Tuesday, October 31, 2017


cotton warp & weft, rusty hardware findings & handmade tapestry loom

Poor senior Helen Park,
she wove this super cool tapestry below,
secured her rusty findings,
loved the whole process,
and even eco-dyed it with all kinds of plant windfall.
Then somebody thought the bundle sitting outside my classroom door amongst the potted plants
(where we always put these bundles to dry up before we open them)
was trash and threw it away.
Or perhaps made off with it.
We didn't know and couldn't locate it anywhere.
Both Helen and I (maybe mostly me) were distraught,
we (I) tore thru all the potted plants,
looked thru the trash cans,
did everything we (I) could think of to find her sweet bundle,
and finally gave up.
It was gone.
But at least I was able to get a pix of it before she put her windfall on top
so you can see how cool it was on both the front an back side.
What are those silly expressions?
"That's how the cookie crumbles"
"Que sera, sera",
"What will be will be",
"It wasn't meant to be",
and so on and so on.
I just know I felt really badly and was so disappointed we didn't get to see the final dyed result,
while Helen on the other hand 
seemed to take it in stride.
Once again,
so sorry Helen.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


colored pencil on paper

When 7th graders come to me they are used to using colored pencils like crayons,
pushing down hard on the paper.
But Colored Pencils need to be build up with many thin delicate layers,
and crosshatching is often a favorite method to do this with.
I teach the kids to shade using one of these 3 methods,
Monochromatically, Analogously or Complimentary.
I demo and we practice one day and the next they do one to turn in for points.
Let's look at two outstanding examples. 
Pearl Wang blew us all out of the water with this remarkable work.
So sophisticated in both design and technique.
She is an up and coming superstar in the Arts here at Whitney as is her little sis Sabrina.

And this next piece by Tiffany Cheng is incredible as well.
These little ones amaze and delight me,
most of the time.
Ha ha

Now let's see which of my new 2nd Quarter 7th graders bothered to read this post.
For 2 points of extra credit on Tuesday when you walk in the door,
hand me a small quarter piece sheet of paper
 that you have tried to do a SMALL colored pencil sphere on.
Even if you don't think it turned out very good,
that's ok,
just looking to see if you read this post.
Put your name on the back side of the paper,
si I know who to give the points to.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Don't know how or where, 
but our new principal rounded up some monies for much need shade for our 1000 students.
A big thank you to John!!!
Here are two happy campers under the protection of shade,
James Lee and Atreya Petiluri.

only the seniors had shade with umbrellas 
that I believe were paid for several years ago by a class of seniors as their gift to the school.
The little ones were especially thrilled as you can see.
Those little 7th graders are just so sweet.
Ha ha ha!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


to my dear friend and ex art student,
class of 1994,
Wendy Hertel,
on her retirement from our Armed Forces after 21 years of service in the Air Force.
Wendy was trained to speak fluent Chinese,
and was put into service working top secret for all those years.
She was never able to tell her family or friends what her job was,
and even now after her retirement her lips are still sealed.
Wendy traveled the world where she was stationed in Hawaii twice,
South Korea,
Maryland (USA)
& Monterey, Ca.
I asked where her favorite place was thinking she'd say Hawaii,
but no,
 it was Monterey along the California coastline.
But she just spent this past week driving across country to New Orleans to visit her mother,
then up she will go north back to Maryland where she has chosen to live.
It's where all her friends are now that she made in the Air Force.

Wendy took at least 5 of my art classes back in the day,
several levels of Ceramics and 3-D art.
When she came to visit the school recently,
I sat her down at one of the potter's wheels, 
and she was still able to use remember how to use the wheel
and threw two large bowls.
Those global skills stick with you for life!
It's the coolest thing ever!!
Wendy with all her best friends,
including our Science/Biology teacher Aileen Perry
(second on the right)
who came back to Whitney to teach.

