January 31, 2020


It's that time again!  The #aheartaday2020 challenge kicks off tomorrow, February 1st!  Create a heart each day ( or as many as you are able), and post them to social media with the hashtag #aheartaday2020.  You can use any media, do them any size, create a theme for the whole month...or change it up!  It is just a simple, no fear, quick art challenge so you can get back in the habit of creating! I can't wait to see what you'll make!

Check out #aheartaday18 #aheartaday19 #aheartadaychallenge  
to see what I've created in past years! 

January 30, 2020

Hatching Dino Eggs: 1st Grade

How cute are these hatching dinosaur eggs my first graders are creating?!?! We are using construction paper crayons...which are always a hit! I have both Crayola & Sargent brand construction paper crayons.  I prefer Sargent because the colors are "truer"...and Crayola is more pastel "ish" in color.  The concept/vocabulary I'm focusing on for this
 project is overlapping/layering. This was both in what they drew & how they colored(overlapping color makes it brighter!) They turned out super cute!


This was totally this students idea!!! So amazing! 

January 26, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: STRENGTH

As a young artist, I attempted to find my artistic voice.  I tried on styles, colors, and media like clothing.  As I learned about artists & movements, I implemented those concepts into my work to see if they were me.  I applied different themes & motifs to see if they "sounded" like my voice or not...because I didn't know who I was as an artist.  I do feel this is part of the growing process for most of us..  However, there comes a time where you have to stand up for who you are, do what you feel is right, and speak out with your own voice.  That boldness does not always come easily, and can come and go depending on how secure/insecure we are feeling.  As I began to find out who I was artistically..my security was shaken a couple times along the way by professors that questioned the validity of what I had to say as an artist.    I'd eventually shake that off, and move forward with my work being truer to me and the strength I had in vision, purpose, and skill.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.  
Romans 12:6-9

We all have different gifts, talents, and skills.  As we grow in our faith, there are times we have to try out different things to see if they are truly us or not.  I've known many people that thought they were teachers.....UNTIL THEY TAUGHT!  ha ha  That doesn't mean they failed at being a teacher.  It just means they need to find that place that best suits their God given gifts and talents.  Sometimes we need those experiences in order to find where we truly need to be.   God did not give you the natural ability to connect with people & make them feel at ease...just to stick you in a tiny room somewhere with a computer.  God didn't give you a servant's heart that likes to stay out of the spot light...just to shove you on a stage!  God wants you to use those gifts & talents for his glory & honor...to know him & make him known!  When we operate in those God given situations as we were designed to do...I feel we experience a joy like no other & are the most effective for the kingdom.  People may come and tell you what they think you should be....or you may see others who seem to have it all together so you try to be like them....but the truth is...YOU NEED TO BE YOU!  You need to know the strengths God has given you....and do that...be that!!!  Now, that doesn't mean the outgoing/up front type person shouldn't clean up or do things behind the scenes....or that the servant's heart behind the scenes person doesn't need to step to the forefront at times....it just means the majority of our time we should operate in the strengths God has given us.  

(This was a devotional I wrote 4 yrs ago...which has been edited/changed from the original post)

January 22, 2020

Dinosaur Tracks: Kindergarten

My kindergarten was busy tracking dinosaurs today in art class!! I started by reading Mine-o-Saur in the reading area(great book if you have not read it!!). Once they returned to their seats I provided handouts with a variety of dinosaur footprints. After making their selection they drew the dino prints across their paper. They then used two colors of fluorescent oil pastels to color the prints. Finally they did a wash over the whole page using two colors of fluorescent watercolors.  I think they turned out dino-tastic!!

January 19, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: UNSEEN

Glue is such an important art supply.  However, it is at its best when unseen.  Even a little bit of "exposed" glue can be detrimental, and wreck the craftsmanship of a work of art. Too much glue can cause warping or develop a undesirable texture because of the excessive moisture.  Having too little glue can cause pieces of your work curl, lift, or even fall off.  So many art supplies scream for attention, but glue wants to do its job and remain unnoticed. 
The unseen power of glue can make or break a work of art. 

There is a fine line between promotion of self and exaltation of Christ.  That line sometimes becomes so faint that people do not really know which side of it they are on.  While pretending to seek the interest of God, they fall prey to promoting themselves - AW Tozer The Crucified Life

Jesus, Tozer, and faithful leaders from today all addressing the same issue.  Too often we (and that is a big old huge collective we) do not seek out opportunities to serve God behind the scenes. We want our actions to be noticed.  We want to have Instagram moments of service.  LOOK AT ME!  SEE WHAT I AM DOING FOR GOD!  There are people who are called to be "up front" in their service, but more often than not....we need to serve God with humble hearts that desire to honor him and minister to others unseen.  As we continue to grow in our relationship with the Lord, this desire to serve/minister/reach out to others "behind the scenes" becomes our heartbeat.  Though there are times sharing our ministry/service is appropriate to encourage & challenge others......most of the time we seek to serve the Lord with our lives and desire an audience of One.   Be the glue in your family, your church, your job, your community....EVERYWHERE!!!  

