Friday, May 22, 2015


oil & water based pastels on paper

It's always fun for me to see what creative ideas the kids will come up with for this assignment.
First they need to find a great resource to work from.
Then their job is to enlarge it onto paper and work it in pastel,
also keeping in mind they need to fracture the work into at least 3 parts/pieces.

I was super excited by what junior Elias Rodriquez did for this assignment.
He used his best friend Kristina as his resource, 
and then built his piece dimensionally.
And to stabilize and house it he built a papier mache' skull.
A brilliant idea Elias!
I'm so impressed with your critical thinking, 
and the energy you put into this piece.
Know Elias,
that you have inspired me for next years kids.
I think this will be a new requirement to make it 3-D.
Thank you!!!

Junior Jonathan Hsu has pushed himself with the mounting of his portrait.
First of all he picked a great subject with dramatic coloring.
His fractures are over the eye and cheek areas,
but what really makes this piece pop is the framing.
Really cool!

All the students loved Nathan Chong's fracture of Kanye West.
I really like how he included the New York skyline in this fracture.
Makes so much sense for Kanye since he spends so much time there.
I just wish I'd photographed it on a different color backdrop so you could see the format better.
Sorry Nathan.

Senior Michael Cantu picked the perfect subject,
his little brother.  
 I love that!
The piece is really striking because of his color choices,
the distances between his fractures,
 and his range of values.
Great job as always Michael!

And senior Jovani Garcia surprised us by actually turning in an assignment.
And almost on time too!!
I know,
I'm a brat.
We love you and it Jovani!!
The subject is fun, 
the fractures perfectly placed.
And the addition of the colors around the head create a wonderful visual pull for the eye.
So Jovani,
I'm really looking forward to seeing your next assignment,
your scratchboard,
remember that one?
It's due,

Thursday, May 21, 2015



I've just recently discovered Liz Ackert of I'm Going to Texas blog fame
and I'd like to share her with you.

Liz is an incredibly gifted writer and fiber artist, 
who is originally from back East, 
but now lives in the beautiful hill country of Texas.
 I'm looking forward this summer to being  able to take the time to sit down
 and go thru her blog all the way from beginning to end. 
I hope you will too!

recycled clothing, plant windfall, string, clamps, copper pipe, perle cottons, Rit dye

My post from 1/7/15 showed the results from the eco-printing
 that my girls did on recycled garments from the thrift store.
What you haven't seen yet are these garments embellished with love.

Here is senior Daphne Chiang's shirt all ready for the dye bucket that we saw from the Jan. 7th post.

And here it is below,
eco-dyed and embellished.

It's so sweet Daphne.
The girls did the eco-dyeing in class,
but I had them do all the embroidery at home between other art projects.
After Daphne displayed this at Open House
 she gifted it to me because she knew how much I loved the printed marks on the cloth.
Thank you Daphne for your generosity and thoughtfulness.
I love it and you!!

Up next we have this delightful burst of color by senior Kaili Hamada.
After eco-printing it,
 she then dipped it into the tye -dye baths for a very cool look.
She really got into the embroidery...

and if you look closely you will find all kinds of cute little details.
She even embroidered her initials on the pocket.

Our English teacher, 
Donna Hall,
is the proud new owner of senior Bianca Tolentino's lovely shirt.
Donna purchased it at our Open House Show and Sale.
One of Bianca's first orders of business was to add a decorative edging 
around the bottom of the shirt and sleeves.
She also framed out the pleats with a well placed fly stitch,
and check out the cool buttons she found to attach to the sleeves.

Wonderful work as always ladies.
You make me so happy!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015



My dear friend and fellow Art Teacher over at Cerritos High School,
Ron Parks,
 organizes a district wide art show every year for us. 
He puts in many hours after school printing up labels,
delivering them to us at our various locations,
 and then the day before the show he sets up the tables and easels for us to use.
 He also covers the wall boards so that when we walk in with our pieces
 all we have to do is hang them for display.
Thank you Ron for shouldering this immense responsibility every year.

These are some of our areas of display.

I want to give a special thank you to my assistants,
alumni Alyssa Olea and Josh Berger,
for labeling, 
packing and delivering all our pieces over to the District Office.
Alyssa thought it was going to take two trips but she managed it in one with her monster SUV.

More thanks go to seniors Laarnie Barcelon and Reis Masaka.
They showed up after school to lend a helping hand and saved us a good two hours of display work.
I'm so very proud of my students and all the hard work they put in for me,
and it's such a pleasure to be able to show off their art  for the community to see and appreciate. 

I also want to feature some of the best pieces from Ron's students at Cerritos High 
that I felt really made the show special.
I want to apologize ahead of time 
 for not jotting your names down as I was photographing your work.
I will return to the show and do that this week and get your names up with your pieces.

I want to start with this work above Prayer Clasp by Minjung Soh.
Truly a masterpiece in acrylic.
Love your use of color and value.
And so very expressive.
It really touched me.
The skill level is extraordinary and I hope you will be continuing on in the arts.

Another piece that really captured my attention was this beautifully painted ballerina in acrylic,
Water & Ballet by Michelle Kim.
you can feel the dancer's movements. 
And I love how you cropped her and painted just the legs.
Powerful work!

I've always appreciated an artist who can fracture a subject.
It's very difficult to do and pull off.
And  Hilokilo, you have done it incredibly well.
I also like how you seamlessly moved your colors from the green family to the blush tones. 

But the piece that stopped me in my tracks was this watercolor.
What high school student in America watercolors like this???
It's the very talented Minjung Soh again in Morning Road.
I thought it was done by a pro who had been working in watercolor for years,
not weeks.
Let me know if it's for sale!!!

