January 17, 2020

Dino Video

This is the video I'm showing my students to kick off their dinosaur unit!  
She's pretty "excited" about dinosaurs!! ha ha  (The Narrator) 

January 16, 2020

Fossil Dig Wax Resist

I've started my spring art show lessons...and this year we're going with a dinosaur theme!  The kids are loving it....I'm loving it (total dino nerd here).  Second grade is creating dinosaur fossils.  I feel like they are doing really well(though the photographs aren't so great...sorry).  I've provided a sheet of dinosaur bones (photos from museums) as a reference, but tell them they can create any dinosaur skeleton they want.  We discuss how the bones are often discovered a little mixed up/twisted up/ different than a fully put together dinosaur skeleton in a museum.  We use white and gray crayons to fill in our bones, and then brown and black watercolor to paint over the page.  Excited to see the rest of my classes finish this project.
 (we may go back in with black colored pencil to add some stronger lines.)

January 12, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Resolve

We are now almost two weeks into the new year ....how are your resolutions going?  So many of my art friends "declared" this would be the year they created ever day, they would work in their sketch books every night before bed, complete a painting each week, have their work on display somewhere, or that they would [INSERT ART GOAL HERE].  Don't get me wrong....I think it is wonderful to set goals!  I feel we need them in order to break free from the ruts & bad habits we've allowed to steal our creative joy.  However, broken resolutions can cause us to sink deeper into the ruts & bad habits we were trying to change in the first place.  The guilt & shame of unmet goals often produces excuses and/or negative self talk which creates further distance between the artist and their desire to create. I believe we must resolve to do better.  Not that we set unrealistic resolutions, but that we resolve to take steps toward meeting this real need within us to create.  There may be some days that we are unable to follow through..... AND THAT'S OK!!!!  We must give ourselves grace, and embrace each day as an opportunity to try once more.  

Isaiah 43:18-19

It is amazing how many people are so often stuck somewhere in their past.  It may be a failure that they cannot move beyond.  It may be a victory that they can not let go.  Allowing our past to define us (both the good & the bad) does not allow for us to experience the growth and change that God desires for our lives.  Though our past can inform us, it should not keep us from moving forward.  God knows our "past"......and he still loves us. We must resolve to view each day as a new opportunity to live the life God has given us....to know him & make him known.  If you struggle to forgive yourself....if you struggle to move forward.....read Isaiah 43:18-19 each and every day.  Take to heart the scriptures as they say..."FORGET THE FORMER THINGS; DO NOT DWELL ON THE PAST."  This truth is a resolution worth pursuing. 

January 08, 2020


Here is part of the mini-unit my 4th graders work on in Op-Art.  They really loved learning about & look at examples of Op-Art.  I have received several "at home" works from students where they attempted at home some of the ideas we discussed in class (I LOVE THAT!!!).  We may revisit the topic at the end of the school year when attention is waning.

January 07, 2020

How Artists See....

How Artists See... is a book series I have had for many, many moons.  It is copy right dated 1996, but I don't believe I've had it that long. ha ha  I've used the books in lessons and to inspire one of my spring all school art shows many years ago.  I was contacted in the fall by the publishing company if I wanted to have copies of the 2nd Edition of the book.  Lets think about this....YES!!! I really was curious to what changes had been made.  

THE 2nd EDITION IS BEAUTIFUL!  There are several new images included which I really enjoy.....but THE COLOR!!!  I noticed right away when I started comparing the books (old & new) that the images that were the same....the color is dramatically better in the new edition!  Also I feel Colleen Carroll's descriptive writing that accompanies the images is spot on, and I think extremely beneficial for young readers to explore.  They are great resources for your art library! 

January 06, 2020

New Adventure....

Exciting & crazy news to share with ya'll...I will be an art adjunct at Cumberland University starting TONIGHT! WHAT!? I KNOW! As if I wasn't busy enough! ha ha
I'm so excited though. I've always wanted to do an adjunct position. I will be working with mostly (if not all) Freshman art students teaching 3-D Foundations!!

