January 31, 2022

More Amazing 3rd Grade Abstract Landscapes

 Here are more of the 3rd grade abstract landscapes.  I love how they are all so different! The kids really made them their own.  There are a couple I'm not sure about the landscape"ness" of their work, but they still look amazing & work well as an abstract. I have more info on this project in the first post.  Just look down a few posts & you'll see it! 

January 30, 2022

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Keep Going

There are many people that think art is purely a "natural" gift that few people have.  You either have it or you don't. The truth is...being an artist/creating art takes work.  If you want to be good at anything you have to put the time and effort into your "craft".  There may be times where you feel frustrated.  You might believe you'll never improve. You can quit or keep going.  Those who quit will just say they were never good at art or that they weren't an artist. Those who keep going will see their work improve over time and experience. You may hear voices around you say that your work is no good.  You may hear your own inner voice question your worth as an artist.  KEEP GOING.  Don't give up on something just because you get negative feed back, hit a plateau, or become frustrated.  KEEP GOING! 

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper

 time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

As believers, we should be living a life that reflects Christ.  That doesn't always come "naturally". As we grow in our faith we see more of Christ in our attitudes, actions, and reactions.  We may have people question us.  We may have people put us down. People may doubt our sincerity. No matter...we must KEEP GOING.  We must realize that we are a work in progress.  When we face negativity we must approach it in self reflection.  Maybe there area things we need to change.  Maybe there are things we need to do better  Viewing our faith as an ongoing opportunity to grow will allow us to KEEP GOING knowing we are becoming more like Jesus each day we are given. 

January 28, 2022

More Amazing Kindergarten Paintings....

I had to share more of the kindergarten paintings!  I'm so impressed with their work.  It is always so amazing when the class goes silent, and the kids are so focused on their work that they are unaware of anything around them! THEY WERE IN THE ZONE!!!!!!  Check out this batch of beautiful paintings.

January 26, 2022

3rd Grade Abstract Landscapes

 We had to take some time to talk about abstract landscapes.  We looked at several different artists, and looked at how they "deconstructed" a landscape in their work.  It was an interesting discussion, and I feel a majority of my students "got it".  


On Day 1 students looked at and discussed abstract landscapes.  They drew out their pictures, and used paint sticks to begin to fill them in.

On Day 2 students finished "filling in" their pictures using paint sticks.  Next they used liquid black tempera to add a thick black line around their images/colors.  


January 25, 2022

Kindergarten Water Color Still Life

 So the title of this post should be longer, but I felt it was getting a bit ridiculous. Kindergarten Wax Resist Water Color Cubist Still Life. See what I mean! ha ha  These are going to be in the running for our Abstract All School Art Show this year!  (they get to pick from several projects)  

Let me just say...these kiddos blow me away!  


January 24, 2022

Crayola Creativity Week

 There are some great things to check out during Crayola Creativity Week!! This would be wonderful for home school families or school with out art teachers.  Check it out.  Link below! 

January 23, 2022

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Out On A Limb

Artists dream. Artists go out on a limb. Artists push their creativity to the limits and beyond.  Artists develop ideas and concepts that they aren't sure how to bring to fruition.  Is that the end of their pursuit?  What happens when they face uncertainty?  What happens when they can't see past the questions?  DO THEY QUIT?  DO THEY GIVE UP AND DO WHAT IS EASIER?  No! They find a way to make it happen.  It may take time.  It may take trying things they've never done before.  It may take failing before succeeding.  Dreams are worth pursuing even when the path takes us to unexpected places. When we find a way to do what we've never done....we grow, we change, and we become better for it.

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.  A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.  He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 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 at 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

Zacchaeus was on a mission.  For whatever reason, he had to see Jesus.  The crowds were thick, and Zacchaeus could not get through to see him.  He was too short to see over them.  He had to find a way.  He saw a tree up ahead, and he climbed up its branches.  There, up in a tree, out on a limb...he could see Jesus.  Zacchaeus did not give up.  He did not turn around and walk away.  That would have been easy.  He placed himself in a position where he could see Jesus, and where Jesus could see him.  When I read these verses....I see the Holy Spirit at work.  Zacchaeus may not have known exactly what it was going on inside of him, but there was a stirring of his heart/soul.  His life would never be the same. 

God will find a way to get our attention.  When he brings us into a personal relationship....when he calls us to use our gifts and talents to serve him & minister to others....God finds a way.  However, too often we try to find a way to tune out/ignore God, make excuses why it's not the right time, or we're not the right person for the "job".   We might feel it is uncomfortable, too challenging, not meant for us, or that we might fail.    It may take trying things we've never done before.  It may take failing before succeeding.  God's dreams are worth pursuing even when the path takes us to unexpected places. When we find a way to do what we've never done....we grow, we change, and we become better for it. Going out on a limb is not about the risk we take, but the view of what is possible when we trust the Lord.

January 22, 2022

My New License Plate!

 I believe most states offer an "ART" or "ARTS" license plate.  Tennessee has had several over the years, but I've not really been a huge fan.



There was something about this design I really loved.  However, I resisted getting it because of the added cost. (I'm pretty cheap! ha ha)  I finally gave in though when I renewed my tags this week!  It really does make me smile every time I walk through the parking lot to my car!  It is the little things in life! ha ha  Also...some of that added money goes to the arts in TN!  So...it is really an investment.  What are your state art plates like?

