If you don't know anything about the ATC Swap...you are missing out!! Go to her blog now & look it up. It is such a wonderful opportunity to connect with the world...and see amazing student art from a variety of locations, teaching situations, and grade levels!! Tulip Grove Elementary created 100 ATCs collaboratively to swap this year! In return, we received 100 cards back! Here are the amazing works that found their way to Nashville,TN!
I try to make it a geography lesson as well. I include a map with each set. I mark Tennessee in red & place a dot on Nashville so they have a point of reference. I then mark where the cards are from in yellow. In class we discuss how far the locations are from us.
The teachers and student linger outside my room looking at the cards & locations.
Last summer I hosted the first Art With Mr. E Workshop! We had 15 teachers from 5 states attend. The group was made up of a wide range of teaching experiences...private & public...1st year to 20+ years...from Pre-K to College! We had such a great time...there was no doubt that we had to do it again!! The details are not in stone yet, but I wanted to let you all know so you could start thinking about it! I'm looking middle/end of June, three days of awesomeness, and the cost will be under $150. If you are wanting to keep up to date with dates, prices, and such...please e-mail me & let me know so I can keep you posted!
When people talk about those who have a natural inclination for the arts....they say they have a "gift" or are "gifted". Though I believe EVERYONE can grow in the arts & can become amazing artists....I do know that some people are just born with it. However...I believe everyone is "gifted" in some area or another. Maybe it is math, science, building, serving, communicating...that gift can take many forms, but everyone seems to be wired for something! Those "gifts" need to be nurtured and developed. Even if you have a natural predisposition for something you have to work at it to see it grow/flourish & make an impact in the world. A gift that is given, but not received does no good. A gift that is given, opened, and set aside never to be used benefits no one. I know so many people that could be making such an amazing difference if they would embrace their natural giftings! I also feel they are not as happy in what they are doing & how they are serving because it is not how they were wired.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast.
God has given all of us a gift! Not everyone will receive it. Not everyone will do anything with it once it is opened. What about you? That gift that was freely given, that came to us as a baby, & left this earth having carried the sins of the world....how is that impacting your life & those around you? If it is not...where is the gift? Did you really open it? Is it setting on the self collecting dust? God's gift to us changes EVERYTHING! I hope you all have an amazing Christmas. As you journey into the new year, may you see the impact of Christmas & the Cross on your life.
Every year I do a collaborative board with K-4. Each student makes a part of the board. I've posted them since 2008 when I began my blog. It is amazing how much they've changed over the years. This year I picked the theme Winter in the Smokies. This was before all the wild fires took place....so I feel it is now a nice reminder to keep that community in our thoughts!!
Here is a close up of the main board!
Because of the number of classes I see.....the board is not big enough for all the students work. So we have a display outside my room & in another hall way! I really does give a great winter feel to the whole school. It has become something the staff & parents really look forward to seeing each year!
Lets face it...we all have distractions in our life. Artists are no different. Though often portrayed as carefree/free spirited, this does not always translate to real life. Artists have deadlines, material issues, artist block, bills, families, other jobs, illnesses, lazy days, phone calls, houses to clean...etc. Sometimes it is near impossible to focus on our art with so much "life" happening in & around us. Artist communities, bio-domes, monasteries, and the moon all seem like perfect locations where one might actually be able to get some work done. However, that is not real life. We must try to work around the distractions, through the distractions, and despite the distractions! I think we would be hard pressed to ever find the "ideal" time to create. If our heart, mind, and creative spirit truly have something that needs to be said....then we will be able to see it to fruition.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3: 1-2
We often feel pulled in a million directions. Sometimes those things pulling us are all "good" things. Sometimes there are difficult things sprinkled throughout which cause challenges. Sometimes it seems like life is crashing in on us, and we don't know how we're going to keep going. Distractions can come in many forms..from the dramatic to the mundane. Distractions shift our priorities. So how do we keep our head above water & our priorities in check. It may seem cliche to say "Keep your eyes on the prize!" However, it is simply that which will keep us from succumbing to all of life's distractions. What is the prize? Salvation? Heaven? Those are benefits of "the prize" in my mind. The real prize, to me, is knowing God & making him known. If we keep our heart, mind, and life about those things...it will allow us to be our best, do our best, and handle things to the best of our ability. Not because we have it all together, but because we know for whom and why we live this life. .
In our curriculum our third grade clay project is "masks". I try to change it up each year...sometimes underwater themed, animal, crazy faces, self portraits..etc. This year I asked them to consider an emotion. We talked about exaggeration, expression, color...everything that goes along with emotion/mood art. I really loved how most of them turned out this year!! I do not glaze...no hood/kiln room. Maybe someday...but for now we're happy painting them!
Every year I try to do a winter project with the teachers & staff. This year we are doing snow globes. I have received less than half the ones that were taken...so I'm hoping this wall will grow! I will post again & try to get some close ups!!
Art shirts, old clothes, aprons, table cloths, drop cloths, rags, plastic bags....and a host of other things.
Artists prepare for the mess. Now some art lends itself to being neater than others, but usually to get to the beauty...you go through spills, drips, scraps of this or that, glue everywhere, and so much more. Because experience has taught us, we prepare for these issues before they happen. I know that when I don't have a towel by my side....that is when I'll need it the most. Being prepared for such things doesn't mean I'm trying to be careless or that I'm not applying craftsmanship at its finest. It just means I'm not going to allow myself to be in a position where I'm unprepared for the possibility.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6: 13-17
Life is messy. Things happen that can take our focus off of the Lord. One day it seems our walk with God is going great. The next day we find temptation all around & old sin/struggles that can cause us to stray from the path. We are in a world where temptation is all around us & sin/personal struggles can be indulged in a moment's notice. If we do not plan to protect ourselves from succumbing to such things....then we are planning on cleaning up the mess they create in the near future. Salvation does not keep us from dealing with struggles, but it does give us a way to handle them when they come our way. Ephesians gives us a call to put on the full armor of God. Armor isn't needed if life was an easy cakewalk of an experience. Armor is needed for battle. Armor is needed for those who serve the King. If the Lord saw fit for this to be in scripture, don't you think that the armor of God is something we must consider each & every day? It isn't a "magical" fix to the battles we'll face. It is however a reminder of who God is...and who God made us to be! If we remember those things, when temptation/sin/struggles come up against us...we can claim the truth of scripture and overcome the battle. However, we must remember that the battle rages on continually, and we can not become too comfortable when we experience victories. We may learn things that will help us in the future, feel we are stronger in some areas than before, but we can never let down our guard and allow ourselves to become too comfortable. We must plan for the messes of life. We must be prepared even when we aren't expecting things to get messy.
Some of you may have seen my #turkeyaday16 art challenge. Seems mostly it was a challenge for me...because I didn't have many participate. That is ok though...I was crackin' myself up all month long! ha ha Here are all the turkeys for your viewing pleasure!
When I first started the challenge...I was only planning on doing a week of art related turkeys. I was thinking that there were so many other fun subjects to put my turkey in...how could I just keep it to one topic. However, as the week progressed...I had so many art related ideas to create...I just couldn't bring myself to switch to another topic!!! ha ha
Check back in February...I think there will be a return of the #aheartaday challenge from last year!