March 18, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: FOCUSED

Negativity is all around us.  We live in a world where people believe it is their right....if not their duty to give their opinion on EVERYTHING!  Artists have always dealt with the scrutiny of others. Art is not only for the personal catharsis of the creator, but is for the visual, mental, and emotional consumption of the viewers.  This truth opens up the artist to the thoughts of the one, the group, or the masses that will view their work.   Both positive & negative opinions can impact the progress & direction if allowed(though negative opinions often sway us to a greater extent).  The artist cannot  allow themselves to be caught up in the thoughts & comments of others.  Wasting energy on an internal battle or waging an external war of words will not benefit anyone or anything.  We must stay focused on what is most important. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our artistic vision that we cannot allow to be comprised by the ever changing opinion of others.  

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."  When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.  Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.  1 Peter 2: 21-23

In John 16:33 it says, "I have told you these things, so that you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world."  This has always brought great comfort to me.  "Trouble" is a reality of our world.  No one is exempt from it.  Pain & heart ache finds a way into all of our lives.  Bad things happen to good people.  Bad people happen to good people. Jesus is our ultimate example for how to respond when the world crashing down around us & is trying to take us with it.  We do not find peace with the situation, but we find peace in the one that holds us in the midst of the situation.  This is not a plastic smile & fake detached "I'm fine", but the reality of someone who has been transformed by the love of Jesus Christ in their life.  We can stay focused on what God has called us to do even when the negativity comes our way from individuals or situations because we will not allow ourselves to respond as the world does and become distracted. Jesus showed us a different way....a better way, and I pray we can respond in His love in all things.

March 14, 2018


It is time to start thinking about some fun summer art education professional development!!!
This will be our 3rd year having the summer workshop here in Nashville!  It has been so much fun to develop relationships with amazing art educators from all over...from all different grade levels...and grow together personally  & professionally!  What can you expect from an Art With Mr. E Summer Workshop??  FUN, UNUSUAL & NOT SO UNUSUAL HANDS ON, AMAZING DISCUSSIONS, GUEST SPEAKERS, A FIELD TRIP!!!  3 DAYS OF AWESOMENESS!! ha ha  

We kick it off the Sunday Night before the workshop with a cookout at my home!!  Then we start each morning with a breakfast table. We have a variety of projects each day that will be able to be modified to take back to your students!!  One day we will have a field trip....last summer we looked at the public art around Nashville(and they loved it so much...they want to do it this summer too!).  Mrs. E will provide lunch one of the days....and no will be going hungry!!!  

Please contact me for more information!!


"Mr.E's summer workshop is inspiring & refreshing! I am local in Nashville and during our last Summer PD, we took a whole day field trip to visit Sculptural & 2 Dimensional work around Nashville. Some of the things we saw, I had no clue they were even here. So, if your from out of town, find a roommate to join you! If your local, find new locations to visit for a field trip. Either way, you will leave this PD with multiple teacher samples, excellent classroom management tips and inspiring ideas to promote Art Education at your school! Oh, did I mention you get to visit Mr.E's classroom? I know all his Artroom secrets! I'm coming again this year, please join me!" -Magdalena



March 13, 2018


Welcome to the second ArtEd Blogger's Network post!  
This month we are discussing STEAM  & Cross Curricular  work in the art room! 

I've been around awhile(aka...I'M OLD!)!  As most educators know..."trends" come and go.  Buzz words attach themselves to things that have always been...and will continue to be once that buzz word fades away.  I feel STEAM is like this.  Please hear me out!!!!  STEAM is an awesome thing.  I've seen its implementation bring back the arts to a school.  I've seen STEAM allow for grant money to be awarded for its efforts & possibilities.  I do believe STEAM is a good thing. 


I believe in a well rounded art education.  I believe that we as art educators have naturally brought in SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING, LITERATURE, SCIENCE, MATH, SOCIAL STUDIES...etc.  We are by our very nature an all inclusive discipline.  What would art be if not informed by the world within us & the world around us.  

We must have a well developed philosophy of art education that is constantly evolving, but holding firm to the core values of who we are as art educators....and what we believe art education truly is.  Does STEAM threaten my core values or force me to change who I am as an art educator? NO! So really...I have no problem with STEAM.  I just want to make sure we don't get swept up in the "movement", and forget who we have always been as art educators. If it causes me to reevaluate what I do in my classroom & to consider new and exciting ideas......AWESOME!  We all need a jolt from time to time to make sure no dust has settled on us.


