Friday, March 30, 2018


to my Intermediate and Advanced 2 & 3-D, and Ceramic students.
I will never forget our artsy fartsy times together,
and the joy and beauty you brought to me, our school and this blog.
Thank you all for allowing me to share your creative energy and heartfelt work with the world.
I will miss you all so very much,
but I know I send you off with a solid art foundation under your belts,
so that you will be able to compete on a higher level.
Always remember,
you are the best of the best,
good and healthy young ones, 
ready to take on the world and make a difference.
Being a great artist is a wonderful thing,
but to give back to others is the greatest reward I have found.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


to seniors Shreya Sheth & Jacqueline Yu,
along with all my other art students
for taking us all on a wonderful trip with their incredible body of artwork 
thru the 2016-2017 school year.
Here are Shreya & Jaq modeling their de-constructed garments,
one of their last assignments of the year.
They both took apart 3 thrifted clothing items,
cut them up,
 dyed some parts, 
and reconstructed them into a whole new garment.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


copper, wood, propane torch, wood burning tool & acrylic paint

This is senior Shreya Sheth's last project in her 4th year Independent Study class
where she gets to design her own curriculum.
She chose to work with wood and metal.
Shreya used a propane torch to patina several of the copper pieces,
sawdust mixed with vinegar for the two pieces that look multi-colored,
and an ammonia float for the more solid looking turquoise piece.
She learned these techniques in her 2nd level 3-D Art class.
It was really great to see her go back and use that knowledge again.
She used a wood burning tool to mark up the wood blocks,
then applied several colors of acrylic paint that mimicked the various patinas she achieved.
She used a staining technique with the paint,
sponging it on then wiping it off. 

Monday, March 26, 2018


mixed media

This was the last assignment of the year for my 2 level 2-D kids.
After 2 years with me they are ready for their first real self-portrait.
The medium is up to them.
I suggested doing it in something they were really successful and comfortable working in.
Several of them choose to combine two or more media together.

Like senior Mayala Sithichai.
She's got a whole lot of goodness going on here.
Ink washes, pen & ink, and tissue collage over top cardboard pieces.
I really like how she thought to lift up the tissue collage
so that it sits higher then the drawing.
It leads our eye right into her face.
She also did a beautiful job matting up the work.

This next delightful one belongs to senior Ayesha Durrani.
It's so sweet how she choose to work from a photo of her and her little brother.
I hope this went right into a frame when she brought it home to mom.
She is using watercolor with pen & ink.
An aside:
Ayesha is a huge Disney buff 
so I love how she drew Peter Pan & Captain Hook on her shirt.
She tried to incorporate a bit of Disney into all her pieces.

This next selfie is of senior Jazzarie Lo.
What a great photo she worked from of herself.
So very expressive.
They had a choice to look in a mirror or draw from a recent pix.
Jazz used charcoal with an oil pastel accent.

Next up is junior Samantha Tan.
I'm pretty sure this is a pix she took with her best friend.
You can feel the fun & the love between them
Adorable Sam!
Samantha used watercolor with charcoal and a bit of colored pencil, 
and her border was done with liquid acrylic paints.

We all loved this one by senior Kevin Mao.
The picture was taken at Senior Retreat,
but not sure if the kids built this shelter or if it was already there.
But I love how someone captured him relaxing after what looks like a long hike.
Kevin used watercolor and pen & ink.

Next up is this very complex piece by senior Eileen Lee.
This photo was also taken at Senior Retreat.
It's got such a wonderful atmospheric quality about it.

You can see what a competent artist Eileen is.
This has the look of a children's book illustration with all the fun details
and playfulness you enjoy in children's books.
Eileen is using watercolor and pen & ink.
To achieve that atmospheric look she did a bit of stamping and wispy brushing 
with a white watercolor. 
You can see the stamped circles below.

