April 18, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Underneath

Gesso is used to help prepare a surface for painting.  The proper paper is necessary for watercolor to be done optimally.  Solid paper mache starts with the appropriate paper and adhesive. Weaving needs to have a loom that will hold the warp in place.  Often we see a finished work of art, and we do not consider the beginnings.  What is underneath is as important as the beauty we see on the surface.  Without the right foundation, a work of art can fall apart, degrade over time, or not even come to fruition in the first place. 

Truly my soul finds rest 
in God;
    my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
 he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62: 1-2 

It is an amazing life changing experience when someone begins a personal relationship with the Lord. However, as with all relationships, you must go underneath the surface to see the time and effort it takes to develop.   Knowing God to the point where he is not only your salvation, but your rest, fortress, and rock requires time praying, in the Word, fellowship with other believers, meditating, and praise is a process.  As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, we see & experience his faithfulness.  We come to realize that he is always with us & loving us.  We can say no matter the storms we face...that we are unshaken because we know our God.  

April 16, 2021

Some Completed Circle Weavings!!!

We are wrapping up our circle weaving project.  I have my students create a design after they have completed their weavings. They then use marker to mimic the colors of their yarn so the design looks like it carries on to the end of the plate. (I use the cardboard circles that are white on one side..usually around $15 for 100.)   This is the first group to finish up.  So expect to see more weaving posts over the next week or so! 

April 14, 2021

My Award/Trophy

 Today my school presented me with a trophy/award for being Teacher of the Year. It is etched glass, and has a turtle at the center! If ya don't know...turtles are my favorite animal. Being teacher of the year does mean a great deal to me, but trophies & awards are just objects that collect dust. This one however...will not! ha ha I love that they took the time to add something personal. It isn't just a brass or marble apple. It is not a generic trophy. It is thoughtful/meaningful..and I'll treasure it always!

So thankful to be at a school that supports & recognizes the arts!

April 13, 2021

Dollar General Wood Burning Tool Review

 As a kid, I always wanted to have a wood burning kit.  They looked so cool. However, my parents never bought one for me.  We were poor, and that was kind of an odd purchase....so I get it.  I also now get the fact that wood burning tools get SUPER DUPER HOT!  I don't know if I'd let my kids play with one!?!?  ha ha  A couple months ago I saw a wood burning tool at Dollar General in their beefed up craft section for only $10.  At first I resisted the urge to get it.  Do I really need another art related hobby when I have trouble keeping up with creating "real" art?  When I went back and saw that it was no longer there...I realized I had missed my opportunity.  I went to four different locations to see if I could find it...AND I DID!!  So I bought it.  Here is a video of my first experience using a wood burning tool!!  


April 12, 2021

Rizzi Buildings With Aluminum Foil Transfer Print

My Kindergarten students are loving James Rizzi!! After looking at & discussing his work, the students drew three Rizzi inspired buildings.  They then traced their drawings with Sharpies.  Then they colored a sheet of aluminum foil with Crayola Markers.  I walked around and sprayed their foil with water, and the took a transfer print from it. The Ohs! & Ahs! when they saw the results were amazing!  

April 03, 2021



We need to support & encourage one another purposely. We don't need to try to assert our thoughts/ways of doing things on others. We do not need to tear others down because we might not agree with their method of doing things.   You are not in their situation. They are not in your situation. I've seen so many snarky comments. Mean comments.  I feel like sometimes our responses are more "high school" than caring professionals.  The pandemic has caused our teaching situations to change dramatically....some times multiple times.  There is not a tried and true way of doing things any more because everything has changed.  If someone asks a question...answer it.  If you find their way interesting...mention it.  If you had a situation similar and handled it differently....share it (but not in a MY WAY IS BETTER THAN YOUR WAY kind of manner). Let's be encouragers so that art education can be stronger because of our words, wisdom, and experiences. 

