April 08, 2020


HEY EVERYONE!! What are you making right now?? I know many art teachers are out there working on content to share with their students. However, you must take some time for yourself too (Practice What You Preach!). It doesn't have to be huge and grandiose!?!?! It can be something small, manageable, and in a sketchbook. Just take time to make. It is good for you!!!!!

I started last night with the sketch...and think I’m pretty much finished(but ya never know!?). It isn’t big...just 6 in x 9 in. I’ve not created anything in this style for awhile...this is how I worked in grad school(but much larger). The “style” pulls from quilts & stained glass. I thought you might like to see the progression. Every artist works differently.

April 06, 2020

Color Blending Demonstration

Here is a demo to show you how to improve your coloring skills! 
Try it in your drawings or in a coloring book. 

Art Supplies: Crayons & Paper

April 05, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: What's Happening?

(If you are new to my blog, I do a faith based post on Sundays. 
 If this is not your thing...Monday-Sat you can find art, art ed, & other eclectic information!)

Do you know what a "Happening" is?  They are art events that have some aspects planned, but with room for improvisation & audience participation.  They also usually involve multiple art forms.  For some, Happenings sound like an amazing experience.  However, I'm a bit of a control freak, and would struggle to give up control and embrace the moment which could yield unprecedented artistic expression & creativity.  There are so many factors that go into a Happening..location, other artists, audience participation, and the strength of the original idea.  One or more of these factors could throw the whole plan off it's original track.  That is what makes a Happening exciting.....they may not turn out how you planned, but could be even better than you imagined.

Not being "flexible" can keep me from experiencing the blessings of faith as well.  I have an idea of what God wants to do...and how I think He wants accomplish it.  However, when it doesn't work out how I thought it should...I'm ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater!

Some men took a man who was not able to move his body to Jesus.  He was carried on a bed.  They looked for a way to take the man into the house where Jesus was. But they could not find a way to take him in because of so many people.  They made a hole in the roof over where Jesus stood.  Then they let the bed with the sick man down before Jesus.  When Jesus saw their faith,  He said to the man, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."   
 Luke 5:18-20

The full story can be found at Luke 5:17-26.  The men who carried the man on the bed were on a mission.  They knew if they could just get to Jesus...that He would be able to help.  Their plan was derailed a bit by the crowd that surrounded the Lord...which made it "impossible" to reach Him.  I wonder what went through their minds when they were so close..yet unable to reach Jesus.  I know I would have been the first one to say..."WELL, WE TRIED GUYS!  GUESS WE NEED TO TURN BACK & GO HOME.  OUR PLAN JUST WON'T WORK.  IT WAS A GOOD TRY THOUGH."  Somehow they were able to see past the conventional way of reaching the Lord, and put their faith into action.  They knew their mission...and they were going to see it through till the end...even if it didn't look like what they originally thought it would.  I really would have loved to have seen/heard the reaction of the men who carried the man, the man on the bed, the people who surrounded Jesus, and Jesus...as they lowered him down through the hole in the roof! ha ha  

They embraced the moment.......even though things didn't happen like they thought they would.  We are in a position right now to embrace the moment.  It is a moment like we never imagined.  Things are not ideal.  We are faced with challenges like we've never seen before. At times we feel helpless, isolated, and insecure. We are struggling.  However, it is an opportunity to trust God.  We can see his faithfulness if we look to him in the midst of our struggle. In doing so...we might find ourselves growing deeper in our relationship with God.   If things always happen as we plan/expect do we ever develop the faith needed to live the life God has planned for us?!  What's happening in your life?  Do you see the opportunity of the roof....or are you too focused on the crowd that you feel is preventing you from reaching your goal?  

April 04, 2020

Art With Mr.E: Cartoon(ish) Eyes

Just a quick video to encourage students to be creating!
This is a how to on creating cartoon(ish) faces while showing mood/emotion! 

April 02, 2020

Can We Talk About Wayne Thiebaud??

