August 30, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: All That You Need


Across the country many art educators are teaching their students virtually because of Covid19. It is an interesting and challenging time, but art teachers are resilient, creative, and resourceful individuals. There are many "issues" that art teachers face: internet, technology, district plans, re-imagining dissemination of curriculum...etc.  With all of these real struggles, one of the largest challenges we face is that students do not have the necessary supplies. Basic materials such as paper and crayons can not be found in some of our students' homes.  Our classrooms were a place where they had all that they needed to explore the opportunities we provided for them.  It was a safe place that could meet their needs and provide a foundation for success. Many educators are trying to find a way to get their students all that they need so they can do great work in the midst of a not so great situation.  


And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, 

having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8   


If you grew up in the church, you might have heard the saying "Where God guides...He provides!".   Someone may have been asked to teach Sunday school, sing a solo in the choir, go on a mission trip, help with the food kitchen...or a number of other situations.  Stress, worry, doubt, feelings of inadequacy, lack of time, financial issues can all weigh on the individual even when the are faced with a "good" thing.  The feelings are real. However, as we see in 2 Corinthians 9:8....God is going to meet our needs so that we can do those things He has called us to do. We may still have some doubt and anxiety, but when we trust the Lord...we will experience that he is good & faithful. 

You will see that you have all that you need to do all that he has called you to do. 

August 27, 2020

Art Room Funny

One of my 1st graders made me laugh a lot during our online class time today....


August 26, 2020

Project for On-line Learning: Line & Pattern

Our district is doing virtual school till fall break in October.  So I've not had my usual content on my blog.  I thought I'd try to share with you some of the videos I'm doing for my students (we have "live" online time, and we have to record the same content to share for those students that are not able to make it for the "live" class time...or might need to watch it again to understand their work for the week.  So you may hear things in the video that are directed toward my students, but they are still "usable" for you to share if you need them.  You just would need to put a disclaimer on it....and give your due dates & other necessary information.  

Teacher Example

August 23, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Example

Over the years I've seen many artists fight themselves.  They fight with their skill set because they think they should be better or different than they are.  They fight with their ideas. They feel their work doesn't say enough or what the current trends are in art.  Even though it is good to strive to improve & question one's self....fighting with yourself usually ends in feeling defeated & being ineffective.  I was told my style was not appropriate for the medium that I was using & my subject matter was all wrong. It was like they were trying to make an example of me. They wanted to put me on display so others could see not to break their "norms".    I wrestled with what was said to me.  For a time I felt like giving up.  However, I realized that my artistic voice had a place in the midst of all the noise in the art world.  I had something to say & a unique way of saying it. I wanted to be an example of expressing my voice in a way that felt authentic to me.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.  If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:10-11

 We all have skills that can be used to glorify God & reach out to those he has placed in our path.  However, we often find ourselves defeated & ineffective because we are trying to operate outside of how we were designed.  We see others who seem so skilled & gifted....and we want to be like them. We were created to be ourselves.  We need to look at the unique person God made us to be, and be the very best version of that.  We also need to make sure we are faithful with gifts & talents we have been given.  If we are not employing those skills they are not doing the kingdom, others, or ourselves any good. Plus, we need to be examples of what it means to live out the life God has uniquely called us to. 

Are you using your gifts/talents/skills to glorify God?  If not, why?  What is holding you back from being your best & doing your best for the kingdom? Are you being an example to those around you on serving God what all that YOU are in him?  

August 20, 2020

Finding Normal During Abnormal Times

We are 100% virtual for the time being...I’m using my plan time to do some “normal” in the midst of the abnormal(Abby Normal?). Cutting letters, shapes, & designs calms me. I love doing bulletin boards! This is the main one that greets the students as they come into school. I’m also trying to take “mall walker” breaks to stretch and get away from my computer a couple times a day. That has really helped!! What is helping you to keep on keeping on!?


