Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Jim and I are so very proud to show off our newest grandson.
Mom took Anthony and big bro Syd for their first photo shoot together,
and Pop pop and I are just tickled with the proofs.
We enjoyed these together today on FB with big goofy smiles on our faces.
Hoping for a few of these for Xmas to put into frames.
Hint, hint Jules.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


these are truly remarkable pieces of art.
All three pieces were done by young artster extraordinaire 9th grader Madison Plotkin,
an up and coming superstar.
She created these works for admission to the Ryman School of the Arts,
an off shot of USC's Art Dept. for High School students.
I'm sure they will take one look at these incredible pieces and reel her in.
Good Luck sweet girl!

Monday, December 10, 2018


There have been several positive and wonderful changes in my children's life this year.
My son is getting married soon and also has a new job with better pay and benefits.
And my daughter has let the nest to try living without parentals.
And for the very first time has hung and put up her own Holiday lites.
She asked her dad to show her how and they worked as a team on this.
I really like her color scheme,
so soothing with the purples, greens, silvers and golds.
what is the name of this Color Scheme.
Tell me on Monday when you walk in the door for extra credit) 
She surprised her dad and I by inviting us over for her home cooking 
and to show off her decorations.
It almost brought a tear to my eye when I saw her place decorated.
I thought she's really growing up and taking on home ownership and big time responsibility.
It just made my heart so happy and put a goofy smile on my face..
Also to see what lovely taste she has in not only her exterior but interior decor as well.
That's my girl.  
And then to the deliciousness.
My ex brought the appetizers
 and I brought the spirits and we settled down to a terrific taco building feast.
She used a favorite recipe of her boyfriend's mother.
She calls them Diana's Tacos.
I personally don't care for the packaged taco seasoning you can buy and add to your ground meat,
and was thrilled to know she seasoned it herself with garlic and onion powder,
salt & pepper and a few chili flakes.
It was scrumptious.
and if you ever read this post when I am dead and gone,
know how very proud of you I am.
And Diana,
I'm going to have to try out your taco recipe.

Friday, December 7, 2018


Alumni Sara Oh, 
Class of 2018,
 has an affinity for all animals,
all creatures for that matter,
so oftentimes her art reflects that like in this Accordain Book she created for her Bookbinding class.
She recently sent me these pix to show me what she's been up to at Art Center in Pasadena, Ca.
I thought for sure she was painting with Gauche (an opaque watercolor),
but she told me it's acrylic.
I'm loving how she limited her Color Scheme to Monochromatic Blue,
and how wide her range of value is.
This is a remarkable piece Sara.
I bet your instructors there are so impressed with your technical skill levels
 as well as your design skills.
I know I always have been.
I love and miss you so much.

Sunday, December 2, 2018


clay, glazes, oxides

This is the 38th year that I have taught this assignment
and the kids never fail to come up with completely new design ideas.
The main requirements were to work to at least 8 inches high
and to come up with at least 2 separate coil patterns along with going round and round.

This first beauty is the work of senior Catherine Lu.
She picked the perfect glaze to hug her coil work and show it off,
Cobalt Blue Gloss.
And then contrasted it with our Black glaze on the inside.

Senior Michelle Hwang created a piece that feels inspired by an Asian temple from Antiquity.
Love how she glazed it.
First she stained it with all four of our oxides then wiped them off 
and dipped the whole piece into our Transparent glaze.
Really looks ancient.

This next one doesn't have a name yet,
but I'm working on it.
I really like the way the coils flow around the pot with little balls put in here and there.
And the glazing is perfect.
This is out Tan glaze with the oxide Rutile brushed over top the balls after the glaze dried.

Here is another remarkable pot by junior Michelle Son.
She also used the Tan glaze with oxides brushed over top to high lite areas of pattern.
Love how she finished it with the lip treatment that looks like petals of a flower.
Clever young woman.

Don't know if you remember me posting about senior Christian Balbido's coil pot last year
 that was broken as he transported it from home to school.
 he cleverly used those pieces and made a mask out of them for extra credit.
 Then he had to build this second coil pot to get his grade for the assignment.
He had to work quickly to be able to meet the firing schedule,
so this piece turned out more spontaneous then his first attempt.
 I really liked it because he created so much movement with his coils.
and loved the strong ending which is critical on a good coil pot.
Also loved how he glazed it.

