July 25, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Deadline

How do deadline's impact you?  For some, deadlines can create paralyzing fear that causes artist block, nervous mistakes, and a constant second guessing of choices made.  For others, deadlines provide an adrenaline packed creative frenzy fueled by a defined timeline.  I have the luxury of my art being a creative outlet, and not how I provide for my family.  So I rarely have deadlines.  However, I should probably set more for myself. I believe this would motivate me to create & be more purposeful so that I keep actively engaged in art making. An artist who has no deadline can flounder directionless.  Being aware of time can motive you to do more with the time you are given so you can accomplish your personal goals.

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. 
Night is coming, when no one can work. 
John 9:4

Though some live like there are no deadlines, they are truly a part of all of our lives.  I'm not just talking about THE deadline.  Death is not the only end we experience.  We have a limited amount of time to impact/influence the lives of others.  We may move.  They may move.  Relationships shift. Jobs change. Schooling comes to an end. A chance encounter slips through our fingers.  I fear I've allowed too much time to pass by without realizing these deadlines.  God blesses us with the opportunities to share his love through our actions, reactions,  words, and deeds.  However, we often think we have all the time in the world to do so.  It usually doesn't occur to us until the "deadline" has passed and we have failed to share the most important thing our life.  Missed opportunities should not bring condemnation, but should motivate us to utilize the time we have been given to share his love. Don't allow deadlines to pass you by.


July 18, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Significant

I was always amazed how my grandmother could repurpose so many things that others would have just throw away.  She would use coffee cans to plant flowers, glass jars to "root" new plants from clippings, and old fabric was reimagined till it would be nothing but threads.  An old dress would be turned into an apron when it no longer served its original purpose. Sometimes the fabric from old dresses, shirts, and the like would be turned into beautiful quilt pieces that she lovingly put together.   When the fabric was not good enough for quilt squares...old aprons, shirts, jeans, and even panty hose would find new life in rag rugs(which she used all over her house and gave them away to others as well). Most would throw away such items when they no longer served their original purpose. These humble materials were not insignificant to her. She saw the potential they possessed. In my grandmother's hands they had new life with purpose, beauty, and a story to share.  In the right hands, things that seem insignificant to most... can be turned into something significant. 

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.

Mark 6: 41-43

There are times in our lives that we feel we have little to give. We may not have much money, time, skill/talent, knowledge, training, or other such things.  We may feel we've been through too much or done too many wrongs to be worth anything.  We feel insignificant.  Unable to truly contribute.  These are lies.  In the scripture above, we see the boy gave his small seemingly insignificant lunch to Jesus, and it fed the multitude.  It was not based on the talent and training of the boy.  It was not based on the amazing meal he was offering.  It was simply making what he did have available.  God has a way of bringing new life, purpose, beauty, and a story to share to those who are willing.  Come as you are.  He knows the potential you possess even if you do not! 

July 15, 2021

Kiln Room Progress...

So when I found I could use my new kiln room as a green screen....they had only put the primer coat on the walls.  Now the actual top coat of paint is on, and I'm so excited that they used an eggshell finish. It is still a matte "ish" finish and will be excellent for green screen fun!  They also replace some tiles (and put up some of the old ones)....can ya spot the difference.  

Eww! Haha 😂 

July 13, 2021

New Kiln Room & MORE!!!!

Having a bit of fun & learning along the way!! 

I know that there are a couple issues, but I'm learning!! 

July 11, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: The Best

As an educator, I believe it is important to give back to the community that has given me so much over the years. That is why I have this blog, social media accounts, take on practicum students, student teachers, and lead professional development.  If others wouldn't have shared their experiences, knowledge, and passion with me along the way...I truly believe I'd not be where I'm at presently. It is my heart as an educator.  It is a joy for me.  Plus, I want others to be the best they can be!  I believe we are better together.  I believe when other art educators succeed it is a victory for all of us.  ALSO...there is a strong chance that my children will one day be in the art room of someone who has crossed paths with me. If I can encourage my children's future art teacher in some way to help them be the best they can be...you better believe I'm going to do it!  

