September 19, 2023


As an art teacher and a dad, I was curious to all the specialty Crayola Crayons in stock at Dollar Tree.  Some I had experience with, but most I had never used before.  I wanted to test them to see if they were really  something I'd purchase for my students or my own kids.



Crayola's first version of construction paper crayons were good, but they leaned more towards pastel/muted tones. Sargent came out with their own version that was really wonderful.  The colors were truer & came in a wider range.  The Bold & Bright version of Crayola's construction paper crayons are really wonderful.  The 8 pack(what is available at Dollar Tree) is nice, but the 24 pack offers so many colors that are truly beautiful & work so well together.  


I liked both the Pearl & Pastel crayons.  I'm not sure I'd say they are MUST HAVE's, but they would be nice editions.  The colors are nice & I feel they deliver on what they claim to be! 


The neon are just ok.  I think kids would enjoy them.  However, the color does not go down as well as regular colors & they really are a niche selection with limited use in most works of art.  


Save your money!  I don't really get the Confetti crayons at all?! The ones that actually show other colors present kind of make mud.  The ones where the color doesn't show up just look like regular crayons. So why bother?  The Metallic & Glitter both have very little sparkle.  If you hold the paper just right in the perfect light, maybe.  Once again...why bother? Your money can be spent else where(like on the Bold & Bright!).  

Don't take my word for it...go to Dollar Tree and pick you up the ones you are curious about. You may love the ones I didn't?!? 

(One last test...all on black paper.)

September 17, 2023

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: The Real Thing

 (This is a reworked/updated devotional I wrote in 2017. If you would rather just see my school/art room/projects type posts...check back Mondays-Saturdays!  I know that these Sunday posts aren't everyone's cup of tea, and that's ok! Love y'all. Have a great week!)

 After twenty five years of teaching art, I'm very particular about the supplies I use in my classroom.  I know what works & what doesn't.  I know that if something says "WASHABLE" I  don't want it.  In theory it is a great idea because children & art supplies often equal a messy good time.  From the outside the products even look the same.  However, when you go to use them for their intended purpose, you realize they are a poor substitute for the real thing.  Washable glue is extremely thin & watery.  It warps paper & doesn't create as strong of a bond as regular glue.  Washable crayons are spotty when you color and do not have as nice of a coverage.  Washable tempera paint is transparent, and takes multiple coats to get the color to become close to opaque.  Though "real" supplies can be messy at times, I will accept no imitations.  The risk of the real thing far outweighs the results of the imitation.

These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
Isaiah 29:13

There are several places in scripture that talk about those who "appear" to be people of God, but their heart & actions do not match their appearance.  Lets just say it is never good for them if they continue on that path.  Scripture is very clear that this type of imitation is not pleasing to God.  The Lord has never wanted our "appearances".  He wants our heart.  He doesn't want us to fake it. He wants us to live it.  That can get messy.  That can get ugly at times.  We can make mistakes.  However, the results are so much more beautiful & pleasing to the Lord than those who just appear to do the right thing, and act as if they have it all together.  When we look at the "heroes of the faith" in scripture, we will see some really "messy" people.  None of them had it all together. They made mistakes, were selfish at times, doubted God, questioned God, disobeyed God, and so much more.  However, God chose to use them.  Why?  They were real with Him.  They came to Him humbly & broken hearted for their sins.  They knew that in & of themselves they could do nothing, but with God ALL THINGS WERE POSSIBLE!  The world will say FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT.  That is not what God wants from us.  He wants us to be real.  He wants us to come to Him as we are.  Bring Him your messy.  Bring Him your pain.  Bring Him your questions.  Bring Him Your doubt.  Bring Him your everything!  He is big enough to handle it. 

September 14, 2023

The Art With Mr. E Workshop: FIELD TRIP

Slow posting...I KNOW! ha ha 

I'm trying to get back in the swing of things.

 Every year we go on a "field trip" during the three day workshop.  We've been to The Frist Art Museum, The Parthanon, Exploring the Public Art of Nashville, and taken a Mural Walk in Lebanon,TN (with a representative from the tourism department that helped get the mural projects going!). I wanted to do something different this year.  I decided to contact area artists to see if they might be willing to let us invade their space and ask questions of their life, process, inspiration, and business as a professional artist. WE WERE SO BLESSED!!!  A local ceramicist allowed us into her world....and we learned so much! 

We were making slump molds with plaster.

The shrinkage on these pieces was unreal! All from the same slump mold!

We love getting our hands dirty!!!

September 12, 2023

Start of the Year Collaborative Project

Dot Day/ Collaborative Work

I love to start the year with an all school collaborative project.  This year I gave the students two dots.  They had to turn the dots into funny fish faces that expressed a mood/emotion.  We used construction paper, pencils, and construction paper crayons.  You don't need elaborate supplies to create collaborative projects! This display is on a bulletin board by my room that is by an empty classroom.  It will remain to beginning of next year (I've been using the space for the past 4 yrs for these type of projects.)  I also have displays in two other spots in the school.  They will be up for several weeks, but then I'll change them out.