April 19, 2014

BABY WATCH 2014


Hey friends...I took this picture of my wife today.  It really could be any time now that Caroline Joy hatches!!  My wife is more than done!! ha ha  She's not due till May 5th...but they believe she is about 9 lbs right now!!!  Yep..we have big babies!  Eli & Margaret are very excited to see their baby sister.  The other day Eli(2 yrs old) was talking to my wife's belly..."Caroline, come out and play Legos with me!".  Love it!!!!  Stay tuned!

Jalapeño Bacon Deviled Eggs!

        
  
                                         This is how I like to decorate Easter Eggs!!!

April 17, 2014

SUMMER ART CAMP IN NASHVILLE!

IF YOU ARE IN THE NASHVILLE AREA...YOUR KIDS HAVE GOT TO COME TO ART AL SOL THIS SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I use to teach at another location for Art al Sol, and it was such a GREAT experience.  All day art with kids that want to be there creating!!!!!!  HOW FUN IS THAT!  Plus, we get to do projects that we're not always able to do in class during the school year!!!!!!  LOOK AT THE INFO BELOW AND SIGN UP TODAY!!! (plus, if enough kids sign up...I'll get to teach at this location too!!!)
FOLLOW THE LINK TO SIGN UP!!!

“Art al Sol” is a five day visual arts summer camp program for students who are interested in exploring the visual arts and being challenged with arts activities that are not readily available in the art classroom. Students need to be present for the entire five day session. At 2:00 p.m. on the final day of each session, students will host a reception to show family and friends what they have made and learned during Art al Sol.
PARTICIPATION
This program requires students to be self-disciplined and have the ability to work independently. If the instructors find a student lacks the maturity to handle the camp schedule of activities, the student’s parents will be asked to withdraw the student. Fees are non-refundable.
CAMP FEE
$150 (non-refundable) Camp Fees are used to cover the cost of the t-shirt, art supplies and teachers’ salaries. Please make checks payable toMetro Nashville Public Schools.
Send Application and Fee to:
Visual and Performing Arts 
B - 308
2601 Bransford Avenue
Nashville, TN 37204

Date:Session I - June 16 - 20, 2014
Session II - June 23- 27, 2014
           
Registration
Deadline:
Early Bird - March 14
Application and Payment May 1, 2013
Locations:Hillsboro High School
3812 Hillsboro Road
Nashville, TN 37215
Ages:Session I - Ages 8-10
Session II - Ages 10 - 16
            

April 15, 2014

New Evaluation System


I've been busy trying to finish up my portfolio for the new arts evaluation system we're doing in MNPS(and a chunk of TN).  I have loved reflecting on my teaching...and seeing the gains my students have made!!  Here is an example from Kindergarten.  The first picture is from Aug...and the second from Jan!!!  


April 12, 2014

Jasper Johns Inspired

                       
Jasper Johns inspired work in 3rd Grade.  I took a good bit of time to instruct the students on using a ruler to create a grid. So many seem to have never held a ruler before?!?!  We then worked on box & bubble letters.  Some struggled..but over all did a great job.  We used to water color pencils to color.

April 11, 2014

Coil Pots: 2nd Grade


Coil Pot Time!!!  I love creating coil pots!! In college I made one that was 25 lbs of clay!!! I have placed a link to my coil pot posts from the past...and one is a step by step if you are not a clay person!!  I hope it helps!!

April 10, 2014

Picasso Me: Kindergarten


My kindergarten classes are great this year!  I decided I'd do some Picasso inspired self portraits with them this week.  We discussed Dora-Maar, and how she did not look "normal".  We talked about the different perspectives showed in the work..and the unusual color choices.  I was amazed by how many found the humor in making themselves "not normal".  In the past, my kindergarten students had a hard time grasping anything other than realism. This group is all in...and I'm excited to introduce them to some other abstracted works!!!  

April 09, 2014

Ticonderoga Pencil Sharpener!

