Sunday, January 22, 2017


2016 Alumni Hapshiba Kwon,
moved this summer with her entire family from Cerritos, Ca. to Old Lyme, Connecticut
while she attends prestigious Amherst in Massachusetts.
This winter she has joined the Outing Club 
and went on her first Mountaineering trip to the White Mountain Range in New Hampshire.

Hapshiba tells me that this year she is going to push herself to try new experiences,
and this one sounded a bit out of her comfort zone,
so perfect! 
In her own words 
" It was absolutely breathtaking (pictures attached), and I wanted to give up often (!!!) but had so much fun and even met a few new friends along the way. 
I'm thrilled to travel with you on these adventures thru your pictures Hapshiba,
and to be able to share them with your Whitney buds.
More please!

Saturday, January 21, 2017


100% cotton pieces & Rit dye

on to the "real thing".
Once the practice pieces on paper towels have been turned in,
I give each student 2 pieces of cotton cloth.  
A tip:
 I get all my 100% cotton fabric from garage and estate sales in bedding,
and rip the pieces to the size I need.  Saves me hundreds of dollars a year.

Their assignment:
to use their favorite Tye Dye techniques they've discovered in the prelims.,
and use them to create two pieces of cloth that are visually pleasing together.
These will later to used for the outside & inside covers of their Applique Journals.
Let's see how they did.

We start with senior Samantha Tan  & 8th grader Leanne Alcoy.
Both girls have created pieces that will flow together beautifully for their journals.

Next are 8th graders Dana Ahmad & Yusra Azmi.
These girls have chosen the exact same  colors for both pieces but different design techniques 
which also make them look great together.

Junior Jillian Morris & senior Alexis Bilas-Imperial both picked one or two colors from their first one to help  tie together their second one for terrific visual flow.

Here are the pieces that junior Connie Wu & 8th grader Palmer Patel created.
These are so cool,
they remind me of the newest technique on Pinterest,
Ice Dyeing.

These very dramatic & stunning works above were made by senior Sarah Woo & junior Lynette Lee.

And we end with 8th grader Andres Lara,
whose two pieces were so eye-catching I had to show them both in their entirety. 

Friday, January 20, 2017


paper towels, Rit dye, rubber bands, string, staples, clamps

This assignment is such a fun way to reinforce Color Theory for my 3-D kiddos.
They first learned their color wheel & mixtures for secondaries
 plus tinting & shading with the Polymer Clay Unit we saw a couple weeks ago.
In this Tye Dye practice unit they are also learning about Color Schemes.
The students were required to turn in 3 paper samplers,
each with a different design.
Their first one was to be dipped only in one color (Monochromatic)
the second one into 2 colors (Analogous) 
with a partial overlapping in one area to see how the two colors mixed.
The third one (Primary with Secondary Overlaps plus Neutrals) had to be dipped into 3 colors
 with partial overlaps as well.
The results were terrific.

What I did was look at all three in each student's packet
 to find their most beautiful one to photograph.
Above are 8th graders Daisy Camacho & Dana Ahmad.
So yummy!

Next we have senior Julie Ahn & 8th grader Loren Kim.
Stunning :)

And here are 8th grader Leanne Alcoy & Senior Alexis Bilas-Imperial.
Very cool!

These next 3 were done by Senior Hannah Park,
& 8th graders Karen Hung &  James Lara.
James made an especially tricky one that turned out like snowflakes.

We end with seniors Crystal Lai-Ton-Nu & Rachel Kannampuzha
 as well as 8th grader Christina Ortiz.

Brilliant job all of you!!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Mixed Media Fiber Artist Grace Forrest
who keeps up with my students here at Artisun,
graciously sent us Garden Deva to enjoy at the Holidays.
And she is a beauty!
Love the elongated format that you worked to Grace, 
and how you let Deva go off the edge.
And the expressive quality you captured in her delicate face seems to really pull me into the piece.
 How brave you are to draw directly onto the fabric,
I've never had the courage to try.
The glorious color you extract from your dye plants is fabulous
And do I detect some Deborah Lacativa dyed fabric as well?.
The frayed edges here and there are so perfectly placed,
yet I know how spontaneously you work.
Are your design skills innate or have you studied design?
And of course your Kantha stitching (running stitch) around the edges pulls it all together.
We loved and enjoyed it so much Grace.
Thank you for sharing yourself and your work with all of us here at Whitney.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