And another one.
What's going on Mr. Parks???
I'm completely flabbergasted at the level of watercolor that you are getting from these kids.
Based on just this one piece in his portfolio,
Prithi Chauhan should be accepted into any art college of his choosing.

And what a sophisticated work this is!!
Great choice of subject,
Patrick Del Rosa!
Wonderful depth of perspective,
and even has a bit of the feel of an M.C Escher work.

And I want to end with this playful and fun watercolor.
I love your subject Jalyssa Groom in Kyoto at Night
and it's asymmetry,
your attention to detail,
and your color choices.
There was no way I could walk by this work without stopping to take a gander.

Ron Park,
whatever you are doing over there in your classroom,
it's working.
And I feel very fortunate that we can display our students works together for all to see and enjoy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


glue bottles and oil pastels

One of my favorite assignments to do with the beginning drawing students are these Glueline Portraits.
It forces the kids to abstract their subjects whether they want to or not.
That's because they have to draw their model with the spout of a glue bottle.
And you can't erase glue.  
Ha ha
We let the glue dry for 24 hours then come back into the piece with oil pastels.
FUN, FUN, FUN!!!!!!!!!!!
Let's take a look.

Superstar junior Jane Juan did these first two (one for extra credit)
Her model on the one above was junior Kyla Balquin,
and on the one below senior Suha Malif.
Everyone was so blown away by both her pieces including me!
Brilliant designs and colorwork Jane.

This next beauty was done by junior Hapshiba Kwon of 8th grader Olivia Krueger.
Not only did she draw flowers in her design,
 but she also attached silk flowers around her edges for additional pop.

Senior Karisma Dev created this very clever work with senior Yasmeen Pardo as her model.
She bordered with an additional piece of paper that she brunt the edges on, 
and on the other side she opened up ketchup cups from McDonalds and smashed them down.
But my favorite part is how she put a censored label over Yasmeen's mouth.
 I wonder why that is Yasmeen 

Up and coming star 8th grader Sara Ryave used junior Christopher Wongsavanh as her model.
I think it's so cool how she thought to bring in text into her work,
 and how she  also used the glue spout to create texture in her background.
And her use of color is quite striking as well.

Another talented 8th grader is Olivia Krueger.
I adore her portrait of junior Hapshiba Kwon.
Love the cracked face, 
the lace collar, 
and that gorgeous purple she used for the hair.
Probably your most important piece of the year Olivia!

Junior Katherine Ku went all out on her portrait of junior Jamie Rivas.
She really captured this young man's fastidiousness in dress and appearance.
I also really feel her color choices were spot on.

Besides abstracting with the glue spout, 
I encouraged the kids to abstract thru color, 
distortion and exaggeration.

Here is junior Bernice Lin's portrait of junior Hazel Cruz.
Again we see beautiful color choices, 
and exaggeration
 which makes this such a powerful piece.

Junior Jimmy Hwang turned 8th grader Rochelle Serrano into a fortune teller.
Clever young man!

And lastly we have junior Charity Lazardo's interpretation of senior Suha Malif.
Notice the strong diagonal movement she has created in her design.
Very appealing to the eye,
along with her mainly secondary color scheme.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing these remarkable pieces 
as much as I enjoyed watching the kids create them.

Monday, May 18, 2015


extra credit

Two posts ago I featured senior Laarnie Barcelon's participation in a 
Recycled Art to Wear Fashion Show.
These are her fabulous pictures from the show.
Description by Laarnie.

The outfit is made in two parts, the bodice top and the skirt bottom. 

The bodice is made out of saran wrap and masking tape. 
Afterwards, newspaper had been starched on,
and finished with a Mod Podged coating over top of the bodice.
 In the back (not pictured) are two strips of elastic that help keep it closed 
while giving it a bralette-like design. 

The skirt portion is made out of a textured packaging material for music stands 
that is as sturdy as cardboard,
 but is as thin as paper.
 Around the skirt are origami roses made out of old school handouts and tissue paper rosettes.
 To bring in some bits of color,
 old purple nail polish and gold acrylic paints where used around the skirt.
 The black front of the skirt is an old garbage bag 
that had been used to transport fabrics to and from school. 
They had been cut up and then I gathered them to have a ruffled look. 

 The cuffs that you see here are the cardboard coffee sleeves from Starbucks drinks
 that had been embellished with black plastic bows from a broken old toy.

Hanging from the bottom portion of the skirt are white stars made out of Styrofoam
 from an old take-out box. 
The stars's edges are painted with the same nail polish
 that had been used on the skirt to bring more of the purple throughout the design. 
The stars are attached to the skirt with an old rose wire
 that I reclaimed from my cheap .99 cent childhood jewelry. 

The bodice and skirt are held together using an industrial Velcro that connects at the waistline.
 I felt the dress looked a little bland with the bare waistline,
so I added a lace up belt.
 Extra accents to the design are the black petticoat, 
black felt hat, 
black heels,
 and a paper decoupaged suitcase.

Bravo Laarnie.
Well done!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2015


This weeks postings have all been about senior Laarnie Barcelon.
 She has been and is an extraordinary art student and deserves to be recognized for going above and beyond on every assignment

The Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta Georgia is Laarnie's Dream School.
but sadly out of the question for her family at this time.

So I nominated Laarnie for a full ride scholarship,
hoping we could get her in that way.

She heard back from them recently...

It's not as much as we were hoping for,
 but at the same time I'm thrilled that they acknowledged and offered her a partial ride.
It remains to be seen what Laarnie's next move will be.
She's one talented lady and wherever she ends up she will make her mark. 

Congrats Kiddo!!

Saturday, May 16, 2015


to Laarnie Barcelon.
For participating and modeling in this show.

You can see her name below,
 and her entry Modern Neutrals.
Just wish I had a pix of the garment to show
please send so I can add to this post.  :)