July 30, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Imitation

Individuality is encouraged in my classroom.   I want students to be original.  Never do I want to find my students copying my work or the work of other students.  Part of the problem solving in art is how to infuse yourself into your work.  When you copy you are denying your voice within your work.  However, there is a time & place for imitating others in art.  I try to model for my students proper technique, focus, and creative processes.  I will work along side them once they are busy on their projects. I feel it is important for them to see me creating with them.  By doing so, I can reinforce technique, proper posture (kids will often work with their face laying on their arm on the table..inches from their pictures), work ethic, and I'll verbally process through if I encounter issues so they can witness me dealing with problems.  

Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1

Discipleship is key for Christian growth.  We need to find people that we can watch, question, interact with, and be a part of their lives.  Not because they are the "perfect" example of what a believer is, but because they live a life that imitates Christ, humbly seeks him in all they do, and strives to bring honor & glory to the Lord.  They are people that walk with integrity, and know the Word of God.  Having these type of people in our life to model the Christian walk is incredibly beneficial.  Seeing those who are imitators of Christ, as we too seek to be imitators of Christ, helps us to navigate this world we live in with a reference point from someone who is a bit further down the road.  In turn..we can be that for others.  We can not live this life on our own.  We were meant to be in relationship with other believers.  God designed us that way!  Who do you have in your life that is someone you desire to imitate?  Who do you have in your life that would want to imitate you & your walk with God? 

July 29, 2017

My Helper!

Margaret wanted to come help me today at school (yes..I went in on a Sat).  I wasn't sure at first because I knew I'd be nonstop busy...and wanted to be able to focus on getting stuff done.  However, school is starting soon...and I knew it would mean a lot to her to be able to hang out with daddy in the art room.  We had such a great time.  She drew, colored, built with Legos...clean up some things for me...got papers from the copier in another part of the school...and helped paint the knight in my room.  She's awesome..and I wouldn't be surprised if she went into something creative when she grows up!  

July 28, 2017

A Pre-Preview To 2017-2018

It is a work in progress!!  I still have a lot to do, but thought I'd shoot a short video to show you all what it's going to look like in Art With Mr. E's room this school year.  

July 23, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: A Different Level

I've seen artists churn out work to sell, but the quality is lacking.  This should not be a surprise when you mass produce anything.  Quality suffers. Mediocre is acceptable.  If you ask the same artists to create work for a gallery/museum...you would see them approach it completely different.  They would take time with the work in pre-production, production, and post-production making sure everything was as close to perfect as possible.  They would want the work to represent who they were as an artist.  Mediocrity would have no place in such a situation.  However, shouldn't we approach all things with same fervor? If our name is on something...shouldn't we attempt to have it be the best it could possibly be?  I don't want just certain work to represent what I am capable of doing, but everything I do to be a reflection of who I am as an artist.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ. 
Colossians 3:23-24

It is not about trying to impress God.  He does not need us acting like a child trying to get there parents' attention (LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!).  When we attempt to get his attention by doing something "good" we are approaching the Christian life all wrong.  In fact, I'd say we don't truly understand the Christian life.  When we come to know the Lord we bring all that we are: the good, the bad, and the ugly.  He wants all of who we are.  The good we should want to do for God is born from knowing him.  It is born from knowing what exactly he has done for us.  It is not to get his attention.  We have his attention.  The Lord of All lives with in us. He is waiting for us to spend time with him.  He is waiting for us to speak with him.  We have his attention...not because of the great things we can do...but because he loves us & desires a deep/real relationship with us.  This is our motivation for wanting to serve God with all that we are...to the best of our ability. When times are tough, when we feel like we are far from God, when our prayers don't seem to be answered the way we expect....continue on in the Lord.  Do not lose heart or be deceived by your "feelings".  Know that he is with you..he has never left you...and you can continue to go forward trusting him to be the God he has always been & will always be. 