I will share my experiences for this new adventure on here...
so stay tuned!! 

January 02, 2020

Faculty/Staff Project

Over break I worked on preparing this year's winter faculty/staff project. I try to do this every year(usually before Christmas Break).  It all started years ago...when I first decided to do this type of a thing at my school.  Well, that year we ended up having several snow days(something that doesn't always happen in Middle TN).  The teachers/staff linked the winter project with the snow days. SO NOW...they want to do it every year!! ha ha   I'm not sure the power they have over the weather, but it sure is fun seeing everyone create & the students also LOVE guessing who made which one! I do try to switch it up a little bit every year....because I had several teachers try to give me their old project the following year! ha ha 

If you aren't doing this with your faculty/staff...maybe consider something like it for spring (rain drops or flowers)? 


I'll post pictures after the teachers/staff have completed their snowpeople!

December 29, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Letting Go

Most artists I know love to collect art supplies. Maybe they are necessities, the latest greatest version of a tried and true, the newest tool or material that will revolutionize their work, or an innovation that will make life easier.  Maybe there is an amazing sale going on, we have coupons, someone gave us a gift card, or we have "extra" money at a given point in time.  It could be that we are afraid if we'd don't get something now...we might not ever be able to get it.  Whatever the case might be...if we are able to acquire more art supplies, we will. Some we might actually use right away. Other things we know we will find the right project for them at some point.  Some though....we look at and wonder why we ever thought we need them, but we aren't willing to part with them because you just never know. Too much of a good thing can get in our way of accomplishing what we really want to do. I become overwhelmed at times when there are too many option or too much clutter.  When this happens I know I must let go of the unnecessary and prioritize the pertinent.  I'm not against trying new things because you never know when you will find a gem. However, storing up supplies you may never need or use only gets in your way. 

When the Israelites were in the wilderness God provided manna for them to eat. He told them to only collect enough for the day. The Israelites did not listen.  They collected more than they needed...and it 
spoiled/rotted. Why would they do this if God instructed them not to? They were worried they would run out. They were concerned that the next day the manna may not come. They did not trust God to provide for their needs. What if? What could it hurt? This attitude shows that they thought they knew better than God on how to provide for themselves. This attitude...and behavior showed their hearts' condition. They had forgotten God had provided for them from the beginning. They had dismissed all he had done for them from the start of the exodus.  And can we just be real for a minute here...when we say THEY...it is really the same with You and I. We fill our life with things. We do whatever we can to feel secure, comfortable, and in control. We begin to push God out of our lives except where it is convenient.  "We've got this God....we don't need you!" We fill our life up with so much clutter....we have no room to see the Lord work.

We must learn to trust God with today. We live by our planners, calendars, and electronic notifications. We struggle to leave life open to what God may have us do. Though he does not desire for us to be sluggards/lazy...we can not be so worried about our "tomorrow" that we plan away any opportunity for God to use us or change our plans. We must approach each day with open hands and open hearts trusting that God will meet our needs as we live for him.

December 18, 2019

Collaborative Winter Bulletin Board 2019

A couple weeks ago I posted my past winter bulletin boards. I've been back to work for about two weeks, and was able to cobbble together a collaborative board in the midst of grading all the art work that was created during the month and a week I was out on medical leave.
The sky was created by three different classes. Two classes created the checkerboards with marker. They then sprayed them with water to "soften" the pattern. The next day students in another class used bubble wrap and white tempera and stamped the paper. 

I had one group of third graders create the checkerboard border using rulers and silver crayons. I try to give my students as many opportunities as possible to use rulers because it seems that they get few chances to do so in their classroom.  

I had a good bit of the painted paper & checkerboard border the kids made left...so I re-did the PTO board as well.  They were thrilled!

Here is a closer shot!

Some classes created snowmen in action. Love this coco stand! 

Well..can you tell what is going on here?! It is pretty funny! This 4th grader has a wicked humor! 

A little twisted! 

