Saturday, August 29, 2009

Katherine England - Professional Mosaic Artist

Just wanted to update you on some of Katherine's latest pieces. But first I want to show you one of her earliest works and one of my favorites since the first day I walked into her studio (above) She never got around to grouting this whimsical guy, and in the end I think she felt it didn't need it because she had fitted the mosaic pieces so tightly together on the old silver platter. Below are a few of her recent works. She has been teaching face making workshops and these are a couple of samples that she whipped up. I believe both girls are likenesses of her two daughters.

If you look closely you can see fused glass pieces that she makes and incorporates amongst the other glass shards. I also really admire how she solves her borders on both works. She's my hero!

A close up of the one above.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer Garden 2009

Just a couple random shots of my summer garden. June is always gorgeous with the agapanthus (spell check couldn't find the correct spelling so I hope I'm close enough) blooming in their purples and whites, and then my begonias really filled in nicely there at the edge of the planters.

One of my favorite blossoms is this variegated canna which blooms from yellow orange into red oranges depending on how old the blossom is.

Another favorite but not as vibrant this year as I would have liked are my hydrangeas. But I 'm just happy they even bloomed, cuz last year I hardly had any blossoms at all. I know I need to fertilize more but I'm oh so lazy about that. Every now and then I'll throw out some bat guano. Alum Billy Sevedge turned me on to it and it really greens up the leaves and promotes blooms.

This is a great shot of how the baby tears moss grew around my piggy and stepping stone. Unfortunately, with the lack of water and too much sun this summer that moss is almost all dormant right now. But supposedly we are in for lots of rain this year so I'm hoping it will all come back.

And this amazing bloom belongs to a succulent I got for Xmas from a good friend of mine. After I took this shot it sent up 2 more blooms just like this one. Isn't nature cool!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Laguna Beach Art Festivals 2009

Every summer since my 20 year old son Zach could walk, I've been taking him to Laguna Beach to see the art work at the 3 art festivals. Our favorite has always been the Main festival where the art is juried in and is of very high caliber. The Main (pictured above) is also where the Pageant of the Masters is performed in the evenings. Below is a shot of the interior of the Main where they currently have a live art display being added to everyday in the middle there.

This costume display really intrigued us. It was made from all recycled plastics. And there was a photo next to the display showing actual people wearing these outfits.

But our very favorite part of the Main is the student art work sent in from all the Orange County School Districts from grades kindergarten thru senior high. The fractured portrait below was done by a senior and won first place in it's division.

The other two festivals are the Sawdust (above) and the Art-A-Fair (below). The Sawdust is my daughter Dani's favorite, and over the last couple of years we have run into April Strong, a Whitney alum, who is the balloon lady there every summer. She always makes us balloon bracelets that we wear around the fair grounds. Congrats go out to her younger sister Rachel, also a Whitney alum and one of my all time favorite students, who just recently got married this year.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Busy Week

Last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I traveled with my friend up to San Luis Obispo for a gallery showing of her work, and one of my favorite stops was here in Morro Bay to grab a quick lunch, and to shop the downtown stores. There were several nice galleries, one in downtown and the others along the waterfront, all with local artist's works. We also stopped in Los Olivos on the way up the coast. What a cool place that is, a real throw back to rural America. Many great wine tasting stores along with a couple decent galleries. Definitely a worthwhile stop. But my favorite part of the trip was Thursday nite in downtown San Luis. It's a farmers market with many great food vendors plus hundreds of people shopping, eatting and partying. A real interesting mix of college students, young families and an older crowd. There were a couple of live bands playing, so we danced in the streets. So much fun! Below is the view of the town of Morro Bay from the big rock.

Then on Saturday night, my favorite band, the Rockits, with one of the High Lites from Vegas, performed at a neighborhood block party. So much good food and lots of great music.

There is Jimmy on Caroline's guitar that she redid for him. Everyone is loving what you did on that guitar Caroline! And Dan is blowing beautiful music on his sax.

Looks like Ritchie and Jim are having an argument but they are really singing to each other. Pat is in the background on the keyboard.

