October 29, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: PURPOSE

There are a million things that can shake our confidence & derail us from our purpose.    The arts have a way of being more than just a job...it is very personal.  Our art & our art teaching is an extension of who we are, our ideas, our beliefs, our talents, and our abilities. When someone questions or criticizes these things....it can (at times) cause us to question why & what we do.  I've seen artists & art teachers struggle with self doubt, and become ineffective because of it. Some might think that we just need to develop a thicker skin, not be so wishy-washy, or have more confidence.  That is at times easier said than done.  

Nehemiah knew what he was called to do.  Even when those around him were questioning, criticizing, and fearful.  Nehemiah didn't call into question his purpose.  Nehemiah didn't throw up his hands in despair.  Nehemiah cried out to God and said "STRENGTHEN MY HANDS".  This is not someone who has forgotten what he was called to do, but someone who is asking the Lord to help fulfill his purpose.  It doesn't say that he never struggled, but that because he knew who he was & what he was to do....he pressed on through whatever came his way.  

What are you called to do?  What causes you to doubt or question your purpose?  What steps do you need to do so that the doubts and the questions do not take you from your calling.  I believe teaching art is my purpose God has called me.  When lower than expected evaluations come, parents complain about my grading practices, students do not behave as they should, or lessons seem to fall flat....instead of throwing up my hands in resignation......I call out to the Lord and ask Him to STRENGTHEN MY HANDS!!!!     

October 26, 2017



October 25, 2017

New Project for Teaching Landscapes: 1st Grade

I had come across the artist Tom Schulten. 
 I loved the color & pattern of his abstract landscapes. 
(Check out his site here ->  http://www.tonschulten.nl/galerie/ )

I wanted to jazz up my tired landscape lesson with 1st grade....so I thought I'd use Tom Schulten's as inspiration.  We started by selecting five colors of markers to draw horizontal lines across our page. I then had the student draw in a simple line drawing for foreground, middle ground, and backgroud using black crayon. Students then used a thick paint brush with water to go over the whole page(painting in a horizontal direction).  After the work was dry, we used construction paper crayons to highlight certain parts to define the areas.  I think they turned out pretty cool!  Even if the students didn't realize it was something new/different...I sure enjoyed it!

October 24, 2017

Dino Hatchling Collages: Kindergarten

This week is the second class time for the kindergarten dinosaur unit I'm doing!  I wanted to revisit collage so that my students could become more proficient with scissor & glue use.  They just aren't having the opportunities in there classrooms!!(Not the teachers fault at all...just the kindergarten is now-a-days!)  I started with the story THREE LITTLE DINOSAURS

I allowed the students to select one big piece of paper(background), one small piece of paper(dino), and one white piece of paper(egg) at the beginning of class. 

The started by drawing an oval for the egg.  Once they cut it out, I had them cut a zigzag line across the middle.  I then had them fold their small colored piece of paper in half.  They drew an oval and cut it out(with paper folded to get two of the same shape/size).  I showed them how to cut a wedge shape out for the mouth.  We then used our scraps to make the eye, arms, and tail.  After students glued it down...I allowed them to get crayons to add details.

October 23, 2017


I've noticed more & more students using the phrase...
The thing is....they haven't.  It seems this phrase is use like an excuse.  I have high expectations for my students, and honestly...I expect them to ALWAYS do the best that they can!  Why do any less?  However, when kids say this...they expect me to not say anything to them about there work or how they might improve upon it.  I actually had a boy repeat himself today..."I said I did the best that I could!"  I approach him in a way to help...not criticize.  I like him a lot...and have seen him grow so much over the past couple years!!  However, if he(or any student) starts to make excuses for their work...they will stunt their artistic development. 


October 22, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: PEACE

Artists produce work for varied reasons.  There are times they create to display skill, make money, fulfill others' visions, work through ideas for future pieces, etc.  Some of these reasons are "detached" from the heart, emotion, and passions of the artist. The work possess value/merit, and is very much a part of every artist's journey.  However, there is something powerful & compelling about work that comes from the depths of one's experiences.  When an artists creates from that raw and present place of where they are....amazing things can come to fruition. A person struggling with loss can imbue their work with the pain & confusion that comes with such emotion.  The work may take on a style, color palette, and compositional construct that is divergent from the "normal". This may allow the viewer to connect with a work in a way that might not have happened if the artist wouldn't have allowed themselves to create out of that "place".  That is an amazing gift.  The artist can express/communicate emotions in a way that resonates with others like little else can. We are able to to meet the viewer where they are....and share our humanity.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.  On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.  They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.
1 Peter 3:8-11

I'll admit that my art is rarely angry, depressing, or full of angst.  It isn't who I am.  I've always been a more positive personality that can see/find the good in almost anyone/any situation. For me to create "angry" art in order to reach new views would not be authentic.  Even during times of struggle in my life...there is always hope in my work.  As Christians, we have a hope/peace that passes all understanding.  This is not to say that we can't wrestle with loss, anger, pain, confusion, frustration..etc.  I have not made it through life this far without my share of such situations, but I've always found myself holding onto the peace that only God can provide.  I want my life to reflect this truth. I don't want to fall into the trap of negativity that our world seems to be elevating.  I want to be able to be a light in the darkness.  I want to be able to speak life to people that so desperately need it.  AND...I want my art to reflect my hope.. Even if I'm in a "bad" place...I desire to produce work that shows the struggle to seek & pursue peace in midst of  "bad" times.  With the Lord...it is possible.  

