Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jimmy on Bass Guitar


In a recent post I showed off my musical friends the Rockits and the Hi Lites, and Jim, the bass guitarist, background singer, and my best buddy, took exception to the photo I put in of him. Oops! So to make him a happy camper again, here's to you Jimmy, some pictures that I've taken and some that you've sent to me. Hope you like these!!! :) The top pix I took last night as the band was performing at a local coffee shop here in Yorba Linda called Java Joes. Check out Jim's very cool suede shoes.


This next shot that Jim sent to me was taken last year when Jim was spiking his hair. I understand this shot is getting Jim a lot of feedback on his face book, especially from the ladies. Even one from as far away as Sweden. Work it Jimmy!


This pix was taken recently when the band performed at a venue called the Marketplace in Long Beach. Looks like Jim is taking a break and enjoying the cooling beach breeze. Love those shades!


This is a pix of the entire band performing last night including a sweet and brave young girl that Jim coaxed into coming up on stage to sing along with them. She made the evening by not only singing with the band but getting down on the floor and dancing in the front row with the ladies.


And I saved the best for last. Here's Jimmy giving Richie a big smooch at the end of the evening when they where pulling down the equipment to call it a night. So much fun! The band will perform again August 7th, 21st and Sept 4th, all Friday nights from 8:00 to 11:00. Java Joes is located on the corner of Yorba Linda Blvd and Yorba Ranch Road. Come out and join us. They serve wine and beer in the evenings.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rachel Rilloraza - Student Art


Last week, maybe longer, I posted a picture of Rachel spinning yarn on the spinning wheel. Well I've finally got the finished product to show off. Above is her handspun yarns and the beginnings of her baby sweater. The hand dyed roving came from Lori Lawson at Capistrano Fiber Arts. And the shot below is Rachel's finished piece. Notice how she alternated the darker yarn throughout the body of the piece and along the cuffs.


Below is a close up of the Fimo buttons she made and baked to go with the colors in the sweater. I'm so proud of you Rachel, this is such a beautiful sweater. Miss you woman!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Self-Portraits - Student Art


I promised I'd post these second year drawing/painting student's self-portraits about a week ago, but as usual, my busy summer schedule is getting in the way of blogging. So anyways, here they are, and I think you will find they were worth the wait. This was their 4th quarter final, and it had to be a self-portrait done in any 2-d media they were most comfortable in. It also had to be done by either looking in a mirror, or from a recent photograph, and show an identifiable expressive quality. The one above and the close up below belong to senior Caroline Ma. This was a photo that was taken of her at senior retreat. She began with watercolor, then brought in some collage and finished up by free motion stitching over top. She may also have brought in some pen and ink work. It is a phenomenal piece, and one of Caroline's strongest works of the year. I went crazy over it when she brought it in for grading then went as fast as I could to the principal's office to show it off.


This next one belongs to senior Shabina Toorawa and was done from a photo of she and her boyfriend Brandon. She executed it in charcoal and I feel it was also one of Shabina's strongest works this year. Love the expressive quality that she was able to capture in her face. Really sensitive, gorgeous work Shabina!


Next we have senior Regina Teng. She is a very creative, outside the box thinker and I always look forward to seeing how she will interpret my assignments. Regina choose acrylics to work with but then I think I remember she switched to tempera. She worked from a really expressive photo that she manipulated on the computer so she could alter the colors. She mounted the piece on cardboard and brought in some loose paint and collage work on the left. And then she cut interesting shapes around the outside edges. Very unique Regina!


Really love this next one of senior Peraya Siriwong. Such a strong visual statement. She also worked from a recent photo and in charcoal. This piece was so captivating that as physics teacher Mr. Z strolled by my room, he took a peek inside and spotted it on my wall and had to come in for a closer look. He liked it so much that he bought it from Peraya that same day. It's so cool to see how art pulls people in and moves them.


This lovely piece was done by senior Mindy Cho and I'm pretty sure she looked in a mirror to work. She began with watercolor then brought in some text with pen and ink as well as some collage work in the hair. Fantastic expressive quality Mindy, and I'm especially impressed with your watercolor work.


This next one was done by junior Jullian Kuo who is one of my up and coming stars for next school year. She worked from a photo and painted herself n acrylics. A very competent piece!


Here is another work that Mr. Z really responded to done by senior Amanda Garcia. She worked in pen and ink and came up with a highly original design. A really bold, expressive piece.


