Wednesday, February 13, 2019

TRUST YOUR GUT

OIL PASTEL LANDSCAPE
ADVANCED 2-D ART
oil pastel on black charcoal paper

Senior Samantha Tun,
the lone ranger in this 3rd year level class last year,
had to find a gorgeous photo of a landscape and blow it up onto an 14" by 17"paper,
then draw/paint it in oil pastel.
She did a glorious job with her color choices and transitional areas.
I especially enjoyed her rendering of the wood pier.
Here is Sam below checking proportions and balance as she builds the piece.
All my 2-D kids are required to do this before they turn in a composition.
Do they all do it?
No.
But I encourage them to.
Your gut never lies.
It will tell you from a distance if something feels off.
They have to learn to trust their inner artist.

Here is the proud creator showing off her work.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

I FELT FOR YOU

3-D FELT CONSTRUCTIONS
BEGINNING 3-D ART
wool batting, colored wool rovings, perle cottons, wool handspun yarns, needles for dry felting,
hot plates & pans, and a washing machine

Teachers Beware!
This is an especially messy, soapy adventure but well worth the prep, effort and cleanup.
Also involved is the use of your home washing machine,
and lots of counter space both in your classroom and at your home.
I use the floor under the classroom cabinets,
 as well as on top of them for the various stages of storage.
This year will be really tough in that I have more students doing this at one time then ever,
45!

There are many YouTube videos showing how to make felt on a 2-D surface,
which is how we begin this project,
 and even more on Needle Felting.
When the felt is shrunk and dried,
 the kids are required to use their critical thinking skills to cut out pieces
 and reassemble them into a 3-D piece.
No glue is allowed,
only Needle Felting or stitching or both to assemble them.
The results are quite remarkable.

We start with 8th grader Annie Nguyen.
The color movement going thru her design is so lovely.
She figured out how to put in her own zipper using You Tube
 (I haven't put in a zipper since the 7th grade).
She also brought in a bit of embroidery as well.
And her mom allowed her to use her sewing machine to put in the diagonal quilting lines
which I feel add so much interest to the overall piece..

Next up is 8th grader Shivani Kedila.
She transformed her flat piece of felt into this intricate box with a woven top.
I was speechless when I saw her finished product.
These kids are really incredible!
You can see how her sides are hand stitched up
plus she added a bit of embroidery as well.
Check out the top below.
I loved that she brought weaving into this piece!

This amazing pillow was the work of senior Inna Sikar.
Occasionally the kids work their flat flt a bit too aggressively when they begin the felting process 
and end up with a few holes or see thru patches.
Inna had both.
So she critically thought out to inlay a bit of fabric under those openings
for a very cool effect.
And we all were so impressed with her embroidered toucan!
She invested a ton of hours in this piece  as you can see.

We all loved the flowers that 8th grader Sophia Oporto needle felted on top of her purse form
along with her embroidered areas.
The colors flow so well together!

We totally didn't expect this clever solution.
Junior Rachel Tibayan knocked this assignment out of the park with her unique idea,
a complete outfit for her bear.
I just adore it all!
So well fitted and embellished.
Bravo young woman!!

And sweet 8th grader Yusuf Karan
 made this adorable kitty face pillow using his own handspun yarn for the whiskers.
Wonderful job Yusuf!

But it was senior Sophie Yang
 who really blew us out of the water with this elegant crafted pillow form.
Her 2-d felt piece was gorgeous from the get go,
then she cut it and inlaid the white wool felt.
The embroidery finished it off so beautifully.
And we loved how she alternated the design on each side.
Another brilliant piece to share with all.