We end with one more piece by Mayala.
Her first one we saw above was finished ahead of schedule so she had enough time for a second one.
I love that she did because I feel like this piece is quite brilliant.
It is watercolor with pen & ink, 
done with great skill.
But the kicker is how she mounted and extended it into no man's land.
how she's melting away.
So much content for us to play with.
Just beautiful,
and a great way to end the year.

Friday, March 23, 2018


clay & oxides plus planting mix & various flowers

This was the final assignment of the year for my beginning clay kids 
and once again I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the kids about planting.
many of them have never worked in the dirt or planted
 or felt the natural high from getting soil under their fingernails.
I recently read that the organic matter and properties in the soil is soothing to the soul.
No wonder I like to dig in the dirt so much,
and don't mind pulling weeds!

We do the planting on the day of the final and give the plants a good long gulp of water
 before the kids take them home.
Let's take a look see.

Senior Eunice Shim enjoyed building the planter so much that she made two beauties.
Just look at the fabulous texture she brought to the clay's surface!

Senior Ashley Iseri took a completely different approach and rolled out a very smooth slab,
carving away her design.
Both girls only used Metallic Oxides to stain with for a finish.

Senior Lauren Kennedy choose some vibrant Coleus plants for her planter.

And I really like the asymmetrical design of senior Avanthi Dev's planter.
She was more interested in building up a succulent garden in her planter 
so we raided Josh's garden for some starts.

And check out this unusual piece by senior Brian Aguirre-Hernandez.
I love all the pierced holes in his design.
Perfect for trailing succulent tendrils from.

And sophomore Olivia Krueger achieved one of my favorite finishes 
on her under the sea themed planter,
staining it with Cobalt Carbonate.

 and this fluid looking piece belongs to me,
hee hee,
Debra Sposa.
I believe one of the kids pieces broke apart so I gifted them mine to glaze and plant.

And we end with this very pregnant bird by junior Sarah Oh.
She did half plants, half succulents for her piece.

All these planters looked so terrific leaning against the outside wall of my classroom
before the kids took them home.
I always wonder how many survive the summer heat 
cuz the kids forget to water them?? 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Oh boy,
here we go, 
the Freesias are up and bursting into bloom 
in Josh Berger's Succulent Garden at school.
We have been so lucky this last month to have gotten several inches of rain,
so all the plants and trees are happy, Happy!
And more rain to come,
Looks like we will have another drought free summer.
2 years in a row now.


Yesterday in the post about Woven Gift Card Journals,
I showed you this one given to me at the end of last school year by English teacher Donna Hall.
What I forgot to insert next was the love & effort she put inside the journal.
She had completely filled all her pages with a beautiful handwritten letter,
and in between the writing she had cut and pasted all these marvelous passages 
that meant so much to me.
I'd like to share them.

Thank you again Donna for this heartfelt gift of words,
both your musings and your passages.
You were a ray of sunshine on a daily basis.
Both the kids and I adored having you join and create with us.
We love you to the moon and back!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


cotton fabric, indigo bucket, tye-dye buckets, solar printing fabric, cardstock in various colors,
multi-colored sewing threads, sewing notions,beads, buttons & other embellishments

Earlier in the year the kids learned how to create a journal with fabric & stitch,
so I thought it would be cool to have them make a whole new decorative piece of fabric
 to cut up and weave with for another journal.
This would be their cover,
and their would be revisiting a former assignment that I didn't have to re-teach
because we were running out of time as it was the end of the year
They had enjoyed the paper weaving so they were excited to give this a try as well..

my art room was buzzing with energy as the kids got these journal covers underway.
Because this was their 4th Quarter Final,
I wanted them to revisit and reuse their favorite printing/dyeing or shibori technique
to create a very beautiful piece of fabric 
that was to be cut up and woven into their journal cover page.
The results were spectacular as you will see.
Junior Connie Wu created the most glorious piece of tye-dye to work with.
I brought in my own multi-colored quilting threads for the kids to use as warp string
which they threaded thru a sturdy piece of card stock.
You can really see those multi-colors in the close-up below.
Then they wove their cut weft pieces thru. 
The hardest part for many of them was carefully and exactly cutting 
an opening into another piece of card stock to frame out their weaving with.
This piece of paper was to be the front and back cover of the journals
with an extra flap that covered their knots on the backside of the cover.
Very complicated and had to be demoed many times.
Of course next came the handmade signature papers for their journal pages
which they strung in with waxed linen in a figure eight pattern.
I also required the embellishment of beads on the string ends.

