August 31, 2022

Eye See!

This is a great one day project.  We always start each year with portraits (well...after the collaborative project) this is a great next project.  It is a one day"er" too!! I start by giving each student a quarter sheet of paper to build upon.  We talk about covering the paper, having a different color for the eyelid, making sure to grab white & black, and then three other colors that will make up the iris.  We had discussed drawing an eye when doing our portraits, and I showed them how to transfer that eyedea (see what I did there ha ha  corny dad jokes for days people!!) over to collage.  Some struggled, but over all I thought these turned out pretty successful/fun!  


August 28, 2022

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Beyond Seeing

 Have you ever met someone that just don't seem to "GET" art in its various forms?  They see a painting...don't "get" it.....and dismiss its worth.  They listen to music that is out of their norm.. don't "get" it...and dismiss its worth.  Watch a specific type of dance...don't "get" it..and dismiss its worth.  There are many things I don't care for, but I am usually able to find something about most art & art forms that I'm able to appreciate.  Why is that?  I believe that one of the main reasons for this is that I have knowledge, understanding, and experience within the arts.  What I bring to an art experience allows me to appreciate works of art even if I don't "get" it.  I am able to pull out aspects of the work that connect back to my knowledge/understanding/experience, and I'm able to trust that the artist knew what they were doing or what they were trying to communicate through their work.   I'm able to see beyond what I'm seeing (or hearing).

Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?  
And don't you remember?   Mark 8:18

In this passage of scripture from Mark, Jesus is addressing the disciples.  If you read the context, you will see that the disciples just don't "get" it.  Part of me wonders how they could not "get" things when they had Jesus right their with them?  The other part of me is relieved by their lack of understanding....because a lot of the time I'm in the same boat as the disciples. How many times have I seen God work in my life, in others' lives, or read His Word, but I still live like I just don't "get" it. For some reason these things I've seen the Lord do have not found their way to my heart.  I doubt. I worry.  I stress.  I plot & plan.  I don't trust.  I don't understand.  I don't get it.  

Seeing is only the surface of understanding.  We have to ask God to take those things we've seen Him do in us, through us, and around us....and make it heart knowledge that truly impacts us...changes us!  That way when life throws a situation at us that we don't like the looks of.....we can still see God & trust that He will use all things for His glory(Romans 8:28).  Knowledge(seeing), understanding, and experiencing allows us to know He is trustworthy.  We can appreciate the situations of life that lead us into a deeper relationship with the Lord.  

August 25, 2022

I surprised my life long friend...

Jennifer Haught and I have been friends for over 40 years.  We were in the same class K-8th grade at Midway Elementary (Not River Elementary like they said in the wasn't built way back then! ha).  We then went to River Highs School together.  We didn't have many classes together, but we had over an hour bus ride (one way) where we perfected our story telling and comedic chops!   Even though we went completely different directions after high school....we never lost touch.  There are forever friends.  The fact that we were both in education gives us much to talk about.  I admire her so very much.  She is the type of teacher you dream of having.  I watch the news online from back home, and saw they had the Golden Apple Award for educators.  I read the rules...and anyone could nominate a deserving person.  NO MORE DESERVING A PERSON THEN JENNIFER HAUGHT!!!  I was thrilled that she received the award...and it just about killed me that I couldn't tell her.  We need to be about the business of uplifting one another.  Teaching is not easy.  We need to spotlight the people that are making a difference...and who give the profession a great name!!  

So proud of you & the difference you are making in the Ohio Valley! 

August 21, 2022

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Don't Rush

Clay is all about the process.  It is not an art of immediacy.  You create & wait days for it to dry.  You place it in the kiln to fire & wait (usually close to 8 hrs plus time to cool down before opening the kiln).  You glaze the work, place it back into the kiln, fire it, & wait (another 8 hrs plus time to cool down before opening the kiln).  If you are all about instant gratification, clay is probably not for you.  If you try to fire the clay too soon it might explode.  If you open the kiln too quickly after firing the clay could crack from rapid cooling.  If you don't place enough coats of glaze on the clay before firing it again, the color could be less vibrant or the glaze will not fire to a beautiful glassy finish.  There are many things that could go wrong if you rush the process.  It takes time....and that's ok! 

Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

Our journey as believers is just that....a journey.  It is not something to be rushed.  You are where you are....and that's ok.  I've seen many become frustrated when they feel they should be "further" in their walk with God.  When they struggle with doubt, temptation, lack of knowledge, lack of experience....they beat themselves up over it. The fact that one is aware of these things shows that the Holy Spirit is at work.  The process we go through as we mature in our faith is one that takes time.  We cannot fall into the "microwave" mentality of our society.  Talk with those you see who are mature in their faith.  Allow them to share their experiences with you.  Most will tell you they are still on that journey.  It takes time...and that's ok!  Embrace the journey God has given you.  It is uniquely yours.  Don't rush to be where you cannot be without time & experience.

August 19, 2022

1st Week Collaborative Project

At the beginning of every year, I do a collaborative project with the whole school.  This year our theme is GROWING TOGETHER.  I thought leaves would be an appropriate subject matter.  We talked about color families & pattern.  Students used Sharpies to trace their pencil drawings & markers to color.  They were so beautiful & vibrant.  I  displayed them in 7 black frames around the main hall of our school & this large bulletin board in the 3rd-5th grade hall (all students pass it on the way to specials/related arts).  I'm so excited with how it turned out.  The students are loving hunting for their special leaf! (each student made two)  


August 17, 2022

Something New!

A friend of mine gave me a gift certificate for BLICK Art Supplies!  I've never ordered anything for myself from BLICK...just student grade art supplies for school.  Have you ever noticed how hard it is to narrow down what you want when are given a gift card/certificate?  I wanted to get the biggest bang for my buck.  I rarely ever spend big money on my personal art making.  I'm a teacher, husband, and father of three....I pinch pennies!!!  ha ha  I ended up getting this BEAUTIFUL watercolor set from Van Gogh. They are the botanical colors (I love to do nature paintings.)  I've not used them yet because I'm still trying to decide what layout makes sense for how I use my paint.  I'll be sure to share once I start painting.  If any of you have used Van Gogh, and have any ideas or tips to share...please leave them in the comments. 


August 07, 2022

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Dried Up Marker

 In the art room, markers are the deceivers, and one of my least favorite classroom supplies!  You know what you are getting with a broken crayon or colored pencil that needs sharpened.  They are still usable..  With markers you can't really tell till you try to color with them.  They look great on the outside, but looks are deceiving.  I've had brand new markers color like they were old and dried out & markers that were a couple years old work like new.  I test my markers a couple times a year to weed out the bad ones.  They take up space in the  box, slow down the process, and at times can damage the work by how they mark. No one had time in their life for dried up nasty markers!

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of bones and the dead and everything unclean.  In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Matthew 23:27-28

If you continue on reading this section of scripture, you will see the Lord has little patience for hypocrites.  With good reason!  If you ask those that don't go to church or who have stopped going to church why...they will often say that churches are full of hypocrites.  You know what....THEY ARE RIGHT!  We are all hypocrites.  Some of us more/less often than others.  I'm not saying it is a real excuse...because the whole world is full of hypocrites (not just those who claim Christ).  However, shouldn't the church be different?  Of all places, shouldn't we be "WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET!"  In being real, we show Christ & His work in us. Playing church, wearing a "mask", saying we're just "FINE".... all of these things play into hypocrisy that the Lord & the world deplore.  Those seeking God will not see a place for themselves among all those mask wearing-church speaking-fine people.  We need to be real with our own lives & struggles so those seeking Him will see a place where they can be real with who they are. Too often Christians get in the way of God's work by playing church instead of BEING the church.  Non-Christians or new Christians are made to feel they have to speak, look or act a certain way to be a part of the "Christian Culture".  Change is the work of the Holy Spirit.  We need to embrace people where they are...and allow God to grow them in His perfect time!  I've seen non-Christians & new Christians develop major "issues" with church because of those in the church.  The body of Christ should be a place where people feel do not fear being hurt by others. 

 I admit, we are not perfect...and we make mistakes...sometimes BIG mistakes.  However, we need to stop ACTING like Christians...and start BEING THE BODY OF CHRIST!  People are attracted to those living authentic lives.  Call it a white washed tomb...wearing a mask...or a dried up marker....there is no room for that in the church!