Monday, October 31, 2016


clay, glazes, oxides, Modge Podge & tissue paper

The last couple of years I've been requiring the kids to carve out key spots in their slab boxes 
so that after they come out of the glaze firing the students can paper collage into those areas.
But we also want to check out how cool the box constructions are themselves.

Like junior Annie Oh.
She picked the most difficult subject to construct her box to.
I honestly wasn't sure she'd be able to pull it off.
But she did!
Thought she did lose a couple of teeth,
I love that they fell off during the glaze firing and feel into the melted glass shards.
Couldn't have planned that any better.
Annie put her Paper Collage along the mouth lip
because she chose to forego carving out an area.

These next two beauties belong to juniors Andy Hou and Nathan Lam.

These boxes are fairly challenging constructions 
because they have a tendency to crack apart at the seams 
when drying out or during the firing process.
So kudos to you two for pulling these off thru the bitter end!

Andy has shaped this lovely form using marbled clays,
our Artic White & Cafe Cinco from Aardvark in Santa Ana.
They've been my go to Ceramics store for the past 40 years beginning in my college years.
Both are great Cone 5 bodies which fire to 2150 degrees,
making these clay bodies watertight, airtight and sanitary.
You can even put it into the dishwasher, microwave and steam with it on the stovetop.

I really like how the paper Nathan collaged down looks like it's morphing directly from the clay.
He has also created some great textural elements in the clay's surface.
Cuz what do I always say you guys?
"It's all about surface design!"

Then senior Frances Lee created this ginormous form.
At least 8" by 8",
going above and beyond the 5" by 5" I was asking for.
And love how she worked to this asymmetrical form.
So interesting to the eye!
Also check out her paper collage, 
found inside her box.
Clever girl!

Saturday, October 29, 2016


windfall, perle cottons & seed beads

For me this was the most exciting project that my students attempted this year.
It's a new assignment that was inspired by Mixed Media Artists Alice Fox and Susanna Bauer
I've been following both these U.K. gals for several years now, 
and incredibly own a piece from both to teach with.
Both collect windfall and do amazing 2 and 3 dimensional artworks with their leaves.
If you haven't had a chance to see their work,
I strongly recommend you take a gander.
My students were required to and here is what they came up with.
Senior William Kim chose 3 very different leaves and
 tied them together thru colored perle cottons and beads.

I apologize for the next pictures.  
I had framed them under glass for the District Art Show & Senior Awards Banquet Nite,
and didn't want to take them apart to shoot the pix.
So sadly there is glare.

This next one was done by junior Shreya Sheth.
I believe she chose a perle cotton that had rich looking multi-colored thread for a great contrast.
The kids had a choice to seal their leaves with Modge Podge or to just leave them natural.
Coating them made them much less likely to break.

Her are two more of Will's leaves.
I so love how he thought to incorporate the beads.
And I'm pretty sure that hole was already there in the bottom leaf.

This wasn't an easy assignment.  The kids broke many leaves before they got the hang of it.
All these leaves were collected with my dog on her walks both up at the cabin and down below.

Senior Amber Wu put together this gentle trio.
Love the asymmetry of it.

And lastly senior Hazel Cruz took a completely different and more difficult approach.
She strung threads between the breaks in one section.
You can see this in the close up below.

Spectacular work all of you!
Thank you for trying this project out for me,
and for creating such beauty from windfall.

Friday, October 28, 2016


copper, brass aluminum, propane, metal shears, metal stamps, hammer, pliers, etching solution, ice pick & findings

The kids love this metal unit.
They are a bit scared and fascinated by the propane torch. 
And once they try using it to patina their metals it is instant love.
They also learn other patina methods.
Let's see what they tried out.

Senior Liana Chie used metal stamps to emboss her name,
and acid etched her leaf design.
An ice pick was used to puncture the hole.

These next 3 were done by senior Amber Wu.
On the left we have some etched tear drops with torched patina on copper.
Center piece is lightly tapped with a blunt awl.
We call this frog butt, 
and an eyelet was put in.
It went into a sulfur solution to bring out the embossment.
The piece on the right is copper with an ammonia patina.
Dangerous but turns out really cool with lots of different blues.

These next ones by  senior Kristine Luong are all so delicate and lovely.
My husband sharpens an old screwdriver on his grinder
 and the kids use it to puncture larger openings in the metal on top of a piece of wood.

And these last ones by senior Antoniette Jabat are super cool.
The one on the left has been etched with an eyelet accent,
and the one on the right is patinaed again using the ammonia solution.
The right one also has shutters around the window openings, 
another technique I require them to try with the sharpened screwdriver and a pliers.

