February 26, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Sharp

Scissors, box cutters, paper cutters, X-Acto Knives, rotary cutters...art people are all about sharp things!  They are essential for the creation of so many works of art.  However, they often are a "supporting" player.  They get used & abused, and aren't considered until they no longer do (or do well) what they were designed to do.  I've had blades dull, rust, develop build up, bend, and break.  I'll get so frustrated when "they" ruin paper, destroy a mat, or hack a piece of fabric to bits. However, was it really the cutting tool's fault for the issue?  Not at all.  If I clean, sharpen, store properly, and replace when necessary, there won't be an issue.  I have to take responsibility, and look out for my tools.  If I don't take care of them...they will not be able to take care of the jobs I have for them.

Iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Lone-Ranger Christian".  They think they can do things on their own.  They may be operating in their giftings, doing an amazing job, and fulfilling a real need. They look like they have it all together.  However, we were not designed to do this life alone.  More than likely, the Lone-Ranger Christian will burn out, become bitter, or fall into a sin pattern that will cause them to be ineffective in ministry & will distance them in their fellowship with the Lord.  We were designed to sharpen one another.  What does that mean?  You have to live life with other believers that will encourage you, challenge you, and hold you accountable for things you do & say.  You need to have people in your life that know you so well, they can see it in your face before you ever say a word.  Sometimes those types of relationships can be uncomfortable.  I think many of us like to hide our ugly.  We would rather people see the person we'd like to portray to the world...and not the real person who is struggling, tired, and doesn't have it all together.  The thing is...if we live life alone..we won't be able to fulfill the job we were designed to do.  A dull pair of scissors still looks like it can get the job done, but when you try to use them....you find out that they can not.  We need to sharpen one another so that we will be able to fulfill the purpose God has for us!

If you aren't sure about this whole "sharpening" one another thing....and feel you are better with just you & Jesus...... CONSIDER THIS!!!!

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:1-4

Maybe you need sharpened...maybe you need to sharpen others?? Either way...God has designed us to live life together.  

February 24, 2017

2nd Annual Art With Mr.E Workshop

Are you looking for a fun, laid back, hands on workshop this summer to refuel your art teacher fire??  Last summer was the first ever Art With Mr. E Workshop...it was a 3 day event with 15 awesome art teachers from 5 states!!  We had people that taught pre-K - College!!!!  Truly, it was such a great time...and we learned so much from one another.  I keep the price affordable...don't think you'll find a better value.  Here are the dates.  If you have more questions..please email me!!! 

February 22, 2017

Jack and the Beanstalk: Kindergarten

This week in Kindergarten we are reading Jack and the Beanstalk.  One of the reasons I decided to theme my art show and nine weeks(and maybe next nine weeks) on Nursery Rhymes & Classic Stories/Fables is because the kids just don't know them.  Only three students were familiar with Jack and the Beanstalk today.  That just blows my mind?!?  

So I had the students draw a loop-da-loop line from one side of their paper to the other.  They then had to make a second line right beside it so that there was something to paint inside of.  Then students added leaves to help fill in the empty spaces on their picture.  I gave each student Blue & Yellow tempera paint.  During my demo, I made sure to show them how to mix a lighter green & a darker green.  My kindergartners seemed to want to "scrub" the paper with a dry brush instead of redipping it into their paint.  I had to stop the class and reteach this part of painting to them.  I basically show them how the brush should flow across the paper, and how that looks compared to scrubbing the paper with a dry brush.  

February 19, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: My Issue With Art History

I know I've written about art history in the past.
 It could probably inspire a whole devotional book! ha ha  

I love art.  I love history.  I do not love art history. I know that sounds completely random & contradictory.  However, art history was truly a struggle for me during my college days.  There was so much information, so many works of art, so many names, so many dates...I truly felt crushed by the amount of information I was expected to know.  The fact that I had to have four semesters of art history compounded my disdain.  It wasn't till I was out from underneath the weight of it all that I started contemplating how I'd do it differently.  How would I teach someone like me that struggled with the conventional way of instructing art history.  I feel/believe the best way to learn is by applying the information given.  If I were to have a sketchbook/project & create/recreate in the style of an artist, movement, time period...I'd have greater retention of the information.  When you put into practice what you are learning....you go from knowing about something to truly KNOWING something.  

