October 31, 2020

End of #pumpkinaday & Beginning of #turkeyaday

 Here are the final four pumpkins from this year's #pumpkinaday art challenge.

Starting November 1st we will have the 5th annual #turkeyaday challenge!
Here are examples of the themes I've done the past 4 years! I've recreated famous works of art w/ turkeys, tried different supplies every day for a month as I created my turkeys, made outfits for my paper doll turkey, & created watercolor & ink turkeys. So many possibilities! Join in as much as you can(and don't feel bad for missed days!!!). Post on your social media with the hashtags #turkeyaday & #turkeyaday2020.

October 27, 2020

#pumpkinaday Day 11- Day 27

October is almost over...so there are only a few days remaining of #pumpkinaday! 

I thought I'd share with you the ones I've made since the last time I posted!! 

(If you didn't join in for #pumpkinaday...Nov. is #turkeyaday!!!) 

October 25, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: It's Possible

There have been many times during my artistic journey that I've felt like I wanted to quit....

  •  Freshman year of college a professor gave me a project I had no clue how to complete.  
  • After damaging my right hand in an accident, I was told I'd finish the semester painting with my left hand. 
  •   A professor telling me I needed to quit pursing watercolor because my subject matter was not traditional enough for the medium. 
  • Teaching full time, having my first child, and completing my masters degree with an art show of ten original works on display. 

 The concepts were beyond my reach.  My skills were too weak. I knew I would not be successful. I was overwhelmed and unable to see how I'd be able to complete the task.  

 It is really hard to continue on when something seems to be impossible. 

However, when something seems impossible....what do you have to lose?  

There is a freedom that comes over you when you feel there is nothing to lose in the trying.  You begin to lay aside the worries, fears, and justifications...and just go for it.  You realize quitting yields no reward.  Pushing through the struggle and doubt allows you to develop necessary character to continue on as an artist. There is so much personal growth that occurs in this "process".  In doing so, the impossible becomes possible.  

Jesus looked at them and said,  

"With man this is impossible, but not with God, all things are possible with God."  

Matthew 19:26

Over the years I've talked with many people about their relationship with God.  Some shared that they weren't really sure what it meant to have a relationship with God.  Others shared that they weren't "good enough" ...so they quit even trying.  Many boasted of how "good" they were, and that God was lucky to have them on his side.  Some became angry because they had been forced to go to church, but had never known that God wanted to have a personal relationship with them.  Others talked about how they "hoped" they had more tallies in the good column than in the bad column...as if God was a score keeper in some kind of game.  

In Matthew 19:26, Jesus is talking to the disciples about how God makes the way for man to have a personal relationship with him.  This idea is so foreign to what they are use to hearing.  So much of their society (and our society) is about doing things on our own...being good enough...EARNING IT.  However, this also leads us to question...am I doing enough, am I good enough, am I doing the right thing, and can I mess up enough to ruin things?  This brings about so much doubt, fear, and worry....because so many are trying to do things by their own strength.

It is impossible to "earn" our relationship with God.  It is only through Jesus Christ that it is possible.  When we realize that God so wanted a personal relationship with us that HE MADE THE WAY....it gives us such freedom to live for him.  We no longer have to worry about being good enough...tally marks...or some how earning God's love.  We can live a life that expresses the love shown to us. What do we have to lose when we know the love of Jesus and have that personal relationship with him?  

October 22, 2020

Picasso Inspired Musical Instrument Art

Our music teacher had to be out one day after a minor accident and wasn't able to pull sub stuff together for her in person and online classes.  I volunteered to do a music related art project video for her online students.  They really seemed to enjoy it.  Above is my teacher example & below is my video.  

October 20, 2020

Spider Web Value Study

I wanted to work on pressure control with my students. They often work either extremely heavy handed or applying very little pressure. Value studies can be a bit tedious/boring, but they absolutely loved creating these value webs!  This a great lesson to do with online learners! 

October 19, 2020

Anyone else going to log a few miles?

