Monday, November 30, 2015



What a fun time we had for my son's 27th birthday this year.
He wanted to do the wine and paint thing with all of us.
So we found one close to our home in Anaheim Hills called "Painting your Way".
With wine by our side,
and 2 hours of painting instruction,
we all completed a piece.

Instructor Maria was wonderful and very patient 
as we all got our ocean going on.

I was super surprised by how comfortable my husband Jim was with the whole process,
even holding his brush like you'd see artists doing in the movies  LOL
He was sitting across from me so I had no idea how he was faring.

I was next to my ex who was able to keep up with the instructor
while the rest of us were a little farther behind.

So here are the finished pieces,
and even though the subject matter was exactly the same,
the results were all so very different.

This first one belongs to me.
I was actually pretty surprised in myself
since I haven't painted an entire piece in acrylic since my college years 40 years ago.

This next one was done by my daughter Danielle.
She really didn't enjoy the process until the very end when it came all together.
Her daddy has it hanging proudly in his home  :)
I like how she brought in the little white dots at the end,
it feels like buds getting ready to bloom,
or perhaps tiny pussywillows in the foregrund.

This next one belongs to my ex, 
This was his very first time to paint a picture in his entire life.
I was really excited to see how well he did.

And this next one was made by my son's best friend,
who joined us that day.
Sean is known for not following instructions and bulking the system a bit.
So it was fun to see the liberties he took with the subject.

This one was my son Zach's piece.
I think this was the third time he's done this process,
and he was so happy we could all join him on this 4th go-round.

But it was this one,
done by my husband Jim,
that I was the most impressed with.
This was also Jim's first time to ever paint a picture,
and it feels very impressionistic to me.
It's loose and flows so well,
yet feels very balanced.
I think that of all of us,
Jim was the most relaxed as he went though this process,
and it is really reflected in his style.

At the time I was photographing all of the finished pieces,
Zach's girlfriend Nicole was still painting away 
so I didn't get to take a pix of hers until everybody did the group pose.
But if you look closely on the left
you can see that Nicole's piece felt really dimensional.
She curved the foreground which makes it felt close, 
and the ocean very far away.
She also put the most value ranges into her ocean
which is another reason her piece has so much depth.
Jim left early to hold our restaurant reservation 
so he didn't make the group shout.

We had the most scrumptious dinner at the Medici Cafe in Anaheim Hills,
and then dessert and presents at Inars house.

Happy 27th Zach,
and many more.
You are so loved and we are so very proud of the young man you've become.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


clay & oxides

Meet my beginning clay students this year.
For their first assignment I show them a Zambian Moonbaby,
an abstract figure sculpture.
I give each student a small piece of clay 
and demonstrate how to pull, pinch and shape the clay
into a very abstracted human form.
They aren't allowed to add any additional clay like arms and legs.
If they want them they have to pull them out from that one starting piece.
This technique is called modeling,
and my students did not disappoint.

Who really stood out from the beginning was junior Annie Oh.
I've worked with Annie in her 7th and 8th grade years.
She is a magnificent drawing and design student,
and now she is bringing those skills into the 3-D arena.
I was so impressed with her moonbaby that I had to photograph it even before it was finished.
Above is it's greenware stage,
formed but unfired.
It's also holding her next assignment (which I felt was very sweet)
her stamps and cylinder for decorative purposes.
And below is the finished work with its oxide stain.
Annie used both red iron and cobalt for a very cool effect.

Another outstanding drawing & design student is junior Nathan Lam.
I also worked with Nathan in the 7th and 8th grades.
I loved his moonbaby design and felt it was really well thought out,
a morph between a human and fish.

Senior Jonathan Hsu,
another incredible talent that I've been teaching since the 7th grade,
really enjoyed working out a bit of muscle structure in his form.

Kyle, Sarah Woo, Archie each had expressive and unique pieces.

And Casey really got into the crafting of his form, 
the smoothing and perfecting.
He also did an exceptional job staining his piece with oxide.
Notice the high and low lights and the smooth transitions between the two. 

But my personal favorite was this piece by Leon.
Love the sweet face and the cute horn/ears.
I just want to put it in my pocket and take it home with me.
This work makes me smile.

And isn't that what art is all about,
making your feel and think?

Friday, November 27, 2015


felt, perle cottons, beads & buttons

is extremely difficult.
There will be a struggle,
the feeling that you will never "get it",
wanting to quit,
and then finally comes the "aha" moment,
when it becomes EASY.

So much of teaching art involves learning new global skills,
and that's why so many think they aren't artistic because they quit too soon, 
before they get to the "aha" moment.
So let's see what these young ones accomplished 
because I wouldn't let them quit.  :)

Rarely is the work small enough that I can show off the whole bunch,
but these little samplers are pretty small,
and I wanted to show off the variety of results achieved.
And even though they are small there is a lot of content.

