January 31, 2017

Collagraph Ugly Ducks: 3rd

Print making is a lot of work!  It is all hands on deck..and sometimes you still aren't able to get all the students through.  However, the results are AMAZING.  I'm so excited about my students' ugly duck prints!!!!  Take a look at Day One's offerings!! 

 Here is the previous post explaining the idea behind the project!

Starving Artist No More Summit

I recently did an interview with Heidi Easley about how teaching art & being an online personality (is that what I am?) have allowed me to have opportunities to make extra money.  She has put together an online "summit" to discuss how artists can bring in revenue through their artistic skills!  


January 29, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: RED

Red is an interesting color.  It can be a challenge in a multitude of media.  Achieving a true red can be difficult if you are creating your own glazes, but we can get red"ish" fairly easy. However, do we really want "ish"?  Finding a red construction paper that doesn't appear pink"ish" is near impossible.  Most student grade tempera & watercolor paint also have a pink"ish" quality about them.  Those that may at first seem red can fade in the sun or under florescent lighting quickly. Though there are reasons for this it does not make it any less a challenge.   Red is such an essential color in art.  It emotes anger, love, passion, and energy.  Where would an artist be if a true red could not be achieved?   

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  1 John 1:6-7

We can all wrestle with making right choices.  We can know the right thing to do, but still struggle to do it.  Life has so many temptations, and we can cave in to moments of weakness. That sin (LETS JUST CALL IT WHAT IT IS) affects our fellowship with God. However, a person walking with God will quickly confess their sin & repent. We've been called to walk in the Light!  In the Light we can see the true colors of a believer. In the Light we can have fellowship with one another, even if we don't always agree.  The "Light" allows us to see the thing that unifies us all, and it is by the blood of Jesus that we are all saved.   When we choose to walk in darkness & do not practice truth... tension, disunity, and strife in relationships develop. The idea of "true colors" is harder to see, because they appear different in different situations or with different people. Like red, we get people that are "ish" in their faith instead of true.    I'm not saying we don't all have moments of struggle, and we can all feel "ish" at times.  However, if we have been covered in the true red blood of Christ... that is a difference that can be seen. 

January 26, 2017

The Three Billy Goats Gruff Inspired

This project is in progress.  I read the 4th graders The Three Billy Goats Gruff. The first week the reimagined the troll that lived under the bridge.  I have them red, yellow, blue, black, and white tempera, and they had to mix all of their colors.  I loved all the different ideas they came up with.  The following week we looked at a variety of bridges, and discussed what would be the most appropriate for a troll to live under, and what type of landscape/setting that bridge would be found in.  
I think we have at least one more day to wrap them up!!!  I HOPE! ha ha 

Hickory Dickory Dock: Kindergarten

Here is a possible kindergarten project for the art show.  We read Hickory Dickory Dock, and then created a page of clock faces.  Next they traced all their pencil marks with crayon to create the resist.  They then picked two colors to do a wash over the page.  We finished the day with sprinkling salt on top of their wet pictures.  Next week they will be creating collage mice to add to their pictures.

January 25, 2017

Collagraph Prints: The Ugly Duckling

Collagraph or Collograph?? I have seen it both ways?!?

Print making is one of those things I'm not as comfortable with..even after 20 yrs of teaching.  I did not have it in college....and it flies in the face of my OCD nature!! ha ha  Lets face it..it is a messy project!  However, my kids are beyond excited to create their collagraph prints!!!  

I'm preparing for my All School Annual Art Show...which is themed Story Book Forest.  All our lessons have been tied back to a nursery rhyme, fable, or children's story.  Today I read them The Ugly Duckling.  You would be amazed how many had never heard it before!! I also told them the Twisted version..where he just grows up to be  a really ugly duck. ha ha  So they were charged with creating a really ugly duck collagraph plate.  For those of you who are not familiar with this type of printing...you basically are creating a collage as the plate.  You have to make sure that you talk to the kids about layering the paper to create the separations of shapes.  I used a cardstock that was donated to the school...it really doesn't matter the color.  