I wish you the best Wendy, 
you are one of the most positive people I know,
your energy is infectious and your love of the arts is equal to mine.
I have also been touched and thrilled with your surprise visits over the last 21 years.
Can't wait to see you again when you come back into town.
Enjoy your retirement and find a ceramics studio where you can throw lots of pots!
Send photos please.
I love you so very much!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


to the hundreds of Firefighters who risked their lives 
to save our homes from both the Canyon 1 & Canyon 2 Fires.
Both fires came at us so quickly and spread so fast,
it was truly a miracle that more homes weren't lost.
Very sadly,
 my friend, his wife and 4 children lost their entire home in the Canyon 2 fire.
In shock we watched it burn to the ground on the Channel 5 news 
as the firefighters tried their hardest to put it out.
Just devastating and shocking to watch as they lost everything.
Our community has banded together to collect necessities and monies for the families who lost all.
Hundreds of people,
 like my husband and I,
 drove down all our streets to see how close it was coming.
In both fires the winds changed directions and moved away from us.
Last weekend driving east along the 91 Fwy.,
the devastation and lost went on for miles.
We were astounded and had no idea how broad the wreckage was.
You are seeing pictures of the 1st fire when we were allowed to drive around.
This was down at our Ralph's center.
But during the second fire it was so much closer and all our streets were completely blocked off.
All the schools were evacuated along with our Ralphs.
It was like a ghost town
with police presence everywhere.
Almost everyone in our complex evacuated,
but my husband and I elected to stay with our home until forced out.
I was watering both our homes and walking out along our canyon rim to see how close it was getting.
Our kids were calling constantly telling us to leave,
but we can be pretty stubborn.

Eight years ago in the huge Yorba Linda Canyon Fire,
my ex, son and I packed all 3 of our cars to the brims because we were next on the list to evacuate.
Once again the winds changed directions and blew the fire towards Carbon Canyon
where it did even more crazy damage.
Five of our friends lost their homes in that fire.
It took over a year and a half to rebuild their homes while they lived out of local hotels.
They all looked like shell shocked concentration camp survivors.
the community stepped up to help them out as they got back on their feet.
Firefighters in all 3 of these fires came from all over the nation to help fight the fires.
And the people who refused to evacuate in that Yorba Linda fire 
were able to keep their homes from burning 
by constantly drenching them with water.
My son's best friend's mother was able to save her home by herself,
while the house next door to her burned to the ground.
In both Canyon 1 & 2 fires at least 6 choppers were alternating filling their water tanks 
from our reservoir
It was completely full from last years rains.
The 1st fire drained it by half, 
and the 2nd fire took most of the rest.
Hoping for a really big rainy season again this year to fill it back up.
Not only did the choppers fly constantly all day long but they continued into the night as well.
We were right under their flight path during both fires and could almost touch their hoses.
It was quite a sight,
something that I hope we will never see and experience again.
But as bad as our 2 fires were,
it was nothing compared to the lives, livelihoods and homes lost in the Napa Fires north of us.
I just heard today that they have that fire about 80% contained.
I even heard they brought firefighters in from Australia to help out in that one.

I'm so very thankful that once again our homes remained intact,
as we continue to live in this glorious canyon with all its wildlife and amazingly beautiful sunsets.

Monday, October 23, 2017


clay, glass shards, glazes

Here is another assignment the kids love,
especially as they wait to see their finished products coming out of the kiln.
Let's take a look.
Senior Ashley Iseri displayed some of the best designs and craftsmanship in the class.
Sadly she was a senior, 
so I wasn't able to work with her again in Ceramics II.
But she promised me she'd try to take another clay class in college.

Another outstanding student,
junior Ylia Madayag,
did this striking lion above.
And best of all,
she is back again this year in Ceramics II challenging herself, 
and growing in her artistic skills.
Can't wait to show you her work that she has begun!

Junior Samuel Kim,
who never liked anything he made,
finally created something he loved so much that he made two of these.

And senior Eunice Shin blends her two countries in this very patriotic work.
Bravo Eunice!
Miss you girlie.

Senior Vinaini Jayasinghe,
a beautiful dancer in her Indian culture,
carved out an image of one of her difficult dance moves.
Very cool Vinaini!