straight pins, form core, tacky glue & sewing string

I'm not sure what to call these pieces by senior Shreya Sheth.
What I do know is they are really cool and different.
I think Shreya saw something similar on Pinterest this summer and was inspired by it,
so asked if she could give it a try.
Go for it girl!
Shreya joins me this year for 3 art classes, 
only done once before by Alumni Caroline Ma in 2011.
Sheya is in the Advanced 3-D art class with senior Jacqueline Yu in which we saw their Earth Loom,
but she also has two other periods a day with me for Special Studies 3-D Art.
These are independant study 4th level classes.
This is where we saw her weaving the bracelets earlier this year.
So now she is focused on this new technique that she discovered.
The top most piece was her first tiny practice,
then she attempted a more challenging practice,
the London Bridge I believe?
Or is that the Golden Gate?
here is a close up of the bigger one.
Sometimes she goes around a pin head once,
sometimes twice,
depending on the value of the line she wants to achieve.
I love that she is letting the strings hang down.
That addes so much interest for the eye.
Shreya is currently finishing her "real" one.
Wait till you see it!
and has taken her hours and hours to complete.
I will be sure to post it very soon.

Monday, January 16, 2017


clay, oxides, glazes, metallic rubbing compounds & nail polish

Let me introduce you to senior Sarah Chang,
my top most Ceramics student this year.
She recently finished one of her first projects of the year,
this delicate take on a rainstick.
Sarah was required to build her rainstick to at least 18 inches,
one of the tallest pieces she has made to this point.
Slab built with hundreds of tiny clay balls inside to provide the sound when you tip the stick.
As you will start to notice,
whenever I post one of Sarah's pieces this year,
she brings great sensitivity to whatever she produces.
She is developing a unique style and we all love it.
To finish off this piece she was required to bring other color to it 
in addition to the glazes and oxides.
She chose to rub her sweet little birds with metallics,
and she painted their beaks with nail polish.
She was also required to embellish it with at least two different media.
I adore her choices.  
They are so perfect.
Blue jay feathers from our cabin and recycled packing paper for the nest.
I'm so pleased to be able to share this for you Sarah.


Through one of the hardest, 
longest weeks of the school year.
There are four of them.
The most brutal is the one when we come back from Summer Vacation.
The second is the week before Xmas Break.
And now I just got through the third one,
the week coming back after Xmas break.
that means there's only one left.
The last week of school. 
oh man,
it's going by so fast.
Only two weeks left before half of the school year is over.

Friday, January 13, 2017


Alumni Brian Kesinger,
son of Sue Kesinger,
 our retired Whitney High Music teacher,
was an art student of mine back in the day.
I'm trying to remember all the art classes he took with me,
at least 4-5 from 7th thru 12th grade,
as well as taking outside art classes at Rolling Hills High School in Animation studies.
He had such a strong portfolio by the time he graded Whitney
 that he was accepted into Cal Arts to study Animation.
At the same time he was also asked by Disney Animation to join their team in Burbank.
Let's see,
work at Disney right out of High School
(his dream job)
or spend 4 years at Cal Arts getting his degree?

Needless to say he joined the Walt Disney Animation Studios Team in Burbank in August of 1996.
Here is Brian & his wife Jenny,
who also works for Disney Animation with Micky Mouse.

They hired him as a Story Board Artist,
 and his first movie he began work on was Tarzan.
He drew the interior of the ship at the beginning of the movie
 as well as a lot of the foliage in the jungle
(which I still have some of his original sketches he gave me to teach with)
He has since worked on countless movies for them.

Also noteworthy are his own line of art & characters he has developed in a Victorian Steam Puck flavor.
They are based around his Tea Girls.
The process he came up with is brilliant.
He brews up tea and uses it to watercolor and splatter with.
When dry he comes in with pen & ink.
He also brings in a bit of watercolor for a touch of subtle color.
Here is an admirer posing in front of his work at the Downtown Disney Gallery.

 Since those first Steam Punk Girls
he has brought on other characters as well like Otto & Victoria below.
You can clearly see his extraordinary style on this magazine cover.

Brian' work has created such a huge demand
 that he not only sells it thru the Downtown Disney Gallery,
but you can order it thru his online Etsy store  
along with calendars, phone covers, originals & prints,
coloring books, sketchbooks, and so much more.
Check it out!
Walking your Octopus was Brian's first book seen here at Barnes & Noble.
He has also published Traveling With Your Octopus and now Dressing Your Octopus
that has just arrived below.

Going to Disneyland & Disney World is a favorite pastime of the Kesingers.
Here's Brian with his mom Sue & his two children.
When Brian was a student in my class 
his mom or dad would drop him off at Disneyland for the day with his sketchbook,
and Brian would sketch the people & characters all day long.
He filled several sketchbooks before he even graduated from Whitney.

 But it's what's happened recently that has put his career over the top.
This excerpt in Brian's own words from his Facebook page tells it all.

"Omg! I'm speechless right now. Last summer the prime minister of Canada #JustinTrudeau commissioned a drawing from me of his family in their Halloween costumes. His office asked how much I charge and I said all I want is a picture of him holding it if he likes it. I received this photo in the mail today... I guess he liked it!!! They informed me it's now hanging in his office." 
Damn Brian, 
this is soooo cool!!
We are all so very proud of you here at Whitney,
I'm just bursting with joy for you! 

