have gotten the question, "HOW DO YOU MAKE THOSE?"  I'll try to make a video this week showing how to create the yo-yo's.
This is "in progress", and will have more yo-yo's.  I also plan on adding beads to many of them (I've never beaded before!?!?!)

I'll post the progress & when it's completed.

April 26, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Facing Trials

(For those of you who are new here...I do a faith based post on Sunday. 
The rest of the week is art, art ed, and occasionally a proud dad post! 

As artists, we are opening ourselves up to criticism, unwanted opinions, and attacks. That is part of putting your work out in the open for others to see.  Though constructive criticism is an important part of growing as do we handle the not-so-constructive criticism?  It goes beyond just developing a "thick skin".  Thick skin can still be damaged beyond repair. If we do not have a clear understanding of ourselves as artists, innovators, or visual story tellers we will face trials that will shake us to our core. Knowing who we are and being confident in our vision will allow us to anchor deep.  Though the waves will come against us...we will not be moved.  We will receive positive and negative reactions to our work throughout our lives, but we do not have to blown about.  Knowing who you are will allow you to anchor deep.

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. 
 It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary.
Hebrews 6:19 

It is fair to say that we are all facing trials at this point in time. We have all been impacted by what is going on in our world & may be for the foreseeable future. The level at which we've been impacted is not the same.  Though this pandemic has equalized us in many ways, I can not claim to completely understand what others are experiencing.  I do know that those who have a personal relationship with God....have an anchor in this storm.  However, it is alright to wrestle with what is going on.  It is fine if you find yourself  struggling emotionally.  Just because we know God doesn't mean that we are spared from facing the same storms everyone else is experiencing. When we look at Hebrews 6:19 we see that we have a hope that is a strong and trustworthy anchor.  It doesn't say we have a problem free life.  It doesn't say that we are going to be free of trials.  If that were the case.....would we need an anchor?    Our anchor is in knowing the one who knows us...and loves us...and has a purpose & a plan for us! If we are anchored in this truth....we can face any storm, any trial, and any struggle. 

April 25, 2020

Cat In A Box Challenge

I saw this idea on Facebook last week, and thought it would be fun to do with my cat! It seemed simple enough, and I had fun coming up with an idea for my box. Never did I imagine how hard it would be to get my cat to stick her head through the whole in the box!?!?!  My wife finally came to the rescue with a spoon full of ice cream (the cat is obsessed with ice cream).   We laughed so much trying to accomplish this picture!?! Haha 

April 22, 2020

Art With Mr.E: Incised Plate Printing

Simple, accessible, and fun!!  You can do an incised plate print at home with just a few supplies! Check out my video!!  I'd love to see what you post your work on my social media!!!  

April 19, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Plans

Plans are a good thing, right?  We are constantly making plans in our lives.  As artists, we plan out our ideas for our creative pursuits through talking with trusted peers, sketching, or even writing.  Planning ahead can help us work out issues before they happen.  This saves us time, money(wasted supplies equals money), and frustration.  However, making changes or going in a new direction can be scary even when we plan.  Sometimes we would rather just keep on doing what we've always done because it is safe and comfortable. The risk of failure, looking foolish, not being able to actualize your ideas, or exposing ourselves as a hack can paralyze us from working on and implementing our plans.  The risk is worth it.  Even when plans do not unfold as we had hoped, we can learn so much from the experience....and yes....even the failures.  If we make plans and follow through with them in hopes to grow...we will always find success.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen.  You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest. 
Jeremiah 29:11-13

There are times we make plans based on others.  We make plans based on our own wants/desires.  We make plans based on partial information.  We make plans based on complete information.  We make so many plans.  Some of those plans are great.  Some of those plans.....well....not so much.
How often do we make plans based on what the Lord has for us?  There was a time that I thought following God's plan for my life would have me some far away land (and part of my story has been in far away lands). There are times that I thought if I followed God's plan I'd have to give everything I had to the poor, and then I too would be poor too.  These misconceptions of God's plan for my life happened because I was not living out Jeremiah 29:11-13.  Whatever God's plans for our lives are...they are good...they give us a future....they give us hope!  When we live out God's plan for our lives....we will grow.  It might not always be easy, but it will grow us and glorify the Lord.  You might be wondering how you can know God's plan for your life?!?  We also read in these scriptures..."when you pray, I will listen. You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest.".  God desires us to come to him, talk to him, and listen to him.  He is not silent.  When we seek him in earnest...we will find him & hear from him.  Do your plans line up with the God's?  

April 16, 2020

Artist Trading Cards 2020

I usually create a display outside my classroom of all the artist trading cards we receive. However, with the schools being closed, I thought I’d share my cards here and on social media. Please let me know if you see your students work! Thank you Nic Hahn for doing this amazing event for so many years. It has connected art teachers and young artists from across the world.