May 28, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Done?

One of the most challenging questions artists & art students ask themselves is "Am I done?".  You don't want leave a work appearing unfinished, but you also do not want to ruin it by doing too much.   I think most of us err on the side of overworking our art.  We don't want to give up until we've given our all to communicated our vision.  So when is a work of art done?  Honestly, I've matted & hung a painting before, but then taken it down and worked on it some more. I believe there is a heart and head connection that happens when we know we've done our best, communicated our vision, and are ready to share it with others.  That's not to say we won't question its "doneness" again, but we have found a peace in the level of completion and effectiveness in our work. 

And there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus' feet, and began to implore Him to come to his house; for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. -  While He was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, "Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.  But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, "Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well."  - Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, "Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep."  And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died.  He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Child, arise!"  And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat.  Her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.  
The whole story can be found in Luke 8:40-56

Done.  How many times in your life have you questioned if you are done?  Done with a relationship, done with a job, done with something you thought you were meant to do or meant to be......just DONE!  Things didn't work out like you thought.  It wasn't as easy.  It wasn't as fun. It required effort.  It didn't happen like you thought it would.  In your mind the easiest thing would be to call it done and move on with your life.  I do believe there is a time to be done with somethings(or someone), but too often I've seen people give up exerting little to no effort. I believe we do have a responsibility to put in the time & effort, but we also have the responsibility to bring it to the Lord. There are many things we see as impossible that ,with God, are possible. Sometimes we will see Him do amazing things to change the situation.  Sometimes we will see Him change our perspective on the situation.  Sometimes He will lead us to move on.  No matter, all things can be used for His glory & His honor.

May 26, 2017

In the Art Room Jammin'...

Love jammin' to Mandisa in the morning!!! I've got so much still left to do to get my room summer ready!??!  Though...I'll be back in just three weeks for the 2nd Annual Art With Mr. E Summer Workshop!  Hope you all are having a great end to your school year...I know a few of you area already done!!  I'm actually prepping for next year as I am cleaning up! Already put up my fabric on my bulliten boards for next year(doing primary & secondary is going to be a BRIGHT year!)...and I'm putting my new chair footies on!  

May 24, 2017

Another School Year Ends

We are at the end of another school year!  It is hard to believe how quickly the year & years pass by.  I know that makes me sound old...and I kind of am.  This was my 20th year in Metro Nashville Public Schools (though officially 19 because I subbed one of those years).  So much has changed over the years!! 
However, what stays the same is 

 THE KIDS (even if they don't act like it) NEED YOU! 

I know that at this point in the year we are just tired...done...burnt out.
  You know why that happens?  

Because you care about what you do! 
Because you give all that you are! 
 Because teaching isn't easy!!!! ha ha  

Please know you are valued!!!  I'm so glad you are out there teaching art to children of all ages!!  The world needs more of you!  

Now go clean up your room...get yourself set up for next school year...and enjoy your summer.

May 21, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Changed

Clay is all about change. You can mold, roll, pierce, press, throw, bend, carve, and texturize clay.   After all of that, if you don't like it you can smash it and start all over again. Even if you let it set out and dry, it can still be turned back to a "mud" by placing it in water.  It isn't until you fire it that true change happens.  When clay meets the proper temperature & will never be the can never return to what it once was. 

Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature.  So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way.  When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your hourse."  And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly.  When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to be the gues of a man who is a sinner."  Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much."   Luke 19:3-8

Those who knew Zaccheus knew who and what he was.  They had witnessed his crooked ways.  They did not trust him.  They did not believe he could or would change.  When Jesus not only acknowledged Zaccheus but invited himself to his got people talking.  They couldn't believe Jesus would even associate with such a person.  I'm sure Zaccheus was a bit shocked as well. However, an encounter with the Lord changed this man...he would never be the same...he could never return to who and what he once was.  

Change can happen: in your life, in the life of someone who you love, in the life of someone you might think will ever change.  God can use anyone, anywhere, anything, anytime to bring people to that point of change.  He meets people where they are at...not where we or they think they should be. 

May 17, 2017


They loved circle weaving in 3rd grade!  They have loved weaving in 4th grade!  I hope that they have more opportunities to weave in middle school & high school art.  Here are a handful of weavings from this year.  I allowed theme to select 4 regular colors & 1 specialty yarn.  I'll try to post more as the last couple classes finish up this coming week!  

May 14, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: TIRED

When I was in college, the art building was just as active at night as it was during the day.  I'm not sure what it is exactly about us artistic type?  We seem to thrive creatively when we are exhausted.  Maybe the night offers the silence we need to create?  Maybe it is in the night we finally find our voice while all the other voices are at rest?  Or maybe it is when we are at our most tired, our minds can let down their guards enough to create freely. I remember one finals week where I went almost three days without sleep.  A mixture of procrastination, 18 credit hours, and working 20+ hrs a week probably had something to do with it. I'm not trying to romanticize it.  Trust me, it wasn't pretty!  Maybe that is why artists are often thought of as moody or brooding...THEY ARE EXHAUSTED! Such creativity seems to come at a cost at times. Such a pace can not be sustained.

