November 11, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Talent Lost?

(If you have a weak stomach...you may want to skip this week's devotional.)

I MAY HAVE SHARED MY STORY BEFORE, 
BUT THIS IS WHAT WAS ON MY HEART TO SHARE TODAY.  

I stood there in my college sculpture class looking at my hand caught in a machine.  I said nothing. The pain was unbelievable, but the fear of what could be was even greater. I kept repeating in my head..."I just ruined my art career."  Time truly seemed to stand still in that moment.  I got my self together enough to release the lever on the side of the machine, and attempt to lift the top roller that was crushing my fingers. I managed to raise it  up enough to pull my trapped hand out.  My glove that had been hiding the damage was still caught in the rollers.  Now revealed was mangled skin, visible bone, and more blood than I had seen before.  My art career was over.  I snapped out of it, and ran to my professor...leaving what looked like a murder seen in my wake. He grabbed my arm and dragged me to his office where he picked up a dirty rag from the floor and wrapped my hand.  In my head I was thinking..."Oh great, now I'll have gangrene on top of it all?!?!"  I said nothing because I was too nauseous to speak.  One of the guys in the class volunteered to take me to the emergency room..noting that he had plastic seats and didn't care if blood got everywhere.  He dropped me off at the hospital and wished me well.  I was left at the door holding a dirty rag on my bloody hand, and all I could thing was..."I ruined my art career."

After waiting an incredibly long time for someone in my condition...an ER doctor looking at my injury and informed me that I'd have to have my thumb, index, and middle finger removed.  However, the only doctor who could perform the procedure was in a hip replacement.  I laid on the bed in the ER alone...asking God to meet me in that moment & help me come to terms with what was about to happen.  He did!. In that moment,  I knew that no matter what happened...my life had a purpose & a plan.  It might not look like what I had expected or planned, but it was going to be full & meaningful.  My purpose was not found in just one talent/skill, but in who I am at the core.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

This verse was spoken to the people of Israel about their 70 year exile in Babylon.  It was a verse to reassure them that he never left them.  It was a verse to remind them that all things can work together for good for those who love the Lord.  It was a verse to give them hope for the future he had for them.

I came to a place where I knew there was more for me no matter the outcome of my injuries.  I didn't know what it would look like, but I had hope for the future...and that was enough.  It was amazing the conversations I had that day with the nurses, doctors, and hospital staff.  They were not use to an injured patient asking how they were doing or inquiring if they had any prayer requests.

As it turned out...I was able to keep my thumb & fingers (though damaged).  The doctor who came down to remove them picked through the mess that was my hand....stopped...looked at me...and asked "Do you have people praying for you?  Because that is my only explanation for why I'm not removing your fingers right now!"  He told me that with the amount of skin damage I had...that it was unheard of for there to be no bone or tendon damage.  So...he sewed me back up, and sent me on my way.  Recovery took months.  I had to paint, draw, and write with my non-dominant hand for a majority of that time.  One of the fingers might be a little disfigured & there may be some nerve damage, but they are all present & accounted!!  I'm still able to draw, paint, and create.  I also was able to talk to many students after my accident that told me they did know if they could go on with their life if they lost their ability to create.  I was able to share with them that they were so much more than just their ability/talent/skill.

I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to have so many good...deep...meaningful conversations out of this terrible accident.  We can find power in the midst of the pain.  We can find purpose outside of our plans.  We can be the light in dark times....even when they are our own.

November 09, 2018

Necessary Evil

What is something you do in your art room that is a "Necessary Evil".  Keeping up with my glue bottles is not a favorite task of mine. I've tried glue sponges...I liked it for some things, but do not feel it is as handy for all projects.  Glue sticks...NO.  I love what my students can do with a good ol' bottle of Elmer's Glue (Once I've taught them how to use them!!)


One would think I'd be much better with refilling glue bottles after 21 yrs of teaching...
but nope...not really! HA HA 

I'll struggle through so I can save money...not throw things into landfills..etc.

