December 29, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Letting Go

Most artists I know love to collect art supplies. Maybe they are necessities, the latest greatest version of a tried and true, the newest tool or material that will revolutionize their work, or an innovation that will make life easier.  Maybe there is an amazing sale going on, we have coupons, someone gave us a gift card, or we have "extra" money at a given point in time.  It could be that we are afraid if we'd don't get something now...we might not ever be able to get it.  Whatever the case might be...if we are able to acquire more art supplies, we will. Some we might actually use right away. Other things we know we will find the right project for them at some point.  Some though....we look at and wonder why we ever thought we need them, but we aren't willing to part with them because you just never know. Too much of a good thing can get in our way of accomplishing what we really want to do. I become overwhelmed at times when there are too many option or too much clutter.  When this happens I know I must let go of the unnecessary and prioritize the pertinent.  I'm not against trying new things because you never know when you will find a gem. However, storing up supplies you may never need or use only gets in your way. 

When the Israelites were in the wilderness God provided manna for them to eat. He told them to only collect enough for the day. The Israelites did not listen.  They collected more than they needed...and it 
spoiled/rotted. Why would they do this if God instructed them not to? They were worried they would run out. They were concerned that the next day the manna may not come. They did not trust God to provide for their needs. What if? What could it hurt? This attitude shows that they thought they knew better than God on how to provide for themselves. This attitude...and behavior showed their hearts' condition. They had forgotten God had provided for them from the beginning. They had dismissed all he had done for them from the start of the exodus.  And can we just be real for a minute here...when we say is really the same with You and I. We fill our life with things. We do whatever we can to feel secure, comfortable, and in control. We begin to push God out of our lives except where it is convenient.  "We've got this God....we don't need you!" We fill our life up with so much clutter....we have no room to see the Lord work.

We must learn to trust God with today. We live by our planners, calendars, and electronic notifications. We struggle to leave life open to what God may have us do. Though he does not desire for us to be sluggards/lazy...we can not be so worried about our "tomorrow" that we plan away any opportunity for God to use us or change our plans. We must approach each day with open hands and open hearts trusting that God will meet our needs as we live for him.

December 18, 2019

Collaborative Winter Bulletin Board 2019

A couple weeks ago I posted my past winter bulletin boards. I've been back to work for about two weeks, and was able to cobbble together a collaborative board in the midst of grading all the art work that was created during the month and a week I was out on medical leave.
The sky was created by three different classes. Two classes created the checkerboards with marker. They then sprayed them with water to "soften" the pattern. The next day students in another class used bubble wrap and white tempera and stamped the paper. 

I had one group of third graders create the checkerboard border using rulers and silver crayons. I try to give my students as many opportunities as possible to use rulers because it seems that they get few chances to do so in their classroom.  

I had a good bit of the painted paper & checkerboard border the kids made I re-did the PTO board as well.  They were thrilled!

Here is a closer shot!

Some classes created snowmen in action. Love this coco stand! 

Well..can you tell what is going on here?! It is pretty funny! This 4th grader has a wicked humor! 

A little twisted! 

December 16, 2019

Sweet Moments in the Art Room

So glad I caught this sweet moment. Some times rulers are tricky! One friend was having trouble with her ruler sliding as she tried to make her her table partner said she'd hold it still for her as she was drawing! I love when kids see a need & try to help their classmates out!
There is hope for our world....I see it every day!!

December 15, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Good Enough?

Is your art good enough? How does it compare to other artists? Are your themes relevant? Are you you technically superior? Are you evolving? Are you being sought after? Can you actually make money as an artist?  

Do these questions make you sweat a bit or give you heart palpitations? Does your stress/anxiety levels raise when you think through these things? As artists we are faced with these question both externally & internally.  They are a reality in a field that has "ART CRITICISM" as a foundation. Though these questions can be beneficial if reflected upon in a constructive manner, they can also squelch the insecure.  A statement such as, "Am I good enough?" can cause one to question not only the artistic worth of their creations, but their own personal worth and value as an artist. There is something about those words that can derail even the most confident and seasoned artist. How do we continue when we are told we are not good enough? 

We are bombarded by negativity in our world today. If we allow this negativity into our hearts and minds....we can become "defeated" before we have the opportunity to succeed or not.  We can also unwittingly perpetuate the negativity that has been given us. This cycle prevents us from fulfilling what we were designed/called to do. God does not look for "good enough". He desires men and women who have an open heart to love him and serve him with abandon.  We cannot hold on to the negativite self talk or the deplorable comments (and/or actions) of others.  We must embrace the truth of God's Word.  Deuteronomy 31:8 is a picture of our Lord's provision so that we can go boldly, stand confidently, and continue to grow in grace and understanding as we live out the life he has give us. 

Do you doubt? Do you get trapped in a loop of negativity?  Does fear prevent progress in your life?
What do you need to trust God with this week? 