This adorable coil sculpture is the creation of junior Lina Kim.
This piece was way beyond a beginning piece.
In fact,
I wasn't sure when she told me what she wanted to do that she'd be able to pull it off.
Boy was I wrong!
The construction took her 3 times as long as the other pieces,
and Lina came in everyday after school or would take it home to give it the extra time needed.
We were all so very impressed when she finished this remarkable work.

And then there was junior Sara Ryave.
This coil sculpture was probably the most remarkable coil pot to ever be made at Whitney 
since I've been teaching here.
I felt that this piece was college level sculpture and belonged in a gallery.
When Sara began it she didn't know it would morph into a figure sculpture,
that came later as she was working on it in class 
and several of us remarked to her that it was starting to resemble a nude.
So then she went for it and really worked it into more of one.
And then the way she glazed it with the oxide staining on the outside
and the contrast of the glaze on the inside;
just brilliant work Sara!

I am so very proud to show all these off.
As I've said so many times,
it is such a pleasure and a privilege to teach here at Whitney with these crazy bright young minds.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

NO. 3

This is my 3rd online class with India Flint this past year and a half.
India is one of the most fascinating people I've ever meet.
I took my first class with her several years ago up in Santa Barbara,
and have been a huge fan ever since.
She is an Australian artist, an eco-dyer, scientist, poet, fashion designer,
speaker of many languages, 
writer of numerous books now,
maker of music, animal lover and cook extraordinaire,
plus just so much more, as well as a very wise woman!
I've finished online class No.1 which you saw and I posted about 2 weeks ago,
the embroidered bag,
and am in the middle of No.2 (turning a man's shirt into an amazing dyed and embellished apron),
and then am just starting No.3 here.
It's called A Clearing in the Woods or Putting up Preserves.
It's about slow dyeing, a canning process.
And oh what fun I'm having!

Here is all the windfall I've collected recently to work with.

The silk and woolen fabric circles I've cut for my little 29 bundles
(I may have cut a few extras),
one to be opened up each day in February as a gift to self.
The lengths of silk and cotton threads to bundle with
 and then to embroider with later in the class.

The misc. metals to be used in the bundles.
All salvaged.

The bundles.
Don't count them,
 I know there aren't 29.
I'm really bad with numbers

And now the extra windfall to use for the dyes.

Woo Hoo, stay turned for periodic updates

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


graphite, fine felt tip & watercolor accents

Every year these drawings get more and more complex and creative.
The assignment was to draw the corner of my room using Dr. Betty Edwards Sighting approach
from her book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
It's too tricky to explain,
only the book will do.
But basically it's 1 & 2 Point Perspective using more of an intuitive process
that is a must read in her book with great diagrams to help understand.
So anyways,
we practice this skill in several smaller drawings 
then I ask the kids to pick a corner of my room to sit in front of 
and draw a point of view drawing. 
They must decide after the foundations of the walls and corner are in
if they want to embellish with surrealistic details,
or just leave it be and not add anything that isn't already there.
Let's see which way they went.

We start with junior Manishka Ranjit,
one of the most imaginative students in the class.
She went all out and did a bit of both,
plus she went way beyond the graphite required and adding pen & ink and watercolor.
So much fun to figure out and explore!

check out this impressive attention to detail and craftsmanship by 8th grader Ashley Lee.
that's right,
8th grader!
Another of the requirements was to add both simulated and real texture.
She did a brilliant job with this as well as adding rich nighttime color with stars.

And talk about added color,
another 8th grader,
 Madison Plotkin,
 brought in gorgeous amazing color thru her watercolor skills.
And with her incredible drawing skills,
 she turned the clay damp room into an undersea adventure.

Then junior Esther Ahn  decided to really go for it 
and drew everything she saw on my checkout counter,
even the cup of spilled paint.
But as you look up you see the room starting to bust apart,
walls cracking open and so forth.
So cool Esther!
And wonderful projection too.