Junior Margaret Yiu also came up with a spectacular piece.
She made 2 tye-dye pieces to work with and alternated them.

So very beautiful wsa this more subtle one by junior Rachel Kannampuzha.
Can you figure out her clever alternation pattern
which makes this look so terrific?

Senior Sarah Woo reused a practice piece that she had made for the Solar Dyed Pillow project.
I love that she chose to weave it with orange paper for more of a mixed media effect.
I also really liked her diagonal lines.

These next two belong to seniors Vicky Hur & Daphne Wang.
Let's see what they did.
I believe Daphne used 2 pieces that went into the indigo bucket.
One light the other more dips for a darker value.
And below is a close up of Vicky's.
Looks like she used a piece of her stitched Shibori fabric thru the center,
and a tye-dye strip on either end.
I really like that effect!
Makes a nice border around the special Shibori piece.
Also note that both Daphne and Vicky are warping on the horizontal rather then the vertical.
Below is a close-up of the inside of Vicky's journal pages.
I like that she has used different colors and different sizes of paper 
for more interest.
Also note below on the cover backside
 that there is a flap of card stock that covers all the inside knots and strings.
We used a glue stick for that so it didn't warp the card stock paper.

This little cutie belongs to senior Julie Ahn.
Looks like she also alternated a couple different tye-dye fabrics.
And note that her journal cover opens on the horizontal rather then the vertical.
for that the beads flow over top.
Senior Saba Fatima also chose to have hers open horizontally.
I love her tye-dye fabric as well as how her beads hang thru the middle.
This next one was made by English Teacher Donna Hall,
and she wrote inside it and gave to me as a thank you card/journal at the end of the school year.
What you can't see real well in the photo 
is the tiny pair of scissors that hang with the beads,
 and the metal tag that says "Made with Love".
And let me show you the love and effort that she put inside this journal.

We all loved the effect that junior Lynette Lee got with this piece of paper towel 
that went into the tye-dye bath.
And when she wove with it,
notice the perfect alignment with itself.
So gorgeous!

8th grader James Lara turned out a super cool journal as well.
He dyed thicker cotton string then wove a difficult "Ying-Yang" symbol.
And the buttons looked great over top.
I also appreciated that he incorporated several of his Polymer bead creations from earlier in the year.

Oh my,
look at these pretties by juniors Britney Hong & Samantha Tan.
Both girls made new tye-dye pieces 
and it looks as if they both off set them rather then perfectly lining the strips up over top each other.
It gives both pieces a really op-art type of look.

And then we have 8th grader Yusra Azmi.
Always an outside of the box thinker,
she usually comes up with some very clever,
 never done before ideas.
We all really liked her design and how she wove it.
Instead of setting up he warp vertically or horizontally,
she warped in a circular way like we did on our dream catchers.
I believe she dyed some yarns in our tye-dye buckets,
but it's what she did with pen & ink on her cover that I really enjoy.
A bit of Zentangling.
 are you ready for this one by 8th grader Dylan Lin?
It is an absolutely remarkable creation using the stitched Shibori method we learned.
But instead of going into the Indigo bucket,
he went into the black tye-dye bucket for a super cool effect.
Since the black bucket was loosing it's potency,
instead of showing up solid black,
Dylan manged to get lots of purpely grey values
 which made his stitched bug look even scarier.

We end with para-educator Couch Milan.
First he made a lovely piece of tye-dye cloth,
but it's what he did with the cover that we all respected.
Using an x-acto, 
he cut out a nighttime landscape.
What a great idea!! 

So what started with simple paper weaving 
turned into something incredible with these creative young minds.
Thanks all of you for a really wonderful year.