This month, The Art Ed Blogger's Network is writing about STEAM/Art Integration. Join us on the first Tuesday each month for new projects, ideas, and inspiration.

 Participating Art Teacher Blogs 

March 11, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Dried Out, Used Up, & Broken

 Artists can do amazing things with very little!  It is kind of like a super power of ours.  We make things "work" that seemingly shouldn't. There are mediums that can not be "creatively answered".  You need specific materials to do certain art forms.  It is very obvious when these supplies become dried out, used up, or broken.  It happens.  Art supplies are not meant to last forever.  If they did last would mean they were not being used for their purpose. So it is natural for them to begin breaking down, wearing out, and getting used up.  There does reach a point where they can no longer accomplish what they were designed to do.  You can continue using an inferior product, switch colors midway, or power through using the broken supplies/tools.  However, it can change the quality of the work, it can change how others perceive the work, and can change the direction you as an artist wanted to go with the work.  The frustration of using dried out, used up, and broken supplies can derail the creative process. Now "necessity is the mother of invention", and such adversities can result in creative breakthroughs. Though most artists would rather not have to go through that process, it can yield amazing rewards depending on how the creator approaches the situation.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-29

Are you feeling a bit dried out, used up, and/or broken?  Work, family, the world around us....LIFE!  All these factors contribute to these feelings.  It really can't be avoided.  Sometimes we become more worn down than others.  Stress, illness, finances, family members....all can contribute to the feelings of being dried out, used up, and/or broken.  When we are in this place, it impacts every area of our life.  We are not as effective in the things we do personally, professionally, and spiritually.  So what can we do?  Jesus tells us to COME!  "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden.."  He doesn't wag his finger at you and tell you that you shouldn't be weary & heavy-laden. Instead, He invites you to come to him...and He will give you rest.  Sometimes we believe we shouldn't struggle with this.  We believe we should be able to instantly give it all to God all the time.  However, we all know we hold onto things.  Guess what....GOD KNOWS TOO!!!  He knew you would take more on you than you should.  That is why He invites us all to take to come!  Not to scold us, but to love us & show us a better way.  In doing so, we will have a testimony to share of our burdens being lifted.  We will have a testimony to share of being refreshed.  We will have a testimony of being made whole.  

March 08, 2018

Another reason to love teaching elementary art...

I posted this on my social media, but wanted to make sure it was here as well.

I love teaching elementary art!  The amazing work they produce still surprises me 21  yrs later.  Sometimes it is because of the amazing skill with which they create.  Sometimes it is the fearless approach they bring to creating.  Sometimes....their work is just hysterical....even if they didn't mean it to be.  This is one of those situations.

My 1st graders had been charged with creating a creature/animal in the style of a school picture on top of a fun watercolor checker board they created the week before.  Most were extremely cute cats, dogs, mice, bears..etc  Then I came to this one.  Mind you...this student has no clue on what he has created.....BUT I DO!!! 

 I give you the most amazing GROUCHO MARX BUNNY!!!
I adore this picture....and wonder if I can somehow keep it for myself!! ha ha  

March 07, 2018

Kindergarten Landscapes W/ House

After the half way point I start challenging my kindergarten students to some more advanced skills.  Some will get it...some will not(yet)...but they do a great job & love the process!

This is a two day project.  The first day we look at & discuss landscapes.  We brake it down to the three parts & talk about the characteristics of each one.  We also look at photographs of houses, and talk about the type of house they want to live in when they grow up.  After they finish drawing they trace their work with crayon.  I do this because it helps keep the watercolor from going everywhere when they paint the following class time!  Week two is a demo on painting with watercolor...and then I let them get to work!  

Here are the results!  

March 06, 2018


Tulip Grove's Annual K-4th Art Show 

Getting ready for my annual K-4th art show!!  Our theme this year is Color Explosion...and it is going to be a bright show!!! I created this bulletin board in our front hall to advertise(will add date & time later).  I've also started making the teacher name signs I hang beside each class.  If you've never done an all school art is A LOT OF WORK.....but totally worth it!  Stay tuned for more as I continue to prepare! 

March 02, 2018

Mixed Media: 2nd Grade

I love doing mixed media projects with my students.  Each "layer" of the mix adds so much to their work...and their excitement builds as their art work progresses! 

