April 28, 2014

Update on Our New Edition

Some of you have been asking about our new edition.  She is doing well...though feeding time is a bit rough. She has lost a pound since being born.  Her check up went well though & the doctor isn't to worried...and we don't have to go back for two weeks...so that is good news.  My wife is doing well. This being our smallest of the three(at 8.5lbs)...she is bouncing back physically quicker than the others. I am taking a week off to be home with them.  We have 10 sick days a year that roll over...and I almost never take off.  So a week out of my 160+ days is not a problem.  Thanks for asking!!!

April 25, 2014

Caroline Joy Is Here!

The smallest of our three children....she was 8.5 lbs & 20.5 inches long.  Though...that is still pretty healthy!!  She & my wife are doing great!  Blessed!!


                                                       There is no doctor in the room!!
                                   Having a little fun while we wait for Caroline Joy to arrive!!

April 24, 2014


Hey guys..sorry for this very pointed post.  However, I just had someone wrote me a great e-mail asking a question...BUT THE E-MAIL IS LOST IN CYBER SPACE?!?!?!!? I've looked through all my folders, trash, spam...EVERYTHING!  So if you are the person who wrote me an e-mail concerning a move from elementary to middle/high school...PLEASE WRITE ME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so sorry I lost the e-mail!

April 23, 2014

Abstraction With Focal Point: 3rd Grade

I love abstract art, but I don't always love kids creating abstract art! ha ha  Sometimes it seems that they are just trying to copy what they see...and aren't listening to the questions that lead them to abstract art.  Know what I mean?  For this lesson I reviewed the Elements of Art & Principles of Design, looking both at realistic & abstract art.  We then focused on Focal Point, Balance, and Color.  During week one I had them create at drawing of an abstract piece with the above mentioned items.  They used marker and crayon to color it.  During week two...I gave them the first 15 min. to finish up their work.  Then I dropped the bomb!!! "YOU ARE NOW GOING TO CUT UP YOUR ART AND REASSEMBLE IT INTO A NEW PIECE!"  The gasps were hysterical.  We first reviewed Focal Point & Balance (color was already taken care of at this point).  They cut their pieces up & had time to arrange, rearrange, and rearrange again before gluing.  Once they came up with an arrangement they were happy with and fulfilled their Focal Point & Balance requirement...they glued their work down.  They did not have to use all of the original piece & overlapping was encouraged.  I then allowed them to use black crayon to outline, shade, segment, connect...WHATEVER!  The kids really enjoyed this project after getting over the shock of cutting up their work! ha ha

April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!!

Here is my sweet family today after church!  Amazing to think in the next few days Caroline will be in our arms!! Hope you all had a blessed day...and enjoyed time with your family!!

April 19, 2014


Hey friends...I took this picture of my wife today.  It really could be any time now that Caroline Joy hatches!!  My wife is more than done!! ha ha  She's not due till May 5th...but they believe she is about 9 lbs right now!!!  Yep..we have big babies!  Eli & Margaret are very excited to see their baby sister.  The other day Eli(2 yrs old) was talking to my wife's belly..."Caroline, come out and play Legos with me!".  Love it!!!!  Stay tuned!

Jalapeño Bacon Deviled Eggs!

                                         This is how I like to decorate Easter Eggs!!!

April 17, 2014


IF YOU ARE IN THE NASHVILLE AREA...YOUR KIDS HAVE GOT TO COME TO ART AL SOL THIS SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I use to teach at another location for Art al Sol, and it was such a GREAT experience.  All day art with kids that want to be there creating!!!!!!  HOW FUN IS THAT!  Plus, we get to do projects that we're not always able to do in class during the school year!!!!!!  LOOK AT THE INFO BELOW AND SIGN UP TODAY!!! (plus, if enough kids sign up...I'll get to teach at this location too!!!)

“Art al Sol” is a five day visual arts summer camp program for students who are interested in exploring the visual arts and being challenged with arts activities that are not readily available in the art classroom. Students need to be present for the entire five day session. At 2:00 p.m. on the final day of each session, students will host a reception to show family and friends what they have made and learned during Art al Sol.
This program requires students to be self-disciplined and have the ability to work independently. If the instructors find a student lacks the maturity to handle the camp schedule of activities, the student’s parents will be asked to withdraw the student. Fees are non-refundable.
$150 (non-refundable) Camp Fees are used to cover the cost of the t-shirt, art supplies and teachers’ salaries. Please make checks payable toMetro Nashville Public Schools.
Send Application and Fee to:
Visual and Performing Arts 
B - 308
2601 Bransford Avenue
Nashville, TN 37204

Date:Session I - June 16 - 20, 2014
Session II - June 23- 27, 2014
Early Bird - March 14
Application and Payment May 1, 2013
Locations:Hillsboro High School
3812 Hillsboro Road
Nashville, TN 37215
Ages:Session I - Ages 8-10
Session II - Ages 10 - 16

April 15, 2014

New Evaluation System

I've been busy trying to finish up my portfolio for the new arts evaluation system we're doing in MNPS(and a chunk of TN).  I have loved reflecting on my teaching...and seeing the gains my students have made!!  Here is an example from Kindergarten.  The first picture is from Aug...and the second from Jan!!!  

