February 28, 2018



My #ATCSwap package arrived a couple days ago, but I've not had a chance to go through them and create my displays like I usually do!?!!?!?  I'm chair of the text book adoption for our district, chair of the scope and sequence team, meetings for a grant our district received, all my normal school stuff, and LIFE?!?!?!!?  AHHH....I'm always busy in the spring, but this year seems especially busy!


February 25, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: TRANSPORTED

Art has the amazing power to take you anywhere!   It can transport you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Art can take you home, coast to coast, around the world, or even to another world. It can change your view.  I have stared into a painting before until everything around me seemed to fade away, and I became a part of that world I saw hanging on the wall.  I've become lost in a Color Field painting.  I've walked down a path as far as I could in a Van Gogh. I've not been home till that one piece of art is hung up in a new place. Yes, art can move us to the point that we've been transported. 

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:2

Our world seems to be falling apart.  Everywhere we turn there is death, destruction, and disillusionment.   It is incredibly easy to buy into the negativity around us.  It impacts our outlook on life & our belief that we are able to make a difference. Our hearts, minds, and attitudes need to be transported.  Not as a means of escapism, but as a way for us to see...and know the reason why we able to enter into each new day with power and purpose.  Colossians 3:2 tells us that we are to "Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth."  When we get into a spiral of our problems, the problems of those around us, and the problems of the world....we sometimes forget that we are LOVED!  We forget we are SPECIAL!   We forget we have PURPOSE!  God loves each of us so much.  He has a special talent/gift that he has given each of us to use for his glory.  He also has a unique purpose for each of us to fulfill in the days we have on this earth.  Our mind needs to think on these things....it needs to be transported to the things of God...not the things of this world. 

February 23, 2018

Warhol's Cats: Kindergarten

I started my kindergarten class...as I always do...in the reading area.  We read Uncle Andy's Cats by James Warhola (Andy's Nephew).  We then looked at CATS CATS CATS by Andy Warhol.  My kiddos LOVED both books!  

I had my students watch me do a couple different demonstrations before I let them start drawing.  Most of them did not want to try to make the cat laying down!! ha ha I was ok with that.  They then traced their drawings with Sharpie marker.  Last they painted the cats & cat toys in with watercolor.  I asked them to not use brown or black to keep the colors bright!  I love the personalities of the cats shining through!!  I always try to teach/encourage/challenge my students to be individual and not create like me or their neighbors.  I don't want a factory of churned out cats(I know that irony of that when discussing Warhol!)

February 20, 2018

#aheartaday2018: 7-19

I'm not sure who all has been following along with this year's #aheartaday2018 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook....but I thought I'd share the next "batch" of Turtle-rific Hearts! 

February 18, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: THAT PLACE

Place is an important aspect of the creative life.  We all have places that inspire us.  Some are places we return again & again.  Others can be temporary sources of inspiration do to individuals or situations that might change.  Place can also bring a sense of security for our creative pursuits. When we are in a location that provides security/safety...we can create with no fear.  Place also plays an important part in the actual creation of artwork.  Environment can truly impact an artists ability to create and their productivity.  I've seen some people create amazing work in chaotic places, but they would be crippled by the silence of a personal studio.  In turn, I've seen people that are unable to focus if there are any outside distractions.   Knowing THAT PLACE where you are most inspired & most productive is key in the artist's life.

But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in which I take refuge. 
Psalm 94:22

The words FORTRESS, ROCK, & REFUGE are truly comforting in the world we find ourselves living today.  God is THAT PLACE where when nothing else makes sense, when we feel small & insecure, when we are hit from every side by the troubles of this life....God is our FORTRESS, ROCK, & REFUGE.  Truly these are more than just words.  They describe where we place our hope.  They tell of the strength in which we can rest.  They denote the power of whom we believe.  If  we understand these truths, find our inspiration in this knowledge, and move forward in the power of God....we will be able live the beauty of this life He has given.

February 17, 2018

Mixed Media Critters: 1st Grade

I believe it was on Mini Matisse that I saw a fun check board painting she was doing with her students.  I loved the idea, but had to think where I wanted to take it from the check board "base".  My first graders loved getting to paint the check board!! There were varying levels of success, but all looked nice once completed!  The next class time I had them trace the original pencil lines with a black crayon.  They then created a "critter" to place on the check board.  I told them to think of it as a school picture for their creations!  The faces crack me up!  I love the expressions.

February 16, 2018

Mixed Media Landscapes: 3rd Grade

I'm working on possible projects for our spring all school art show.  The theme is COLOR EXPLOSION! I've been working on landscapes with 3rd grade, and thought this could be a fun "possible" project for the show.  We looked a many examples of mixed media & abstract landscapes.  The students started by doing a simple line drawing of a landscape. I had them paint(watercolor) each layer a different color or combination of colors.  Then I had them use black tempera paint to outline and create a tree in their foreground.  The following we the were allowed to selected metallic and regular construction paper to create the leaves for their trees. I think they are pretty fun.  I'm kicking around the idea of the students adding patterns into the work as well with colored pencil.

February 13, 2018

Art Ed Blogger's Network: Artists that Inspire!

If you are a follower of art ed blogs, you may have noticed a group of us posting today under the header of ART ED BLOGGER'S NETWORK!!  This is collection of amazing bloggers(how did I get in the mix?!?!) will surely inform, encourage, and inspire you!  At the bottom of the post you'll see links to those participating....CHECK THEM OUT!  
This month's topic for the group is ARTISTS THAT INSPIRE!
Wow...what a topic?!?!!?  I have to admit..I've struggled with this because there are so many I love,  for such diverse reasons. I'm going to go with a less main stream one for the sake of sharing someone you might not have heard, but may want to learn more about. 
 (Matisse & Van Gogh will always be my classic favs (color, pattern, and texture!!!)  
Oscar Bluemner

Oscar Bluemner was a German born artist that began his career in architecture & design. He moved to the United States in 1892.  He spent the next 20 yrs focused on architecture, but eventually moved into painting. However, his work was still heavily influenced by his architecture & design background.  He was fascinated with color theory & how it impacted both emotionally and psychologically. Though he did achieve some success & notoriety....he was a difficult person & did not "fit" into the mainstream art world of the time.  

