Sunday, May 31, 2015


Someone lost their cell phone in the clay bucket.
These kids just can't do anything,
including working with messy clay fingers,
 without their cell phones close by.

Asha, Asha, Asha.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


polymer clay, glass shards, wood boxes, metallic powders, acrylic paint, stamps

I thought it would be fun to hear from 3 of my favorite students about their art pieces.
So seniors Bianca Tolentino, Daphne Chiang and Kaili Hamada,
take it away!!!!!!!!

 My name's Bianca,
 and I'm actually very surprised as to how this box came about. 
I was jokingly saying how I should make a box to reflect how much of a drama queen I am,
 and it turns out, 
that's what the theme became! 
The words on the box say "Je suis la reine",
 or "I am the queen" in French. 
I think French is a beautiful language,
 and I loved how the metallic rubs looked on the black tile, 
so that's what I based my whole design off of. 
At first,
 I had no idea how to put my design together.
 It is a mosaic box, 
so I made the (totally painfully time consuming) choice of making tiny tiles to put together. 
That bit me in the butt later on when I put all of the tiles together.
 WOW that took a lot of patience, 
something I don't usually have. 
 I am so happy with the end result.
 My mom has fallen in love with the box,
 and I'm glad she did,
 because she truly is a woman of royalty. 

Thanks so much Ms. Sposa,
 for this assignment and everything you've exposed us to. 
Global skills are for life!

this is Daphne,
 and you're currently looking at the box I created! 
 I often use sun motifs or warm colors in my pieces. 
 The reason why?
I'm a pretty happy person who's absolutely terrified of the cold.  
The sun and warm colors remind me that when I'm having a bad day or feeling a bit down, 
the future will always be brighter. 
 Since I am graduating this year,
 I figured I would create a memory box where I can put little notes,
 reminders and trinkets,
 that help me remember all the happy moments I have had this year....
and in the future!. 
 It was a pain in the neck gluing all the tiny seed beads down between the clay tiles and glass mosaic pieces, 
but it was definitely worth it. 

I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to spend 2 full years with Ms. Agrums, 
who constantly encourages me to be creative and confident in the pieces I'm making.  
She has taught me more than just about three-dimensional art
 but how to be a kind and hardworking character. 
 I love you, 
and I sure am gonna miss you when I leave for college. 
 Thank you for everything!

Hello everyone!
 I am Kaili Hamada,
 and the mosaic box pictured here is mine! :) 
I  based my box off of a song called Midnight City by M83, 
and the midnight aspect of the title is what inspired all of the blue tones.
 As you can see,
 I covered every outer surface of my box with tye dyed fabric. 
I absolutely love color and dyeing it into fabric,
 and I incorporate tye dye into every assignment that I am able to! 
The song Midnight City has always put a specific image in my mind.
 I imagine myself biking down a street lit by lamp posts while it is softly drizzling.
 I tried to portray 'night' with the color scheme I used,
 and I used the metallic rubs on my Polymer tiles to represent the lights aligning the street in my imagination! 
Although at times, 
I was really frustrated while trying to fit my glass pieces together nicely, 
my box "Midnight City" turned out to be a piece I'm very proud of. 

A huge thank you to Mrs. Sposa for her constant encouragement to all of us,
 and for helping me be confident in my art work!  

I had no idea when I asked my beautiful girls to write about their boxes,
that it would turn into a cry fest for me.

Daphne, Kaili and Bianca, 
your heartfelt words touched me deeply.
Know that you will always be with me.
We have made so many wonderful memories together.
I'm going to miss your sweet faces coming in everyday at snack,
giving me a great big hi,
and often a hug,
to get a head start on your projects before class starts.
The hard work and effort you have given me is truly a remarkable thing.
Thank you for your enthusism and honest feedback.
It  helps me everyday to be a better teacher.
And know that I look forward to seeing what the future holds for you dear ones.
More to come to you this summer in my Senior Tribute.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


watercolor, pen & ink, charcoal & colored pencils on watercolor paper

Inspired by the work of Carla Sonheim
I've borrowed one of her many ideas for creating whimsical art with my students.
She calls these Blob Animals and they are so much fun to do.

Rachel Mae Tanala created this wonderful underwater scene.