January 22, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Got It!

There are some artists out there that just seem to overflow with talent.  Their natural gifting makes it seem as if they need no training, guidance, or even practice. They just Got It, or so it seems.  Though their potential is amazing...it often does not realized.  Why?  When things come naturally, there is not as much passion/need/desire to grow & challenge one's self.  I have seen many students over the years "phone it in".  They do work that may match or exceed the average art student, but it falls short of what they can truly do.  Motivating the ones that "Got It" becomes much more challenging than working with the struggling student. 

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.  Many rich people threw in large amounts.  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything- all she had to live on."
Mark 12:41-44

So many people of faith also seem to "phone it in".  They "Got It"...but they do nothing with it.  What will motivate the believer to start using their gifts, talents, and resources for God's work?  How can we encourage others to live this life with passion, to work hard, grow, and challenge themselves to do & be more. In a world that seems to be out for #1...how can we encourage them to look outside themselves & their own needs.  What kind of example are we?  Does our life reflect the widow or the rich people?   Are we living a life that motivated by the amazing gift we have been given?  Take some time this week and pray about who//what/where/when you could start giving of yourself & resources.  You will be amazed what God will do!

January 19, 2017

..Getting Personal..

Hey friends, blog followers, and random people that happened upon my piece of cyber space...can I take a moment to get personal with you?  If no...then ya may wanna click out of here now.  When I started Art With Mr. E back in 2008....I never intended to share anything about my personal life.  This was going to be strictly art & art ed content.  I realized though...I just couldn't do that.  I have a life outside of my classroom...I have interests outside of art...I am a husband, father, and friend.  And somehow...that has connected me to you over the years.  

I wanted to share something that is going on in my life now. I feel like there might be some out there that are experiencing something like this in their own life...and it is impacting every area.  

I was just diagnosed with a genetic condition called heredity hemochromatosis.  With it...the body does not get rid of iron like "normal" people.  It builds up in the liver, heart, joints..and other organs.  It then starts to destroy them.  My Aunt Barb passed away this past summer due to complications from hemochromatosis.  I also found out my grandfather(passed before I was born) died of liver issues(most likely the same condition).  When I went in for my annual physical in Dec, I asked them to pay attention to my iron levels.  Sure enough...there it was.  I just saw the hematologist this week...and he is AWESOME.  My prognosis is good.  I am going to see some other doctors over the next couple weeks to make sure there is not already organ damage.  My liver numbers are a little high...so we shall see.  I may have to get a liver biopsy.  Over all though..the doctor says if I keep up with my treatment & revamp my diet...I should be able to have a normal life expectancy with few complications.  

Oh...the treatment...see this bottle below.....

As of right now...I have to go twice a week for three months and give 500mL of blood! Yep..blood letting!!! It is one of only three conditions where blood letting is a "thing"! ha ha  AND NO...PET LEECHES ARE NOT A PART OF THE PLAN!(they only drink about 50mL at most).  After about three months..they hope to have my number down & I will go in less frequently for phlebotomy.  

So...I share this because I know there are others out there that have medical issues going on in their life.  How do you balance your health, family, and teaching?!?  It isn't easy, but when you are faced with a situation like this...your priorities seem to come into focus!  I struggle...I'm kind of a control freak when it comes to my art program!!  However, ya gotta let go the tight reign...and find beauty in the imperfections.  Things might not always be as organized, prepared, or to your normal liking...but the kids just need you to be there for them and do your personal best. Hmm...how many times do you say that to the kids.    

If you are going through anything like me....please know you are not alone!!  If you need to talk about it...vent...whatever.....E-MAIL ME!!! tededinger@gmail.com  I may not have answers, but I can listen...and try to encourage you in the midst of your situation!!!!


(PS...This condition often goes undiagnosed.  Dr. will often look at the symptom & not consider the cause.  I've heard of situations where someone has cirrhosis of the liver..and the doctor believes they are an alcoholic!  Diabetes, join issues, and a whole lot more can be caused by this...look into it!)

