October 31, 2015

TAEA State Fall Conference 2015

So Thursday I packed up my stuff and headed to Gatlinburg, Tn for the TAEA State Conference.  I'm on the TAEA board as the Elementary Division Leader...and we had a board meeting & awards banquet  on Thursday, but most attendees would arrive on Friday.  I love when our conference is in Gatlinburg! East Tn reminds me of home(I grew up in a forest).  We stay at Arrowmont College of Art.....AMAZING! 

My awesome student teacher from last year received the First Year Teacher Award!  I'm so proud of her!!  And of coarse we had to get a goofy picture...it's what we do!  Way to go Emily!!!
After a great day of sessions & studio classes(I took printmaking)..we had a costume party!!! It was so much fun to see so many dressed up...all were art inspired!  Wine, cheese, fruit, and sweets were served...conversations were easy to come by...and it was a lovely evening!!

Tomorrow is another power packed day!! I will miss my other studio class...because I need to make the 4 hr trek back home for Trick or Treat with my kiddos!

October 27, 2015

2nd Annual: National Leave A Comment On A Blog Day

It is the 2nd Annual National Leave A Comment On A Blog Day!!!!!
This is a totally made up holiday I created last year when I kept hearing from my blogging buddies that people seldom left comments any more!  Though most of us do not blog for comments...they sure are nice to get every once and awhile!  So today...take some time to leave a comment on at least 2 of your favorite blogs (or blogs you think might need some encouragement!!).  Let them know you are leaving it as part of the National Holiday!! ha ha   After last year's "event"....I heard from many people saying how much they appreciated just a few kind words from their readers!!!  Lets try to make it bigger this year!!!!!!  If ya want..feel free to copy & paste my picture holding the sign!(because I'm like a model or something?!!??! blah..barf! ha ha)  



?!?! I do own more than one shirt?!?!

October 25, 2015

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Paint By Number Life?

There is an appeal to paint by number "art".  Everything is there for you & laid out just so-so.  Even the colors are numbered on the work & the containers holding the paint that they provide for you.  How could anything go wrong? 

 The only thing is...the struggle to create, compose, and carry out an artistic idea is what brings a "soul" to the art work.  The well planned, laid out, "perfection" of a paint by number leaves a wallpaper like feeling..  The artistic struggle & imperfection is what gives  voice, power, and connection to art.

So many wish their was a formula to life. 
" If I follow abc...than xyz will occur."
"I just need to live my life this way,
 and good things will happen."

Life isn't a paint by number.  I understand the deep desire to avoid the pain that life can bring.  I understand wishing that the evils of this world would stay far away from us & the ones we love.  I have seen the impact of the injustice of this world on a life/family.  The young die.  The healthy become sick.  A life forever changed by no fault of their own.  Pain & heartache happens.  Tears flow as if they will never end.  

We do not wish or want for these things in our life....but what do we do when they happen?  

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, 
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
I was crying to the Lord with my voice, 
And He answered me from His holy mountain.
I lay down and slept; 
I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me round about.
Psalm 3:3-6

Our world...our life is not paint by number.  Sin came into this world...and has forever changed what God had intended for His children to experience. However, it has not changed God.  He is God.  He is still on His throne!  He is the one that sustains us in the midst of our trials.  He lifts our head in the midst of our sorrows so we can see His face!  He gives us strength we did not know we had in our greatest hour(s) of need.  

We find that in & after our struggle...we come to a new understanding of God's grace.  We see His love for us in a new way.  There is a new & deeper appreciation for the Lord's presence in our life.  Prayer is more real.  Praise is more passionate. The Word is more powerful.   Not because of the pain & problems, but because of the One who saw us through it all.  

The paint by number life might seem appealing, but Lord...I choose you in the good times & in the bad times.  I choose you...because you first chose me!  You gave Your life...that I might have Life!


Dear Jesus, help me see You...and seek you!
May I glorify You in all things...knowing You sustain me through it all.  May the tests of this world become the testimony of Your goodness & faithfulness.  When I feel I can not go on...may I collapse in your arms & find rest....peace....love.

October 22, 2015

Abstract Birds

So I'm working on a bird unit with 4th Grade....and I thought it would be interesting to create assemblage abstract birds with them.  The results had a very Native American/Thunderbird feel.  I loved it!!  Next week time we're going to paint them using analogous colors.

October 19, 2015

Modular Art Wall: FINISHED


SO EXCITED!!  I'm actually more excited for December to get here when I'm planning my first "rotation" of the cubes to Blue/Black/Purple!!!  I still think people don't get it.  