 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1: 9-14

I love this section of scripture from Colossians.  You see right away the deep desire Paul has for the believers in Colossea to mature in their faith.  He prays specifically for them to bear fruit, grown in God, strengthened in power, have great endurance and patience, and to give joyfully.  He doesn't just say, "Bless them Lord!"  He gets specific.  We have the ability (like Paul) to make a difference in others' lives.  When the Lord has truly impacted our life, it is only natural that we would want to help impact the lives of others.  He has blessed us with gifts, talents, and skills that can be used to challenge and encourage other believers that he has placed in our path.  We should desire to help others be the best they can be for the glory of God.  Now this doesn't mean that they should be more like you, the pastor, or some other person.  We need to help and encourage others to be the best they can be.  God has wired all of us with a purpose and a plan ...unique and wonderful.  As the Lord has you can be the best you...as you encourage others to be the best them!  

July 08, 2021




This is always a great event with so much to inspire teachers & students alike!! 



This might not look like much to you...but it is a welcomed mess to me!! A few years ago a fire marshal closed down my kiln (after only having my new kiln for 3 years!)  When the school was built 30+ yrs ago it was common for kilns to be in the classroom. Now they are required to be in a designated "kiln room".  I honestly wondered if I'd ever see the district build a kiln room for me....but here it is in progress. So...this is going to be reboot of doing clay with my students again! WOOT WOOT!! 
PS..my school secretary loves to paint and asked if she could do an ombre of green on it!💚  

July 04, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: TRUE

 Art is a funny thing.  There are artists that approach their work as an expression of their thoughts, dreams, opinions, experiences, and beliefs.  If their art catches the eye of others they can make a living from this work. However, they mostly are concerned with creating meaningful & expressive art that is truly a reflection of themselves.  There are artists that make a living based on creating work others envision. Though they may not be creating their own "personal" art...they can infuse a bit of themselves into their commissioned work, and find fulfillment artistically while getting paid.  Then there are artists that start creating from a personal approach, but begin listening to the thoughts and opinions of others in order to help gain interest/sales for their work.  I do believe that we need to seek the wisdom, opinions, and experience of other artists, but we must be careful not to lose ourselves in the midst of others' thoughts.  We must stay true.  Attempting to please others by changing ourselves will leave us unfulfilled & ineffective.  In our attempt to speak to everyone, we will speak to no one through our work.  It loses its "heart" when we try to become more marketable by changing our vision and artistic voice.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?  Or am I trying to please people?  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
  Galatians 1:10

As Christians, we have to be careful not to fall into the same "trap".  Some believers are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.  They are unable to connect to those around them, and therefore unable to share their story of the Good News that has changed their life.  Then there are those who try to fit in so much with those around them that their testimony becomes ineffective.  Their is no difference in their life in relation to the world.  We must seek God first in our lives.  In seeking God, we are not alienating ourselves from the world, but equipping ourselves to be in the world but not of it.  In Matthew 22:37-39  Jesus says, " You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  Love God! Love your neighbor!  This will allow you to keep your priorities straight...and your life in balance.  Be true to who God made you to be...and you WILL glorify him...and bring honor to him.  Your life will be a praise to him!  

June 30, 2021

Summer School?

We homeschooled our kids this past year. (reason: covid & the way their school district handled things...we live in a different district than I work) I felt like I did not do a great job providing art opportunities for my kids during this time (I was overwhelmed teaching virtual & then teaching in person & virtual). I wanted to cover some standards & skills over the summer. I told them they had to do 1 for me then they could do whatever they wanted. Lucky for me...my kids LOVE creating!!!

HA HA! Quietest it has been all summer! HA HA!


June 29, 2021

Fun Find!

I went to Bargain Hunt (not sure if they have them in your area?) and found they had 50% off their craft section.  Now, if you have been to Bargain Hunt you know that the "craft" section is very hit & miss.  You never know what they'll have.  There wasn't much that I'd have a need for personally or for school.  