Monday, February 11, 2019

FRENCH GENERAL INSPIRED

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I spent the weekend with my son and his fiance'.
They asked me where I'd like to visit and I immediately said French General,
a fabulous French based arts, crafts & antique store in downtown L.A.
It was my second visit to this impressive store,
and to really see everything it would take at least an hour.
But I tried really hard to not make the kids wait that long.
  LOL 
I spotted this very cool Boro Tote kit.
It came in Indigo or French Reds.
I asked Zach's fiance' Nicole if she liked the look of the finished tote on the package
and which color she preferred.
She chose the Indigo Blue.
YES!!
I was actually buying it for her mother as a Xmas gift.
Her mother Mary is an outstanding stitcher/quilter/knitter,
but after I brought it home to wrap I just couldn't seem to part with it.
It seemed to be calling to me.
So I ended up getting Mary something else just as nice.
I've been interested in Japanese Boro for about the past 5 years,
researching the techniques,
even looking for an original antique piece to buy to teach with from Japan.
But I've never used the technique myself.
It's a mending process,
used for hundreds of years to patch clothing with.
I rationalized this was my big chance to try it out.
So I kept the kit for myself and worked on it my entire Xmas break and beyond.
I have to be honest,
at first I wasn't a fan,
but the more I stitched the better I liked it.
Hundreds of stitches go into it, 
and I was sewing thru 3 layers of cloth;
the indigo fabrics, many of them overlapped,
a piece of cotton batting and the linen tote,
so sometimes 4 where the overlaps were.
What was really great was that there were leftover Indigo fabrics,
so I used them to make a pocket on the inside (above).
which wasn't part of the original kit instructions.
I also didn't use the stitch patterns they suggested.
In addition,
I wanted the bag to have more structure so I sewed up the bottom corners,
(something else that wasn't in the instructions),
used a piece of Indigo Shibori fabric I had in my stash,
and a piece of plastic netting material,
and made a bottom to support the bag.
All hand sewn and appliqued.
A 7th grader last year had given me an Indigo dyed velvet button he made as a gift.
I saved it and used in on the front along with an antique crochet covered button from my stash.

This Wednesday I'll be attending the courthouse wedding of my son Zach to Nicole,
and it will be one of their many wedding gifts I have planned.
I'm super excited and just can't believe this day is finally here.
We will be flying to Hawaii for their actual destination family/friend ceremony 
so I'm hoping they can use it as their beach/travel bag.
The courthouse wedding is just a technicality 
because the state of California requires it if you are getting married out of state.
This is news to me.
But two celebrations are better than one!

P.S.  I gave the bag a good washing to help fray many of the cloth edges
Look closely at the third photo.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

WITH HER HANDS AND HER HEART

Hazel Montes of Handstories blog fame 
stitches the most delicate and lovely stories onto tiny pieces of cloth.
These delicious works are no more than 3 inches by 3 inches
and come wrapped in their own lovely piece of indigo dyed cloth
encased in a handwritten note card that Hazel has printed her stitchery on.
Absolutely delightful to open and enjoy.
When I open one of these
(I have bought several over the past couple of years to teach with)
I gasp with awe at her fine stitching with the tiniest of thread.
She sells select works in her shop,
but you've got to be quick as they sell out extremely fast.
I have been trying to scoop up one of her trees for a couple of months now and I recently scored!
My 3-D student where in awe the other day when I brought in this piece to share with them.
They couldn't believe how small it was and how she manages to do such fine work.
Incredible Hazel,
we love you!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

EXAGGERATION & DISTORTION

GLUELINE ABSTRACT PORTRAITS
BEGINNING 2-D ART
white glue & oil pastels on black construction paper

Once my beginning drawers learn to draw each other in a realistic way 
in their Before & After Portraits,
I partner them up again to draw each other in an abstracted way 
using exaggeration & distortion .
One way to do that is by only allowing the kids to draw with the tip of a glue bottle
which distorts all the features right off the bat. 
After the glue dries for 24 hours they go back in with oil pastels
and light and shadow.
I encourage them to try using colors other than what they really see
for additional abstraction.
These are colorful and so much fun.
The kids giggle and have a blast doing them.

This first beauty,
 which reminds me of a Modigliani Masterpiece, 
was done by 8th grader Andrew Lee of 8th grader Ashley Lee.
I love how he elongated the face and neck,
put in necklaces and completely changed up all the realistic colors.
Bravo young Andrew!

And this one totally reminds me of a Picasso when he first started to abstract his own work.
This wonderful piece was done by senior David Tung of 8th grader Siddhant Watwani.

Junior Esther Ahn made 2 pieces (above and below).
Her model was junior Kiana Sanchez,
and I adore both pieces.
It's amazing to me how much creativity comes out of these kids.
Such talent!