WHAT IS YOUR NECESSARY EVIL???

November 08, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 8

If I could turn back time...I would have "Cher"ed this with you earlier.
Never too late to join in the fun & silliness!  Make a turkey today!



November 07, 2018

#turkeyaday18 : Nov 7

You don't have to be fancy to be thankful!
I hope you all are enjoying #turkeyaday18.
I'd love to see your pictures if you or your students 
are creating some silly turkeys along with us!

November 06, 2018

Sketchbook Prompts



Former students attending a charter school with no art....a 2nd grader who is asking for art homework...and others out there looking for ideas to help them create......
HERE YOU GO!!!
By no means is this an exhausted list of ideas...but it is a place to start!!  I may add more to this over time.  I hope that it helps some of you looking for direction!!  

I would print this list out & place it in your sketch book/note book.  That way you can check off the ideas as you create them.  Items can be drawings, paintings, collage...whatever you would like to do! 

  1. Dream Bedroom.
  2. You were shrunk and are standing somewhere that everything is giant compared to you.
  3. Combined 3 or more animals into a new create, and create its habitat.  
  4. Futuristic Car/Truck.
  5. Underwater World (Think Atlantis!).
  6. Royal Outfit.
  7. Favorite Food.
  8. Design a logo for your favorite fruit/vegetable. (Logo is like the Nike Swoosh or the symbol on the Pepsi can.)
  9. Insect or Creepy Crawly attacking a city.
  10. A magic world! 
  11. Animals dressed as people.
  12. Rocket ship that could carry people from the moon & back.
  13. A robot that could do a chore you do not enjoy doing. 
  14. Alien plant growing in your garden/flowerbed.
  15. Animal in a tree....that doesn't belong in a tree.
  16. Dark and stormy night.
  17. Bug in a spider web.
  18. Playing a sport.
  19. Favorite nursery rhyme.
  20. Illustrate your favorite song.
  21. Food with a face/arms/legs.
  22. Bundled up for cold weather.
  23. Dragon(s) in flight.
  24. Create your own cartoon character, his/her friends and/or enemies, and setting.
  25. Scribble & then turn it into something awesome.
  26. Draw something you know well(pet, toy, friend, food) with your eyes closed(NO CHEATING!).
  27. In the jungle.
  28. You with crazy hair.
  29. Tree house.
  30. Design your own board game.
  31. Give an animal wings that doesn't have wings(Bat wings, butterfly wings, bird wings, bug wings..etc).
  32. On a farm.
  33. A boat on water.
  34. Tropical island.
  35. At the circus.
  36. If sharks could fly.
  37. Peacock.
  38. Invention that would help you.
  39. Something shiny.
  40. An open door.
  41. Inside your favorite store.
  42. You as a superhero.
  43. Make a sign/advertisement of something that is important to you.
  44. Something sweet to eat.
  45. What would you do with a million dollars?
  46. If you could travel back in time...where would you go?
  47. A room you are in has no gravity..what does it look like.
  48. Dinosaurs are alive and well today.
  49. A day at the amusement park.
  50. Helping someone.


#turkeyaday18: Nov 6

Maybe I'm hungry??
#turkeyaday18 is well underway...but it isn't too late to join in the fun!! 
Come create with us...and post on social media.  Don't forget to use the hashtag & tag me @ArtWithMrE as well!


November 05, 2018

Inspired by Beatriz Milhazes: 1st Grade

This is a work by Beatriz Milhazes, but I could not find the title.

When my practicum student introduced me to the art of Beatriz, I instantly connected with it! My mind instantly jumped to possible projects I could do with my students inspired by her beautiful work. The first project I came up with was a mixed media piece for 1st grade. Day one the students used rulers and lids to make designs. Then they traced their marks with crayons to add extra color to their work. Next students painted the picture. They were encouraged to use as many colors as possible. This week we are retracing areas that are not showing up well...and filling in white spaces that didn't get painted. Then they used patterned paper to create flower shapes, vines, and organic/geometric shapes. I'm really excited to see how the rest of my classes do!!  