July 21, 2017

REVIEW: Dollar Tree Marbling Kit

Dollar Tree is one of my favorite places to explore!
You just never know what you'll find!!!
A week or so ago I found a paper marbling kit.  
I was curious, but not so sure what to expect.

You fill a container with regular tap water, and then squeeze & swirl the color onto the surface  (note: you have to clip the ends...or risk causing the tube to blow!)  Don't stir/swirl too much or it will muddy the color.  Once it looks as you wish...lay a piece of paper on top of the water.  It doesn't need to rest there for long.  Place the paper on a flat surface to dry.  

It turned out surprisingly well!  It could be a fun art club project, at home with your kids, as a reward for a small group....but the shaving cream with paint is a better bang for your buck when working with a larger number of students (though a whole lot messier than this Dollar Tree kit).  

July 16, 2017

REVIEW: Elmer's Purple Liquid Glue

Have you seen this?

I purchased a small bottle for 99 cents so I could try it out.

YEP! IT'S PURPLE!  ha ha  So it delivered on that front.  It was very "wet".  I noticed after the fact that it is "Washable". I'm almost never a fan of "Washable" products.  This seems more watery than regular washable glue.  I'm not sure if how they make it purple causes that or not.  I also noticed that the "feel" of it is different as well. It isn't "tacky" feeling?!?!?! I got some on my figures when I connected the paper together...can't really describe it how it feels other than different.  

It delivered on drying clear as well!  I do feel it warps the paper a little more than regular ELMER'S GLUE ALL.  I don't use Elmer's Washable on a regular basis(because of it warping paper & not being a strong as Glue All)...so I can't compare.  I do think it might be a good investment for Kindergarten so they can learn better glue control....though I'll probably stick with good ol' regular Elmer's Glue All.  

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: DEADLINES

Some people thrive with the addition of an external deadline. Others do not.  The pressure of having to create with time restrictions can motivate some artist to be more creative because of the challenge & purpose.  It is a form of accountability. For some it can cause them to shut down in frustration because they feel constrained by the time frame.  I have the luxury of my art being a creative outlet and not how I provide for my family... so I rarely have deadlines.  However, I should probably set more for creating & be more purposeful so that I keep myself actively engaged in art making. An artist who has no deadline can at times flounder directionless.  Being aware of time can motive you to do more so you can accomplish your personal goals.

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
James 4:14

Life has deadlines.  I'm not just talking about THE deadline.  Death is not the only end.  We have a limited amount of time to impact/influence others.  We may move.  They may move.  Relationships shift. Jobs change. Schooling comes to an end. A chance encounter slips through our fingers.  I fear I've allowed too much time to pass by without realizing these deadlines.  God blesses us with opportunities to share his love.  However, we often think we have all the time in the world to do so.  It usually doesn't occur to us until the "deadline" has passed and we have failed to share the most important thing our life.  Missed opportunities should not bring condemnation, but should motivate us to utilize the time we have been given to share his love. Don't allow deadlines to pass you by.

(speaking of a missed deadline...see the picture below!)
(This past week I've been working very late every night on some paintings for an artshow I've been asked to be a part of...and it caught up with me. Yep, this deadline got me good.   Last night I could not stay awake to write this.  You can see how I fell asleep with my hands on the keyboard! ha ha)

July 11, 2017

Art With Mr.E Summer Workshop 2017: Weaving

The AMAZING people at NASCO ( https://www.enasco.com/artsandcrafts/ ) provided looms, fabric strips(how amazingly handy to have precut fabric strips!!), and long plastic needles. THANK YOU SO MUCH NASCO!!!  We loved getting to use them & trying out the different size pre-notched looms.  Several of the teachers did multiple weavings during our three days together. They did a mix of the fabric strips & yarn.  You could just do fabric.  I'm in the process of working on a rag rug that I'm doing in sections so its easier to work with(more on this in another post!!).

