April 18, 2019


Everyone in the Middle TN area.....
It's NOT too late!! The money goes to the amazing work being done at SMART...who works with individuals with special needs!! 

April 17, 2019

Art With Mr. E Summer Workshop

Just a reminder about the summer workshop here in the Nashville/Middle TN area!! 
I am about 1/3 of the way to capacity for the 3 day event!  People from all over have attended in the past (8 different states), and if you are from out of state & need information on hotels....just email and ask!! I'd be happy to help.

April 16, 2019

The Anniversary of Nashville's 1998 Tornado

Today is the anniversary of the 1998 tornado that hit Nashville,TN.  

Why is this something I'd share on my blog?  Well...it was my first year of teaching & my school was in one of the worst hit areas.  Oh...and my classroom was destroyed.
I'm getting ahead of myself...lets start at the beginning. 

(my portable is the one behind the mess in the foreground...to the right of the picture...notice how far it is from the steps!!)

 It was report card time again, and I had been staying at school until 6pm almost every night.  On this particular day...as I was driving to work in the pouring rain a belt on my car was damaged.  I was able to drive to a repair shop near my school, and call someone to come get me.  That meant I'd not be able to stay and work after school though.  All day we had tornado warnings/watches...and had to come back into the main building several times.  I would have people knock on my door though, because my P.A. system was not working in my portable.  The end of the day came....and my ride was ready to take me to see if my car was ready.  As we left...we had no idea that a tornado was right behind us!    We stopped at the repair shop, but my car was not ready yet.  My friend said she'd be happy to take me home.  As we drove past Opry Land Hotel...the hail started coming down.  We pulled over because it was almost impossible to see.  As the hail cleared....we started on our way once more.  However, we quickly saw the tornado dropping out of the sky less than a quarter of a mile from where we were...and pulled over once more.  I'll never forget the sight, but could never truly describe it.  My friend said, "What do we do? Do we get in the ditch?"  Looking at the ditch full of water & power lines over head...I told her I thought we were safer in the car.  WE PRAYED.  We also watched.  The funnel dropped down and went through a building in front of us...then crossed the road we were on.  We had no idea that this tornado had just went through our school...destroying many of our portables and doing unbelievable damage to the neighborhood.  

It was several days before I was allowed back to see the damage to my classroom.  There area was so severely damaged that it was not safe to return (power lines, trees, debris from homes & other structures).  I had been told it was bad & to prepare myself. The administration & staff knew I had poured my heart & soul into making that little classroom a magical place for my students...so much of my time & money invested.  I arrived to find my portable had been pulled off its foundation and landed on a car that was parked next to it(the teacher seemed to blame me for this the rest of the time I worked at that school??).  Parts of the roof were missing & there were holes on opposite walls were something went straight through.  All the kids art was ruined (I'm friends with one of my girls from back then on Facebook...and she still brings up losing her rose painting!  Art has impact...missing her painting after 20 yrs!!)  My books & electronic devices were ruined.  To the surprise of many... much of my supplies were saved because of storing them in Sterilite containers! (I get nothing for promoting them...I just believe in the product!!!  http://www.sterilite.com/ )

I taught the rest of the year going from classroom to classroom(no art on a cart...those were all destroyed too).  My home base was on the cafeteria stage.  What memories!? However, all the families at my school were safe even in the midst of all that destruction.  Things can be replaced.  I guess another bright side was the following year we got brand new portables that actually had running water in them!

So next time you want to complain about your first year of teaching...it could be worse.  I know of many stories that are much more devastating than mine.  
I count my blessings!!

April 15, 2019

K-4th Art Show: Secret Garden

I forgot to post pictures from my K-4th Art Show?!?!  I got so busy after the show preparing for the professional development I was leading the following week & matting Mayor's art show work..... It totally slipped my mind! 

 Last year was my most attended art show....with 325 people.  I do a stand-alone show with no other PTO program/music or anything.  I had a feeling this year would not be as well attended (spring sports & so many other after school events the past month).  We did have around 250 people attend though...which I feel isn't too shabby!  


The ever important sign in table.

I have my students make THANK YOU cards for guests to take as they leave!

If you do activities & don't have volunteers...you have to make sure you pre-prep the activity so it can be mostly self-sufficient.  I walked by a couple times to "clean" it up a bit. 

I pre-drew this activity center for guests to color in using markers(only washable so you can clean the wall for our fun young artists who color outside the lines...off the page...down the wall!! ha ha)

COOKIE TABLE!! I pre-plate the cookies(cookies are donated by faculty and staff) so that they can be changed out easily through out the night.

Remember the activity centers at the beginning of the post....
Kids & parents enjoy creating together!!!