And last we have my other rising superstar for next school year, junior Hannah Park. This piece is so sensitive, so very lovely, and was done from a recent photo in watercolor, and believe it or not, paper towel collage. Yes, paper towel that you wipe your hands on in the kitchen. Hannah is such a clever girl!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Las Brisas and The Ritz Carlton


A couple weeks ago my good friends treated me to drinks at the famed restaurant Las Brisas in Laguna Beach where we sat and watched the sun go down. These two shots were of the Laguna coastline in both directions. What a spectacular view!



Afterwards as we were headed home north along Pacific Coast Highway we made another pit stop at the gorgeous resort, The Ritz Carlton for music and dancing. It's located between Laguna Beach and Corona Del Mar. I had to stop and take a picture of these two flower displays. They were both so breathtaking in their artistic arrangements. Couldn't decide which one I liked the best. Needless to say we had a wonderful evening in such a lavish setting! Isn't summer grand? :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Rockits and the Highlites


This is the first summer that I haven't been pouring myself into my art in the evenings. Instead I've been spending a lot of time with my big new Italian family, The Rockits and the Highlites. The Rockits are a band that's been playing together since the 80's and they play a lot of 50's and 60's music plus a few tunes from the 70's, and The Highlites are a singing group from Vegas that in the last couple of years hooked up with the Rockits for many of their performances. Both groups do solo performances as well as working together, and their music is both lively and soulful, and so much fun to dance to. They perform at a lot of coffee houses in the evenings as well as weddings, block parties, retirements and so forth. And I try to attend as many of these events as I can, including their rehearsals, as pictured above.


These next two posts were shot last weekend at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim for a birthday party where both the Rockits and The Highlites played together. Lots and lots of dancing. Yes, I'm burning hundreds of calories :)



The next 5 posts were shot on Fourth of July in Laguna Niguel for a block party. On saxophone is my good buddy Dan, a retired school principle, who hosts all the practice sessions and provides food and drink for everyone. It's so much fun when they are practicing because all the neighbors stop by with their children to listen to the music. The kids really respond to the music from the 50's.


Next we have bass guitarist extraordinaire Jimmy from Jersey, the head honcho in Human Resources for Taco Bell in their Santa Margarita office, and one of the nicest men I've ever met. Jim has been heading up bands since he was in high school, and is one of the background singers for the band. Jim also has a keen eye for the Fine Arts, and is quite the craftsman himself. He is a close follower of my blog and has commissioned Caroline Ma (one of my senior art stars) to collage one of his bass guitars and it's case. She's almost done and I'll be posting the results soon.


Then we have Patrick on keyboard. When we get really lucky he'll pull out his accordion and play any song you ask him to. The other night he played Moon River for me (one of my all time favorites) Pat is also an amazing artist. He hand letters signs professionally and also plays in a cowboy band when he's not playing with the Rockits. Pat told me the other night that he's been playing since he was 7 years old, and when he was on tour in Vietnam, he entertained the troops with any piano he could find.


Next we have Bobby on drums. I think his wife Michelle told me that Bobby plays for 4 different bands a week. He's got a crazy schedule. He is also one of the lead singers for the band.


And here is Tony, the lead guitarist, as well as the lead singer who is a pure joy to listen to as he makes his guitar sing. So yeah, the Rockits have pretty much adopted me into their fold and have brought so much beautiful music into my life. Now I'm trying to talk my two kids into coming with me to hear them play. Not sure that's ever gonna happen but wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby


My girl's 15th birthday started at 8 this morning when Dani's boyfriend Tyler surprised and woke her up with a beautiful bouquet of roses and a glazed doughnut, he even brought one for me, what a nice boy! Then I drove the two of them to Disneyland where Tyler treated her to a day I'm sure she'll remember for a long time. She just texted me as I'm posting this and they are watching fireworks right now. Tyler's mom is in charge of pick up tonight at 11. Glad I got the morning drop off duty!

We let her open her presents yesterday cuz it was the only time everyone was at home at the same time. Our dog Bogie was a big help with the tissue paper.

And here she is modeling her new bag and scarf. What a cutie pie! I'm so proud of the young woman you are growing into Danielle. You are smart and funny, creative and self-motivated with an unfailing commitment to doing the right thing. And your heart is so big, you show compassion, empathy and friendship to everyone you know. Happy Birthday my beautiful daughter and friend. Now would you please go pick up your room? LOL

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Clay Masks - Student Art


Every year in my Beginning 3-d art course I like to let the kids try out clay so that they might enjoy it and sign up for my Ceramics class I teach. Just found out last week that 42 students have signed up for next school year but unfortunately I only have enough room for 32 bodies. So the counselors are going to have to make a few cuts. Sorry guys there is always another year. So these are the first attempts at clay for many of my beginning students and I feel they did a tremendous job. Starting with the middle mask then working upward and clockwise we have junior Alma Gudino, 7th grader Andrew Veenstra, senior Ariel Improta, 7th grader Aman Patel, and seniors Emily Choh, Jenny Ham, and Connie Pae

A close up of the detailed workmanship that Andrew put into his piece.