Thursday, October 27, 2016



a past art student of mine,
with so much personality & charm,
 graduated Whitney in 2005.
From there he attended Whittier College in So. Cal. to study Kinesiology then got the acting bug.
I've been following his career for several years on Facebook 
and asked if I could share a few of his very cool photos. 

He does a lot of ad work for various clothing companies.
Brand Black is just one of them.
Winter is coming // NEVERODDOREVEN A/W '16 collection // @brandblack📸: @cvetkovalex

This one really caught my attention the other nite as I was scrolling thru FB.
I think this is the second time I've seen him work for a body paint artist.
About last night // @davidgilmore x @molaaart x#PoderosasParaSiempre // "My concept was based on the half face sugar skull...expanding it to a half body of that imagery. The other side represents the gates of heaven opening and the spirits of loved ones coming to visit." - D.G. — at Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA).
Hanging out with THE icon of #DíaDeLosMuertos,#LaCatrina at @molaaart for#PoderosasParaSiempre (Bodypaint by you know who, @davidgilmore). 💀🌹#InstaAltar — at Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA).

Thanks again to Sbux for bringing back this commercial 🙌🏾 — in West Hollywood, California.

Thanks @facebook for reminding me of this 2 year old picture with my daughter, Maxine, for @beyoubylacour campaign. Look at that face! 💜

Hanging on set with Sonny The Dog for this @cabeautravel shoot. This dude has his own sunglasses line and by PAWING IT FORWARD-20% of ALL Proceeds will be donated to animal shelters and animal well being foundations. You know, I'm definitely copping Maxine a pair. 😎 — in Woodland Hills, California.

That time @kcpark and I were suppose to volunteer but instead engaged in an all out leaf throwing party with dozens of kids in Pasadena. Hello Fall. — at Union Station Homeless Services.

This is my favorite picture of Khalif as he volunteers with children in the park.
He has a magically strong spirit,
he's always up for fun and about living life.

We all are so proud of you here at Whitney Khalif,
 and are rooting for you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


8th grader,
Palmer Patel,
who took the Art Wheel with me last year in 7th grade,
 has come back this year for Beginning 3-D art.
He has a very special mother,
She has shared with me that she has been stitching every night with Palmer 
to help him learn this new & difficult skill.
Because stitching & embroidery are fairly challenging for someone to learn,
they are especially challenging for 8th grade boys.
Usually completely out of their realm.

So Katherine,
bring the remarkably patient woman she is,
will sit down with Palmer at home and let him teach her what we are learning in class.
This way Katherine is not only brushing up her skills from childhood,
she is also re-demoing them for Palmer.
I loved that she thought to do this with him,
and to send me a pix of her sampler that she made to help Palmer with.
So delicate & lovely,
and you can feel the gentle underwater currents thru her use of curved lines.
I also really like her color choices.
What a wonderful mom you are Katherine.
What a lucky young man Palmer is.
Thank you for helping and supporting me always!
I appreciate all the help I can get,
especially with a class of 35 kids!

OK Katherine,
how about joining me next Monday after school so I can teach you to spin yarn.
If you thought the stitching was difficult,
this new skill is a real Loo-Loo
Let's make you a spinning hook and get you some fiber.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016



Bernice has been crazy busy settling into her dorm & work load 
at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago,
located right in the downtown area.
The first two years the kids are not required to name their major
 because the Art Institute wants them to try all the various media to see where their strengths lie.
Bernice tells me she's loving it there.
Let's see how much she loves their winters with the super duper wind chill off the lake.
Hee hee
She says it's great being around people that are interested and excited about the same things she is.
In fact,
she's loving it so much that she says she doesn't even feel like she's in school,
more like a fun summer camp.
So let's see some of her first assignments.

For this piece in her research class,
 Bernice was required to make a mixed musical tape that related to a specific theme.
All the others in the class did the same and then they exchanged with each other.
She was to listen to the one she got then draw/paint/design to what she felt from the music.
that must have been some tape!
So many different emotions and messages going thru it.
Great interpretation!!

In this next work for her Core class,
 the theme was to design to the figure.
Because Bernice tried her hand at Fracturing here at Whitney,
she felt comfortable with that format.
Notice how she drew a silhouette of the upper torso,
then fractured around and thru it.
Really cool Bernice. 
I also like how you added a touch of color.

