Monday, October 15, 2018


James Vincent Sposa II,
my husband, 
has brought so much happiness and joy into my life since the moment I met him on April 19, 2009. 
He makes me laugh and guffaw every single day.
He is my biggest fan, 
and he lets me fly my freak flag whenever I want
which is often
ha ha.

He cries at sappy movies (melts my heart).
He has loved and supported my children as his own since the day he met them,
and he will patiently visit as many art stores as I want to stop at.
He is up for any adventure I suggest,
and he picks up after me.

He greets me at my car everyday when I pull into the garage
and unpacks my lunch pail.
He makes sure I don't sleep past my 3rd alarm in the morning,
will surprise visit me at school with flowers, balloons, and plants,
and manages my thrifting business up in the mountains.
He rescues me when I run out of gas or get myself into accidents,
and doesn't make me feel bad when I screw up,
which is often.
He tends to my wounds which are plentiful since I am clumsy and hurt myself often.
He is especially patient with my growing loss of hearing and eyesight,
which I'm sure is pretty darn annoying to him
hee hee.
He fixes everything that breaks, 
and never procrastinates.
He shares his yummy food, milkshakes and ice cream with me when we go out,
cuz he knows I won't order those things for myself,
and he always tells me how nice I look no matter how many extra pounds I put on.
 He has the dog whisperer touch and is the best dad to our pup Sophie Jean.
He is an artist, inventor and a musician 
with all kinds of surprises awaiting me when I get home from work.
I never know what he will create next.

James you are my partner in crime,
my best friend, husband and the love of my life.
I'm so happy and thankful that I found you.
You were sent by an angel. 
I love you,
and can't wait to celebrate your birthday when I get home from school today.

Sunday, October 14, 2018


dyed wool rovings, wash board, hot water, soap

Some years I have the kids work & felt over a children's bouncy ball from the grocery store,
but senior Rachel Kannampuzha wanted to try felting a 3-d form from scratch.
I had her watch several you-tube videos before she began.
She understood how to felt flat because we did that in the Beginning 3-D class.
so this was a natural transition that she really enjoyed.
Rachel especially loved working with the colors I had available that I had purchased from
Gleason's Fine Woolie's Ranch in Lyons Colorado.
She also was required to learn how to do basketry coiling 
so she could incorporate it into her piece.
She ended up using it as an ending lip treatment.
I really loved the contrast between the cool color on the inside and the warms on the outside.
A stunning piece Rachel!
Very proud of you.

Friday, October 12, 2018


porcelain clay, ceramic watercolors, transparent glaze

On September 16th I put up a post of my own work
that was an example of a new assignment I had tried last year.
I personally loved doing the demo so much that after the kids left that day 
I made about 20 more for Xmas presents for my staff here at Whitney.

But before I even did that I had a favorite Ceramics student from 2 years ago,
Eunice Shim,
try out the idea.
The piece above was her trial,
and it turned out so well,
I knew the next years kids would like it.
And they did.
The results were lovely.
Let's take a look see.

This first one was made by junior Sara Ryave.
I loved the interior design she embossed with her own stamps 
that she and the others made in their 3rd assignment just for this project.
And then the way she used the ceramic watercolors was brilliant.
So pretty Sara.
Here it is again but at a different angle.

Next we have the lovely work of junior Dustine Ansiboy.
First note the delicate stamps she made,
then the way she applied the sensitive watercolor,
and lastly the tiny little bits of colored sparkles.
She got that by sprinkling tiny chards of colored glass
over top the piece before it went into final glaze firing.
Love it!!

I've got a couple others for you to see as well.
I really liked the edge treatment that senior Michelle Hwang put around the outside of her plate,
as well as the tiny square stamp she used to highlight interior.
And senior Augustine Lee used the back end of his bug pick (needle tool)
 to stamp around the outside edge of his main stamps,
and the needle point of his pck around the interior edge of stamps.

Both senior Ashley Scott and senior Renee Kim did fun edge treatments as well.
And stamped text is always a great touch.

What I didn't do last year that I will this next is give the kids a watercolor lesson
 with real watercolor paints so they can practice applying them first on paper
 before they go to the clay's bisqueware surface.
I live and learn from one year to the next.

Thursday, October 11, 2018


india ink, felt markers & watercolor accents, silk flower & plant props

These are always a favorite assignment of the Beginners.
They take great pride in the outcome,
oftentimes getting their parents to frame them up.
And each year they seem to get more and more remarkable.

Like this creation by junior Esther Ahn.
What a complex, beautifully crafted and designed piece this is.
She planned this out before she began after lots of research into past pieces she viewed on the blog.
I use the blog as homework for whenever I start a new project with the kids.
They must access it at home and pull up the project 
and look thru all the others that have been done from years past for inspiration.
Of course they may not copy anyone else's work.
Here is a close up below of the intricate pen work Esther put into the text..

This next one was made by junior Manishka Ranjit.
She designs with this woman's silhouette in a lot of her artwork,
along with putting different hats on her,
flowers surrounding and running thru her and shades of lavender to color areas in with.
It worked out perfectly for this assignment.
Check out the tiny marking pen details below.