Artists that inspire do us no good if they aren't a spring board for our students to explore their own artistic pursuits.  Blunderer's work is an amazing jumping off point for LANDSCAPES/CITYSCAPES with their strong emphasis on layering & depth.  His work does not add a lot of detail or fussy elements allowing the young artist to concentration on the major elements of their work.  This also lends itself to transforming amazing drawings into dynamic paintings(I think tempera at the elementary level is perfect!).  If you are working with BIG IDEAS/ENDURING THEMES....it would be easy to add Bluemner's work into a unit on Place/Community.



Art Teacher Blogs

This post is a part of The Art Ed Blogger's Network: Monthly Tips and Inspiration from Art Teacher Blogs. On the first Tuesday each month, each of these art teacher blogs will post their best ideas on the same topic.

Participating Art Teacher Blogs:

February 11, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: DEAL WITH IT!

Artists encounter many struggles that are unique to their profession/skill set.  Some of these are great, and some are small.  What to create, how to create, how much to create,  how much to charge, where to show, how to display,  and how to respond to critics are just a some of the issues they face daily.  The answers impact everything as they move forward in their career.   Creatives are often depicted as carefree, strong willed, and lacking concern for how others view them & their work.  However, this is most often far from the truth.   Rejection, misunderstanding, misinterpretation, harsh criticism, and apathetic responses crush the artist's spirit.  They wrestle greatly with these things because it is not just their "work", but a part of themselves.  How they deal with it will determine their ability to move forward.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.
Psalm 34:17-19

We are faced with trials/struggles of many kinds. Some are great, and some are small.  How we respond will determine our ability to move forward in our lives. While some seem crushed by "minor" problems, others seem unphased when "major" issues come their way. We all have different thresholds of dealing with such things.   Often people will say..." DEAL WITH IT! " Though this may seem like sound advise...it leaves out something extremely important.  HOW!?  As believers, we have the ability to "DEAL WITH IT!" through the power of the Lord.  We are not doing life on our own.  Our God knows when we struggle.  He knows when our hearts are broken & seemingly hopeless.  He knows when trouble seems to be pressing in from every side.  In Psalm 34: 17-19, we are told that the Lord delivers the righteous.  Though I'm extremely thankful for this...there is another part of the verse that means a great deal to me.  "...the Lord hears them..."   So often we cry out in our struggles....we cry out in our pain...we cry out in our hopelessness.  In the midst of our cry we ask ourselves....DOES HE EVEN HEAR ME? DOES HE KNOW I'M HURTING?  DOES HE KNOW I'M AFRAID? DOES HE EVEN CARE?

 My friends...HE DOES!  


Take comfort in knowing that our God hears your cry! 

February 07, 2018

#aheartaday2018 : Day 5&6

My mom's boyfriend of 12 yrs passed away Monday, so I've gotten behind on my hearts.  However, they've become my therapy.  He was a wonderful man with so much joy, encouragement, and laughter to share.  He treated my kids like his own grandchildren(my dad passed away about 20 yrs ago...so Charlie was the only grandpa they knew from my side).  He will be missed greatly.  

February 05, 2018

Monday Motivation With Mr.E


#aheartaday2018: UPDATE

I've had several people join in the fun on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!!
I love seeing all the hearts, the diversity, and the creativity.
It isn't too late to join in the fun!!

I'm doing mine based on my favorite animal...TURTLES!!!

Here is all the info you need to play along!!!

February 04, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: FINISHED

There was a point during college that I believed my career was finished before it even started.  After a freak accident in my sculpture class, I was told they were going to have to amputate my thumb, index, and middle finger on my dominate hand.  Though I did not know what was going to become of my hand or if I'd ever paint, draw, or create again with that hand, I laid on that bed in the emergency room and decided that if they amputated my fingers that I'd still find a way to use my gifts and talents.  It might not look like what I had planned, but I was not going to give up doing what I knew I was designed to do.  I had known since 1st grade that I wanted to be a teacher.  It was at the core of who I was.  If anything, the near life altering accident placed in me a greater desire to fulfill my purpose. It is truly amazing how the end(or near end) of something allows you to gain a deeper appreciation and a greater perspective.

The end of all things is near.  Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.  If anyone serves, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.  If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.  
1 Peter 4: 7-11

I am by no means a dooms day advocate.  You will not find me out on the streets holding a cardboard sign saying "THE END IS NEAR".  However, I've seen life end too soon for too many.  I am a strong believer in the fact we are not promised tomorrow.  We have this day.  This hour.  This moment. If it is all we have....how should we be living?  How should we be loving?  How should we be giving?   It may not always look like we expected.  We will face struggles & obstacles.  That is part of this life. God is bigger than the things we face, and is always with us!   I want to be found faithful in the time I'm given.  I want to use my gifts, talents, time, and love for His glory & honor.  When I'm finished with this life....will I have been found faithful?

February 01, 2018


                   It's that time again! 
Join in the fun creating a heart a day during the month of February!! If you are unable to participate every day...that is ok! Join in as much as you like.  Post on your social media with the hashtag #aheartaday2018 & tag me if you like!! I have explored media, pursued themes, and created one offs.  I can't wait to see how you approach this challenge.  Feel free to do this with your classes as well!!