        

You probably have read about my dislike of electric pencil sharpeners.  I just haven't found one that lasted for any length of time.  They all over heat once I sharpen a dozen pencils?!?!?!  However, my favorite pencil company now has an electric pencil sharpener!!!  I sharpened a dozen pencils to perfection in the blink of an eye.  My only "issue" is that the holding tank for the pencil shavings is a bit small for sharpening mass amounts of pencils. Twelve made it pretty packed...two dozen I had to empty it twice.  My hope is they make a classroom size one!! None the less..it is a good product made by a great company.  It will be sold on Amazon from what I understand in the next month or so...keep an eye out for it!

April 08, 2014

Finishing Our Clay Facades: 4th Grade

We ran out of time last nine weeks to finish our clay facades...so we kicked off the new nine weeks finishing them up.  I had my students use a gouache to paint their clay, and then we used a tempera varnish to finish them off.  I feel the tempera varnish is a more economical way to complete the pieces. A little goes a long way..and I find it over all a little cheaper to purchase than clear acrylic.  With no hood on my kiln....and limited budget....glaze is not a great option for me at this time!  

     
  


April 04, 2014

Mr. E Asks 3: Phil Hansen


After Phil Hansen's session at NAEA San Diego, I asked him if I could do a mini-interview with him via e-mail.  He told me that would be great...and then was whisked off to do a book signing.  I wasn't sure if he'd really remember...or have time for my questions.  He is a busy guy & all!!!  True to his word...he replied to my e-mail (The day after I sent it!!!! WOW!!! He continues to impress me!!!!!).  He is much more than his TED talk....that is only a nice introduction.  I'm so glad I was able to meet him, and look forward to his future work, his site gbaacademy.com, and hopefully meet up with him again.  He's the type of guy you wanna grab some Starbucks with & just hang out. 

So here is my first ever...

MR. E ASKS 3: Phil Hansen

Question 1:  What has been your favorite unusual media to work with?

Phil: Working with the worms was my favorite unusual media by far.  If you can even call it a medium.  ha!  It was such a challenge to learn the best way and how to capture it on camera.

Question 2:  Do you duplicate media or do you move on after mastering something new?

Phil:  I occasionally use a media multiple times.  this is most often seen in the text work I do.  I find it to be the most challenging and engaging work I do.  

Question 3:  If you were to speak to a frustrated artist...what word 
of advice/inspiration would you give them?

Phil:  Simply keep pushing and you'll break through, have an epiphany, or discover a new direction at some point.  This really can't be understated.  Fighting our own fatigue/block/struggles is a fight worth having!  

THANK YOU SO MUCH PHIL HANSEN!!! I SO APPRECIATE YOUR TIME, THOUGHT, AND WILLINGNESS TO SHARE!!!!  

Make sure to check out his book  

April 03, 2014

While going through my stuff....

                                  
I was going through one of my school bags I took to San Diego, and found these!! Haha!  This is Donna Staten...you may know her as the Art Ed Queen of Pinterest!!!!  We were having a great time in Faber-Castell's Photo Booth!!!  If you've never been to the National Convention...it is a whole lot of fun!  You get to spend time with some great people too!!!  Thanks for snappin' some pics with me Donna!!!!!  

NAEA Survey

Those of you who attended NAEA San Diego...don't forget to fill out your survey!! 

I would love to do a large session!!! So, if any of you have yet to fill out the survey..there is a section where you can recommend people you'd like to hear at general sessions, super sessions, and such.  WRITE ME IN!!! :) ha ha I'm not above asking!! ha ha  I really would love to do a large session!!!!! 

*************************************
 Also if you came to my session on A Blog People Want To Read at the convention...PLEASE FILL OUT THE RATING ON THE CONVENTION APP!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!

March 31, 2014

Phil Hansen: Embrace the Shake


You may have heard of the TED video, Embrace the Shake.  Phil Hansen is an amazing and inspiring artist & speaker. He now has an amazing new website... www.gbaacademy.com . Check it out!  
     

     

HERE IS THE TED TALK VIDEO!
If you have not seen this video...and it doesn't matter if you are an artist or art teacher....it is inspiring!!  

March 30, 2014

Those attending my session..