April 14, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Risk

Artistic risks can be uncomfortable. We fear making the wrong choices. We fear failing. We fear making fools of ourselves. We fear change.  However, without risks.. art becomes stagnant.  When we only do what we know or are comfortable with there is little opportunity for growth.  We become "stuck".  Maybe we are afraid to deviate from what has been deemed "good" or "successful"?  Maybe we are afraid to change what we do because we've become comfortable with our media, subject matter, or process. Risk does involve failure at times.  However, failure often yields lessons that lead to great success.  Risk needs to be rebranded as steps toward our future self.  We cannot always see the outcome, but we can move forward unknowing our steps will be guided by those of the past and informed by the passion of our hearts. 

"Come," he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"  Matthew 14:29-31

There are times in our journey of faith that we feel we are taking risks that make us uncomfortable. We might feel a desire to get out of the pew at church and lead in some way. We may feel a need to give more than what we are use to doing. Maybe we have a desire to start a bible study group in our community.  There could be a mission trip opportunity that for some reason we can't shake from our heart or mind.  Maybe we have a deep desire to serve, but struggle to give up our "free" time. Growth usually requires us to risk something we hold tightly to that brings some sort of control and/or comfort.  We find ourselves struggling to let go and allow God to be God in our lives. We may worry that we might have "misheard" God. We may be concerned that there are more qualified people out there to serve in a given area.  We may fear that if we give of our time and money....that we might not have enough.  

Then we must RISK....

April 12, 2019

3rd Grade Alien Unit

I've started a short unit plan with my 3rd grade...and I'm very excited about it!! This week students are creating a "character" in collage.  I told them to come up with an original alien/monster.  As they were working on their collage...I asked them to imagine what the personality of the character would be like, where would they live, and what are things that they would do.  The next time they come ...we will review narrative art work.  They will then take their character idea and draw a picture that tells part of it's story.  The students were totally "into it"!!!  The personalities are already there, and I can already imagine some of their stories.  I can't wait to share with you the next part of the lesson over the next couple weeks!!

April 11, 2019

Mini Matisse's 4th Annual ATC Swap

IT'S AMAZING! This ATC Swap is headed by the amazing Nic Hahn at Mini Matisse!!  She works so many hours to make this amazing event happen.  Here is her post about this year's swap.....


I have my students make collaborative trading cards K-4th....and we sent 100 of them to the swap!!

Here is what TGE received from Mini-Matisse's ATC Swap 2019 
& is on display outside my classroom!

Cambridge International School
Bratislava, Slovakia
(11 yr olds)

Liceo Novello (High School)
Godogno-Lodi- Italy

Briscoe Elementary
San Antonio, Texas
(6-11 yr olds)

Langlade Elementary
Green Bay, WI 
(9-11 yr olds)

Glenridge Elementary
Clayton, MO
(1st - 5th grade)

Pecan Creek Elementary
(2nd-5th grade)

McKinley Elementary
Xenia, Ohio
(5-7 yr olds)

Gower West Elementary

Good Hope Country Day School
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
(4th grade)

Stowe Elementary
Des Moines, Iowa
(2nd-5th grade)

April 10, 2019


By doing so...you help the amazing
work that SMART is doing in our community!
Nashville’s creative community and finest thrifters shop our shelves for new and gently used art and craft supplies. SmART! is proud to provide the community such supplies for a fraction of their retail price. 100% of SmART! profits benefit Progress Inc programs to promote the health, happiness, and safety of adults living with intellectual disabilities in our community.

April 08, 2019

Mod Podge Professional Development

Last week I led a PD for K-12 art educators in our district.  There were 20 in attendance....and it was a whole lot of fun!  We are blessed here in Nashville to have a ton of art teachers (close to 150...I think!?!?), and that allows us to have district professional development for those art teachers.  

I had posted awhile back on my blog about the nylons/embroidery hoop silk screening at tried out.  Some of the teachers in my district saw it...and asked if I'd lead a PD on it.  That was not enough to build a whole PD on...so I decided to use Mod Podge as my theme....I find a bunch of different uses for it in the art room.  Some "normal"...some not.  Here are the pictures from our day!! 

(Feel free to ask questions if you have any!)

It was an amazingly packed day!!  I was trying to provide a variety of projects that utilized Mod Podge in different ways! One of our teachers was like...."WHAT...ANOTHER PROJECT!!!"  ha ha
I like to give teachers a lot to work with!!!!!

Mod Podge can make a great resist....and you can select from gloss or mat for just the right look you want/need for your work! 


We used clear plastic plates for a "self portrait" collage/painting project.  Mod Podge makes a dishwasher safe version of its

Did you know Mod Podge painted around the edges of burlap prevent it from fraying!!

Here are some beautiful odds & ends that Mod Podge was applied to in some way!