April 02, 2021


Did I mention I like Peeps??? I had to go to Walmart after school...and the greeter asked if she could take my picture!😂 I love making people smile...and at times shake their head in disbelief!! Haha


March 30, 2021

Posca Pens.. Believe the Hype!!


Posca Pens....believe the hype!!! 
I've been seeing them on many of the art YouTube channels & other social media sites.  I am blown away by the opacity. For those of you who don't know...they are an acrylic paint pen. They are pricey, but you get what you pay for in the quality. I had a small 12x12 canvas that I had started painting a long time ago...I had a base coat of brown in the center....that was all. 

Not the greatest work of art, but I was just trying to test all the colors (29!!!) 

March 28, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: A Need for Happy

  I value art work that evokes feelings of pain, sadness, and loneliness.  I know, that might sound a bit depressing. However, those are real feelings that are a parts of the human experience.  There is something cathartic about connecting to such things.  It helps one to feel less isolated.  As much as there is a need for the above mentioned art work, there is also a need for art that is bright, joyful, and at times silly.  Some may consider it to be less serious art.  THAT'S OK!!   There are times I'm too serious, and need something to snap me out of it! There is a place for the beautiful, colorful, and humorous. There is a need for happy art. 

For everything there is a season...

Ecclesiastes 3:1a
(This whole section of scripture is amazing...and worth your time to look up!)

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29

There are times life can bring us down. There are times others can bring us down.  There are times we can bring ourselves down.  No matter the cause we can all find ourselves in negative place.  Sometimes justifiably. (I have a hard time trusting people that say they never get down, never wrestle with things, and never ride the struggle bus.  "For everything there is a season..."!!)  However, we must find a way out of the darkness/sadness/pain.  At times, we have a need for happy.  We need those people that will speak life.  Speak love.  Speak words of encouragement to our heart.  At times, we need to be the happy for those around us.  Our words do have power...though we need to choose them wisely.  Our ears have power as well....we must not forget to listen.  Our presence is often the most important element. People need to feel like they are not alone.  Sometimes the greatest ministry God give us is to be a friend. There is a need for happy....and you can be that happy to the glory of God.  

March 26, 2021

Craftopia | Full Episode | HBO Max

There is so much JUNK on tv for kids!  I have a 6, 9, and 12 year old at home....I am all too aware of this!!!  This popped up on my YouTube suggestions...and I loved it.  Yes...it is a competition...with time limits, but it is so much better than a majority of shows out there.  It reminds me of a kids version of Craft Wars (Which I'm still made they canceled it!). Check it out! 

March 24, 2021

Visual Irony / Humor in Art

I love teaching visual irony & humor in art. I usually introduce the idea with a lesson where students have to place a snow person in a situation they could never find themselves. 
We then  look at the work of Gary Larson (The Far Side).  Students have to come up with their own comic that uses visual irony. I encourage them to pull in what they are learning in science/social studies/math to their work.  I usually do this with 4th Grade.  

March 23, 2021

Just Makes Me Smile...

 This work of art is from one of my 1st grade grade students.  This was not any of our assignments this 9 weeks....just something that they created on their own.  I absolutely adore this picture.  I hope it brings a smile to your face as well.  

March 21, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E : A Story

Art tells a story.  Will it be the same story the artist originally intended? That is questionable. A good artist can direct the viewer, but without them being present...much is left to the viewer. They will glean from the provided information within the context of  the work.  However, it is the viewer's connection with the work, the information that it provides, how it impacts & relates to their personal experiences, and perceptions that will imbue it with meaning.  When the art becomes personal...that is when the viewer relates to the story, and it takes on meaning and power. 