They contain evidence of all the stitches they learned:
running stitch, 
back stitch, 
french knots,
chain & detached chain,
the fly & stem stitches,
satin & whip stitches,
beading & button attaching.

You can clearly see all of these below on senior Hapshiba Kwon's piece.
Her's was the class and one of my favorites.
Absolutely delightful design.

Next is senior Jenna Llamas.
I love that she thought to put a headband and necklace
on her young woman,
such a special touch.
And her handwork is quite beautiful.

Check out 8th grader Malia Pulido's work.
She has some of the best craftsmanship in the class,
and is one of the youngest.
And what a great design!

 I felt that senior Jordin Toney created one of the most interesting compositions
using ball gowns as her subject.

And how cute and sweet is this one by  8th grader Iris Lin.

Another 8th grader,
Elliana Lee,
created this adorable design above.

I really feel a sense of movement in this next one by Cheryl-Mae.
Placing elements on the diagonal is a powerful tool in design.

Now we come to Whitney High School English Teacher Deliana Park, 
who during her free conference period,
is taking the class with the kids.
She enjoyed learning to stitch so much that she created two works.
And not only the fronts but she wanted to cover the messy knots on the backside,
so she finished off the backs as well.
That earned her a lot of extra credit.

This is Deliana's second class with me.  
Several years ago she took my Beginning 2-D class 
and learned to draw, paint and design.
Both the students and I are enjoying her tremendously.
She adds so much fun and playfulness to the class.

Small but mighty,
that's what all of these pieces are.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


watercolor & sharp felt tip marker

It's always a joy to show these off.
The kids love working with the watercolors,
and they show remarkable patience drawing their zentangles.
I have them make 4 thumbnail sketches and pick the best one,
and then they aren't allowed to draw in pencil first.
Got to go for it in ink right off the bat on top of the watercolor backdrop.
This forces them to go very slow and carefully.

One of the class favorites was done by Amara.
We loved her watercolor background in the Primary Color Scheme she chose.
And then her design flows so beautifully with it.

Jamie An drew us into her piece 
with her strong focal point in a monochromatic colorway.

And Kritika used the same circular idea but in a completely different way,
throwing in text so not only do you want to look 
but you also want to read the piece.
Keeping your eye on the prize.

Young Alex is stretching thru 6 colors,
 from the yellows to the reds, 
in his piece by picking a warm colorway.
Plus he has achieved a very dimensional feel by overlapping his circles
and doing a lot of echoing.

And this last one was another class favorite by Maria Miranda.
We were all so impressed with how well she controlled her watercolors,
and the range of values she was able to achieve.
So lovely and goes perfectly with her drawing.

Great job kiddos!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


From our school to yours,
from our home and family to yours,
may this festive, 
holiday season find you safe and healthy.

We have so very much to be thankful for this year.

A new grandchild,
whose parents just bought themselves a first 
single family home
 close to us.

 and employed children  LOL

Two amazing grandchildren 
who bring us great joy

An ex-husband 
who will pull us all together for a Thanksgiving Feast. 

And a happy wife, 
which means a happy life.
Had to fit that in there Jim  :)
Thank you sweet man

Much love and joy to all during this beautiful Holiday Season
and always!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


graphite on bristol board with felt tip and colored pencil accents

There is a lot of creativity going on here.
Let's see what the girls came up with for their Two Point Box Constructions.

Senior Kyla Balquin has given us another scary scenario with her design.
I really like the touches of red she brought in to move the eye around the piece.

Senior Risha Bhakta shows us some playful teeth getting into mischief.

And senior Hazel Cruz's' piece reads more like a self-portrait of all the s_ _ _ 
she has on her plate.

Then there is senior Bernice Lin who gives us this tricky design,
and is also bringing in some color pointillism.

And senior Katherine Ku came up with this adorable and clever design.
bringing in a tad of color really helps the piece to pop.

Great job girls!!!

Monday, November 23, 2015


graphite on bristol board with some colored pencil accents

After doing several exercises to learn One Pt. Perspective,
I had my girls create a box construction,
and bring in a light source with highlights and shadow.
Look carefully at each of their shading styles.
Some are more textural than others.

I'm starting with senior Bernice Lin.
Her design is dynamic and really pulls the viewer in along with her strong range of values.
Terrific piece Bernice!

Senior Kyla Balquin pulls us in with her scary and though provoking design.

And senior Katherine Ku sends us a powerful message about the ill effects of smoking.
She also chose to bring in a bit of colored pencil for pop.

And senior Risha Bhakta invites us in for some fun and games.