Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Sophie Jean

Soph was two years old on April 24th and she just keeps growing.  We rescued her and thought she'd just be a little thing forever, but she's weighing in these days at 50+.  She still thinks she can fit into our laps, she has definitely outgrown mine and is barely hanging on in Jimmy's as you can see.  LOL  
Or she wants to be covered up in layers and layers of fabrics.  She especailly likes fibers like her mommy  :)My beautiful hand knit pillow (green thing)  is almost in tatters from her constant use.  But nevertheless, loving our princess is so easy, she is by far the sweetest, most human dog I've ever had.  Jim and I are so lucky to have her in our lifes.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Boro - Japanese Textiles

With the permission of one of my very favorite fiber artists Morna Crites Moore, I wanted to share with you what I learned from her recent post on Boro Cloth:

"I am totally in love with boro, a Japanese cloth patched together from pieces of rags and tatters.  These patched textiles were made and used by the people living in the far north of the country, an isolated area with a harsh climate and much poverty until the early twentieth century when economic conditions slowly began to improve. Due to their isolation, cloth was hard to come by and therefore not a scrap was ever wasted. The boro (literally, rags), used for clothing, blankets and so forth, was a humble textile - valued for its ability to protect from the bitter cold and treasured for its long life and many layers of personal history literally stitched into its very being. But it was also emblematic of their poverty and once it was no longer necessary to patch together one's clothing and blankets, the boro might well have disappeared from history if not for the efforts of Chuzaburo Tanaka. Tanaka was that rare person who fully appreciated the beauty inherent in the boro. He saw the patched and heavily stitched articles of daily life for what they are: exquisite examples of folk art in the form of cultural textile treasures. Starting in the mid-1960s, he literally walked the countryside, primarily in the far northern Aomori Prefecture, amassing an extensive collection of boro at a time when nobody else was the least bit interested in the raggedy, patched cloth."
"A wonderful book on the subject is Boro: Rags and Tatters From the Far North of Japan, an out-of-print paperback book which is lavishly illustrated with photographs from Mr. Tanaka's collection.  Nearly all of what I know about boro is contained in this lovely book, which is written in both Japanese and English. Thank you for that, Yukiko Koide and Kyoichi Tsuzuki."
Here are a couple more examples of Boro.  The piece below is from a child's jacket.  Look closely at all the tiny white stitches.
(Photos above are from Boro: Rags and Tatters From the Far North of Japan, by Yukiko Koide & Kyoichi Tsuzuki.)
In one of Morna's up and coming posts:
"I will share with you a wonderful new book which discusses boro as well as other Japanese textiles, all from the perspective of mottainai (waste nothing). The book is Mottainai: The Fabric of Life - Lessons in Frugality from Traditional Japan, by Kawasaki Kei (Gallery Kei) and Stephen Szczepanek (Sri Threads). It's just recently landed in my mailbox and I can hardly wait to sit down with it. It is beautiful and wonderfully informative."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Open House 2012

Recently our Broadcast students came into my room and took video of the Open House walls.  I want to thank them, especially Ashley Chowdhury for doing such a nice job with the piece. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Slab Candlesticks w/ Beeswax Candles

To see how behind I am on keeping my posting up to date is to know that this was a December assignment. So what's that?  Almost 5 months behind, yep.  Oh well.

This is a clay piece that goes home with the kids to be used as a gift during the holidays.  The candlestick is their first experience with the slab technique and embossing on the clay.  It's also their first sawdust fired piece.  After it comes thru that firing they have a choice on the finish.  To let it looking very primitive and put a glue sealer on it or to rub metallic oil based compounds over it.  
Junior Rita Labib chose the latter and rubbed several colors on hers.  She also chose to embellish with interesting  beads.  Love the little clay bird she found.
I also showed the kids how to make tapered beeswax candles so these ended up being really nice gifts  for the season.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cynthia La Maide - Art to Wear

Fiber artist and designer Cynthia LaMaide creates garments in a multitude of ways by weaving, knitting, felting and hand painting each silhouette. Her whimsical, colorful designs are made by hand. It's art to wear.

