November 19, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: VISION

Having vision is an important aspect of art.  It goes far beyond the skills needed to create.  There are many in this world who have the technical skills to accomplish art making.  However, technical skills without vision will not innovate, push boundaries, or make statements that create conversation and/or change.  Vision guides the artists skill to make choices of the heart that sometimes contradict the training/logic of a given medium.   I've also seen some artists move to an unexplored medium in order to convey their message.  It is that inner passion that moves a person from being someone who can technically create in an aesthetic manner to an ARTIST.  This vision also allows the individual to continue on in the face of adversity, questioning, and disapproval.  They see something that their critics can not, and it keeps them from giving up....and motivates them press onward.

Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet 
and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27

Vision keeps us from being distracted.  Sometimes we can justify things as "good distractions", but other times the distractions just take us from our path and purpose.  I've seen many believers who  know the right things to say & do, and have skills that could be used to encourage the body of Christ & make Him known.  However, they don't have a vision for their place in God's plan.  They are distracted.  They are caught up in their life, things of the world, or even "churchie" things that seem good.  Through God's Word, prayer, and discipleship...we can gain a true vision for God's plans for our life. We will unleash the passion God has placed in our hearts, and it will meet a need in a unique and beautiful way.  He has designed us to do so.  What is keeping you from seeing the vision or living out the vision God has for you?  How can you live out this life with a passion that will keep you focused and moving forward?  Are you just going through the motions because you know how to....or are you living with passion and purpose?

November 16, 2017

#turkeyaday17: Got Behind?!?!

I had intentions of posting every day for #turkeyaday17.
Things happen?!?! I was creating every day, but just couldn't get myself to post.
Oh well...I give myself grace & am doing my best to catch up!  
Here are a handful of turkeys for your viewing pleasure.


#k12ArtChat: Celebrate Gratitude

Tonight is the #K12ArtChat: Celebrate Gratitude....hosted by ME!!!
Never participated in a Twitter Chat before....never to late to start!! They are a fast pace information heavy time to connect with like minded people from ALL OVER focused on a specific topic.  The questions for tonight's chat are below so you can be thinking ahead!!! I recommend using TweetDeck.  Google it if you aren't sure...super user friendly!!! 


November 13, 2017

TAEA Middle TN Art Teacher of the Year

This year I was unable to attend my state conference because I had the joy & previledge of being the super session dude at Wisconsin Art Education Association State Conference (SO. MUCH. FUN.).
I received the Middle TN Art Teacher of the Year Award, but was not there to receive it. 


November 12, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Talking to the Creator

Have you ever looked at a work of art and wished you had access to the artist so you could ask them all your questions?  Don't get me wrong, I love being able to interpret art from the visual clues provided, the context that I have knowledge, and my own "gut" reaction, but there are times when questions remain that can only be answered by talking to the creator.  Such a conversation not only yields the answers to questions you have, but provides amazing insights to the passions, interests, and processes of the artist that their work can not fully speak.  It allows you to have a deeper relationship with the creation & creator.

This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it-the Lord is his name: call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. 
Jeremiah 33:2-3

There are times in our faith journey that we feel like things are one sided, and that there is not a true relationship there with our Creator.  We set in church and feel disconnected. We pray and feel like our words go into the void. We spend time with other believers and feel no true connection.  We read God's Word and the words are just.....words.  There are many reasons we go through these "seasons" in our life.  Some are brief & some seem to drag on forever.  We might have some things we need to give over to God.  We might have some things we need to let go.  It is possible we might not have a clue to why we are in the season at all.  No matter...we need to talk to the Creator! We wants to hear from us.  We see in Jeremiah that He wants us to "CALL TO ME AND I WILL ANSWER YOU".  How amazing that our Creator wants us to call to Him!  And even more....that He will ANSWER!  When we look at life...our life...and just aren't sure where we are at, why we are where we are, or how things got to this point......take your questions to the Creator.  He deeply desires to hear from His children.  He wants to respond to your questions(if we are willing to ask, listen, and search His Word).  The answers may not always be what we expected, but He will meet you where you are & respond to your heart's cry.  Not sure how...or where to start?  Just start a conversation with Him!  He knows your heart....and you will not surprise Him with your questions, thoughts, and issues. 
Just talk to Him.  

November 11, 2017

#turkeyaday17 (playing catch up)

It is so easy to get behind posting?!?!?! 
Here are a few days worth of turkeys for you!!

