Saturday, December 24, 2016


Taking a few days off to celebrate with family
and go play in the snow.

Much love and joy to all my students.
Thank you all for the lovely cards and gifts I opened tonight with my family.
I have so much to be thankful for.

Friday, December 23, 2016


to 1998 alumni Jessica Lee ,
one of my all time favorite art students,
whose mother's life was cut short during Jessica's junior/senior year of high school.
It was a difficult and challenging time for Jessica and her family,
but despite all of that she still continued to produce spectacular,
 heartfelt works of art for me.  
Jessica graduated Whitney then went overseas to complete her education
 and is now a Doctor of Plastic Surgery  
She currently resides in Seoul, South Korea with her young family,
and thru the magic of Facebook I was able to reconnect with her recently.

This is a work of Jessica's I found the other day
 when I was looking thru my pieces of art from my students that I want to frame up.
Much love to you Jessica and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Students still in training.

Training my new students not to use the clay bucket for a trash can is always a challenge.
You just never know what you will find buried in the clay.
So far this year we have found broken bisque fired shards of clay,
ceramic tools,
and these nasty Kleenez.


graphite on bristol paper

Meet my six 2nd year Drawing, Painting & Design students.
I'm stoked about this group of kids.
They all want to go into the arts in some fashion,
and they all are hard workers with great critical thinking skills as you will see.

This first assignment was only a 2 day deal,
but most of them put so much more extra time into them,
like all night.
They had to create a 10 step value scale in graphite.
Subject matter was up to them.

Senior Ayesha Durrani has created several value scales.
Her trees are her main ones but also check out her tile walkway,
 and even her subtle night sky.
Love how the trees overlap their trunks & branches,
they seem to be calling/waving me into the piece.

Senior Malaya Sithichai did a completely different take on this assignment.
Instead of coloring in solid areas for each of her values,
she layered in animal hair values which all of us thought was very clever.
Even the chiny, chin, chin hair has value.

And senior Eileen Lee also did a secondary value scale in her backdrop,
and in combination with the wavy lines it brings in such wonderful movement to the space.

In this next exquisite drawing,
senior Jazzerie Lo uses pointillism for much of the piece.
Let's take a closer look so you can appreciate how delicate her drawing style is.

We loved senior Kevin Mao's man falling thru space,
it reminds me of some of the dreams I wake myself up from.
and the feathers are the perfect way to fill the negative space.
Kevvin told me he based this piece on the Myth of Daedalus & Icarus,
where they made wings from wax & feathers,
 then got too close to the sun,
and their wings melted and they fell.

We end with senior Samantha Tun with this really adorable clothesline.  
I like how she cut out each drawing and glued it over top another paper.
I tried to convince her to use real string and clothespins to hang it with
 but she liked it the way it was which is fine.
I also like the elongated format she worked in.
That always pleases the eye.

Monday, December 19, 2016


tempera & marking pen

I cannot remember when I've had so many potential art majors all in one class.
This year there are at least 10 serious kids who plan on majoring in some form of Visual Arts,
about half are juniors and half seniors with perhaps one 8th grader.
Because of this the results from this first assignment blew my socks off  :)

The critical thinking put into the designing of these works is really remarkable considering they had to incorporate a color wheel, 
value scale, 
monochromatic scale, 
analogous & 3 sets of compliments.

Can you find junior Varisha Azmi's color wheel?  
She designed it into the delightful birds.
How about her Monochromatic scale?
She picked the hue green and put her values mixtures under the tree.
I'm also enjoying all the pen& ink work she put in,
Zentangling it's called.

Let's see what senior Lauren Kennedy came up with.
Can you find her value scale with all the shades of grey? 
And I like how she balanced the piece with her complimentary & their neutrals blades of grass.
Lauren had one of the most beautifully crafted pieces in the bunch.
Her painted edges are to die for!

And wowzer,
look at this incredible piece by junior Sarah Oh!
The fluidity in it is amazing,
Her sense of composition is superb, 
plus it's playful and just so much fun to look at.

In this next one by senior Jocelyn Chou, 
she was really able to capture the opaque quality
that I wanted these kids to lay the paint down with. 
She has created an exciting composition by bringing in a lot of movement with diagonals and curves..
Definitely an eye catcher.
Tempera is a bit tricky,
It wants to go on transparent but it looks better opaque
which means sometimes the kids have to paint an area over twice to get it right.
Jocelyn has nailed it!

Another strong designer who has come to me this year is junior Tiffany Chen.
What a gorgeous piece she has put together here both compositionally 
and with her impeccable craftsmanship.
Bravo Tiffany!

