April 30, 2015

While I Was Proctoring...

This week has been TCAP...TN's state standardized test.  GOOD TIMES!  We have to proctor during this time...and then they do a modified schedule.  The classes all come to us on their regular day, but in a different order & for shorter class times.  We do not get a planning time during these days.  
I took my sketch book and started dreaming about next year.  I'm going to do a science connection next year....so I was coming up with ideas for bulletin boards and displays.  I'm really getting excited about this.  I'm kind of a nerd...ok...I AM A NERD...A BIG SCIENCE NERD!!!  I remember during my student teaching...I had the students imagine they were a piece of food someone just ate..and they had to create what the environment of the stomach would look like.  So this isn't anything new. Ha ha!  The teacher I was proctoring for gave me their science test prep workbook.  I pulled a lot of great ideas from there.  So even though I don't enjoy the schedule during TCAP...I made the most of my time!!

April 29, 2015


No denying Cassie Stephens has taken the art ed world by storm with her amazing custom made art themed outfits...as well as her quality content for teaching visual arts.  She is a power house!!  I am happy to count her as a friend & peer!(she use to teach just down the road from me)  I have to say though...after seeing her latest creation from a hat making workshop she attended...I was a bit jealous!  So I decided to BE LIKE CASSIE....and create my own doughnut hat!  

I think mine turned out AWESOME...and much more delicious than Cassie's could ever be! ha ha
(hee hee...much love Cassie!!)

April 28, 2015

Positive & Negative Space: 2nd Grade

I've really been thrilled with my 2nd graders Positive/Negative Space pictures!!  
2nd Grade has been a bit challenging at times, 
but I feel like they are really coming along/maturing!! 
It is always a joy when they surprise you!  
I thought that the water bottle was going to be a major struggle for the students, but they LOVED IT!! And the two I posted here are AWESOME.  We discussed shadows just briefly...and I showed them a few examples.  

April 27, 2015


Have you all been tuning into AOELIVE from The Art of Education?  I've really enjoyed hearing from the hosts & guests!!  They've asked me to be their special guest this week...Tues, April 28th at 8pm cst.  It's my birthday on the 28th...and I'd love to spend some of my special day with YOU!!!!  

Here is a link so you'll know all the important information!!!  

The link will also tell you how you can actually join in the discussion. 
I'd love for you to be a part of the fun!! 

April 26, 2015

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: FAMOUS

Ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, and more often than not...they will say "FAMOUS".  I did an identity lesson with my third grade students, and was truly amazed how many said they wanted to be famous....but then could not tell me "HOW" they would become famous.  

One might think Warhol saw into the future with this "famous" quote.  Our society has an obsession with fame.  People will do anything & everything to get their "fifteen minutes". Fame was once reserved for those who had amazing skill or ability within a field.   However, now with reality television, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media....fame is at their fingertips(I wonder what Warhol would do with such technology?).  At the root of much of this fame mongering is a deep unmet need to be known.  Fame however is a shallow substitute for truly being known & truly knowing.  That can only come from the Lord.  

Jesus answered,  "I did tell you, but you do not believe.  The works I do in my Father's name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
John 10: 25-28

Fame is temporary: our own(if we ever achieve such) OR the fame of those we look up to or follow.  However, there is one that is not temporary.  He is I AM.  He WAS...He IS...and He WILL BE.  He is The Famous One!  If we know His voice & we follow Him....we will possess something more precious than fame.  Our name will be written in the Book of Life.  So much better than our name in lights!!!  And the idea that HE KNOWS US!!!  The Lord of heaven & earth...the creator of all things....HE KNOWS OUR NAME IF WE ARE HIS!!!!!!!!!!  Fame they say...changes people. 
A personal relationship with the Lord changes people too!!  Being known...and knowing Him.  The world can not match it....15 minutes of fame can not compare.  


Dear Jesus, may my life reflect knowing you in all I do..
in all I say.  May I desire first and foremost to know you better.  May I long to be in fellowship with you.  May my joy be in reading the Word, speaking/listening to you in prayer, and sharing YOU with others.  This world may try to say we need fame to be whole....but all I need is You.  

April 24, 2015

The Art of Education Classes

Did you get your The Art of Education Course Catalog?  
If you didn't...HERE'S THE LINK

I'm happy to promote my friends at The Art of Education...because I know them, and know their passion for our field.  I also remember a time when such a thing did not exist, and we had few option for professional development.  What a great time we live in...where there are options!!!  Where there are not just good options...but GREAT options!  

So if you are feeling like you need a 
professional pick-me-up...DO IT!! 
You will be so glad you did.  It is 
Ridiculously Relevant Professional Development!

April 23, 2015

Summer Workshop!!

If you live in or around the Middle TN area(yes..KY friends...come down!!!!!!), come to our SPARK YOUR CREATIVITY CONFERENCE!!!  
JUNE 13th 9am - 4pm at CHEEKWOOD

I'll be leading a workshop on mixed media collage!!! 