Sadly junior Sarah Oh had a revolting development during the glaze firing
in this very beautiful piece.
Sometimes when the students are rolling out their clay for a piece,
 they accidently pick it up incorrectly and stress an edge.
Or when they roll out the clay they roll one section thinner than the other.
Either or both of these things could cause the work to crack during the last firing.
Both Sarah and I and her tablemates were devastated when we saw what had happened.
But because it was such an exceptional piece it still went out on display.

This accident also happened to senior Brian Aguirre-Hernandez.
His crack wasn't quite so large so that the glass shards melted and filled in the crack a bit.
But again,
what a shame,
such a beauty Brian.

And we end with sophomore Julia Stein.
She came up with something completely different.
She made two pieces that were meant to  be displayed together
which I felt was such a neat idea.
I'm hoping this work will inspire this next years group of students to give it a try.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


bar soap, dyed wool roving & hot water

The little cuties love this messy and wet assignment.
So messy that we have to do it outside the classroom,
and sometimes with gloves.

Alexis Raquino,
from the 2nd Quarter Art Wheel group,
 cutting off excess wool that was being stubborn and not felting down correctly.
Know it came out just fine.

Now to the 3rd Quarter group.
Bianca Pagal did this adorable face above.

And Tiffany Cheng arranged a bunch of hearts that showed up so nicely 
because of the wonderful contrast between light and dark.

But my absolutely fav was this one by Viviana Cruz.
Reminded me of pictures I've seen of the Irish countryside.
On my bucket list.
So lovely and heathery.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


2-harness tabletop loom, warping board & weaving essentials

Let's see what our 3rd year 3-D girls are up to.
In 2nd year 3-d they learned to weave on a frame loom,
so this year they graduated to a 2-harness tabletop loom,
and also learned to use a warping board.
Above we see senior Shreya Sheth helping senior Jacqueline Yu remember her warping sequence.
And below Shreya is bored waiting for her turn.
Pretty cute Shreya!

Here is Jac's lovely and yummy finished scarf hanging on display at Open House.
And a couple of close-ups.
Fringe was optional.
I really like how Jac played with several different sizes and types of weft yarns.

Next we have Shreya's finished scarf.
She went a completely different route then Jacqueline.
She was inspired by hounds tooth cloth and made up her own pattern
for a very striking piece.
The girls told me the warping process was way too tedious but once they started the actual weaving they were loving it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


hand dyed wool rovings, hot soapy water, wash board, washing machine,
& needle felting supplies

thought senior Helen Park after she wet felted her dyed wool rovings into this spherical form.
But after more hours of hot water, soap and elbow grease her sculpture began to emerge.
She cut an opening in the sphere,
turned it inside out and aggressively worked it some more
 on the washboard to shrink and stiffen.
When she felt she could do no more herself,
 she took it home and put the form in her washing machine to full and shrink it EVEN MORE!.
Satisfied she brought it back to school to sew and tweak the shape into a pleasing vessel form.
She was also required to add a bit of needle felted design.
In this close up below you can see the extra work she put into the neck area
 using raffia over a jute core.
 She coiled and stabilized the neck with a basketry technique called Figure 8 stitch
(also a requirement).
The grey and dark brown shapes are needle felted over top and the little white pearls
 are really needle felted balls. 
Talk about a herculean effort!
So proud of you Helen!!!!!

Monday, October 16, 2017


I just want to send out a thank you 
to the gardeners in our school district who care for and take great pride 
in the gardens around our school.
It is a pleasure to walk around our campus.


dried or fresh leaves, needle and perle cottons

Gee no!
Not here in the So.Cal.
99 degrees today if you can believe that?
Crazy weather.
So let me show off a little something to cool things down a bit,
these sweet leaf constructions that senior Helen Park created last school year.