I have never worked on an easel, and haven't really felt a need to own one in the past.  This sale made me reconsider.  The tag said $12, but with the sale...$6!!!  I decided that I could use it to create art, display work, or for presentations/workshops.  Surely I can get my $6 worth out of it.  


June 27, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: To Be In Awe

I can only imagine the feeling of seeing the Sistine Chapel for the first time (or really...any time!).  Even if you had no background in art whatsoever, you couldn't help but to be in awe.  Art has a way of inspiring us, transporting us, and leaving us in a state of awe.  I think the Sistine Chapel might just about blow my mind.  So often it is an almost "religious" experience.  I remember the first time I saw a work by Van Gogh in person.  It took me to church!  I sat down on a bench across from it, and sat in its presence. That might sound dramatic, but Van Gogh's work had always been a favorite of mine.  I studied it, thought of his life, watched others view it, and just tried to imprint the moment in my heart and mind forever.    I think another part of the equation is knowing the artist.  You don't have to have an art history background to appreciate it, but knowing the master's hand that painted such an awe inspiring work adds a layer of depth, understanding, and appreciation you might not have otherwise.  

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:  
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, 
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
Psalm 27:4

Do you ever find yourself in awe of God?  I think many speak of God being "awesome" or doing "awesome" things, but I'm referring to a deeper recognition of who God is & what He has done or is doing in your life.  Does our Lord bring you to a place where you just want to linger in His presence?  The writer of Psalms 27 asks God if he could dwell in the house of the Lord & gaze at His beauty.  When was the last time you wanted to "dwell & gaze" in relation to God?  In our fast paced world we don't often dwell anywhere well.  We are so rushed & divided that dwelling & gazing sounds like a foreign concept.  Nobody has time for that.  But you should!  If art can bring us to a state of awe & makes us want to linger a little longer...why can't God do the same for us?  What do we need to do, change, or incorporate that would bring this about?  Maybe we need to begin recognizing God at work in our life.  Maybe we need to get back into His word so we can have a clearer understanding of why He is so AWEsome.  

If art can bring us to a state of "awe"...shouldn't God?  

June 22, 2021

6th Annual Art With Mr. E Summer PD

 6th Annual Art With Mr. E Summer Workshop starts tomorrow!!!(Wed-Friday) So excited! I have 10 teachers coming (Smaller than usual..Covid & Summer School having an impact)...2 from Davidson, 2 from Smith, 2 from Wilson, 2 from Rutherford, and 2 from KY!!!! Going to be a BLAST! Stay tuned for pictures of crazy teachers & their art!!!!

June 21, 2021

So Many Bobs!!!

 I found so many Bobs at Target today! So for all you Bob Ross lovers out there... go to Target and check out what they have in stock! They were at the back of the electronics department. None of them came home with me today, but I'm thinking about it! I have three Funko Pops and two other bobblehead bobs at school.

June 20, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: OVERFLOWING

During my student teaching, I asked my co-operating teacher what she was working on currently.  She said, "You mean art?  Honey, you will see that once you start teaching that you just won't have the time or desire to create any more!  The last thing you'll want to do is pick up a paint brush at home after teaching art all day long."  WHAT?  That seemed absurd to me at the time.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that would not happen to me! 

As artists, there is an urge/longing/desire to create. It is at the core of who we are.  If we are not creating, something out of balance in our lives.  We all go through "seasons".  There are seasons where we are creating up a storm, but at other times we find ourselves walking through an artistic wasteland struggling to have even a creative thought. 

 At first, I was able to maintain that balance of teaching & creating.  I was sure that my co-operating teacher just didn't know how to organize her life in such a way that would allow for her to easily continue artistic pursuits. However, once I got married & we began having children, I realized how easy it was to "lose" that aspect of my life.  

Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Colossians 2:6-7

I feel this same thing can happen in our faith as well.  We can get so busy with living life that we forget who we are in Him, the training we received, who He made us to be, and what He wanted our lives to look like.  But how can we combat this?  I feel if we embrace the last part of verse 7...we may have our answer.  OVERFLOWING WITH GRATITUDE!  Gratitude comes when we are aware of our position before Christ, and the true gift He gave us through His life, death, resurrection, and opportunity for reconciliation in & through Him!  If our lives are grounded in the attitude of gratitude for all the things He has done....how could we ever lose site of Him & who He made us to be in our day to day?  Others will see Christ in us & it will impact every area of our life because of the OVERFLOWING!

