Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Lilies at the cabin.

Cacti & Mandevilla Flowers on home patio.

Monday, August 13, 2018


graphite on white paper, colored pencils

One of our favorite veteran teachers asked me today if I had noticed a lack of creativity 
in the kids coming up thru the ranks recently
because she has.
I told her no I hadn't, 
but what I have noticed is a lot more procrastination and lack of effort.
And I blame this on the Internet and gaming devices.
Our children are addicted,
and are admitting to me that they spend way too much time on them 
instead of limiting themselves so they can get their schoolwork done.
I believe that this is a huge problem worldwide.
But as you will see here,
there is no lack of creativity in these young ones.

We started with the most talented young 7th grader in the class,
Akarsh Suresh.
What you are seeing above is raw talent.
I hope so much he will come back to me this year so I can help him refine his technical skills.

Next we have Zoe Hoksbergen,
one of my favs of all the 120 7th graders I worked with last year.
The reason was because of her maturity and wisdom.
She was like an old soul,
very wise, attentive and intuitive.
Everytime I looked her way in her class of 31 kids,
she was the one who was the "most with me" as I spoke.
And man oh man,
did I love that!
She also has a very creative side for illustration.
Like we saw in the last post on this group,
her work could be used for a children's book. 

This next one took my breath away.
Such a powerful piece because of the dynamic movement of the sphere
and the use of color.
And what a wonderful border!
These last 3 pieces I'm totally guessing who created them
 because I can't find any paperwork on them.
So these are my best guesses.
Young ones,
send me a comment or e-mail and let me know if I'm wrong so I can make corrections.
I believe this one was done by either Audrey Cho or Adelle Serrano.

I want to say that this one belongs to Matthew Bautista.
Love the diagonal that he used for horizon and placement of sphere.
And of course the colored pencil really helps this piece to pop!

I'm pretty sure this one belongs to Kayla Vicencio.
I love the beautifully done Zentangle border she put around her sphere.
it could possibly belong to Hanna Estrada.
Let me know!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2018


watercolors, watercolor paper, watercolor brushes, pen & ink, collage accents, silk flowers

I had one 3rd year art student this year,
senior Samantha Tun.
She was in my 2nd period class along with 28 Beginning and Intermediate 2-D students,
which means I juggled 3 different classes at one time.
A great way to burn calories!
Sam created many outstanding pieces and she especially enjoyed working in watercolor.

I feel it's important for the kids to get a chance to see what it's like to work on a large scale.
So I asked her to design a composition by enlarging a flower
 so that it's parts went off the edge of the paper,
then to paint it with watercolor
and add a bit of paper collage and pen & ink.
Let's see what she came up with .
Lovely isn't it?
Here's a bit better shot below.

And some close-ups so you can see her collage and implied pen & ink lines.
I was so proud of her.
Sam tackles every project with so much confidence.
The large scale (18 by 24) did not intimidate her.
At her age I would have been scared to death because watercolor can be so unforgiving.
Bravo Samantha!!

Saturday, August 11, 2018


My daughter Dan invited me this last week 
to drive down to Carlsbad Beach, Ca. with her and the new pup Granger Doodle
for his first big outing.
All his puppy shots were done and he was raring to get out and about.
I was delighted to accompany her and my puppy grandson.
Our first stop when we arrived was a place she had found on the Internet
called Succulent Cafe.
Both of us love succulents and this little place was a gem and worth the hour drive.
It's a combo coffee/bakery and plant shop with indoor and outdoor patios among the plants.
Every succulent known to man is for sale in the most eclectic planters
like cupines, colanders, car oil funnels, door windows, levi's, shovel heads, and so much more.
We spent a good hour and a half trying to take everything in and do a bit of shopping
with the pup. 
Here is a vintage wood door with window panes removed and chicken wire used to replace them.
Moss was tucked into each hole and a brilliant array of succulents were thriving
as you can see above.
Here are the digging shovels
and below one of the largest succulent flowers I've ever seen.
After having lunch at a scrumptious BBQ dog friendly place,
we drove a few miles north and stopped in the beachtown of San Clemente.
Wonderful mom & pop stores, trendy boutiques and more fabulous eateries awaited us.
Below is the point where Granger had had his fill of shopping.
He is so attached to his mommy that he cried for her as she visited the cute little boutiques,
and made enough fuss to let us know he was ready to go home.
Overall he did great.
A sweet little car rider,
and very happy to meet everyone who gave him attention,
including other doggies.
I was a very proud grandma.
Ha ha

Friday, August 10, 2018


clay, glazes & oxides

Not sure if I've mentioned yet that I adored this year's Ceramic classes.
Because of other scheduling conflicts I was given two periods of clay 
which was heaven for me.
And in both those periods (4 & 5) we had a blast!
So this year when I share the clay pieces it will be a combination from both periods.
Did I also mention I had some very talented clay beginners this year?? 
Several that I haven't worked with since they were in my 7th grade Art Wheel classes.
It was such a joy to have them back in the fold,
and to see how grown up they were.
Most of them anyways.
  ha ha

We start with senior Michelle Hwang with this highly sophisticated pinch vase form.
Keep in mind this is only the 2nd or 3rd project at the beginning of the year.
And a vase form is one of the most difficult to build.
Most of the students were only able to pull off bowls or mugs.
So bravo Michelle!!