I'm so inspired by Wayne Thiebaud!!! 
 I usually see people using his early work. It is lovely & so accessible for young artists as inspiration.  However, that is not the work to which I'm referring.  I love his landscapes. They have such amazing color and atmospheric perspective.  I feel like I'm flying over his world as I view the paintings. If you are not familiar with the "newer" work of Thiebaud...hop on-line and do a search!
You will have a "new/old" artist to add to your landscape units!

Did you know I interviewed Wayne Thiebaud? YEP YEP!! Here is the link to that post from 2014.

March 30, 2020

Call to Art: Day One

Today the Online Unconference, Call to Art, began! 
I hope you registered.  The sessions were wonderful, and I know I’ll take so much of what was shared into my classroom! I cannot wait for the next set to be shared tomorrow morning! 

March 29, 2020

Call to Art: An UN-Conference for Art Educators

I’m not foolin’....my session is going to be April 1st! 
If you haven’t signed up...it’s not too late....but it is close! The online conference starts tomorrow.  Great speakers. Relevant content. Attend in your pj’s! 


Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Woven Together

I love teaching weaving.  There is an almost magical quality about it. The art room becomes quiet. Students are amazed just how quickly an hour passes. I have many ask to come in before class, during lunch & recess, and after class so they can continue.  Some students that struggle in other areas of art (drawing, painting..etc) find great success with weaving. However, it is important to continually monitor student progress even when everything seems to be going so well. It is easy for students to become distracted, lax, or careless when they think they've "got it". I must be diligent in monitoring my students' work.  As I walk around the room, I try to encourage the good that I see, redirect any issues they might be having, and challenge them to be "present" in their creating.  As I do this, students begin modeling the same behavior to those around them.  I hear words of encouragement. I hear offers to help those struggling. I see students reminding their neighbors to focus on their work.  It is a beautiful thing when a class that is weaving seems to be woven together in their own special way.

How are you doing? 

  I pray you are healthy...physically...mentally...and spiritually.
COVID-19 has changed our world.  We find ourselves in the midst of "social distancing" & "shelter in place".  This can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection. As believers, we know that we are called to be One Body.  It doesn't feel right to be away from those we consider our family. 
We are woven together through a shared belief. We are woven together through a shared heart.
As we find ourselves unable to gather together in our churches, Bible studies,and Sunday school classes....we must be purposeful & creative in how we can spur one another on, meet together, and encourage one another in other ways.  We live in an amazing time where we have cell phones, emails, websites, YouTube, social media, Zoom, Face Time, Marco Polo...and a host of other technology. Hopefully you have been able to watch your church service online (if they have that available), listen to Christian music(online or on the radio) and podcasts.  However...those are more consumer based.  How about reaching out to others? 

Take a moment and pray about those in your faith community 
that might need you to reach out to them.

5 People to Call
5 People to Text
5 People to E-Mail
5 People to Contact on Social Media

How can you use each of these opportunities to encourage the person you are contacting? You might just want to let them know that you were thinking about them.  Do you have a scripture you feel God has been putting on your heart that you might share with them?  Do you want to ask them if they have any prayer requests?  Maybe you could ask them to share how they came to faith?  

  Some people might not realize how disconnected they feel because they have gone into "survival mode".   Reaching out could have a ripple effect in your community.  It might encourage the person you contacted.....to reach out to others! 
We are woven together in faith. We are connected & need one another.


March 27, 2020

Art With Mr.E: Circle Weaving Part 2

Here is Part 2 of our circle weaving videos!  This video will have tips & trouble shooting ideas as you progress in your circle weaving.  I hope that you find this helpful.  If you are having trouble...please leave a comment & I will try to respond. 

Art With Mr.E: Starting a Circle Weaving Part 1

Come weave with me! Here is the being steps for how to do a circle weaving. The video will take you through the process, but I will also have written directions and pictures to help you out as much as possible. Once you get it...you won’t want to stop! Please feel free to comment or contact me if you have any questions.

SUPPLIES:  paper plate or cardboard cut in a circle, 
pencil, scissors, yarn, and tape

VOCABULARY: loom- the structure you weave on (the plate/cardboard in this case),  warp- the string you weave through, weft- the string you weave with

On the back of your circle, make 11 marks evenly spaced around the rim, and label them 1-11. Try your best to have them an equal distance apart. 

