October 31, 2021

#turkeyaday21: THE FUN STARTS NOV. 1st

Join in as much or as little as you can!!!  It is just a fun way to connect with arty people on social media, and challenge yourself to create more frequently.


Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: The Importance of Water

Water plays an important role in art.  The impact can be found in both the art, artist, and process.  It is a source of inspiration, makes the paint flow, cleans the brushes, cools the tools in glass & metal arts, helps the dye saturate the yarns & fabrics, and quenches the thirst of the artist. Without water, where would the artist be?  No Waterlilies from Monet, Cassatt's baby would not get a bath, and Venus's birth would have taken place in a desert (and she was not dressed for that!). The importance of water in art cannot be overstated.

But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.  The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.  John 4:14

Water is a huge reoccurring theme in scripture!  Without water there would have been no need for an ark, Moses's basket would have sat there, the Israelites would have still crossed on dry land (but it wouldn't have been nearly as dramatic), John would have been forced to sprinkle (with what?) , Jesus would have...walked?!?  See...water is important!

In John we are reminded of our need.  We are offered a water that allows us to never thirst again, and will yield eternal life.  That is HUGE!  However, I think we do not realize just how much of a need we have for this water.  We have become pacified by the things of this world.  We quench our thirst on things that do not truly meet our needs.  It leaves us feeling unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and searching.  Where in your life do you feel that you wrestle with such things?  What are you not allowing the Lord to quench?  Without THE WATER...your story is incomplete.  In John 4:10 Jesus answered, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."  All we have to do is ask. We need to pray that the Lord would help us to see our need...to recognize our thirst...to know the importance of water, and  from where to get our "water" from! 

October 29, 2021

Van Gogh Inspired Mixed Media

Things are different this year! Call it what you will, but students have not acquired the skills normally being implemented by their given grade level. I had over a 1/3 of my students virtual for almost a year and a half. I've determined what skills were lacking, and have provided projects where students can develop in these areas. This project focuses on cutting & gluing.


October 27, 2021

Pumpkin Tints

Students worked on creating tints for their pumpkins they created in tempera paint. Next class time we will create more pumpkins using watercolor pencil focusing on shades. I’m still trying to give students the opportunity to explore media & techniques they missed out on while we were virtual (our school was virtual for about 1/2 the year last year, and and 1/3 of our students were virtual for the entire year).


October 26, 2021

#turkeyaday21 is coming!!

I wasn't going to do #turkeyaday this year, but my kids (the ones at home) just wouldn't hear of it!! They love seeing the turkeys I create, and often join in a few times during the month. 

I'd love for you, your family, and your students to join in as much or as little during the month of November. Post to social media with the hashtags: #turkeyaday #turkeyaday21 #novartchallenge #artchallenge 

I'll be checking on everyone's posts...and may repost some of your work on my social media!! 


October 25, 2021

Dollar Tree: Cake Tools As Art Tools

 Dollar Tree Continues to surprise me! 

The other day I walked in to Dollar Tree, and I found an end cap of cake decorating items! I instantly had an idea to repurpose some of the items. Check out my video. 

October 24, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Risks

As an artist (and I'd say many other fields/professions), stepping out of the "norm" is a part of growing.  However, risk taking isn't always valued.  People often value routine & those that "get with the program".  I know this sounds absurd in relation to the arts. In college, I was told I should switch to oil because my themes were not appropriate for watercolor. This professor was of the mindset that "proper" watercolor was all about nouns (people, place, things), and should not express anything deeper. This truly bothered me because I felt art was about pushing boundaries & taking risks. Why would I be told that my risks were not appropriate for a specific medium?  I found a way to continue pursing the themes/subject matter I wanted, and feel that I grew personally & artistically because of the challenges I encountered along the way.  Risks have a way of doing that! 

 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately.  I must stay at your house today."  So he came down a once and welcomed him gladly.  All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner."  But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord!  Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."  Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."

Luke 19: 1-10

Jesus did not always make "popular" choices.  In the case of Zacchaeus, Jesus truly went against "acceptable" behavior by going to his home.  Zacchaeus was a tax collector, and a pretty self serving one at that.  No one would want to go to the home of someone known to basically steal from everyone in that community.  However, Jesus could see beyond what others saw in Zacchaeus.  He knew that if given the chance Zacchaeus would change his life around.  It just took someone taking a "risk".  By going against what was "acceptable", Jesus showed love to someone who was in desperate need!  Am I talking about Zacchaeus now...or us?  Before Jesus, we were just as unacceptable as Zacchaeus.  Sometimes we forget that we were/are just as much in need of a Savior.  

Do you know someone that needs you to take a "risk"?  A friendship, an invitation to church, a kind word or deed done in the name of Jesus.....could change someone's world.  Be the risk taker the Lord created you to be!  Be willing to stick your neck out.  I bet you will see a change...in yourself!(it is in God's hands regarding the heart of the other person).  

