Friday, September 30, 2016


Alumni Kaili Hamada,
Class of 2015,
 sent me this great pix  recently of a project she created for her 3-D composition class, 
a requirement for all Art Majors at the University of Hawaii on Oahu.
It's so clever I think I might copy it for my Advanced 3-D students.
Let me know what you think.
Here Kaili explains it in her own words:

Hey Ms. Sposa,
I'm getting to put my thinking and 3-D skills to good use this semester in my 3-D composition class.
This photo was from our Egg Drop today.
We were allowed paper, glue, and toothpicks.
I'm still searching for someone who recorded my drop today,
but from what my teacher said it had the "WOW" factor.

I used some paper to cushion the egg,
creating origami balls/balloons that I glued around the outside of the egg.
Toothpicks placed in the cage with space for collapse/bounce possibilities.
Also a few final cage-like toothpicks around the outside edge too.
The pinwheels were mostly for show,
and it looked pretty as it fell down from what I heard.
I couldn't bear to look  LOL
It was pretty savage though,
I believe only 4 survived out of a class of 21 kids.
I sure am glad mine survived.

I showed all the graphic design/drawing/painting kids in my class
 that I know what I'm doing LOL

It's just too beautiful to drop Kaili.
Don't know if I could have parted with it like you did.
I'm proud of your feat!

Thursday, September 29, 2016


My poor little patio tomato,
which I have kept alive for 3 years now,
was decimated recently by the dreaded tomato worm.
He ate practically the entire plant,
which made him stretch out to ginormous proportions as you can see below.
But I coaxed him onto a twig and threw him into the street
 to hopefully be splattered into a big green mess.
And then I turned around and saw a second one on the tomato growing along the patio railing.
Where do these critters come from??
Avanthi Dev,
This one wasn't even waiting for the tomato to ripen up,
I have never seen any as full and swollen as these two.
What a revolting development!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


watercolor, colored pencil & marking pen

The 7th graders love to end the quarter with these crazy blobs.
Mixing up a color scheme then dropping it into water on watercolor paper is so much fun.
But the best part is after it dries,
turning it in all 4 directions,
and finding buried creatures and making them come alive with a fine point marker.
Then let's bring in a bit of colored pencil to put in a little value & texture,
plus some zentangling for interest.
Let's check them out.

Athena Sanchez

Charles Chen (1st Quarter)

Palmer Patel

Sivani Vedula

Gabriel Mapa

Enedina Hu Loera

Friday, September 23, 2016


tye dye cloths, cotton batting, perle cottons, paper & embellishments

I'm finally getting around to posting these incredibly crafted works of art.
I realize now that I should have taken some close ups so you could see the attention to detail.
These children sewed,
 and beaded/embellished their hearts out,
pouring all their love into these fabric books.

note:  I lost the paper that has all your names on it over the summer,
so if I mis-label a work ,please let me know

Let's start with senior Eileen Wang.
During the first quarter of school the kids went thru a Tye-Dye unit
 to learn to make complex dyed marks on cloth.
Then during 3rd Quarter after having learned sewing and embroidery techniques,
we brought the pieces of dyed cloth back out to applique & embellish,
then turn into a journal.

The kids really got into designing their covers,
as did English teacher Deliana Park.
Deliana spent at least a 100 hours stitching her brains out on this delightful book. 

And then there is junior Helen Park with this adorable piece.
So well planned and executed.

The kids were required to bring in at least one word of text.
8th grader Elliana Lee stitched in a whole saying!

Senior Clarissa Gutierrez fussy cut this cute little fairy to applique onto her front cover.
She also has done some lovely beading and is having fun with those detached chain stitches. 

I so wish this journal by 8th grader Sydney Eng was in better focus.
She worked her behind off embellishing this book. 
Can you see the two bumble bees flying around?

And we end with I'm not sure.
I thought it was Hapshiba but she rang in and said it's not hers
S help me out 8th graders,
taking a guess here,how about 8th grader Iris Lin??

Because I do so much estate and garage sale picking,
 I often come across antique linens and dollies for the students to work with.
 like Sydney above,
 took advantage of some lovely crocheted pieces to incorporate into their journals.