Next you will “warp” your “loom”. You will want to have just a small tail of yarn hanging on the back at the 1 spot.  The majority of your yarn for the warp will be on the front of the circle. Follow the formula below to finish warping your loom. 

Here is the "formula" for warping your loom!

1 to 6 (across the loom)
6 to 7(hello neighbor)
7 to 2(across the loom)
2 to 3(hello neighbor)
3 to 8(across the loom)
8 to 9(hello neighbor)
9 to 4(across the loom)
4 to 5(hello neighbor)
5 to 10(across the loom)
10 to 11(hello neighbor)
11 to 5
(the number 5 will have to strings sharing the space) 

After you have warped your loom, tape down the ends on the back so they do not come out of their spots.

Feed your “weft“ string underneath the warp strings from the 3ish to the 9ish place. You want to capture all the warp strings in the middle with the smallest knot possible. Cut off the small “extra” piece of string from your knot....but be careful to not cut the knot or any warp strings. 

Begin by going around the circle (I go counter clock wise..not sure why?).  OVER UNDER OVER UNDER. I will go over/under about half of the stings and then pull my yarn all the way through.  If you do not do this...it can get tangled up, and cause some problems for you.

At the end of each string tie the new one to the old one. You can trim the "bunny ears" off at the end.   Tying knots & double(triple..or more) jumping is the biggest problem young artists have once they get started.  They just have to make sure to go over or under each of the warp strings...they can not go over over..or under under.  

To finish the weavings, artists can create a pattern in pencil on the rest of the plate(the background...not the back) & then use the same color of markers (as their yarn) to color their pattern.  


The finished product can look something like this! 

March 25, 2020

#artedportraits challenge

Have you seen the art teachers posting portraits of famous works of art? The art teachers in VA started it....and I was excited to join in the fun!! 

”Mr.E Holding On To Toilet Paper For Dear Life” by Mr.E & ”Nobleman With His Hand On His Chest” by El Greco

Art With Mr.E: Tissue Paper Color Transfer

OH MY GOODNESS?!?! My video quality is getting worse instead of better?!?!  I've tried some different things the past two videos....and they obviously are not good things! ha ha WHAT IS THAT THING IN THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER?!?! I didn't know it was obstructing the view till after I did the whole video and went to play it back.  It is what it is friends...hopefully you can still get something from it even though that thing is in the way! ha ha  

This is a tissue paper color transfer.  You will need paper, pencil, sharpie, bleeding tissue paper , brush, and water(a spray bottle works GREAT!). Later you will need crayons, markers, or colored pencils. 
If you don't have bleeding tissue paper....you will need to use a watered down glue, mod podge, or liquid starch to attach the regular tissue paper down(as flat & smooth as possible).  

March 22, 2020

Sunday School With Mr.E

For those of you new to Art With Mr.E ....I usually do a faith based post connecting art and faith each Sunday. If that is not your thing...skip my Sunday posts! The rest of the week is art & art education.

Hey friends...doing something different this week because it has been a different kind of week. Thought you might be missing Sunday School since most of our churches are not open for services. I know my voice is low/soft, but it was 2am & i didnt want to wake my family being loud! Haha So gather near & crank the volume!!!

March 21, 2020

Art With Mr.E: Make a Collagraph With Me

This project will give you a couple cool works of art! Have fun creating a collagraph with me! 

You will need.... cardboard(like cereal box), scissors, glue, crayons, 
acrylic paint, brush, water, and paper. 

March 20, 2020

Do a Wax Resist With Me

For this lesson you will need pencil, paper, crayons, watercolor, water, and a brush! 
Come on and create with me!! 

Art Prompts For Art at Home

Pick-a-Prompt gives a bit more guidance as to what the young artist will be creating. They are set up in thematic columns. As students create they can cross off the prompt. That will give them a goal to complete the list.

Word-spiration is more open. The word acts like a muse & can be interpreted in numerous ways. 

I hope these can be of use for you! 