With my art, I've learned to keep an art journal or sketch pad handy.  I know that I might not have time to do large scale works of art, but I can still create small sketches/designs in my journal.  This helps to feed my creative soul. Through this I've been inspired to create larger pieces or develop ideas for larger pieces. That would not be possible if I allowed the artist I was created to be to flounder in unrealized potential.   My spiritual soul needs to be feed as well.  Not only do I need to realize who He is & who I am in Him, but I need to continually grow my relationship with the Lord.  It might be times of prayer, fellowship with other believers, reading a Christian book on my iPad, or reading the Word on an app (or the old fashion way..an actual paper Bible!).  Whatever it is...for something to be OVERFLOWING continually...the source needs to be pouring into it!  

June 17, 2021

Art Humor 😁

 There were six parking spaces open, and this is what I witnessed today! Y'all need to start getting those kiddos to color inside the lines! 😂 (It's a joke.. don't come for me!! Haha) 

June 13, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Experience

If I told you to teach someone how to do a collagraph, but you knew nothing about it....how successful would you be?  If I told you how to do a collagraph, and asked you to teach someone how to do it...would you be more successful?  If I showed you how to do a collagraph, and asked you to teach someone how to do it....you might do ok.   If I showed you how to do a collagraph, let you do a collagraph while I watched and advised, and then asked you to teach someone else how to do one...you'd probably do a pretty good job. Experience makes a difference.  As an art educator, I seek out others who know and have more experience with media and processes that I feel unsure about.  In turn, I love to share the things I've learned along the way.  I know if I would not have had others take the time to build into me....I would not be the teacher I am now.   

What good is experience if we do not share it?  

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

2 Corinthians 1: 3-6

 Emmanuel. God is with us. We often hear this at Christmas, but this truth is not seasonal. We serve a God who knows the struggles we face spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  He is with us.  God has also given us a family of believers who have experienced, are experiencing, or will experience the very things we are going through.  This provides for us those who can advise us, those who can cry with us, and those who we can come along side when the time comes.  The experiences we face are not in vain.  They allow us to trust God in new ways.  They provide an opportunity for God to work in and through us. Being open with our experiences & being willing to share with others what we have learned through them....is a beautiful gift that can provide comfort and connectedness. 

June 08, 2021

Sargent Paint Sticks

I have talked about the Sargent Paint Sticks in the past, but someone was recently asking me about them...so I thought I'd share again.  There are several brands out there that work "relatively" the same.  However, I have found the quality and price of the Sargent version to be better.  Now the neon and metallic paint sticks do not produce as solid/vibrant color (None of the other brands that have neon/metallic paint sticks are any better!).  They are wonderful for young artists & abstract art work.  

June 06, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Support

There are so many things within art that I'd love to do. I've been fortunate enough to try my hand at a large variety of media and skills over the years. However, it would be unrealistic for me to do ALL THE THINGS!  If I investing all my time and attention into attempting everything...I'd hardly develop anything.  Finding my passion and investing myself into that is going to provide better yield.  I can admire, value, and benefit from other artists' work.  I can encourage and support those creating in different ways than myself.  We have the ability to cheer on others in the arts as they create, fail, succeed, and pursue our heart's passion.  As we support one another, the art community grows stronger.....and we are all better for it. 

If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Romans 12:7-8

We were never meant to do "ALL THE THINGS" on our own. God has given us unique talents, skills, and callings that will fulfill his plans and purposes.  We must not only do our part, but support those around us so they can do theirs.  We often rank such things in levels of importance.  However, this is wrong thinking.  Introvert/Extrovert, on stage/behind the scenes, preachers/cleaning crew....God's unique design for each of us displays an amazing puzzle where each piece has its place in creating the whole picture.  If one piece were missing the picture would be incomplete. 

