November 30, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 30...THE LAST DAY!!!!!

I can't believe the month flew by so fast?!?!  
I wanted to end with someone I have a great respect for....he made an amazing difference in the world by the way he lived his life.  He was intentional in all that he did...and all that he said.
Though he is no longer with us...his legacy will last!

"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood."   

Thank you to all who looked, laughed, played along, and participated!! Until next year! Gobble gobble!

November 29, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 29

While this turkey is pretty obvious...I have a special connection with this character! 
Do you know what it is?

November 28, 2018

November 27, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 27

This turkey was on one of my favorite shows as a kid!!

November 26, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 26

We are at our last 5 turkeys for the month?!?! 

This bird is easy enough to figure out.  I made him for one of my besties who is obsessed with the character and movie! If any of you want to join in....never too late to create!

November 25, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 25

Don't struggle to figure out who this turkey is....he's just a turkey. 
I was thinking about my art teacher friends in KS & MO as the blizzard came through their area and dumped a ton of snow!!  
Cold bird sending warm thoughts to my friends in the path of the blizzard!!

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Skill Building

The world we live in is all about the "NOW".  We don't want to wait.  We don't want to work. We want what we want, and we want it now.  However, that is not how life really works. It's not how art really works.  In art, it takes time to build the necessary skills to effectively communicate our stories, ideas, and beliefs.  It also takes time to develop the necessary skills in the media we choose to communicate.  Sometimes developing these areas of our artistic self can feel laborious.  We want to fast forward to our finished product.  However, doing so will not afford us the opportunity to truly grow as artists.  We must hit walls, get frustrated, struggle, fall, fail, and get back up again...and again.  It is the process that allows us to develop our voice & our skill in a way that is uniquely our own.  It is the skill building that is foundational for our artistic development.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Corinthians 4: 17-18

How many times have we questioned God when struggles arise in our life?  WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?  IT'S NOT FAIR!  We want to fast forward (or skip completely) those times.  However, we will hit walls, get frustrated, struggle, fall, fail, and get back up again...and again.  It is in those times that we see God is ever faithful.  It is in those times that we are developing a testimony that will sustain us through all life's ups and downs.  We learn who we truly are and who he truly is.  Our "light and momentary troubles" are skill building opportunities in our journey of faith.  They give us the chance to trust God in new "fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen".  By doing so...we grow in ways that fast forwarding/skipping such times would never allow.  Not that it is easy....but it is worth it.  

November 24, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 24

She is so incredibly loyal!
A character that was around way before my time, 
but was re-imagined many times over the years.
Do you know her?

Small Business Saturday

Did you know today is Small Business Saturday!!  
Get out there and support your small local businesses, artists, and eateries!!!

One of my favorite places in the Nashville area is SMART (Scrap Made Art!).  They are an amazing business & wonderful for art teachers/artists!!!!  Check out more information at...

I recently painted their windows with wintery funness(I know..not a word!). 
Check it out!!

November 23, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 23

One of my favorite cartoons as a kid!  
This turkey isn't "power"ed up yet..but he's a real prince!
Know who he is?

November 22, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 22

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 
Poor turkey is in an unfortunate situation today!!!
Hope you & yours have an amazing day!!!

November 21, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 21

She was a child movie star...then had a show...
and is back on tv as an adult!
She is one smart turkey! 

Abstract Expressionism: 3rd Grade

I love doing Abstract Expressionism with my 3rd graders!  We look at a huge collection of images so they can see the many different approaches artists used within the movement.  I focus in on the shapes, colors, and movement of the work that help to convey emotion in a work.  

I allowed them to use a pencil to draw in some basic shapes/lines they wanted in their work, but encouraged them to create most of the work using their brushes.  They were nervous about this(we usually draw before painting), but they embraced the challenge and really seemed to enjoy this out of "our" box approach.  
After many years of thinking about it...I finally ordered tempera cakes.  This is the lesson we broke them in on!!!  I limited their palette to the primaries, white, and black.  I encouraged them to use the black last to do more expressive line work with it using their small brush.  