If you need me to send you the info in e-mail form....let me know!!  
I know this might be hard to read!

April 22, 2015

Earth Day Project

My daughter had to create an Earth Day Project for her school(she's in Kindergarten).  They were focusing on forms(though the homework sheet said "shapes").  We made a vase of flowers on a "table".  I love creating with Margaret...she is very "artsy" minded.  I think drama/dance might be her "THANG".  It is always a special time though...and she always tells me after how much she enjoys our time together making things!! 

April 21, 2015


Walk away for just a minute...and these ya-hoos mess with my iPad! ha ha

Don't forget the snacks!!!!

April 19, 2015

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: My Identity

There is a very interesting artist/photographer named Nikki S. Lee (if you Google her, make sure you type in Nikki S. Lee and maybe add photographer to it...there is another person with a name similar that you really don't want to stumble across images of!!!!).  She had a series where she would take on the identity of a culture...and photograph herself as part of that culture.  The results were pretty amazing.  She would "become" part of that culture so the photographs would feel authentic.  
photo by Nikki S. Lee
(Nikki is on the far right...she is actually a young woman but made up to look like a senior.)

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.  For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.  
John 17: 14-19

As Christians, we are called to be IN the world, but not OF the world.  Too often than not, we take on the identity of the world.  There is little that separates us.  I'm not saying that we need to wear huge crosses, "Christian" t-shirts, only listen to Christian music, and never watch anything but TBN!  
I just want you to take a moment and ask yourself..."WHAT SEPARATES ME FROM THE WORLD?"  "HOW WOULD OTHERS KNOW I'M NOT OF THE WORLD?"   If those questions become a bit "fuzzy" & hard to answer...maybe you need to ask the Lord where you might be compromising & accepting the world's identity as your own. 

 I've heard some Christians say they are trying to be part of the "culture" so they can reach them for the Lord. There is something about being able to reach out to the people you are connected.  I have friends that have left a life of addiction and are now reaching out to those who still struggle.  I think that is awesome!  They can speak to those people in a way that I can not.  So should I start drinking so I can have a stronger ministry with the person addicted to alcohol?  NO!!!!!!!!!  I can minister to those struggling with addiction, it will just be from a different perspective than those that have lived that life.  Anyways, it isn't about me....it is about our Savior!!  Jesus can speak through you to anyone He chooses....if you are just available.  You don't have to be one with the culture/world...you have to be open to the Holy Spirit using you.  When we are IN the world...but not OF the world...God can use us in AMAZING ways.  


Dear Jesus, help me to be more like YOU..
the world needs more of you!!  It doesn't need more of itself.
Help me to be open & willing to speak your truth & love to 
anyone & anywhere...not because I'm "comfortable" in doing it, 
but that I'm so compelled to do it because of the love you have shown me!
 In Your Name We Pray Jesus.

April 17, 2015


I learned about the SPORE Project last year...but did not get a chance to participate.  I thought it was a super fun and whimsical idea...I knew I had to try it.  At the heart of it...it is an effort to spread the message of creativity & art education.  Participants take pictures of their "installations" and  post them on the Facebook page or send it to the person that started it all (go to the link below my picture to find out more information).  Their have been SPORE pictures taken on ALL the continents!! HOW FUN IS THAT?!?!?!  
(oh...the title is for the Smurf theme I can't get out of my head because of the mushrooms!!)  

I'm going to be doing the mushrooms with my Kindergarten & 1st Grade students.  It fits best into their curriculum & I like giving them more opportunity for color mixing and painting!!  I plan to "plant" our mushrooms around our Kandinsky project in front of the school!!  In my head..it will look amazing.  We shall see!!  This is also a great time to talk to students about temporary art,  working as a group, and installations!!! Hopefully I'll have them out by the end of next week as long as it isn't raining!  Stay tuned!

Wacky Tacky Group

I really enjoy our special area team!  We've had people come and go...but the group has always worked so well together!  Even though I'm the only art teacher...I don't feel alone.  I hope that you all are able to have the same at your school.  If not...is there a way to foster that??  How do you grow connection in a "related arts" team?  I know some personalities can make it challenging...but can't the majority be a supportive team???  Just thinkin'....

April 14, 2015

A World of Art: TGE's Annual Art Show



I hope you enjoy scrolling & strolling through our art show!  I wanted to give you the big picture of what an art show looks like at TGE.  I can not begin to tell you the amount of time that goes into putting on a show like this. You have to plan, be organized, try to find volunteers(sometimes they show..sometimes they don't), and put in a lot of extra hours. That being said...IT IS ALWAYS WORTH IT!!!!!!  If you have not done a show, and want to talk through things...feel free to e-mail me.  I'd be happy to help you out. 


April 12, 2015

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Stones Throw At Van Gogh?