April 12, 2014

Jasper Johns Inspired

Jasper Johns inspired work in 3rd Grade.  I took a good bit of time to instruct the students on using a ruler to create a grid. So many seem to have never held a ruler before?!?!  We then worked on box & bubble letters.  Some struggled..but over all did a great job.  We used to water color pencils to color.

April 11, 2014

Coil Pots: 2nd Grade

Coil Pot Time!!!  I love creating coil pots!! In college I made one that was 25 lbs of clay!!! I have placed a link to my coil pot posts from the past...and one is a step by step if you are not a clay person!!  I hope it helps!!

April 10, 2014

Picasso Me: Kindergarten

My kindergarten classes are great this year!  I decided I'd do some Picasso inspired self portraits with them this week.  We discussed Dora-Maar, and how she did not look "normal".  We talked about the different perspectives showed in the work..and the unusual color choices.  I was amazed by how many found the humor in making themselves "not normal".  In the past, my kindergarten students had a hard time grasping anything other than realism. This group is all in...and I'm excited to introduce them to some other abstracted works!!!  

April 09, 2014

Ticonderoga Pencil Sharpener!


You probably have read about my dislike of electric pencil sharpeners.  I just haven't found one that lasted for any length of time.  They all over heat once I sharpen a dozen pencils?!?!?!  However, my favorite pencil company now has an electric pencil sharpener!!!  I sharpened a dozen pencils to perfection in the blink of an eye.  My only "issue" is that the holding tank for the pencil shavings is a bit small for sharpening mass amounts of pencils. Twelve made it pretty packed...two dozen I had to empty it twice.  My hope is they make a classroom size one!! None the less..it is a good product made by a great company.  It will be sold on Amazon from what I understand in the next month or so...keep an eye out for it!

April 08, 2014

Finishing Our Clay Facades: 4th Grade

We ran out of time last nine weeks to finish our clay facades...so we kicked off the new nine weeks finishing them up.  I had my students use a gouache to paint their clay, and then we used a tempera varnish to finish them off.  I feel the tempera varnish is a more economical way to complete the pieces. A little goes a long way..and I find it over all a little cheaper to purchase than clear acrylic.  With no hood on my kiln....and limited budget....glaze is not a great option for me at this time!  


April 04, 2014

Mr. E Asks 3: Phil Hansen

After Phil Hansen's session at NAEA San Diego, I asked him if I could do a mini-interview with him via e-mail.  He told me that would be great...and then was whisked off to do a book signing.  I wasn't sure if he'd really remember...or have time for my questions.  He is a busy guy & all!!!  True to his word...he replied to my e-mail (The day after I sent it!!!! WOW!!! He continues to impress me!!!!!).  He is much more than his TED talk....that is only a nice introduction.  I'm so glad I was able to meet him, and look forward to his future work, his site gbaacademy.com, and hopefully meet up with him again.  He's the type of guy you wanna grab some Starbucks with & just hang out. 

So here is my first ever...

MR. E ASKS 3: Phil Hansen

Question 1:  What has been your favorite unusual media to work with?

Phil: Working with the worms was my favorite unusual media by far.  If you can even call it a medium.  ha!  It was such a challenge to learn the best way and how to capture it on camera.

Question 2:  Do you duplicate media or do you move on after mastering something new?

Phil:  I occasionally use a media multiple times.  this is most often seen in the text work I do.  I find it to be the most challenging and engaging work I do.  

Question 3:  If you were to speak to a frustrated artist...what word 
of advice/inspiration would you give them?

Phil:  Simply keep pushing and you'll break through, have an epiphany, or discover a new direction at some point.  This really can't be understated.  Fighting our own fatigue/block/struggles is a fight worth having!  


Make sure to check out his book  

April 03, 2014

While going through my stuff....

I was going through one of my school bags I took to San Diego, and found these!! Haha!  This is Donna Staten...you may know her as the Art Ed Queen of Pinterest!!!!  We were having a great time in Faber-Castell's Photo Booth!!!  If you've never been to the National Convention...it is a whole lot of fun!  You get to spend time with some great people too!!!  Thanks for snappin' some pics with me Donna!!!!!  

NAEA Survey

Those of you who attended NAEA San Diego...don't forget to fill out your survey!! 

I would love to do a large session!!! So, if any of you have yet to fill out the survey..there is a section where you can recommend people you'd like to hear at general sessions, super sessions, and such.  WRITE ME IN!!! :) ha ha I'm not above asking!! ha ha  I really would love to do a large session!!!!! 

 Also if you came to my session on A Blog People Want To Read at the convention...PLEASE FILL OUT THE RATING ON THE CONVENTION APP!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!