August 12, 2020

How you doin’?

How are you all doing out there?!? Online teaching, in person teaching, hybrid teaching....not yet teaching?!? Tell me one good thing from your day!!


August 09, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: MORE

 Have you ever felt alone...misunderstood...unable to connect with those around you?  I think that most of us have felt like this at some point in our life.  Deep down we all wish there was more....more togetherness, understanding, and connection!!  It seems all too common among "art people".  We often see, feel, think, and express things differently than our peers.  The danger is not in the differences, but in self isolation and associating only with those of like minds. As much as I might love being left to my own thoughts at times or spending time with others involved in the is incredibly important that I connect with those outside my "circle".  Keeping to myself or associating with those who "get" me,  I am  neglecting the amazing opportunity to educate, inform, and engage with those who may have not been afforded the same opportunities and experiences in the arts. This doesn't mean that we will get everyone to understand the finer points of neo-expressionism, but we can help & encourage others to appreciate art and those who create it. This will build bridges.  The more bridges we build...the more connections there will be.  Soon we will find that we are not as alone as we once thought, and that others do "get" us (and even if they don't...they still like to be around us).    

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household. 

Ephesians 2:19

  Everyone struggles with feeling alone, misunderstood, and disconnected.  Sometimes this is a passing feeling/reality.  Sometimes it is a more chronic experience.  The struggle is real, and often we are unaware that those around us are in the middle of the battle.  In Ephesians 2:19 we are told that there are no longer foreigners and strangers in the house of God.  There is an amazing connectedness that comes through a relationship with the Lord.  However, we often need to work on it in the day to day.  Sometimes we are a bit selfish/busy/oblivious. We need to be more purposeful and reach out to those around us.  We need to find ways to connect.  We can not wait for others to come to us, but we need to be the ones that builds the bridges, makes connections, and helps everyone to not feel like a foreigner or stranger.  We need to be the family that God has called us to be.  We need to be MORE than we have been. What MORE can you do?  

August 06, 2020

Getting My Teaching Space Ready

We started back to school this week, but related arts have not started holding their own classes yet. We have been joining in on morning meetings as classroom teachers set norms and help students troubleshoot the (many) technology issues. Our district is using Microsoft TEAMS as our virtual meeting space, Schoology as the platform to organize content, and Florida Virtual School for the curriculum. It is a whole lot of new!!  Though I wish we were at a point where we could return....I am thankful our district is considering the health & well being of the students, teachers/staff , and community! 

My BF ArtEd bud was helping me work through my document camera issues...and didn’t realize she was going to be starring in my blog post today! Haha

August 04, 2020

Art Dad..NANANANA..Art Dad!

With all the craziness & confusion about school in the district we live (I teach in the neighboring district), we decided to homeschool our kids this school year (my wife has been a 3rd grade teacher, math coach, a STEM teacher).  We felt consistency was what our children needed most.  We also picked up an extra kid ( my wife’s best friend’s daughter! ). So we have a classroom almost! Haha  She is using a program that teaches across the curriculum using a common theme. Since they are currently studying Queen Victoria..she asked me if I’d do a portrait lesson with the kids. I think they turned out dynamite!! 

1st Grade                              4th Grade

           5th Grade
(The 1st, 4th, and 5th grader on the right are mine!) 

August 02, 2020

Crayola Colors of the World

Have you seen the Colors of the World crayons by Crayola?  I’m so happy that there are more flesh tone options. I have children from all over the world at my school...and the smaller packs of skin colors just was not sufficient. I still feel that we need more options, but this is a step in the right direction! 

Have you tried them out yet? What are your thoughts? 


Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: In Its Time

 The microwave takes too long.  Fast food isn't fast enough. Next day delivery seems like forever.  The internet moves at a snails pace.  We become very disgruntled if we have to set through commercials while watching a program.  It's as if our perception of time has been changed by "progress".  However, art does not always operate (well) in our new normal.  There is time required to grow as an artist.  Hours, days, weeks, months, and years can be invested in artistic pursuits to develop one's skills.  A YouTube video can not substitute for the practice, patience, failure, success, and growth that can only take place over time.  Too often people expect to be better/further along than they are. When they become frustrated because they aren't where they think they should be.....they quit.   This is true in showing and selling one's art.  You can not expect to be an overnight success. Van Gogh only sold one painting while he was a live (and created hundreds!).  How much time?  Each of us is unique.  We can not compare ourselves to others in our artistic journey.  Art develops in its own time.  Leave the microwave for popcorn...not art!

The microwave society we live in has found its way into the faith community.  We want our prayers answered now.  We want our healing now. We want to be in leadership now. We want our happiness now. The thing is....our timing might not be God's timing.  There have been many situations where I've "wished" I was in a different place in my journey.  I've tried to pray away what I was going through (personal illness, death in the family, stress, uncertainty).  However...I would have missed out on so much if God would have instantly taken away or changed my circumstances. 
I would not have learned what it means to rest in him, trust him, and believe that he is enough.  I would not have seen the body of Christ come together and help meet my needs.  I would not have been able to gain insight and empathy for what others go through.  "He has made everything beautiful in its time."  We need to embrace the time we've been given....he will make it beautiful.   

