February 28, 2020

Mondrian: Kindergarten

Ms. Witt (my student teacher) wanted to introduce basic ruler skills to kindergarten.  She used an oldie but a good lesson:  MONDRIAN!  It is a great way to have students use rulers, be successful, and end with a beautiful piece of art.  (AND THEY LOVED IT!)

She started by talked to them about the uses of a ruler, how to hold a ruler still, and things to avoid when using a ruler.  They students then created a grid across their paper.  She used tempera cakes(love the color) for them to paint their work.  Once again, she went over the basic skills of painting....how to hold a brush, how to rinse the brush, how to "use" the brush appropriately. This lesson has so many great skills to review and reinforce!! This is a great time of the year to make sure your kinders have a good foundation in the skills you want to build upon in coming lessons...and in coming years.

February 26, 2020

4th Grade Dino Narrative Stop Motion: Ice Cream

This Stop Motion App video was created by one of yesterday's groups! They were extremely successful in telling a story. I'm so super proud of my amazing young artists!!! 

Check out the other stop motion videos my students have created on my new student focused YouTube channel: Art With Mr.E  (My other one is a mix of student and teacher content). 

February 24, 2020

Stop Motion: 4th Grade

As part of a grant our district was awarded for Art & Music...we received 3 iPads for our art room.  Technology has been hard to implement well in my classroom before because I only had a Fire to use.  I'm excited to try more projects that incorporate technology, and have a Tech Station set up in my classroom for student to utilize. We required as a part of this grant to have the students create using the Stop Motion app.  THEY LOVE IT!! I'm excited to try it for other projects in the future.  Go to my new student project YouTube channel to see other examples!! 

February 23, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Laziness


Art is a discipline.  Art requires discipline.  Like an athlete training to become the best at their sport, art requires practice/training to advance personally and professionally.  I'm not necessarily saying that it has to be "formal".  For some, it is simply pursing their art on a consistent basis.  Too often we allow days or weeks to pass without creating.  We, at times, halfheartedly work on our art. We become lazy.  Choosing not to challenge ourselves, being willing to try new materials, or not seeking out new skill sets are some of the other signs of laziness. There are consequences to not doing what you know you should be doing.Resting on previous work or ways of working will slowly erode what once was able to be accomplished.  

I don't know if I've ever used Judges in my Sunday Devotionals?!? ha ha  This section of scripture truly baffled me at first.  A person who ruled Israel for twenty-two years & had thirty sons (riding thirty donkeys?) you would think was extremely successful.  However, why would Israel once again do evil in the eyes of the Lord when their leader died? Things were happening during Jair's leadership that led Israel to this outcome.  Laziness.  Israel did not just decide to turn their back on God because Jair died.  They began allowing things in their lives that slowly eroded their foundation in the Lord.  They became too comfortable. Remember that weird factoid about Jair's sons riding donkeys?  Well, the fact that they were riding donkeys was a sign that they were in a time of peace.  Things were "easy".  Sometimes when things are easy & comfortable....we allow things to creep into our lives that we might not normally.  Before you start shaking your head or wagging your finger at Israel....make sure you are looking at your own life.  Have you ever let things slide in your life that maybe shouldn't?  We all have become lazy & allowed things into our heart, mind, and life that once would have never had a chance.  It is a good reminder that we must be diligent, hard working, and ever mindful.  If we are not going & growing in God.....that we might fall into trap of laziness. 

February 21, 2020

I always feel like.....

I always feel like ....some dino's watching me! 
(If you don't know this reference....just move along to the pictures?!)

My student teacher did this lesson with my 3rd graders.  The kids LOVED this project!! Even though this COULD be a lesson that yielded look-a-like/copy cat art.....the students really created unique works that expressed personal style & choice.  Ms. Witt started the lesson by looking at images of reptile eyes & artist renderings of dinosaur eyes. They discussed the parts of the eye & texture of the surrounding skin.  Students started by drawing the eye and scales. They then used tempera cakes to begin painting their projects.  This was a two week lesson(our classes are an hour in length).