Here are some of the results!  Many of the students used the colors in their pure form and did not explore color mixing much.  

November 20, 2018

#turkeryaday18: Nov 20

Day 20!
Time is flying by...
and I have a million more ideas for turkeys!!

Do you know this one? 
He's an "oldie" but a goodie! 

Construction Paper Crayons Review

One of my students who recently found my YouTube channel encouraged me to do a product review! He was excited to try the new Sargent Art Construction Paper Crayons out....but was wondering how they were different than the Crayola Construction Paper Crayons we had been using for several years. ya go!  I hope you find this helpful when you consider ordering construction paper crayons in the future.  

#turkeyaday18: Nov 19

Like a candle in the wind...

November 19, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 18

I'm going to miss this turkey when the season & series ends!!  

#turkeyaday18: Nov 17

This turkey's video gave me nightmares as a child!!

#turkeyaday18 : Nov 16

Here is a classic SNL character that was turned into a Saturday morning cartoon! 
Do you know this turkey?

November 18, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Response

Do you teach your students how to respond to criticism? This is crucial in developing life long creatives.  Criticism is going to come there way at some point, and they need to be equipped with a response that is fitting a mature(ing) artist.  First, they need to understand that criticism is not always "hurtful".  Some criticism is more of a critique and not a person being overly critical.  No matter the heart behind where the criticism comes from....there can be valuable information for the artist to consider.  It is up to them to filter what they hear & read into beneficial/not beneficial.  Second, they must realize that they can't please everyone.  No matter how wonderful their work is....there will be those who attack it (and them).  Sometimes the negativity comes from something that has absolutely nothing to do with them.  There are those in the world that just are unhappy with life, and are unable to say anything positive to anyone.  Third, they must know who they are as an artist...know their vision/direction for the work they are creating....and be confident in both.  This will allow them to stand strong in the face of criticism.  They will not feel a need for a response if it is not worthy of one.  Many lash out in retaliation to perceived or actual negativity toward their work.  This does no good.  At times, it will only fuel the fire of the one being critical.   A proper response is to consider what is being said, and do the appropriate thing with the information provided.  Use it...or lose it!  This allows the artist to take the high road, and avoid drama that only distracts from their creative pursuits.  

We work hard with our own hands.  When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. 1 Corinthians 4:12-13a

As believers we face many critics.  As believers...we also make many mistakes that at times warrant the criticism being given.  What is our response?  In Corinthians, we see the first thing we need to do is "work hard with our own hands".  I also think this means for us to not only do the work...but to also do it well.  ( Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31).  If we are working hard & doing our best for God...what do we have to be ashamed?  What do we have to be criticized?  However, this does not mean we should just dismiss anything we perceive as negative directed towards us or the church. We must humbly consider what is being said...knowing we are not above making mistakes or poor choices.  We do not need to allow it to destroy us, but it should inform us so if we need to make changes or ask forgiveness....we can!  We also need to make sure that we do not respond in the heat of the moment.  We must consider the love we've been shown,  the forgiveness that has been lavished upon us, and how we've done nothing to deserve it (apart from the grace of God).  If we think on these things....we can muster the strength to tame our tongue and not "REACT" to the negative comments, criticisms, and attacks that might occur.  

November 16, 2018

Collagraph Prints: 2nd Grade

So the past two class times in 2nd grade we've been working on collagraphs.  When I first started teaching...I had no idea what they were.  I did not have art till high school...and we jumped straight into linoleum block printing. When I went to college...print making was one of the classes I did not end up taking.  So...needless to say...I've learned a lot "on the job".  I honestly feel I learn something new every school year in regards to print making with my students.  AS IT SHOULD BE!!!

This year I decided to mark the tables with painters tape for where they needed to place their printing plate.  That way the mess is more on one side when they are inking their plates, and there will be space for them to print onto their paper that is clean(ish).  I also used the painters tape to tape down the trays for the ink.  After years of having them move all over the place and kids incredibly messy  trying hold it down as they obtained ink....the painters taped did the trick!!!