He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.   Isaiah 40:28-29  

Though I do not keep the same schedule I did while in college, As a husband, dad, teacher, blogger and artist.....I'm tired A LOT!  I stay up too late.  I over commit. There just aren't enough hours in my day.  In the midst of all these other "responsibilities" (really they are joys/blessings/privileges)...I'm also a child of God.  I have been given these many blessings in my life so I could grow in my knowledge of God & make Him known.  In my "wisdom" (or lack there of)....I can not seem to make it all work.  BUT GOD CAN!  He meets me in my TIRED & He challenges me in my EXHAUSTED.  He reminds me... I AM ENOUGH!  I AM YOUR STRENGTH. YOU CANNOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN......BUT I CAN!   Isaiah reminds Israel that though they may be tired & weak...God never will.  This truth brings such peace.  This truth brings rest for a tired & weary soul.  
How are you feeling today? Are you tired? Feeling faint?  Has life seemed to rob you of the rest you so desperately need?  Look where you've placed your faith.  Is it where it needs to be? 

May 10, 2017

2nd Grade Coil Pots: Completed

My 2nd Grade students are completing their coil pots this week.  I'm really loving how they look this year.   I do not glaze(no hood/vent & kiln in my room) I'm having them use watercolor on bisque clay.  Then I put a coat of tempera varnish on top to give it some shine & to protect the paint.  Some years I use acrylic or metallic acrylic.

May 07, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Not Exactly Perfect

When I was in college, I could always tell the graphic design students in my watercolor class.  Not only did they usually dress "preppy", but their work had a certain "quality" to it.  It was technically AMAZING!   Dare I say "perfect".  However, with that perfection came a lack of heart.  It would often look like wallpaper.  Over the years, I've noticed in my own work a lack of "heart" when I focus my attention on technical perfection.  Though skill & mastery of a medium are important, art without heart is just wallpaper.  When art attempts to obtain perfection it sanitizes & mechanizes the process of creation to a point that disconnects from the intent/heart of the creator.  There is power in the passion of an artist, not their perfection.

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  


Have you said or felt any of the above statements?  Have you heard others say them?  This comes from the lie of perfection.  None of us are perfect.  Some may seem like they have it all together, but that is only a perception(either projected or assumed).  Do we have strengths....yes.  However, God often wants to use as just as we are...right where we're at.  Sometimes that might be in our strengths, or sometimes in our weaknesses. He just wants us to have an open & willing heart.  When we become uncomfortable with our weakness...we start saying things like "I'm not ready...I'm not good enough...I don't have enough training...So & So would be better at this.."   As if we could somehow convince God that He got it wrong in wanting to use us?!?! ha ha  When we realize we are weak...that is when we are strong...IN HIM!  What have you been making excuses for?  What do you need to step forward in faith with & trust God?  In your weakness He will show His Him!!! 

May 05, 2017

Kinder-Awesome Portraits!

If you have been here at least a few know I LOVE kindergarten!  I love them...their art...their honesty!  It is a joy and a privilege to teach them.  This week we've been using a mirror to help us draw self portraits.  I reviewed facial proportions & the shapes we use for the different parts.  Some of the students NAILED IT!! They are technically amazing for kindergarten! However, even the ones that weren't "technically" there...showed truly wonderful expression!  These portraits make my heart happy!

I saw this one & instantly thought of Flynn Rider from Tangled!
This kid has the "smolder" going on! ha ha 

I love the details of this..just precious!

This guy on the left looks like he is giving the stink eye.

I don't know if I ever look like either of these..but I have days 
I for sure feel like these!!!!

May 04, 2017

2nd Annual Multi-Cultural Fair At TGE

This is our second year for the multi-cultural fair at our school!  Last year it was a smashing success!  I still have my K-4th Art Show hanging...but wanted to join in on the multi-cultural goodness!!
K- USA    1st- AFRICA    2nd- SOUTH AMERICA  
3rd- ASIA  4th- MEXICO

I've included a link to last year's offerings!  

May 02, 2017

Training Day

What happens when friends that have been together for two decades go to a training day...

We had a training day for the portfolio system we use for teacher evaluations.  Though this kind of work can be dry at times...there is never a dull moment when you get our crew together.  There are always more than enough snacks...laughs...and stories to make for an awesome day together!!  OH...and we did our training too! ha ha

I hope you all get to enjoy training days as much as we do!!!