I've been re-evaluating this assignment,
and I saw the kids struggling to start
 because they did't know what to use for subject matter.
And for the past couple of years I have bee so inspired by the ships that 
that I think I might limit their subject this year to ships/boats.
Any thoughts on this?
Although I did just purchase the most wonderful Star from Hazel at her shop.
And check out her lovely moon in the shop.
so hard to know what to do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


This cutie pix was supposed to go into the recent post about Papier Mache' Sailing Ships
but of course I just found it today.
I felt it important to show
 because you can see the researched images the kids brought in from Google Search,
and how they had them in front of them as they built their hull from cardboard.
Just look at those sweet faces,
how I miss them all!

Monday, September 19, 2016


sawdust fired clay & embellishments

I was going back thru my photos to make sure certain things had been posted
and ran across this very sweet little pot.
It should have been included in the post from last week.
And what's even worst is I can't remember who made it.
But I'm sure one of my students will tell me.
I really like how the shells were used in this piece
because they brings rhythm and movement to the design
plus a touch of color.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


watercolor & pen & ink

I left the names of these art students at school 
so tomorrow I will insert them,
but I wanted to post tonight so my new 7th graders 
could see some amazing designs for their next assignment.

The new catchword for this kind of art is called Zentangling.
When I was growing up in the 60' & 70's, 
and scrawling this on the outside of my Pee Chee (folder), 
it was called doodling.
I still feel like it's doodling.
But man oh man,
is it popular right now. 
 Walk into any Michaels or JoAnns and you will massive amounts of books on the subject.
And now they are taking the Zentangle designs
 and putting them into Coloring Books which are also taking off in popularity across the country.
Let's take a look at these very talented 7th grade designs.

Helena Ebalobar  & Aden Gomez

Shukthi Senthilraj & Amrita Vinjamury

Kamilah Islam

Danielle Louie & Sachi Nandedkar

Samantha Yamaguchi & Reese Guitche

Elu Loquias Malena Santos

Friday, September 16, 2016


sawdust fired clay & embellishments

One of my favorite techniques is working on a Poki,
a mini potter's wheel to build a coil pot similar to the ones made at the San Ildefonso Pueblo.
We go one step further and embellish them with beads, 
waxed linens,
 and all sorts of other goodies.
A Poki is a small shallow pinch bowl 
that I premake for the kids and bisque fire before they use them.
They place a pad of clay inside this bowl then score coils to the rim of the clay,
and spin the poki as they work the coil thinner and higher.
The more coils they add the higher and larger the pot becomes.
When they are leatherhard we burnish the outside with a smooth rock,
just like the Pueblo Indians do to make the pot shiney. 
After bisque and sawdust firing we embellish.

This sweet little piece was made by senior Arciana Vancheswaran.
The jade beads compliment the pot perfectly.

This next one by senior Jonathan Hsu was itsy bitsy with these ginormous buttons.
The contrast was so much fun for the eye.
I also like how he used the beading string as design on the inside.

And this last gorgeous form by junior Annie Oh really shows off the amazing markings 
that can happen in a sawdust firing.
We never know what we will get.
Always a surprise.
Also love the holes she pierced thru the clay walls.
Annie attempted to embellish it
 but we decided against it because the pot was so powerful that it stood on it's own.
Nothing more necessary.
The contours are incredible,
I just adore this piece!

Thursday, September 15, 2016


A beautifully rendered pinecone by former art student Anne Allan.
She is in her 3rd year of Art School at San Jose State.
I just love to seeing the work my former students are making 
as they continue to grow as artists.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


white glue on black construction paper & oil pastel

Once again, 
the Beginners drew their partners from real time,
but they were told to exaggerate & distort their features,
but not so much that we couldn't recognize who they were drawing.
The easiest way to do this was to give them an Elmer's glue bottle as a pencil on black paper.
That's right,
to draw with the nozzle.
They first experimented with both Tacky & Elmer's glues to see which one they liked best.
They were also asked to fill up the negative space to balance the piece,
and to use oil pastels to fill in between the gluelines after they dried.
The results were terrific as you will see.
And done just in time to show off at Open House.
Let's take a look.

Sophomore Mikaela  (Mikey) Guerrero drew senior Nandan Vinjamery.
We all loved what she also did with the backdrop.
Brilliant work Mikey,
and we miss you already.
Mikey graduated 2 years early from Whitney and has started college this year.
She is not only an incredible artist but an amazing scholar as well.
And she plays the Violin beautifully on top of everything else!
Superstar status.