#turkeyaday18 : Nov 5

Art teachers at any grade level....#turkeyaday18 would be a good opportunity to teach your students about humor in art!  Have an awesome day!!

November 04, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 4

Day 4 of #turkeyaday18, and I present to you....
UNITURKEY! 😂 haha 
(I crack myself up!!) 



Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: The Colored Pencil Conundrum



I love colored pencils!  I love them in my own art work.  I love using them in the art room.  I love their versatility in value, texture, and color mixing.   They are just AMAZING.  However, as much as I love them...their can be a few issues with colored pencils that cause many to dismiss them. There are several brands that have extremely hard leads which leads to less vibrant colors.  Even with added pressure the color is pale at best.  Another issue that can occur with colored pencils is that the leads get broken on the inside.  The lead at times falls out of the pencil when sharpening or while working with them. This causes a great deal of frustration for the user.  The outside of the pencil may look great, but inside the pencil the lead could be too hard or cracked throughout.    Sometimes what we see isn't always what we get. 


Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.  In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.  Matthew 23:27-28

So many look the part.  They seem like they are people of faith that really have their act together.  They may even go through the motions of "playing" church.  Inside though...they are hard hearted, unforgiving, divisive, or passively indifferent.  Maybe we are a little bit about like that at times.  Maybe it is because things have happened in our lives....and we just feel dulled down in our faith..  We try to do what we "know" is right, but our heart isn't in it.  We feel apathetic.  It happens.  Life happens.  However, we can not continue to live a dulled down life of faith.  It is challenging, but the Holy Spirit is there ready to help you through this time.  There are brothers and sisters in the Lord around you that can help.  When you feel like your faith walk is dull...be honest, be real, be open, be humble, be receptive.  For those who might be broken on the inside....you are not without hope even if you are feeling hopeless.  You may try to look good on the outside, but the pain of your brokenness(for whatever the reason) will show through.  It makes you feel like things are going to fall apart...and you pain...and your shame will be seen through your brokenness.  Some will fight to keep up the façade so they are not found out.  If this continues for a long period of time...it will drive the person farther and farther from The One & the ones he has placed in their life to help them.   He doesn't want you to stay broken & in pieces....he wants to heal you.  He wants you to stop pretending & get real.  It is in that place where healing can begin.

November 03, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Day 3

3 days in...do you know my theme for the month yet? 
Hope you are enjoying them!! 


November 02, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 2

Nov. 2nd is here...and so is my second turkey!!
Do you know the theme yet?  Do you know who this is??
If nothing else...I'm cracking myself up!


Never too late to join in!! If you can't do every day...just create & post as often as you can! Check out others participating on Twitter & Instagram with the hashtag #turkeyaday18.

November 01, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 1st

Every year I've done a different "theme" for my turkeys, and this year will be no different!  Though...you might not guess the theme till Nov 2nd or 3rd?!?! ha ha 

WHO IS JOINING IN ON THE FUN!!!

DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE #turkeyaday18...



October 31, 2018

#turkeyaday18


Join in the fun!! This is the 3rd year for the Turkey A Day Challenge!!  This year we will be using the hashtag #turkeyaday18 ! If you can't post everyday...THAT'S OK!! Just post as much as you are able...we'd love to see what you create. If you want to do your turkeys with a theme in mind...that is cool.  The first year I did my turkeys like a famous work of art...last year I did my turkey in a different medium every day! You can do it however!!  


#K12ArtChat: Gratitude

JOIN ME THURSDAY NIGHT FOR A FUN FILLED TWITTER CHAT!! 




October 29, 2018

"IRON"ic



If you have been following my blog for awhile, you might remember about 2 yrs ago I was diagnosed with Hereditary Hemochromatosis.  My Grandfather & Aunt both died from complications with this disorder....and probably several on my father's side had it(but were un-diagnosed).  