My Mixed Media turkey started out as an incised plate print using acrylic paint.  I wasn't really thrilled with it as a print so I decided to push it a bit further.  I did a watercolor wash overtop of the print.  Then I used gold Sharpie and wrote "gobble" over and over in the background.  I highlighted some of the colors using oil pastels, and colored pencil to create shadows.

We are doing circle weaving with 3rd grade & soft sculptures in 4th yarn, plastic needles, and SmartFab are ALL OVER my room! ha ha  I made this little stitched turkey during bus duty.  

When my incised plate print didn't turn out as I wanted it to...I decided to do a transfer print using Portfolio Oil Pastels.  He made me laugh! ha ha

November 06, 2017

#turkeyaday17 : Day 6

I have several people joining in on Twitter!!! So if you want to see what others are making for #turkeyaday17, jump on over to Twitter and search the hashtag #turkeyaday17 !!! 

This lovely lady is collage!!  

November 05, 2017

#turkeyaday17: Day 5

They aren't always funny lookin'! ha ha  
Here is Day 5's turkey created in Oil Pastel! 

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: PLANS

Have you ever happened upon an artist when they are at the beginning or middle of a work?  Sometimes you can't see their vision.  Sometimes you can't even tell what it is they're creating.  Your hope is that the artist knows what they are doing, and that they have a plan for finishing things.  However, if you are an know there are times that the plan is loose at best.  You hope inspiration, natural instinct, training, and (sometimes) a deadline will be enough to bring a piece to completion. This does work at times.  Though a plan will usually yield better, timely, and more focused work.  Can you imagine if an architect didn't have a clear vision?

"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

At times life throws so many things at us, we are distracted from our plan/purpose.  IT HAPPENS!  There is no shame in this. However, we can not forget that plan/purpose!  We plan for a reason.  Plans keep us focused.  Plans remind us our priorities.  Plans will allow us to see beyond our present situation, and will give us a goal to keep going forward!  Keeping your plans "in check" with Him & His Word will also allow you to be the most effective with your time, relationships, gifts, and resources.   If you feel you don't have a plan for your life....GOD DOES!  If you feel your purpose is unclear, and you don't know why you are "here"...GOD DOES!  He desires you to know Him & make Him known!  As you get to know will see you are loved, valued, empowered, purposeful, and a part of His plan!  This knowledge can help you get through any situation that attempts to rob you of your purpose & plan.  

November 04, 2017

#turkeyaday17: Day 4

So I had some fun participation on Facebook & Twitter!!!
Never too late...join in today!

November 03, 2017

#turkeyaday17 : Day 3

Today I used crayons(Crayola of coarse!) to create my
Tyranno-Turkey-Rex!  I crack myself up!! ha ha 
Who else is going to join in the fun?!?!?!  Don't forget to tag your posts on social media with #turkeyaday17 !!!!

Line Design: 4th Grade

I've not done this project for a couple years.  It really is the post/project that blew up my blog...and still much traffic comes to Art With Mr. E because of it.  I'll include the links to the explanation for it if you are interested!  I have the basic directions, do's & don'ts, and examples of different media.

Line Design Explaination: Deluxe Edition

November 02, 2017

#turkeyaday17 : DAY 2

I've only had one person join the fun so far, but I'm continuing on...because it makes me laugh!! Here is my watercolor turkey for today!!  The info is below my turkey if you'd like to participate!! 

November 01, 2017


                 It's that time of year again!! It's time for the second annual Turkey-A-Day Challenge!!! 
I love turkeys(not as much as turtles...but close).  They are fun/silly/interesting creatures.  Last year I started creating a turkey a day for the month of November. I invited others to join me! I had so much fun creating & seeing others create as well.  I themed them last year on famous art works. But a theme is not necessary.  And if you can't join in every it when you can.  Post it to social media & hashtag it #turkeyaday17 ! Can't wait to see what we make!! 



October 29, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: PURPOSE

There are a million things that can shake our confidence & derail us from our purpose.    The arts have a way of being more than just a is very personal.  Our art & our art teaching is an extension of who we are, our ideas, our beliefs, our talents, and our abilities. When someone questions or criticizes these can (at times) cause us to question why & what we do.  I've seen artists & art teachers struggle with self doubt, and become ineffective because of it. Some might think that we just need to develop a thicker skin, not be so wishy-washy, or have more confidence.  That is at times easier said than done.  