I do like the idea of having different size looms for students that might finish early.  I've had some SUPER weavers in the past...as well as students that want to come in extra to weave more.  Having the different sizes might be a nice to keep on hand!



July 09, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Name Recognition

In art, a name can change everything.  My name on a work of art would not have nearly the impact of Van Gogh or Picasso.  People would look at my name and think, "Well, that's nice."  If it had Matisse's name on it....they would start talking about the historical significance, what stage in his career it was from, and the financial worth. However, a name alone does not bring the value to a piece of art.  The name is attached to the person.  THE PERSON would imbue THE NAME with their work, passion, experience, subject matter, skill, consistency, risk taking, invention & innovation, persona, and exposure.  The name is attached to the Master artist, and in that there is power. 

God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I  AM has sent me to you.'"  
Exodus 3:14

Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." John 8:58

I've always loved the names of God found throughout scripture.  "I AM" is my favorite.  When he tells Moses to let the sons of Israel know "I AM has sent me to you." .....WOW!  Why is there so much power in I AM?  Because they knew him.  They knew who he was.  They knew the promises he made to their fathers.  They knew the power of I AM.  They knew the heart of I AM.  They knew the Master.  Fast forward to Jesus saying "before Abraham was born, I am."  WHAT?  If there were any doubt in who Jesus was...he made it clear in this statement.  "I AM"  We are not following blindly someone we do not know.  We are following Who Was, Who Is, and Who Is to Come! I AM. This name brings peace, empowers, changes, challenges, and encourages.  This name allows us to go, do, and be more than we ever could have imagined.  I AM.  In him I can claim who I am because of who he is!  His love letter to us is signed... I AM. AMEN!

July 03, 2017


June 26 kicked off the 2nd Annual Art With Mr. E Summer Workshop!  I want to start by saying I'm so blessed to be able to host/facilitate this time.  The art teachers attending are AMAZING, and I do not take for granted that they give their time & money to attend.  I hope they were all encouraged, inspired, laughed a lot, made some new friendships, and will go back to their classroom with some new ideas. The next few posts will be all about the workshop, projects, and experiences!  Maybe next summer you will join us! 

July 02, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: STAND

During my freshman year of college I had a make it or break it moment.  I was wrestling with one of the assignments in my 2-D Foundations class.  I just could not figure out what to do, how to do it, or even why I was doing it. I wanted to give up.  It was the only time an art project made me cry (other when I smashed my finger off in sculpture and they thought they'd have to amputate half my hand...but that is a story for another day).  I even contemplated quitting college and moving back home.  I thought that if a project in my very first studio class my very first semester stressed me out so bad that there would be no way I'd ever make it through the program. Somewhere in the midst of the struggle, I decided that I'd not let this assignment get the best of me.  I pressed onward and complete it to the best of my ability.  I would love to tell you in the end it was an A+ work, and that my professor and fellow students were in awe of its beauty & inspiration.   However, I can not. Though it wasn't my greatest work of art...it holds a special place in my heart.  It showed me that I could push through the frustration, insecurities, lack of understanding, lack of skill, and exhaustion to complete whatever task I found myself facing.  

Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not the vain.  
1 Corinthians 15:58

There have been times in most of our lives where we have cried out to God and told Him we're done...through...we quit.  Whatever we're facing seems to have gotten the better of us, and we just can't do it any more.  Work, family, friends, health, or even things going on in the church(An imperfect place with imperfect people...you better believe the struggle is real in the church as well!).  God wants to hear from His children!  Even when we are crying out in frustration...He wants to hear our heart!  We don't need to put on airs.  God wants to hear it all, but he doesn't want our two weeks notice.  He wants us to push onward.  He knows the ending, and He knows it is for our good & His glory that we continue through the pain, through the frustration, and see it through till the end.  We must stand firm & let nothing move us away from God's plan & direction for our lives.We must remember that nothing we do for the Lord will be in vain, but will reveal to us & those around us the goodness of God & His glory.