Can't wait to talk to your mom about this
She's got to be over the moon proud of her boy.
Much love to you and your family from all of us here at Whitney.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


hand dyed wool yarn & handmade knitting needles

So many people have approached me over the years 
when they see me knitting in public, 
to tell me they gave up knitting because they couldn't "get it".
I tell them to try it again until they do get it because it's a global skill.
That means you will probably fail at first,
you must practice over & over until to get it.
Then you will have that "Ah Ha" moment when it becomes easy.
Think about learning to ride a two wheel bicycle, or learning how to snow ski.
Or watch a baby learning how to walk,
see them fall many times before they get it.
Same thing.
So don't give up!

Then there is senior Helen Park who took to knitting like a duck to water.
I was dumbfounded as I watched her get it from the get go.
There never was a struggle like I'm so used to.
So it was a real pleasure teaching her this very complicated global skill
(usually it's like pulling teeth)
Another benefit was that she is the only student in the Intermediate class.
Usually I'm trying to teach at least 10- 15 kids at the same time how to knit.
The reason the class is so small,
is that all my brilliant 8th graders had to start their languages this year 
so they won't be back till their 11th grade year when they can fit me into their schedules again.
And of course my Beginning seniors last year all graduated and there was only one junior,
who had room in her academic schedule for me this year.
so I'm thrilled to work with her again and share all she makes with you.

Just so you know,
Helen mixed up food coloring to dye her wool yarns with before she started her sampler.
She also learned 10 different knit/purl patterns that she incorporated into this piece.
She knit each pattern separately,
then learned to sew them together to balance her design.
Just in case you are wondering,
Is Helen all alone with me the whole 55 minutes of class?
I have 3 other classes going on during Helen's class period this year.
Ceramics II, Intermediate 2-D Art and Advanced 3-D Art.
I just bounce from one group to the next all period.  
A great calorie burner let me tell you  :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


part three

I think I have mentioned before that we have a class that does a LIVE Broadcast
 every day for all our students and community.
Mr. Z (Rod Ziolkowski) teaches this class called Multimedia Communications period 2,
but the students are responsible for the entire show
 from production to direction to editing, writing, camera, grips, set design,
the list is long.
All our students look forward to this daily LIVE broadcast 
that goes at 9:00 a.m. during their homeroom classes.
It showcases our students & staffs many talents & personalities,
introduces new staff members,
goes on location around the city to interview & show off people, new places & eateries.
At anytime you could go online and pull it up to watch each day's video
at Whitney High School Live.

Well Mr. Z,
who walks by my classroom several times a day, 
was fascinated watching the kids weaving on the loom.
He asked if his LIVE show could feature seniors Shreya Sheth & Jacqueline Yu.
Of course I was thrilled for them,
and said Yes!
They were excited when I told them but a bit apprehensive & anxious.
So they took the finished weaving off  the loom and placed it on display in the office,
re-warped the loom,
chose a different weft (chenille yarns),
 and wove a bit to get this new one started before going on the live show,
and of course picked matching outfits
because they are a team!
They went LIVE on camera where they were interviewed by the moderator,
and demonstrated the weaving process.
Here you can see the new weft yarns and landscape design.
Shreya wove while Jac described what she was doing 
so that hopefully all our students & staff will take a turn on this loom.
I'm so terribly proud of these two girls,
not only have they impacted the Arts here at Whitney, 
but they have touched all the students & staff with their creation
here in the Whitney Community.
They will be back again to show you how this current weaving turns out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


part two

The Earth Looms first trip outside to see the light of day with it's creators,
seniors Shreya Sheth and Jacqueline Yu.

Warped up and ready to weave, 
and a close up below.

Of course there was signage.

All dressed up with Jac & Shreya having started the first bit of weaving along the bottom.
Because there was so much windfall around the school,
the girls decided the weavers (weft) would be plant based. 
So every morning before school and during snack the girls and I would forage for windfall,
and place it in the basket outside with the loom,
as you can see below.
Did we (I) purposely cut any plants?
Maybe I did a little,
like the day lilies.
I wanted some colorful blooms in there of course!
Also posted were directions for the passers by to be able to learn to weave.
I honestly was surprised and saddened to find out that not many of our students 
were never given the opportunity to weave in Elementary School or at home.

And they came,
tentatively at first,
so that it wove up slowly.
But the delight showed on their sweet faces.
And the passers by were intrigued.

Then they started slipping in from the P.E. field for a quick fix,
hee hee

and it really started to grow,

until they were lining up to take their turns.

Even our new Principal wanted a turn at it.

And then it was done.


But there is more so stay tuned  :)