Nehemiah knew what he was called to do.  Even when those around him were questioning, criticizing, and fearful.  Nehemiah didn't call into question his purpose.  Nehemiah didn't throw up his hands in despair.  Nehemiah cried out to God and said "STRENGTHEN MY HANDS".  This is not someone who has forgotten what he was called to do, but someone who is asking the Lord to help fulfill his purpose.  It doesn't say that he never struggled, but that because he knew who he was & what he was to do....he pressed on through whatever came his way.  

What are you called to do?  What causes you to doubt or question your purpose?  What steps do you need to do so that the doubts and the questions do not take you from your calling.  I believe teaching art is my purpose God has called me.  When lower than expected evaluations come, parents complain about my grading practices, students do not behave as they should, or lessons seem to fall flat....instead of throwing up my hands in resignation......I call out to the Lord and ask Him to STRENGTHEN MY HANDS!!!!     

October 26, 2017



October 25, 2017

New Project for Teaching Landscapes: 1st Grade

I had come across the artist Tom Schulten. 
 I loved the color & pattern of his abstract landscapes. 
(Check out his site here -> )

I wanted to jazz up my tired landscape lesson with 1st I thought I'd use Tom Schulten's as inspiration.  We started by selecting five colors of markers to draw horizontal lines across our page. I then had the student draw in a simple line drawing for foreground, middle ground, and backgroud using black crayon. Students then used a thick paint brush with water to go over the whole page(painting in a horizontal direction).  After the work was dry, we used construction paper crayons to highlight certain parts to define the areas.  I think they turned out pretty cool!  Even if the students didn't realize it was something new/different...I sure enjoyed it!

October 24, 2017

Dino Hatchling Collages: Kindergarten

This week is the second class time for the kindergarten dinosaur unit I'm doing!  I wanted to revisit collage so that my students could become more proficient with scissor & glue use.  They just aren't having the opportunities in there classrooms!!(Not the teachers fault at all...just the kindergarten is now-a-days!)  I started with the story THREE LITTLE DINOSAURS

I allowed the students to select one big piece of paper(background), one small piece of paper(dino), and one white piece of paper(egg) at the beginning of class. 

The started by drawing an oval for the egg.  Once they cut it out, I had them cut a zigzag line across the middle.  I then had them fold their small colored piece of paper in half.  They drew an oval and cut it out(with paper folded to get two of the same shape/size).  I showed them how to cut a wedge shape out for the mouth.  We then used our scraps to make the eye, arms, and tail.  After students glued it down...I allowed them to get crayons to add details.

October 23, 2017


I've noticed more & more students using the phrase...
The thing is....they haven't.  It seems this phrase is use like an excuse.  I have high expectations for my students, and honestly...I expect them to ALWAYS do the best that they can!  Why do any less?  However, when kids say this...they expect me to not say anything to them about there work or how they might improve upon it.  I actually had a boy repeat himself today..."I said I did the best that I could!"  I approach him in a way to help...not criticize.  I like him a lot...and have seen him grow so much over the past couple years!!  However, if he(or any student) starts to make excuses for their work...they will stunt their artistic development. 


October 22, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: PEACE

Artists produce work for varied reasons.  There are times they create to display skill, make money, fulfill others' visions, work through ideas for future pieces, etc.  Some of these reasons are "detached" from the heart, emotion, and passions of the artist. The work possess value/merit, and is very much a part of every artist's journey.  However, there is something powerful & compelling about work that comes from the depths of one's experiences.  When an artists creates from that raw and present place of where they are....amazing things can come to fruition. A person struggling with loss can imbue their work with the pain & confusion that comes with such emotion.  The work may take on a style, color palette, and compositional construct that is divergent from the "normal". This may allow the viewer to connect with a work in a way that might not have happened if the artist wouldn't have allowed themselves to create out of that "place".  That is an amazing gift.  The artist can express/communicate emotions in a way that resonates with others like little else can. We are able to to meet the viewer where they are....and share our humanity.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.  On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.  They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.
1 Peter 3:8-11

I'll admit that my art is rarely angry, depressing, or full of angst.  It isn't who I am.  I've always been a more positive personality that can see/find the good in almost anyone/any situation. For me to create "angry" art in order to reach new views would not be authentic.  Even during times of struggle in my life...there is always hope in my work.  As Christians, we have a hope/peace that passes all understanding.  This is not to say that we can't wrestle with loss, anger, pain, confusion, frustration..etc.  I have not made it through life this far without my share of such situations, but I've always found myself holding onto the peace that only God can provide.  I want my life to reflect this truth. I don't want to fall into the trap of negativity that our world seems to be elevating.  I want to be able to be a light in the darkness.  I want to be able to speak life to people that so desperately need it.  AND...I want my art to reflect my hope.. Even if I'm in a "bad" place...I desire to produce work that shows the struggle to seek & pursue peace in midst of  "bad" times.  With the is possible.  

