Thursday, March 30, 2017


I was delighted last week to see one of my all time favorite art/crafts students
 Ashley Morris,
Class of 2011.
She's 23 years old now and has her B.A in Veterinary Sciences from U.C.Davis.
This is her 6th year there and she is in her 2nd year of Vet. Med. School
which she tells me is incredibly demanding,
but she loves it!
If you put her name in the search engine,
 you will see the incredible body of work she did here at Whitney
in the 4 years of 3-D art she spent with me.

I'm so touched you stopped by for a visit,
it was so wonderful to see and hug you again.
And know I am so very proud of the young woman you have become,
and all the hard work you have gone thru to get where you are today.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


charcoal on paper

Oh my,
 do we have some talent in this 2nd Quarter group of 7th graders.
Let's see what they've created with the burnt remains of twigs and sticks. 
The burnt remains are put into these forms by art manufactures,
pencil, conte', pastel like sticks and loosely compressed vines.
 I require that my students try all four and see which they prefer.
Are they allowed to use several forms in one piece?
You betcha!

Samantha Catacutan has made a powerful fore and backdrop for her lovely cone.

And the eye loves diagonals in a work of art.
Check out the strong graphic background Amsal Ali is using in his composition.

And Sabrina Liu's piece seems to be sent from the heavens above.
What a wonderful atmospheric work she has created.

Monday, March 27, 2017


clay, glaze, oxides

I was going thru my pictures this weekend 
and found one more Slab Footed Bowl that I really want to share.
It was made by junior Ylia Madayag and it's gorgeous.
Everything that Ylia makes is incredible
sadly a piece chipped off the rim of this before it made it into the kiln for the Bisque firing,
and couldn't be repaired.
So I suggested to Ylia to chip off more pieces all the way around. 
It was scary but she did it and balanced the top rim out.
But it was the way she glazed it that really made it come alive.
Ylia stained it with Cobalt Carbonate,
wiped off the stain from the top surface so that the oxide remained in her crevices,
then dipped it into the Transparent glaze.
Then she went back over top the glaze with a brush dipped into Cobalt
 and put even more oxide into her incised areas to achieve a remarkable look.

You should have heard the oohs and ahhs when it came out of the kiln.

Friday, March 24, 2017


clay, glazes & oxides

Another prelude to building with slabs are these Slab Footed Bowls.
The slabs were used to try out their newly created Bisqued Stamps & Cylinder Rolls.
They were also used to learn the technique of using a rounded mold to form a bowl with.
There were many molds to chose from
 or they could have make their own out of crunched up newspaper and masking tape.
The underside of pre-existing bowls work well too turned upside down.

Senior Eunice Kim leads the way here with her striking bowl.
Loving the way our Turquoise glaze is breaking over top all the textural qualities
 she has stamped, rolled or thumped and dragged into her slab.
Learning and understanding glazing is challenging when you are high firing.
It's takes a good half year for the kids to "get it".
Breaking glaze means how it's going to behave when it melts and hits an obstacle
like a lump, crack, crevice, carved out or a stamped pattern area.
Look closely at the inside and outside of Eunice's bowl and you can see what I'm talking about.
Light areas, 
dark areas,
it's all cool and can be a bit uncontrollable.
Sometimes you just don't know what you are going to get,
which makes unloading a kiln a delightful surprise.

In this next piece by senior Vinaini Jayasinghe,
she has painted the entire piece with the oxide colorant called Cobalt Carbonate.
Then she has taken a wet sponge and wiped off the clay's surface 
so that the Cobalt says in the low areas.
You really notice it on the backside of her bowl below.
Because she has used a Transparent glaze
 we don't have to worry about how the glaze will break.

In senior Sahil Doshi's bowl you can really see the breaking.
It's so beautiful how our Cobalt Blue Gloss glaze goes black in the crevices and lightens slightly along the edges of the cervices.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


My daughter Dan and her coworkers,
 recently took on New York City,
namely Times Square,
for their working convention with the Halo Hair Extension Company.

These are some of the pix she sent.
I personally have only been to N.Y. once in my early 20's for just a day,
but I have wonderful memories of this busy,
 fast-paced city.
I just love the colors in the backdrop of this picture.
She was there during the recent blizzard
and fortunately her plane departure was not delayed. 

With her girlfriends at night exploring the city.

Under the infamous bull on Wall Street.

Loved this black and white she sent me...

a well as her in snowy Battery Park right outside Wall Street.

She is headed for Chicago this weekend,
definitely on my bucket list.
Can't wait to see those pix.

