April 28, 2020

E-Kids Weaving

As most of you know...I have three children (6, 8, & 11). My kids are pretty "artsy", and love to try the projects I've been creating videos for.  My older two are TOTALLY into the circle weaving.  My 11 yr old already has plans for her "next" circle weaving and the colors she wants to use! ha ha 
 If you aren't sure about circle weaving...check out this post ( https://www.artwithmre.com/2020/03/art-with-mre-starting-circle-weaving.html ).
 I think 2nd grade and up can find success with circle weaving.  

April 27, 2020

What are you making?

During this time of "social distancing" and "safer at home".....there is a bit more time & opportunity to create.  I've had an idea for a fabric piece, and finally started working on it.  I've posted on social media...and have gotten the question, "HOW DO YOU MAKE THOSE?"  I'll try to make a video this week showing how to create the yo-yo's.
This is "in progress", and will have more yo-yo's.  I also plan on adding beads to many of them (I've never beaded before!?!?!)

I'll post the progress & when it's completed.

April 26, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Facing Trials

(For those of you who are new here...I do a faith based post on Sunday. 
The rest of the week is art, art ed, and occasionally a proud dad post! 

As artists, we are opening ourselves up to criticism, unwanted opinions, and attacks. That is part of putting your work out in the open for others to see.  Though constructive criticism is an important part of growing as artists...how do we handle the not-so-constructive criticism?  It goes beyond just developing a "thick skin".  Thick skin can still be damaged beyond repair. If we do not have a clear understanding of ourselves as artists, innovators, or visual story tellers we will face trials that will shake us to our core. Knowing who we are and being confident in our vision will allow us to anchor deep.  Though the waves will come against us...we will not be moved.  We will receive positive and negative reactions to our work throughout our lives, but we do not have to blown about.  Knowing who you are will allow you to anchor deep.

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. 
 It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary.
Hebrews 6:19 

It is fair to say that we are all facing trials at this point in time. We have all been impacted by what is going on in our world & may be for the foreseeable future. The level at which we've been impacted is not the same.  Though this pandemic has equalized us in many ways, I can not claim to completely understand what others are experiencing.  I do know that those who have a personal relationship with God....have an anchor in this storm.  However, it is alright to wrestle with what is going on.  It is fine if you find yourself  struggling emotionally.  Just because we know God doesn't mean that we are spared from facing the same storms everyone else is experiencing. When we look at Hebrews 6:19 we see that we have a hope that is a strong and trustworthy anchor.  It doesn't say we have a problem free life.  It doesn't say that we are going to be free of trials.  If that were the case.....would we need an anchor?    Our anchor is in knowing the one who knows us...and loves us...and has a purpose & a plan for us! If we are anchored in this truth....we can face any storm, any trial, and any struggle. 

April 25, 2020

Cat In A Box Challenge

I saw this idea on Facebook last week, and thought it would be fun to do with my cat! It seemed simple enough, and I had fun coming up with an idea for my box. Never did I imagine how hard it would be to get my cat to stick her head through the whole in the box!?!?!  My wife finally came to the rescue with a spoon full of ice cream (the cat is obsessed with ice cream).   We laughed so much trying to accomplish this picture!?! Haha 

April 22, 2020

Art With Mr.E: Incised Plate Printing

Simple, accessible, and fun!!  You can do an incised plate print at home with just a few supplies! Check out my video!!  I'd love to see what you make..so post your work on my social media!!!  

April 19, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Plans

Plans are a good thing, right?  We are constantly making plans in our lives.  As artists, we plan out our ideas for our creative pursuits through talking with trusted peers, sketching, or even writing.  Planning ahead can help us work out issues before they happen.  This saves us time, money(wasted supplies equals money), and frustration.  However, making changes or going in a new direction can be scary even when we plan.  Sometimes we would rather just keep on doing what we've always done because it is safe and comfortable. The risk of failure, looking foolish, not being able to actualize your ideas, or exposing ourselves as a hack can paralyze us from working on and implementing our plans.  The risk is worth it.  Even when plans do not unfold as we had hoped, we can learn so much from the experience....and yes....even the failures.  If we make plans and follow through with them in hopes to grow...we will always find success.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen.  You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest. 
Jeremiah 29:11-13

There are times we make plans based on others.  We make plans based on our own wants/desires.  We make plans based on partial information.  We make plans based on complete information.  We make so many plans.  Some of those plans are great.  Some of those plans.....well....not so much.
How often do we make plans based on what the Lord has for us?  There was a time that I thought following God's plan for my life would have me some far away land (and part of my story has been in far away lands). There are times that I thought if I followed God's plan I'd have to give everything I had to the poor, and then I too would be poor too.  These misconceptions of God's plan for my life happened because I was not living out Jeremiah 29:11-13.  Whatever God's plans for our lives are...they are good...they give us a future....they give us hope!  When we live out God's plan for our lives....we will grow.  It might not always be easy, but it will grow us and glorify the Lord.  You might be wondering how you can know God's plan for your life?!?  We also read in these scriptures..."when you pray, I will listen. You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest.".  God desires us to come to him, talk to him, and listen to him.  He is not silent.  When we seek him in earnest...we will find him & hear from him.  Do your plans line up with the God's?  