Are you living out who you are?

Are their things that you need to lay aside so you can invest yourself into those things that are most important?

How can you support those around you to be the best they can be?  

June 03, 2021

Still time to sign up...

The 6th Annual Art With Mr.E Summer Workshop is coming in just a few weeks, but there is still time to sign up. Please let me know ASAP. Small group (Under 20) meeting up at Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN for 3 days of arty art teacher goodness!!!


May 30, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Reflect

 Art is most often a reflection of the one creating it.  You may see the artist using their favorite color(s), a theme or subject matter that is important to them, geographic indicators within the work, a particular or unique style, a preference of materials they enjoy using, or even the size of their work.  Even if an artist creates work that is photorealistic, this identifies a value or skill that can be connected to that given artist.  We can even see different periods in an artist's life be reflected in what and how they have created ( Picasso's Blue & Rose periods!). There are times that a commission may warrant an artist lay aside their personal aesthetic as to fulfill a client's wishes.  However, when they create their own personal work.... it will once again reflect who they are. 

As water reflects the face,

 so one’s life reflects the heart.

Proverbs 27:19

If someone followed you around at home, at work, and at play.....what would they see?  Does who you say you are, what you say you value, and the priorities you espouse get reflected in your everyday life? None of us are perfect.  We are inconsistent at times.  We have bad days.  However, could someone look at your life and see what is most important to you?  

Those of us who have a personal relationship with the Lord should reflect that truth in and through every aspect of our life.  I am loved.  I am forgiven.  I am a child of God.  I am not alone.  I am a new creation.  I am created for a purpose.  I am accepted.  I am empowered.  AND SO MUCH MORE!  
If these things are true...shouldn't our lives reflect that?  
What is keeping you from experiencing this?

May 28, 2021

Sometimes it doesn’t work out...

I have a lot of big and crazy ideas.  Some of my big collaborative projects I've done...I've never seen other people do.  I'm not a toolsie person...so that causes me to be creative in figuring out solutions.  Most of the time...they work out.  MOST OF THE TIME, but not all of the time.  

I was trying to squeak in one last big collaborative project by the end of the year.  It was a giant dragon made of fabric.  I was going to place it out in the front of the school the last two days.  The kids decorated the scales, painted parts of the dragon, and helped put it together.  I got to school at 6 am on the last full day of school to put it up before anyone got there.  I tried one way.  I tried another way.  I tried yet another way.  NOTHING WAS WORKING.  The ground was two hard for my stakes.  The fabric was too heavy for the line and sagged.  The weight eventually snapped the line.  I was so frustrated.  I was so sad.  All this work, time, and money....FOR NOTHING!!!

Was it for nothing though.  I quickly snapped out of it.  I realized this was an opportunity for me to show the students that the process is as important as the product.  I needed to be able to share with them that sometimes no matter the planning...work...and heart...sometimes things don't work out.  AND THAT IS OK!  We learn from our mistakes and are able to be more informed for our next project. The mistakes made on this might allow us to make different choices for the next.  The students I spoke with about the failed dragon project seemed to "get it".  Plus...so many said...WE HAD FUN MAKING IT! 

I won't stop dreaming big...but I'll take some trouble shooting questions/thoughts into the next project! 


May 25, 2021

Story Time: Lesson Learned

It was the end of my second year of teaching, and my dad had been diagnosed with cancer just a couple days before.  He told me to wait and come up after I had a day or two of rest.  He said he'd still be there in the hospital... so there was no rush. I left early in the morning a couple days after the end of the school year to make the almost nine hour drive home to Ohio.  I arrived two hours too late.  He had passed away unexpectedly.  Though they had given him six months to a year...he died 4 days after being diagnosed. Twenty two years later...this is ever present on my heart and mind.  Not because of guilt, but because I know we are not promised tomorrow here on this earth.  We need to treasure EVERY DAY, love TODAY, help TODAY, make a difference TODAY.....because tomorrow may be too late.  

