December 04, 2016

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Prepare for the Mess

Art shirts, old clothes, aprons, table cloths, drop cloths, rags, plastic bags....and a host of other things.
Artists prepare for the mess.  Now some art lends itself to being neater than others, but usually to get to the go through spills, drips, scraps of this or that, glue everywhere, and so much more.  Because experience has taught us, we prepare for these issues before they happen.  I know that when I don't have a towel by my side....that is when I'll need it the most.  Being prepared for such things doesn't mean I'm trying to be careless or that I'm not applying craftsmanship at its finest.  It just means I'm not going to allow myself to be in a position where I'm unprepared for the possibility. 

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  
Ephesians 6: 13-17

Life is messy.  Things happen that can take our focus off of the Lord.  One day it seems our walk with God is going great.  The next day we find temptation all around & old sin/struggles that can cause us to stray from the path.  We are in a world where temptation is all around us & sin/personal struggles can be indulged in a moment's notice.  If we do not plan to protect ourselves from succumbing to such things....then we are planning on cleaning up the mess they create in the near future.  Salvation does not keep us from dealing with struggles, but it does give us a way to handle them when they come our way.  Ephesians gives us a call to put on the full armor of God. Armor isn't needed if life was an easy cakewalk of an experience.  Armor is needed for battle.  Armor is needed for those who serve the King.   If the Lord saw fit for this to be in scripture, don't you think that the armor of God is something we must consider each & every day?  It isn't a "magical" fix to the battles we'll face.  It is however a reminder of who God is...and who God made us to be!  If we remember those things, when temptation/sin/struggles come up against us...we can claim the truth of scripture and overcome the battle.  However, we must remember that the battle rages on continually, and we can not become too comfortable when we experience victories.  We may learn things that will help us in the future, feel we are stronger in some areas than before, but we can never let down our guard and allow ourselves to become too comfortable.  We must plan for the messes of life.  We must be prepared even when we aren't expecting things to get messy.  

December 01, 2016


Some of you may have seen my #turkeyaday16 art challenge.  Seems mostly it was a challenge for me...because I didn't have many participate.  That is ok though...I was crackin' myself up all month long! ha ha  Here are all the turkeys for your viewing pleasure!  

When I first started the challenge...I was only planning on doing a week of art related turkeys.  I was thinking that there were so many other fun subjects to put my turkey could I just keep it to one topic.  However, as the week progressed...I had so many art related ideas to create...I just couldn't bring myself to switch to another topic!!! ha ha  

Check back in February...I think there will be a return of the #aheartaday challenge from last year!   

Odd Saved Draft Posts: ONE


???So here was a mystery post in my "DRAFT" folder of blogger???
It was from a year ago?  So strange??  It was a mixed media project where I had the kindergarten students created painted paper backgrounds one week...and then do collage birds the next.  I loved this project!!  So fun & colorful!  Anyways?!? Maybe this is a repeat..maybe not.  I had 5 drafts??  So..guess you'll be seeing a few odd posts like this?!?! HA HA

November 30, 2016

The Little White Owl: Kindergarten

I recently posted my "go-to" winter books for kindergarten!  
This week I'm reading The Little White Owl.

I have some amazing...I mean AMAZING kindergarten artists!!!!  I had them cut out the ovals for the eyes from white paper so they really POPPED on the page.  We drew our picture first.  They were instructed to make a fun pattern on the belly of the owls.  We then used construction paper crayons to color.  I really push "finishing" their work craftsmanship that it truly looks completed.  I love the results!!!

This owl has seen things!!!!

November 28, 2016

Practicum Students' Poster/Display

I've long worked with the art education department at MTSU (Middle TN State University).  I've had a majority of my student teachers come from there, and who knows how many practicum students!!!  They truly have a wonderful program that well prepares their student for the world of art education.
As part of their stay with me (they send me three at a time..twice a week... for about 5 weeks),  they have to create a bulletin board/display.  I'm kind of possessive about my bulletin have them make posters for my wall.  Here are this year's offerings!! 

November 27, 2016

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Strong & Weak

We don't like to exploit our weaknesses. We have a difficult time embracing our struggles.  However, both can fuel the artist with amazing inspiration!  The weakness explored through the arts can become a great strength.  The despair of one's struggle can find peace through the process of creation.  Sometimes artists get stereotyped as dark, brooding, moody, and always struggling with something.  Maybe they are just more in touch with this part of life & are working through it instead of glazing over the deep hurts that are apart of all of our lives. 

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Unfortunately many believers live life on the surface.  They have become skilled at wearing masks to cover their struggles & masters of acting as not to appear weak.  Somewhere along the line the lie was accepted & adopted that Christians should be "perfect".  You go to church and find that everyone is "fine"(said with a shallow half smile).   People do not share their hurts, discuss their struggles, or admit their weaknesses.  Yet in 2 Cor. 12: 9-10 we are confronted with the fact that the very thing so many are trying to exactly what God wants us to bring to him.  When we can bring these things to the Lord & admit that we need him...his strength can be experienced.  The community of believers can become stronger when we live life together...sharing our struggles & weaknesses with one another.  We can experience the Lord in a new way when we can free ourselves of the masks & acting....and live an authentic matter how imperfect!!

November 23, 2016

Mini Matisse's ATC Swap 2016

Here are this year's offerings for the 2nd Annual Mini-Matisse ATC Swap!
I had all grades work on different aspects of the cards.  Can't wait to see what we get back from the swap!! The kids loved seeing other students' work from all over the world last year!!  

November 20, 2016

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Layers

I love creating & teaching collage. There is something so soothing to me about cutting paper. I also love the amount of texture, color, and pattern that can be infused in the work.  When I teach collage, one of the greatest struggles for young artists is planning the layers to their work.  They get so excited about one component that they forget that their are things behind & around it.  This creates greater challenges when things are done without considering the whole.  Even when the background is not what we would consider the "star" of the show, it must be considered for the overall success of the work.  Every layer of a collage is important to the larger picture.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, aa time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.  
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

Our lives are all about the layers.  We have experiences that may seem to be something we'd rather forget, but those events allow us to value & embrace the good in our lives.  It isn't that we wish negative, challenging, difficult times upon ourselves & others.  Those times are part of all of our lives.  We will experience pain, sickness, and even death.  How will we deal this these things?  Often we return in our hearts & minds to the good times...when life was not such a struggle.  Remember such things gives us hope for tomorrow.  When our lives are going well & we are experience joy & do we reflect on those experiences?  We remember where we came from & the challenges we've overcome.  When life is neither high nor low....we look at our struggles to push us toward greater things....or the successes to motivate us to new heights.   We can not fixate on the positive, negative, or current situations.  Doing so denies the larger picture God is creating through our lives.  There is a season for everything.  Those seasons all play a part in knowing God & making God known. As we share our stories of his faithfulness in our lives(good & bad)...God is glorified.  The layers that make up our life are all important....and must be considered as we grow in him. 

November 19, 2016

Books in the Art Room: Winter

Fall has been fun..but it is time to turn our attentions to winter!  It will be here before we know it.  I do my best to have WINTER books & not CHRISTMAS.  I stay away from holidays as much as possible since they are a day...and seasons last for months (so the art is relevant longer!).  Plus..not everyone celebrates the same holidays...or in some cases..ANY holidays. 

So here are some of the winter books I use in my classroom!