This is basically what I’ll be walking every day! I’m teaching in my room, but have to get the kids...take them back...go back to my classroom and clean...then go back and get the next class...on and on. Plus bus duty in the morning and afternoon. Fat boy might lose some weight this school year!! 😂


October 18, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: OK NOT TO BE OK

 Artists create through every season of their life. Their creations often aid in processing, documenting, and communicating that which they were/are going through.  Sometimes it may emerge more subconsciously in their work.  We see the melancholy of Van Gogh's life & his joy of painting, the "Blue" & "Rose" Period that Picasso went through, and the declining health of Matisse drastically changing his artistic process & product. In art, it is ok not to be ok.  There is almost an expectation that artists live their life (the good & the bad) through their work. Trying to "fake" it will not be sustainable. People desire to see authenticity.  

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the seas, though its waters roar and the foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Psalm 46:1-3

Why does the bible say that God is our refuge and strength?  Because we need refuge and strength!  Our world is far from perfect.  Our lives are far from perfect.  It is ok not to be ok!  This world longs for authenticity in those who call themselves believers.  It is tired of the hypocrisy.  God longs for authenticity in those who call themselves believers.  He desires for us to come to him...for he IS our refuge and strength.  He knows you don't have it all together.  He knows that you struggle.  He still calls to you to come....just as you are.  As the world around you seems to be crumbling....God is there.  He longs for you to be real. He longs for you to come to Him.  

What's stopping you?
What are holding back?

October 14, 2020

Exploring Mini Masterpieces by Laura Lohmann

I finally took Mini Masterpieces for a test drive today!! The YouTube Video at the bottom of this post has me showing you the book...and doing one of the lessons!  I've included the Amazon link so you can order your book today!!! 


October 13, 2020

Not To Early To Think Turkey!

This is from last #turkeyaday.  I created this one from my hospital bed (was in the hospital
 for the first week of Nov & at home recovering the rest of the month and into Dec!). 

 We are in the middle of #pumpkinaday & it has been so much fun to create and see what is being created!  I heard from some that they were glad I "warned" everyone about #pumpkinaday so that people could plan ahead.  So I decided I'd give you a heads up about #turkeyaday coming in Nov.  This was actually the first month long art challenge I created (4 yrs ago?).  I always tell people that even if no one else joins in...I'm going to continue to do it.  I need these type of challenges to get my creative juices flowing.   So if you want to join in....PLEASE DO!! Maybe think of a theme you could use to create your turkeys.  One year I made a paper doll turkey and dressed it up everyday as different things (He-Man, Phantom of the Opera..etc).  

Found this cute turkey at Aldi yesterday!!

October 11, 2020

Sunday Morning Devotional With Mr. E: More Than A Copy

When I teach print making, I try to share with them how the art of printing is more than a copy.  However there are always students that rush into creating and do not fully understand the process.  After applying ink only once, they try to make multiple prints.  By the third or forth attempt, the student usually comes to me confused & questioning what went wrong....and claiming "THIS DOESN'T WORK!" Things just aren't looking like they thought they would.  They thought that they were doing things correctly.  They thought they were doing it just like I showed them.  I understand when students are excited to get started. Print making is fun!  You get immediate results.  Sometimes though...they are more excited about the product & the praise, and forget that there is a necessary process to get there.  Their final product is a poor impression of what should have been.  Their final print bares little resemblance to their original design.

  One day the evil spirit answered them,  "Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?"  Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all.  He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.   Acts 19: 15-16

They were doing what they thought they had seen done before.  They thought that they could just use the name of Jesus & Paul, and it would be enough to obtain the same results. In their rush to get the product & the praise, they missed the greatest part of the process....a personal relationship with the Lord.  They had used a poor "impression" of what should have been a vibrant & true reflection of the original.  The result was not pretty!  The demon called them on it.  "Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?"
I want my life to be a vibrant & true reflection of the Lord.  I may not be the perfect "print"...but the imperfections are part of the story & testimony of the Lord in my life.  I never want to hear "...but who are you?"  I want to be more than a copy of what it means to be a believer.  May my life clearly display The One who made me, The One who saved me, The One who loves me, and may they seek to know more because of what they see in me.

October 10, 2020

#pumpkinaday 3-10

 Here are the pumpkins for days 3-10! 
Are you creating this October? 