October 18, 2015

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Dried Up Markers

In the art room, markers are the deceivers!  You know what you are getting with a broken crayon or colored pencil that needs sharpened, and they are still usable.  With markers...you can't really tell till you try to color with them.  They look great on the outside, but looks are deceiving.  I've had brand new markers color like they were old and dried out & markers that were a couple years old work like new.  I test my markers a couple times a year to weed out the bad ones.  They take up space in the  box, slow down the process, and at times can damage the work by how they mark. No one had time in their life for dried up markers!

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of bones and the dead and everything unclean.  In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Matthew 23:27-28

If you continue to read this section of scripture, you will see the Lord has little patience for hypocrites.  With good reason!  If you ask those that don't go to church or who have stopped going to church why...they will often say that churches are full of hypocrites.  You know what....THEY ARE RIGHT!  We are all hypocrites...some of us more/less often than others.  I'm not saying it is a real excuse....because the whole world is full of hypocrites...not just those who claim Christ.  However, shouldn't the church be different?  Of all places...shouldn't we be "WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET!"  In being real, we show Christ & His work in us. Playing church, wearing a "mask", saying we're just "FINE".... all of these things play into hypocrisy that the Lord & the world deplore.  By trying to be what we are not....TAKING UP SPACE - Those who are "rough" around the edges & seeking God will not see a place for themselves among all those mask wearing-church speaking-fine people.  We need to be real with our own lives & struggles...so those seeking Him will see a place in our midst.  SLOW DOWN THE PROCESS - Too often Christians get in the way of God's work by playing church instead of BEING the church.  Non-Christians or new Christians are made to feel they have to speak, look or act a certain way to be a part of the "Christian Culture".  Change is the work of the Holy Spirit...not the church.  We need to embrace people where they are...and allow God to grow them in His perfect time!  AT TIMES CAN DAMAGE THE WORK -  I've seen non-Christians & new Christians develop major "issues" with church because of those in the church.  The body of Christ should be a place where people feel safe...can trust...and do not fear being hurt by others.  I admit, we are not perfect...and we make mistakes...sometimes BIG mistakes.  However, we need to stop ACTING like Christians...and start BEING THE BODY OF CHRIST!  People are attracted to those living authentic lives.  Call it a white washed tomb...wearing a mask...or a dried up marker....there is no room for that in the church!  

Dear Lord,  help me to be real.
Help me to be the safe place for new believers & those seeking you to come.  Allow me to live an authentic life that others see....the good, the bad, and the ugly, but most of all...YOU.
In Christ Jesus, AMEN

October 11, 2015

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: LEAD

Drawing pencils are great to work with if you know what you are doing.  Each pencil possesses a "value".  The value is determined by how hard or how soft the "lead" is.  Pencils that are "H" have harder lead and create a lighter mark.  Pencils that are "B" are softer lead and create a darker mark.  .  I've worked with students in the past that refused to pay attention to the pencil they were using.  They would create an entire work using an H, and then wonder why their picture lacked variety in its value.  I've had student that would only use a higher value B, and they couldn't understand why their picture was so dark and smudged up.  However, I've also had students that were ready & willing to listen, think about, and apply the information I had taught.  Though not perfect, those students produced works that were much more successful than their peers who were not ready or willing.  I will always choose to teach my WHOLE class.  I hold out hope that something will sink in or take root, even if I do not see the "fruit" of my efforts.

Then He told them many things in parables, saying:  " A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil.  It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  Whoever has ears, let them hear. "   Matthew 13: 3-9

Jesus made it clear through this parable that not everyone that heard the Truth would receive it.  It might even be the clearest most thorough presentation of the gospel ever given.   However, for many reasons people reject/dismiss God.  We can not see "the soil" of their heart.  We must continue to sow the seeds, and allow God to do the work that only He can do in their life.  As we go out with His Word, we might only speak His name before we are "rejected".  We might share the same thing with the same person over and over again, but never see any fruit come out of it. No matter the situation, we must be faithful with what we've heard God speak to us.  We must do what He has called us to do.  As a teacher, there are days I feel like I'm making little to no impact....and I just want to through in the towel & give up.  Then I come across a work of art that lets me know someone is listening...someone is taking the things I'm teaching and applying them....and someone is changed because of my being willing to press on even when I don't feel like I'm making a difference. Sowing the seeds may not feel as rewarding as harvesting the fruit, but it is necessary!  