Someone asked me online how I do my plates because they looked different than theirs.  I just used regular old construction paper!!!  I usually do use tag board, old folders, or card stock, but this year I totally forgot.  These are a very happy accident!!  The key though is...glue coverage on the back so they do not peal up when applying ink!!  

Here are some of their beautiful pieces!!!



November 15, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 15

Day 15 of #turkeyaday18....
and this bird is dry...and very sarcastic!! 
Do you know her?

November 14, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 14

Day 14....this turkey is out of this world!
Do you recognize this look?

November 13, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov. 13

Day is only logical that this turkey would show up!
Live Long & Prosper!

November 12, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 12

Day 12 is here with a colorful blast from the past!  
Do you know who this loud and lovely lady is?
If so...come and knock on my door!

November 11, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 11

Day 11....a bit of a Sunday School lesson for you!
Do you know who the turkey is?

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Talent Lost?

(If you have a weak may want to skip this week's devotional.)


I stood there in my college sculpture class looking at my hand caught in a machine.  I said nothing. The pain was unbelievable, but the fear of what could be was even greater. I kept repeating in my head..."I just ruined my art career."  Time truly seemed to stand still in that moment.  I got my self together enough to release the lever on the side of the machine, and attempt to lift the top roller that was crushing my fingers. I managed to raise it  up enough to pull my trapped hand out.  My glove that had been hiding the damage was still caught in the rollers.  Now revealed was mangled skin, visible bone, and more blood than I had seen before.  My art career was over.  I snapped out of it, and ran to my professor...leaving what looked like a murder seen in my wake. He grabbed my arm and dragged me to his office where he picked up a dirty rag from the floor and wrapped my hand.  In my head I was thinking..."Oh great, now I'll have gangrene on top of it all?!?!"  I said nothing because I was too nauseous to speak.  One of the guys in the class volunteered to take me to the emergency room..noting that he had plastic seats and didn't care if blood got everywhere.  He dropped me off at the hospital and wished me well.  I was left at the door holding a dirty rag on my bloody hand, and all I could thing was..."I ruined my art career."

After waiting an incredibly long time for someone in my ER doctor looking at my injury and informed me that I'd have to have my thumb, index, and middle finger removed.  However, the only doctor who could perform the procedure was in a hip replacement.  I laid on the bed in the ER alone...asking God to meet me in that moment & help me come to terms with what was about to happen.  He did!. In that moment,  I knew that no matter what life had a purpose & a plan.  It might not look like what I had expected or planned, but it was going to be full & meaningful.  My purpose was not found in just one talent/skill, but in who I am at the core.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

This verse was spoken to the people of Israel about their 70 year exile in Babylon.  It was a verse to reassure them that he never left them.  It was a verse to remind them that all things can work together for good for those who love the Lord.  It was a verse to give them hope for the future he had for them.

I came to a place where I knew there was more for me no matter the outcome of my injuries.  I didn't know what it would look like, but I had hope for the future...and that was enough.  It was amazing the conversations I had that day with the nurses, doctors, and hospital staff.  They were not use to an injured patient asking how they were doing or inquiring if they had any prayer requests.

As it turned out...I was able to keep my thumb & fingers (though damaged).  The doctor who came down to remove them picked through the mess that was my hand....stopped...looked at me...and asked "Do you have people praying for you?  Because that is my only explanation for why I'm not removing your fingers right now!"  He told me that with the amount of skin damage I had...that it was unheard of for there to be no bone or tendon damage.  So...he sewed me back up, and sent me on my way.  Recovery took months.  I had to paint, draw, and write with my non-dominant hand for a majority of that time.  One of the fingers might be a little disfigured & there may be some nerve damage, but they are all present & accounted!!  I'm still able to draw, paint, and create.  I also was able to talk to many students after my accident that told me they did know if they could go on with their life if they lost their ability to create.  I was able to share with them that they were so much more than just their ability/talent/skill.

I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to have so many good...deep...meaningful conversations out of this terrible accident.  We can find power in the midst of the pain.  We can find purpose outside of our plans.  We can be the light in dark times....even when they are our own.