 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”  So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

John 4: 39-42

The full story about the Samaritan woman at the well can be found in John 4: 1-42.  It provides such a beautiful snapshot of the Lord's heart for people.  A million sermons could be preached (and probably have been) just from the interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman.  However, I'm struck by the interaction we see between the Samaritan woman and the other Samaritans that came after hearing her story.  She had a story to share....and she shared it.  Those that listened believed in part because of what she shared with them.  It at least piqued their interest enough for them to go see & hear for themselves.  Then they said to her, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."  Her story was powerful.  Her story was meaningful.  Her story moved them to action.  Still though...they had to experience it for themselves. It had to become meaningful to them.  There is power in a story, but the transformation comes when story becomes yours.

Do you have a story to share?  God can use it.  He can use your story to encourage, challenge, and bring others to Himself. What is your story?  

It's a story worth sharing! 

March 20, 2021

Moriah Elizabeth Themed Birthday Party

My oldest daughter LOVES Moriah Elizabeth's YouTube videos & wanted a birthday party inspired by her.  If you do not know who that is....here is a link to her YouTube channel.   https://www.youtube.com/user/GeniunelyMoriah  She does makes over squeeshies a good bit & paints on a lot of stuff!! She is fun & "clean" (I'm not worried about my pre-teen watching her videos because of language or questionable content!).  I pulled together the supplies for sueeshie make overs & painting on canvas shoes!   My wife also made royal icing cookie canvases & paint palettes!  I think Margaret and her friends had a pretty good time!! 

I purchased most of my supplies at Dollar Tree & Dollar General.  I did get a couple things at Wal-Mart (larger fabric paint bottles & skewers).  There were only 4 girls at the party...so we probably did this for under $50. 

March 18, 2021

Chihuly at Cheekwood

 I don't think I posted my pictures from Chihuly at Cheekwood this past year?!?!  

(I couldn't find them, so I'm guessing I forgot to post them?!?)

This is the second time Chihuly has been at Cheekwood.  I was worried it would pretty much be a repeat of the last time....but I was WRONG!!  What a joy to walk around and see the amazing colors, textures, and how beautifully it integrated with the environment.  

(if you are looking for some lesson ideas involving Chihuly...here is the link to what we did the last time his work was in town!!  http://mnpschihulyartlessons.blogspot.com 

March 15, 2021

Folk Art Enamel Acrylic

It is Spring Break...which means a checklist of projects to work on.  This one is fun!! I'm touching up the coffee cup flower pot we purchased last year. It faded terribly in the morning sun...and basically was just light blues, blue greens & whites. I'm using FolkArt Enamel Acrylics to add back color. I've never used this product before, but am really liking it so far! It was a little under $2 a bottle, and will easily do this project & many more.

March 14, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Find A Way

Artists dream.  Artists push their creativity to the limits and beyond.  Artists develop ideas and concepts that they aren't sure how to bring to fruition.  Is that the end of their pursuit?  What happens when they face uncertainty?  What happens when they can't see past the questions?  DO THEY QUIT?  DO THEY GIVE UP AND DO WHAT IS EASY?  No!   Then.... they find a way to make it happen.  It may take time.  It may take trying things we've never done before.  It may take failing before succeeding.  Dreams are worth pursuing even when the path takes us to unexpected places. When we find a way to  do what we've never done....we grow, we change, and we become better for it.

 (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 gladly.  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)

    Zacchaeus was on a mission.  For whatever reason....he had to see Jesus.  The crowds were thick, and Zacchaeus could not get through to see him.  He was too short to see over them.  He had to find a way.  He saw a tree up ahead, and he ran for it and climbed up its branches.  There, up in a tree, he could see Jesus.  Zacchaeus did not give up.  He did not turn around and walk away.  That would have been easy.  He placed himself in a position where he could see Jesus, and where Jesus could see him.  
When I read these verses....I see the Holy Spirit at work.  Zacchaeus may not have known exactly what it was going on inside of him, but there was a stirring of his heart/soul.  His life was never the same.
God will find a way to get our attention.  When he brings us into a personal relationship....when he calls us to use our gifts and talents to serve him & minister to others....God finds a way.  However, too often we try to find a way to tune out/ignore God, or make excuses why it's not the right time or we're not the right person for the "job".   We might feel it is uncomfortable, too challenging, not meant for us, or that we might fail.    It may take trying things we've never done before.  It may take failing before succeeding.  God's dreams are worth pursuing even when the path takes us to unexpected places. When we find a way to do what we've never done....we grow, we change, and we become better for it.