August 16, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Copy-Cat

Individuality & originality is encouraged and expected in my classroom.   I do not want to find my students copy-catting my work or the work of others. When you create you are sharing part of yourself through your art.  When you copy you are denying your voice and self expression within your work.  That being said, there is a time & place for imitating others in art.  I try to model behaviors and skills I do want them to copy-cat.  I want my students to observe me applying proper technique, focus, and creative processes.  I will work along side them once they are busy on their projects. I feel it is important for them to see me creating with them.  By doing this, I can reinforce technique, proper posture (kids will often work with their face laying on their arm on the table..inches from their pictures), work ethic, and I'll verbally process through if I encounter issues so they can witness me dealing with problems.  This I can get on board with them copy-catting.

Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1

Discipleship is key for Christian growth.  We need to find people that we can watch, question, interact with, and be a part of their lives.  Not because they are the "perfect" example of what a believer is, but because they live a life that imitates Christ, humbly seeks him in all they do, and strives to bring honor & glory to the Lord.  They are people that walk with integrity, and know the Word of God.  Having these type of people in our lives to model the Christian walk is incredibly beneficial.  Seeing those who are imitators of Christ, as we too seek to be imitators of Christ, helps us to navigate this world we live in with a reference point from someone who is a bit further down the road.  In turn..we can be that for others.  Knowing we are all uniquely created/designed...we do not seek to merely copy-cat someone else, but use their example as a reference point.  We can not live this life on our own.  We were meant to be in relationship with other believers.  God designed us that way!  

Who do you have in your life that is someone you desire to imitate?  Who do you have in your life that would want to imitate you & your walk with God? 

August 15, 2020

Art Dad: Print Making

 This week my wife is focusing on Japan for homeschooling.  She asked me if I'd do print making with the kids (they would then write a poem to go with their art).  We used styrofoam trays I purchased at Dollar Tree (Because I love Dollar Tree!!), pencils, paper, spray bottle, and Sargent Art's Paint Sticks. I had the kids draw the basic lines for their image and then print with their lightest color (we spritz the paper with the spray bottle and blotted it with a paper towel before printing the first color to make it more receptive).  I then had the kids draw more detail into their work and print their medium value.  Last I had them decide what part would receive the darkest color, and we cut away the rest of the styrofoam.  The kids enjoyed the process, and wanted to make more! 

After we finished the incised prints, I had them make some transfer prints using aluminum foil, markers, spray bottle and paper.  The older girls were blown away, and wanted to make paper to create cards, collage paper, and backgrounds for other art. My oldest daughter's best friend is also home schooling with us.  Her mom texted me later that evening and said her daughter was so excited she taught their next door neighbor how do do the transfer print!! 

August 14, 2020

Still making masks...

 Still making masks for when/if we start meeting in person. I loved this fabric. I have the same print with a dark green background that I’ll make next!!  

August 12, 2020

How you doin’?

How are you all doing out there?!? Online teaching, in person teaching, hybrid teaching....not yet teaching?!? Tell me one good thing from your day!!


August 09, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: MORE

 Have you ever felt alone...misunderstood...unable to connect with those around you?  I think that most of us have felt like this at some point in our life.  Deep down we all wish there was more....more togetherness, understanding, and connection!!  It seems all too common among "art people".  We often see, feel, think, and express things differently than our peers.  The danger is not in the differences, but in self isolation and associating only with those of like minds. As much as I might love being left to my own thoughts at times or spending time with others involved in the is incredibly important that I connect with those outside my "circle".  Keeping to myself or associating with those who "get" me,  I am  neglecting the amazing opportunity to educate, inform, and engage with those who may have not been afforded the same opportunities and experiences in the arts. This doesn't mean that we will get everyone to understand the finer points of neo-expressionism, but we can help & encourage others to appreciate art and those who create it. This will build bridges.  The more bridges we build...the more connections there will be.  Soon we will find that we are not as alone as we once thought, and that others do "get" us (and even if they don't...they still like to be around us).    

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household. 