                                   
 So those of you attending my session... A Blog People Want To Read 2pm Room 24C...there will be door prizes if you can accomplish a task for me!!  The first three people that bring me a picture of a turtle you've drawn(I have a turtle thing)...and signed....will get the door prizes.  I may also ask some questions that you'd only know if you've kept up with my blog if I do not get my turtle pictures!!  

Blogger Meet & Greet

                           
                     Come meet some of your fav. bloggers at the AOE booth!!!  11 to 12 today!!  

March 29, 2014

Faber-Castell

             
I love free stuff!! Faber-Castell hooked me up!!  They are even going to send it to Nashville for me!  They know I'll review it on here.....and I'm good with that!  Thank You Faber-Castell!!! Can't wait!

FLIP IT @campbellartsoup

                             
Janine Campbell is AMAZING!! Her presentation was amazing...her enthusiasm is infection!!  Follow her on Twitter @campbellartsoup  or follow her blog at www.janinecampbell.weebly.com Be amazed by what is going in this middle school teacher's art world.

Photobomb Phyl!

                                    
Do you know Phyl?  She is the blogger behind There's a Dragon in My Art Room!  We have been blog buddies for several years now..but have never met...till tonight!  She is as lively & fun as I thought she'd be!!!  What a joy to be able to actually spend some time with great people like Phyl! I love NAEA14!! Stay tuned....much more to come.  Oh...and go to my blog roll to the left & look up Phyl's blog!!

March 28, 2014

Look Who I Ran Into At The Airport!!

                                    
You never know who you'll run into at the airport on the way to #naea14!?!? Haha it is the always stylish Cassie Stephens! Yes friends...blogger worlds collide! Not that much of a stretch... Cassie and I have known each other for years...and don't live too far apart. There was a whole slew of art teachers from middle TN on our flight!  Gotta love that...well...at least we do, not so sure about all those around us! Hahaha!!  About an hour till we land.....more to come from San Diego!

March 26, 2014

Vlog

                                                                 
                     Couldn't get the video to post directly from iPad on the Blogspot app?!?!  
                                   So here is the link...and a still image from the video.

                                                       http://youtu.be/mrX8rvzHzUk

                                     

March 25, 2014

Fun Find!

                               
                          Look what I found.....at BIG LOTS!!  They were only $2.50 each!!! 
                                                             How awesome is that!?!

March 24, 2014

Blogger Meet & Greet at The AOE booth!!

      
                   Jessica(the queen of AOE) & I at NAEA Fort Worth 
meeting for the first time!  
       
 AOE will be hosting an “Art Ed Blogger Meet and Greet” on Sunday, March 30th from 11:00-12:00 am at our exhibitor booth, 310. This will be an informal event where art ed bloggers will gather and have a chance for you to meet your favorites, ask questions, and connect in person. Some of the bloggers attending are:  Nic from Mini Matisse, Patty from Deep Space Sparkle, Ted from Art with Mr. E(THAT'S ME!), Ian from Art of Apex High and our best dressed blogging buddy,Cassie Stephens

March 23, 2014

Daddy Art Teacher Party Decor

So we waited on my daughter's birthday party till Frozen came out on DVD.  So birthdays around my house mean daddy has a ton of work to do!!  Sometimes I do the cake....sometimes make the invitations...sometimes make games.....it depends on the year.  I enjoyed my Olaf projects!  Haha!   
         
                                 Olaf goodie bags for all the princesses that attended!
         
                                                          Eli helpin' daddy out!
                                    
                                                         Pin the Nose on the Olaf
                                   
                                        My sweet princess!  She loved every minute of it!

                                    
     My wife made rock candy for the ice. The cake didn't turn out exactly like she wanted..
                                             but it tasted great...and Margaret loved it!
                                   The Happy Birthday was another one of my projects.

March 20, 2014

Ahhhhh!!! I Lost My Blog Roll!!!

                                   
I now have my own domain name ... www.artwithmre.com ... and in the transitions lost my blog roll/list.  I will be able to add back many from memory, but not all of them.  Please leave me a comment with your blog address.  I have some rules... You don't post....I delete you.  You post things that I think are not solid art education practices/projects & such....I delete you. You smell funny...I delete you! Haha!  
        