December 16, 2019

Sweet Moments in the Art Room

So glad I caught this sweet moment. Some times rulers are tricky! One friend was having trouble with her ruler sliding as she tried to make her lines...so her table partner said she'd hold it still for her as she was drawing! I love when kids see a need & try to help their classmates out!
There is hope for our world....I see it every day!!

December 15, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Good Enough?

Is your art good enough? How does it compare to other artists? Are your themes relevant? Are you you technically superior? Are you evolving? Are you being sought after? Can you actually make money as an artist?  

Do these questions make you sweat a bit or give you heart palpitations? Does your stress/anxiety levels raise when you think through these things? As artists we are faced with these question both externally & internally.  They are a reality in a field that has "ART CRITICISM" as a foundation. Though these questions can be beneficial if reflected upon in a constructive manner, they can also squelch the insecure.  A statement such as, "Am I good enough?" can cause one to question not only the artistic worth of their creations, but their own personal worth and value as an artist. There is something about those words that can derail even the most confident and seasoned artist. How do we continue when we are told we are not good enough? 

We are bombarded by negativity in our world today. If we allow this negativity into our hearts and minds....we can become "defeated" before we have the opportunity to succeed or not.  We can also unwittingly perpetuate the negativity that has been given us. This cycle prevents us from fulfilling what we were designed/called to do. God does not look for "good enough". He desires men and women who have an open heart to love him and serve him with abandon.  We cannot hold on to the negativite self talk or the deplorable comments (and/or actions) of others.  We must embrace the truth of God's Word.  Deuteronomy 31:8 is a picture of our Lord's provision so that we can go boldly, stand confidently, and continue to grow in grace and understanding as we live out the life he has give us. 

Do you doubt? Do you get trapped in a loop of negativity?  Does fear prevent progress in your life?
What do you need to trust God with this week? 

December 13, 2019

Ugly Sweater Day

I get into creating my ugly sweaters!!!  I have 3 of them I've created and I usually add, take away, and change things on them every year to keep them "fresh"!  ha ha  

December 10, 2019


Nov. 1st was my last day at school before going out on medical leave because of a serious case of cellulitis.  Yesterday I went to the doctors to have them sign my paper ending my FMLA....and today I'M BACK!!  It has been a special day too!  We are celebrating our 30th anniversary as a school!  I've been here for 19 yrs.....and was so excited to see past principals, teachers, assistance, and students come to visit!!!  PLUS...my students all rushed to give me hugs when they saw me!! (I was careful to turn my "bad" leg to the side away from their hugs!! ha ha  I'm glad to be back....tired...but thankful!!  

December 05, 2019

Winter Bulletin Boards

Since I've been at home on medical leave/FMLA....and not at school to do my annual winter board...I thought I'd share boards from years past. These are all collaborative boards with 2 or more grade levels involved (most utilizing the whole school!). The work is on a bulletin board in the main hallway, and I usually leave it up until February. It is so much fun seeing the kids looking for the part they contributed!! 

November 30, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Just Keep Going

New ideas bring a flood of energy.  When you are excited for a new project it feels like nothing can stop you from seeing it to fruition.  Unfortunately, this is not usually the case.  Life happens.  It could be any number of things that keep you from continuing on your initial burst of passion for a project. Friends, phone calls, the need for food, the need for sleep, and so many other of life's situations. It is amazing how easily we can be distracted from something we originally thought we'd not stop until we finished.  So what do we do when we lose our initial motivation?  JUST KEEP GOING!  Sometimes the act of pushing through brings with it a new appreciation and perspective.  
This can only add to the heart/meaning of a work of art.

It seems crazy that anyone could become tired of doing good?!?  Isn't doing good motivation in itself?  Life happens.  We see it in the church & we see it in daily life.  People feel underappreciated, dumped on, taken advantaged of, exhausted, and so many other of life's situations.  Such situations are enough to make anyone weary.  However, giving up is not the answer.  JUST KEEP GOING!  Now there may be a need for boundaries, rest, and refocusing....but we must press forward in what God has called us to as we press into him for our strength & peace.  If we keep our eyes on God & our ears attuned to his heartbeat...we will be able to keep going no matter what comes our way.