Vincent van Gogh is one of my favorite artists.  Seeing his work in person is almost a religious experience(for lack of a better descriptor).  The color, composition, and texture of his work can hold my gaze for untold amounts of time!  Most people know of van Gogh, and might actually be able to pick his work out of a line up.  It has been a favorite for umbrellas, calenders, mugs, and other printable items.  However, this is what most know about van Gogh: Beautiful Art, Cut Off His Ear, and Killed Himself.  Based off of this knowledge, most people have great pity for the life he lived...and shake their head at the foolish loss. 

What they don't know is van Gogh was a teacher, a pastor, and a missionary before embracing his call as an artist. Though he never lasted long in any of his previous "professions"...it reveals his heart for people & for God.  Yes, it is true he did have a deep internal struggle that led to his suicide. It is true he made some "bad" choices in his life.  However, he lived so much life in his 37 yrs on this earth that people do not consider.(Like he produced over 2000 works of art...many of those in the last decade.)  For him to be remembered as a sad/depressed man who cut his ear off....shows a lack of understanding & compassion.  We judge an aspect of his life without considering the man as a whole.  We look at the sad expression of his self portraits, and forget the smile of the sunflower!  

What am I getting at?  


This section of scripture begins with the Pharisees trying to "trap" Jesus....bringing a woman that was caught in the act of adultery.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.  At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?"  "No one, sir" she said.  "Then neither do I condemn you, " Jesus declared.  "Go now and leave your life of sin."  
John 8:7-11
We only allow people to see so much of our life.  We keep the things less desirable hidden/covered up.  We then point our fingers at those who do not choose to hide their "issues" and shake our head & wag our finger. (How often have I rolled my eyes at or dehumanize the Kardashians as idiots...instead of feeling a compassion for them?) You know what though, God knows us inside and out.  There are no hidden places with The Lord.  And yet...He deeply desires a relationship with us.  So much so that He came to Earth, showed us the way we should live, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again to give us new life in Him.  He doesn't throw the first stone...He is the first to reach out in LOVE!  There is no sliding scale for sing...sin is sin!!!  Yours is just as wrong as those you judge.  Yet He wants you to be His.  If the Lord can look through the eyes of love at us...why can we not extend the same to those around us.  We need to be less quick to judge & justify our own behavior based on the world....and quicker to extend the same love & grace given to us.  

Maybe I'm speaking to myself?  However, I think most of us do have areas we need to "adjust" to the Lord's heart.  What is your area(s) where you lack grace/compassion? 
 Ask the Lord to reveal it...and heal it!


Dear Lord, we thank you for loving us with grace we 
can not even begin to grasp.  We don't deserve it, but we 
thank you for giving it to us through Jesus Christ.
We pray that we can have your eyes & your heart
when we lookat the world around us.
May we be quick to share the Good News..
and never pick up a stone to throw!
May your example be how we 
live our life.


April 09, 2015


I know most of my readers are not from Middle TN/Nashville area, but I thought I'd invite you all anyways!! ha ha  All you art teachers know this is a labor of love.  I'm proud of my students accomplishments this year....and am excited to show them off!!

April 08, 2015

Mayor's Art Show Selections

The Mayor's Art Show is an annual event where we select two pieces of art per grade level to represent our school at The Frist Center in downtown Nashville.  It is so fun to go and see all the different work being created across our city.  Here are my offerings for the Mayor's Art Show this year.  Sorry the picture quality is kind of poor....was snapping in a hurry when I dropped them off.  The greenish thing on the left side of a couple of them is the kickstand for my iPad case!?!? Oh my?? PHOTO 101 anyone???? ha ha

4th Grade
Collage & Sharpie

Watercolor & Colored Pencil

3rd Grade
Sharpie & Watercolor Wash

Colored Pencil

Colored Pencil

Print Making & Watercolor Wash

1st Grade
Sharpie & Marker

Oil Pastel

Watercolor & Sharpie

Crayon, Marker, Glitter Glue

April 07, 2015

How Do You Prepare?

How do you prepare for an art show/all school art show?

If' you've ever done a large scale art show...you know it is a lot of work!  What are some tips/tricks you have for making such an event a bit easier on yourself?  

Above you see my signs I make for each class.  I theme my art show each year(A World Of Art).  This does not make things easier...but is one of those MUST DO's for me.  

Do you have any MUST DO's? 

How do you (or do you?) get volunteers involved in your art show?

Is Your art show tied to any other events.....PTO...Music..Fundraiser..etc?

April 06, 2015

Spring Flowers:2nd Grade

I wanted to do a fun spring flower picture in one class time...but was not wanting to go "still life" or "Georgia O'Keeffe".  I had the students work on wet on wet with the gouache.  We discussed color mixing...and possible combinations to avoid.  I allowed the students to blot their painted background with a tissue to remove excess water & to lighten up the over all feel.  I then had them paint directly on top of the colorful background(they did not draw first..scary for some...other thought it was fun/exciting).  I feel the results turned out wonderful...and it looks amazing in the hallway!!  Really brightens things up!!!