And we end with the very sweet & smart senior Melissa Ongko.
I feel like this work is a bit of a self-portrait for Melissa.
She throws herself into her assignments like this little girl running towards the stars
with arms wide open.
She has come in and knocked out every assignment with gusto and dedication 
like I haven't seen the likes of lately.
This young woman is like a dog with a bone.
She sinks her teeth into each assignment and works on it at home, 
before school,
during lunch & many times after school.
Because of this she is always the first one done,
and it's such a pleasure for me to watch her work and enjoy the process so much.
Your effort has not gone unnoticed Melissa  :)

You all fill my heart with joy to be able to share so many beautiful works of art.
Told you I had some remarkable kids this year!

Saturday, December 17, 2016


small loom, cotton warp & misc. weft yarns

For senior Shreya Sheth's first independent project this year
 she was fascinated by woven bracelets she had found on Pinterest.
She loved the weaving unit we did in 3rd year 3-D art,
so she warped up a loom and went to town figuring it out.
As an Independent Study Student,
an earned status by completing 3 years in a single art subject with an "A" each Semester,
Shreya now gets to research and create her own projects.
This one is her first of the year.
She made a series of four bracelets,
trying different color schemes and fibers to weave with.
She also tried out different closures.
Can't wait to see if any of these will be up for sale at Open House.
I actually tried them all on and they are super cool.
Way to start the year Shreya!

Thursday, December 15, 2016



I want to start with two of my favs and most shining stars this year,
yes seniors,
woo hoo,
Jacqueline Yu and Shreya Sheth.
They are in my Advanced 3-D course this year (3rd level).
Shreya is also enrolled in 2 Independent Study 3-D classes 
(4th & 5th levels) 
two other periods of the day,
that's right,
for a grand total of 3 classes a day with me.
Brave woman!
Both girls have been producing important works of art and I'm so excited to share them with you.

I have known these two young ones for the past 6 years 
here at Whitney since they were 7th graders in my Art Wheel class.
They have been super stars in every class they've taken with me,
and I'm so very proud of their total body of work produced here. 
If you put their names in my search engine you will see it all.

So welcome if this is your first time with us.
I'm hoping to show off as many kids as possible in my 9 different art preps this year:
Beginning & Intermediate 2-D Art
Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced & Special Studies 3-D Art
Ceramics I & II
and last and always least,
only kidding,
my 7th graders in the rotating Art Wheel course.
And occasionally I throw in some personal stuff,
my own children & grands,
dog Sophie, gardens, art work and studio.

I hope you enjoy the ride with us.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fire Bundles

Every year I try to make a small handmade something for the many secretaries
we have at our school who help me in countless ways.
 in turn,
 usually get together and make all the teachers baked goods
which I really look forward to since I don't bake.
But it's coming up fast and I still hadn't figured out what I was doing. 
While visiting my grandson on Sunday,
we were trimming his mother's too leggy lavender plants,
and she was going to throw away all the trimmings,
so I asked for them.
The smell is so delicious.
On the drive home I googled how to make Lavender Sachets,
but it turns out the lavender flowers need to be dried out first,
so that's a no go before my deadline.
But then I saw something about Lavender Fire Bundles from fresh lavender, 
so here's hoping they all have fireplaces. 
My students at school 
also enjoyed the smell as I was bundling them up during break time.
They walked in wanting to know what that smell was.
Hee hee

A really nice aside.
My students love the smell of my classroom.
They tell me it's one of the best smelling classrooms on campus.
That makes my heart really happy.
For some it's the earthy clay smell,
for others the steaming pots of eucalyptus when we are eco-dyeing,
for others the smell of fresh paint. 
I have one student, 
senior Marjorie Balaoro,
who upon walking in my door everyday,
heads straight into the kiln room and takes a deep breath
to smell the charcoal remains of the sawdust firings we do in an oil drum I store in there.
Seeing her head into that kiln room puts a smile on my face everyday.

Smells are such powerful memory triggers as Liz from Texas shares with us in her comment below.
One of my favorites that reminds me so much of my mother cooking at the Holidays,
is the aroma when you walk into an Italian Deli.
Sends me right back into my mama's kitchen. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Oh Boy!!
something got finished,
 and it's on it's way backeast to Old Lyme, CT.
 The recipient is 2016 Alumni Hapshiba Kwon.
Last school year I sent this one to 2015 Alumni Daphne Chaing in D.C. 

