September 26, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Old & New

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.

Psalm 77:11

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. 

Isaiah 43:19

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

Anything interesting happen at school today?

 Oh...there was that one thing at bus dismissal. 

I've been at my school for 21 years.  This was a first!!! ha ha  
We think it is a TN River Otter. We are a good mile & a half from the river, but there are streams near our school.  

September 21, 2021

Inspired by Kev Munday

It has been challenging to record YouTube videos this school year! Lots of reasons, but I won't go into all that in this post!  If you have not looked at the work of Kev Munday...please check him out! 
My students LOVE his art. 
This project is great for reinforcing overlapping, theme, and host of other concepts in art! 

September 19, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Don't "Brush" It Off

 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".

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.  
2 Timothy 3: 16-17

With all my heart I have sought You: Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against you.
Psalm 119: 10-11

Believers can become neglectful of important "disciplines".  Some believers may just not like "disciplines" of faith because they feel too much like work.  However, if we neglect reading God's Word, praying, fellowship with other believers....we are setting ourselves up for a life that does not have the power, impact, or the vibrancy God intended.  Like the ridged bristles of a brush that has not properly been cleaned....we become ineffective in our faith.  We are not able to be used by God as he designed us to be.   Even though discipline may feel like work at times, you quickly realize the importance, impact, and joy faithfully seeking God out in His Word, through prayer, or even having a mentor relationship can bring to your life.  Like the artist knows they must be disciplined in cleaning their brushes to be able to use them to their full the believer must know that Christian discipline allows them to live out their life of faith to its full potential. 

Do you want to learn more about Christian Disciplines & deepening your walk with the Lord?
Check out Celebrations of Discipline by Richard Foster & 
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney. 

September 17, 2021

Scarecrows At Cheekwood: Nevelson

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 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

Staff Fall Paint Night

It has been 2 years since we had a faculty/staff paint night at my school.  I had cellulitis, we had a tornado, a global pandemic...lots of things kind of got in the way!  One thing I knew...we had to bring paint night back!!! It is such a wonderful time for faculty/staff to enjoy one another's company, decompress, laugh, and a whole lot more!!  I have my teacher donate a couple dollars and I furnish all all the paint and canvases.  I create stencils (this year with the help of my practicum students) that allow those a little less confident with their drawing skills to feel successful.  I encourage everyone to do their own thing, and I float around the room and help them if they run into trouble.  We have hair drier stations set up so that they can do a quick dry to get to their next layer.  If you aren't doing paint nights at your school...think about giving it a try!  It really allows others to see you as an art a new light! 

Ms. King was so proud of her beautiful painting!! She has always come to the paint nights but struggled to finish her work and get it to a place that she really loved.  This was her paint night though...she finished her work and it was wonderful!!! 


September 13, 2021

Louise Nevelson Scarecrow

 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

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Without Words

A work of art can tell a story that a book could never contain.  I have stared into a painting and felt like I was not only experiencing the moments being captured, but the back story that led to those moments. I've also returned to a work, and gained new insight & felt as if I had discovered more of the story that I thought I already knew.  I've pondered how time "dealt" with the subject within a given work, and what happened next.  It is also interesting how a work of art can bring peace to one, but challenge another.  It is a beautiful thing when art speaks to the heart...right where that person is at in their journey.  Without words... art can speak volumes to those who are willing to spend time in it's presence. 

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.  





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

The Be(e) Mirrors

I found these great mirrors at Dollar Tree, and knew I had to use them in my class.  Students face the mirrors when they line up at the end my class. We've talked about what each one means, and what it looks like in the art room.  I hope that it is a good reminder to them each time they line up to leave and see themselves in the mirrors! 


September 05, 2021

Dollar Tree Find!!

 At my local Dollar Tree, I saw the 24 packs of  skin color crayons! That is better than most places I've seen. I don't know if they'll be in your area, but it's worth a check!