Ephesians 2:19

  Everyone struggles with feeling alone, misunderstood, and disconnected.  Sometimes this is a passing feeling/reality.  Sometimes it is a more chronic experience.  The struggle is real, and often we are unaware that those around us are in the middle of the battle.  In Ephesians 2:19 we are told that there are no longer foreigners and strangers in the house of God.  There is an amazing connectedness that comes through a relationship with the Lord.  However, we often need to work on it in the day to day.  Sometimes we are a bit selfish/busy/oblivious. We need to be more purposeful and reach out to those around us.  We need to find ways to connect.  We can not wait for others to come to us, but we need to be the ones that builds the bridges, makes connections, and helps everyone to not feel like a foreigner or stranger.  We need to be the family that God has called us to be.  We need to be MORE than we have been. What MORE can you do?  

August 06, 2020

Getting My Teaching Space Ready

We started back to school this week, but related arts have not started holding their own classes yet. We have been joining in on morning meetings as classroom teachers set norms and help students troubleshoot the (many) technology issues. Our district is using Microsoft TEAMS as our virtual meeting space, Schoology as the platform to organize content, and Florida Virtual School for the curriculum. It is a whole lot of new!!  Though I wish we were at a point where we could return....I am thankful our district is considering the health & well being of the students, teachers/staff , and community! 

My BF ArtEd bud was helping me work through my document camera issues...and didn’t realize she was going to be starring in my blog post today! Haha

August 04, 2020

Art Dad: Royal Portraits

With all the craziness & confusion about school in the district we live (I teach in the neighboring district), we decided to homeschool our kids this school year (my wife has been a 3rd grade teacher, math coach, a STEM teacher).  We felt consistency was what our children needed most.  We also picked up an extra kid ( my wife’s best friend’s daughter! ). So we have a classroom almost! Haha  She is using a program that teaches across the curriculum using a common theme. Since they are currently studying Queen Victoria..she asked me if I’d do a portrait lesson with the kids. I think they turned out dynamite!! 

1st Grade                              4th Grade

           5th Grade
(The 1st, 4th, and 5th grader on the right are mine!) 

August 02, 2020

Crayola Colors of the World

Have you seen the Colors of the World crayons by Crayola?  I’m so happy that there are more flesh tone options. I have children from all over the world at my school...and the smaller packs of skin colors just was not sufficient. I still feel that we need more options, but this is a step in the right direction! 

Have you tried them out yet? What are your thoughts? 


Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: In Its Time

 The microwave takes too long.  Fast food isn't fast enough. Next day delivery seems like forever.  The internet moves at a snails pace.  We become very disgruntled if we have to set through commercials while watching a program.  It's as if our perception of time has been changed by "progress".  However, art does not always operate (well) in our new normal.  There is time required to grow as an artist.  Hours, days, weeks, months, and years can be invested in artistic pursuits to develop one's skills.  A YouTube video can not substitute for the practice, patience, failure, success, and growth that can only take place over time.  Too often people expect to be better/further along than they are. When they become frustrated because they aren't where they think they should be.....they quit.   This is true in showing and selling one's art.  You can not expect to be an overnight success. Van Gogh only sold one painting while he was a live (and created hundreds!).  How much time?  Each of us is unique.  We can not compare ourselves to others in our artistic journey.  Art develops in its own time.  Leave the microwave for popcorn...not art!

The microwave society we live in has found its way into the faith community.  We want our prayers answered now.  We want our healing now. We want to be in leadership now. We want our happiness now. The thing is....our timing might not be God's timing.  There have been many situations where I've "wished" I was in a different place in my journey.  I've tried to pray away what I was going through (personal illness, death in the family, stress, uncertainty).  However...I would have missed out on so much if God would have instantly taken away or changed my circumstances. 
I would not have learned what it means to rest in him, trust him, and believe that he is enough.  I would not have seen the body of Christ come together and help meet my needs.  I would not have been able to gain insight and empathy for what others go through.  "He has made everything beautiful in its time."  We need to embrace the time we've been given....he will make it beautiful.   

August 01, 2020

Gel Handle Scissors

Tax free weekend & back to school shopping time! I’m unsure what to buy for my classroom in light of COVID. However, I NEEDED this..for ME! 😂They feel so good in your hand & cut like a dream! I love to try new supplies, and will be interested to see how they will hold up!!