September 16, 2019

Under The Sea Collage: 3rd Grade

3rd Grade created under water landscapes in collage this past week.  I was really excited by some of the ideas the kids came up with .  I do see a need for my students to be cutting & gluing more though.  There were many kids that seemed to still be struggling with the fine motor skills needed for such projects (and beyond).  Here are some of the awesome works students created!

September 15, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Building Up

I believe it is my honor, privilege, and responsibility to help encourage and develop present and future art educators. In no way do I feel like I have "arrived" as an art educator, and have some "right" to bestow my knowledge.  I do believe that I'm a fellow traveler on a unique path that has been down the road a ways.  Because of this I can share my experiences...both successes & failures.  By doing so, I grow through my personal reflection that is required in order to share with others.  I gain new insight into my own teaching through watching others teach. Those who I'm blessed to work with bring their own strengths and knowledge that I learn a great deal from.  I also see these relationships as a way to have a greater impact in art education.  Building up other art educators allows them to reach their communities in a more powerful way. We take with us those who have invested in us, and they are a part of our investment in others. 

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?  As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"  Romans 10: 14-15

Our faith is often spoken of as a walk or a journey.  While we "travel" down this path....we encounter those who are building up our faith through sharing their journey with us. They share both their successes and their failures.  They encourage us, challenge us, and call us out on our "stuff" when necessary.  At one point...they too were in a similar place in their journey and someone invested into their life.  It is a cycle of giving that does not come from a place of obligation, but a place of appreciation for those who impacted their and the power of transformation that happened because of it.  As we walk down this path...we too will have the opportunity for building up others. DO IT.  Don't wait till your stronger, more faithful, more grace filled, more merciful,  or more giving.  Share where you are & what you have to share.  Remember the boy with the bread and fish....and what the Lord did with that!!!  We will never "arrive" this side of glory....give what you have while you have the time to give it.  Trust are impact the world around you! 

September 13, 2019


International Dot Day is Sept 15th "ish"....but since it falls on a Sunday this was our target day for finishing our large collaborative project. I decided we'd try to do something a little different with our project.  In the past we've done flat 2-D dot projects...which were awesome, but were very similar to the rest of the world's dot projects. I wanted to create something "different".  So using a foam structure as our base....the fun began!  Students(K-4th) each created a monochromatic "dot".  We talked about value...using pressure to create lights & darks... and we talked about patterns & designs.  That is a whole lot of info/skills in a single dot!! With the help of my amazing practicum students....we hot clued wire on the back of the dots.  I wanted to be able position the dots & have them at different lengths.  I had some students help with placing dots & determining which colors we were in need (observation & counting of dots yet to be placed)

This is in the front of our school as you walk in!!  Everyone will get to see & admire the dots!!
I love watching the kids try to find theirs!!

I'll try to get more close-ups next week!

September 12, 2019

Still Life: 4th Grade

I have so many new students at my school this year that I was really wanting to see where their drawing skills were.  My kids have always loved picking "fruits & vegetables" from my stash of still life we went that direction for this first observational drawing.  I was pleasantly surprised by the skill they displayed! Check out their work.

September 10, 2019

Turtle Collage: Kindergarten

There was a time...long long ago...that kindergarten students had a good working knowledge of using scissors & liquid glue.  Those days are no more, and it is up to us as SUPER ART EDUCATORS to teach our youngest artists how to use these tools of the trade.  As a way of introducing new media & tools, I keep the kinder-artists' projects very simple.  Sticking with simple shapes, and not giving them unlimited choices of paper will allow for you keep the main thing the main thing!! 

For scissors I teach my kids to play follow the leader.  The scissors are the leader....and their other hand follows behind hold thing paper as they cut.  The leader is always in front & the other hand never gets in the leader's way.  For glue I do the ever popular....DOT DOT NOT A LOT!  I also teach my students that the orange part of the bottle ALWAYS touches the paper when they apply glue.  I also teach them to scribble scrabble the glue out once they've done the dots so it is a thin & spread out layer of glue.  YOU WILL ALWAYS....ALWAYS....have those students that you need to reposition their hands holding their scissors.  YOU WILL ALWAYS.....ALWAYS.....have students that use too much glue.  That is life as an elementary SUPER ART EDUCATOR!!!  They will get it...eventually.  


September 08, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: HEAT

Heat is a funny thing in art.  There are many situations where heat is a good thing & necessary for the specific processes to actually come to fruition.  Glass, clay, bronze casting, enameling, and a host of other art forms would not exist without extreme heat.  However, heat (and lack there of) can also destroy some materials, change the consistency of the supplies, or cause stress on a work because rapid drying or cooling.  There has to be a familiarity with the media and how heat will impact it.  This knowledge will allow you to avoid temperature fluctuations that can delay, derail, or destroy your art making.  It is just another facet of what an artist must consider as they communicate through their creating.  

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's Power may rest on me.  That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

We get stressed.  We feel pressure.  We fall short.  Life has a way of turning up the heat on us.  Some seem to thrive when this happens.  Even if they "get burned", they seem to have an amazing resilience that allows them to bounce back quickly.  Others crumble when the struggles of life present themselves.  This is not a judgement call on any particular struggle. We all deal with things  in different ways.  Like heat...what seems like nothing for one, could ruin another. However, we must have an understanding of both our situation and where our strength comes from to be able to get through it.  Sometimes we deny that there is a struggle.  If we do not acknowledge the difficulties we face...we deny God the opportunity to be the Father, provider, and healer he wants to be in our life.  We must be real with what we are going through.  This is not just for our own sake.  Christians are too often characterized as hypocrites because we are unwilling to admit our pain, mistakes, and our struggles.  If we can confess our weakness to God and the world....we can begin to see his grace meet our needs & work through us to reach those he has placed in our path.  