Friday, March 17, 2017


graphite on paper with colored pencil accents

keep those doggies rollin,
Who remembers that T.V. show from the 1960's with actor Clint Eastwood?
Well let's see how the 7th graders are rolling their spheres.

Amy Wang is showing off her skills in this Harry Potter themed piece.

And Alexa Trinidad has created a wonderful border to frame her lovely drawing. 

Where borders required in this piece?
and no one did it better than Ivy Peng.
Incredible effort Ivy,
you border is sensational along with your entire composition;
and I hope will inspire many more 7th graders to come after you!
Extra Credit for you young lady!!

Thursday, March 16, 2017


clay, sawdust firing, metallic rubbing compounds, beeswax 

just know that I am currently running 3 months behind on my posts.
Like on these candlesticks.
You all made them in November and finished them in December and I'm just getting them up.
So with that said,
here we go.

Here is the fabulous group shot of them all with their self-evals underneath.

Self-evaluations are mandated by the State of California as part of the Arts Framework 
for students to learn to objectively evaluate and judge their own pieces.
At the end of each assignment,
 on the left side of their evals.,
I have the kids list out all the requirements with the points possible they could have earned.
On the right side they make two columns,
one for themselves and one for me.
Then they write in their column what point values they think they deserve for each requirement.
They give me both their project and their self-evals.,
 and I then write in my column what I think they deserve.
Most of the time they are right on and I agree with them,
or they are a bit too hard on themselves,
so in my column I will give them a higher point value.
Every so often one person might not take this part seriously 
and will give themselves a perfect score.
Once they get to know me,
 they will find that I can always find something wrong with a piece,
so that they can grow as artists.
So usually they only try that one time,
because I blast them for not taking the process seriously,
 and the next time they usually give me honesty.
But occasionally,
there will be a student or two that do earn perfect scores.
And I love when that happens!!
And sometimes,
 they go so above and beyond minimum requirements & they earn some extra credit points.
I always take the time to write at least on positive comment and/or a helpful criticism.
I had an alumni return after 20 years to visit 
and she told me she kept every single self eval. I ever wrote her
 because of my honest heartfelt comments to her.

This assignment was a prelude to working with slabs dimensionally.
They also learned some new surface design techniques with included embossing items into the clay like laces, feathers, burlap/fabric, cardboard shapes, leaves, flowers etc.
That had to happen on two sides of their candlestick.
On the other two sides they were asked to try out their new bisqued stamps & cylinders
they made that had just came out of the kiln.
The results were so lovely as you will see.

The ones above and below were done by sophomore Olivia Kruger and junior Sarah Oh.
Both girls added sculptural elements which I loved
and inspired me to add to next years requirements.
So thanks you two!

These next beauties were made by junior Vincent Nguyen 
& seniors Vinaini Jayasinghe and Lauren Kennedy.
In all of these pieces,
notice the cool ways the students choose to end the tops of their sticks,
and the delicate application of the rubbing compounds.

These next 3 stunning pieces were created by Olivia (her extra one),
and the other two by junior Simran Doshi.
Love those little balls Simi has added to the one on the right 
not only around the lip but around the bottom to balance her stick.
They look like little feet.
So sweet.
A  close up.

And aren't these pretty?
Also notice how complimentary the beeswax color choices go with their rubbings.
These three were done by seniors Reehan Ahmad and Sahil Doshi,
and junior Samuel Kim.

And I can't end without showing one of my favorites which was done by senior Lauren Kennedy.  .
I'm crazy about those wings.
They remind me a bit of Native American Totems.
Just fabulous design Lauren! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


bfl roving & spinning hook made from a coat hanger

Just found this great pix of Ms. Hall learning to spin & ply her yarn.
Sorry Donna for not finding it sooner and putting it into the original post.

First of all let me introduce you to jack of all trades,
Cross Country & Track and Field,
 Coach Milan,
a Paraeducator for one of my students who joins us everyday for the Beginning 3-D class.
Occasionally he gets to join in on an assignment,
and I'm discovering that he has an artistic gift for design & craftsmanship as well.
Here he is learning to spin yarn,
a very difficult global skill.

It takes extreme concentration to learn this skill as you can see.
The kids were totally unaware that I was even taking photos of them.