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it- not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it- they will be blessed in what they do.  James 1:22-25

I think there are many people setting in churches today that are hearing a great deal of information, but are putting little of it into practice.  They might be able to quote scripture.  They might be able to sing every hymn...and know the page number it is on.  They might even be able to pray eloquent prayers.  However, the information is in their heads & not in their hearts.  They know...but don't KNOW.  I am guilty of this in my own life.  I have information that should move me, motivate me, call me to action...but I do nothing with it.  I know that I'm called to love others...but there are many times I hardly like others...let-alone "LOVE".  Yet we are told they will know we are his disciples by our love(John 13:35).  DO THEY?? Can they see that in me? Am I living it out, and going from knowing to KNOWING?  The church needs to be about the business of living out our faith...and not just knowing about our faith.  I am writing this as much to me as anyone else who might stumble open this devotional. I hope in my preaching to myself...you might be able to take away something as well.

February 17, 2017

Dollar Tree Love

I'm pretty sure I've talked about Dollar Tree in the past on here.  I truly think it was designed with teachers in mind!  We've been having MAJOR issues with the outsourced cleaning crew at our school.  I walk into a dirty classroom that has not been swept..trash has not been taken out...and forget about any other kind of cleaning that might occur.  TOTALLY AWESOME! is my favorite cleaner there.  That stuff is totally awesome!!  I've cleaned the hallway walls with it...taken writing off the bathroom walls...A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  I've bought other clean products there as well that have truly been a blessing.  These are my latest purchases.  YEP...$1 A PIECE!!!!!   Are they the highest quality...nope, but they get the job done!!  That dust pan on a stick sure helps and old fat man like me!!  ha ha  I hope you all have Dollar Tree near you...it is a teacher's dream!!! (I'm not being paid or supported by Dollar Tree...just love 'em!!!)

February 16, 2017

Clay Bridge Relief: 4th Grade

In our curriculum, we have 4th Grade creating clay facades.  Though I like this project...the past few years I've tweaked it a bit. I've been leaning more toward structure...using Monet's bridge & Egyptian Curtain by Matisse as inspiration.  Since we are doing nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and fables this 9 weeks...and my students have been doing bridges for The 3 Billy Goat's Gruff....I decided to have them create a bridge with a landscape background.  They are doing a pretty good job.  Sometimes it is hard to transfer the concept of 2-D into a 3-D Relief.  We also are pulling concepts/techniques from each of their clay projects they've done K-3rd as well: Texture, Coil, Addition, Subtraction. Here are a few of the results in progress.

February 15, 2017

Martina The Cockroach: 1st Grade

Have you ever read Martina The Cockroach?  It is a weird little book that was included in a set of fables, fairy tails, and stories I bought many moons ago.  I am using it as our inspiration for this week's first grade lesson.  I'm really trying to help them get control of their coloring & craftsmanship.  Not sure why this group has been so "messy".  These are not yet finished, but are turning out super cute!!  

February 12, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: You'll Know

When I discover a new (or new to me) art product I love, come upon an artist that blows me away, or adore an art museum/gallery....YOU'LL KNOW!  I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when it comes to things I love or am excited about.  I want others to love them & experience them too!  I want people to know why they should try these products, check out the artists, or go to these venues. Aren't we like this with most areas of our life.  When something impacts us in such a profound way, it seems only natural to want to share it with others!  We don't want to force it upon them, but our excitement just can't be contained.   

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  1 John 4:11-12

There are people in this world who seem to bubble over with excitement about almost anything & everything!  Restaurants, sales, clothing, tv, music, books..you name it...if they're excited about it...YOU'LL KNOW!  They just can't help but share with you what they are excited about & why.  

God loves us.  GOD loves us.  GOD LOVES US!!!  Shouldn't that make us excited?  Shouldn't that be something we want to share with those around us?  I know many of you are not extroverted, talkative, never meet a stranger type of people like myself, but you can still share God's love through your life...through your actions...through your attitudes. God's love for us should so profoundly change us that it is only natural for it to be displayed in & through our lives.  It is not displayed through finger pointing/wagging, rules enforcing, or making others look & act just like you.....it is displayed through LOVE!  

