Monday, August 31, 2015


Junior Avanthi Dev has graciously volunteered to help care for Josh Berger's Succulent Garden this school year.
I'm thrilled to be working with her as she is an avid gardener,
 and we trade plants and seeds for our own personal gardens.

I introduced Avanthi to you earlier this year in an April post.
You'll be seeing a lot more of her as this next school year gets underway.

In the meantime,
to the Visual Arts Department.

I'm so excited to begin this new year,
my 36th here at Whitney.

I've already got an EXTRA CREDIT OPPORTUNITY for all of you tomorrow,
Follow these instructions to take advantage of it.
It's only a one day deal.

First find Josh's Succulent garden.
There are 16 ceramic pieces hidden and/or on display in the garden.
See how many you can spot and do a quick 30 second sketch of each one you find.
But DO NOT touch them.
These sketches are NOT meant to be works of art,
just super quick and fast!
So don't stress over this,
just have fun!

Turn your sketches in by the end of the school day on Tues (3:00 p.m.)
The more pieces you find and sketch,
the more extra credit points you will earn.

Have fun!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2015


clay, glazes, oxides

It's so much  fun to watch the kids make these sweet little boxes.
By 4th quarter they have all their clay & glaze skills under their belts
 so they eat this assignment up.
Let's take a look.

Junior Klyne Madayag always gives us impeccable craftsmanship as she builds her pieces.
She also has a great design sense and a way with glaze application as you can see.
She has used Chili on the outside with Black on the inside.

These next two boxes belong to senior Ankita Batra and junior Christine Kim.
The kids have many options open to them about how they make their lids lock.
In these two beauties both girls have hinged them together with waxed linen.
But what I really want you to see is their surface designs on the outside.
Pretty darn intricate, right?

Well it looks like Klyne made two,
one for the assignment and one for extra credit 
or maybe just cuz she enjoyed the process so much.
The little cutie on the right is her other one,
and the sweet one with the flower on top belongs to senior Athena Mao.
I really like the shape of your box and how it morphs as it works down to the bottom.

The glaze really stands out in this one above by 8th grader Julia Ruiz.
I love the earthy quality of our Copper glaze and how it breaks.
And with Julia adding the black horizontal thru the midsection,
it really makes the piece pop.

One of my favorites is this good looking box by senor Eduardo Jacinto.
The Jade glaze plays so well with the cobalt oxide.

this next one is so cool!
Love those curvy lines pulling the piece together.
This one was created by senior Elijah Ramos.

And I really like the shape and texture going on in this piece by senior 
Payal Morari.
I also appreciate the time she put into glazing it thru color blocking.

And we end with this adorable box by OMG,
I don't know!
Help me on this one young uns.
It's such a cute little form with great texture that comes thru the glaze.
the golden yellow was achieved with the Rutile oxide.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


clay, glazes, ceramic pencils & oxides

More beauties for your enjoyment.

I know this first one was made by senor Erin Hsaio
using the ceramic pencils.
I love the sensitivity she employed thru design and color.

I'm going to take a guess on this next super cool one.
I believe it belongs to senior Yasmen Pardo.
She'll let me know if I'm wrong  LOL
It's ceramic pencil and ceramic watercolor I'm pretty sure.

And absolutely no clue on this one
 that was glazed by pouring multiple glazes over each other.
It was another required technique.
This one sounds easy but can be tricky.
If the overlaps are too thick the glaze will run down the sides of the pot
 and stick to the kiln shelf during firing.
Then we have to chisel it off with a hammer which often breaks a piece of the pot.

Friday, August 28, 2015


oil pastel on black paper

that's right,
these are the work of 7th graders!!!!
So sophisticated for ones so young,
These pieces make me crazy excited  :)

Not only have the little ones grasped the concept of light and shadow,
 but they are also shading in a color scheme they can name.
And then on top of that creating a balanced composition,
and for extra credit throwing in linear texture with lead pencil.
Like the ones above and below by Emma Yang and Megan Ly.