March 19, 2020

Draw A Fish With Me

DRAW WITH ME!! If you are at home and needing some lessons for the kids(or you)...stay tuned for more videos!! This one goes along with the books I've been reading. Hope you enjoy. 

March 18, 2020

Story Time With Mr. E: The Pout Pout Fish

As school systems across the United States are closing because of COVID-19, we are faced with developing different ways to reach our students.  I read to my kindergarten students every time they come to art.  I wanted them to be able to still have story time with Mr. E.  So I'm going to start recording videos of some of my favorite books to share with my students (and whoever else would like to watch/listen!).  I had to start with one of my "new" favorite books. 

THE POUT POUT FISH by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna

Story Time with Mr.E: The Pout Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean

This is my newest Pout Pout Fish book!! 
I hope you enjoy! 

 by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna

Story Time With Mr. E: Fish is Fish

This book is beautiful visually, but also has a beautiful message.
Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni 

March 15, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Up Close

 I have countless books at home and in my classroom containing amazing works of art from around the world and throughout time.  As much as I enjoy looking through the pages of these books, it does not compare to seeing the work in person.  Van Gogh has always been one of my favorite artists.  His work masterfully employs color, texture, and composition to evoke such strong emotional responses. Though I gained a love and appreciation or his work through looking at books, it was not till I saw his work face to face that I truly understood its impact.  Seeing his work up close allowed me to observe the very marks he made.  I tried to take in as much as I could in those fleeting moments.  I truly was overwhelmed by the experience.  It was like being on "holy ground".  As I left the museum, I knew I wanted to learn even more about Van Gogh and discover images of his work that I had never seen before.  Getting to see his work up close made my appreciation for his work even greater. 

Do we know what it means to earnestly seek God?  Maybe we've grown up going to church, knowing the "stories", and passively participating in things of faith.  There may have been a time where you might have said you were passionate about your relationship with God.  You may have had a "mountain top" experience that fanned the flames of your faith for a period of time.  However, now there is just a flicker or smoldering ember remaining.  How do we get to the point where we are earnestly seeking God....thirsting for Him...longing for Him?  We must get up close to God.  We can't set passively by and expect things to change.  Being in prayer, reading our Bible, spending time with other people of faith allows us to get up close (and personal) with God.  We will begin to see the masterful plan He has for our life and for the lives of those around us.  We must be able to draw close, to study, and to experience first hand the things of faith so that our lives are impacted by it. It is one thing to know it "second hand".....but when you have an up close experience....it will cause you to seek Him all the more! 

March 12, 2020

Dollar Tree Hacks: Tempera Cakes Container

I love Dollar Tree!  So many great things that can be used in the art room.  I think my Cumberland University students think I'm secretly working for Dollar Tree because I'm a walking advertisement! You share what you love, right?!?! 
I purchased these muffin tins from Dollar Tree about 2 yrs ago.  They are the perfect size for the tempera cakes I have in my classroom.  I have one for primary & one for secondary colors.  They are compact in size.  Both trays will fit in the center of their table, and still leave plenty of room for students to work. The trays I saw online for the tempera cakes was much more expensive, and my school budget would not allow me to purchase those. 

March 09, 2020

March 08, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Encourage

It is amazing how much something as simple as encouragement
 can change one's entire perspective.

The artist can be extremely critical of their own work.  Because so often they create in isolation...they begin to believe their inner dialog of negativity. They have no one to stop the wrong thinking. Though they must have an honest & critical eye, be able to self reflect, and edit their own work....negativity rarely yields the positive results that are needed to build momentum in creative pursuits. Internalized negativity stunts one's ability to progress fluidly. Self doubt, frustration, and dissatisfaction are stumbling blocks.  The stereotypical self deprecating, angsty artist is not the picture of health & productivity.

 As in all areas, the artist needs to have individuals in their life that will be honest, yet provide encouragement. No one needs someone lying to them or throwing out worthless platitudes. A person who can give honest feedback and at the same time  encourages the positive in their work is a treasure.  They help the artist to see the good, and help to prevent them from going down a destructive path of negativity.  We all need encouragement as we step out, try new things, and desire to better ourselves.  Words of affirmation go a long way in changing our perspective.  