January 15, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Be Your Best & Do Your Best

Over the years I've seen many artists fight themselves.  They fight with their skill set because they think they should be better or different than they are.  They fight with their ideas because they feel it doesn't say enough or what the current trends in art are.  Even though it is good to strive to improve & question one's self....fighting with yourself usually ends in feeling defeated & being ineffective.  I was told my style was not appropriate for the medium I was using & my subject matter was all wrong.  I wrestled with what was said to me, and for a time I felt like giving up.  However, I realized that my artistic voice had a place in the midst of all the noise in the art world.  I had something to say & a unique way of saying it.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.  If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1Peter 4:10-11

 We all have skills that can be used to glorify God & reach out to those he has placed in our path.  However, we often find ourselves defeated & ineffective because we are trying to operate outside of how we were designed.  We see others who seem so skilled & gifted....and we want to be like them. We were created to be ourselves.  We need to look at the unique person God made us to be, and be the very best version of that.  We also need to make sure we are faithful with gifts & talents we have been given.  If we are not employing those skills they are not doing the kingdom, others, or ourselves any good. Gifts are to be given.

Are you using your gifts/talents/skills to glorify God?  If not, why?  What is holding you back from being your best & doing your best for the kingdom? In this new year, think about what you can do to employ all of who you are for the service of the King.

January 14, 2017

The Patterns & Textures of Memphis

My wife & I celebrated our 10th anniversary by going to Memphis to visit the brand new IKEA & Graceland.  I found myself being drawn to all the patterns & textures at IKEA, our hotel (The Guest House at Graceland...highly recommend!!), and Graceland.  I think there is an art lesson here!!  Do you ever get fixated on things like this??  My wife was like..."ARE YOU TAKING MORE PICTURES OF THE WALLS?" ha ha

This first group of pictures were taken at IKEA...some are of bedding & others from their fabric area.  I LOVE THEM SO!!!! 

The next group were taken at The Guest House at Graceland.  
We loved our stay at this hotel..just beautiful! 

This last group is from Graceland! 

January 11, 2017


Kindergarten is a wild ride! It is amazing to see their independence, understanding, and ability grow by leaps and bounds!  If you are new to teaching & struggle with kindergarten...just wait!  After Christmas break is when the magic really happens!! 

I will say though...it is a struggle at times to have students help with cleanup.  It seems to take longer to have them do it than if you did it all yourself.  HOWEVER...you need to give them those opportunities to be responsible & be a part of the FULL process in the art room(which includes clean up!).  One of the things that drives me crazy is watching them pick up papers.  They have not mastered the art of place one piece directly on top of another!! ha ha  Even after you have showed them(over...and over...and over again!).  

I recently was at Dollar Tree(if you don't have them in your area...I'm sorry...THEY ARE AWESOME).  I found these larger tray/container/basket things(in my fav. color too!!).  I thought of how that could help the process a bit for kindergarten clean up.  Now this may not be revolutionary to you...but it really has helped my classroom out a great deal!!!  I have two students walk around collecting art work...the students at their seat place the work into the trey.  It sometimes is still a little off....but works so much better than the helpers dropping the art 10x!!  

It really allowed them to participate with clean up & feel successful! 

January 10, 2017

A Forgotten PD...

(I realized I never shared a PD that my 
friend Janet & I hosted this summer.)

Sometimes there are so many things going on...I forget to post!!!  I guess this one slipped passed me.  This summer, one of my bff's and I lead a PD on projects that could be turned into large collaborative projects.  It really was a hodge podge of awesomeness.  But do you know what is the greatest thing you get from professional development????  TIME WITH PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT YOU DO, GET WHAT YOU DO, AND DO WHAT YOU DO!!!  I love getting the opportunity to create with other art teachers.  It really becomes less about the focus of the PD...and all about that time together.  We rarely get such time to dialog with one another & share our experiences.  That can often be the greatest take away!!!!  So if you haven't been able to go to any PD's at the local, state, or national level...PLEASE TRY!!! It heals, encourages, and sparks the art educators heart!!!