Inspired by the work of Susanna Bauer,
Helen picked a few dried leaves I'd collected for her over the last year and went to town.

she made the most difficult one first
 after she saw the little box my son bought me for Xmas from U.K. mixed media artist
She enjoyed the tedious process so much that she made several more.
The grouping above was bought by English teacher Donna Hall to be displayed in her classroom,
a great honor.
One of these days I need to photograph Donna's classroom.
Every year she spends a couple hundred dollars at Open House and fills her walls with student art.
The effect is incredible!
I would say she has close to 250 pieces carefully arranged.
I had Helen frame out her leaves in small box top lids for Open House display.
So delicate and lovely!
I admire your workmanship and stick-to-activeness Helen.
This was a very difficult assignment.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


junk mail, gesso, watercolor,  & Sharpies

Famous last words, right?
Wanting to please our new Principal ,
John Briquelet,
I gladly told him I'd have my Intermediate 2-D art kids do a mural on one of the walls
 in the new student union building for him,
 the new idea he was hoping for.
I had to figure a spot large enough to put it into
inside my already tightly packed Tentative Schedule. 
1st Quarter Final,
which was to be their Junk Mail Book,
 was the only place I could work it into,
So I renamed it the Junk Mail Mural.
 as an artist, 
I have never enjoyed working on assignments together with others.
There is always a slacker,
and then there are the procrastinators.
I used to get too anxious that we wouldn't finish on time.
Not for me.
But I had faith in this Intermediate group that they just might be able to pull it off.
To please the new Principal...
Let's see how it worked out.
We had six kids in this group,
5 seniors and 1 junior.
All of them wanting to be art majors of some sort.
Now we needed a thumb nail design to work from and I wanted it to be an original student design.
For homework I had them all draw up a couple of ideas then they voted on their favorite.
Senior Malaya Sithichai's was chosen of a sweet little astronaut floating in space.
Now the fun begins!

Above are the kids spreading out all my junk mail from the last year I had saved for them.
A ridiculous amount!
Each student picked one favorite visually pleasing piece first,
then auditioned it next to all the others they picked for Visual Flow
(color scheme, text, envelops).
Next they divided up the wall in 6 equal vertical sections,
then lotteried off each section to make it fair.
Can you see the pencil lines?
The wall we chose was small and narrow as you can see,
we didn't want to overextend ourselves.
Next each student had their own brayer that they used to roll on  "YES" glue
onto the back of each junk mail piece to attach to the wall
(we experimented with many glues,
and this one was the strongest to attach those thick mailers with).

Look at those cuties go!

Almost done with this portion.
Honestly I kinda like it just like that.
Could we have called it done at that point???????????
For me personally,
Notice the visual flow thru each vertical section??
Kinda feels like a rainbow effect.
Next came the gesso over top the junk mail.
Two things were not quite working.
When we build the books 
they were required to have at least on piece of mail that opened up like a flap.
We tried it on the wall but it seemed a little too much.
the kids over applied the gesso too thickly and not enough of the mail parts were showing.
What to do?
We ripped off several of the flaps to calm down the distraction,
and I had them sand off some of the gesso.
much better.
Up close.

Next came the watercolor.
Each student chose a color scheme to work in and lightly brushed watercolor over the gesso areas.
What I forgot to take a pix of was what that looked like before the Sharpie drawing was applied.

It didn't look good at first 
because the color schemes were so different and created a hard edge separation.
So then I made the kids go back and overlap their watercolored section edges
 and use a wet sponge to blend them.

Next came using the overhead projector to enlarge Malaya's image,
and each kiddo had a Sharpie to draw over the design lines.
More gesso was then added into areas that needed popping
 like the astronaut and his safety line,
and all the little twinkling stars,
and of course the planets.
Pattern that reads as texture from a distance was added with a Sharpie as well.
Used to be called doodling now is called Zentangling.
You can see that better in the pix below.

Here is the gang standing in front of each of their sections.
From left to right we have Ayesha, Eileen, Kevin, Malaya, Jazzarie, and Samantha.
And sadly below we have the chairs back in place that belong in front of it.

And it wouldn't be complete without their signatures.
We have Senior Ayesha Durrani,

Senior Eileen Lee,

Senior Kevin Ma,

Senior Malaya Sithichai,

Senior Jazzarie Lo,

and Junior Samantha Tun.

What I totally forgot to mention in the post 
is that it took almost the full school year to completely finish it.
Much of that extra time was taken away from their regular class assignments.  :(
So I really admire their sticktuative-ness in bringing this mural to fruition.

What a wonderful legacy these children are leaving behind
at a school they spent 6 years of their lives at,
their Alma Meter,
Whitney High School.