Tuesday, September 30, 2014

There's a New Girl in Town

And her name is Mia, 
Mia Love.
Part Jack Russel and part Pit Bull, 
also known as a Bull Terrier, 
and one of the sweetest,
 most gentle dogs I've ever met.

Her owner is Chris Love, our good friend from up on the mountain who just built and finished the inside of our barn.
He's down to build us new wood stairs in our home, 
and man oh man are they looking good!
It's taken a day but our dogs have finally called a truce and are actually interacting in a nice way.
Going so far as to play tug of war over my legs. 

mostly Sophie is doing all the tugging. 
Mia is just being very stoic and patient as Soph tries her best to get her squeaky toy back.
They are cracking me up!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Just Look at My 7th Graders Go!


It's only taken me 3 long weeks to get these young ones used to working in a more adult environment, but I finally feel like they've made it.
With only 3 phone calls home.
even us seasoned teachers need to rely on the parentals for a little help now and then.
This first piece is the work of very talented Cayla Buculea.
She takes her art very seriously and has even begun a sketchbook on her own.
I'm very impressed with her. 

I think it's very cool that the 7th graders have no inhibitions about putting text into their work.
Here sweet Emily Mercado shares her feelings about love.

Another very talented young one is Megan Hur.
She is putting a sophisticated border around her sphere which really pulls the piece together.

And Pamela Yo makes us smile thru the humor and sweetness she brings into her work.

Great job all of you!

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Little Bit of Extra Credit Goes A Long Way

 Only this wasn't so little.
Junior Jonathon Hsu had a bit of time on his hands and whipped this up for me at the end of our Simplified Cityscape exercise in addition to the actual one he did to be graded.
Needless to say I was super impressed!
This must have taken him hours.
The one I graded was in graphite but Jon chose to do this in pen and ink which really makes it pop!
Keep up the great work Jonathon!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Passing On The Fiber Arts

wood, polymer clay, yarn and food colors

It's really remarkable what you can do with very few supplies to make the Fiber Arts come alive for this next generation.
Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber Arts, do you see your three pieces on my display wall??

Here is adorable senior Daphne Chiang hanging her freshly dyed yarns to dye outside the art room door on our handy-dandy branch /wire rack.

Below are Daphne's knitting needles that she has made from scratch and her beautiful yarns are wound and ready for use.
Oh wait, she is using them already.
She's learning to do the knit garter stitch.
A cute close-up.

And then here is hard-working senior Bianca Tolentino mixing her dye solutions from Wilton's cake dyes.
All nice and safe.

Below are her needles and yarns.
She is in the process of casting on.
And a close-up.

And lastly we have colorful senior Kaili Hamada who wrote up a guest post on Monday about how much she loves color this year.
And look at her go, she is done with her knit and purl garter's and is moving on to stockinette.
Sadly, Kaili has lost one of her needles somewhere in the Whitney halls.
Hopefully it shows up soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A New Kid in Town

Check out our latest addition to Josh Berger's Succulent Garden at Whitney.
A decomposing skunk head I found up at the cabin. 
Notice the shiny white teeth and the cute little nosey.  
I thought the science department might want to teach with him.
But first I wanted to find him a home in the garden  :)
The coyotes got to him but left his sweet little head behind.
Can't wait to see what else turns up there.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Just For Fun

Beginning 2-D art student,  senior Cyrus Salvani, 
saw that my Intermediate class was working on box constructions, 
so he went home and figured out how to do it all on his own, 
and came in the next day with this creative piece.
Just because, WOW!!!!
Extra Credit young man  :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Meet the Boys!


I've got 5 of them this year in Intermediate and I'm so looking forward to working with them.
We started the year with a warm up exercise, a ten step value scale.
These two were my favorites.
Senior Nathan Chong did a clever composition by morphing his man's hair with the octopus' tentacles,
 and senior Michael Cantu juxtaposes his graphic value scale amid this realistic landscape.  
A great beginning the year boys!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Guest Post by Kaili Hamada!

 I began my adventure with art about a year ago. 
Because of this, I consider myself to still be a beginner. 
Despite those facts, I enjoy art much more than any of my other activities, 
which include ballet and sports.
 I feel relaxed, excited, and so happy, whenever I'm creating things using my hands, 
especially when working with all kinds of fibers. 
It's a feeling unlike any other! 
            During much of my free time both at school and at home, I spin yarn, or weave on the loom that my amazing teacher Mrs. Sposa generously lets me use whenever I'd like. 
The picture directly below shows the skeins that I dyed recently. 
I've been feeling very colorful lately, which explains the bright hues. 
These yarns made me laugh, and made so happy that I  almost cried,
 even though that sounds like a pretty silly thing to do.
(I'd say I'm quite addicted to my yarn!) 
The picture above is of me weaving yesterday during our 4th period class. 
I turned my first woven piece into a small purse, and this time I hope to create another piece of art that will have a different but just as useful purpose. 
Anyways, I hope you all have a lovely day!
- Kaili Hamada, Senior at Whitney High School 

Presenting the 2014-2015 Art Students


Well here we go, the start of my 35th year here at Whitney.
I want to start the year off with my amazingly talented new batch of young ones, 
my 7th graders.
Quite a few came in with drawing skills as you can see, while others are discovering a side of themselves that they never knew existed.

So let me stat off with Pamela Yo.
Pamela is obviously coming in with some strong skills in both design and drawing and I'm really looking forward to seeing more from her.

I was also impressed with Megan Hur, 
and the time she took with the different lettering fonts on her books.

Cayla Buculea is also a really good designer.
Notice the strong highlights and shadows she's giving us in the hair.