Students mix their favorite colors then drop, splatter, tilt, blow,
whatever it takes to move the colors around the paper in an interesting design.
No brushing allowed,
and make sure to leave some of the water paper showing.
When dry,
  go in with at least 2 of their favorite media
 that they've learned to work with in the past 8 weeks,
 and find whimsical animals, birds, creatures, 
and make them come alive with line,
pattern and texture (zentangling),
and value.

I love Chasa Montreesirikul's completely different interpretation.
It reminds me of something you'd find in space.

The results are amazing and delightful,
and the watercolors are clean and fresh.
I've only done this assignment one other time,
 and I was thrilled with the results.

It's really remarkable how many creatures Britney Wu 
and Adriana Endow-Smith found within their watercolor blobs.
I was especially happy for Adriana that she found a couple of kitties 
since they are her favorite animals.

And I was so thrilled that Kayla Kim thought to bring in text into her piece.
It adds so much visual interest.

And Iris Lin's creatures seem to be dancing and having a ball.
It's pretty amazing how she captured a sense of movement within her watercolors.

Love, love, love these pieces.
I hope you enjoyed them as well!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I'm so pleased to share that Whitney High School received our 5th National Blue Ribbon award 
for excellence this weekend at the California Awards Ceremony. 

Schools representing Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino and San Diego counties that received Blue, Green or Gold Ribbon awards were celebrated.  
State Superintendent,
Tom Turlakson,
 presented each award to the school representatives.

Representing our school and our ABC Unified School District 
(from center left to right)
our Principal Dr. Rhonda Bus,
Science teacher Aileen Perry,
and our Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu. 

Monday, May 25, 2015


bar soap, very hot water & dyed wool roving

The little 7th graders love this assignment cuz they get to make a soapy mess,
and we do the felting outside the room because it gets just a little too crazy wet.  :)

I want to start with their happy faces...

and then show you the cool results.

Above we have Elliana Lee and Rachel Tanala,
and below are Adriana Endow-Smith and Jazmin Salazar.
Each is unique and lovely.

Friday, May 22, 2015


oil & water based pastels on paper

It's always fun for me to see what creative ideas the kids will come up with for this assignment.
First they need to find a great resource to work from.
Then their job is to enlarge it onto paper and work it in pastel,
also keeping in mind they need to fracture the work into at least 3 parts/pieces.

I was super excited by what junior Elias Rodriquez did for this assignment.
He used his best friend Kristina as his resource, 
and then built his piece dimensionally.
And to stabilize and house it he built a papier mache' skull.
A brilliant idea Elias!
I'm so impressed with your critical thinking, 
and the energy you put into this piece.
Know Elias,
that you have inspired me for next years kids.
I think this will be a new requirement to make it 3-D.
Thank you!!!

Junior Jonathan Hsu has pushed himself with the mounting of his portrait.
First of all he picked a great subject with dramatic coloring.
His fractures are over the eye and cheek areas,
but what really makes this piece pop is the framing.
Really cool!

All the students loved Nathan Chong's fracture of Kanye West.
I really like how he included the New York skyline in this fracture.
Makes so much sense for Kanye since he spends so much time there.
I just wish I'd photographed it on a different color backdrop so you could see the format better.
Sorry Nathan.

Senior Michael Cantu picked the perfect subject,
his little brother.  
 I love that!
The piece is really striking because of his color choices,
the distances between his fractures,
 and his range of values.
Great job as always Michael!

And senior Jovani Garcia surprised us by actually turning in an assignment.
And almost on time too!!
I know,
I'm a brat.
We love you and it Jovani!!
The subject is fun, 
the fractures perfectly placed.
And the addition of the colors around the head create a wonderful visual pull for the eye.
So Jovani,
I'm really looking forward to seeing your next assignment,
your scratchboard,
remember that one?
It's due,

Thursday, May 21, 2015



I've just recently discovered Liz Ackert of I'm Going to Texas blog fame
and I'd like to share her with you.

Liz is an incredibly gifted writer and fiber artist, 
who is originally from back East, 
but now lives in the beautiful hill country of Texas.
 I'm looking forward this summer to being  able to take the time to sit down
 and go thru her blog all the way from beginning to end. 
I hope you will too!

recycled clothing, plant windfall, string, clamps, copper pipe, perle cottons, Rit dye

My post from 1/7/15 showed the results from the eco-printing
 that my girls did on recycled garments from the thrift store.
What you haven't seen yet are these garments embellished with love.