Next we see the work of junior Manishka Ranjit.
She was partnered with 8th grader Tin Pham.
She definitely brought her own unique twist to the piece with her signature hat tipped to the side,
and the wonderful hatcher strokes moving the pastels from light to dark.

And we end with 8th grader Madison Plotkin who constructed this gorgeous work of art.
Love her color choices and how she moves them thru their value ranges,
the zentangled line work on the skull mask,
and all the extra flowers she made,
cut out and glued down.
This portrait was of 11th grader Ellya Gholmieh.
Fabulous work Madison.
I'm so proud of all of you!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

SNOW DAZE

Woo-Hoo,
looks like we have a good foot of snow at the cabin.
Our dear friend and neighbor Chris who lives next to us took pix and sent them today.
I can tell how deep it is by how high it comes up on the bottom of the wishing well on the left.
Here is the antique wooden door Chris installed this past summer.
Loving how it looks all snowed over. 

Here is the other side of the well looking down at my art studio.
I bet it's so cold inside.

And here's a shot of the creek that runs alongside the cabin to our left.
Can't wait for the snow to start melting so we can hear the water running by.
Before the snow came
 my husband cut down some branches from our pines that were tangling in the powerlines,
and I dragged them to the top of the creek bank that I had installed chicken wire over 
to hold the dirt back,
then hung those branches over the top of the bank to hide the wire.
It looks so pretty with the snow over and thru them.

And here is the road and driveway leading to the main cabin.
Last year it took Jim and I two hours to shovel all that snow so we could park in our driveway.
I think I'll call Chris and hire him to do that for this weekend
so we can just go up and enjoy the snow.
Can't wait!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

ALL BOXED IN

 MOSAIC TILE BOXES
INTERMEDIATE 3-D ART
glass shards, wood boxes, polymer clay, gold, silver & copper leaf, 
acrylic paints, misc. beads & buttons, tacky glue

 I'm always so very proud to show off this complex and challenging assignment.
Senior Rachel Kannampuzha last year gave it a whole other spin.
To see what I'm talking about put Mosaic Boxes in the search engine and see.
There is only Rachel's box here because she was the lone ranger in this 2nd year 3-D class.

I asked her to work to a theme,
and I liked the one she picked about how sometimes life gives you lemons.
I remember growing up in the 60's & 70's and hearing that expression a lot from the adults in my life.   ha!
So early on I learned to always have a Plan "B".
Just ask my students,
when something goes wrong with one of their art pieces I always look on the bright side.
I tell them this is a great opportunity to do something even cooler with their piece 
to make it even more original that ends up fixing the mistake.
Look closely at the pix below and you will see how Rachel incorporated 
gold, silver and copper leaf a top her marbleized polymer tiles.
So well crafted and designed!

Monday, February 4, 2019

CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER

Oh my,
I'm a bit tardy by two whole years announcing the top most senior artists
of the Class of 2017.
I just found this unpublished post tonight.
I apologize to all you seniors from 2 years ago.
It was super fun to go back and re-read this and feel the fond memories come flooding back.
Much love to you all!

SENIOR AWARDS BANQUET NITE
2016-2017


SENIOR RECOGNITION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS
What a wonderful 37th year it's been with this years crop of seniors.
Sweet and hard working, 
using their critical thinking skills for well thought out designs,
and improving their craftsmanship with each successive project. 
Polite, kind and respectful,
well,
 most of them anyways.  ha ha
And very artistically talented with several going onto some of the top art schools in the nation.
Know that I am so very proud of all of you,
 and I hope you will keep in touch so I can follow your career and the path you take in life.
I wish you much luck with love,
it's a tricky business.
Learn from your mistakes,
unlike me,
and find a profession that brings you great joy and happiness,
like me.
The best to you all Class of 2017!

Here are many of these amazing young men & women , 
all duded up and ready to pick up their diplomas on Graduation Nite.


