Today was my "virtual" day. I teach 9 virtual classes & 1 in person. I was on the last class of the day. I love this group of kids. They talk...A LOT...but they are so much fun and we laugh the whole time as we learn. Today though...they were a bit "much". It is like that at the end of the year virtual or not. I was trying to demo something for a student that had asked for help (we're using an online paint program)...and the rest of the class was getting really loud. All of the sudden, I hear a student speak up and say..."Gosh Mr. E, you look really tired or sad?!?" Another kid jumps in...."That's not his tired or sad face...that's fed up because we're all so loud and talking over him!" I had to laugh! I'm going to miss this group of kids so much next year when they go to middle school!
May 12, 2021
May 10, 2021
A para-pro at my school (who is also a parent) brought me the sweetest gift!!!
May 09, 2021
May 07, 2021
I had not used watercolor pencils with my 3rd graders, and was excited to have them create with a new (to them) medium! We watched a short video about Paul Cezanne & his still life work to kick the lesson off. I then gave them the watercolor pencils and 90 lbs wet media paper. I did not allow them to draw with regular pencil first. They were a bit scared to start, but then were totally into it! Most of them did get to the point of painting by the end of class. Next class time I passed their work back out and asked them to take a good look at their art. I asked them to identify 3 things they like & 3 things they would like to improve. I passed the watercolor pencil back out, and allowed them 20 min. to make the changes they felt their work needed. They used the rest of the time to paint.
May 05, 2021
May 04, 2021
May 03, 2021
May 02, 2021
"I DID MY BEST!"
This phrase has been uttered by my students too often over the past few years. At first, I didn't think much of it. Then I started noticing it was used almost like a defense mechanism or an excuse. I would start talking to them about their art work and the areas that needed their attention...."I DID MY BEST!" I would try to continue talking to them, and they would cut me off again.... "I DID MY BEST!".
I always expect my students to do their best. Why would they do anything less than? However, we know there are times that we try to get away with less than our best. Art takes all that we are. Sometimes though, we just don't have it all to give.
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Are you giving your all in all to God? Our relationship with the Lord is not only on Sunday mornings & Wednesday nights. It is not only when we are praying or reading his Word. I believe the division most make between the secular and sacred is wrong. In all that we do we should be living our lives for the Lord. The relationships we have or are building should not be devoid of who we are as believers. The work that we do should be done as one who wants to honor God in all that they do. Our lives should be informed by our faith. When we create, when we love, when we go about our days...all of it is from him, through him, and for him.
What can you say about your life in regards to your all in all? I DID MY BEST? Great. Is there more that you need to do? Does your whole life reflect your relationship with God? Are there areas that you still draw a line between secular and sacred? Go to God and ask him to show you what it would look like for your all in all.
April 29, 2021
I have been so incredibly impressed by my 3rd graders this year!! Their circle weavings have been AMAZING!!! Here are a handful that finished their backgrounds completely. There are so many ways that you can "finish" the background/looms for circle weavings. I like having my students create patterns in the background and color them (using marker) with the colors they used in their weaving. I do this after they are done weaving...because you never know how big they will be, and I'd hate for students to work extremely hard on the background and then cover it up with the weaving. This method has "morphed" over the years. I was first introduced to this project 24 yrs ago when it was a part of the first curriculum we used in Metro Nashville Public Schools. It has changed for the better over the years, and is one of my favorite lessons.
April 28, 2021
Today my students created a character using paint sticks ( Sargent Art ) & collage. Since we've been back in person, I've really tried to do projects that use supplies we just weren't able to use during virtual. They LOVE the paint sticks. I had them create a "character" and simple background using the paint sticks. They could use food items, objects around home or school, or even clothing items. I told them not to make the face though. We would be creating the face and any additional items using collage. I think their pictures turned out super cute.
April 25, 2021
Do you take risks in your art? Do you ever think, "That might work?!", and then go for it? I tend to be a bit more conservative when I'm creating. I struggle with the idea of doing something that could completely undo the hours I've already invested into something. The problem with "playing it safe" is that you continue to do the things you've always done. There is no "new". There is no breakthrough. Honestly, what is there to be afraid of in taking risks? What is the worst that can happen? You might have to fix your mistake or possibly start over. I think we focus too often on the possibility of failure instead of embracing the opportunity for progress & success. Don't you think it is worth the risk?
Matthew 14: 28-31
The story of Peter walking on water often seems to focus on the fact that he sank. We talk about his doubt or how he took his eyes off the Lord. All true. However, how many of us would have even tried to step foot on the water in the first place? We quickly point out Peter's lack of faith, but struggle to see our own. God prompts us to talk to someone, give financially, use our time for act of service or ministry, and the first thing we do is take a risk assessment of the situation we are presented with us.