Every year when I teach the Solar Dyed Yarns &
Beginning Knitting Unit to my Intermediate 3-d kids,
I'm able to demonstrate each step and pattern,
so that I actually stay one day ahead of the class,
which leaves me with a finished piece at the end.
Woo Hoo
This year we covered 10 patterns,
Knit & Purl garter, Stockinette, 2 by 2 Ribbing, Mistaken Rib, Cable, Log Cabin, Seed, 
Stripping & Intarsia.
Finished the blocking and hubby put it in the mail for me today.
I'm hoping just in time to keep Hapshiba toasty in the Conn. snow.
Looking forward to her sending a pix with her wrapped up in it.
Also hoping she'll like the colorways I came up this year.
I always go into my demos blind so I put no pressure on getting things just right.
I find that working spontaneously is a whole lot of fun.
everyone here at Whitney sends you hugs and warm wishes 
for the Holiday Season with your family. 
And give your brother Daniel a big hug and kiss from me.
Love you always sweet girl.

Monday, December 12, 2016


I was recently at a Weaving & Spinning Show 
when this glorious rug hooked banner caught my attention.
Just had to share this piece of fibery goodness..

Sunday, December 11, 2016


Two weekends ago...snow.
Our first this year.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


So thankful for these two noob sauces in my life.

Friday, December 9, 2016


watercolor, charcoal & colored pencil

The end of the 2015-2016 school year has finally come.
I wanted to end it with this group of students from my 2nd year 2-D class 
because this is such an important assignment.
It's not easy doing a Self-Portrait,
no one wants to take that close a look at themselves,
so I save this assignment for the end.
Plus it takes all of the skills they've learned throughout the past two years to pull it off.
I asked them to work in their favorite medium,
and not try something new.
Let's see how they did.

Senior Kyla Balquin got really brave
 and painted now only herself but good buddy senior Sitara Pul in watercolor
from a pix they took at Senior Retreat.
She really captured their likeness in a very soft & delicate way.
Beatuiful Kyla!

Senior Bernice Lin is looking super thoughtful in this portrait 
as she takes a look back at her school years with friends and brother Derrick.
Bernice chose to work in charcoal using the eraser technique she learned this year.
Brilliant work Bernice

And lastly we have senior Risha Bhakta.
Risha loves combining watercolor and colored pencil.
She did it very successfully on another piece earlier in the year.
And it's brilliant how you filled in the backdrop inside of just leaving it white.
And what an adorable photo she worked from.
Fantastic job kiddo!

We've come to 
of the 2015-2016 school year.

I'm so very proud to have been able to show off so many of my students from this past year.
I hope all of you have enjoyed the journey with me.
There will be one final post with a look back at the entire year 
with candid shots of the seniors.
I call it the Senior Farewell 
and I will probably work on it during Xmas vacation.
But in the meantime,
 I shall finally introduce you to the students and their work from this school year.
I'm only 3 11/2 months behind schedule
Hopefully I will be able to get caught up in a timely manner.

Thursday, December 8, 2016


solar printing fabric, perle cottons, stuffing & beading accents

A super fun way to end the school year is to make solar pillows with my Beginning 3-D kids.
I order the photosensitive fabric from Dharma Trading and the kids do wonders with it.
It's expensive and I buy enough so that each child gets to do a preliminary piece first, 
testing out at least 5 different things to print.
For instance,
 feathers, leaves, buttons, jewelry, paper clips, doilies, snowflake cut outs,
 the list is long. 
Whatever they pick,
 it must sit flat against the ground.
We use t-pins to help hold things in place so the wind doesn't blow them off.

I adore what junior Insha Khan thought to do.
She cut up both her prelim and good one,
 and stitched them patchwork style back together again using a whip stitch and perle cotton.

Next we have English teacher Deliana Park.
Hers again was one of the class favorites.
I had forgotten how crazy amazing it was until I pulled it up last nite to work on this post.
Incredible design Deliana.
Man oh man, 
do I miss you girlie.
(Ms. Park transferred to Troy High School in the Fullerton District 
to be on the same break schedule as her children)

Senior Elias Rodriquez did quite get to finish his,
but it was so extraordinary that I needed to post it as  inspiration for this next school year.
I love that he thought to do a self-portrait,
and the pine needles he used as resist in the photo process makes a wonderful boarder.

Sweet 8th grader Micah Yim,
another of my favorites who is gone this year
(transferred to Cerritos High)
created this glorious design.
well thought out Micah.
Great contrasts between the play of lights & darks.

Another outstanding 8th grader,
Elliana Lee,
made this super clean & tight origami design.
Her craftsmanship is extraordinary for one so young.

