Monday, April 20, 2015


Lyrics from a James Taylor song pop into my mind 
as I look with huge happiness around our yard up at the cabin.
Daffodils everywhere from the previous owner.
In the process of moving them to more strategic locations around the rock borders and walkways 
I've built this last summer and winter.

Lots of bulbs planted,
some I forget the names of like the one above (crocus I think),
and others I remember like the hyacinth below.

And the ground cover which is all over the mountain.
 My neighbor tells me it's called vinca,
 is covered in purple blossoms right now.

I planted a nectarine tree with my son last summer
 and it made it through the winter and is now covered as well in it'd fruity goodness.

And then there is the sweet forest pansy tree that we thought we'd lost this winter,
but it's coming back to life.
It's leaves are a heart shape and so delicate.

And the tulips planted last year came up as well,
and are magnificent in their analogous colorways.

This is a cherry tree I put in for visual interest in the front of the cabin.
Sadly I did loose the top half of the tree but the bottom half is in bloom.

And I forgot about the daffodil bulbs that might be under the studio's porch we put in this summer.
But they didn't forget to bloom thru all the wood slats.
It was an obstacle course trying to get in the door.
But I love it all.

My dear mother instilled a love of planting in both myself and my son.
It was the most wonderful gift she could have given us.
One that we share together, 
work at together.
Thank you mommy,
we miss you so very much.
But know that your green thumb lives on in the both of us.

Saturday, April 18, 2015




Recently I dropped in on my dear friend Katherine to buy some sanded gout for my 3-D kids 
who were working on their mosaic frames.
And I just happened to have my camera with me,
 so I couldn't pass up the wonderful opportunity to capture the eye-catching visuals all around me.

Like this sweet little house library in front of her studio gate.
You take a book out and put a book in.
I always carry reading material in my car for red lights,
so I pulled out the two books below and replaced them with two I've recently read.
Pretty darn cool!!
I want one of these in front of our cabin.

Love Katherine's gate into her backyard and studio.
She and her husband built it many years ago.
The welcoming mosaic hand pointing to the entrance is a great touch made by Katherine.
Katherine also shares a love of gardening with me.
So whenever I visit I enjoy whatever her current project is.
Right now she is ripping out her old landscaping
 and replacing it with more drought tolerant succulents.
You can see one of her mounds is complete (mid center).
And check out that trumpet tree against her lavender painted house.
How artsy fartsy is that???

And finally,
her studio and teaching space.
Let's see what's inside...

And what's outside dotting her landscape...

Hope you've enjoyed this visual treat.
I sure did.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Springtime in Josh's Garden

Alumni Joshua Berger started this succulent garden two Septembers ago,
and it's really starting to fill in.
Most of the plantings are succulents which are more drought tolerant,
 but I also had him plant several bulbs for springtime color.
We've seen the paper whites in bloom earlier in the year,
so now it's the succulents chance to shine.
They are sending up their flowers on elongated stems,
and the ranunculus and anemones are competing for attention as well.

This was my favorite shot of them all.
It's so much fun,
 and really satisfying to watch the students walk by
 and actually pause to look at the flowers.
My work is done  :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015


plaster of paris, empty milk cartons, acrylic paint, carving tools, wood

Here's senior Kaili Hamada,
 not really sure if she likes the feel of the plaster thickening on her arm as she mixes her brew.

then above we have kili and senior bianca Tolentino carving away at their abstract figure sculptures.
It's a very messy process so I have the kids work outside my door.

And below senior Daphne Chiang uses her sweatshirt (clever girl)
to keep the sawdust out of her sinuses as she sands her wooden mount for her sculpture.

The finished works are creative and varied, 
and I'm so pleased with the results.

The kids put their hearts into this very difficult reductive sculpting process.
This year the girls asked if we could open up the requirements a bit so that they had a choice
 between sculpting an abstract figure or a non-objective work.
Both are challenging and require the use of critical problem solving.

Besides sculpting in plaster they also had to mount their pieces on wood.
Above is Kaili's finished work,
and below we have Bianca's piece,
both girls choosing to do an abstract figure.
What's so impressive to me is how differently they all turned out,
 and really showcase their individual personalities.

Daphne challenged herself with the non-objective choice
which I personally feel is a bit more difficult.
She thought so too.
But I think she did a great job,
and the mounting is extraordinary.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


graphite on paper

Every year these sited corner of my classroom drawings become more and more fun and creative.
Are they required to alter reality?
but I do encourage them to do so for EXTRA CREDIT
So let's take a peek.

I want to start with junior Jane Juan 
who is by far one of the most talented self-taught artists I've worked with in a long time.
Jane is willing to send hours and hours on her pieces to show great attention to detail and shading.
All the other students are in awe of her skills, 
and this piece was the first to sell at our Open House this year.
Miss Sara,
aide to one of our 7th graders,
 is the proud and thrilled new owner.

Another up and coming talent is junior Risha Bhakta.
The projection she was able to achieve in this work really made it stand out from the others.
Also notice all the great textual marks she laid down with her pencil.

Senior Cyrus Salvani choose to go inside my kiln room to draw from (a dark ad scary place)
 and created this gorgeous,
 visually textual work.
Notice the pointillist technique he is employing to create value.

And check out super star 8th grader Sara Ryave with her "Don't Blink" piece.
It really showcases her playfulness,
and creativity 
All my 8th graders have impressed me so much this year.

This very sensitive, 
well thought out piece belongs to junior Sneha Krish.
Love how she thought to use text on the ceiling which gives the feeling of a spider web.

This next highly expressive work was done by junior Bernice Lin.
What I see so often these days are the kids putting their feelings,
 hopes and fears into their art pieces.
I feel this is a very healthy coping technique,
 and I encourage my students to do that thru their art.

Junior Christopher Wongsavanh was able to simulate an atmospheric environment thru shading
 and the use of his eraser.
Clever young man!

And here is another of my amazing 8th graders,
Emily Chen.
Love that she thought to overlay colored pencil on top of the graphite to add interest,
 value and texture.

And then there is senior Suha Malik.
I'll never know why she waited so long to take an art class. 
She came to me incredibly talented
 and I would have loved working with her for at least one more year.
Oh well,
that's how the cookie crumbles here in my little art world.
It's been fun watching her skill level go from good to great!

And lastly I share with you one of my favorite students this year,
sweetest of all hearts,
junior Hazel Cruz.
I have Hazel in two of my classes
 and she brings so much creativity into all her pieces.
She is delightful,
and has a positive, generous spirit. 
Love you girl!