                                                Ok peeps...help me get my list back!!


   
 

March 17, 2014

?!?!Interesting Make Up Day?!?!


So far today I had 6 out of my kindergarten class...and 5 out from my first grade class!!!!  
WOW?!?!!  I figured that many people already had made their plans by the time our district decided this was a good idea?!?!?!   

March 15, 2014

TOP 10 FRUSTRATIONS WITH ART SUPPLIES


FOR EVERY AWESOME ART SUPPLY OUT THERE...THERE ARE
AWFUL ART SUPPLIES OUT THERE.  
HERE ARE MY FRUSTRATIONS...PET PEEVES!!!
(SOME ARE NAME BRANDS...SOME ARE IN GENERAL.)
 *Once again..this is only my opinion...and my experience.  You may have a wonderful redeeming story about the art supplies I find frustrating!

1) PENCILS - WHAT IN THE WORLD???????  I have found a brand or two that are pretty consistent...but what has happened to the pencil industry?!  Soft cheap wood that won't sharpen properly, lead that is broken all the way through and keeps falling out...erasers that only get marks off because they are part sand paper?!?!?  Come on pencil makers...make me some pencils that will actually last!  

2) COLORED PENCILS - I'm not sure if I should blame the people that make them, the people that ship them, or the people that stock the shelves?!  My students love colored pencils...I love colored pencils, but you know what I don't love?  The fact that they lead falls out faster than the pencil can be sharpened.  

3) WASHABLE GLUE -  The issue....it is washable because it is white water!!!!!!  BLAH!!!  

4)  FISKAR SCISSORS -  WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU!?!?!?!?  You use to be the greatest thing around....no one could beat you.  Now...your cheap plastic & construction make me long for the good ol' days.  I can not tell you how many of my new Fiskar scissors have broken(where the handle attaches to the scissors).  I still have some of the Fiskar scissors from when I started teaching here 13 yrs ago that are still going strong(though a bit rusted).  

5)  CRAYOLA WATERCOLOR (8 color ovals) -  The colors are light...there are air pockets in the colors...and the "pans" of color are very shallow...so it doesn't last long.  

6)  ROSEART CRAYONS - The colors aren't bad...but the texture is very "crumby" & they break in half with very little pressure from little hands.  Also...don't even try to laminate things colored with RoseArt crayons.  

7)  ELECTRIC PENCIL SHARPENERS - I've not had any luck with electric pencil sharpeners in my room.  I gave up on them and have metal hand held sharpeners.  If you have a great brand..please share.  I may be willing to try again.  

8)  MASKING TAPE (EVEN 3M) -  I am an expert tape tearer-offer!!!!   However...masking tape has gotten so cheap...it does not tear evenly.  So having children tear masking tape is surely one of the levels of "the bad place".  Are they really saving that much money by giving us crappy stuff?!?!?!  

9)  RULERS -  Is it just me...or are rulers SUPPOSE to be straight???  What in the world???  Is the Old Crooked Man working at the ruler factory these days??!?!?  

10) FELT - Can sheets of felt not be consistent in thickness?  Why is it...when I order a pack of felt...I can see through some parts of it but not others??  Is it too much to ask to have a consistant piece of felt??  

WHAT ABOUT YOU?? WHAT ARE PRODUCTS YOU ONCE LOVED...BUT NOW HATE(or dislike a good bit)!  HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN THE COMPANY?  

March 14, 2014

Clay Cottages


Channeling my inner Thomas Kinkade (GASP)...my fourth graders created clay cottage facades.  They love the projects, but the results can be real hit & miss.  By 4th grade...I have only a few handfuls of students that have been with me since Kindergarten(out of 100 students in 4th).  Some of them have never touched clay before.  That makes for an interesting class.    I thought this group did very well over all...other than them being small.  





March 13, 2014

?!?!?FIVE?!?!



When did my sweet baby turn into this 5 year old beauty?!?!?!  
It happens so quickly friends...treasure them!!!!!  