And then check out this one by Adele Sarmiento.
Notice the brave scale she is working to.
Notice the pointillism technique she has researched and is using like Monet.
And the quality is that of a professional.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


clay, glazes. oxides, ceramic pencil & wax resist

Second Semester's intermediate clay kids learn to throw on the potter's wheels,
and in the 4th Quarter they do bowls and plates.
They are required to alter the plastic wheel thrown pots before we send them to be fired
for added interest.
And then after the first firing
 are required to try out different decorative techniques with glazing.

In this first glorious piece senior Cindy Ryoo altered her work by cracking off the edges
for an organic treatment.
And the technique she used here for glazing was done with glaze,
wax resist and oxides. 
Both sides were so extraordinary I had to take a pix of each.
I almost forgot,
They also learned to trim the bottom of the bowls and plates 
as you can see below.

Only the piece on the left was altered along the rim/lip, 
so the others must have been for extra credit.
But all of these beauties belong to senior Sameera Ahmed.
Her glazing from left to right:
glaze with sponged on wax then oxide over top,
(top middle) glaze with painted oxide design,
(bottom middle) ceramic pencil with transparent glaze over top,
and glaze with wax design and then oxide brushed over.

These last three all belong to senior Jue Eun Lee.
 I can't tell /remember how she achieved the very atmospheric look on the piece above left,
but it sure is cool!
Piece on right is wax resit design with glaze over top.

And then everyone's favorite was this one Jue Eun did with ceramic pencil
and transparent glaze over.
It was so special from so many angles.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


scratchboard, & watercolor

All the students were blown away when these beauties were put up for grading and critique.
They LOVED this assignment.
It really showcased these young people's drawing skills.

This piece right here by senior Michael Cantu 
was easily one of the MOST IMPORTANT pieces done this school year.
And sadly it was done after the Open House show so the parents, 
teachers and student body didn't get a chance to see this remarkable work.
The subject Michael picked was one of the most difficult ever attempted
by a Whitney art student.
His attention to detail is meticulous.
His craftsmanship superb.
WOW Michael,
I'm just so proud of you.

Junior Elias Rodriquez also gave this assignment everything he had.
He chose an adorable subject,
and he's using great pointillism and crosshatch work,
with the perfect touch of watercolor.

And check out the work of senior Nathan Chong.
Love his use of watercolor.
And look at all the work he's done with lines.
Hours and hours!

And lastly we take a look at junior Jonathan Hsu's piece.
Know that it's extremely difficult to do a face in scratch board
because faces are so smooth and scratchboard is so textural.
But not only did he pull it off,
he took a unique approach with his watercolor,
banding it across the face.
Very cool Jonathan!

Monday, August 24, 2015


Wanting to over dye this already eco-dyed pillowcase 
and hoping for more color and oomph!

So I took the beautiful sunflower birthday bouquet my daughter Dani gave me...

layed it out on half of the pillowcase...

folded the case over and laid out another birthday bouquet from myself  LOL...

then bundled the whole package up over a copper pipe,
and wrapped  it with already used dyed string from another project.

The results were amazing!!
A close up of the wrapped string area below.
The small pieces of leaves and petals under the string leave such delicate resists.

Here is the front side of the pillowcase from Dani's sunny bouquet,
and a close-up below.
Notice how well the Eucalyptus leaves printed,
my favorite area.

What a beautiful way to save a special memory.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


watercolors & charcoal

I am such a proud mama to share these works that my babies created in the 4th Quarter.
Keep in mind they have now an understanding of drawing and design under their belts.
After a couple of weeks practicing different watercolor and charcoal techniques,
they chose their subjects and jumped right in 
I couldn't be more pleased with the results. 
So thrilled that I photoed almost every students work,
something I seldom do.

