January 19, 2018

Tempera Talk On A Snow Day

After being out of school for a week because of snow/ice....I HAD TO GET BACK IN MY CLASSROOM!  I'm not sure if any of you are like me, but I love a schedule, love teaching art, love my classroom, and love being prepared.  My wife(knowing all this about me) encouraged me to come in today and get some things done.  So here is the video I made about tempera paint & how I'm managing the materials!!  Wasn't on my to-do list.....but you all are worth it! 

Would love to hear your management tips & tricks for tempera & painting in general!  

January 18, 2018

!!!!!! Ugly Doll Supply Alert !!!!!!

In the fall you may have seen my posts on my 4th grade Ugly Doll project.  There are "extra" costs to such projects, but it is totally worth the investment.  However, you can find some great deals to make it very affordable.  One "trick" I use is for the stuffing.  After Christmas, I hit the stores to find the best sales on Christmas Snow.  That is the white fluff that looks & feels like quilt batting /poly-fil people use under their trees, on mantels, or other decorating for the season.

Right now Dollar General has their Christmas items on sale for $0.25. 
!!!! T  W  E  N  T  Y  - F  I  V  E -  C  E  N  T  S !!!!

I bought all the bags they had.  They aren't huge, but this will be at least 2 yrs worth!!!  I don't always find it every year..so I stock up!   

January 14, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Directions

Art is all about rebellion.  There are no rules.  Anything & everything goes. 
Many believe these statements to be true.  I'll concede to the fact that art often pushes established ideas, concepts, and boundaries. However, art is also full of rules, processes, and procedures that are paramount to creating.  Without the establishment of these norms, some art forms would not be possible.  Knowing & practicing the rules & directions for a given medium do not stifle the artist, but allow them to find success as they imbue their work with their adaptations, stylistic choices, and unique voice.  Following the directions are important!  Not warping a loom correctly, firing at improper temperatures in ceramics, removing enamel from the kiln too soon, using spray adhesive in an enclosed non-ventilated space (umm, this might have happened to me the first time I used the product and did not read the directions)....when you don't follow the directions you deny the integrity of the art form.

Many view Christianity as a list of do's & don'ts.  It is made up of rules that must be followed, but that no one seems to follow well.  It is "Commandments" that come across big, scary and unobtainable.  Those that view it this way are missing an important thing...GRACE.  The idea of grace is a major component within the Christian faith, but is often misunderstood.  Grace is unmerited favor.  It is a gift we are given freely that we do not deserve and are without the ability to "earn".   In Ephesians 2: 8-9 it says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works so that no one can boast."  However, God's grace transforms us.  Some may think grace is a "get out of jail free card" or a license to sin, but I wonder if they have truly experienced God's grace in their lives.  When a person truly is impacted by the grace & love of the Lord, they want to live a life that is honoring and pleasing to God.  They want to apply what the Bible says in all areas of their lives. The list of do's & don'ts become the heart's desire to honor God, know Him, and a way to make Him known.  

It is God's will that your good lives should silence those who foolishly condemn the Gospel without knowing what it can do for them, having never experienced its power.  You are free from the law, but that doesn't mean you are free to do wrong.  Live as those who are free to do only God's will at all times.  Show respect for everyone.  Love Christians everywhere.  Fear God and honor the government.  1 Peter 2: 15-17

January 13, 2018

Taking My Own Advice

So I want to be purposeful about creating this year.  I know in February there will be the #heartaday2018 challenge, but what about the rest of the year?  I had good intentions of starting January 1st, but here we are a couple weeks in & I've yet to make anything other than my teacher examples.  Am I the only one in this boat??

The amazing Mona Lisa Lives Here posted a 365 day challenge several years ago.  

I just think I want to do something that has more "flow"? One day would lead into the next day, into the next day, into the next day...etc. 

So what are you all doing?  Share in the comments or tag me on social media with what you're doing/using to hold yourself accountable for creating.  

January 11, 2018

Kindergarten Meets Kandinsky

We kicked off the class with a YouTube Video.   If you have not discovered Art With Mati & Dada.....GO CHECK IT OUT NOW!!!  They are short yet informative!  Make sure you preview first..there may be a couple that you might not feel comfortable showing your students.  The Kandinsky video is great!!  

We then looked at several works by Kandinsky, and I allowed my kindergarten students to make observations about what they saw.  (The little ones are so amazing in their responses!!!)

After I reviewed painting "rules/procedures", I started playing some instrumental music....passed out supplies...and let the students begin.  It was a magical time in the art room.  



