October 14, 2021
October 13, 2021
October 09, 2021
October 07, 2021
October 05, 2021
October 03, 2021
September 26, 2021
Many artists are inspired by the things of "their" past or the things of "the" past. Events, both good and bad, can yield amazing inspiration. It can provide content and context for amazing artistic endeavors. There is a "comfort" and working from what has already taken place. Ideas, symbols, mood, individuals, circumstances, and even color can be already prescribed and easily adapted. Others artists live for invention and innovation. The new excites them, and they want little to do with things of old. It could be that that they don't want to be accused of doing what has already been done, they have a deep desire for what is to come, or that "their" past or "the" past is not something that they wish to explore or exploit through their work. Whatever the case might be, the challenge of creating something new is stepping into the unknown boldly.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Reflecting on the past can be both painful and empowering. Many have experienced traumatic events (even within the church) that changed the course of their lives. Though this is understandably painful, so many find strength and mission through the overcoming. God is able to redeem our struggles, and helps us to flourish despite our past pain. Some use these experiences to connect with others in similar situations, and help them to process through the past & find peace in the present. The past also allows us to see when God met us where we were. Seeing his faithfulness allows us to approach new situations knowing he is there.
As much as the past can guide us in our present and future....God often wants to do a "new thing" in our life. This too requires us to trust in him. We know that when he guides us in new circumstances that he will provide a way. When we find ourselves outside of our comfort zones, we find ourselves before our God in a new way. We can no longer rest on what we know. We must rest in the arms of our Lord.
In the old & the new....God is there.
September 22, 2021
September 21, 2021
September 19, 2021
Most painters rely on traditional tools to create their masterpieces. Brushes are crucial tool for a majority of painters. The size, style, and quality of brush are of paramount importance. However, brush maintenance is also a crucial element to a successful painting. If you do not take care of your brushes, you will shorten their usefulness & life expectancy. Allowing paint to dry can create an unbending non receptive surface for paint to transfer to or from. Paint brushes left to soak to long can begin to loosen the hairs and cause shedding to occur. It can also ruin the finish on the handle of the brush which makes it extremely uncomfortable to use. Improper storage of one's brushes can cause the bristles to bend in a way that causes great difficulty. An artist knows that to be their best they must not neglect the "house keeping" aspect of their craft. It cannot be "brushed off".
September 17, 2021
Cheekwood's annual scarecrow display is now up!! If you are in the Nashville area...stop by and check them out. I'm hoping it lasts. We've been getting a lot of rain in Middle TN, and it seems like that might continue for a few days. Though I painted it, tapped it, glued it, and top coated it with quality product...at the core it is still cardboard! The other one beside mine is my best bud's scarecrow. We decided to be inspired by the same artist (Nevelson), and are playing tug-of-war.
Here is what we contributed to the event!
September 16, 2021
September 13, 2021
Have my students working on a Louise Nevelson inspired scarecrow that will be on display at Cheekwood! Praying my "construction" skills will be good enough to have it last for a month or two in the elements!! We are gessoing it, spray painting it, and polyurethaning it. Hopefully that will be enough.
September 12, 2021
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun
Psalm 19: 1-4
There are times in our life when we feel distant from God.
There are times where we wonder if he is still there.
CAN YOU HEAR ME LORD?
DO YOU HEAR MY PRAYERS?
DO YOU HEAR MY CRIES?
DO YOU CARE?
What do we do when we feel like God is not there? We acknowledge it! We tell him how we are feeling. Once we've said all we have in our hearts to say.....we close our mouths & open our eyes. We look to see God at work around us. If we are struggling to see that....we look to nature (Which has always found a way to praise the Lord). The Earth still spins. The Sun still shines. The stars are still in the sky. The moon still lends its reflection to show us the way in the night. Birds take flight. Flowers dance in the breeze. God is still there. We see his handy work. We see the master artist who took so much care in creation...surely he still cares for me and the things that concern my heart. Without words...God speaks to me through his creation. He reassures me he is still God, he is still on the throne, he is still in control....and he still cares for me. Without words...he reminds me my story continues and he is not done working in & through me.
September 09, 2021
September 05, 2021
August 30, 2021
In some previous posts I titled it Projects This Week/Lessons This Week, but that wasn't exactly right. Our special area schedule is on a 4 day rotation. There are only 4 related arts teachers utilized in our schedule (library & guidance is not in our rotation). So 4 of our 5 grade levels are split 1 1/4 classes. So every 4 days I have to have new lessons. Anyways...if anyone is a regular reader, I didn't want you to be confused by my posts.
