May 31, 2019

Summer Blogging...

It's that most wonderful time of the year.....SUMMER!
I plan on blogging and posting to social media all summer long, but I can't guarantee how consistent I'll be?!?!?!  We are extremely busy during the month of June.  I have a workshop I'm doing for art teachers in another county, I have my 3 day workshop, my wife is teaching at two different VBS' I'm creating two totally different sets of room I've got normal #dadlife stuff with my 3 kiddos!!! I'm thinking I'll rest some in July....hopefully. ha ha  Happy summer...
and stay tuned!!!

May 26, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Snap Judgment

Are there works of art, styles of art, or artists that you detest?  There are times that we actually have visceral responses to art. It could be based on the work itself, connections we make to the work and our own previous knowledge & experiences, or what we know concerning the artist.  So many different elements factor into our snap judgments. However, are these negative reactions where we should leave things? Can we find value in a work/style/artist even if our first response was less than favorable.  I believe that there is something to be appreciated, valued, and considered no matter our initial reaction. We may even reconsider our opinion once we've spent more time with the work, learning about the style/movement and the impact it had/has on culture, or even gaining insight on the artist and their processes & inspirations. 

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus;  he was a  chief tax collector and wealthy.  He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.  When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.  All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of sinner." But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, " Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." 
Luke 19:1-10 

So often the snap judgment of believers gets in the way of what God wants to do in the life of those who do not initially seem to fit the "Christian Culture" or who "deserve" God's grace & forgiveness. The response of those in Jericho towards Jesus and his interaction, warmth, and desire to spend time with Zacchaeus is unfortunately emulated in churches today.  We have become comfortable with those who look like, talk like, and act like us. We're uncomfortable with those who don't fit in our nice neat little churchy boxes.  We see at the close of this section of scripture..."For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." This is echoed in Jesus's interaction with the woman at the well, in God's desire for Jonah to share his love and grace with Nineveh, and numerous  other accounts through the Old & New Testament.  God desires to reach those who don't "fit" in & let them know how deeply he loves them.  Are we allowing any snap judgments to get in the way of God using us to reach out to the world around us? Are more like Jonah and less like Jesus? What could be keeping you & I from seeing others like Jesus did? 

May 21, 2019

Line Design: 3rd Grade

I posted a week or so ago that I was going to be the Line Design project with my 3rd grade.  I've never done it with 3rd grade I wasn't totally sure what to expect.  THEY ARE DOING AMAZING!!!!  I will hopefully add more pictures to this post as students finish up their project. I've included the link to the "Deluxe" explanation of the project in case you'd like to do it with your students.  It is a great way to end the year...has that "zen" quality!!

May 19, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Challenges

Challenges abound in the life of an artist. They can be skill, conceptual, financial, time, or a host of other obsticals.  Such things can hinder the work and development of an artist, but they can also provide an opportunity for creatively overcoming difficult situations. The perseverance this produces can yield great reward over a lifetime of creative pursuits. This doesn't mean that as we will ever find ourselves free from the struggle and challenges of a creatively lived life, but it does allow us to know that we can face any situation and use it to learn from, grow, and go forward.  

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  
2 Corinthians 12:9

We were never promised that the life of a believer would be easy.  In fact, we are warned in John 16: 33 "....In this world you will have trouble..." !   So how are such challenges different for the person of faith?  The last part of John 16:33 says..."But take heart! I have overcome the world."  We have faith that we are not walking through this life alone. We can rest in the fact that our Lord has been their from the beginning & will be there till the end.  We also see in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that where we fall short, where we struggle, where we cannot do it any longer...he meets us there. His grace is sufficient. That means it is enough. We need nothing else. Life does not have to be "perfect". Everything doesn't have to go our way. The challenges we face do not diminish the grace God gives us. When the sun is shining or the storms are raging....grace is enough.  We can move forward in this knowledge.  We can move forward in this truth. We can learn from the experiences & challenges of this life and move forward in grace.  

May 16, 2019

4th Grade Masks

I  have truly love the masks my 4th graders have created.  From the think sheets to their final has been wonderful to watch the students develop & implement their own unique ideas.  They have been excited each time they've come to art to get started since I introduced the lesson. 
THAT!  That is a sign of a successful project!

May 13, 2019

Beauty is Everywhere

My 4th graders were using acrylic paint for painting their paper mache masks.  The resulting rings of water & paint on the draining board were beautiful!  One of those things you couldn't recreate if you tried...Beauty is Everywhere!

May 12, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Doubt

I believe one of the most detrimental obstacles an artist encounters is doubt. It has the power to strangle creativity by continually second guessing ideas, choices within media and composition.  The fear doubt creates prevents risk taking. Doubt isolates & keeps the artist from seeking the guidance & community of like minded individuals.  Though it is normal to question one's self from time to time or be questioned by others (questioning can lead to deeper understanding & thoughtful consideration), doubt roots deeply into the wounds and insecurities of the individual. If this mindset is not shifted/corrected it can derail even the most gifted artist.