Sorry Mikaela
 when you dropped by recently,
 I didn't have time to chat.
Please try again when you are back in town.
Hopefully I won't be so crazy busy.  :)

Sophomore Kevin Mao had lovely senior Emily Allan as his subject,
and below sophomore Clarissa Kim drew cutie pie junior Eunice Shim.

Then Eunice had the pleasure of working with senior Jae Olan,
handsome boy....
It's so much fun to see how each of these young artists portray their subject.
Right Eunice? 

Junior Jazzerie Lo drew this really exciting portrait of senior Sriram Velmanikandan,
and below junior Malaya Sithichai worked with the long haired Thomas Kang.
Love how she morphed his body into a tree with landscape.
Clever girl!

Then here is Emily's fun & expressive portrait of Kev.
Love it Em!

And what a cool design junior Vicky Hur chose for senior Kyung Lee.
I especially love the backdrop.
She penciled right over the oil pastel for a very cool look.
I also like how she chose to elongate his neck.
Great work Vicky!

Here senior Eileen Lee drew senior Andrew Kim,
giving us a clue that perhaps Andrew has two different sides to himself.
You made us stop and take a good look see.
Plus she also changed up her style
which draws our eye right away.

Lastly senior Nandan Vinjamury did an incredible job giving us an interesting view of Mikaela.
He made us think,
 and that's the most important part in a work of art.
Thank you Nandan,
and thank you Beginners for working so very hard last school year,
and making such huge strides in your artistic skills. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


My baby girl is finally free!
She has had steady boyfriends since she was 15 years old (7 years),
and recently she and her current steady have decided to part ways.
So now she has lots of time to focus on her schooling and career path.
This summer she enrolled herself into Bartending School,
not satisfied with the money she is earning at her current job
 (that she still holds) in the beauty industry.
She passed the Bar Test this month,
and was recently hired at two different venues to serve drinks.
She has also taken on a 4th job,
that of hair model and salesperson for Halo Hair Extensions.
She travels around the country to their Convention shows,
this weekend traveling to Austin,Texas.
Plus she is carrying 15 units this senior year at Cal State Fullerton in Communications. 
So 4 jobs and school.
Man oh man Dan,
I'm so proud of you.
You actually have beaten your dad who had 3 jobs while he was putting himself thru college.
I really feel you are finally on your way to figuring out your life.
So last night she invited me, 
her brother and dad over to practice her Bloody Mary's on.
She warned us that she was going to get us messed up.
Her first try was too heavy on the A1 & Worcester sauces.
The second one was too tomato-ie,
the third had too much pepper,
but the 4th one was just right.
She got really mad at me when I took her pix,
but too bad.
She was just too cute concentrating so hard to get that bloody thing just right.
So did she mess us up?
Not me,
I had to work today  
ha haa

Love you to the Moon and Back Dani-girl!

An aside Dani,
 when I first saw these pix on my phone gallery after I took them,
I noticed that your face is changing again.
I saw your grandmother,
my sweet mommy in you.
It brought tears to my eyes.

Monday, September 12, 2016


charcoal on paper

Just love the creative ways kids figure out how to compose a cone.
Let's see.

How about lots of them?
And by putting many of them on the diagonal,
Sachi Nandedkar has been able to bring a lot of movement into her work.

Most of the students,
even after being asked to look at the great examples on this blog for homework,
still only put one cone in the center.
Their critical thinking skills have just not clicked in yet.
I like that Kristiana Flores put in two with wonderful texture for the eye.

And love, 
 love this creative piece by Shukthi Senthilraj.
Probably one of the most creative ones ever conceived here.
Plus she's picking up lots of extra credit for bringing in all that colored pencil work.

And again,
the powerful diagonal.
The eye really enjoys it.
Also check out Danielle Louie's fabulous fore & backgrounds.
What a beauty!

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Alumni Josh Berger's succulent garden was in full swing this summer 
with these incredible amaryllis blooms.
Josh planted these bulbs 2 years ago and they've doubled and tripled in size.
Just magnificent!
Just want to give out a special thanks to our Principal's Secretary,
Suzanne as well as our beloved custodian Dave,
for keeping Josh's garden watered all summer long.