These four masks are from years past. I use them as good examples to show my students what I'm after. The one in the bottom right corner is a demo. piece that I made a few years ago. One of my favorite things about teaching art is that I oftentimes get to make a piece of art as I'm showing the kids how to do an assignment. Masks are especially fun and easy for me to whip up.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Self-Portraits - Student Art


Here is senior Michelle Bui looking at herself in the glass door and drawing her portrait in charcoal as a preliminary exercise before she begins her "real" self-portrait. This is the final assignment for 4th quarter in my Intermediate 2-d drawing class. Michelle nailed herself right off the bat in this prelim that I allow only one day to complete. Then she chose a recent photo of herself and worked out her actual piece that she turned in for her final grade. The students are allowed to either work from a mirror or recent photo. This year it was about half/half. They are also allowed to choose whatever 2-d media they'd like to work in for their final piece. Michelle ended up choosing pastel for hers. Hopefully my next post will show off some of the finished self-portraits.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Julia Meng - Student Art


I have featured senior Julia Meng's work many times this past school year. This was her second to last piece that she did as a commission for 1986 Alum and lawyer Edward Ho (ex Art Club president). He commissioned the piece at Open House when he found out that another piece of hers 'Three Headed Phoenix" was already sold. So they spoke a few times and exchanged ideas and this was the final result, a sensitive, gorgeous piece. Julia used many different media in this work including spray paint, wood burning, collage, pen and ink, text, glass shards and acrylic paint. She is truly a genius and heads off to Princeton this fall to join her brother Eric there. And Julia, thank you for including me in your Valedictorian speech, and talking about how the arts have impacted so many of our students at Whitney. You made me cry and touched my heart with your words. I will miss your sweetness and your brilliance. I adored working with you over the years. Both you and your brother where such exceptional students. Thank you for all the effort you put into all four of the classes you took with me.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nature Themed Planters - Student Art


First off I really have to apologize for not posting like i should everyday. I've just been so distracted this summer and only getting to the computer a couple times a week. But I still have a lot of photos to post from the end of the 2009 school year. So please be patient with me :) I use these clay planters as final assignments every year for my Ceramics I class. They build and glaze them and then we plant them on the day of the 4th quarter final. I purchase at least two plants and soil for each student planter and then give them a brief lesson on how not to kill their plants. This year they were able to choose from marigolds, sweet williams, impatiens, lobeila, and petunias. These first two planters were made by juniors Ekta Doshi and Lihan Woo.

These next three were created by senior Jessica Song, junior Wayne Chen and senior Cynthia Tsai (who I'm missing like crazy, love you woman!)

And these last three were done by senior Estelle Hong, and juniors Steven Ebalobor and Crystal Valino. Great looking planters, hope all the plants are thriving. Keep them watered you guys! the weather is heating up!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Professional Quilt Artiist - Ricky Tims


One of my all-time favorite quilts that I've purchased is this one by international quilt artist Ricky Tims. It hangs in my home right in the entrance hall so that when you walk in the front door it's one of the first pieces of art that you see. Love the vibrant colors that he hand dyes into his cloth and check out the close up of his free motion quilting stitches. He is truly remarkable in my eyes. I've taken two classes with him over the years and he is so much fun. He is completely self taught and teaches innovative approaches to curves and fabric selections. He also sings to his students as he demonstrates. If you ever get a chance to take one of his workshops I highly recommend them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rebecca Chung - Watercolor - Student Art


I'm pretty sure I haven't posted this piece but summertime, not working, and not posting everyday is really fogging up my brain LOL. So if I have please bare with me one more time. This piece was painted in watercolor 2 years ago by one of my all time super star art students Rebecca Chung. If you've been following my blog you have already seen a couple of her amazingly executed drawings. Look under the headings of 3/4 and Frontal Views and Graphite and Value Studies. Anyways, the assignment was to paint in watercolor a floral piece that is so enlarged that it goes off the end of the paper. The students were given half a piece of quality paper. Rebecca asked for a whole sheet and proceeded to do this crazy and remarkable piece. She also brought in pen and ink when the watercolor had dried. Below is a close up. What I've always loved about Rebecca's work is that she takes the minimum requirements and then runs with them and comes up with a completely unique way of dealing with the assignment.