Saturday, February 28, 2015

Drawing in the Dark

india ink on smooth bristol w/ watercolor & collage

This handsome young man is senior Sean Dezfulian,
and he is my teacher assistant for my 2nd period class this year.
One of his duties is to model for my drawing students whenever the need arises.
Well, it arose for my 2nd level drawing students recently.
I put Sean in a comfy chair, 
in the dark,
 in a corner of my room with only a spotlight on his head.
Then my drawing students walked around him until they found the perfect spot to draw from.
But the catch was they could only draw the shapes of his shadows,
that's right, 
they could only draw the shapes of the shadows on his face
which is actually pretty challenging.
This is way different thAn how they normally work.
So let's see how Shawn turned out...

We start with the work of junior Jonathan Hsu.
I'm finding that Jonathan loves to work in watercolor,
so after he inked Shawn in,
he really had fun putting in a colorful array of watercolors.
And then to finish off his piece he brought in a bit of white pen for added details 
which adds such a nice touch.

Senior Michael Cantu took a whole different approach,
 choosing a profile view and sweeping brush strokes filled with watercolor.
He also brought in a bit of paper collage to add  more visual depth thru darker value.

Jovani Garica, 
another of my amazing seniors,
choose an analogous color scheme to work in with paper collage coming from the mouth;
giving us a glimpse into Shawn's love of music.

And then there is the work of junior Elias Rodriguez.
Always a tad on the dark side,
frequently throwing in a bit of his signature style watercolor washes that he has perfected,
and then bringing in these cool linear elements.

And lastly we have senior Nathan Chong whose portrait of Sean I feel looks the most like him.
Nathan has really done a tremendous job drawing the shapes of the shadows.
Notice the very subtle watercolor washes in the background?
He's also taken yellow tissue paper,
collaged it down and zentangled over top to pull all the black ink together.
Brilliant piece Nathan!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Alumni Warren Kang

Serious or crazy, 
misbehaving or being a good boy,
Warren Kang is one of my all-time favorite Whitney students,
and he recently dropped in for a visit.
I worked with Warren from 1997 when he first came to me in his 7th grade year here at Whitney,
 thru his senior year of high school when he graduated in 02'. 
He took all four levels of my 3-D classes as well as 2 levels of Ceramics,
and ended up being my most outstanding 3-D and Ceramics student,
He graduated with my top most art award his senior year.

From Whitney,
 he went to USC on a scholarship where he majored in Business/Economics
 and then Price Waterhouse scooped him up to work for them right after he graduated from SC,
and he's been with them ever since.
He has risen in the ranks and is now senior advisor with another new promotion he just accepted.
He left to spend 2 years in Spain to manage a branch of PW there.
I'm so proud and thrilled for him,
and wish him the very best.
Another reason I'm so proud of him is that he just helped his mother buy her very first home.
You are the best son Warren!

To show you what an incredible designer he was,
in the 8th grade he made this amazing ceremonial garment from all recycled items.
His attention to detail, effort  and patience as an 8th grade male was unheard of.
I bought the piece from him at Open House,
and I've had it now on display in the Art Lounge for all these years.
When I heard Warren was coming for a visit,
I framed it out and sent it to Spain with him so he can display it in his new office space.  :)

I wish you the very best Warren and look forward to when we meet again.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Here's to Optical Illustions

india ink on construction paper w/ watercolor, tempera & tissue collage

Every year I'm so proud to show off the work of my beginning 2-d students.
They work so dang hard for me and it's such a pleasure to show their results.

We've just spent several weeks working from Dr. Betty Edward's book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and the kids drawing skills have improved so much.  
These are large scale pieces on 18" by 24" paper.
The students are required to draw a large silhouette of a recognizable subject matter first in pencil.
Then right over top and thru that they are to draw something from nature like plants, 
trees, branches, etc. 
Lastly, they paint in the negative spaces with india ink.
Every year I give the kids an opportunity to add or perhaps change the basic requirements.

For instance in this striking piece above by senior Cyrus Salvani,
 he has decided to only draw his branches around the silhouettes rather then also thru them.
This resulted in his silhouettes really popping.
Cyrus also brought in some red tempera because I ask them to bring in at least one extra medium.

This next one was definitely a class favorite.
Junior Hapshiba Kwon did this stunning beauty above
 and brought in some lovely blue watercolor.
The piece feels so soft and gentle,
just like it's creator  :)

Christopher Wongsavanh, a junior,
 who I hope will be back next year for the Intermediate level,
did this incredible work above.
Actually, I'm hoping that all you underclassman come back for a second year, hint, hint!
I love that Chris has worked a message into his piece as many of the students did this year.

Then there is senior Melissa Lanto who created this super sweet and gentle piece.
I love how she surrounded her deer with watercolor.
She chose to draw right thru her silhouette which gives it that optical feel.

Junior Sneha Krish was out ill during the whole assignment,
and still managed to get it done,
She cleverly incorporated her illness as the theme of the work. 
Can you find the doctor and the patient?
The stethoscope and the thermometer?

Never thought of before, 
8th grader Sara Ryave bought in a 3-d twist thru wire flowers she made and attached
to her really unique silhouette idea.

And 8th grader Emily Chen knocked it out of the park with her original design idea
 then brought in just a touch of watercolor.
Lovely Em!

Junior Jane Juan does not disappoint with her whimsical silhouette,
and the sweet little dimensional butterflies she has glued on top of her design.
And her craftsmanship is impeccable.

Another of my 8th graders, 
Iris Choi,
has designed this lovely piece above, 
and has brought in the perfect amount of watercolor.

Junior Katherine Ku also chose watercolor for her carousel ride.
This piece was another class favorite.