January 17, 2020

Dino Video

This is the video I'm showing my students to kick off their dinosaur unit!  
She's pretty "excited" about dinosaurs!! ha ha  (The Narrator) 

January 16, 2020

Fossil Dig Wax Resist

I've started my spring art show lessons...and this year we're going with a dinosaur theme!  The kids are loving it....I'm loving it (total dino nerd here).  Second grade is creating dinosaur fossils.  I feel like they are doing really well(though the photographs aren't so great...sorry).  I've provided a sheet of dinosaur bones (photos from museums) as a reference, but tell them they can create any dinosaur skeleton they want.  We discuss how the bones are often discovered a little mixed up/twisted up/ different than a fully put together dinosaur skeleton in a museum.  We use white and gray crayons to fill in our bones, and then brown and black watercolor to paint over the page.  Excited to see the rest of my classes finish this project.
 (we may go back in with black colored pencil to add some stronger lines.)

January 12, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Resolve

We are now almost two weeks into the new year ....how are your resolutions going?  So many of my art friends "declared" this would be the year they created ever day, they would work in their sketch books every night before bed, complete a painting each week, have their work on display somewhere, or that they would [INSERT ART GOAL HERE].  Don't get me wrong....I think it is wonderful to set goals!  I feel we need them in order to break free from the ruts & bad habits we've allowed to steal our creative joy.  However, broken resolutions can cause us to sink deeper into the ruts & bad habits we were trying to change in the first place.  The guilt & shame of unmet goals often produces excuses and/or negative self talk which creates further distance between the artist and their desire to create. I believe we must resolve to do better.  Not that we set unrealistic resolutions, but that we resolve to take steps toward meeting this real need within us to create.  There may be some days that we are unable to follow through..... AND THAT'S OK!!!!  We must give ourselves grace, and embrace each day as an opportunity to try once more.  

Isaiah 43:18-19

It is amazing how many people are so often stuck somewhere in their past.  It may be a failure that they cannot move beyond.  It may be a victory that they can not let go.  Allowing our past to define us (both the good & the bad) does not allow for us to experience the growth and change that God desires for our lives.  Though our past can inform us, it should not keep us from moving forward.  God knows our "past"......and he still loves us. We must resolve to view each day as a new opportunity to live the life God has given us....to know him & make him known.  If you struggle to forgive yourself....if you struggle to move forward.....read Isaiah 43:18-19 each and every day.  Take to heart the scriptures as they say..."FORGET THE FORMER THINGS; DO NOT DWELL ON THE PAST."  This truth is a resolution worth pursuing. 

January 08, 2020


Here is part of the mini-unit my 4th graders work on in Op-Art.  They really loved learning about & look at examples of Op-Art.  I have received several "at home" works from students where they attempted at home some of the ideas we discussed in class (I LOVE THAT!!!).  We may revisit the topic at the end of the school year when attention is waning.

January 07, 2020

How Artists See....

How Artists See... is a book series I have had for many, many moons.  It is copy right dated 1996, but I don't believe I've had it that long. ha ha  I've used the books in lessons and to inspire one of my spring all school art shows many years ago.  I was contacted in the fall by the publishing company if I wanted to have copies of the 2nd Edition of the book.  Lets think about this....YES!!! I really was curious to what changes had been made.  

THE 2nd EDITION IS BEAUTIFUL!  There are several new images included which I really enjoy.....but THE COLOR!!!  I noticed right away when I started comparing the books (old & new) that the images that were the same....the color is dramatically better in the new edition!  Also I feel Colleen Carroll's descriptive writing that accompanies the images is spot on, and I think extremely beneficial for young readers to explore.  They are great resources for your art library! 

January 06, 2020

New Adventure....

Exciting & crazy news to share with ya'll...I will be an art adjunct at Cumberland University starting TONIGHT! WHAT!? I KNOW! As if I wasn't busy enough! ha ha
I'm so excited though. I've always wanted to do an adjunct position. I will be working with mostly (if not all) Freshman art students teaching 3-D Foundations!!

I will share my experiences for this new adventure on here...
so stay tuned!! 

January 02, 2020

Faculty/Staff Project

Over break I worked on preparing this year's winter faculty/staff project. I try to do this every year(usually before Christmas Break).  It all started years ago...when I first decided to do this type of a thing at my school.  Well, that year we ended up having several snow days(something that doesn't always happen in Middle TN).  The teachers/staff linked the winter project with the snow days. SO NOW...they want to do it every year!! ha ha   I'm not sure the power they have over the weather, but it sure is fun seeing everyone create & the students also LOVE guessing who made which one! I do try to switch it up a little bit every year....because I had several teachers try to give me their old project the following year! ha ha 

If you aren't doing this with your faculty/staff...maybe consider something like it for spring (rain drops or flowers)? 


I'll post pictures after the teachers/staff have completed their snowpeople!