And here is Dan's girlfriend Sue, and her pup dancing to the music. Sue and her dog work with children to help them overcome psychological problems. She takes the dog everywhere she goes. He's almost human! And so well behaved, unlike my naughty dog Bogie.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Steffi Wong - Student Art

This was senior Steffi Wong's final assignment of the year in my 3rd year drawing/painting class. The assignment was to pick a piece of music and create a 2-d piece of art that works with the song. The students usually love this assignment because it allows them a lot of freedom to create art and listen to their favorite music at the same time. Steffi chose a lovely piece of music and when I listened to it her work of art flowed so beautifully with it. The students were allowed to select whatever media they felt worked best with the song, so Steffi chose watercolor, tissue paper collage and pen and ink. Below is a close up so you can see the wonderful texture she was able to achieve in her work. She worked this piece out on a full size piece of watercolor paper in less then 10 days time, not an easy task. These kids work their butts off for me. And I hope you all know how much I appreciate your hard work! Fantastic way to go out Steffi. You made teaching such a pleasure!

Caroline Ma's Gifts to her Classmates - Student Art

These sweet little polymer clay pins (using Laurie Mika's mixed media mosaic techniques) were made by senior Caroline Ma as going away presents for her fellow classmates, plus one for Mama Agrums :) I'm pretty sure she gave all the seniors theirs at Graduation but the rest are with me to be given out the first week of school, so Breeana, Emmerline, Jhoanna and Audrey, stop on by. Really like how she mounted them on paper that she watercolored. Great presentation Caroline, and I love how no two are the same.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Regina Teng - Student Art

On the last day of school when senior Regina Teng was whizzing by to pick up her portfolio, tool box and semester final, I couldn't resist taking a picture of her in her slashed up shirt. What a great new assignment this could be for my 3-d students! :) I'll miss you Regina, you know you were one of my favs for many years. Thank you for all the unique pieces you created and slaved over for me. You have some of the strong critical thinking skills I've ever seen in a student. They are gonna take you far. Love you

Julia Meng - Student Art

This was senior Julia Meng's very last piece before graduation. She only had about 5 days of school left to do them in, and the canvas' where huge. The other students and I really enjoyed watching her develop these so quickly. What a talented young woman!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sand Castle Competition - Oregon

My mosaic buddy KK sent me these pix of sand castles from the Oregon coast, and I thought they were amazing. My 3-D and ceramic students, check them out!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Functional Art at it's Best

As promised in my recent post, here's my friend Jimmy playing his new and improved blues bass guitar at Java Joe's last night, the artwork on it designed and executed by alum Caroline Ma. Wish you could have been there Caroline! Jim got so many wonderful compliments on your work. I was so pleased for you :) Hopefully you will get some calls for more commissions.

And here is Jim and High Lite's lead singer Ritchie doing a number together. Their next performance will be 2 weeks from now on Friday August 21, again at Java Joe's in Yorba Linda from 8 to 11.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Finally Finishing up my Garden Sphere

Finally, after 10 long months I'm gluing on my last piece of glass to my sphere. That was a couple of weeks ago.

Here I am last nite finally grouting the damn thing after driving everyone crazy in the class trying to decide which color grout I should use. Sorry I was such a pain in the ass!

I ended up choosing the grape grout which looks kind of black in these pictures.

And here's my good buddy KK who helped me every step of the grouting way wearing this really funky crown that she found laying around the studio. KK you are the queen of my heart. Thank you for your patience and kindness.

Here are several views of the finished sphere.

Can't decide which side I like the most.

The only bummer with finishing this up is that I'm gonna have to figure out what to make next. So many ideas. So many decisions. What to do? KK, HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Caroline Ma - Alumni Art

After seeing Caroline's mosaic box on my blog, my friend Jim, bass player from the Rockits band, commissioned Caroline to go completely crazy on his favorite blues bass guitar. He wanted her to redesign the front, back and the case as well. He gave her free reign to do whatever she felt would look good, and here are several views of the finished piece.

He will be playing on this guitar this Friday Nite from 8:00 to 11:00 at Java Joe's here in Yorba Linda with his band the Rockits along with their sister group the High Lites, located on Yorba Linda Blvd and Yorba Ranch Road. So come out to listen to a lot of great music from the 50's and 60's and see Carloine's work up close.

I love how Caroline used newspaper collage around the edges on both front and back sides, along with the polymer mosaic work.

Needless to say after viewing her work, Jim was thrilled with the finished guitar and gave her a sizable chunk of change for her work. Way to go Caroline!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so proud of you.