I just found Cynthia' site today and fell in love with her work and how she is combining all my favorite art forms into one creation, AND you can wear it. How cool is that! I wonder how much she charges? I might have to find out :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

My New School Shoes

Ever since I meet my new husband Jim, he has been teaching me the fine art of vintage and thrift store shopping.  You would not believe the deals he fines, he has an eye for very fine leather coats and shoes.  But I am proud to say, I found these beauties before he spotted them.  They are vintage handmade Italian shoes.    The leather is soft and supple, and the shoe, so comfortable.
What really grabbed me was that the leather on the toes looked eco-dyed or tye-dyed, so of course I had to try them on.
Honestly, they are a size too big, but who cares, I love them.  The other day I wore them into my daughter's work (her major next year will be Fashion Merchandising) to visit her and she exclaimed "What do you have on your feet?"  With a big smile I told her they were my newest find, and she said "OMG, you are never allowed to wear those when you are with me!"  I guess she doesn't like them  LOL
Knowing me, I'll wear them even more just to make her mad  :) cuz that's the way I roll.

What do they say about mothers and daughters??  I know they say something, don't they????
I don't know, I me with this one please  LOL

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Daughters Beware....

Be careful what you leave on your mother's camera when you borrow it.  It just might end up on her blog.  LOL

Friday, April 20, 2012

Welcome Kate, Karin and Lorriane... my blog.  I'm so glad you found us here at Whitney High School in Cerritos.  I love having visitors to my classroom, so if you are ever in the neighborhood, drop on in.  We are at the back of the school in room 18.  And it's the perfect time to visit because the Open House walls are still up.

Big news here, JamieKough, the owner of the Drawing Board Gallery in Yorba Linda, Ca. is stopping by next Wednesday because she wants to feature our student's art in a show at her gallery.  OH YEAH!!!
More details to come...

Mixed Media Wood Collage - Student Work

So let's see what seniors Kelsey Lee and Nandi Best have been up to in Advanced 3-D art.

Their assignment was to start with a piece of plywood as their foundation and make either a bas relief wall hanging or a free standing sculpture.  They were required to add additional wood pieces, glass shards, acrylic paint,text, wire, and tissue collage.  Subject matter was up to them.  They could also add any other goodies that they found around the room.

In Nandi's piece above and below, she went all out and created an incredible free standing sculpture.  I especially love that she incorporated an old palm frond I had gotten from a neighbor over 20 years ago that has been sitting in my kiln room gathering dust.  She spray painted the trunk of it black and glued small glass shards on the tips and she cut off and soaked the fronds in water so that she was able to bend them into her nest without breaking them.
She also did some wood carving on the front face focal point and I believe used watercolor to stain her wood with.  Above you can see the lovely paper collage stamped wings on her figure, and below how she used string to tie the fronds together.  
Strikingly Brilliant Piece little girl with tremendous effort!!

In this next one Kelsey took a much more subtle, feminine approach to her work.  She very slightly stained her plywood base with watercolor or acrylic (not sure) and then did use watered down acrylics to paint her flower petals with.  Love the drips too.  She also used the most lovely shades for her glass shards and in her focal point collaged down some organza with wire laid over top.  Then the text on either corner for added interest and balance.  Then in the other two corners, slivers of wood finish off the piece.  It's so lovely Kelsey, it's so you.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Before and After Portraits - Student Work

One of my favorite assignments of the year to show is the progress that is made by my Beginning 2-d Art students thru their before and after portraits of each other.  Right before the drawing portion of the class begins I pair the kids up and ask them to draw each other in profile to the very best of their ability.

Their skill level before instruction range anywhere from pre-k thru junior college level, quite a diverse range.  Hopefully thru the teaching methods from Dr. Betty Edwards' "Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain" book, I can get them all to junior collage level and beyond.

Above we have senior William Luo who came in with medium range drawing skills doing junior Halah Elsahhar.  But you can see clearly that his skills have really soared after 3 months of Right Brain exercises.  
Above we have sophomore Megan Yeu who is drawing junior Corrine Marcus.  Megan came in with some of the highest technical skills in the class but look at her go now.  Crazy Amazing!!!
Next we have senior Joan Kim who is headed to art school.  Her skills were also very good coming into the class, but with the right brain exercises there is always room for improvement, as you can see.

Below we have junior Gisel Zabala who was paired up with senior Joseph Chon.  What a remarkable transformation Gisel has made.  I'm so proud of how hard you worked for this Gisel.

Senior Tiffany Yeh came in with a very high skill level and just look where she went...through the roof!!!  Senior Grace Liao sat very patiently while Tiffany drew her.