And lastly we have senior Jessica Mones.
Love how she has drawn the plant thru the ship and bird.
It feels really magical like I am in a Peter Pan adventure.
I miss you Jessica.
Hope you are continuing to do more in the art world.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


2012 Alumnis Alyssa Olea & Lucien Morales,
who have been best friends and dating exclusively since their junior year in High School,
tied the knot Saturday the 22th of September,
at the most lovely venue at Twin Oaks in San Marcos, Ca.,
an old school house with estate properties around it.
Over a hundred family and friends watched them become husband & wife
in a perfect garden setting amongst the oaks.
Back in the day (2010-2012) Alyssa was an outstanding Ceramics student of mine
as well as extremely competent Teacher's Aide.
After she graduated, 
I asked her to come work for me 6 hours a week to help with all aspects of running the Art classes.
She also works part time for her Father & Grandfathers business,
as well as attending college full time majoring in Art Education.
Alyssa & Lucien were able to maintain their long distance relationship 
while Lucien attended MIT for the past 4 years.
Lucien now has a great job with an Aero Space/Engineering firm
while I'm grooming Alyssa to take over my Art Classes.
I've got my fingers crossed.

The Most Gorgeous Dress & Train from Kleinfeld's in Manhattan, N.Y.

The I Do's & Kiss

The Maid of Honor,
best friend Alex Tudor

The Girls

The Guys

The Flower Girls & Ring Bearer,
too cute right?

The First Dance & Dip

The Scrumptious Food &  Drink 

The Student and her Art Teacher,
now Assistant & Mentor.

It was my and my husband's pleasure to celebrate this memorable day with Alyssa and Lucien.
We wish you Health, Happiness, Love, and Many, Many Children.
hee hee

Monday, October 8, 2018


I believe this is the first look at this year in my classroom.
I'm still trying hard to finish up posting all the fabulous student work from last year.
But this was such a special moment last Friday that I just had to share!

And by the by,
LOVING all my students this year,
and knock on wood,
things couldn't be better with my 9 new classes.
We've got Period 2 - Beginning & Intermediate 3-D Art
Period 3 - Beginning, Intermediate & Advanced 2-D Art
Period 4 - Beginning & Intermediate 3-D Art
Period 5 - Beginning, Intermediate & Advanced Ceramics
Period 6 - Conference (my lunch & break time to get caught up)
Period 7 - Art Wheel 7th Graders

Getting used to my new schedule this year was challenging but I've finally got in the groove.

So what happened on Friday was that a skein of Perle Cotton accidentally got tangled by yours truly
ha ha,
and 4 seniors came to my rescue 7th during their free period.
Instead of letting me struggle with it,
 they all showed up and wanted to help out.
So it literally took all four of them a good 20 minutes or more to untangle the skein.
Needless to say,
it was adorable and too cute watching their intent sweet faces at this mind-boggling task.
From above left clockwise a big thank you to seniors Hailey Acosta, Chris Campos,
Eugene Ho and Steffany Reyes.
A rare pix of Eugene above not taking life so seriously.
And just look at the focus on Hailey's dear face.
All such cutie patooties.
Love them dearly.

Sunday, October 7, 2018


2018 Alumni Tiffany Chen,
one of my top art students last year,
is in her 1st Semester at Art Center in Pasadena along with Alum Sarah Oh
who I focused on last week.
I recently asked Tiffany if she had any finished pieces she could photo 
and send so we could see what she's been up to.
She sent me several works from her various classes,
but it was these two that really fascinated me and I wanted to share with my students.

In this piece for Tiffany's Composition and Drawing Class
she had to draw a scene of a person split into 3 parts:
skeletal structure, clothed, and nude.
What a challenging first project!
And what was even more difficult about this drawing 
was that Tiffany worked in a 3/4 view for all 3 parts instead of doing the easier frontal or profile.
I love how realistic the toes and fingers look Tiff.
Fantastic job young woman,
 and what a cool assignment!

And I adore this assignment as well for her Perspective Class.
Tiffany had to draw a bridge with 3 arches in 2 Point Perspective.
I love that we can see all her work underneath the bridge.
I cannot wait to try this myself and perhaps incorporate it into my Perspective Unit next year.
Thank you Tiffany for these two very inspirational pieces,
and of course for sharing them with all of us.

Please send more when you can.
I miss seeing your gentle sweet smile to start my day with.