November 10, 2018

November 09, 2018

Necessary Evil

What is something you do in your art room that is a "Necessary Evil".  Keeping up with my glue bottles is not a favorite task of mine. I've tried glue sponges...I liked it for some things, but do not feel it is as handy for all projects.  Glue sticks...NO.  I love what my students can do with a good ol' bottle of Elmer's Glue (Once I've taught them how to use them!!)

One would think I'd be much better with refilling glue bottles after 21 yrs of teaching...
but nope...not really! HA HA 

I'll struggle through so I can save money...not throw things into landfills..etc.


#turkeyaday18: Nov 9

Day 9 is here...and this guy is not trying to hide!! ha ha
Hope you all are enjoying the turkeys this year!!

November 08, 2018

#turkeyaday18: Nov 8

If I could turn back time...I would have "Cher"ed this with you earlier.
Never too late to join in the fun & silliness!  Make a turkey today!

November 07, 2018

#turkeyaday18 : Nov 7

You don't have to be fancy to be thankful!
I hope you all are enjoying #turkeyaday18.
I'd love to see your pictures if you or your students 
are creating some silly turkeys along with us!

November 06, 2018

Sketchbook Prompts

Former students attending a charter school with no art....a 2nd grader who is asking for art homework...and others out there looking for ideas to help them create......
By no means is this an exhausted list of ideas...but it is a place to start!!  I may add more to this over time.  I hope that it helps some of you looking for direction!!  

I would print this list out & place it in your sketch book/note book.  That way you can check off the ideas as you create them.  Items can be drawings, paintings, collage...whatever you would like to do! 

  1. Dream Bedroom.
  2. You were shrunk and are standing somewhere that everything is giant compared to you.
  3. Combined 3 or more animals into a new create, and create its habitat.  
  4. Futuristic Car/Truck.
  5. Underwater World (Think Atlantis!).
  6. Royal Outfit.
  7. Favorite Food.
  8. Design a logo for your favorite fruit/vegetable. (Logo is like the Nike Swoosh or the symbol on the Pepsi can.)
  9. Insect or Creepy Crawly attacking a city.
  10. A magic world! 
  11. Animals dressed as people.
  12. Rocket ship that could carry people from the moon & back.
  13. A robot that could do a chore you do not enjoy doing. 
  14. Alien plant growing in your garden/flowerbed.
  15. Animal in a tree....that doesn't belong in a tree.
  16. Dark and stormy night.
  17. Bug in a spider web.
  18. Playing a sport.
  19. Favorite nursery rhyme.
  20. Illustrate your favorite song.
  21. Food with a face/arms/legs.
  22. Bundled up for cold weather.
  23. Dragon(s) in flight.
  24. Create your own cartoon character, his/her friends and/or enemies, and setting.
  25. Scribble & then turn it into something awesome.
  26. Draw something you know well(pet, toy, friend, food) with your eyes closed(NO CHEATING!).
  27. In the jungle.
  28. You with crazy hair.
  29. Tree house.
  30. Design your own board game.
  31. Give an animal wings that doesn't have wings(Bat wings, butterfly wings, bird wings, bug wings..etc).
  32. On a farm.
  33. A boat on water.
  34. Tropical island.
  35. At the circus.
  36. If sharks could fly.
  37. Peacock.
  38. Invention that would help you.
  39. Something shiny.
  40. An open door.
  41. Inside your favorite store.
  42. You as a superhero.
  43. Make a sign/advertisement of something that is important to you.
  44. Something sweet to eat.
  45. What would you do with a million dollars?
  46. If you could travel back in time...where would you go?
  47. A room you are in has no gravity..what does it look like.
  48. Dinosaurs are alive and well today.
  49. A day at the amusement park.
  50. Helping someone.

#turkeyaday18: Nov 6

Maybe I'm hungry??
#turkeyaday18 is well underway...but it isn't too late to join in the fun!! 
Come create with us...and post on social media.  Don't forget to use the hashtag & tag me @ArtWithMrE as well!