Welcome to my blog! I am so excited to share my art and adventures as an administrator with others. Thank you for making the time to view my blog and giving me your input.

Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm getting ready to do the countdown to the new year like the rest of the world is doing about now! I am STILL sick! I cannot believe I have had this thing for a week now. I feel the crappiest at the end of the day, right before I get ready to go to bed. I have been having a real hard time breathing when I am lying down because I am so congested. So, I try to steal some time to nap and sleep in one of our 2 big chairs in our t.v. room. Today, however, I was not going to let this stupid bug get me down or even, put me down. I went to a late breakfast with 3 of my closest friends: Maria, Peter, and Sergio. We have been close friends for many years. We had a ball catching up! Well, since I see all 3 of my friends pretty regularly, I didn't really catch up. The catch up is for the 3 of them. Over the years, the 4 of us have traveled together to San Francisco and Maui. We are talking about going on a trip this summer. 3 of the 4 of us want to hit the Middle East - we have been talking about going to Jordan or Lebanon for awhile now, so maybe 2008 will be the year it finally happens. Well, since I have been sick a good chunk of my vacation, I haven't done very much of anything, particularly art. These 2 pages are my most recent work - they are about 2 weeks old. It is funny because I made 2 lists on one of the pages of what I wanted to accomplish during my 3-week break. I got minimal done, but that is alright with me. Happy New Year to all!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Today is day 4 of being sick. I had a really hard time sleeping last night. I am so congested! I was supposed to go to a party and a dinner, but never made it to either. I have pretty much spent most of my time either in bed or sitting in a chair. I hate being sick! But I guess my body is telling me to slow down. And because I don't feel like doing too much of anything, I have been updating my blog and posting more often. There was a period of over a month that I just didn't have any spare time to devote to my blog! Unbelievable! And I have been reading like crazy! I have also been going through my collage ephemera and sorting out some of the images I have been collecting for awhile. Below, are two of my favorite pieces that I created about a year apart. The little girl in the red dress is a few months old. The "Forgive the Debt" is about 2 years old. They seem to go together. I feel so strongly about the United States and other countries forgiving the debt for those countries that have no chance of ever getting out of "debt". I wholeheartedly support the "Red Campaign", that Bono and Bobby Shriver have been instrumental in creating and bringing to the forefront of issues that affect all of us. It is our obligation to help those who are need of help.

Yesterday was my friend, Jack's birthday. I cannot believe he is 50-years-old! Wow. It seems like just yesterday, we were hanging out in the cafeteria, @ Cal State L.A. It is unbelievable how fast time just keeps moving. Anyway, I created this painting in honor of him. It is made up of ephemera I collected, including his name tag. This is my gift to him. Feliz cumpleanos, Joaquin!

Friday, December 28, 2007

U2 - Where The Streets Have No Name (Full Version - Live)

I am sure this is sacrireligious, but I am not a BIG Beatles fan. I am all about the Stones! However, I am a HUGE John Lennon fan. Because of these trying times, I think "Give Peace a Chance" is as appropriate as when it first came out. "Don't Let Me Down" is my all-time favorite Beatle song. I had never seen this video before and when I finally did watch it, it reminded me of U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" video. I love the rooftop performances! U2's video makes L.A.P.D. almost look comical regarding how they handle 'crowd control'. I think L.A. can handle an impromptu rooftop concert!

Beatles - Don't let me down

Give Peace A Chance - John Lennon

Day 3 of being sick! And now, sick of being sick! I was supposed to go to a party and dinner today. Instead, I am working hard at getting rid of this stubborn cold. I just got through reading an article on Benazir Bhutto. She didn't die from a gunshot wound or the bombing. They didn't find any bullet or shrapnel in her body. Instead, the doctors are now saying she died from a fractured skull. The fractured skull occurred after Ms. Bhutto tried to duck back into the moon-roof of the van she was riding in after the shots rang out. Wow. A senseless death and now, the ramifications of her death: the country is experiencing rioting and chaos.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I have been sick for the last 2 days. I have a very bad cold. I awoke to horrific news today: Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. Growing up, she was always one of my role models. Ms. Bhutto was educated, intelligent, beautiful, brave, compassionate, and above all, a humanitarian. I am very sad for the people of Pakistan. It seems that their country is on the brink of chaos and civil war.

I was going to post pictures from our family's Christmas activities, but at this moment, it seems so shallow and inappropriate. May peace prevail throughout the year, not just on Christmas Day, not just for Christians, not just for Americans, but for all people of the world.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My last post of the day. On a more serious note, the REAL meaning of Christmas is about practicing goodwill towards our fellow man, all year, and not just on one designated day a year. This picture is of Fatima, the Iraqi baby whose mother, as well as much of her family, were murdered a few months back. The baby was buried under trash and dead bodies, which probably saved her life. Anyway, the man holding her is a U.S. Army nurse. Fatima became the symbol of hope for those who deal with the wounded and dead on a daily basis: the doctors and nurses of the Iraqi war. The baby was so malnourished and underweight that those at the Army hospital took turns caring for her. Fatima became their "baby", as witnessed by this tender moment. When I first read this article and saw the pictures, it made me so sad and angry. A pointless war, like all wars are, and unfortunately, the "collateral damages" are usually the children. In a world that sometimes can be so full of violence and hatred, this is a reminder of all the good that still exists out there and that no matter how small our actions may be, we really have the power to make a difference.