October 19, 2017



I'm truly honored to be entrusted with leading six super sessions for the state conference! We'll be having fun with kindergarten unit ideas, discussing books/literature in the art room, and a whole lot more!!  We're going to have such an amazing time together.  For those of you attending the conference...keep checking back on my blog & social media...there might be some give-a-ways that you'll have to be "in the know" about!!! ha ha  

(If you are interesting in me coming to your state conference...please have your state president or conference planner e-mail me!!  Never too early to start planning for next year!)

October 18, 2017




I was able to attend the print making workshop with my former professor who is in charge of the print making at BGSU.  Funny thing is...out of the four classes I had with her...none of them were print making!!??!? ha ha  It was a blast to spend time with her and the print making students!

We were also treated with the opportunity to go to a metal smithing workshop!!  HOW FUN IS THAT!!!  I did not have any metal/jewelry classes while at this was a wonderful experience for me!

Ok...this is terrible?!!?!? I went to speak to the Art Education students & faculty....and all I got was a picture of my chili & napkin?!?!! ha ha  I'M SO SORRY GANG!!! I had such a wonderful time spending time with these amazing women!!!  The faculty is completely different than when I was there...but they are all awesome!!! The students I was privileged to interact with were AMAZING! I'm excited for the world of art education to be getting such quality teachers!!  (They made soup & salad for my visit....and it was SOOOO GOOD!!!  But still...I should have taken more pictures than this! ha ha) 

Here is the art home away from home while I was at BGSU.  When I started..this new section was only a year old.  Now it is...OH MY GOODNESS...22 yrs old!!! AHH!! Gosh that makes me feel ancient. ha ha

This is the new Wolf Center for the Arts.  It is on the old location of our student service building(which looked like a slide projector!! RIP).  

The building on the left is the library which is right beside the art building...a lot of time spent there as well.  The green space was awesome place to hang out, build snowmen, etc!

The building on the left is the education building!  Another building I spent a lot of time in!!!  Not just for my education classes(my degree was kind of set up like an education degree & BFA), but also because Campus Crusade for Christ had their weekly meeting in the education building.  So many good memories!!  The building on the left was the basketball gymnasium, but I've heard it is re-purposed....just not sure for what?

These are some of the oldest buildings on campus(1918 I think?), but they have been pretty much gutted and re-purposed. I had a few classes in them back in the day!  

This is Prout Chapel!  LOVE THIS PLACE!!! I'm not exactly sure why the chapel is even on our campus...I guess I should look the history up.  I just know that every Friday we had PGIF(Praise God It's Friday)...and it was such a wonderful way to end the week!  My junior & senior year I helped lead singing...and it was always such a special time to me!

A couple of my friends came to support me!!!  Carmone & Amanda graduated with me Dec. 1996! I feel that time & distance has only grown our friendship!!  I had not seen either of them since graduation...and we didn't miss a beat!!  

We had to go down memory lane by eating at a fav place in Bowling Green... CAMPUS POLYEYES!  The best bread sticks in the WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!


I know this might seem a bit ridiculous...but every time I saw this image in a building on campus...I took a picture(except for one).  Why?  This is the announcement for the Milestones Alumni Art Show, and they used one of my paintings to flank the sides of it!!  I was so excited.  I've never had work hang in a "real" gallery space this whole experience was just wonderful for me.

Here are my three pieces that were in the alumni show!  They asked 10 people from each of the different art majors (art ed, graphic design, painting, etc) that had made significant contributions to their field of study.  It really was a huge honor for me!  And it marked the first time my work hung in the BGSU galleries.  I was received a BS in Art Education..which did not require a senior show.

Here are closer up views of my work. 

This is Janet Ballweg (google her...beautiful art!!!!).  She was a professor I had for 4 classes while I was at BGSU(you also saw her up the beginning doing the print making workshop).  She is everything a great art teacher(and just any teacher) should be!  She is tough with high expectations.  She is an amazing artist herself.  She is amazing at instructing/motivating/challenging in the visual arts.  She is compassionate/caring.  I have so much respect for her.  She's also just a whole lot of fun to spend time with!!!  Blessed to know her.

(This is just a fraction of the art work contained in this exhibit!)

The balloons...ARE MADE OUT OF QUARTS!!!! WHAT?!?!?

These piggy banks are just awesome...they are clay!!!