We have several very talented up and comers in clay, crafts & art this year.
Junior Dustine Ansiboy was one of them. 
You will see so many of her pieces from this last year in both clay and crafts.
And I'm thrilled to say she will be coming back to me for 2 more classes this year!
Besides achieving a perfectly round pinch bowl,
she beautifully embellished it with coils and clay roses.
Such delicate and patient work.

Another superstar you will see a lot is junior Lina Kim.
She was one of my best students in the 7th grade art class,
 and I still teach with several of her pieces she gifted me back then.
Lina's a funny young woman.
She rarely likes anything she makes 
but the rest of us love her work.
She crafted this clever octopus mug above.

Next up is senior Renee Kim with this adorable mug.
There were 2 things I especially enjoyed about this piece.
With the way she finished off the lip and not smoothing out her cracks,
 it almost looks like a sweet abstract creature busting out and coming alive.

Junior Sara Ryave was another junior that stood out to me this past year in both 7th and 8th grade
in the Art Wheel and Beginning 2-D art classes.
When she works she goes deeply into Right Brain,
using her problem solving artist skills and turns all her clay pies into sculptures of some sort.
We all got a good chuckle when we saw she attached eyes and feet to this mug.

And we end with senior Ashley Scott,
whose wonderful mother was also a superstar of mine back in the day.
Damn I love that!
 design and great craftsmanship run in the family
 because everything Ashley created I wanted to buy from her to enjoy and teach with.
Most of her work was not for sale at Open House because her mother wanted to keep it,
but I got incredibly lucky.
At the end of the year she gifted me with her amazing bell sculpture that we will see later this year.
Thank you Ashley!!
It hangs in my garden and sounds lovely.
I wanted to show both shots of her pinch pot because I loved the organic feel of it along with all the rocky embellishments and the way she glazed to to show all of that off.
Another outstanding work!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Not for the faint of heart,
but this past Wednesday 
I was bitten in the upper back side of my leg by a Copperhead Pit Viper.
It's one of the lesser poisonous snakes in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Did I live to tell the tale?
 I'm fine,
 but itchy,
and very ugly & swollen.
It happened when I stepped on it's nest when I was raking a bunch of leaves.
It jumped up from behind me and gave a good old bit.
The Internet says they are nesting with their babies right now,
so I must have really pissed it off.
(keep in mind these are really ugly shots of my leg.
I hope I look better in person ha ha)
This pix is night one after the bleeding stopped and the fang marks got too swollen to see.
Did it hurt?
Oh my YES!!!!
Like a thousand bee strings at one time.
And then it pounded and throbbed all night long.
But I had no other typical snake bite symptoms.
This is the next morning above,
still very mad and swollen.
By afternoon,
for my piece of mind and my children's  hee hee,
I went to Urgent Care to be sure I was gonna be ok.
The Doc put pen marks around the swelling 
and told me to come back if it grew larger or if I got any of those other snake bite symptoms.
the next morning it looked  this,
a bit smaller in some areas but spreading a bit in others.
But I was fine and anyways the Doc gave me an Antibiotic just in case.

It has now been exactly a week since I received the bite and it's barely noticeable.
So I'm gonna live.
But the coolest thing about it is that the poison in these types of snakes 
cures rats with cancerous tumors,
but has not been tried on humans yet.
So my philosophy is that this happened for a good reason 
and now I have a magical elixir in me in case I might develop cancer.
I feel very lucky this wasn't a rattler.

Monday, August 6, 2018


Every year as I'm teaching my Intermediate 3-D students to knit,
I get to build a piece/scarf of my own as I demonstrate.
The entire time I was cropping these and color correcting them I kept thinking 
this doesn't look like senior Rachel Kannampuzha's piece,
her colors were so much softer.
And after looking thru many picture folders I've finally realized it's not her's,
it's mine.
I've made so many of these over the years I didn't even recognize this one.
So Rachel,
no worries,
I will find yours eventually.
And that's right,
now that I'm thinking about it,
you made a pillow top,
not a scarf.
Boy am I losing it!
Time to retire Debra Ann.
What's even worse,
I don't even remember what I did with this scarf.
Did I sell it?
Did I give it away?
I'm hoping one of my 3-D students from last year can help me figure it out.
It just sucks getting old  :(
These are hand dyed wool yarns that were my demos from years past,
plus a couple I made this past year for Rachel.
And you are seeing a bunch of different patterns I taught her after she learned to knit.
I believe there were 8 or 9 in all.
She was taught to sew them together into a pillow top or scarf.
Then she learned to crochet a simple edging around the whole thing to tie it together visually.
Hopefully we will see yours soon Rachel!