Thursday, October 4, 2018


Here was little Granger (my cutie patootie) at 8 weeks when I introduced him on July 22nd
with his Uncle Bogie,
mine and my ex's Rat Terrier. 
And now here he is almost 2 1/2 months later almost all grown up.
He is weighting in at 25 pounds and the Vet thinks he will probably grow to as much as 45 pds.
But he still has his adorable puppy ways going on;
biting, chewing, almost potty trained but still having accidents and hiding his mommy's shoes.
My daughter is training him daily with the help of a real trainer who comes to the house
once every two weeks.
Blue Heelers like Granger are super smart and he is learning quickly.
He also needs at least 2 hours of daily exercise
which includes lots of running and chasing.
So my daughter takes him to dog beach at least 3 times a week when she's off work,
and then to several different dog parks everyday.
He also gets taken to his other grands every weekend to their beach house 
and romps for hours on the sand with their dogs (his other Uncles).
And I can't forget to mention the puppy smoothies his mom buys him at Starbucks
as treats for when he is a good boy.
Smoothies for dogs???
What a gimmick!
ha ha
There is a ranch in Long Beach where Red and Blue Healers (Cattle Dogs)
can run for 6 minutes with a flock of sheep and practice their natural herding tendencies.
Apparently after 6 minutes they are utterly exhausted.
I can't wait to take him there.
He's already so fast.
Right now he's long and skinny,
and has passed up his Uncle Bogey.
Danielle continues to work on his socialization skills.
Ha ha
There is a couple at Dog Beach who rescue 2 legged dogs.
Here is Granger with one of those sweet pups.
Here are the two of them below the other night waiting for my daughter and I to come home.
They are sitting side by side at my ex's home facing the front door.
He took this pix and said they sat there the whole time we were out to dinner.
Way too cute!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018


Heads & Hands Class at Art Center

The teacher had us draw our faces 
with certain facial muscles exaggerated in acrylic ink using a cross hatching style.
This week I have to do another one with an orbicularis oculi muscle.
What the heck is that Sarah??

2018 Alumni Sarah Oh,
superstar art student extraordinaire here at Whitney for the past 2 years,
recently sent me her latest pieces 
from her 1st semester at Art Center School of Design in Pasadena.
I am astounded by the way she has captured her face and hands,
and of course also bringing in her signature style by adding animals into the work.
These are fabulous Sarah.
Thank you so much for sharing them with us!
Now I'm hoping 2018 Tiffany Chen will also send us the work she is doing there alongside Sarah.
They are rooming together
and loving the school and already telling me how much they are learning.
I'm so excited for them as they begin this next journey.

Monday, October 1, 2018


graphite on paper

I get so many great responses when I show off these Before & After Drawings,
especially from my student's faithful follower Liz Ackert from I'm Going to Texas blog fame.
I teach drawing out of Dr. Betty Edward's classic book
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,
and take my beginners thru the first half,
 and my Intermediates thru the second half of her book.
I started teaching with her exercises after I snuck into her college class at CSULB 
as a Non Art Major  Ha!
And even though I already knew how to draw,
I really didn't know how to teach others to do it.
The big jump in my own levels was astounding to me,
and as you will see
the results here are just as remarkable as you will see from this group from last school year.
and prepare to be shocked!!

It takes about 4 1/2 months to get the kids thru the drawing exercises to this finished After Portrait.
(above right)
I try to pair them up with someone they do not know (less chance of being distracted).
I ask them to draw each other in profile and do the best they can without any instruction
(drawing on the left).
I never know at what level they will come in at.
Sometimes as low as 1st & 2nd grade all the way up thru about 9th grade drawing level.
Then I don't allow the kids to see their Before
 until they are mounted next to their Afters at Open House.
It's so much fun watching them react to their improvements.
And there is always improvement!

This first one was done by senior Jessica Mones of 8th grader Brandon Delgado.
Remarkable right??

Here we have 8th grader Summer Lee
making a huge jump in skill levels drawing 8th grader Risha Cenidoza .
Lovely Summer!

And how about this one by senior David Tung capturing 8th grader Siddhant Watwani.

Junior Esther Ahn has come in with really nice skills
and is now drawing almost photorealistically of junior Kiana Sanchez.

This is junior Ellya Gholmieh being drawn by 8th grader Madison Plotkin.
Very Rubenesque wouldn't you say of both.
Amazing work Madison!

And this is the spitting image of junior Phoebe Lao drawn by 8th grader Eric Ren.
Wow Eric,
you nailed her!

What a huge jump this is for junior Steffany Reyes.
Tremendous job woman!

And make sure to look closely at the folds in the hoodie in the After of 8th grader Tin Pham.
This last piece was drawn by junior Manishka Ranjit who also came in with some drawing skills.
But man oh man,
has her style become so much more realistic and clean.

Way to go young ones!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2018


 After months of no rain,
everyone in Southern California is hoping for our first big shower.
The clouds started coming in early tonight
looking like flying saucers.
Everyone in the parking lot at Ralphs was taking pictures of them.
And then off in the distance we saw this crazy formation below.
Apparently there is a hurricane coming up from Mexico that is suppose to dump some rain on us.
Bring it on!!
We are ready for some water!

Friday, September 28, 2018


for a Color Wheel.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


watercolor brushes, paper, & pigments
fine felt tip markers

we've come to the end of seeing the artwork from the 2nd Quarter 7th graders from last school year.
These were their Final
and there were so many exceptional ones in the bunch.
This assignment requires 3 class periods to complete.
One day to lay and flick the watercolor down in a Color Scheme they can name,
and 2 hours during Final testing to outline their found creatures,
then Zentangle them in.
These are each so very unique and whimsical.

Audrey Cho

Kameryn Mitchell

Aaron Park & Kayla Hamakawa

Akarsh Suresh

Bianca Contreras & Matthew Bautista

Krystal Lin

Koa De Leon & Rachel Song