WHAT IS IT?
Hemochromatosis is an iron disorder in which the body simply loads too much iron. This action is genetic and the excess iron, if left untreated, can damage joints, organs, and eventually be fatal.

I was tested after my aunt's death, and as soon as the genetic test came back that I did have the disorder & my numbers were elevated....they jumped into a treatment plan for me. Oh...the treatment you ask....BLOOD LETTING!   I went 7 1/2 weeks twice a week....with a total removal of 7 1/2 liters of blood.  They actually dropped me too low, but with this disorder....it will always go back up again.  

It has been 1 year and 7 months since I've had my last phlebotomy(blood letting).  I had skipped out on my last blood test(I'd been going every two months to see where my numbers were at).  Well...I'd not been feeling great as of late...and my joints were hurting as well.  These are both signs for someone with HH that their numbers are going back up again. I went in last week...and found out today my numbers are up.  They aren't horrible, but I'm scheduled for blood lettings once more...this time every other week.  My first one will be Wed....Halloween!  The vampires are going to get my blood....and I'm ok with it!! 

(Just wanted to update my regular readers!!)

October 28, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: WILL IT STICK?

One of the biggest issues with hanging student art work is what to use so that it will stay up.  At times, I believe the builders & painters are plotting against us to make a "non" stick wall!  Buildings can be too humid, warm, dirty, high traffic...all of which impact the viability of work being able to be displayed for any length of time.Tape, wall tack, hot glue, wax tabs, Velcro dots, and a host of other products works in some of the situations.   There are schools that do not allow hot glue guns to be used because of the possible damage that "might" occur.  Other schools won't allow ANY type of adhesive in fear of it leaving marks, damaging the paint, or some other assorted non-sense.  You want to share the amazing work created by your students, but it can be challenging at times to do so.  Will it stay up?  How long will it stay up?  Will it stick?  


I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.  
2 Timothy 1:5

This verse is such a beautiful illustration of living in a way that "sticks"! 
Timothy's mother & grandmother lived their life in a way that made an eternal impact.


Will it stick?  You invest into the life of your children, your friends, individuals the Lord has placed in your life.  You share your knowledge, experiences, training, hopes,dreams, and love.  Sometimes you wonder if this investment is going to have life long (and eternal) impact. There are questions that cause you concern.  There are choices  that seem to be in opposition of all the things you've taught.  There are days were they seem to push you away as you try to build into their life.  Will it stick? God has called each of us to share the love he has given us with those he puts in our path.  At times it is a long term investment....family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.   Other times it is a brief encounter (yet can have major impact).  No matter which it is....we have been given the opportunity to make the most of every situation.  This world of ours needs to see, feel, experience, and know the love of God.  We are not responsible for what they do with it......if it sticks.  We can only be responsible for faithfully sharing his love with others.  

Will it stick? 
 I pray so.  


October 24, 2018

Town Planners: 1st Grade

I'm so excited with the work I've been seeing from my 1st graders on this project!!!  Let me give you some background.....


The week before this project we did a collaborative project where students created a "village"(refer back to...   http://www.artwithmre.com/2018/10/collaborative-community-1st-grade.html  ).  They broke up into small groups and discussed what they felt where important parts of a town.  They each were responsible for creating a house, a business/place of worship/school..etc. ...and with any left over paper they could make trees/clouds/shrubs/cars. They cut them out, and then the students helped plan where the different elements would go.  The kids loved it...and they turned out great.

For this project...I had the students create a drawing of their own town.  I did show them how to create the road so they could show more buildings & over lap parts of the picture to create a more realistic layout.  They were encouraged to create a town with the buildings that would be most important to them.  Some ended up with toy stores, candy shops, and ice cream parlors...and not much else, but they were still fun...and they kids were able to make them personal. This was done as a drawing only....no coloring.  Sometimes details get lost in the coloring, and I really wanted to preserve those details!!