Congratulations to:

*OUTSTANDING 2-DIMENSIONAL ARTIST
1ST PLACE - EILEEN LEE
2ND PLACE - JAZZARIE LO  &  MALAYA SITHICHAI
3RD PLACE - AYESHA DURRANI & MELISSA ONGKO

HONORABLE MENTION 2-DIMENSIONAL ARTIST
KEVIN MAO,  DEBORAH HARRIS,  JOCELYN CHOU

*OUTSTANDING 3-DIMENSIONAL ARTIST
1ST PLACE - SHREYA SHETH
2ND PLACE - JACQUELINE YU
3RD PLACE – CRYSTAL LAI-TON-NU

HONORABLE MENTION 3-DIMENSIONAL ARTIST
HANNAH PARK

*OUTSTANDING CERAMIC ARTIST
1ST PLACE - SARAH CHANG
2ND PLACE - ASHLEY ISERI
3RD PLACE - AVANTHI DEV

HONORABLE MENTION CERAMIC ARTIST
MARJORIE BALAORO

*OVERALL OUTSTANDING 2 & 3-DIMENSIONAL ARTIST
1ST PLACE - NA HYUN (HELEN) PARK
2ND PLACE - SARAH JIHYUN  WOO
3RD PLACE - EUNICE SHIM & YEJIN (VICKY) HUR

HONORABLE MENTION 2 & 3-DIMENSIONAL ARTIST
KAI SHIN (CATHY) HUANG, LAUREN KENNEDY

and...
a special shout out to 
SENIOR ANNIE OH
who picked up a new category of award
ONE OF THE MOST TALENTED ARTISTS EVER AT WHITNEY HIGH SCHOOL

Sunday, February 3, 2019

MELTING GLASS

CARVED GLASS PLAQUES
CERAMICS I
clay, glazes, & glass shards 

Here is another favorite assignment of my beginning clay kids,
these Carved Glass Plaques.
They are tedious to make and carve out,
 but oh so fun to load up with glass shards
and see the beauty of the end results when we unload them from the kiln.
Let's take a look see.

This first beauty was the work of senior Catherine Lu.
We all liked how she was able to get so many value ranges within each color.
Plus she rocked her design as well.

And how could we not love senior Christian Balbido's pup?
He brought in a picture of his dog to work from
and did a terrific job carving all those complex areas.

And junior Lina Kim made a spectacular creation as well.
She also chose a very difficult design and was able to get a lot of great movement 
within her glass shards.
Like Christian's piece,
she also painted black glaze over her walls to make the glass pop.

Senior Michelle Hwang crafted this beautiful shark,
and junior Michelle Son made the lovely piece below.

We end with junior Richard Montes and his design based on his cultural heritage,
an Aztec creature.
I really liked the colors of glass he used and the lighter raised bumps on the animals skins;
the contrast is so appealing to the eye.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

MINITURES

CLAY & FIBER VESSELS
INTERMEDIATE 3-D ART
clay, natural & manmade fibers, wood, wire, & sawdust firing

Last years senior,
 Rachel Kannampuzha,
outdid herself with these two exquisite vase forms. 
I so wish I had photographed them next to something like a coffee mug,
so you could appreciate how tiny and delicate they were.
The first one is probably only 3 1/2 " inches high by 3" wide at its top rim.
The second one is even more petite,
about 3" by 2".  
I couldn't figure out which one I loved more.
Her craftsmanship in both was impeccable,
and I felt they belonged in a gallery setting.

Her requirements were to build a small pinch pot out of clay,
and to pierce holes for attaching fiber, wood spokes, twigs or wire at a later date
for a mixed media work.
I directed Rachel to my Pinterest board on Ceramics 
where I've saved many examples of this construction technique.
Before she began she made several sketches of her design ideas 
so she would know where to pierce her holes.
Next we sawdust fired both and then she went to town embellishing them.
In this sweet one above she used many different materials to decorate with;
waxed linen, wood spokes, thin leather cording, and pine needle weavers.
Brilliant Rachel!!

When she turned these two pieces in to be graded,
I made such a fuss over how lovely they were,
that on her last day of her senior year,
she walked into my classroom and gifted me with the piece above.