August 01, 2020

Gel Handle Scissors

Tax free weekend & back to school shopping time! I’m unsure what to buy for my classroom in light of COVID. However, I NEEDED this..for ME! 😂They feel so good in your hand & cut like a dream! I love to try new supplies, and will be interested to see how they will hold up!! 

July 31, 2020


Multitasking during our back to school online inservice today! Was able to repaint 12 tulips!! We are “Tulip” Grove Elementary & use the tulips outside our doors w/ teacher names on them & clips so info can be left without bothering the classes. When a teacher leaves, gets married, divorced, or enters the witness protection program (that hasn’t actually happened...and if it has I couldn’t tell you!!!!!) ...I am tasked with repainting it and writing the new names on them (I’ll start that next week!). My 20th yr doing these!
When I arrive at Tulip Grove, the flowers were spray painted red or blue...and the leaves green. I repainted day the principal popped into my room and said...”I like redo everyone’s!“ 20 yrs later...I still am!!

July 30, 2020

Things aren’t always as they appear!

Don’t look at pics of actual/virtual classrooms & compare. We all have our own style, teaching situations, & time we can invest into our spaces. What I want to know you love your kiddos, are you doing your best for them, do you love what you do?

July 29, 2020

When you see it....

You ever work on something so closely that you don’t really see something that is extremely obvious?
So today I was cutting down a rather large display I obtained from Michael’s a couple years ago. It was just not serving much of a purpose and was taking up valuable floor space.  My favorite color is I decided to save it and the sign to use on my bulletin board where I’ll be recording my virtual classes! 

Do you see the issue in the first picture? I literally jumped when I saw the other crayon’s hand still on green’s “shoulder”.  Haha! 

I painted over it with acrylic( it is made of plastic like a political sign ). Need to touch it up a bit more then put a varnish on top. 

July 27, 2020

Scaring Myself In The Art Room

Today was the first day we were allowed back in our school (there was a change over in custodial companies...which left no one to strip and wax our floors for part of the summer).  We are doing virtual school for at least the first month, and many teachers are opting to teach online from their classrooms.  I went to do basics....put furniture back and place & start getting all the things I packed up in a hurry in March back in the proper places. 

Well, I thought I’d be funny as I was getting ready to leave and put my hair dresser’s dummy head in my door window to freak out passers-by.  I ended up deciding to stay longer, and ran out to get lunch. When I returned and opened my door.... I about let out a scream!  Laughing it off, I went about working for a couple more hours.  Before leaving, I decided to use the restroom at school.  When I returned to get my guessed it...I almost screamed when I saw the head!  
You would think I had learned my lesson at this point....but I left it! We will see tomorrow if I let out a scream or not?!?!?! 

July 26, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Mirror


When I have my students draw self portraits, they will often default to a simplified human face.  Even though they have lived with their own face their entire life...they don't seem to truly "know" it enough to translate it into a drawing.  It is very interesting because it happens at different schools, in multiple grade levels, and with children from diverse cultural backgrounds.With a basic set of instructions in how to draw faces, students will create very similar portraits.  However, once students are given  mirrors...their work begins to develop characteristics that are unique. Their portraits truly start to resemble them.  It is amazing when we are faced with things can change!

What happens when we find ourselves out of the habit of reading God's Word, spending time in prayer, finding opportunities to serve God, praising God for his many blessings, and being in fellowship with other believers?  These things are a mirror in our relationship with God.  If we are not face to face with those things God desires for our lives....we are face to face with the world.  We begin to look like, act like, talk like, and think like the world.  We need to reflect on the things of God in order to continue to grow,  renew our mind, and carry out the things he has for us.  When we look deeply into those things, we will not only see God clearer, but we will see ourselves clearer. 

July 24, 2020

Looking Out For You

At a professional development I led up in Elizabethtown,KY....I was given a face shield to wear.  I knew about the mask, but was surprised by the face shield.  However, I'm a rule follower....and if that what they wanted me to do....I'd do it.  Within a minute or face shield was completely foggy.  (I've since been told to try bar soap to the clean the inside, lipstick, and/or shaving cream! There is also a product divers use on the scuba masks to keep them from fogging up!).  I ended up not having to wear it for long.....because it POPPED off my head!  I have a very large head....and it broke the band across the face shield!!  ha ha  It got me thinking though about when we do go back in person.  We are going to need a few masks each day to make it through teaching.  They become moist from talking/teaching...and it would be uncomfortable to try to make it through an school day with only one mask!  If we have to wear face shields...hopefully you can try out one of those things to prevent fogging up (and get one that actually fits your head! ha ha)  

July 22, 2020

PD In Elizabethtown, KY

I had the privileged of leading professional development for a district up in the Elizabethtown, KY area.  It was a little over 2 hrs to get a time I left Middle TN at 4:30 in the morning!  TOTALLY WORTH IT!!  This was an amazing K-12 group of educators.  I used the same content from my one day version of the Art With Mr. E Summer Workshop that I posted a few posts ago.  It is really interesting how the same projects have so many outcomes when you allow individuals to express themselves.