And so my hope for the new year is that the world will become a more loving, forgiving, and peaceful place for everyone. This last picture is of a little Palestinian boy, living in the Palestinian territories, in the Middle East. May we all be more tolerant of those who we view as "different" from our comfort zone. Once again, Merry Christmas, happy holidays, Chanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Shalom.

I tried to post this picture with my other holiday pictures, but for some reason, my blog froze! Must be all that holiday cheer... My computer is saying, "Bah humbug, Roseann!" For the last few years, I usually put up two trees, this small iron tree and a larger tree. This year, I tried something different: I set up the larger tree in the t.v. (aka family) room. This little guy is in the living room. One of the ornaments on it was made by my oldest (and fellow artist) friend, Kim. Kim and I have been friends since we were 8. Everyone should be that lucky to have one friend who has been a part of pretty much your entire life. And although we don't see and talk to each other as much as we did when we were children and teenagers, we are always there for each other. We are sisters. Anyway, Kim's ornament is the off-white, puzzle-shaped one with the angel in the center. What a beauty!
Merry Christmas, everyone! This is a shot of the tree before all hell breaks loose at our home! Each year, we host Christmas dinner for our family. Each year, it seems our family grows a little bigger! It is always a lot of work getting ready for the big day, but at the end of the day when we get a chance to put our feet up on the ottoman and the house gets back to normal and it is just the two of us again, it gives us an opportunity to reflect on the wonderful celebration of family, friends, neighbors, and blessings that we have all-year long.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What have I been up to for the last few weeks?! I have been on an incredible, whirlwind of a ride the entire months of November and December. It has been ridiculously crazy on a personal, professional, and artistic level. November started with a HUGE bang in the form of Lynne Perrella. I have waited for almost 10 years to take one of her workshops. I finally got the opportunity to do just that during the long,Veteran's Day weekend. I took a 3-day workshop at my dear friend, Carol Parks' home/studio. At the end of the first day, Lynne asked me to lead the group of artists in creating a Frida altar. This is a shot of the altar I took the next morning, before our class resumed. At the end of day 2, Lynne asked me once again to lead the group in creating a new altar. Well, instead of it being the entire group creating the new altar, it became only me. Everyone just watched as I kept moving and adding things to create a completely different altar from the day before. To say I was honored, does not really capture how I truly felt. Afterall, this is Lynne Perrella, artiste extraordinaire! It was pretty fucking amazing! I was both honored and humbled.

This is one of the 2 pieces I created during Lynne's workshop. It took me most of the 3 days to finish. I have 2 ways of working - either it is very fast, where I will begin and work until that piece is completed or I will work painstaking slow to get it to look 'just right'. This was one of those pieces that came together in my head very quickly. And I wanted it to be done quickly, while all those ideas were meshing in my head.

The next photo is from our school's Winter Formal. The guy on my left is a colleague and good friend. His name is Matt. My husband took this photo of us. I can't believe my husband actually agreed to go with me to this event. He is such a sweetheart! This is my first Winter Formal, as an assistant principal. When I was still in the classroom on a full-time basis, I sponsored the Student Council/Leadership class for 3 years, so I attended many dances and a few Winter Formals. Anyway, we looked pretty damn good - my husband looked stunning, as usual, in his suit. After all these years, I can still look at him and see exactly WHY I fell in love with him.

Speaking of my husband, here he is on the left, with 2 of our nephews. Josh is in the center and Frankie is on the right. They are my older brother, Frank's boys. My nephews are such good boys - they are a REAL source of pride for me. Frankie was my first 'baby' - when he was a baby, everyone thought he was my child since it seemed like we were always together. He was born my junior year of high school. I took this shot of the guys after our annual family golf tournament, which is held the day after Thanksgiving. The golf tournament is more than just shooting the breeze and a ball ... the tournament is done in conjunction with my family's foundation, the Kathryn Elizabeth Millan Memorial Fund, named after my niece, Katie, who died of pulmonary hypertension, at the age of 14. Each year, the tournament raises BIG bucks that fund Katie's favorite charities, including "Make A Wish". The foundation not only honors Katie's memory, but it also carries on the charity work she so tirelessly supported during her short life.

Well, you might be tired from reading all of this. It was a very, very busy month! These are the highlights from November. Tomorrow, I will move into December. I am SO excited about Christmas! I feel like I did when I was a kid. I could hardly wait for it to be December 25th each year. It has always been my 2nd favorite holiday; my favorite is Valentine's Day. But this is where I will end for today.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I posted these pictures last week! I guess they got de-posted! I spent part of last Sunday at the Huntington Museum, one of my favorite places to visit. Every time I stroll through the gardens, I find something that catches my eye. Depending on what time of the year it is, the gardens' palettes can drastically change. Each visit is a surprise and something new is discovered, as evidenced in some of these shots. I try to visit the Huntington several times a year so that I can catch each show that nature puts on. Fall is now becoming my favorite time of year to be outside, in a garden.