Here is senior Daphne Chiang's shirt all ready for the dye bucket that we saw from the Jan. 7th post.

And here it is below,
eco-dyed and embellished.

It's so sweet Daphne.
The girls did the eco-dyeing in class,
but I had them do all the embroidery at home between other art projects.
After Daphne displayed this at Open House
 she gifted it to me because she knew how much I loved the printed marks on the cloth.
Thank you Daphne for your generosity and thoughtfulness.
I love it and you!!

Up next we have this delightful burst of color by senior Kaili Hamada.
After eco-printing it,
 she then dipped it into the tye -dye baths for a very cool look.
She really got into the embroidery...

and if you look closely you will find all kinds of cute little details.
She even embroidered her initials on the pocket.

Our English teacher, 
Donna Hall,
is the proud new owner of senior Bianca Tolentino's lovely shirt.
Donna purchased it at our Open House Show and Sale.
One of Bianca's first orders of business was to add a decorative edging 
around the bottom of the shirt and sleeves.
She also framed out the pleats with a well placed fly stitch,
and check out the cool buttons she found to attach to the sleeves.

Wonderful work as always ladies.
You make me so happy!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015



My dear friend and fellow Art Teacher over at Cerritos High School,
Ron Parks,
 organizes a district wide art show every year for us. 
He puts in many hours after school printing up labels,
delivering them to us at our various locations,
 and then the day before the show he sets up the tables and easels for us to use.
 He also covers the wall boards so that when we walk in with our pieces
 all we have to do is hang them for display.
Thank you Ron for shouldering this immense responsibility every year.

These are some of our areas of display.

I want to give a special thank you to my assistants,
alumni Alyssa Olea and Josh Berger,
for labeling, 
packing and delivering all our pieces over to the District Office.
Alyssa thought it was going to take two trips but she managed it in one with her monster SUV.

More thanks go to seniors Laarnie Barcelon and Reis Masaka.
They showed up after school to lend a helping hand and saved us a good two hours of display work.
I'm so very proud of my students and all the hard work they put in for me,
and it's such a pleasure to be able to show off their art  for the community to see and appreciate. 

I also want to feature some of the best pieces from Ron's students at Cerritos High 
that I felt really made the show special.
I want to apologize ahead of time 
 for not jotting your names down as I was photographing your work.
I will return to the show and do that this week and get your names up with your pieces.

I want to start with this work above Prayer Clasp by Minjung Soh.
Truly a masterpiece in acrylic.
Love your use of color and value.
And so very expressive.
It really touched me.
The skill level is extraordinary and I hope you will be continuing on in the arts.

Another piece that really captured my attention was this beautifully painted ballerina in acrylic,
Water & Ballet by Michelle Kim.
you can feel the dancer's movements. 
And I love how you cropped her and painted just the legs.
Powerful work!

I've always appreciated an artist who can fracture a subject.
It's very difficult to do and pull off.
And  Hilokilo, you have done it incredibly well.
I also like how you seamlessly moved your colors from the green family to the blush tones. 

But the piece that stopped me in my tracks was this watercolor.
What high school student in America watercolors like this???
It's the very talented Minjung Soh again in Morning Road.
I thought it was done by a pro who had been working in watercolor for years,
not weeks.
Let me know if it's for sale!!!

And another one.
What's going on Mr. Parks???
I'm completely flabbergasted at the level of watercolor that you are getting from these kids.
Based on just this one piece in his portfolio,
Hilokilo should be accepted into any art college of his choosing.

And what a sophisticated work this is!!
Great choice of subject,
Patrick Del Rosa!
Wonderful depth of perspective,
and even has a bit of the feel of an M.C Escher work.

And I want to end with this playful and fun watercolor.
I love your subject Jalyssa Groom in Kyoto at Night
and it's asymmetry,
your attention to detail,
and your color choices.
There was no way I could walk by this work without stopping to take a gander.

Ron Park,
whatever you are doing over there in your classroom,
it's working.
And I feel very fortunate that we can display our students works together for all to see and enjoy.