April 16, 2020

Artist Trading Cards 2020

I usually create a display outside my classroom of all the artist trading cards we receive. However, with the schools being closed, I thought I’d share my cards here and on social media. Please let me know if you see your students work! Thank you Nic Hahn for doing this amazing event for so many years. It has connected art teachers and young artists from across the world. 

April 14, 2020

Cumberland University 3-D Foundation Plaster Project

This semester I've been an adjunct instructor at Cumberland University in Lebanon,TN (half hour east of Nashville).  It has been an interesting transition to teaching a 3-D class online!! Right as we were moving to online...I met with my class one last time to take pictures of their soft sculpture class & to pass out their plaster blocks to carve(subtraction method). They were due this past week, and I had some I wanted to share with you!

April 11, 2020

Art With Mr.E: Make a Cardboard Tube Creature With Me

Supplies: Cardboard Tube, Construction paper, Scissors, Glue...and you might also what to use crayons, markers, or other supplies you might have at home.

April 08, 2020


HEY EVERYONE!! What are you making right now?? I know many art teachers are out there working on content to share with their students. However, you must take some time for yourself too (Practice What You Preach!). It doesn't have to be huge and grandiose!?!?! It can be something small, manageable, and in a sketchbook. Just take time to make. It is good for you!!!!!

I started last night with the sketch...and think I’m pretty much finished(but ya never know!?). It isn’t big...just 6 in x 9 in. I’ve not created anything in this style for awhile...this is how I worked in grad school(but much larger). The “style” pulls from quilts & stained glass. I thought you might like to see the progression. Every artist works differently.

April 06, 2020

Color Blending Demonstration

Here is a demo to show you how to improve your coloring skills! 
Try it in your drawings or in a coloring book. 

Art Supplies: Crayons & Paper

April 05, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: What's Happening?

(If you are new to my blog, I do a faith based post on Sundays. 
 If this is not your thing...Monday-Sat you can find art, art ed, & other eclectic information!)

Do you know what a "Happening" is?  They are art events that have some aspects planned, but with room for improvisation & audience participation.  They also usually involve multiple art forms.  For some, Happenings sound like an amazing experience.  However, I'm a bit of a control freak, and would struggle to give up control and embrace the moment which could yield unprecedented artistic expression & creativity.  There are so many factors that go into a Happening..location, other artists, audience participation, and the strength of the original idea.  One or more of these factors could throw the whole plan off it's original track.  That is what makes a Happening exciting.....they may not turn out how you planned, but could be even better than you imagined.

Not being "flexible" can keep me from experiencing the blessings of faith as well.  I have an idea of what God wants to do...and how I think He wants accomplish it.  However, when it doesn't work out how I thought it should...I'm ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater!

Some men took a man who was not able to move his body to Jesus.  He was carried on a bed.  They looked for a way to take the man into the house where Jesus was. But they could not find a way to take him in because of so many people.  They made a hole in the roof over where Jesus stood.  Then they let the bed with the sick man down before Jesus.  When Jesus saw their faith,  He said to the man, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."   
 Luke 5:18-20

The full story can be found at Luke 5:17-26.  The men who carried the man on the bed were on a mission.  They knew if they could just get to Jesus...that He would be able to help.  Their plan was derailed a bit by the crowd that surrounded the Lord...which made it "impossible" to reach Him.  I wonder what went through their minds when they were so close..yet unable to reach Jesus.  I know I would have been the first one to say..."WELL, WE TRIED GUYS!  GUESS WE NEED TO TURN BACK & GO HOME.  OUR PLAN JUST WON'T WORK.  IT WAS A GOOD TRY THOUGH."  Somehow they were able to see past the conventional way of reaching the Lord, and put their faith into action.  They knew their mission...and they were going to see it through till the end...even if it didn't look like what they originally thought it would.  I really would have loved to have seen/heard the reaction of the men who carried the man, the man on the bed, the people who surrounded Jesus, and Jesus...as they lowered him down through the hole in the roof! ha ha  

They embraced the moment.......even though things didn't happen like they thought they would.  We are in a position right now to embrace the moment.  It is a moment like we never imagined.  Things are not ideal.  We are faced with challenges like we've never seen before. At times we feel helpless, isolated, and insecure. We are struggling.  However, it is an opportunity to trust God.  We can see his faithfulness if we look to him in the midst of our struggle. In doing so...we might find ourselves growing deeper in our relationship with God.   If things always happen as we plan/expect do we ever develop the faith needed to live the life God has planned for us?!  What's happening in your life?  Do you see the opportunity of the roof....or are you too focused on the crowd that you feel is preventing you from reaching your goal?  

April 04, 2020

Art With Mr.E: Cartoon(ish) Eyes

Just a quick video to encourage students to be creating!
This is a how to on creating cartoon(ish) faces while showing mood/emotion! 

April 02, 2020

Can We Talk About Wayne Thiebaud??

I'm so inspired by Wayne Thiebaud!!! 
 I usually see people using his early work. It is lovely & so accessible for young artists as inspiration.  However, that is not the work to which I'm referring.  I love his landscapes. They have such amazing color and atmospheric perspective.  I feel like I'm flying over his world as I view the paintings. If you are not familiar with the "newer" work of Thiebaud...hop on-line and do a search!
You will have a "new/old" artist to add to your landscape units!

Did you know I interviewed Wayne Thiebaud? YEP YEP!! Here is the link to that post from 2014.