And then there is 8th grader Sydney Eng.
The energy & effort she gives me in every piece is truly remarkable.

And senior Iris Xu
(don't let Sriram near this)
so touching & lovely,
the beads the perfect accompaniment.
I sure miss you & your gentle way.

We end with Eileen Wang and her bouquet of flowers.
Wonderful pops of whites against the blue ground.
With her tiniest of stitches here and there.

Perfect way to end the year.
Thanks you 3-d kiddos for giving me so much of yourselves!
And thank you Deliana for joining us and really raising the bar,
and making us laugh.  
You are one funny lady!
Helen told me to tell you hello.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


clay, glazes & oxides

We end the beginning clay kids with these cool planters 
that were supposed to revolve around a nature theme. 
Besides looking at the neat designs,
also check out the great finishes they came up with.
On the day of the Final we had a Planting Party.
I bring in soil & a variety of annuals & perennials for the young ones to choose from.
And of course I give them a lesson on plant care.  :)

We all loved senior Jonathan Hsu's undersea adventure on the front of his planter.  
And the way he glazed it really feels like the octopus is moving thru the water.

His buddy,
 senior Jonathan Gong,
 also did an ocean theme,
and I also really like how he used the oxides and blended Red Iron with Cobalt.

Senior Archana Vancheswaran went all out with both her design and glazing.
Really eye-catching!

And junior Manav Gandhi surprised us all with this fabulous work.
Bravo Manav,
I love how decorative it is with the inlaid shards of glass!

Junior Nathan Lam,
who always brings us a super fun & unique design, 
did not let us down.
Love how he contrasted the oxide staining with the glazed eye portion.

And junior Brian Hu,
first time on the blog?,
applied this large and scary looking spider that really lookss like it's climbing into the planter.

Look closely and you will see sitting on the ground 
how junior Cathy Huang has strung & dangled charms off the bottom of her planter.
What a wonderful idea!

And junior Annie Oh brings in her sculptural talents with this large skull-like winged creature.

We end the day of the Final with Jonathan , 
Annie & junior Howard Lin caring for & watering their planters.
I love that I was able to capture this shot of them admiring
 and checking out all the pieces as they drained.
Farewell young pups,
you all were a most challenging group to work with,
but because of that I will always remember you guys and wish you well.
Speaking of that,
I'm dying to know how you are getting on at West Point Aaron.
When you can,
 catch me up.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


wire & mixed media

This Intermediate group of kids ended their year with this Final,
 a new assignment inspired by the work of  British Textile Artist,
Manchester based Liz Cooksey.
I found her on Pinterest and loved each and every piece I could find of hers.
I also had the young ones check out her site to inspire them.

I asked the kids to use wire to build an interesting framework in which to include at least 7 sections.
I also asked them to hammer the wire for extra strength,
 but they told me it didn't work so well.
I also gave them a list of at least 13 different techniques we had used in the past two years,
like knitting, crochet, leaf stitching, metal work eco-dyeing, etc.,
to chose from for these 7 sections.
Of course to also make them visually pleasing together.
Let's see what they came up with and decide if I try it again next year.

I think out of all of them this one by senior Antoinette Jabat was the most appealing to my eye.
Working in a neutral palette,
 with the eco-dyed weavings,
 and of course that gorgeous stitched leaf was right up my alley.
Oh my!
The leaf up close.
Love how she suspended it.
The eco-dyed fabric.

Next we have this very feminine piece by senior Kristine Luong.
I thought her weaving she wove was especially pretty,
but it feels slightly unbalanced on the lower left side.
Needs one more flower I think.

Junior Shreya Sheth really got into this assignment and worked her heart out.
So many interesting & delightful surprises for the eye.
Shreya was the only one who actually re-read the requirement sheet 
and built the outside wire components like Liz Cooksey does.
I'm talking about those stars.
And notice those spray painted twigs?
And the clock paper that she also used inside her Mosaic Tile Box?
A really tremendous piece Shreya!

How clever senior Liana Chie was to build this to the subject of a hot air balloon.
Do you see the little man inside the woven basket?

Senior Hazel Cruz didn't get a chance to finish hers but we all sure liked her fabulous start.

And this last one by junior Jacqueline Yu came together so beautifully,
done in her favorite color scheme.

So these are my thoughts.
Next year if I have the kids do this assignment again,
I feel I should stress that each section has to be done in something they have made themselves,
 rather than a found object in those 7 sections. 
 But if they build more sections,
 then they can bring in other goodies like buttons and silk flowers and such.
I would love some feedback on this please.