December 13, 2019

Ugly Sweater Day

I get into creating my ugly sweaters!!!  I have 3 of them I've created and I usually add, take away, and change things on them every year to keep them "fresh"!  ha ha  

December 10, 2019


Nov. 1st was my last day at school before going out on medical leave because of a serious case of cellulitis.  Yesterday I went to the doctors to have them sign my paper ending my FMLA....and today I'M BACK!!  It has been a special day too!  We are celebrating our 30th anniversary as a school!  I've been here for 19 yrs.....and was so excited to see past principals, teachers, assistance, and students come to visit!!! students all rushed to give me hugs when they saw me!! (I was careful to turn my "bad" leg to the side away from their hugs!! ha ha  I'm glad to be back....tired...but thankful!!  

December 05, 2019

Winter Bulletin Boards

Since I've been at home on medical leave/FMLA....and not at school to do my annual winter board...I thought I'd share boards from years past. These are all collaborative boards with 2 or more grade levels involved (most utilizing the whole school!). The work is on a bulletin board in the main hallway, and I usually leave it up until February. It is so much fun seeing the kids looking for the part they contributed!! 

November 30, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Just Keep Going

New ideas bring a flood of energy.  When you are excited for a new project it feels like nothing can stop you from seeing it to fruition.  Unfortunately, this is not usually the case.  Life happens.  It could be any number of things that keep you from continuing on your initial burst of passion for a project. Friends, phone calls, the need for food, the need for sleep, and so many other of life's situations. It is amazing how easily we can be distracted from something we originally thought we'd not stop until we finished.  So what do we do when we lose our initial motivation?  JUST KEEP GOING!  Sometimes the act of pushing through brings with it a new appreciation and perspective.  
This can only add to the heart/meaning of a work of art.

It seems crazy that anyone could become tired of doing good?!?  Isn't doing good motivation in itself?  Life happens.  We see it in the church & we see it in daily life.  People feel underappreciated, dumped on, taken advantaged of, exhausted, and so many other of life's situations.  Such situations are enough to make anyone weary.  However, giving up is not the answer.  JUST KEEP GOING!  Now there may be a need for boundaries, rest, and refocusing....but we must press forward in what God has called us to as we press into him for our strength & peace.  If we keep our eyes on God & our ears attuned to his heartbeat...we will be able to keep going no matter what comes our way.

November 29, 2019

5 Below Finds

 I have young children(5, 8, and 10), so 5 Below is an amazing store for my family because of the great prices on many things. They have an art/craft section. Sometimes there are great things at great prices. Sometimes there are ok things at ok prices. Sometimes there are "ify" things at "ify" prices. I always take time to look through because you never know when you are going to find a hidden gem. 
I purchased these "artist pens" some time ago.(They still carry them as of Thanksgiving night.) If you have followed my #turkeyaday19 ...that is what I've been using to create my turkies. I've really enjoyed them. I've found craft store brands that perform similarly for $11-$15. These are only $3!! I feel like I've gotten my money's worth. I will say that they are water soluble, but work wonderfully other than that. I had no problems with smudging or smearing as I worked.  
I found these Thanksgiving night(our 5 Below is next to Michael's..the only stores I go to during the shopping craziness!!). I thought they looked interesting, and for $5 was worth the "risk". I liked the water brush that came with it. I didn't noticing any leaking...which some brushes like that I've had in the past did.  Though I do feel this creates the look they say it will....I wonder how long the markers will last. At times they seemed "dry", but once i applied the water performed as it should. I liked trying it, but not sure it is a must buy. I think if you found good water brushes, you could do the same with any water based marker.

November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

May you all find something to be thankful for no matter what life might be throwing your way! Finding that "thing" will allow you to make it through the hard times. I'm thankful for all of you who find your way here to Art With Mr. E!

November 23, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Be You!

My degree program required that I had an area of concentration within art.  I chose watercolor, and had five semesters of that medium.  During those five semesters I had four different professors.  Though there is something to be said about having the opportunity to learn from a variety of experts, it also brings with it a variety of strong opinions.  Watercolor can be a "snobby" medium.  There are those who believe only certain subjects and themes are appropriate. Two of my professors were of this opinion.  Those were extremely long semesters.  I was confronted every week with negative comments concerning my work.  I could accept the critiques if it was concerning my technique,but it was always concerning the subject of my work. One of the professors spent the entire semester trying to convince me my work would be better suited for acrylic or oil.   He actually told me that I needed to switch my medium or switch my subject matter.  Though I reflected on what the professors had to say to me, I did not allow it to sway my vision/direction for my work. 

We are bombarded through relationships, media, social media, and other sources on how we should look, think, believe, and act.  Even within the church there are times where there seems to be "peer pressure".  However, we are to follow God's will for our lives....not the whims and ways of others.  How do we know what God's will is?  This is a question so many wrestle with!  In Romans 12:2 we see that we should seek after God & allow him to transform us. This is how we know his will.  When we know him and who we are in him, we are able to to withstand the pressure of what others would have us be, and stand strong in who God has called us to be. God made you to be you. You have something special to share with the world.   Pressure will come.  Don't get frustrated. Draw nearer to the Lord. Be a light to the world that is rooted in love! 

Have a beautiful week....I'm thankful for each of you!!