And Nhi Nghiem wraps her values around the entire paper in this very clever design.

Love that Emily Mercado isn't afraid to go outside the box with her roots 
in her composition above.

And Brianna Morales sure knows how to fill her paper with values.
I thought her light bulb design very clever indeed.

I look forward to showing off more of their pieces as I move the class forward.
Hope you enjoyed the first glimpse of this new school year.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spotlight on Alisa Burke

If you are a follower on my blog and haven't yet scrolled down to see Artists I Follow, I really recommend starting with Mixed Media Artist Alisa Burke.
She is redefining creativity with her husband, Andy, and their toddler, Lucy.
Her is her address if you want to take a peek.
As you can she is is the feature story in the Studios Magazine.
Congrats Alisa,
you and your family inspire me everyday!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Because He Loves Me...

the man picked this gardenia, and had it waiting for me when I got home from work.
Thoughtfulness goes a long way in a marriage, especially when he remembers what your favorite flower is  :)
Thank you sweet man!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cool Stuff Happens

Like when my start of the school year bouquet dried up and I went to strip off the petals to eco-dye with them.
The once lavender rose dropped to the table just the way it had existed in life.
Man oh man, was that COOL!!!
For EXTRA CREDIT find one of the three rose gardens on our campus and bring your teacher red rose petals to eco-dye with.
Red works the best.
And only collect windfall, do not pluck a fresh one off a flower!
Put it in a baggie with your name and period inside on a piece of paper.
Give to me when you walk into the room.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Looking Forward...

to teaching my new 3-D students the art of handspinning.
These are some of their dyed roving choices for this year.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Happy Heart

Nothing makes me happier then when my students continue to create after their class with me is over.
Three of my senior students, Bianca Tolentino, Kaili Hamada and Karisma Dev, all checked out spinning wheels from me for over the summer so that they could continue to spin their own yarns.
Above and below you can see what Bianca did with her handspuns.  
She made a cardboard loom and wove an elongated piece of fabric which she then turned into a journal (a project we did in her 3-D class)

Senior Reis Misaka, who learned to work with wood in the 3-D class, hand crafted a Niddy Noddy from wood doweling for Bianca to skein her handspuns (above)
I'm so thrilled to be able to pass on the fiber arts to this next generation so that they can continue to pass it along and keep these arts alive.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A First, Touching a Butterfly

I know the pix is blurry, but I was trying so hard to touch and take a pix at the same time.  
Not as steady as I used to be.
This was up at the cabin this weekend as I was watering the yard.
This beautiful butterfly was totally unafraid of me.
He must have sat on the rocks for a good minute or two as I ran into the house to get my camera, then raced back out to get it's picture.
I could barely feel it's delicate wings.
What a treat this was.
Daphne, Kaili and Bianca, you know who this is, right??

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Labor Day 2014 & Back Surgery

At one point or another during the day, Jim and I got to hang out with and enjoy all our children and grandchildren this Labor Day.
Here's Jim at his son's house sitting out by the pool, trying not to think about his upcoming back surgery.

Our newest grandbaby is brewing inside Jim's daughter Julie's tummy right now.
She is 3 months along.
Aren't she and Mike the most beautiful couple?

But what really warmed our hearts was watching from a distance as our two blended families interacted and had a blast together at my Ex's house for dinner.
Here we all are that night to celebrate and give our good vibs to Jim before his major back surgery. 
Good Luck sweet man!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Barn - Part IV

So for the inside of the barn we needed a "pro".
We found him two cabins from ours, a retired Navy nurse and ex pharmaceutical salesman, Chris Love.
His father was a carpenter and taught Chris from an early age to swing a hammer and drill a hole.
Chris had just completed a porch add-on to his cabin and his craftsmanship was right up my alley, plus he was bored, 
so perfect timing!
This was the interior shell before Chris got started.
His first mission was to wire the whole cabin.
I wanted plug-in switches on all the walls, 
as well as a light switch on the wall when you enter.
So Chris drilled holes in all the two by fours and wired the place up.
In the meantime Jim and I dug a ditch from the cabin to the barn and laid in all the electricity.
I told Chris I wanted a loft big enough so that it would sleep 3-4 people on air mattresses with a little walkway/kneelway in between,
so he used redwood beams and planks to built that with.
He also used exterior siding for the walls so that I'd be able to nail things on without worry of finding a stud.
He and Jim installed the cutest little air conditioner that works like a charm. 
Next he painted the wall siding a swiss coffee neutral, 
and put in the most gorgeous ceiling.
He used pine tung and groove, and stained it Walnut Pecan, 
and framed out the windows in the same color.
Jim and I went to Ikea for the overhead lighting which Chris installed next.

I couldn't decide on flooring so Chris suggested we go with pine and stain it the same as everything else for a really cohesive look.
Sounded good to me.
He had to rent a heavy duty sanding machine to do the flooring
 and there was so much sawdust that I was able to mulch all my plants with it  :)

Then the work began on the ladder and railings.
Both are works of art!
The ladder was so large that Chris had to suspend it from his workshop ceiling to be able to get all around it to build, sand, and stain.
And of course he put multiple layers of varnish to protect all the wood from top to bottom.

And this last weekend he finished up bookshelves above the front door and window.
Love how they turned out.
He also cut out part of a side shelf to be able to store the ladder out of the way when not in use.
Check out the close up below to see the details of how he had to notch the wood to make it fit just so, so that we could still open the door all the way.

I also really love how the railing turned out with all the black steel details. 

So a great big THANK YOU Chris Love for this amazing space you turned our little barn into.
Your craftsmanship and design skills are incredible, 
and it was so easy to work with you.
We will enjoy it along with our children and grandkids for many years to come!!