Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Book Trailer for "Just Line Around"

Hey Everyone,
I just created a new book trailer for my children's book, Just Line Around. I did it using Stop Motion animation. Check it out and let me know what you think.


Monday, November 8, 2010

"The Robot Book" Book Giveaway

Visit the Children's Book Review for a chance to win this free book, The Robot Book, by Heather Brown. It looks like a great interactive book that kids will love. Click here to enter the giveaway and watch a trailer for the book.

Good Luck!!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gililland Creativity Contest Finalists

And here they are! The first three finalists from one of my school visit art contests!! The wonderful artwork below was created by awesome artists from Gililland Elementary after reading my children's book, Just Line Around. Nearly every student at Gililland created a drawing, and there were tons of great ones. It was very difficult to pick just three, so I picked 4!! Thank you to all of the students who participated. Keep that creativity flowing!

Take a look at the pictures below and vote for your favorite by leaving a comment at the bottom. The picture with the most votes/comments by midnight on November 6th will win a free copy of my book along with some fun art supplies!!

Thanks for voting. I'm sure the kids will really appreciate all of the positive comments about their art. ;)


Picture 1 - Jordon 4th Grade

Picture 2 - Teia 5th Grade

Picture 3 - Raymond, 5th Grade

Picture 4 - 4th Grade

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Line Art

Line Art Contest

To add some fun and excitement to my school visits this year, I will be having line art contests for the students to participate in. The three best artworks from each school will be posted here, where anyone can comment on their favorite. The winner, after one week of voting, will be given a free copy of my book and some art prizes!

The Rules

1. All artwork must be student-created. Parents are free to suggest or inspire, but the drawings must be completed by the students.

2. The artwork should be created from one, continuous black line (crayon, pen, marker, etc.). If you use a pencil, be sure to trace it with a pen or marker or it may not scan well.

That's it! Pretty simple. You can draw anything from a cool pattern to a complex picture. Drawings will be judged on creativity and originality.

To get you started along the right track, I've included some sample designs.

Get that creativity flowing and best of luck!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stew Heads to Abilene

Stop by and see Stew and I as we join more than 50 other Texas authors at this years West Texas Book and Music Festival.

Here's the information:
Where: Abilene Civic Center,
6100 N. 6th St
Abilene, TX

When: Saturday, September 25th
10 am - 4 pm

Feel free to register for this event on my Facebook page.

Stew and I hope to see you there!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Help My School... Please!

During the month of September, my school has the opportunity to win up to $10,000 in much-needed technology (our printers are 7+ years old!). All I need from you is your vote!

Click here to visit my school's Digital Wish profile and then click on the large blue button that says "Click. Sign in. Vote!". On the following site, you will need to sign-in or sign-up on the Pepsi site and then click "Vote for this idea".

Please bookmark the link above and vote EVERY DAY in September.

Thank you all for your help! Any help we could recieve through this program would just be amazing!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Children's Book Giveaway

Don't miss out! During September, I will be giving away three autographed copies of my children's book, Just Line Around, on All you have to do is visit this blog, leave a comment, and you're entered! That's it. Simple, huh? Just like a horizontal line... ;)

Click here to enter!

Feel free to share the info with anyone and everyone! Best of luck!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to School!

It's hard to believe, but the first week of school has come and gone. It's always amazing how easily it all comes back after the summer break, though. It almost feels like I never left (but in a good way). Being back to work full-time like a real person (as my brother would say), sure makes me appreciate weekends more!

This year will definitely be interesting. We have new administrators, new teachers, and some teachers that changed grade level. So far it has gone great! The kids have been well-behaved and excited to get started on their art projects. I'm gonna' try out some new projects this year. The 4th and 5th graders are currently working on a "Crazy Cactus" project that I found in the book Dynamic Art Projects for Children by Denise Logan (I highly recommend). Their drawings so far are very promising. It's so cool seeing them working on something that they really enjoy. I'm very excited to see the finished artwork!

One new development is that I am in the cafeteria in the morining and for a little bit at lunch. I've already had a number of kids asking me why I wasn't teaching art anymore! :) Oh well, we'll roll with the punches and make it work out for the best!

Did you have any interesting "beginning-of-year" stories to share? I'd love to hear about them!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Louise Nevelson Art Project

This past week, I had the awesome privelege to attend trainings at three of the great museums that we have here in Fort Worth. I was able to spend one day each at The Modern Art Musuem of Fort Worth, The Kimbell Art Museum, and The Amon Carter of American Art (all of these museums, btw, have great educational classes for adults and kids).

As always, I found inspiration and beauty at every museum, but I particularly enjoyed the "Constructive Spirit" exhibit currently on display at the Amon Carter. The art is a collection of abstract paintings, sculpture, and video from the 1920's to 1950's created by North and South American artists. Now, let me tell you up front that I in no way claim to understand all of the art that I saw, but I can still appreciate the purpose behind it and the simple beauty found in the color and composition of the works.

One of the pieces that caught my attention was a sculpture by Louise Nevelson. She became famous for her sculptures made from a collection of found objects, called assemblages, (sometimes even items found on the street) attached together and painted a single color. It seems like a very simple concept, but the effect is beautiful. The piece on display at the Amon Carter was created from wood scraps glued together in a vertical arrangement and painted black, resulting in a 6 foot tall work resembling a Totem pole.