Let's start with junior Risha Bhakta. 
From the get-go we were all thrilled with her start.
So much so that I had to take a picture of it.
Notice how she is using the yellow mask for windows and parts of buildings 
to resist the watercolor. 
We were all so excited to see her finished product, 
and she did not disappoint.
Love how she faded out the foreground,
and how well her background compliments but does not distract from her cityscape.

This next beauty is by senior Suha Malik.
A brilliant contrast with her complimentary color scheme (yellow & purple),
and wonderful use of charcoal to build values.

And then junior Bernice Lin gives us something completely different using a diagonal horizon
that right off the batt pulls us in.
Then we enjoy her use of color as she pulls our eye to the center of interest.
Bernice is also cleverly using a complementary color scheme (green & red),
and then throwing in neutrals to balance composition.
I feel she has done a wonderful job with the textures of the wood.
She also is using the charcoal to build values.

Junior Hazel Cruz gives us a really fun,
 and beautifully drawn and painted eye as subject.
Those lashes are gorgeous and so natural looking,
not easy by any means.
And I love the clever cityscape as a central axis.

I wish I would have thought to photo this from a slight angle 
so you could see the dimensional effect that senior Karisma Dev achieved in her landscape.
It came about by accident which the kids know I love.
Senior Payal Moriarti gave me the perfect goodbye/thank you gift,
a canvas she painted with this quote
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes;
art is knowing which ones to keep"
Karisma had started the piece but didn't like part of it 
so she cut it up and then created another piece to go with it and glued them together.
So cool!!!

Everyone really liked junior Katherine Ku's piece above.
I like that she thought to stretch the subject so that it goes off the top and bottom of the paper.
That creates a nice balance.
Her color choices are brave,
and she is able to achieve her value ranges with her watercolor,
instead of relying on the charcoal.
Way to go Katherine!
And of course I can't forget to mention the wonderful textured backdrop she got 
with a black Salish salt I found at the grocery store.

Another favorite was this beauty by 8th grader Sara Ryave.
Sara built this very original abstract landscape.
and she has developed a very distinct painting style,
completely different than anyone else.
Very important to stand out like that.

My 8th graders were impressing us all.
Here is another by Iris Choi.
Love, love, love how she worked out her background.
Backgrounds are often challenging in watercolor because usually you paint the subject first
 then you have to fill in around it and you are scared of messing the piece up.
This year I took an online watercolor class with artist Fred Linus,
and I shared his technique for filling in backgrounds with several of the kids who were struggling.
It made a huge difference.

This next landscape by junior Jane Juan is so very delicate and lovely.
I especially like how she faded her side edges,
and allowed the white paper to act as her border.
She has also created the illusion of dimension 
by making the stars close larger then the ones behind.
She is also using a very pretty analogous color scheme to achieve a calming effect.

Birds are a favorite subject for me
so I have a large collection of bird resources that the kids can use.
This piece is so well done by junior Kyla Balquin.
She is using Fred's technique for background and she nailed it.
I feel like she's really captured the moment when the bird realizes it's being photographed 
and it's ready to flee.
That one exact moment in time.

This next work shows great depth of feeling by 8th grader Rochelle Serrano.
There is definitely a message here that she wants to convey.

We had another student use the eye as subject matter,
Emily Chen.
What I found very appealing is how she mounted her practice piece 
above her one to be graded with exciting angles.
Very unique!
And her painting skills are exceptional!!!

We end with these last two birds.
Both are lovely,
each with it's own style.

The one above belongs to junior Charity Lizardo.
She killed the background with rich diffused color and added texture with the black salt.
And notice those cool charcoal details she put into the bird's wings.
What's really impressive is that she used the exact same colors in her bird 
that she used in the backdrop.
Yet they contrast beautifully.
Told you these kids are STARS!

Junior Hapshiba Kwon is the artist of this last work.
Delicate, lovely, and precise.
Just like Hapshiba  :)
She has also done the Fred backdrop (as did Charity)
and nailed it.
But what makes it really special is the added salt.
The texture she achieved is PRO!