September 06, 2019


Who is participating in Dot Day?!? 
My students really enjoyed doing a collaborative project around The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, and that they were creating something for it along with thousands of other children from around the world!! When I told them we were going to do it again this year...they were all in!!  

Here is a sneak peek ...stay tuned for the final project next Friday!!  

September 01, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Impact

Art has the amazing ability to impact viewers.  This impact can be revolutionary, enlightening,  a gentle reminder, absurdity, shock, or deeply emotional (as well as a host of other responses).  Achieving this can be accomplished in a number of ways.  The content of the work is often the greatest conduit. However, artists employee a host of other "tools" to create impact and leave a lasting impression on their audience.  Size, color, contrast, proportion, and so much more impact how work is perceived. I think of Color Field paintings which appear to be canvases of limited or even single color palettes, but evoke deep felt responses. This is often due to the sheer size of some of these works.  While other work my impact us because of connections we make with it to our own life.  No matter the reason, the impact of art is real & often personal. 

But Ruth replied, " Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.  Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Ruth 1:16

I love the book of Ruth. It is such an amazing depiction of love, loyalty, and the power of personal impact. We are not given a great deal of information on the relationship Naomi had with her daughter-in-law, Ruth. However, we do know that Ruth is willing to give up everyone and everything she knows from her homeland to stay by Naomi's side. To me, this is the result of the personal impact Naomi had on Ruth's life. If you have not read the book of Ruth...take some time and do so. Not to give away the ending....but Ruth is the great great great great great great (I'm not really sure how many "greats" it is) grandmother of Jesus! So Naomi's relationship with Ruth had a direct impact on our faith journey as well!

How do you view your relationships? Family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers...what impact does your relationship with those around you have? Are you a gentle reminder? Are you shocking? Are you enlightening? Are you familiarity in a world that seems less familiar each day?  Are people drawn to you? Do they feel safe with you? Are they inspired by you? Will the impact you make on others' lives make a difference for the better?

Time to look in the mirror and ask yourself....


August 30, 2019

Stop Motion App

Today we had an art & technology workshop....and had the opportunity to learn about & use the Stop Motion App!  I had so much fun!!! It was easy to use and I see the potential in the art room!! 
Check out what I came up with!! 

August 28, 2019


If you guys are looking for a fun & versatile photo app where you can post information along with images on projects, create online "signs" for upcoming art events....PicCollage is for you!! I've been using it for years.  Just so you know...I'm not sponsored by them or have received anything for promoting them.  I just REALLY REALLY like them! ha ha  They have a free version or you can upgrade to the PRO(that will allow you to not have the PicCollage logo on your image).  There are in app purchases that can be made, but I don't think I ever have over the years.


August 26, 2019

Fish Paintings: Kindergarten

I was so excited about my kindergarten students' paintings...
I shared some pictures of their efforts on Twitter!  To my surprise...Peter H. Reynolds shared my post on his page & commented on it!!! WHAT?!?!  If you don't know who he is...YOU SHOULD! He is the author of The Dot, "ish", and other amazing books!!  How encouraging to have him take notice of my students. is a screen shot of the Tweet.

I kick off the year with a fish unit!  We can explore different media while staying consistent with the subject matter we're creating.  I feel students are willing to explore media if they are confident in what they are creating.  Last week we created fish using markers, and this week we are painting using watercolor.  I don't know if I've ever had a group of students so focused & able to follow the painting "rules" so early in the year! It was just a delight to watch them work, explore color mixing, and be so proud of their art!  

I start the lesson reading a Pout Pout Fish book.  If your are not familiar with them...they are wonderful & your students will LOVE them!  I then have students return to their seats & review creating a fish using basic shapes.  While students are drawing their fish...I begin passing out painting supplies.  As long as you tell the students up front (and give a few gentle reminders after that) that they need to not touch the painting supplies until you tell them to do will be ok!  However, before I give them the "OK"...I do demo painting & go over the procedures and expectations.  

At least 5 more minutes than usual when you are painting with kindergarten!!!
Make sure you have a plan in place for getting paint, water cups, pencils to where they belong...and where you are going to place the paintings.  Drying racks are great, but kindergarten struggles to get them in the slots.  I'd find a flat surface...a couple empty tables...shelves...along the wall in a low traffic area on the floor.  

Here are some of the finished pieces!

August 22, 2019

Art With Mr. E Summer Workshop: DAY 3

FINALLY!!! There is the 3rd and final day of the 4th Annual Art With Mr.E Summer Workshop! The last day is made up mostly of finishing projects, discussing application points, and a few new projects thrown in for fun!  I love working with these teachers every summer!! Please comment, message, tweet...whatever....if you have any questions on the projects!  

Surprise or Attitude? 
ha ha ha!! Renee has been coming to the summer 
workshop since it started!!

Shrink Film Earings
(Inspired by our trip to the Frist to see Frida!)