January 09, 2018


Several years ago I did an all school art show on the theme of BUGS! It was so much fun!! One of my favorite projects from the art show was a first grade lesson I called SPLAT!  I had the kids imagine a cartoon book just splatted on their windshield.  What would it look like?  How would it's body be?  I made them stand up and try to pose like the bug(hysterically funny!!).  Then I had the kids trace with Sharpie & paint with watercolor.  This time we made it a marker project.  

January 07, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: TOGETHER

 I once staffed a summer inner city mission project in Louisville, KY.  We lived just outside of the city in a former monastery. We were told that there was a building on the property that was used as an artist commune.  This idea was so fascinating to me.  The artists would live there for a period of time, and spend their days creating & being surrounded by other creative people.  There were visual artists, writers, and musicians all residing together.  How encouraging would this be?  How motivating would it be to be surrounded by other artists?  Spending your days creating, discussing creative things, observing other creative people as they pursued their gifts/talents.  I can only imagine how this environment would push me as an artist.  You couldn't help but grow!  There is just something about being together with others who share in your passions.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10: 24-25

We are designed for relationships.  We are created to be connected.  In the Bible, we see again and again how relationship is at the core of God's story for His creation.  Many will consider "punching" in & out at a church service to be enough.  However, God has called us to more than what "punching" in & out can provide.  If we are to spur & encourage one another one, wouldn't we have to have more of a relationship than an hour or two could yield?  We must develop relationships that will allow for us to speak into one another's lives.  We must create an environment where we can help one another to grow.  We must spend time together.  Relationships need time.  I'm not suggesting a "commune".  I'm just saying that we need to be intentional in making time in our life to develop connections/relationships.  So often we feel our lives are too busy for such things.  Time can be as simple as eating a meal together, going shopping together, or lending a hand helping.  Living life together allows for depth to happen.  In that depth you can begin to encourage & spur each other on in a way that will grow you closer together & in your relationship with the Lord. 

January 04, 2018

January 02, 2018


A friendly reminder for all NAEA members to take a few minutes & VOTE!!!!  You should have received an email(or 2...or 3) about the election.  It honestly only takes a couple minutes to complete. 

If you haven't been told to day...you are valued & appreciated!!
Thank you for being a part of such an amazing group of educators.

December 31, 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of my readers!! I hope that you can count the many blessings that happened in 2017, and are excited about what can be in 2018.  I appreciate each and every person that comes & visits Art With Mr. E....& those of you who comment & connect through this blog and all the Art With Mr. E social media!  We are better together, and can accomplish so much in the new year!!

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Use What Ya Got

Collage is one of my favorite techniques in creating art.  There is so much versatility.  Pieces of colored paper void of meaning, purpose, and value can become bold, beautiful, and imbued.  Images in magazines that normally would be discarded can be repurposed.  Even old works of art can be cut up and given knew life.  You literally can take pieces of trash and transform it into works of art.  Scraps of paper that others might throw away become centerpieces of beauty.  It is truly amazing how things can be used in ways that they were not originally intended.  The potential is in how the artist sees the material.  If they view it as unusable...it is unusable to them.  However, if they view it as a means to create something of beauty....they will find a way to utilize it in their work.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4

Life can be extremely difficult.  We can feel the struggles we have gone through/are gone through do nothing but create hurt, challenges, and destruction. We may feel no good can come from such times.  I want to say that I'm sorry if you have been in the midst of one of these seasons in your life.  I'm also extremely sorry if people have tried to sugarcoat your pain.  So many do not know how to handle difficulties in their own life or the life of their friends.  They end up saying things out of this ignorance.  I don't believe they are being malicious, but they can cause hurt feelings & confusion as you try to deal with what you're going through.  As a believer, please know that God is always with you...even when you feel completely alone/abandoned.  He desires to help you through your struggles.  He desires to help you through your disappointment.  He desires to hold you close when you feel alone/abandoned.  He is with you.  He also wants you to take these times & what you have learned/are learning and use it to bless others.  Yes, even the ugly things we go through can be used for His glory & honor. Some may want to get past that time and never look back again at what caused them pain.  Some may not know how they can use those times in their life.   God sees them as opportunities for us to reach out and minister to others who might be going through the same things or something similar.  The beauty is not in the cause of our struggle, but in the potential God has to use us in new and beautiful ways to reach others with His great & powerful love.  The difficulty, struggle, and pain can become part of the beautiful work of our life if we all God to use it. 

December 29, 2017

Ugly Dolls Heading Home

I made the kids put their Ugly Dolls/Soft Sculptures together on the last day before they took them home.  I'm thrilled with the results this year.  I'm already excited about next year....I've ordered a pack of smart fab that contains at least 16 different colors!  I think the variety will be amazing.  Here are the "family pictures"!! 