October 07, 2020

Supplies For A Covid Safe(ish) Classroom

 I added the (ish) because can we truly be 100% safe if we are in person?  I don't think so, but we can make changes to our practices and procedures to lower the risks.  I know that many schools are having the students bring a plastic bag of supplies with them to art.  After discussing this with administration and teachers at my school, I felt like I could plan my lessons in a way that students would not share supplies in a given day (and they could be sanitized at the end of each day).  I purchased tumbler cups (wide bottoms to help prevent spilling) so that there would be supplies for each student (my largest class being 28 students).  I will have to rotate through the supplies each week so that all the groups get opportunities to use Marker/Crayons/Colored Pencils/Collage/Paint (I can't really do clay because the fire marshal had issue with my kiln set up...so I'm waiting for the district to fix the issues).  

The plan is...at the end of the day I will spray down the supplies with rubbing alcohol (using the misting bottle I purchased at Sally's Beauty Supplies).  Then they will be ready to go for the next day's classes.

What procedures do you have in place?   

October 05, 2020

Getting Ready for....THE RETURN!!!!!

Fall Break is here...but I was at school today getting ready for when the kids return next week!!
Check out what I'm doing!!!


October 04, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: BEYOND I, ME, & MY

 I think...

To me...

My opinion....

 Rarely are we short on opinions about art.  Rarely are we shy about sharing our opinions on art. Sometimes though...we rush to judgement.  We allow our first impression to dictate our perception.  Can we pause for just a moment?  Can we look beyond ourselves, our experiences, our training, our personal preferences?  Maybe we could gain a greater appreciation for art that is outside our "norm".  What do we know about the artist?  What was going on in their life during this time period?  Did they have any challenges mentally, physically, or financially?  Did they have a lack of resources?  Were they oppressed or discouraged from pursing artistic outlets for some reason? Some of this information we might not be able to obtain, but pausing for a moment and considering that there is a story beyond the story set before us....might temper our response. Thinking beyond ourselves might allow us to appreciate artists that are "different"...yet very much the same.  

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate, and humble. 

1 Peter 3:8

Have you ever noticed that opinions run rampant in the church?  We all have our thoughts on seating, service times, carpet color, and other EXTREMELY important things like that! (note the sarcasm).  Sometimes opinions can cause great division within a body of believers.  Why is this?  Is "pews or chairs" really that important?  "We have ALWAYS....."  "Where I went to church..."  "My old pastor would..."  "To me...."  

If we would get beyond ourselves (I, Me, & MY).....maybe we could get more accomplished?  In 1 Peter 3:8 we are reminded to be "like-minded".  That doesn't mean we have to all think EXACTLY the same.  Like-minded is being like Christ.  HOW?  The verse continues on to say be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate, and  HUMBLE (emphasis mine!). Basically, the verse is saying...IT ISN'T ALL ABOUT YOU!!!  We need to put away our personal opinions that we sometimes prize too dearly, and be more like Christ.  We need to seek to understand others. We need to love. We need to put these things into action.  We need to not think we know it all/have all the answers/are always right.

If we can do this...we would see that there is so much more to bring us together than to divide us! 

October 02, 2020

IDEAS FOR #pumpkinaday

 So we are two days in to #pumpkinaday (we are also going to use #pumpkintober).  I've seen several people sharing their pumpkins the past two days.....SO FUN!!!  


Some of you may be wondering why I started #pumpkinaday when Inktober and other prompts are already established. I love the idea of challenging myself, but sometimes have trouble keeping up with some of the prompts.  I know many others are in the same boat as me....working full time...families....BUSY!!!  I want to make sure people know with the challenges I do (#pumpkinaday, #turkeyaday, and #heartaday) that they can create however they wish (materials/styles/themes) & do not have to stress if they miss a day or three along the way!  



Over the years in my challenges I've done many materials/styles/themes that have allowed me to keep things fresh for me and give me a "focus".  One year during #heartaday I shared my favorite things inside the hearts I created.  During #turkeyaday I created a paper doll of a turkey, and each day I created a different outfit for it (not sure if anyone else was amused, but it made me laugh a lot).  There really is no limit to what you can do!  Trying different styles and materials is a fun way to challenge yourself with a simple subject matter.  If you have several different ideas...you can do a theme for a week and then switch the following week.  Most of all though....HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


If you are in the grove...make multiple pumpkins at one time and then spread the posts out!