It has been a rough year.  If you are a teacher...I know it has been a struggle. My hope is that you will use this summer to recharge & reflect on life.  There has been so much good in the midst of the struggle.  There always is if we take a moment to look. 

Be a blessing.  Speak life.  Lend a hand. Love. 

The first picture is my dad with me as a baby. 
The send was at my sister's wedding. 
I know he looks kind of serious...but he was hysterical & a total goof ball!!

May 24, 2021



Summer is almost here (or is here in some districts!).  Need some art ideas to keep you creative the whole summer long?  Here ya go.  These are the art prompts I created in the spring during the pandemic...but thought they might be a great thing to get you through the summer!  
There are plenty of prompt lists out there if these do not meet your needs/interests.  Just Google Art Prompts for Kids

May 22, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Room

Is it on trend? Are they using the latest greatest supplies? Is it tackling contemporary issues? Does it push the boundaries of what we've seen before? Does it speak to all the social and political issues?  

Art is BIG!!  Sometimes people try to control what art is by trying to make it fit in a box.  That's art.  That's not art.  That's good art. That's not good art.  That person is an artist. That person is not an artist.  Is there not enough room in our world for people to create and not have to "fit" into a certain mold?   People create because it is within them to do so.  It connects them with their past. It helps process the present.  It gives them hope for the future.  Maybe they just want to make something pretty for their home.  Maybe they want to address issues they wrestle with.  Maybe they use craft paint from Wal-Mart. Maybe they use expensive "professional" grade paint from a fancy art store.  We should encourage everyone to create / make.  Art's worth can not be put into a box. There is room outside of the box for so much more.  

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Often when we think about those who "serve" the Lord...we list people/jobs like pastor, youth leader, missionary, bible study leader, choir/praise team director, or children's minister. We tend to have a narrow view of what it means to serve the Lord. We put serving God in a box.   Serving the Lord is volunteering to help clean up after an event.  Serving the Lord is rounding up supplies to give to the pregnancy help center or food pantry.  Serving the Lord is helping your neighbor with their yard.  Serving the Lord is working at fast food restaurant and doing your very best to honor God.  Serving the Lord is telling that mom in the store with the screaming baby...she is a great mom and doing her very best.  There is room for all kinds of service that will honor and bring glory to God.  He has gifted each of us in such unique ways.  Lets embrace who we are and serve God with all that we are. 

What do you see as one of the things God has gifted you to serve him with?  

End of the Year Activity: Marker Check


The last week or so of school can be kind of crazy with celebrations, field days, and other activities that require us to be FLEXIBLE!! Have students help prepare your classroom for summer/start of next school year is a great way to have students stay active & take ownership!!! A major help is checking markers!  I have 16 tables in my room and a box of markers for each.  For me to check them all would take a long time....but a class makes short work of it (and they really enjoy doing it!!).  I give the students our "mat" papers we've used for Sharpies over the year and have them make a quarter size circle on it with the marker (coloring it in of coarse).  I show them what a good marker & dry marker look like before I let them get started.  I set out new markers and have them make sure the boxes are restocked with all the colors. This takes 10 min. or less when you have everyone working.  Then...you can move on to another task!  

May 21, 2021

End of Year Activity

 I'm seeing my classes for the last time this school year.  


I have my students help me get ready for the next school year! I really dislike a boring blank hallway.  So I have my students make turtles (my thing!) that I glue together and have cascading down outside of my classroom.  I use color themes in my room.  This past year I used purple, red, and blue. Next year I'm using yellow, blue, and green.    All my bulletin boards, displays, and chair footies ( https://www.artwithmre.com/2012/07/chair-footies.html ) will be changed yearly to go with that color theme.  I have a big basket of fabric I've collected over the years that I use for my boards(back when Wal-Mart had $1 a yard table!!).  If your wondering...I don't do themes like jungle, space, dinos for my classroom..because they 

I separate out the blues, greens, and yellows so that there aren't any mess-ups! 