December 26, 2017

After Christmas Sales At Michael's

You never know what you're going to find at After Christmas Sales!
I went to Michael's & found a few fun finds!!

I would have never bought them at the full price of $25, but at $7.50 a piece...totally worth it!  I'm not sure if I'll give them to my kids for gifts....or possibly gifts for birthday parties they are invited.  The gift of art is awesome!!!  

Now these are less art related, but still AMAZING!  I picked up 6 in all of these pencil/eraser sets for next year. They were only $1.50 a set (24 pencils with 24 erasers!)  I think they'll make nice gifts for my kids' classes.  

What are fun finds you've found?

December 25, 2017

December 24, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Excitement & Anticipation

The birth of new ideas & artistic direction yields amazing excitement & anticipation.  Often the artist will have a mental image of what the work will look like in its final state & the space it will be placed even before a pencil is picked up or a paint brush is lifted.  This anticipation brings an excitement/energy to the creative process.  He/She may try to share their concept/ideas/direction with others, but are often met with looks of confusion or raised eye brows. There are some that "get it", and encourage the artist to pursue the vision they have.   There is something about "the new" that refuels the fires of an artist's soul.  A new beginning that is guided by the past, but unbound by what has been.  Blank pages of a sketch book begin to fill with abstract concepts.  Ideas become reality, and move beyond the sketchbook.  The artist can barely contain their excitement for their creation.  They want to share this excitement, but must continue on in their creating.  If they can finish their their work or series of works, then people might understand this "thing" the artist must share.  And if they don't, there is the satisfaction in knowing the vision birthed within has come to fruition.  

When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb' and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  And she cried out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?  For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord." 
Luke 1: 41-45

Do you have an excitement for your faith?  Is there anticipation for what God is going to do in &  through your life?  Sometimes we can miss the excitement that comes from a life lived by faith.  The Lord has given us gifts, talents, purpose, and passion.  He has placed us in areas where we have connection and influence. Sometimes we are excited about what God is doing, and want to share it with those around us.  We are at times met with  looks of confusion, raised eyebrows, patronizing smiles, and other forms of negativity.   Sometimes we need that person(s) to encourage us, be our cheerleader, and confirm those things that God has spoken to our heart.  Elizabeth was used by God as another layer of confirmation for Mary.  Even if she did not have doubt, Elizabeth's words encouraged Mary's heart to carry on in faith of what God had spoken to her. We may feel called to do something(s) that others might not understand/get.  However, we must push forward in those things knowing in the end others might finally understand the "WHY", but even if they do not we will know we fulfilled that which the Lord had called us. 

December 21, 2017

December 20, 2017

Great Art "Stuff" at Target!

While Christmas shopping the other day at Target...I came across some GREAT arty stuff that would make wonderful gifts for the young (and young at heart) artists in your life.  

It is nice to know there are some quality art related items at "big box" stores!! 

December 17, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Too Perfect

Have you ever seen art that looks "too perfect".  I'm always suspicious of it.  There is something about the imperfections of an artist's work that is endearing.  It connects you to the work because you see the humanity.  Van Gogh & Monet's brush strokes bring images of the artists working on their paintings, stepping back, making changes, smiling at their accomplishment, and then probably making more changes.  Most artists I know will admit their struggles. They are very much a part of the artistic process. The struggles are often what leads to amazing breakthroughs, new techniques, and renewed passion. 

If anyone thinks they are something when they are not,
 they deceive themselves.  
Galatians 6:3

So often believers feel they need to have their "stuff" together.  They put on masks to appear better than they are.  They avoid conversations of depth as not to be found out. "I'm fine." or "Everything is good." is heard too often in response to "How are you?" Why can we not admit we are hurting, struggling, in pain, or in need?   The number one thing that non-believers or those who have walked away from the Lord say......"THE CHURCH IS FULL OF HYPOCRITES".  One would think that might clue believers in to fact that people are hungry for authenticity.  If we were honest that we are struggling, that we aren't perfect, and that we don't always have it all together....how would they respond?  Jesus did not come for the "perfect" or the person that "has it all together".  He came for the hurting, the sick, the one struggling with their sin, the one in need, the outcast....He came for ALL OF US!!!   Our faith needs to connect to a hurting world in a REAL way....they need to see the reality of it in the imperfections of our life.  You don't have to be perfect...because you aren't!  You just have to be real with who you are and who Jesus is in your life.

How can you start being more "real" and still reflect
 the love of Christ to a world in need? 

How can your imperfections reveal the truth of the gospel in your life?

December 15, 2017

Even More Clay Faces: 3rd Grade

Here are the rest of the clay faces I have to share with you!  Please check back at my other posts for more information on how this project was done.