SIDE NOTE:  I have a student that rarely gets into her art, but this time did not want to stop! She came back during her free time to finish it.  It is such a joy to find something that sparks the imagination, heart, and interest of a student! 

February 19, 2020

The Frist Museum: Eric Carle

My family ventured out to The Frist Museum to see the Eric Carle exhibit. It is coming to a close this weekend....so you do not have much time left if you want to go see it. The show was wonderfully done, and it was so wonderful to see his work in person.  The Frist created a wonderful environment that encouraged museum goers to become a part of the world Eric Carle created through his beautiful children's books.

February 16, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: More Than Talk

There is an extremely callous statement volleyed around art educators far too often... "Those who can't....teach."  Some of the most gifted artists I know are also educators.  They do not teach because they are unable to create masterful works.  They teach because their passion for the visual arts compels them to train up the next generation of artists.  They will not be happy just talking about art.  They will not be happy just creating their own work.  Their happiness comes from helping students see their potential or grasp a skill/concept that has eluded them.  They are more than talk.  They make a difference through their art in action.  

The Christian community is often viewed as hypocrites.  When did we become a people of words and not actions?  Is that even biblical? No wonder those outside of the faith are confused and at times repulsed by those who claim Christianity.  No wonder they do not have a clear picture of God when they look at those who say they know him.  Those who claim faith in God must put into action the teachings they have learned.  If our life is not impacted, guided, and motivated by the love of the Lord....we have missed the heart of the message we say we believe.  Our life should be a reflection of that love so graciously given to us.  Our life should be about the doing...because that is what was shown us.  It is more than talk. It is action. It is love.  

February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day! You are loved. You are valued. Your life makes a difference. I am glad you are in the world!

February 13, 2020


Here is a look at some of the Artist Trading Cards from my awesome artists created for Mini Matisse 's #ATCSwap!

February 12, 2020

Incised Plate Printing With Paint Sticks

I will often use marker for incised plate printing with my younger students....with mixed results.
After trying the Sargent Solid Tempera Paint Sticks, I don't think I'll ever use markers for this again!

There are different brands out there (DO NOT USE THE DOLLAR GENERAL VERSION..TERRIBLE!)  of the paint sticks, but I'm a huge fan of Sargent! 

(I did switch to blue from the original purple above!)

February 09, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Afraid to Try

How many times have I had students "freeze" in fear of making a mistake?!  Usually this happens in the older grades as students become more self aware or become more influenced by peer pressure (Kindergarten students are never afraid to try anything...because they know they are amazing!!)  They become afraid to try new things...challenging things.  They do not want to mess up or be made fun of (not that such behavior is ever tolerated in my classroom).  I've found that if I work one on one with the students, praise their attempts, and reinforce the idea that mistakes are part of the learning process....they usually are willing to try.  Not that they are completely without fear, but they are able to work through their fear knowing I'm there to guide them and cheer them on.   

Do you know that "fear not" is found in the Bible over 100 times?  Fear is a common human emotion/reaction. However, just because something is common doesn't mean it should become commonplace in our daily lives. Now...there is "good" fear that is healthy, helpful, and can provide us proper perspective!  I'm not talking about that.  I'm talking about the fear that negatively impacts our lives.  The kind of fear that has a way of limiting our effectiveness for what God has called us to do.  The fear that can keep us from reaching out to people around us that are in need.  Fear that can convince us that we won't have enough if we give to others. Fear that leaves us frozen & too afraid to try anything that God desires for us.  We can push through such fear!  In Joshua 1:9 we see "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged...."  Why?  Because God knows we can become afraid & discouraged.  When this happens...we become ineffective.  The verse goes on to say "...for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  What amazing reassurance!  I know that when I travel/explore new places...I like to have someone with me that has been there before.  It gives me confidence and comfort.  We have that in God...he is with us & goes before us.  This truth helps to alleviate my fear.  We are loved, looked after...and not alone.