Thursday, February 1, 2018


pastels on black construction paper

I always dread bringing out these boxes of pastels
because of their chalky nature and the kid's allergies,
and also because they are incredibly expensive and used up so very quickly.
And what a mess they make in the classroom.
The dust!
Therefore I make sure to turn on my 2 air filters on either side of the art room.
That and clay dust are sucked out of the air.
But when you see the stunning results you will understand why I do.

We start with senior Debbie Harris.
She took to these pastels like a duck to water.
Her color choices and range of values within each area really speck to my senses.
Absolutely incredible piece Deb.

Loved junior Mary Kim's lollipops,
clever subject!

I was horrified 
when I noticed that someone had put their fingerprints on junior Tiffany Chen's peach.
We hang the art pieces first in the office,
then for Open House 
and once more for the Senior Awards Banquet Nite (only senior work for this)
And usually the works comeback unscathed,
 but not this time.
I was fit to be tied.
I'm so sorry that happened to your piece Tiffany.
It is one of my favorites.
Your foreground is to die for the way you moved your values and cast shadow
in such a believable way.

Junior Sarah Oh created a beautifully executed backdrop/still life for her pearl.
And I felt the textual elements she added were remarkable.

And senior Helen Park achieved some crazy cool textures with her pastels.
Or is my picture out of focus??
But notice how those strong diagonals move your eyes around the piece?
Wonderful piece Helen.

Here is another that I think I shot a bit out of focus by junior Varisha Azmi.
All of us really loved her subject!

And sweet, shy junior Maddy Uchiyama made this stunning beach scene.
Love the wide range of value in her beach ball.

I'm so glad I kept water patels in the curriculum.
Such a pleasure to share them.


  1. they are wonderful! I cannot work with pastels or charcoal due to my asthma
    you have some very talented students, how awful about the finger prints

    1. It's really hard for me too Susan, I have to take all kinds of allergy meds everyday to be able to come into my classroom.

  2. Pastels have always made my toes curl ... something about the dust. But oh how I love the results here.

    The rooster looks ready to walk right off the page and into the world.

    I could eat the lollipops. And dare to think of the fingerprints on the peach as a relic of some ill-advised produce market testing for ripeness.

    Eyeing the pearl along with the baleful fish, I imagine an invisible hand writing a paean to that same pearl.

    And while I appreciate the whimsy of an interplanetary landing, always I am happiest when the work brings me to the beach.

    Thanks to all for a wonderful mind journey on a Saturday morn.

    1. For me too Liz they are like dragging my fingernails across a chalkboard. But last year the kids loved them and the results showed it. That rooster was absolutely stunning and looks even better on the blog. Putting a black boarder around it really makes the colors POP.