October 23, 2018

Art Wisdom



Did some digging on who this actually came from...it has been attributed to a few different people (INCLUDING PICASSO!).  However, I found that it actually comes from one of Vincent van Gogh's letters!  This is a wonderful bit of wisdom we need to share with our students!! (I think I see a new bulletin board in my future! Haha) Vincent was Growth Mindset before Growth Mindset was a thing.  THE POWER OF YET!

October 22, 2018

Fall Trees: Kindergarten

My Kindergartners are growing so quickly! 
   I was worried about the start of the school year when I heard that the classes were all going to be around 26 or 27 students.  We were use to smaller numbers in years past.  Though they've turned out to be a WONDERFUL group...I still am careful when planning my lessons. 
You have to consider class size + materials + ability + storage!

I start every Kindergarten lesson with a book....and have a ton of fall inspired stories!! 

PROJECT
The students were given light blue construction paper.  They were first asked to draw three  rectangles evenly spaced(I showed them to have a hand space between each tree.) that touched the bottom & went up toward the middle of the page.  This might seem like a bit much to ask of Kindergartners, but they can do it with a demo prior to starting.  
From the top of the rectangle to the top of the page, students are asked to create thin rectangles that go up diagonally.  Yes...I use the words diagonal, horizontal, and vertical starting the first day of class!  If you use it...so will they!  After students completed their drawing they were instructed to obtain a crayon box for their table....and use a brown or grey crayon to color their trees.  Last, I gave each table a trey with red & yellow tempera.  They used Q-Tips to apply the paint.  We also talked about what red & yellow make....and discussed warm colors.  
YEP!  I PACK AS MUCH AS I CAN INTO AN HOUR!!!  






October 21, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: The Real

Young artists "get" realism.   In their eyes, their work is extremely realistic...even though an outside observer may think it a bit more "abstract".  It's not that they don't enjoy abstract work.  My kindergarten students find Picasso's Cubism portraits a hoot! However, developmentally they comprehend realism more readily.  You see it.  You make it.  It's beautiful. Sometimes the honesty of realism has the power to impact the viewer in the most simplistically beautiful way (Even though we artists know how challenging a truly realistic work can be to create!).  
THE REAL BEAUTY IS....WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET!


Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.  
1 Corinthians 11:1

There are many out there that try to make the Christian life extremely complicated.  However, the reality is quite the opposite.  While Jesus was with his disciples he lived his life in a way so that they could imitate his example.  Paul reminds the Corinthians of this by calling the believers to imitate him....as he imitates Christ.  This call to imitate the Lord is not one of hoops to jump through or hidden messages.  It is simply....love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12: 30-31)  
DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU SEE!  
The real beauty of the Christian life is that we have the example in front of us.  Scripture allows us to see Christ's example...the lives of his followers....and the directions God has given us for living a life the reflects him, glorifies him, and makes his love known. 
The real life we've been called to live comes with a beautiful guide book(The Bible).  It comes with a guide(The Holy Spirit).  It comes with one who has walked the path before us...and walks with us(Jesus).  Are you making things too abstract in your spiritual journey?  
Look to the example for the real thing!

October 18, 2018

Collaborative Community: 1st Grade


1st grade kicked off the new nine weeks with a collaborative project where students created a "....ville".  They broke up into small groups and discussed what they felt where important parts of a town.  They each were responsible for creating a house, a business/place of worship/school..etc. ...and with any left over paper they could make trees/clouds/shrubs/cars. They cut them out, and then the students helped plan where the different elements would go.  
The kids loved it...and they turned out great.  

Ok...could they be any cuter planning together?!?!
 LOVE THEM!!












October 16, 2018

Building Bridges. Eating Pringles.