October 19, 2017



I'm truly honored to be entrusted with leading six super sessions for the state conference! We'll be having fun with kindergarten unit ideas, discussing books/literature in the art room, and a whole lot more!!  We're going to have such an amazing time together.  For those of you attending the conference...keep checking back on my blog & social media...there might be some give-a-ways that you'll have to be "in the know" about!!! ha ha  

(If you are interesting in me coming to your state conference...please have your state president or conference planner e-mail me!!  Never too early to start planning for next year!)

October 18, 2017




I was able to attend the print making workshop with my former professor who is in charge of the print making at BGSU.  Funny thing is...out of the four classes I had with her...none of them were print making!!??!? ha ha  It was a blast to spend time with her and the print making students!

We were also treated with the opportunity to go to a metal smithing workshop!!  HOW FUN IS THAT!!!  I did not have any metal/jewelry classes while at BGSU...so this was a wonderful experience for me!

Ok...this is terrible?!!?!? I went to speak to the Art Education students & faculty....and all I got was a picture of my chili & napkin?!?!! ha ha  I'M SO SORRY GANG!!! I had such a wonderful time spending time with these amazing women!!!  The faculty is completely different than when I was there...but they are all awesome!!! The students I was privileged to interact with were AMAZING! I'm excited for the world of art education to be getting such quality teachers!!  (They made soup & salad for my visit....and it was SOOOO GOOD!!!  But still...I should have taken more pictures than this! ha ha) 

Here is the art building...my home away from home while I was at BGSU.  When I started..this new section was only a year old.  Now it is...OH MY GOODNESS...22 yrs old!!! AHH!! Gosh that makes me feel ancient. ha ha

This is the new Wolf Center for the Arts.  It is on the old location of our student service building(which looked like a slide projector!! RIP).  

The building on the left is the library which is right beside the art building...a lot of time spent there as well.  The green space was awesome place to hang out, build snowmen, etc!

The building on the left is the education building!  Another building I spent a lot of time in!!!  Not just for my education classes(my degree was kind of set up like an education degree & BFA), but also because Campus Crusade for Christ had their weekly meeting in the education building.  So many good memories!!  The building on the left was the basketball gymnasium, but I've heard it is re-purposed....just not sure for what?

These are some of the oldest buildings on campus(1918 I think?), but they have been pretty much gutted and re-purposed. I had a few classes in them back in the day!  

This is Prout Chapel!  LOVE THIS PLACE!!! I'm not exactly sure why the chapel is even on our campus...I guess I should look the history up.  I just know that every Friday we had PGIF(Praise God It's Friday)...and it was such a wonderful way to end the week!  My junior & senior year I helped lead singing...and it was always such a special time to me!

A couple of my friends came to support me!!!  Carmone & Amanda graduated with me Dec. 1996! I feel that time & distance has only grown our friendship!!  I had not seen either of them since graduation...and we didn't miss a beat!!  

We had to go down memory lane by eating at a fav place in Bowling Green... CAMPUS POLYEYES!  The best bread sticks in the WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!


I know this might seem a bit ridiculous...but every time I saw this image in a building on campus...I took a picture(except for one).  Why?  This is the announcement for the Milestones Alumni Art Show, and they used one of my paintings to flank the sides of it!!  I was so excited.  I've never had work hang in a "real" gallery space before...so this whole experience was just wonderful for me.

Here are my three pieces that were in the alumni show!  They asked 10 people from each of the different art majors (art ed, graphic design, painting, etc) that had made significant contributions to their field of study.  It really was a huge honor for me!  And it marked the first time my work hung in the BGSU galleries.  I was received a BS in Art Education..which did not require a senior show.

Here are closer up views of my work. 

This is Janet Ballweg (google her...beautiful art!!!!).  She was a professor I had for 4 classes while I was at BGSU(you also saw her up the beginning doing the print making workshop).  She is everything a great art teacher(and just any teacher) should be!  She is tough with high expectations.  She is an amazing artist herself.  She is amazing at instructing/motivating/challenging in the visual arts.  She is compassionate/caring.  I have so much respect for her.  She's also just a whole lot of fun to spend time with!!!  Blessed to know her.

(This is just a fraction of the art work contained in this exhibit!)

The balloons...ARE MADE OUT OF QUARTS!!!! WHAT?!?!?

These piggy banks are just awesome...they are clay!!!

October 16, 2017

The Best #ArtEd PLN: #K12ArtChat

In this digital world we live in...there is no reason to feel isolated & alone!  One of the greatest groups of art teachers out there can be found in the virtual world of #k12artchat.

The group is such an amazing resource!  It is VERY VERY active on Twitter with weekly chats (every Thursday!!) covering amazing topics that are important to all art educators.  They also have Facebook & a website you can connect with!!  I'm so thankful for the Grundlers(husband and wife team!) for all they do to keep us connected & current!  CHECK THEM OUT TODAY!!!