October 21, 2021

Dollar Tree Pumpkin Glow Up

I found these cute wooden pumpkins at my local Dollar Tree.   They were nice as is, but I wanted to spice them up a bit. To the “M” I added some deeper orange, some highlights, and a brown stem.  The “R” was rounded off using a Posca paint marker, tealish blue to the sides, and a brown stem. The “E” was a complete redo. They did not have an “E”so I started by painting over the pumpkin with a darker red orange. I then used my Posca paint marker to create the “E”, and topped it off with a brown stem. The students really liked them. It is something I can put up at the end of September  and leave up till the end of November.  I’ll have to see if they will have snowmen I can reimagine!

October 20, 2021

Picasso Scarecrows

I love doing Picasso Scarecrows in the fall. I don’t do holidays in my classroom because I do not wish for any child to be excluded because of their religious beliefs/practices. We will do leaves, pumpkins, and scarecrows.  With Dora Maar by Picasso as our inspiration, the students creat their wacky scarecrows. They are each so unique!! 


October 19, 2021

TN Art Education Association Fall Conference


It will look different than years past, but still a wonderful time for connection, great workshops, and a whole lot of fun!! 


October 14, 2021

Just a friendly reminder...

 I decided to place a mask on the mannequin head in my classroom, and see how long it took for my students to notice!! Every class there was one(or more) that noticed the change right away. Now I want to start making little changes around my classroom to see just how observant they are! Haha 

October 13, 2021

Vinyl From Dollar Tree

 My classroom is right outside the 3rd/4th grade bathrooms. Besides being a stinky location...it is high traffic. Students in the hall look in my room like they are visiting the aquarium. It can be extremely distracting at times. I didn't want to completely cover the window, but just break up the area so my students don't notice the students looking in because the visual noise. I found vinyl at Dollar Tree, and thought I'd try that out! It isn't the thickest sheet, but for my needs it is totally fine. I know a lot of people use vinyl with their Cricuts, but I'm curious for what other purposes I could use it for in my classroom! 

October 09, 2021

Full Circle

 This is Ms. Baker. She finished up her elementary practicum this past week. I've had many practicum students over the years, but Ms. Baker is not an ordinary practicum student!! She was actually my student when she was in 1st grade!!  I'm hoping she'll be back for her student teaching placement!!! 

October 07, 2021

Creative Fun From Our Librarian!

Our wonderful school librarian is encouraging creativity & I'm here for it!!! She challenged the faculty/staff to decorate a pumpkin like one of their favorite book characters. I made mine from tag board and cardstock (some people are using real pumpkins & others plastic. I love the Pout Pout Fish books. So this was an easy choice for me! I love things like this that bring our faculty together in creative ways. Maybe you can encourage your teachers/staff to do it as well? Ours are on display for the month of Oct, but you could just do it for a week.

October 05, 2021

Kev Munday Inspired

If you are not familiar with the work of Kev Munday.....please check out this link! 


October 03, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Model Encouragement

Encouragement is such an important part of my job as an art educator.  Though you have to give students honest feedback to help them to grow/improve....you must be careful to do it in a way that will not cause them to become discouraged.  Discouragement is often the reason people stop pursing artistic endeavors (visual, music, writing, and performing). There are times that this can be challenging.  We don't want to lie. We don't want to overly inflate elements of the work that truly need greater attention and exploration.  The encouragement needs to be directed toward the artist. 

 "I really like the ideas you're sharing through your work." 
"Your perspective is unique and special."
"I love the effort I see you are putting into that project."
"You are making interesting choices."

Your goal is to build up the artist.  When they feel valued, encouraged, and cared about you are able to address the parts of their work that needs extra attention, without discouraging them.  It does no good to tear down an artist to the point that they feel they are no longer unable to to improve upon their work or doubt their skills.  The goal is to impower students to create & improve upon their creations.  

A beautiful side effect to actively encourage the artists in my classroom is having students begin speaking words of encouragement to their peers.  They may mention something about their work, but often it is directed toward the artist and their efforts & ideas.  Though many are natural encouragers, modeling this behavior to our students will build a foundation of encouragement in their lives. 

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

EVERYONE is in need of encouragement. It seems to have become a lost "art".  Words of affirmation, admiration, and appreciation are greatly lacking. This is not only in "the world", but within the church and amongst believers.  Our world has become obsessed with negativity. Spewing hate, hurling insults, and divisiveness creates a toxic environment where no one wins. People feel more disconnected, dissatisfied, and disenchanted. Growth & progress are hard to come by in such an environment.  Love, kindness, connection, and encouragement are needed so desperately.  

As believers, we must live differently. We have been called to be & do not as the "world".  We need to look at situations & individuals through the eyes of Christ. Our response should be one of love & compassion.  Encouragement should flow from the core of who we are because what the Lord has done for us.  If we do not see it happening in our own life, we must make a conceited effort to make it happen. If we do not see it in the lives of those around us...we need to model encouragement to others through a genuine heart for the people God has placed around us.  If we don't "feel" it, ask God to give you a deeper appreciation for those around you.  Ask him to let you see their gifts, talents, and skills, and their past, present, and potential impact.  As we become more purposeful about encouraging others...the behavior will become a habit.  This habit will be noticed and begin impacting those around you. Can you image your circle of friends/family/coworkers all encouraging and appreciating those around them. How would that impact individuals, groups, and communities?