And here are the young ones plying their singles 
and using the sink facets to stretch their yarn from.
Of course their are lots of other ways to learn these skills but the coat hanger as spinning hook
and stretching out the singles seems to work best with the beginners.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


pencils, paper, clip boards & prop

Just cuz I haven't posted about you guys,
doesn't mean I've forgotten you.  
Hold tight, 
you will be featured soon.
But in the meantime, 
enjoy finding yourselves in this pix.
Beginning 2-D students,
all 35 of them,
trying to find a place to sit and see the prop from 
so that they can learn to sight and draw in Negative Space. 
we are missing a couple of kids.
My camera lens couldn't fit them all in.
There were others off to the left sitting on top of tables,
and then more off to the right sitting behind the checkout counter.
I've never had this many kids in this particular class.
But they are a wonderful group of kids and I'm really enjoying teaching them to draw.
Just wait.
Their before & afters are not too far away.

Monday, March 13, 2017


My cutie patootie daughter (on the right) is stuck in Times Square 
at the Halo Hair Show Convention she is working there in NYC.
A snow blizzard is coming in tonight and the airport is shut down tight.
She already lost her I.D. in the city.
A good samaritan found it and gave it to an NYPD on patrol who then posted it on FB.
Dani saw the post and told the police where she was staying 
and the good looking Lieutenant Stan delivered it to her at her hotel in person.
How about that for service with a smile.

Last weekend she got to work a show in Washington D.C.,
and next weekend they are sending her to Chicago,
all expenses paid.
What a great ride she is on with this hair company.
Good luck getting home petunia.
They should just reroute you gals to Chicago. 
Love you to the moon and back!

Sunday, March 12, 2017


sharpened dowel, india ink, watercolor & paper collage

These pieces are so lovely in person
 that at Open House they sell like hot cakes if the kids choose to put them up for sale.
In fact,
our Principal's secretary,
owns at least 3 of them,
and recently framed them up so now they look incredible behind glass and over her desk.

No pencils or erasers are allowed in this assignment,
only wooden dowels that the students sharpen and dip into India ink to draw with.
really scary.
But they do a practice piece first 
in Modified Contour and find if they are silent and go deeply into Right Brian,
it can be relaxing and turns out surprisingly well.

I have the kids draw from real life.
 Senior Eileen Lee used one of my sea shells and silk flowers,
then filled in her negative space with the buoy and sun.
After the ink dries,
 the students are required to mix up 3 values of ink wash 
and brush them into areas of shadow.
They were also supposed to bring in watercolor and paper collage accents
 as you will see in all the pieces.
 Eileen also brought in real dried out rose petals that she glued down
for another delightful element to catch the eye.

Senior Jazzerie Lo drew this adorable crab lugging his shell around.
I love how she thought to do him separately and cut him out
 and then to glue him slightly over the frame's edge.
It was a good way to balance the two larger items in the picture plane.
And check out her attention to detail in the crab & shell.

This next sweet piece belongs to junior Samantha Tun. 
You can just feel the music wafting in the breeze.

Next we have senior Malaya Sithichai with this incredibly detailed drawing.
Her use of watercolor was perfectly placed,
and check out the ink washes as well in the wrinkles in the hand.
I just love the playful quality of this work and the colors she used.

In our next one,
 senior Ayesha Durrani has drawn treats everywhere for our eyes.
Check out the fun close-up below.
I'm starting to notice that in all of Ayesha's works,
 she sends a great deal of time on the backdrops.
Reminds me of the work of Alumni Brian Kesinger.
Perhaps there is a future ahead as a story board artist for Ayesha with Disney or Warner Brothers

Our last one by senior Kevin Mao is a beauty.
Great cast shadows, 
just the right amount of watercolor,
well balanced composition.
And the wonderful touches of paper collage in the plants stems.
Go Kevin,
go Kevin!

Saturday, March 11, 2017


clay, glazes & oxides

Just found this wonderful photo of a couple of missing Pinch Pots from 1st Quarter.
Sorry you guys for not putting them into the original post.

On the left we have this really well thought out design by sophomore Olivia Kruger.
She stained the outside with the oxide Cobalt Carbonate,
then dipped it into our Transparent glaze.

On the right we have junior Mire Modha who stamped and applied this playful design thru the middle of her pot.
She has glazed it on the inside with our Chili glaze, 
and on the outside poured another glaze in a loose free flowing way.

Friday, March 10, 2017


graphite on paper & colored pencil accents

Let me introduce my 2nd Quarter 7th graders.
They like my first group had a couple of real knuckleheads
 but overall,
another talented bunch.
Let me show a couple off.

Sabrina Liu starts us off with this adorable dragon.
And she's created values everywhere and has picked up a bit of extra credit for that.

Next is Amy Wang who obviously is coming in with some self-taught drawing skills.

And then we have Tyler Shin 
who created this super unique non-objective design with six value scales.
Impressive young man!
Extra Credit for you as well!!