Another teacher at the training mentioned that he was already thinking of doing an assemblage art project with his kids this year, and I thought that it was just a great idea and decided to steal it! :) Don't worry, he won't mind... I think. This would also be a very simple project for you parents to do at home with your kids. You could use it to introduce your kids, and maybe yourelf, to abstract art. Here's all you need to do:

Find a base. You will need something to use as a base for the sculpture, either something like a piece of plywood or a shoebox. Keep in mind whether you want your art to hang on a wall, be free standing, or hang from the ceiling. For examples, see the "Louise Nevelson" link above.

Collect your "stuff". Gather up a bunch of found objects. It's a good idea to get more than you'll actually need so that you have some choices for your art. You can use anything from scraps of wood to small toys. On the piece that I made (below), I used wood, a gum box, a toy car, nails, screws, pennies, a picture frame hook, a spray paint lid, a pencil, an eraser, and an electric chord adapter (and I still feel that mine looks a little bare compared to Nevelson's). Some of Nevelson's works were only wood scraps and others were a collection of different types of materials, so feel free to play around with it.

Arrange it before you glue it! Be sure to experiment with the placement of your objects, don't just glue them down in the first place you lay them. Move things around, flip them over, set them on end. Find the arrangement you like best, and then you can glue it down.

Paint it! This is where the artwork really comes together. Regardless of how it looked before, once you paint everything in a monochromatic (one color) scheme, your sculpture will be completely transformed! This custom paint job will bring an undeniable sense of unity to your work. It doesn't matter if you've got a pair of scissors right next to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle; they'll look like they were made for each other.

And... Done! Now all that's left is to display it proudly. If you're an art teacher, perhaps you can find a way to install multiple small pieces together to create one large piece (her piece above exceeded 10 feet tall), or if your a writing teacher, you could have your students study and write about the artist (she was female, Jewish, and wanted to be an artist in the 1920's... I'm sure they could find one or two things of interest).

If you decide to give this art project a try, I would love to see it and post it on my blog. Send your stories and/or photos to me at Maybe I'll steal your great idea next!

Happy Creating!

Find more great ideas on my website @!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Dog Loves Books" Children's book giveaway

Hey All,
The Children's Book Review is giving away a free children's book called "Dog Loves Books" by Louise Yates. It looks to be a great story about a dog who loves books so much, he opens his own book store. A wonderful story for book lovers and dog lovers alike! For more info on the book or to enter the contest, click here. Best of luck!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Book Giveaway is Coming!

This September, I will be giving away three autographed copies of my book along with some other creative goodies. Until then, feel free to check out the site below that will be hosting the contest, they are giving away other children's books now! Good luck and stay tuned!

The Children's Book Review


Monday, July 19, 2010

Creativity Crisis!

An article on Newsweek reports on the dwindling creativity in America. This article is great and addresses an issue that is usually overlooked. Send it on to every teacher, principal, and administrator you know. Creativity is essential in our children!

Click here to read the full article.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Newsletter to Boost Creativity

In an effort to spread art and creativity, I will begin sending out a newsletter in August full of art ideas, stories, art tips, and online art games (to name a few). The newsletter is totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. If you do sign up, though, you will be given access to a series of free videos demonstrating art projects that anyone can do!

I am always looking for new ideas for the newsletter, so if you have a story to share, a cool art project, or just about any other art related information, please feel free to comment below or pass it along to me at If you'd like to sign up for the newsletter, please click here, and you'll receive immediate access to the first FREE art video!

I look forward to your thoughts!

Just Line Around Book Review Available

Hey Everyone,

My book, Just Line Around, was just reviewed at Reader Views Kids. You can take a look at it here.

We all like to get a little recognition for what we do. Have you praised someone recently? For example, my family and I are getting ready to return home from a two week vacation. Every time that we travel, my wife packs and loads the car, and she does an awesome job. It's like a big 3-d puzzle to her, and she wins every time! :) It's a little thing, but I'm glad that she does it and does it well.

Have any of you out there read my book? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. You can drop me an e-mail at or even post your review to Amazon's site or Barnes&Noble. Can't wait to hear from you!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mural Project

The school district in Fort Worth has finally loosened up on their restrictions on murals in our schools, so we decided to paint a solar system mural in ours. The students absolutely love it, and I have a hard time limiting my helpers! :) Click here to view some pictures of the mural in progress.

Have you done any murals at your school? I'd love to see some pictures, since I plan on more murals in the future.

Happy Summer!!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Contest for Free Children's Books

Interested in some free children's books? Leave a comment on this blog for your chance to win $100 in free books! Good luck and happy reading!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Visit Home

Over Christmas break, my family and I made our annual driving trip through Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas as we tried to visit everyone in our extended family. While I was back in my hometown, though, I had the great opportunity to visit the elementary schools where I grew up and share my book, Just Line Around, with them.

I spent half a day at each of the elementary schools in the area: Plains Elementary (where I went to school) and Kismet Elementary, which feeds into the high school I attended. I was able to stop and see each grade level (K-5). We read my book, asked some questions, and made some art. I especially enjoyed doing the art projects with the students since, as of right now, there is no art program in the elementary schools. The kids really seemed to have a good time, and if they enjoyed it half as much as me, I would say it was a good day!

If you would like to see more images of my visit, click here.
Oh, and if you're curious, I would love to visit your school, too! Let me know, and I bet we can figure something out. :)

Preview My Book

Want to take a peek at my book, Just Line Around? Well now you can with BookBuzzr. It allows you to read the first part of my book and see what you think. Click on the title of my book to check it out.