Friday, September 9, 2016


paper mach'e hull, wood masks, & cloth sails

so this was my VERY FAVORITE assignment that we did last school year,
these remarkable Paper Mache' Ships.
I was inspired to try this project because of the work of Re-Purpose Artist 
She loves to turn others trash into treasures;
pieces of cardboard, old linens and antique clothing.
I've been following her blog for a couple of years now,
 and fell in love with the ships she creates.
So much so that I was able to purchase two for myself to display and enjoy.
I also showed them to my students as fabulous examples.
If after you see these you would like to try your hand at making one,
Ann shares her secrets on her blog. 

Many of my students shared with me that this was their favorite assignment as well,
 and what they were the most proud of that they had crafted all year
One of the most impressive of all the ships made was this galleon by 8th grader Sydney Eng.
That's right,
8th grader!
The extra time she spent on making this larger than it needed to be,
with more sails thea she needed was really going above and beyond!
as you can imagine,
 there were a lot of oohs and ahhs when she brought it in for grading.

Before we started building the ships,
 I gave the kids an illustration off Google of the basic parts of a sailboat.
Then I had them go onto Google Images and find a boat shape that inspired them.
Only one mast and sail were required,
but as you will see , 
many of the kids stretched themselves so much further,
like junior Helen Park above.
As I see the photos we took,
I so wish I would have used a different backdrop with more contrast.
We lose Helen's hull in the texture of the fabric.
Hers is the beauty I bought at Open House
 so I could have a great student example to teach with this school year,
because I will definitely repeat this assignment.

This next amazing work by senior Charity Lizardo was the ship I bought for my assistant,
Alyssa Olea.
It was her favorite of the ones that were for sale.
I have to tell you that most of the kids did not want to part with their ships.
Selling their work at Open House is an option, 
and I really like when they want to keep what they've made.

This was another of my personal favs by English teacher Deliana Park.
What a cutie it is.
She even built a wheel house.
 Deliana has resigned from her teaching position here,
after 20 some years,
to teach English at Troy Tech in Fullerton,Ca.
Their yearly schedule lines up better with her children's school schedule
 which takes a load off her daycare issues.
We all miss her terribly and were shocked to hear of her parting.
I considered her one of my best friends here on campus,
and the kids have repeatedly told me what a great teacher she was and devastated that she left.
We LOVE you Ms. Park!!!
You were an integral part of what has made this place #7 in the Nation

Another requirement was to name their vessels.
We accomplished this with paper collage text over their paper mache' hulls,
or by putting the name on a flying flag.
These two sailing ships belong to senior Karen Long & 8th grader Charlotte Park.
The subtle blues and purples are coming from light washes of watercolor or acrylic paints.
We wanted the newspaper from the paper mach'e to show thru the paint to add texture to the hulls.

8th graders Iris Lin  & Elliana Lee designed superior hull forms.
Each child used their critical thinking skills for hull & sail designs.
Even though Ann Wood does share her secrets on ship building,
 I encouraged the kids to come up with their own unique vessels.

Senior Hapshiba Kwon & 8th grader Micah Yim came up with wonderful ships as well.
I especially like that Micah used a bit of pirate colors & cannons on his hull.
How fun!
Micah was another favorite artist/peeps of mine that left Whitney this year.
He transferred over to one of our larger high schools,
Cerritos High,
which offers a lot more opportunities and experiences then we do here at our much smaller campus.
Can't blame him,
but boy oh boy,
 do I miss that sweet young man's smile and positive energy that he brought me daily.
Next we have these delightful vessels by juniors Cheryl Mallabo & Insha Khan
Ms. Hall,
another of our English teachers,
 was lucky enough to swoop in and buy Cheryl's ship at Open house 
which she now proudly displays in her classroom.

These two very sweet boats were created by seniors Eileen Wang & Clarissa Gutierrez.
Note the back scallops on Clarissa's hull.
Reminds me of an elegant swan's tail.

I was really drawn to senior Elias Rodriguez slender boat.
It reminds me of a light weight boat we'd see in the Orient.
And 8th grader Malia Pulido could house an army in her deep hull.
What would be really cute for a baby's room is to put several small stuffed animals in it.
Noah's Arc Ish.

I am so incredibly proud to show off these incredible works of art.
This was probably their most challenging assignment,
yet they loved it.