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Our world has become obsessed with negativity. Spewing hate, hurling insults, and divisiveness creates a toxic environment where no one wins. People feel more disconnected, dissatisfied, and disenchanted. Growth & progress are hard to come by in such an environment.  Love, kindness, connection, and encouragement are needed so desperately. 

 As believers, we must live differently. We have been called to be & do not as the "world".  We need to look at situations & individuals through the eyes of Christ. Our response should be one of love & compassion. 

How would things change around you if you made the choice to encourage someone, make mention of the good you see them doing, take a moment to listen to them(without offering your opinion), or ask if they need help with anything(All the while refusing to participate in fruitless negative talk!)? 

 Could your encouragement show others the love of Christ during these dark times? Could your attitudes and actions help to turn someone's day around?  Could your refusal to participate in the negative help someone else get out of that vicious &  destructive cycle? What has God called you to do? How is He going to use you to encourage others? 

March 04, 2020

Stop Motion App: The "E"dition

With my school system & my kids' school system out because of the tornado...I'm trying to keep them occupied!! I showed them how to use the Stop Motion App, and this is what the three of them came up with (5, 8, and 10 yr old).  It is pretty odd/twisted/weird....but they are my kids (so it is to be expected! ha ha).  

March 03, 2020

Another Tornado...

If you have not seen/heard on the news, in social media, in the news paper...
Middle Tennessee experienced another major tornado. The number of deaths was much higher...with Putnam County experiencing the greatest loss.  Though my school did not suffer any damage (unlike when I lost my classroom in the 98 tornado), some of the neighborhoods our students live in experienced extreme devastation.  At least 5 families from our school lost their homes, and many more suffered significant damage.  Thankfully no one was injured. 

Please send your thoughts/prayers....and if you feel led to....give.  

I'll share more later. 

March 01, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: What Are You Known For?

Artists are often portrayed as melancholy, aloof, and raging against conventional thoughts & norms. Movies, television, and comics perpetuate these characteristics. The portrayal is incomplete.  There are times those things are true of artists (as with all people). However, the dominant characteristic I see in artists that might challenge the stereotype is.....HOPEFUL!  I believe artists are some of the most hope filled people you will ever meet.  They hope to convey their ideas, opinions, dreams, and beliefs through their work.  They hope that they will be able to share these works with others in a variety of settings.  They hope that others will "get" their point of view.  They hope that they can make a living doing what they love.  They hope that they will be respected for their work.  They hope that they will be able to continue to grow & develop as artists.  They hope their work will be known.  They hope they will be known.  They hope they will live long enough to see all these hopes come to fruition.  
Hope is at the core of an artist. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   Romans 15:13

As believers, we should be known for our hope.  If anyone had a reason for hope...it should be those of us who have a personal relationship with the Lord.  Unfortunately, I often find that many believers are known for their worries, stress, and negativity.  Hope can not thrive in an environment of worries/stress/negativity.  The hope we have does not exist because we will get everything we want, avoid facing trials and troubles, or live a life void of stress.  Our hope is in knowing God. Our hope is in trusting God. Our hope is in the love of God.  If this is true, only will we have hope in Him, but our hope will OVERFLOW by the power of the Holy Spirit.  If we can overflow with hope, those around us will be impacted by that hope!  Haven't you known people that you just love to be around because of their positive outlook on life & their ability to speak positivity to those around them? Don't we want that?  Don't we want to be that?  Shouldn't our lives be different because o the hope we have?  Shouldn't our life make a difference because of the hope that we have?  Hope is at the core of the believer. 

 What are you known for?

February 28, 2020

Mondrian: Kindergarten

Ms. Witt (my student teacher) wanted to introduce basic ruler skills to kindergarten.  She used an oldie but a good lesson:  MONDRIAN!  It is a great way to have students use rulers, be successful, and end with a beautiful piece of art.  (AND THEY LOVED IT!)