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him,
 "You of little faith, " he said, " why do you doubt?"
Matthew 14:31

Doubt can also be a huge obstacle in the life of the believer. It prevents them from living out their faith to the fullest.  Doubting the validity of your "calling"(Did God really say for me to do this?), your own abilities, the receptiveness of others, and if you are truly honest with yourself....God's faithfulness! Thank goodness for Peter! We see in Matthew 14:31 where Jesus is having to pull Peter out of the water after he started sinking.  Why did Peter start to sink? He looked at his circumstances and took his eyes off of the Lord. The circumstances he found himself in caused doubt. He began thinking of himself & the situation more than than his goal (to get to the Lord). Now I don't feel like Jesus was "dogging" Peter by saying  "You of little faith...why do you doubt?"  I feel it was a question to refocus Peter on what was most important. Doubt...if left unchecked...can derail us from being who God created us to be & doing what he designed us to do.

Are their areas in your life that doubt is taking root? What are they? Why are they? What steps will you take this week to begin to deal with these things?

May 10, 2019

Humor in Art: 2nd Grade

I've seen this project EVERYWHERE on line for several years, but I've never tired it before in my classroom.  As we near the end of the school year, I'm wanting to review some skills & keep students interested/engaged....and thought that this lesson would be a great way to do just that!  Also, I think students need to be reminded that art can be FUNNY!  We aren't ways making "beautiful" work of "beautiful" things.  Sometimes art makes us laugh! I think that is also a great idea for this time of the year!! ha ha  I'm proud of the work I'm seeing, and may do this again next year!! 
Check out the results!!!

May 08, 2019

Resurrected Art Project: Line Design

There are projects that we do year after year.  The kids might love it, you might love it, or it might just be the best project to teach a set of skills the students need.  I do like to change things up.  I don't think a bored art teacher is a good thing!! ha ha  I became known( blog did) for the Line Design project.  I even have a Zentangle pattern named after me (NO JOKE!).  So for many years I did this project with my 4th grade students.  However, because of scheduling, programs, field trips., & year I decided not to do that project.
Somehow, it just kind of dropped off my radar.


After several years...I decided to resurrect the lesson, but this time I'm doing it with 3rd grade!  We just started this week, and it does take a few weeks to complete.  I'll post more pictures as we complete the lesson!  

Basket Sale at SmART

I know I've been posting a lot about SmART lately.  I'm not paid/funded in any way by them...I just have a whole lot of love & respect for them as an organization!!  

This post is about a "Basket Sale" event they had last week.  Every once and awhile they have a sale where you can fill up a basket for $25.  I got their on the first day of the sale(was the first in line), and I have to say....I got a ton of great stuff(future post if I think to snap some pictures of my haul).  I purchased great new and used craft supplies & oddities(you never know what they will get in fun!).  They were heading up a block party at the shopping plaza where the store is located.  They had an area artist doing a mural in the store, Gnash from the Nashville Predators was there greeting fans(and making art!!!!).  They had an ax throwing booth (I was too scared to try it! ha ha).  There was also live music!  WHAT A GREAT EVENT!!!!! Here are some pictures...I wish I would have gotten a few more so you could she how much fun it was!! Now this is not every basket sale...this was just a special one (but they are all awesome because it is all for a great cause!!).  

forBecks at work on a mural in SmART.

Gnash is making art!!!! 

Had to get a picture with Gnash as I was shopping!!

May 07, 2019

Pile of Turtles: 2nd Grade Still Life

Last week my students created a still life that was made of several objects that they arranged with their table partner.  This week the students had one stuffed turtle to draw from.  They had to make a minimum of five turtles that overlapped & filled up their page.  We also discussed "value" using different amounts of pressure. Since I was just introducing the concept of value...there was much grace in how they applied the new information!  The turtle was light green & dark green.  So I told the students that they could make the turtle what ever color they wanted as long as they stuck with the lighter value for the body & darker for the shell as it was in the original.

This last one is not finished yet, but it is super cute &
  had a Power Rangers vibe to me?!? ha ha

May 06, 2019





I forgot to post the pictures from the April 19th Art Clash
sponsored by SmART Nashville.
I had so much fun being a part of this amazing
 fundraiser for such an awesome organization!

The event was set up like "CHOPPED" for art!  Teams signed up ahead of time & were allowed to bring some of their own supplies/materials.  There were mandatory materials they had to incorporate.  They had 2 hours to complete their work!  I was one of the judges.

If you don't know about SmART Nashville...please check them out!