January 21, 2022

Second Grade Abstract Fish

The all school art show is going to use abstract as its theme this year.  So we are starting to create some of those projects so the students can choose from several of their works. 

This week's lesson is inspired by Carole Watanabe. She is a CA based artist that works in fibers and paint.  I found her painting of a fish so beautiful & something that my students would get excited about.  It also allows them to select colors and shapes that they feel are best for their work.

Students are using pencils, construction paper, and construction paper crayons.  We will go into this work again next week using regular crayons to create the background. 


January 16, 2022

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Blue

We are at the start of a new year.  So much potential is before us.  Yet many are feeling blue.  It could be the colder weather and shorter days.  It could be that everything you wanted to accomplish over the past year did not come to be.  As an artist, we have the outlet of our work to process through these emotions.  Many artists have a "blue period" in their body of work where they will use blue and/or a darker color palette, subject matter that expresses their emotional state, or narrative work that directly reflects what they are going through. It is the only way they feel they can get out the feelings that seemingly no one else understands.

You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book. 
Psalm 56:8

I love this verse.  It isn't that answers are given, problems are solved, or everything just magically gets better.  Being a Christian does not mean that our lives will be without problems/issues/sadness.  We will feel blue.  What I love about this verse is that it shows us our God is not only aware of our pain, but is with us through out it. In Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin." Our God knows the pains & sadness we face.  There is a comfort in knowing this.  Often we can feel alone & isolated in the midst of our struggles.  Knowing that our Lord is with us, he sees us, and he comforts us through out our struggles helps us to feel less disconnected during these times. 

January 14, 2022

The start of art show projects...

 I've shared before how I "do" my art shows on here, but I thought I might explain for those of you who are new here!  Please know this is the way I do things...I'm not saying it "THE" way.  Art shows are as different as art.  The important thing is that you are giving your students the opportunity to display their work & take pride in their creations.  

I do a theme based art show.  We begin as soon as we return from Christmas break.  With snow days, sickness, and other holiday's off...I like to provide enough time for students to create several projects within the theme so they can choose their favorite work.  This year we are exploring abstract/non-objective art work.  Here are some past themes.

Dinosaurs, Bugs, Recycled, Food, Night at The Zoo, Robots/Space, Under Water, Color Explosion, Art Around the World, Secret Garden(fairies, gnomes, and other garden magic), Out of this World(aliens, ufos, alien landscapes..etc), Story Book Forest (fairy tales and fables), How Artists See.

It's not too late to start on your own all school art show!!  I can't wait to see what you come up with.  

January 10, 2022

New Surface For Demos

I use two bookcases pushed back to pack for my demo space.  I contact papered over the top of the two bookcases when I first began using this space.  Eventually...the in-between space split.  I've continued using the space but kept it to just the one half of the bookcases.  That was limiting.  Recently at Home Depot I found a board that was white board surface on one side, and chalk board surface on the other.  IT WAS ONLY $6.98!!!  I am loving the surface.  It is smooth, hides messes(Sharpie markers, paint stains..etc), nice contrast for white paper, and no crack down the middle! I know everyone has different situations for their work spaces, but this could be a solution for others out there.

January 09, 2022

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Don't Muddy Things Up!

Art can be messy at times, but some of the messes are not so desirable.   I remember professors telling me I was overworking the surface of my art and muddying it up.  This was not my intent, but my choices(poor choices) led to this unfortunate outcome.   It often occurs when one adds too much, too many ideas, too many colors, too many brush strokes, and creates a "muddy" area in their work.  It comes from rushing. It comes from lack of vision for the end product. It comes from inexperience. It comes from not knowing when to stop. It comes from being stressed. It comes from being tired.  No one intends to make their work appear muddy, but it happens. Though most artists will move beyond these mistakes as they grow/mature in their work, there are a number of factors that can cause one to still muddy things up from time to time. 

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Psalm 130:5

 Does your life feel "muddy"?   Are things in your world unclear?  Outside circumstances can play a huge part in the struggles we experience, but more often than not we find ourselves at the center of our issues. We try to fix things.  We try to make things happen before their time.  We can't seem to stop ourselves from doing this, that, and the other to make our plans come to fruition.  Our inability to wait on the Lord & his timing can often be the very thing that causes the angst in our life.  We rush relationships.  We push too hard to get ahead at work.  We try to manipulate others to accomplish our goals.  

STOP!  Before you blame anyone else for things not happening in your life...or goals not being achieved.....JUST STOP!  The Psalmist tells us.... I wait on the Lord, MY WHOLE BEING WAITS, and in his word I put my hope.  There are two things in this short verse that pack a punch!  First, "MY WHOLE BEING WAITS".  I'm an anxious person.  I am a doer.  I have a hard time resting, waiting, or being still.  The idea of my whole being waiting on the Lord is a bit hard for me to comprehend.  I mean...I'll wait, but my mind might still be racing.  The Psalmist explains how their whole being waits in the next part of the verse.  IN HIS WORD I PUT MY HOPE.  When we place the truth of God's Word at the center of our life, and our hope is in that truth...we can wait with our whole being.  

When our world seems "muddy", our direction is unclear, and our hearts are confused....WAIT ON THE LORD WITH YOUR WHOLE BEING...AND PLACE YOUR HOPE IN HIS WORD!  There you will find clarity.  There you will find direction.  There you will find peace.  There you will find HOPE!