March 12, 2021

Rubber Duckie Day!


My students LOVED this project!! We talked about hybrid creatures/creations, and the creativity that is involved in synthesizing two ideas into one. They had so many great ideas they each created three different ones.  Some did them as a theme...others had completely different ideas. If you are looking for a fun one day lesson...here you go! 

March 08, 2021

Thank You Hermitage Chick-fil-A!

What a wonderful surprise this Monday morning!! Our local Chick-fil-A brought a gift for me for Teacher of the Year!  WOW!!!  I really do appreciate gift, but more so...I am thankful for the support over the years they have given our school!  

Draw A House With Me!

Here is one of my online lessons I did with my 1st graders.
I'm trying to get my students to work above the bottom of their paper(young artists will often draw out of the bottom of their paper eliminating the opportunity for foreground) and to create an environment.

March 07, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Why Worry?

Fads fade quickly.  Styles shift/change.  Non-archival materials will cause art to deteriorate.  The sun/lighting can cause damage to the color and/or surface of a work.  If let outside in the elements, weather can ruin even that which was designed to be outside.  Excessive handling of art can cause issues due to naturally occurring body oils for the skin being deposited on the surface.  Artists go in and out of style. A bump, clumsy act, or even a natural disaster can cause a work to be damaged or destroyed.  So much of what we do in the arts is fragile.  Any number of things can cause the demise of a work.  I create because it is in me to do.  However, once something is created I only exercise so much control over the longevity of the work.  Why worry about things that are out of our control? 

 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4: 17-18

How much of our life have we invested in worrying about things that are out of our control?  How much do we worry over things that truly don't matter?  Although, does worrying about things that do matter benefit anyone?  We must use our time, talents, and attention on those things that matter most.  When so much is out of our control...we must be wise in those things that are within our control.  We each have been given this life to live by God, and I want to do so getting to know him, praising him, and making him known.  I want to invest myself in the things that matter most, the eternal.  How much are you investing in the temporary?  What can  change in your life to have a more eternal focus in your everyday?  

March 05, 2021

Radial Symmetry/Flower Garden : K-1st

We are in person teaching....but my document camera died!!! AHHH!! 
How do you teach in pandemic time without a document camera?  Well, I recorded my demo and just showed it to my class so they could all see the process.

Here is the Radial Symmetry/Flower Garden project I'm doing this week with my littles!! 

March 04, 2021

Pencil Problems?!?!

 Ticonderoga use to be the gold standard in pencils!!! I LOVED them even if they were more expensive than other brands. However, over the past couple years I've noticed the quality going down hill.  At first I thought...maybe it is just a bad batch/box.  Then this year, I have several boxes from different stores and different parts of middle Tennessee.  I sharped them with two different electric sharpeners & three different hand held sharpeners.  The wood was mushy, the lead was broken up in side them, and some were off centered.  UGH!  I posted this on social media and found I was not the only one having this struggle.  Ticonderoga...COME ON!!! You all are who we go to....don't let us down! 

March 02, 2021

Cardboard Tube Creates With A Theme

 I have been trying to do projects with my students that hands-on/messy/different since we've returned to in person! We spent so much time drawing/coloring while we were virtual (many of my students had NO or VERY LIMITED art supplies).  I tried to do some supply give aways, but so many of the students that truly needed it did not come (or were unable to come) to pick them up. 

I introduced the idea of "theme" to the second grade classes this past week.  They selected a theme, and created creatures that were inspired by their theme.  We used paper towel rolls as the base for our creations.  I had so much fun creating my teacher examples...I had to share. Can you guess the themes??