I have seen many people post on different art teacher groups that they feel disconnected from their faculty....that they don't seem to receive the same respect as classroom teachers...or that it seems there is a lack of understanding of what we do as art educators by the faculty/staff of the school.  Though I feel we should show a respect for all educators/staff  within a building and the role they play in children's lives.....some may not come from that same perspective.  We could complain about the situation & how it should be different....or we can build the bridge to help make the difference.  I'm a big believer in being pro-active in such matters.  Art educators are advocates....in every way!!!!  Though you cannot change everyone's opinions....you may be able to make connections with some! 

Here is a fun way I brought teachers together at my school recently
....didn't take a lot of time, money, or commitment. 


What is this you ask?  
Have you seen the Pringles commercial where they mix the flavors?





Then we talked about what flavor combinations we enjoyed...and which ones we didn't.
So simple.  Food brings people together.  Did this time magically solve everything? No.  However, it did get them into my room.  It did get them to let down their guards.  It did give us the opportunity to laugh together.  Those things go a long way in building needed bridges. Art nights for teachers are another way I've helped to do this as well!!  I will say...there are so situations that are extremely dysfunctional.  No amount of Pringles will help.  You need to be aware of what type of situation you are in.  Try making opportunities to build relationships first before you throw in the towel. 





October 14, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Unexpected

No matter how much education, dedication, experience, skill, talent, or whatever element is within the artist's control....there are just as many variables that are out of the artist's control.  Even artists that have achieved a certain level of success seem not assume that they or their work are assured future success.  Opinions change. Tastes change. Audiences can be fickle. Though at times it can be an artist's own self deprecating nature, their is a certain amount of unexpectedness to success in our field.  All we can do is continue to push forward and be true in creating what is within us to create...not allowing the opinions of naysayers to influence our path. When the unexpected successes take place, we can humble receive them with a grateful heart. 


(This is a longer section of scripture...but I felt it important to share the whole passage.)  

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.  A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus;  he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.  He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.  When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately.  I must stay at your house today."  So he came down at once and welcomed him gladely.  All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner."  But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord!  Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated any body out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."  Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
Luke 19: 1-10  (NIV)

I love the story of Zacchaeus.  Zacchaeus's desire to see Jesus is so great that he climbs a tree in order to see him.  UNEXPECTED.  Jesus acknowledging Zacchaeus and tells him he was going to stay at his house.  UNEXPECTED.  Zacchaeus's response of giving back to those in need and those he had wronged.  UNEXPECTED.  Unfortunately, the only thing that isn't unexpected is the reaction of the people.  Their disdain for who Zacchaeus was and what he had done did not allow them to see the miracle that was occurring right in front of them.   They also lost sight in that moment that they too had been given grace for their own sins.   Zacchaeus's response was not contingent on how the people perceived him, but because of how the Lord meet him right where he was & loved him. All he could do was continue to push forward in this new life he had been given, and not allow the views of others to dissuade him from what God had called him to do.

Are we like Zacchaeus....doing whatever it takes to see Jesus?

OR

Are we like the naysayers... grumbling & muttering because things aren't happening like we think they should?





October 12, 2018

COMING SOON: #turkeyaday18

I KNOW...I KNOW!!!!  It is just the first half of October....and those participating in #Inktober are creating AMAZING WORK!!!!!!!!!!  I just wanted to give you guys time to think about what you might do for #turkeyaday18 !!!!  The first year I based each day off of a different artist or work of art.  Last year I created in a different medium each day.  This year I'm going to.......well, you'll just have to wait and see!!!  I hope you'll consider participating.  It is always fun to see what other create...and this is a silly/no pressure challenge!!!   It will kick off Nov. 1st & run through the month! Join us every day...or as much as you can!! 


October 11, 2018

Pumpkin Color Blending: 2nd Grade

My second graders have been creating pumpkins focusing on color blending.  This is a great opportunity to review the color wheel & all those color terms that are applicable.  
I also love this lesson because I feel it pushes young artists to work on controlling their media.  Students at the elementary level are often very heavy handed, and giving them opportunities to work on this school is extremely valuable.