Then there is senior Emily He who came in with some lower level drawing skills (6th to 7th grade), but look at how realistic she is drawing junior Sabrina Velasco now.

And then there is senior Dustin Lee, who came in with 3rd to 4th grade drawing skills, maybe the lowest in the class, huh Dustin??   :)  But out of everyone, he made the biggest jump, the most progress.  I'm so thrilled for you Dustin, you couldn't have made me any happier!!! 

I have enjoyed working with you beginners so much, you guys have busted your buns for me.  Thank you all so much for making my job so enjoyable.  I love you and will remember what a wonderful experience it was teaching you to draw!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Open House Preview

It's so much fun for me and my students to watch the Open House Walls go up.  They are hung every year by my Intermediate, Advanced and Special Students 2-d students and I use the project as their final for 3rd quarter.  I give the kids a crash course on Gallery Display then off they go to work their magic.

This is senior Janice Min above just getting started on her corner wall.  I prep the walls with alternating sheets of black and brown paper, and then the students are encouraged to embellish with paint before they hang the art pieces.  You can see that Janice has painted a tree on her black panel.
Meanwhile on the other side of the room, seniors Michelle Lee and Michael Chen are furiously painting and preping their walls for the art to come.  Michael is painting a Star Wars theme hoping to entice Mr. Jeans (our civic teacher) to come to see the room (he'a a big fan).  He has never had the time to drop by since he started teaching here.  Guess what Michael, he showed up this afternoon just to see your wall  :)  Way to go!!!!
Here is junior Cindy Kim working on the hardest panel.  She has to work around a door and several light switch panels.  We are also seeing a glimpse of senior Crislyn Ogawa's corner wall with a star-filled night theme.

And now the finished walls...
This wall was put up by senior and 4th year 2-d student Jaimee Chirico.  It's one of my favorite panels this year. 
Here are Michelle's, Michael's, and Cindy's walls.
And seniors Sarah Zhang, Jessica Liu, and junior Laura Kadi's walls with Janice Min's in the far corner. 

The kids really enjoyed putting up each other's work and I think the displays are spectacular  so join me please these next two weeks to see all this amazing work.  Stop by the school from 8 till 3, check in at the office and I'm in the back of the school in room 18.  I'll give you the grand tour.  Many of the art pieces are for sale.  Or you can join me tomorrow night, April 18th, from 5:30 till 8:00 for the Open House Art Show and Sale.

Below are the beginning 2-d students before and after drawings so you can see the progress they've made this year.   They are remarkable and I will be posting them soon.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Take Me Out to the Old T-Ball Game

One of the many perks of getting remarried is the instant second family you acquire.  So let me show off my new grandbabies.  This is J.V., short for James Vincent, and it's his first experience playing ball.  He's on the Yankees and he's a pretty good little player.
He's got a good stance at the plate...
and a powerful swing.
In the field he remembers to keep his glove open but that's about it for right now...LOL

And then there's his cheerleaders, his gorgeous mommy Carrie, and adorable little sis McKenzie.
But Kenzie doesn't quite have the hang of being in the rooting section yet, she's more interested in her sippy cup and self-soothing hair thrilling like her grandpa (pop pop)
or digging for rocks and sticks with her granny Deb.  A teacher's work is never done  :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Jaimee Chirico - Self Portrait #2

Senior Jaimee Chirico just recently finished up her second self-portrait, but this time she included her boyfriend in a fun pose they took together.  Once again Jaimee used oil pastel, one of her favorite mediums and worked to a larger scale of 18" by 24".  She is so comfortable in the medium that I asked her to demonstrate her technique to the 7th graders when they were introduced to it.  As she was demoing she stopped and looked up at me and said "So this is what it feels like, I don't really like it".  And I replied "Get used to it if you want to be an art teacher" which I think she still does.  In fact, I think she wants to come back to Whitney and take over for me when I retire.  Join the list kiddo, get in line with alum Joyce Byean and Jordan Joyce.  :) 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Welcome to my Newest Blog Followers

Hello Magdalena, Virginia Heinl, Mrs. Hahn and Marianne Galyk.  So glad you can join me and my students as we have way to much fun creating here at Whitney High School in Cerritos, Ca.
I work with some of the sweetest, most academically and artistically gifted kids in the nation and I love my job.  
So thank you for joining me on this incredible journey.  
Love you Rikaya, thanks for stopping by the other day.  It was so good to see you.  I miss you big time!!!