November 21, 2019

#turkeyaday19 modified

Because of being in the hospital, having a stupid IV line hooked up to my dominant arm, and being exhausted during the healing process....#turkeyaday19 hasn't been going as I had hoped. I'll share what I have done so far (be looking for a post at the end of the month with the rest of my turkeys!). Also, look at my turkeys from Novembers past!! I do a different idea/theme for the turkey's each year (based on famous art work, paper doll, different media, incorporating paint splatters). This could be a fun project you do with students in class or as extra credit! 

November 20, 2019

FYI: Medical Leave

For those of you who do not follow me on social media, I have not been at school since November 1st. No, the day after Halloween wasn't that rough on me! Haha I developed cellulitis in my right leg in a pretty bad way! I spent four days in the hospital on major antibiotics & was sent home with a midline in my arm in order to self administer antibiotics. I ended up developing a blood clot in my arm where the midline was(superficial vein..not dangerous) and had to have it moved to my other arm.  It has been an adventure!! They compare it to a burn victim, and if you saw my'd understand why! Each day I'm getting better. I've been blessed with an amazing home healthcare nurse who is taking care of my leg twice a week. She is 76...has purple hair...and helped develop one of the antibiotics I'm on..back in the 80's!  She is fascinating & fun!! I will hopefully have a better idea when I can return to school next week when we see the main doctor dealing with my case. I know they want me healed before I return to school because of the risk of other germs/infections. 

Ok...that is the update! 

November 17, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: The Order

I've been teaching a long time. Because of this, ordering the essentials for my students is fairly easy.  There are times that I over estimate or under estimate some items, but I usually can nail the supplies I use most often with students (drawing paper, construction paper, glue, etc). However, if I'm wanting to do a "special" or new project, I don't always know how much of a product to order.  When you are given a set budget & a set time frame in which you can order for the school can't usually "fix" your mistake.  You have to live with it, make it work, or wait till the following year when you can order more of the supply you are lacking.  This can be frustrating, but somehow art teachers are able to do a lot with less.  We are able to stretch budgets and supplies to provide for our students a meaningful art experience.

Have you ever felt like God was calling you to something that you weren't able or ready to do?  I remember seeing people take on leadership roles, go on mission trips, or do something seemingly extraordinary for God with such confidence and ease.  I admired them, but never felt that I could be them.  I just wanted to stay safe and comfortable in the back pew.  

"God, I'm good right here."  
"I come every Sunday."  
"I don't have the time."
"I don't have the skill/training."
"I couldn't make that kind of sacrifice."
"Someone else would do a much better job." 
 "I'm not the person you want or need."

God is not looking for our excuses.  God is not looking for our skill/talent. 

God is looking for our availability.  
God is looking for our obedience. 
 God is looking for our heart.  

If you look throughout scripture (..Moses, David, Peter, Paul...) you will see time and time again where God uses people that were not confident, were not skilled, who didn't seem well suited for the job, or who were not the world's first choice for anything.  However, God equips, guides, and grows those he calls.  They might not have been anyone else's first choice, but God knew their heart and knew they were the right choice.  God can use those who are available, obedient, and have a heart for him to do more than you can ever imagine.  It is not about what we can do with what we have, but what God can do through us when we allow him to be Lord of our life.   

November 09, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Interrupted

You have an amazing idea for a project, but you have to go into work before you can sketch out your idea. You start painting, but there is a knock at the door and it is someone who really needs you.  You are ready to purchase the top of the line paint and brushes you've been dreaming of for some time, but your car breaks down and you have to invest your money in getting that fixed.  The art opening you've been so excited about happens to be the same evening you got the stomach bug.  Life has a way of interrupting our plans...just when they're getting good!  

I've used the story of Naaman(read all of chapter 5 for the whole story) before because such a good mirror to reflect on our lives.  We are all so incredibly busy.  We live life too fast, too full, and too fragmented.  Our world around us has led us to believe that we must over extend ourselves to be good parents, over spend ourselves to be like everyone else, overcommit ourselves to be good people.   All of this "too much" & "over doing" it can truly lead us to wrong thinking of our importance & worth to the Lord.  Naaman allowed his position & power to keep him from originally doing what was asked of him.  Even his leprosy did not humble his heart enough for him to respond to Elisha  initially. He was being interrupted from the importance & position which he prized most of all.   Are we much different?  God will try to use the interruptions of our life to catch our attention, refocus us, bring us back to him, but we feel our schedules, reputations, and plans are more important.  Has God been trying to get your attention? What have you had interrupted that might be an area to give over to him? What interruption are you having that might be a redirection?  What interruption is just God asking you to slow down, spend some time with him, and to find some peace & rest? 

Sorry...did I interrupt you? 

November 07, 2019

Kindergarten Leaves

I read the book, Autumn's First Leaf to begin my class. It not only touches on fall themes, but emotions as well.we have done collage I reviewed safety with scissors, proper glue use, and size expectations. After students completed their work, they were responsible for cleaning up their areas and putting away their collage supplies. We then had a descussion about emotions. I had them make the face of the emotion they said & then tell me how they could draw it. I would demo of my document camera what they were saying. This gave the glue time to dry enough that they would be able to draw and color on their leaves.  I felt they turned out great. So expressive!