Ahhhh, a nice cool wet towel.
Thanks Daddy!
We've been sweltering this July.
90's & 100's with some serious humidity.
I feel most sorry for the animals who have to stay outdoors.
 our little pooch here,
has air conditioning most of the time,
except when she's hanging out with us in the garage here.
Then it's wet towel time.

Saturday, August 4, 2018


Midsummer garden

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


clay, sawdust fire, acrylic paint, nail polish & metallic rubbing compounds
with added embellishments

The Ceramics I students are in awe of this assignment,
and know if they sign up for a second year,
they will most likely have to make a Rainstick.
It's a fairly difficult slab assignment because it's on a large scale,
and when it's said and done is required to make a lovely musical sound from within,
just like raindrops tinkling.

We start with Chloe Chang's elegant octopus.
Loving how she placed it's tentacles,
as if it had its hands are on it's hip for a bit of attitude.
She used the metallic rubs for a bit of color,
then balanced that with the same color neckpiece.

Next let me introduce wild and crazy junior Eugene Ho.
He bravely came back for a second year in Ceramics II after having taken it last in the 8th grade.
I never knew what Eugene had up his sleeve this year,
but it was always surprisingly out there!
We all loved his Rainstick.
So animated and full of life.
He's got this crazy surfing penguin with the wild hair
with fish swimming around the base.
Brilliant Eugene.
He chose to Sawdust Fire the piece then decorated it with nail polish for intense color.
Like I said,
he's a very brave soul! 

I believe I gave the kids the choice between Sawdust or Glaze Firing.
This year they all chose the Sawdust.
It'a a primitive firing technique used all over the world.
Done easily with an old oil drum, newspapers and sawdust.

This piece here is the work of junior Julia Ruiz.
like Chloe and Eugene,
 had Ceramics I in the eighth grade.
All were anxious that they had forgotten all their skills and techniques they'd learned.
But here we have another global skill like I talk about all the time.
Once you learn to work with clay ,
you never lose it.
Julia sculpted this adorable Koala on top of a piece of bamboo for her design,
and after Sawdusting,
 painted with acrylics & embellished.

This last one was made by senior superstar Sarah Oh.
At first when you view it 
you have no idea it's a Rainstick until you pick it up and turn it upside down.
Sarah is known for her images of animals, fish and birds.
Here she incorporated a couple to design her piece with.
A close up to see both birds & details in the clay.
Everyone agreed that this piece was very like-like,
and belonged in a gallery.
It was one of last school years highlights at Open House.
We all cannot wait to see what Sarah will produce in Art School in Pasadena.
She will be attending Art Center of Design in the Fall.
Our hearts are with you Sarah.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


pastel on black construction paper

I was working on another post tonight 
and ran across this brilliant piece that was missed from last year.
But I cannot find the name of the young artist.
Need some help young ones please! 

How about junior Sarah Oh??
Sarah, let me know if this is yours from two years ago.

Heard from Sarah. 
 It was indeed her work.

Monday, July 30, 2018


graphite & some colored pencil on drawing paper

It never ceases to amaze me that at this school for academically gifted children,
we also have so many gifted young artists.
It is such a pleasure to teach these young ones.
They bring so much skill & creativity to our art department.
Let's take a look at these 2nd Quarter kid's very first assignment.
One of the most gifted artist's in this group of 31 kids was Audrey Cho.
Just look at the skill level this child is coming to me with.
So sophisticated!
Even the border is cool!

Next we have this super clean piece by Hanna Estrada.
It's very unusual for 7th graders to have this level of craftsmanship on their first assignments.
Beautifully done Hanna!

What I really enjoyed about Kayla Vicencio's piece was the story she is telling thru her design,
as did Audrey above.
But also the very subtle touch of blue colored pencil she applies overtop the graphite.

And then there is Ben Chen who never seemed to be with me in class,
if you know what I mean,
but then he'd turn in really delightful & creative pieces.
Talk about telling a story here.
Great job Ben!

But of all of these, 
my favorite belongs to Zoe Hoksbergen.
It so reminded me of a children's book illustration.
In fact I liked it so much,
she allowed me to buy it to teach with next year.
Thank you Zoe,
this piece is highly inspirational in it's childlike innocence.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


I'm so in love with this little guy.
He's growing up so fast.
He's doubled in size since I first posted about him.
Almost potty trained,
and he's already trying to herd all our other pets.
They aren't too happy with him right now.
Here he is in the car with his mommy.
He goes everywhere with her.