We end with junior Steffany Reyes who brings a frightening serpent from the cracking ceiling tiles,
and turns the walls ino windows of an Asian countryside.
Fabulous woman!!

Sunday, November 25, 2018


clay, paddles & glazes

This is such a great assignment for the second year clay students.
They learn how to be more spontaneous with coils, 
how to build an "S" curve,
choose between 5 different lid structures to build and make fit, 
to have a visual flow between lid, pot and handles,
and lastly they are required to paddle the structure to bring in pattern and texture.
And of course the beauty is how different each child has interpreted this assignment.

We start with senior Ylia Madayag.
So many parts of this pot to love;
the triangular lid shape instead of a circular one,
the contrast between coils and slabs as well as the contrast between smooth and texture,
the slight angle of the piece that gives it a bit of whimsy,
and the wonderful pointy overlaps of coil ends.
Such a well designed pot Ylia!

This next beauty is the work of junior Eugene Ho.
Loving the patterned texture he paddled into his sides 
as well as his scalloped edges around the lid and lip.
And the shape of the handles flow really well with the pot.
Bravo young man!

The kids were required to use Oxides to first stain the clay with
 before they applied the Transparent glaze.
Ylia above used Cobalt Carbonate which produces a blue/black color,
and Eugene here used Red Iron Oxide which turns black under Transparent.
Another nice element in Eugene's piece 
is the contrast between the Chili glaze on the inside against the Transparent on the outside.

Next we have the work of junior Julia Ruiz.
Love those overlapping coils,
 the twisted handles, 
and the way she placed them on the horizontal.
I also really like how the lid is not completely flat but seems to be rolling like a gentle wave.

Junior Chloe Chang really followed her own path here which lead to this sensational piece.
She blew off the "S" curve but I'm so glad she did.
I adore this piece just the way it is.
There is so much delicious pattern and texture to find and enjoy,
lots of interesting overlays,
and then that lid makes for an  absolutely fabulous ending.
Woo Hoo Clo!!!!

We end with senior Sarah Oh.
You all remember her, right?
Hee hee.
She has added so much interest just by placing those 2 eyes in there.
Two small elements that end up making this piece so special.
She has also really worked those overlapping coils 
creating a piece that must be touched and turned all the way around.
I also really enjoyed that on some of the coils she wiped off more Red Iron 
so she has a contrast between a dark and light finish.

For me,
this was a very difficult task to pick a favorite
 because there are several things about each one that I love.
Thank you guys for coming thru big time on this assignment
and giving me your all!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


for our 4th grandchild's safe and healthy arrival.
 Introducing Anthony Michael,
born on November 15 when his mommy,
Jim's daughter Julie,
went into labor 6 hours before her scheduled C-section.
Anthony had his own arrival schedule.
ha ha
He is 7 pds 9 oz. and 20 inches long
with huge hands and fingers,
and one of the sweetest little faces I've ever seen.
So far he's a good baby,
super mellow and a good little eater and sleeper.

This is Anthony's beautiful mommy, 
in the afternoon of his arrival,
looking fabulous,
and proud dad Mike holding his son for the first time. 

We got to see the  little guy awake looking up and listening to his dad.
My heart was melting!

We also had the privilege and pleasure of seeing big brother Syd,
3 years old now,
seeing his mom, dad and baby brother for the first time after the birth.
The delight on Syd's face was something I will probably remind him of in the coming years.
I love the shot below of the 3 guys bonding over this milestone in all their lives.

Syd's shirt was perfect for the big day I'm the Big Brother.
And of course there were treats for Syd from baby brother.
Two more priceless shots were of the guys faces for the changing of the first poopy diaper
which Syd was fascinated by and Mike said no thanks to the non stinky meconium,
and then to Anthony's first screams when the nurse poured water over him for his first bath.
Too loud for Syd's ears.
Just wait Syd.
That's nothing compared to what's coming.
hee hee
But Anthony quickly stopped screaming when the nurse poured water over his head 
for his first shampoo.
He loved the feeling of the water over his head.
Calmed him right down.
I can't wait to share these pix with the boys when they get older.
We are going to have so much fun!

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.