May 17, 2021


 I was not able to write my weekly Sunday Devotional With Mr. E this week.
(For those of you new here...almost every Sunday for the past 5 years I've written a post that connects art and faith.  I normally post that Sunday morning.)  My church asked me if I'd create a painting to co along with the new sermon series.  I LOVE that they want to include visual art...I've always felt that was something churches should embrace....allowing people to use their gifts/talents/skills to contribute to what the church does.  However, something had to give.  I'm a husband, father of three, and a full time art teacher.  I just don't have enough hours in the day.  So...I decided I'd invest the time I usually put into writing my weekly devotional into my painting (and a bunch of other hours I squeaked out here and there!).  It is 24 in x 48 in acrylic painting.  I'm not exactly sure when/how it will be used, but excited to see the church embracing us arty types!! ha ha 


May 12, 2021

...had to laugh...

 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 10, 2021

Picasso Presents

 A para-pro at my school (who is also a parent) brought me the sweetest gift!!!  

We were talking the other day about the Picasso exhibit at the Frist Museum, and how I had been unable to secure tickets.  Her family was going, and they were super excited about it.  So first thing in the morning (Monday)....she brought me this sweet gift from the museum!!  HOW FUN!!  It is always nice (and encouraging) to be thought of in artsy situations.  

May 09, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Express

Artists produce work for a variety of reasons.  There are times they create to display skill, make money, fulfill others' visions, work through ideas for future pieces, etc.  Some of these reasons are "detached" from the heart, emotion, and passions of the artist. The work possess value/merit, and is very much a part of every artist's journey.  However, there is something powerful & compelling about work that comes from the depths of one's experiences.  When an artists creates from that raw and present place of where they are, amazing things can come to fruition. A person struggling with loss can imbue their work with the pain & confusion that comes with such emotion.  The work may take on a style, color palette, and compositional construct that is different from the "normal" for that artist. This may allow the viewer to connect with a work in a way that might not have happened if the artist wouldn't have allowed themselves to create out of that "place".  That is an amazing gift.  The artist can express/communicate emotions in a way that resonates with others like little else can. We are able to to meet the viewer where they are, and share our humanity.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.  On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.  They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.
1 Peter 3:8-11

I'll admit that my art is rarely angry, depressing, or full of angst.  It isn't who I am.  I've always been a more positive personality that can find/see the good in almost anyone/any situation. For me to create "angry" art in order to reach new viewers would be unauthentic.  Even during times of struggle in my life there is always hope in my work. 

 We have a hope/peace that passes all understanding.  This is not to say that we can't wrestle with loss, anger, pain, confusion, or frustration. I know many who love the Lord with all their heart, and they battle with depression, anxiety, and other struggles.   I have not made it through life this far without my share of such things. However, I know that I'm wired differently, and these struggles do not over take me.  I've always found myself holding onto the peace that only God can provide.  So if I can speak hope, love, and encouragement to those around me...I will.   I don't want to fall into the trap of negativity that our world seems to be elevating/promoting...even when I am struggling with "life".  I want to be able to be a light in the darkness for the believer and nonbeliever.   I want to be able to speak life & truth to people that so desperately need it.  I want to express it with my all & all.  

May 07, 2021

Watercolor Pencil Still Life: Cezanne Inspired

 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

Bobs on a Coaster

I bet you all didn't know you NEEDED to see Bob Ross plushies riding a coaster at Kings Island, but here it is for your enjoyment!!  Sometimes we need to embrace the silly in life!!! ha ha 

May 04, 2021

Picasso Portraits With Sargent Paint Sticks

We are working on a unit of portraiture, and today learned about Picasso! 
I had the students first draw lightly with pencil. We then discussed color, and how it can transform a work & how it impacts the mood/emotion of a picture.  We had recently used Sargent Art Paint Sticks on another project, and I thought it would be perfect for this lesson as well.  If you have not used paint sticks (there are several brands)....they are WONDERFUL!  I really do like Sargent's version (I've tried a few!).  The kids really enjoyed creating their portraits, and it was so fun to hear them giggle as the worked!  I may do another post of them....I still have two more classes. 
If you have any questions about Paint Sticks....let me know!!