March 12, 2014

TOP 10 ART SUPPLIES FOR THE ELEMENTARY ART ROOM

THIS IS NOT A LIST OF WHAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE TO RUN AN ART ROOM...BECAUSE YOU NEED A WHOLE LOT OF STUFF!!!!  THIS IS JUST A LIST OF PRODUCTS I LOVE!! 

***This top 10 list is my opinion....if you like something else...AWESOME!  Share in the comment section the products you enjoy.  If a parent company of any of these products is known for killing puppies or kicking old people.....please do not yell & scream at how evil I am for supporting such things.  THANK YOU! ***

1)ELMER'S GLUE ALL
Not the washable stuff!!  It is too thin.  Most other brands are also too thin.  This causes the paper to become extremely "wet" and does not "stick" things as well.

2)TACKY GLUE
(Elmer's Craft BOND or ALEENE'S)
For those sculpture & assemblage projects where Elmer's Glue All is just too ridged!!!  
Aleene's in the gold bottle has been around forever...and is a wonderful product that I use in my art room.  Elmer's has come out with a pretty great product too....plus it has the ease of the twist top lid to open & close!!  

3)CRAYOLA CRAYONS
Accept no substitute!! ha ha  I actually do use other brands in my table crayon boxes(I like to have a variety of colors)...but if I were trapped on a desert island with only one box of crayons...it would be Crayola!!!!  

4)CRAYOLA CONSTRUCTION PAPER CRAYONS
Seeing is believing!  I had my doubts when I first got construction paper crayons, but now I can't imagine not having them!!!!  Though I wish there were more color choices....they are so much fun!  

5)PORTFOLIO SERIES OIL PASTELS
Wow...talk about a dreamy product!!!!  Water soluble, amazing colors, creamy consistency....what else do you need from an oil pastel!?!?  Though they are a bit pricey....they are well worth it!  

6)SARGENT ART-TIME TEMPERA PAINT
I'm not a big tempera paint snob...I use just about anything.  However, I do like the look & feel of Sargent's Art-Time.   If I'm able to get it....I do!! 

7)RED HEART YARN 
My first few years of teaching I tried ordering yarn via catalogs, but was never happy with what I received.  I finally gave up, and started buying all my yarn from a big box store.  That way I am able to select the size, color, and weight of yarn I feel will be best for my weaving projects.  I love the Red Heart yarn.  It is affordable...and comes in a ton of colors that the kids love!!  

8)SHARPIE MARKER
You can't go wrong with classic black, but the other colors are great as well!!  I've tried other permanent markers, but Sharpie seems to out live/outlast all the rest! 

9)SCRATCH ART SCRATCH-FOAM
For beginning print making projects...this is a wonderfully easy product to use! You also don't compromise on the print...they images turn out great.  

10)MR. CLEAN MAGIC ERASER
I know that it isn't really an "art" supply...but come on....WE USE THEM ALMOST AS MUCH AS ART SUPPLIES!! ha ha  This product is truly amazing...and has saved my tables.  

SO WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU LOVE IN YOUR ART ROOM??

March 11, 2014

Door Decor Day!

                                                    
                        Do to our snow & ice days last week...our Read Me Week activities where moved to this week.
This was one of my favorite books as a child(Spooky Old Tree &  Pokey Little Puppy were the others).  I love getting to read it to my students now!!

March 10, 2014

Final thoughts on Going Buggy For Art


I tied in a "cause" with my art show this year.  I've never done this before.  Though we only raised $35, this is more than "NOTHING".  I hope if I do this again with another "cause"....it will continue to grow.  

**************************************
I've tried to do an interactive area before...but it was never this successful!  I could not have been happier with how this part of the art show turned out...and would encourage all of you to add this to your show!!  I had parents, grandparents, friends, students, and teachers setting down together and creating bugs for the spider web.  They laughed..talked...shared their creations..IT WAS WONDERFUL!

BEFORE

AFTER

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED MY ART SHOW!!! If you have any questions about doing one at your school...please feel free to e-mail me.  I've been doing this for 13 yrs at my school...and have worked out a lot of kinks over the years.  I'm always trying to make it better & try new things!!!