August 29, 2021
This past week I was painting with my 3rd and 4th graders. As I was doing a quick demonstration of the day's project, I told them that I'd be providing them a variety of brushes, and that they should use the right brush for the job. As I walked around the room, I had to remind them that I had given them a variety of brushes, and that they should use the big brush for big spaces, medium brush for medium spaces, and the small brushes for small/thin/detailed spaces. After saying the same thing to several students, I asked the class to stop what they were doing and give me their attention. I went to my document camera and pulled the brushes from my water cup to show the students exactly what they had. I then showed the class why, how, and where I'd use each of the brushes. Each brush served a different & specific purpose that was important in the creation of their paintings. Without them... it would be more challenging and less effective. Knowing the purpose and practice of the different brushes will yield a stronger work of art.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Romans 12: 6-10
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10
There are times that we do not realize or embrace how God has wired us. We may look at others and feel they are truly serving God, but feel we have little to offer. Each of us has been given gifts/talents/skills that the Lord desires to see used for his glory & to minister to/serve others. Our gifts are different & specific. This is for a reason. The body of believers is meant to work together to fulfill what the Lord has give us to accomplish. Each has a beautiful and unique contribution. Like the brushes I gave my students, one brush could be used to create the entire painting, but it would not be very effective. The painting would suffer because of it. We are all different. We have different personalities, skill sets, strengths, passions...just as God designed us. We have a specific purpose in God's plan. It may not look the same as mine. It might not look like anything you've seen before. THAT'S OK. As we seek God...to know him & serve him...we will see more of who we are meant to be. As we grow in this, we will grow in the confidence of who he has created us to be.
August 27, 2021
A local pool and spa business has a giant inflatable duck for advertising. We call him duck-duck. As I came over the hill on my way home today from school, I saw duck-duck and realized he was the perfect expression of how I was feeling from a very long long week! Thank you duck-duck for speaking for me when I had no words!
Also friends...can we please be about the business of encouraging and building one another up? We will not always agree on everything, and that is ok. We need to support, celebrate, and encourage each other to continue reaching students through arty goodness!!
August 26, 2021
( EDIT: THE TERM LEARNING LOSS IS WHAT IS BEING THROWN AROUND. PEOPLE HAVE VERY STRONG FEELINGS ABOUT THIS TERMINOLOGY. MY PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE IS THAT THERE IS NOT LEARNING LOSS, BUT KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCES THAT HAS YET TO BE ACQUIRED. LET US TALK ABOUT HOW TO ADDRESS THIS...WHICH IS THE HEART OF THIS POST IN THE FIRST PLACE. )
Hello Friends! I'm very curious to hear about what you are seeing & what you are doing in light of "learning loss" that has happened during the pandemic/virtual learning. I know that it will be different everywhere because our situations are different. I feel we need to be having these conversations so we can help one another as we navigate these waters!
Some students have not been in the building since the beginning of March 2020, and we had about a third of our population remaining virtual the entire 2020-2021 school year. One of the first things I noticed once students were back in my room was that they have forgotten how to be together & how to work together. This is going to take time. We have to be patient with our students as they reacclimate to school life. Those of us who taught virtually know that not all the students were not always in environments conducive to learning. Plus, they were often without social interaction with peers. A classroom teacher and I were talking about this, and felt that if we could help them get back in the rhythm of school....that the learning would jump by leaps and bounds. I truly believe this.
That being said, we are charged with educating our students. We need to provide activities that meet our students where they are at, and not where they "should" be in a "normal" school year. Now, many would say this should be what we do all the time, and to a point...I agree. However, we all know that there is some expectations that we have of what students can do by certain points based on age/grade. I know that many of my students did not have access to art supplies (even though I made art supplies available at different points while virtual). Lack of exposure/experience does cause us to reevaluate what we are teaching, how we are teaching, and when we are teaching. There may be a project I LOVE doing with third grade. It isn't that I can't do that project with them, but I may need to provide some projects that will lead them into that project so they are better prepared for the media, concept, and/or technique. I want them to be successful & feel confident in their work. It might just take some time to "warm up" to those big heavy hitter projects we love so much!! Also, consider how you can break a project down so the students can be more successful. I usually do a landscape collage with my 1st graders. However, they have had little opportunity to create collage, use scissors, and learn how to successfully apply liquid glue. To throw them into the project like "normal" would not provide the best experience for them to be successful. So I broke it down. On day one I show the students examples of different landscapes, reintroduced the idea of foreground, middle ground, and background, and then had them create the "base" of their landscapes. The base was a blue sky (unless they wanted to do sunset...had a few of those) & a couple different greens to create the ground. They had to completely cover the picture starting with the sky color first. The next class time students will be adding their details (trees, rivers, ponds, buildings, plants, animals, clouds..etc). This will yield a better/successful result. I really want my students to feel confident in what and how they are creating!
Most of all....your students need YOU!!! They need your smile. They need your encouragement. They need to feel safe. They need our boundaries. They need our expectations. We provide so much for our students that is not factored into testing/GPA's & such. They need us to gain back what they have lost.