Here is the breakdown of this project.  
Draw the vace & flowers with pencil, trace with Sharpie, and do a watercolor wash overtop.
Using color pencil, go into the work and add some cohesion to the vace and flower by adding "some" color.  I talked to them about blending & value when using colored pencil.  
Students created two or three collage flowers to add to their vases.  We discussed proportion/size to make sure they looked like they belonged with the other flowers. We also used bubble wrap to print some metallic color onto it

February 28, 2018



My #ATCSwap package arrived a couple days ago, but I've not had a chance to go through them and create my displays like I usually do!?!!?!?  I'm chair of the text book adoption for our district, chair of the scope and sequence team, meetings for a grant our district received, all my normal school stuff, and LIFE?!?!?!!?  AHHH....I'm always busy in the spring, but this year seems especially busy!


February 25, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: TRANSPORTED

Art has the amazing power to take you anywhere!   It can transport you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Art can take you home, coast to coast, around the world, or even to another world. It can change your view.  I have stared into a painting before until everything around me seemed to fade away, and I became a part of that world I saw hanging on the wall.  I've become lost in a Color Field painting.  I've walked down a path as far as I could in a Van Gogh. I've not been home till that one piece of art is hung up in a new place. Yes, art can move us to the point that we've been transported. 

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:2

Our world seems to be falling apart.  Everywhere we turn there is death, destruction, and disillusionment.   It is incredibly easy to buy into the negativity around us.  It impacts our outlook on life & our belief that we are able to make a difference. Our hearts, minds, and attitudes need to be transported.  Not as a means of escapism, but as a way for us to see...and know the reason why we able to enter into each new day with power and purpose.  Colossians 3:2 tells us that we are to "Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth."  When we get into a spiral of our problems, the problems of those around us, and the problems of the world....we sometimes forget that we are LOVED!  We forget we are SPECIAL!   We forget we have PURPOSE!  God loves each of us so much.  He has a special talent/gift that he has given each of us to use for his glory.  He also has a unique purpose for each of us to fulfill in the days we have on this earth.  Our mind needs to think on these needs to be transported to the things of God...not the things of this world. 

February 23, 2018

Warhol's Cats: Kindergarten

I started my kindergarten I always the reading area.  We read Uncle Andy's Cats by James Warhola (Andy's Nephew).  We then looked at CATS CATS CATS by Andy Warhol.  My kiddos LOVED both books!  

I had my students watch me do a couple different demonstrations before I let them start drawing.  Most of them did not want to try to make the cat laying down!! ha ha I was ok with that.  They then traced their drawings with Sharpie marker.  Last they painted the cats & cat toys in with watercolor.  I asked them to not use brown or black to keep the colors bright!  I love the personalities of the cats shining through!!  I always try to teach/encourage/challenge my students to be individual and not create like me or their neighbors.  I don't want a factory of churned out cats(I know that irony of that when discussing Warhol!)

February 20, 2018

#aheartaday2018: 7-19

I'm not sure who all has been following along with this year's #aheartaday2018 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook....but I thought I'd share the next "batch" of Turtle-rific Hearts! 

February 18, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: THAT PLACE

Place is an important aspect of the creative life.  We all have places that inspire us.  Some are places we return again & again.  Others can be temporary sources of inspiration do to individuals or situations that might change.  Place can also bring a sense of security for our creative pursuits. When we are in a location that provides security/safety...we can create with no fear.  Place also plays an important part in the actual creation of artwork.  Environment can truly impact an artists ability to create and their productivity.  I've seen some people create amazing work in chaotic places, but they would be crippled by the silence of a personal studio.  In turn, I've seen people that are unable to focus if there are any outside distractions.   Knowing THAT PLACE where you are most inspired & most productive is key in the artist's life.

But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in which I take refuge. 
Psalm 94:22

The words FORTRESS, ROCK, & REFUGE are truly comforting in the world we find ourselves living today.  God is THAT PLACE where when nothing else makes sense, when we feel small & insecure, when we are hit from every side by the troubles of this life....God is our FORTRESS, ROCK, & REFUGE.  Truly these are more than just words.  They describe where we place our hope.  They tell of the strength in which we can rest.  They denote the power of whom we believe.  If  we understand these truths, find our inspiration in this knowledge, and move forward in the power of God....we will be able live the beauty of this life He has given.

February 17, 2018

Mixed Media Critters: 1st Grade

I believe it was on Mini Matisse that I saw a fun check board painting she was doing with her students.  I loved the idea, but had to think where I wanted to take it from the check board "base".  My first graders loved getting to paint the check board!! There were varying levels of success, but all looked nice once completed!  The next class time I had them trace the original pencil lines with a black crayon.  They then created a "critter" to place on the check board.  I told them to think of it as a school picture for their creations!  The faces crack me up!  I love the expressions.