"They might not want to hear what I have to say or I might say the wrong thing. I don't have the money to give right now or it will put a strain on the plans I have for the money. Someone else would do a better job serving in that roll, and I just don't have the time."
We can make excuses much better than we can quote scripture...and that's a problem!
(I'm speaking to myself here!)
When God calls us to do something...it is always worth the risk. What good is it to claim we have faith if we never put it into action? It is kind of like the china in the cabinet that never gets used. Sure, it is pretty, but it never serve the purpose for which it was designed. That is kind of sad, don't you think?
Where can you put your faith in action, and trust God to be God? Is there something that has been on your heart? What is holding you back? It is worth the risk to trust the Lord with it....with everything!
April 23, 2021
Here are some of this year's 4th grade weavings. I want to be honest with you....this was not my favorite year of weaving with the 4th graders. Not because of the students or their work, but because of the looms. I had ordered pre-notched looms, and I guess I typed in the wrong thing and did not notice. I never...NEVER....get these thin looms. I like to get the ones that are 9 inches wide. I hate fussing with sending things back...so I decided I'd just use them. I felt like I had more issues with the smaller looms. One of which was it seemed much easier to hour class & it was more noticeable. If you like them...GREAT! For me though...I'll be ordering the 9 inch wide next year!!!!
April 22, 2021
April 21, 2021
If you are interested in buying Art 2 Art, check out https://moxieboxart.com/ for more information!
April 19, 2021
Please forgive the late notice, there were many details that had to fall into place for this summer's workshop. We will be returning to Cumberland University's Fine Arts Building this summer (We were there last summer for our modified one day summer workshop!!).
We have a great group of teachers every summer that love to laugh, learn, and share! We've had teachers from 7 different states, 5 area counties, and Pre-K - 12 attend! We go through a ton of projects during our time that can be modified up or down depending on what grade level you teach. At the end I'll give you a certificate for 18 hours of professional development, but you will need to be responsible to see if your school district will accept it or not. The cost is $125. E-mail me if you would like to sign up! We try to keep our numbers no more than 20 educators so we can get to know one another.
[We will be abiding by Cumberland's Covid protocol/policies as part of being allowed to use their space. More information on that when you request a form to sign up!]
April 18, 2021
Truly my soul finds rest in God;
April 16, 2021
April 14, 2021
Today my school presented me with a trophy/award for being Teacher of the Year. It is etched glass, and has a turtle at the center! If ya don't know...turtles are my favorite animal. Being teacher of the year does mean a great deal to me, but trophies & awards are just objects that collect dust. This one however...will not! ha ha I love that they took the time to add something personal. It isn't just a brass or marble apple. It is not a generic trophy. It is thoughtful/meaningful..and I'll treasure it always!
So thankful to be at a school that supports & recognizes the arts!
April 13, 2021
As a kid, I always wanted to have a wood burning kit. They looked so cool. However, my parents never bought one for me. We were poor, and that was kind of an odd purchase....so I get it. I also now get the fact that wood burning tools get SUPER DUPER HOT! I don't know if I'd let my kids play with one!?!? ha ha A couple months ago I saw a wood burning tool at Dollar General in their beefed up craft section for only $10. At first I resisted the urge to get it. Do I really need another art related hobby when I have trouble keeping up with creating "real" art? When I went back and saw that it was no longer there...I realized I had missed my opportunity. I went to four different locations to see if I could find it...AND I DID!! So I bought it. Here is a video of my first experience using a wood burning tool!!
April 12, 2021
My Kindergarten students are loving James Rizzi!! After looking at & discussing his work, the students drew three Rizzi inspired buildings. They then traced their drawings with Sharpies. Then they colored a sheet of aluminum foil with Crayola Markers. I walked around and sprayed their foil with water, and the took a transfer print from it. The Ohs! & Ahs! when they saw the results were amazing!
April 03, 2021
AND THAT IS OK!
We need to support & encourage one another purposely. We don't need to try to assert our thoughts/ways of doing things on others. We do not need to tear others down because we might not agree with their method of doing things. You are not in their situation. They are not in your situation. I've seen so many snarky comments. Mean comments. I feel like sometimes our responses are more "high school" than caring professionals. The pandemic has caused our teaching situations to change dramatically....some times multiple times. There is not a tried and true way of doing things any more because everything has changed. If someone asks a question...answer it. If you find their way interesting...mention it. If you had a situation similar and handled it differently....share it (but not in a MY WAY IS BETTER THAN YOUR WAY kind of manner). Let's be encouragers so that art education can be stronger because of our words, wisdom, and experiences.