One of my personal favorites was this one above created by junior Kevin Wu.
Love the free falling feeling this one conveys,
and the touch of red watercolor is the perfect compliment.

And our last one,
the most dramatic of the bunch,
was made by senior Karisma Dev.
Karisma went to Joann's and purchased this wispy grey chiffon fabric,
used her 3-d skills she she learned here,
 cut a long strip and used a basting stitch to gather it into one fluffy, long piece 
which she then glued in place.
I love how she chose to only border the piece partially.
That's such a great tease and treat for the eye. 

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the huge array of talent and ideas my students are bringing out.
I think sometimes they even surprise them.  :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New Extra Credit Opportunity


10 Extra Credit Points

Click here to get all the details...

Chemers Gallery

Children's Book Signing and Illustration Show
featuring award-winning illustrators

The times they are a changin'... We know you missed our annual Children's Book Illustration Show in December and we did too! We have the perfect cure for those children's book blues!
Outstanding Illustrators
You know us...we like to shake things up and believe that rules were made to be broken! Just to keep you on your toes, our new Children's Book Signing & Illustration Show will rundifferently than past events, so be sure to read all the information below as some details have changed. 

Hint Hint
 Pay especially close attention to pre-sale of books and seat reservations for artist talks.

Meet the illustrators   
Saturday, April 4  2015
show continues through April 18
See below for times

Monday, February 23, 2015

Taking a Couple of Days Off

Got a grandbaby coming any day!
Sydney Joseph Leeb is already 7 days late,
getting too anxious to post.

My husband & dog however are cool as cucumbers up at the cabin  LOL
See ya in a couple days.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


If you love stitching like I do,
 and haven't had a chance to check out Cindy Monte of Handstories under Artists I Follow,
please take the opportunity to do so.
Her work is exquisite, 
her stitching so very fine,
her design ideas incredibly lovely.

I recently was so moved by one of her pieces that I wondered if it was so sale.
Cindy told me someone else wanted it but if that didn't happen it would be mine.
So several weeks later she e-mailed me and said the other person had declined, 
so I am now the very proud owner of one of Cindy's journals.

One of my favorite things about purchasing an art piece is how creative artist's are when they wrap their pieces for transport thru the mail.
Cindy did not disappoint.
When I pulled the journal out of the mailing envelop there was a beautiful handwritten note about where all the fabrics had come from in the journal.
How special they were to her.
It made my heart swell that all these pieces of cloth had so much meaning.
Then there was a layer of shibori cloth as a wrapper,
hand tied with her hand spun yarn.

Then another wrapper of pattern paper that I love to collage with,
and more hand spun yarn.

Even the way she folded the wrapper was special.

And then the Tah-Dah moment when I saw the cover of the journal called Wonders.
Keep in mind that this journal was made on a super small scale, 
so her stitches are amazingly tiny.

Then open to pages one and two.
Unbelievable, right??

Pages three and four.

And then on to a brief cover tease before the unveiling of pages five and six.
Notice the little buttons above that you have to unwrap before opening fully.
So sweet :)
Also notice the Cloth Weaving that leads from page six to the back cover.
I am just so in love with this journal and can hardly believe it's mine.
It has a very special display place in my mountain studio where I enjoy it's beauty every weekend.
What a treat!
Thank you Cindy for creating such a remarkable piece 
and then to be able to part with it.
I promise to take very good care of it.
It's found a happy, loving home.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Moonstones over Maimi

clay, metallic rubbing compounds, wood, india ink, acrylic paint, hardware findings, wire, metal rods

This was actually the first clay assignment of the year for my Cermaics II kids.
I had them pinch then paddle two clay bowls into a moon shape then sculpt a face on one of the sides.
The pieces were then bisqued and sawdust fired.
Afterwards the students could elect to rub their their sawdusted moons with metallic compounds.
Then came the mounting which they did at the end of 1st quarter.
They learned to use a drill, saw, and sand.
Of course they couldn't leave the wood raw so there was much finishing and embellishing going on with paints, ink, wire and other goodies. 

Here are seniors Cindy and Ju Eun learning to drill.

The results were spectacular as you can see here.
This very complex work was done by senior Cindy Rhoo.
She worked so hard to pull this all together, 
often coming in at lunch and after school.
Her attention to detail was amazing!

In this next one by senior Yasmeen Pardo,
a highly creative soul,
she has indented her face for more expressive impact,
and then wired up the whole nine yards.
I've shown you two slightly different views so you can get the whole effect.

Another student who outdid himself was senior Nicholas Tudor.
Love the ripple effect with the dowels and the movement they created.
More rhythm was brought in by altering his colors.
Of course off-centering the piece brings even more energy to the work. 
And then the finish he was able to achieve on his moonstone was so much like our real moon.
And are those glass shards he's glued down as well?
 he made these delicate little shards from clay.
Very nice Nic!

These next two sculptures have such a calming effect on the viewer thru their facial expressions.
The top one was done by senior Erin Hsao, 
 I like that she thought to build two rather then just the one.  
Is that an extra credit opportunity?
You bet!
And the one below was created by senior Sameera Ahmad 
Notice how Sameera has brought in seed bead embellishments,
 textured her wood block 
and sponge/stained it with multiple layers of paint.
these kids put in a remarkable amount of effort for me.

This last one was made by senior Ju Eun Lee.
When we were finishing these up it was after the Halloween holiday,
with no fake spiders to be found anywhere,
so Ju Eun sent away via mail order for the plastic spiders that she knew she wanted to embellish with.
She has also taken raw wool sheep roving,
stretched it out and attached it to her stone,
for a very cool wind/blowing effect.
These all can be seen right now on display in our Principals office if you are interested.