Lord, thank you for choosing to use us!  
So often we feel frustrated when we do not see "fruit".
Let us find joy in speaking Your name, sharing Your Word, 
and letting them know who You are in our life!
Prepare us to sow the seeds.  
In Christ's Name, Amen

October 09, 2015

Modular Art Cube Wall: Almost Ready


I'm getting very excited about the Modular Art Cube Wall we have been working on!  I realized I had been sharing photos on Facebook, but not here on my blog?!?!  I'm slipping!!! ha ha  

The ceiling tiles were donated to our district for the art teachers.  They are sound proofing tiles...so are fairly heavy(not good to hang on the school walls).  I decided to turn them into cubes...using hot glue to attach.  At our Fall Festival..I had my room set up with the cubes & plates of color.  I loved seeing families gather around painting!  One mother got so lost in painting...she looked up and realized her kids had left & an hour had passed by!  ha ha  

There are a few more sides to go...and I'm wanting to give them a coat of tempera varnish(just to give it a bit of protection).  I'm hoping my teachers will come in on Monday during our planning day!  I have a supportive faculty that enjoys getting messy when I give them a chance! 


October 06, 2015

Season of Change

Last year I received a Facebook message about old security fences at a condo that were being thrown away...."If anyone could make something out of them...it's you!"  Without clear direction...I said yes.  Quickly the Kandinsky Fence project came together.  It was a true collaboration between students, parents, faculty, and other community members.  It turned out beautiful.  I learned A LOT! (like what primer & paint to use...well...more like what NOT to use).  When it got blown down after tornado/straight-line winds...instead of being the end...it was new life(the person that put it back together again for me REALLY secured it).  I noticed at the end of last year...it was starting to look a little rough.  As much as I hated seeing the Kandinsky Fence go...it was a chance for something new! 

I went to a local paint place...and they sold me a gallon of high quality exterior "oops" paint for  $4!!  It was an off white...which was a perfect "primer".  I then went to home depot and purchased their sample size paints.  You can get a nice amount of high quality paint for an affordable price!  Total..I spent less than $40 to give new life to the Fence Project. 

 I decided to allow my 4th graders to be the inspiration & the workers.  I used their 4 Seasons project to be the inspiration for the sides.  I took reoccurring elements for their pictures as the inspiration.  I then decided I'd have each of my 4th grade classes come out side to paint for the first 15 min(or so) of their class time to paint.  As soon as the got into my room I had them get their art shirts.  I then passed out the pre-poured paint with brushes already in the cups ( with time crunch..and trying to have 20+ students paint at the same time...you have to be organized).  I then directed students to where they needed to go & what they needed to be painting.  Sometimes it worked...and sometimes there was Day 2?!?!?!?!?!?!

Day 2 was a nightmare.  A couple of the boys decided it would be a good idea to paint on students' backs while they were painting.  They were amazingly skilled at this...because there were 4 adults supervising...and not one of us caught them(my practicum students were there that day).  We did not know what happened till the end of class when I had the students throw their art shirts in the bucket & clean up.  I saw red paint on the back of chairs...and on the back of students!!!  There was red paint on students actual shirts...but thankfully no parents got too mad.  And the boys...they were dealt with!!  I will say this...at least they admitted it!


Day 3 was much better, and things started really coming along!  I started receiving many comments from parents & staff...saying that they really liked the new design!! (They had loved the Kandinsky Fence...and many of them had worked on it.  A great teachable moment on temporary art installations! ha ha)


I could see the end!!  The project was very close to being finished..with only a few mishaps!  I knew that the next class would be able to finish it up!!  Then it rained....and rained and rained and rained and rained!  For over a week we had off and on showers...high humidity...and there was no way we could paint.  UGH!


Well...in the midst of the rain...the nine weeks came to an end.  I no longer had time for my students to finish the fence.  With a new nine weeks...comes many new projects & responsibilities.  Plus, we were now into ARTOBER NASHVILLE...and this is one of the main BIG projects I wanted our school to have for the celebration.  So I invited some people to come help out finish things off over fall break (yes..our district has a week off for fall break!). 
 IT IS DONE!!!!!!  IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!  

I'm not sure if the fence will make it another year....but we'll enjoy it till this season ends!!

October 05, 2015

Gems Found During Finish Up Day


The last week of the 9 weeks I have students finish up their art for the nine weeks, and I have portfolio reviews with them as I grade.  I loved these two works in progress.  Both students have been consistently good artists since kindergarten...and love to create.  The project was to draw a self portrait and place yourself in an environment that shares something(s) about you.  The details are wonderful...and I feel both express the students personality in so many ways.  Such a joy to come across work like this!!! 


October 01, 2015

?!?!?RAIN DELAY!?!?!


We go forever without rain...FOREVER PEOPLE!!!!  BAM!!!!!!  When I want to finish up our fence mural for the start of ARTOBER NASHVILLE....we get nothing but rain!  Today makes a week we've been getting off and on showers with high humidity(not fence painting weather).  Today also makes it the official start to ARTOBER NASHVILLE.  I'm going to go cry in my Wheaties now.