One of her hardest pieces to date for her Core class,
was to sew on the machine a wearable piece of art.
She has never sewn before so this was really challenging for her.
Well Bernice,
for never having worked with a pattern or machine,
I'm super impressed with what you came up with.
Good for you!!

And then this week she sent me a pix of her latest creation,
this Emulation.
She said it is HUGEE!!!
48" by 72".
That's ginormous for a little pup like you Bernice.
That must have been bigger then you  LOL
I'm very impressed with your hard edges,
your balancing,
and your neutral color choices.
Powerful piece woman!!!
Proud of you Bernie,
and delighted to show you off.
More please!

Sunday, October 23, 2016


indigo vat, cotton, strong thread & needles

Not only do my 7th graders get a chance to dip into the Indigo Vat,
but so do my Beginning 3-D kids.
For my 7th graders we only have time to take a Tye-Dye approach to the dye,
but because the Beginners are in a year long class, 
we can go more into depth with needle and thread.

First we practice several techniques,
concentric circles,
various shapes, and wrapping.
Above we have senior Charity Lizardo & junior Cheryl Mae Malabo 's prelims.

This is a close-up of teacher Deliana Park's wrapped Prelim.
We all loved how she got a heart that had so much movement to it.
Super cool!!

After doing the prelims.,
each student gets another piece of cloth
to make their real one that they turn in for a grade.
Again ,
Deliana made one of the class's favorite designs.
All these interesting horizontal lines.

And junior Insha Khan's design was glorious as well.
She stitched circles around some rust pieces with border lines.

After these were graded and handed back 
they had a choice to use them as the backs for their Solar Dyed Pillows (coming up),
or to use these as fronts for another pillow,
or perhaps a journal cover.
The sky's the limit! 

Friday, October 21, 2016


Begonias, Mandevilla & Impatiens 

Thursday, October 20, 2016



I am at a lose as to who made this glorious journal.
I just found this pix the other nite, 
and I'm pretty sure it was made last school year.
So Malia, Syd, Iris X, Ms. Park, Iris L, Charity, Cheryl Mae, Clarissa, Eileen,
Who does this belong to so I can give them credit??
Look at those incredible journal pages!
Absolutely lovely.

Alumni Hapshiba Kwon thinks this might be the work of senior Karen Long.


I started with one lily bulb 3 or 4 years ago,
and now there are 4 major stalks.
They bring me so much happiness with their brilliant blooms and strong scent.
And they add lots of great color to the front of the cabin.
But the lady at the mountain nursery told me that they might not last 
now that the squirrels are back (the bulbs are tasty morsels).
There is so much to learn up at our new home.
I guess before we moved to the mountain,
the squirrels had become pretty much extinct (not sure why).
But this last year we have seen a couple crossing the street and fairly flying up into the pines. 
They are fast!
One of my friends said she sees actual Flying Squirrels at nite time.  
I have yet to see one. 
But man oh man,
 are those few squirrels making an even bigger mess then the raccoons in our yard.
Holes everywhere!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


My dear friend Mary,
who I hope one day soon will be my son's mother-in-law,
suffered bravely thru Chemo this past summer,
and is now out of the woods.
 We are hoping and have our fingers crossed.
During that time I was so touched by the beauty and depth of the sailing ships that Fiber Artist Hazel Monte of Handstories blog fame was creating,
that I felt they would be a perfect gift for Mary to enjoy and be inspired by towards her healing.
Mary is also a quilting artist,
so I knew she would appreciate the delicate beauty that Hazel stitches into each and every piece.
I knew that if she was able to gaze at them,
touch them,
that perhaps they could help her to forget for a moment the terrible nausea she was suffering thru.
This first one reminded me of Mary's journey she was on,
the rocky seas,
yet the hope that the stars were there
guiding her towards a better place.
She just had to hang in there and she would get thru. 

In this second one the ship is gliding along thru peaceful seas,
finally out of the storm.
Where Mary has arrived and is now.

When I received the ships from Hazel,
she had wrapped them in the lighter blue piece of Shibori fabric,
and it seemed to make a really nice frame around each ship.
Ripping it in half and using Jude Hill's invisible tacking stitch 
I was able to attach them to the back of each ship.
I knew I wanted to mount them onto embroidery hoops to hang
 so I searched thru all my garage sale finds and came up with these two matching dollies.
using Jude Hill's invisible baste I tacked the mounts onto the crocheted pieces...
which I then stretched around the hoops and sewed each point down.
I was so pleased with how they turned out,
and Mary was delighted with her gift.
Just as I had hoped,
 she examined them and touched them for a good 15 minutes,
helping her to forget.