She started by talked to them about the uses of a ruler, how to hold a ruler still, and things to avoid when using a ruler.  They students then created a grid across their paper.  She used tempera cakes(love the color) for them to paint their work.  Once again, she went over the basic skills of painting....how to hold a brush, how to rinse the brush, how to "use" the brush appropriately. This lesson has so many great skills to review and reinforce!! This is a great time of the year to make sure your kinders have a good foundation in the skills you want to build upon in coming lessons...and in coming years.

February 26, 2020

4th Grade Dino Narrative Stop Motion: Ice Cream

This Stop Motion App video was created by one of yesterday's groups! They were extremely successful in telling a story. I'm so super proud of my amazing young artists!!! 

Check out the other stop motion videos my students have created on my new student focused YouTube channel: Art With Mr.E  (My other one is a mix of student and teacher content). 

February 24, 2020

Stop Motion: 4th Grade

As part of a grant our district was awarded for Art & Music...we received 3 iPads for our art room.  Technology has been hard to implement well in my classroom before because I only had a Fire to use.  I'm excited to try more projects that incorporate technology, and have a Tech Station set up in my classroom for student to utilize. We required as a part of this grant to have the students create using the Stop Motion app.  THEY LOVE IT!! I'm excited to try it for other projects in the future.  Go to my new student project YouTube channel to see other examples!! 

February 23, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Laziness


Art is a discipline.  Art requires discipline.  Like an athlete training to become the best at their sport, art requires practice/training to advance personally and professionally.  I'm not necessarily saying that it has to be "formal".  For some, it is simply pursing their art on a consistent basis.  Too often we allow days or weeks to pass without creating.  We, at times, halfheartedly work on our art. We become lazy.  Choosing not to challenge ourselves, being willing to try new materials, or not seeking out new skill sets are some of the other signs of laziness. There are consequences to not doing what you know you should be doing.Resting on previous work or ways of working will slowly erode what once was able to be accomplished.  

I don't know if I've ever used Judges in my Sunday Devotionals?!? ha ha  This section of scripture truly baffled me at first.  A person who ruled Israel for twenty-two years & had thirty sons (riding thirty donkeys?) you would think was extremely successful.  However, why would Israel once again do evil in the eyes of the Lord when their leader died? Things were happening during Jair's leadership that led Israel to this outcome.  Laziness.  Israel did not just decide to turn their back on God because Jair died.  They began allowing things in their lives that slowly eroded their foundation in the Lord.  They became too comfortable. Remember that weird factoid about Jair's sons riding donkeys?  Well, the fact that they were riding donkeys was a sign that they were in a time of peace.  Things were "easy".  Sometimes when things are easy & comfortable....we allow things to creep into our lives that we might not normally.  Before you start shaking your head or wagging your finger at Israel....make sure you are looking at your own life.  Have you ever let things slide in your life that maybe shouldn't?  We all have become lazy & allowed things into our heart, mind, and life that once would have never had a chance.  It is a good reminder that we must be diligent, hard working, and ever mindful.  If we are not going & growing in God.....that we might fall into trap of laziness. 

February 21, 2020

I always feel like.....

I always feel like ....some dino's watching me! 
(If you don't know this reference....just move along to the pictures?!)

My student teacher did this lesson with my 3rd graders.  The kids LOVED this project!! Even though this COULD be a lesson that yielded look-a-like/copy cat art.....the students really created unique works that expressed personal style & choice.  Ms. Witt started the lesson by looking at images of reptile eyes & artist renderings of dinosaur eyes. They discussed the parts of the eye & texture of the surrounding skin.  Students started by drawing the eye and scales. They then used tempera cakes to begin painting their projects.  This was a two week lesson(our classes are an hour in length).

SIDE NOTE:  I have a student that rarely gets into her art, but this time did not want to stop! She came back during her free time to finish it.  It is such a joy to find something that sparks the imagination, heart, and interest of a student! 

February 19, 2020

The Frist Museum: Eric Carle

My family ventured out to The Frist Museum to see the Eric Carle exhibit. It is coming to a close this weekend....so you do not have much time left if you want to go see it. The show was wonderfully done, and it was so wonderful to see his work in person.  The Frist created a wonderful environment that encouraged museum goers to become a part of the world Eric Carle created through his beautiful children's books.