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another."  John 13:34-35

Have you experienced God's love in such a profound way that it impacts how you relate to others?  Does God's love show through you in word, attitude, and actions?  

February 10, 2017

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Nashville may be known as Music City, USA....but we are an amazing city for visual arts as well.
One of my favorite places in Nashville is The Frist Center for the Visual Arts.  It is world class.  If you are coming this way...you have to put it on your to-do list!!!!  The exhibitions are always so well done, and the variety is just amazing.  I've been able to see art work there by my favorite artists that I never dreamed I'd see in person.  I've also discovered new favorite artists because of shows they have brought to their galleries.  Think your kids won't enjoy a day at the Frist....think again!!!!  They have an amazing kids area called Art Quest. You will have to drag your kids out of there.  They will have hands on art making experience that fuel their creativity way past their visit to Art Quest!


February 09, 2017

#aheartadaychallenge : Week One

You don't have to do it every day if you aren't able..join in when you can!!!  It is fun to see the amazing diversity of artists creating hearts!! I have home school students, art teachers, classroom teachers all sharing their work on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!  

Here were my week one offerings...with a theme!!! 



I've been asked to lead a bunch of super sessions & I CAN'T WAIT!!! 
I know..I have to wait.  It is months away!


Over the years, I've heard from several Wisconsin art teachers....and I know that they are an amazing group with a strong association!!!  If you are from Wisconsin, please make plans to come...I'd love to meet as many of you as possible.  I think I'll be leading around 6 sessions during the two days...on a variety of topics...some hands on...some discussion based.  I'm kind of a big kid..so ya know we're gonna have fun!
If ya plan to be there..leave a note in the comment section...
I'd love to meet people before I meet people!! 

February 08, 2017

One of Those Stinky Days

A couple months ago a well meaning teacher gave me tempera paint she had found in her room.  I was happy to take it...didn't think twice.  

It seems that the tempera paint was a bit older than I thought.  It had fermented...and the bottle exploded!! ALL OVER THE OTHER PAINT...TO THE NEXT SHELF...AND ONTO MY COUNTER TOP.  It don't look too bad...but it smelled HORRIBLE! I had to wash all the other bottles and the cabinets out! 

February 04, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: More Than Nice

We have all encountered artwork where we thought "That's nice." There was nothing remarkable about the work.  There was nothing horrible about the work.  It was just simply "nice".  I would venture to guess that a majority of artists do not desire to create "nice" art work.  Love it or hate it...the artist desires to connect with the viewer's heart, passions, and intellect.  To merely say that their work is nice would be an insult.  Nice art does not get remembered.  It does not create conversation/buzz.  It just is. 

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.  So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.  Revelation 3:15-16

Where are you at in your faith?  Are you living a nice Christian life?  Doing nice Christian things?  Going to church & doing churchie things each week like a good boy/girl?  We can go through the motions of faith will little to no passion or zeal.  Now there is something to say about a stable, mature, and faithful believer.  However, one can be stable, mature, and faithful and still have a passionate/difference making walk with the Lord.  In Revelation, we see Jesus making a very bold statement about those just going through the motions.  I believe as we grow in Christ, we become grounded in the Word, stable in our day to day walk with Him, and able to trust in God's faithfulness(because we've had the time and opportunity to see Him faithful in the good & bad that life has thrown our way!) .  I also believe that we have more reason to live a life of passion & excitement for the things of God.  Settling into our walk with God does not mean settling for less than He has for us.  We want to be more than just "nice" Christian men/women.  We want to be known as men/women that live life like they know God is alive & real in their life.  It makes a difference that should be seen.  Not for our glory, but His! 

February 01, 2017

2nd Annual #aheartadaychallenge

Last year during the month of February, I created a little art making challenge called #aheartadaychallenge!  It was a lot of fun to see the diversity of creations made based of such a simple theme!  With the way things are right now in our country/world...I think a little heart would be a good thing for all of us!!  So who is in????  It is really simple...make a heart with anything in any style...go with a theme...or not!!!  Just upload to social media and #aheartadaychallenge.  Tag me if ya would on Twitter & Instagram...or you can upload it to my ArtWithMrE Facebook page!!!  If you can't do every day...create when you can! This is low pressure/just for fun!!!