I almost fell over!
 I was so thrilled to be given such an incredible work of love and beauty.
Thank you Rachel,
it is on permanent display in my studio home on the fireplace mantel where
I can see it everyday and remember you,
and the beauty and innate talent you brought into my classroom.
I miss you and look forward to catching up one of these days.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH

Trying out my new glasses so I can see my newest 7th graders better with.
Welcome aboard young ones for the ride of your life.
I'm going to take you were no teacher has ever taken you before.
To my 2nd Quarter 7th graders,
it was hard giving you guys up.  
It only took me 8 weeks to get you in my clutches,
to get you right where I wanted you,
but alas,
I must bid you farewell.
But I hope to have instilled the Visual Arts within your hearts, minds and hands
so you can carry it with you
with fond memories for the rest of your life.
I will miss you greatly,
you were all so very sweet and dear.
And don't forget to return on the nite of Open House to show off your art to your parentals.
Love, peace and happiness to you all.

Monday, January 28, 2019

THANKFUL...

for all the lovely cards and gifts from my students and their parents
during this Holiday season.
Senior Sally Tan sure knows what I like,
a cool handmade wood box full of Xmas blooming narcissus.
They brought so much beauty and joy into our home.
A big thank you Sally to you and your family for this much enjoyed gift.

BROKEN GLASS

MOSAIC FRAMES
BEGINNING 3-D ART
glass, mirror & pottery shards, misc. beads & buttons, wood frames, colored sanded grout
& paper collage accents

I think one of the favorite assignments of the year for my 3-D kiddos
are making these Mosaic Frames.
They learn how to cut glass and grout, 
both of which are super fun,
and extremely satisfying.

I thought junior Kiana Hernandez made one of the most beautiful designs
using a combination of paper collage text with clear glass over top,
and milky glass & pottery shards.
Her soft color scheme and floral design was gorgeous.

Next up were two 8th graders,
 Kira Curry & Heer Patel,
both choosing floral designs.
I really liked how Kira limited her color palette to a monochromatic one
using mirror and black glass shards to compliment her pink glass.
Heer picked a primary scheme to work within and also choose to include
dimensional round glass used in brandy snifter decor.
Those are really difficult to grout around and I warn the kids ahead of time,
but Heer made it work beautifully.

Here is a close-up of 8th grader Bhumika Kalaimalai's.
She is a very talented designer and has been featured several times this and last year as well.
She found broken sea shells and combined them with glass & mirror.

Two of my favorites were these by senior Sophie Yang and 8th grader Sophia Oporto.
Sophie (left) had the most difficult frame to grout.
I believe it took her all day long and she had to get permission from all her teachers 
so she could miss their classes and finish her grouting.
It's really critical to finish the grouting at one time.
The reason it took so long was because she used a huge variety of dimensional
pieces in her frame.
In other of words if all the pieces are on the same plane,
it's easy to grout,
but if your pieces are all kinds of different heights,
man oh man it's challenging.
As you can see below she had a button that was really flat next to a huge tile piece
 that was really high (bottom right).

Sophia had a similar problem.
I'm think hers took her about 2 1/2 hours to grout.
She created handmade polymer pieces to incorporate into her design.
We see piano keys and a violin & it's bow.
And then the music notes and color scheme pull her frame all together.


Here we see frames by junior Dustine Ansiboy & junior Kareema Mohamed.
Dustine found a broken plate that worked fabulously in her format,
and Kareema chose a very difficult design to pull off.
She morphed her yellow/oranges into her pinks and reds
(see my garden sphere that took me a year to pull off here).
Hats off to you Kareema! 

Two more 8th graders made incredible frames as well,
Emma Bertel & Alaa Malabeh.
Emma chose to use various height pieces,
hanging in there to grout it.
I believe it took her at least 3 hours.

What I really enjoyed about Alaa's were the pops of coppery oranges, tans & browns.
Subtle and sophisticated. 

I really enjoy the pieces where the kids incorporate pottery shards.
I think it's because my mother & aunt used to play tea party with me
when I was quite young,
bringing out their beautiful hand-painted tea cups and saucers,
mostly made in England.
To this day I collect stunning plates to use in up-cycled projects
and I love sharing them with my students.
I've found some new beauties for this years kids.
Like this next and last one below.
We end with this brilliant work created by junior Rachel Tibayan.
She has it all going on her,
the paper collage text showing, glass, tiles, pottery shards.
It's just gorgeous Rachel.
And she did it all in a neutral color scheme.
Bravo!!