I have been in such a deep funk for the last 2 weeks. I don't know what it is exactly, but I have not been feeling like myself. I feel there is a lot of chaos in my life and quite honestly, I feel as though I am being pulled from all directions, both on a personal and professional level. I decided to post 2 of my favorite pieces that deal with the topic better than I can express in words. I haven't been able to work on any of my books in the last month. I have hit a major roadblock, or I am experiencing artist's block, so I have been working in other directions, such as cartooning and collaging, because I can't get beyond a blank page. I am hoping to change that once I get into the studio on Friday, with Lynne Perrella. I feel that if I just start writing in one of my books, all these emotions and words that I have kept bottled up for so long, will just spill out all over the pages. And the words will get my artistic juices going again, so that I can create some new art. Well, Friday will be here soon enough, I suppose. If you can't create in a 3-day Frida workshop, then, you are fucked!

Recently, I bought a terrific little book by Taschen, called
"Mexico Style". I paid under $15 for it. It is a bargain and something I will constantly refer back to. And the best part of it, it fits right into my purse. For many years, I have heard from many people, particularly artists, that I have a great eye for color. I don't know how true that is, but I think that my Latin roots have something to do with that "gift". I am drawn to bright colors and use an abundance of them in my artwork. At home, there are splashes of color throughout the house, but because I am ever mindful of the other half who lives with me, our home is, by my standards, very restrained. However, there is no doubt that Latins live here! So, I decided to post some pictures that celebrate the colors of one of my cultures, my father's Mexican roots. One of my latest pieces is the Frida box. I completed the box last week. The other pictures, the blue staircase and the Day of the Dead niche, come from "Mexico Style".

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I have been SUPER busy at work! I can't believe that it has taken me a week to post again! This is how I spent part of my weekend. I assembled an altar/display in my living room to commemorate el dia de los muertos. El dia de los muertos, November 2, is becoming my favorite "holiday" of the year. I spent part of Saturday night putting together the large, plastic skeleton man who appears in my photos. He is about 5'0" tall. It took an hour for me to put him together! I am surprised I was able to get all the pieces right and there were no left-over parts. I would have made Mr. Leith, my high school biology teacher proud! After I got the man assembled, I spent the rest of the evening making the paper flowers for the altar. On Sunday, I ran around town looking for the fresh marigolds that are a huge part of any dia de los muertos celebration. The marigolds are called 'zempasuchil', in Nahuatl. The crowning effect came from adding the pumpkin seeds to the altar. I have been making altars for the last 14 years. The first one I ever made was for my father, who died on April 18, 1994. His altar was up for several years. Last year, I helped some of the Garfield students assemble an altar that was part of a community altar contest. Our group won, which was very exciting!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This is the final stage of the piece I have been working on for the last two weeks. Its title is "The Tree of Love". In much of my work, hearts and hands are recurring symbols. I sent it off to a new home on Friday. First, I silently said a few words over it, then it was time to say "goodbye" for good. As I said in an earlier post, it is going to a good cause, a children's center. No sooner had I finished this piece then I moved on to my next project: a birthday gift. I just finished my latest piece last night. I spent several days working on it. It is a special gift for a truly special friend. It is her birthday today. And this friend is someone who means quite a lot to me. She is an amazing artist, but an even more amazing human being. She epitomizes the word "friend". The friend I am talking about is none other than Kelly Kilmer. Kelly, happy birthday to you! Hope your special day was wonderful. After Kelly gets this gift, I will post pictures of what I made her. I don't want to ruin the surprise for her!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Today, I finally feel like I am back to my old self. I got some kind of bug last weekend. I was sick for several days and just felt totally crappy. Work, however, does not care if you feel crappy! It has been an extremely busy week at work. Whenever I can steal a free moment in the evening, I use the time to make art. Besides the gym, it is a good release for my stress. Last week, I posted a photo of a canvas that had a bunch of decorative papers glued to it. It was the beginning of a piece I am curently working on. These photos show steps 2 and 3. Step 2 is the bottom photo. Step 3 is the photo above. Right now, I am working on adding the collage elements. I now have a better idea of where this piece is going. If all goes well, I will finish this off over the weekend. I am anxious to finish this piece since I am fighting a deadline. Once it is completed, I can start working on a piece that is a gift for a very special friend.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The first picture is a close-up of a gift I received on Friday, from a very special friend. My friend, colleague, and former student, Dora, gave me this beautiful Frida bracelet. It is stunning and something that I will cherish the rest of my life. I have known Dora since she was 14! She was in my Honors 9th English, back at Stevenson Jr. High. I have been privileged to see her blossom into the wonderful, beautiful, and intelligent young woman she is today. She is a wonderful math teacher and our students are so fortunate to have her as their teacher. I am SO proud of her. There are not enough words to express my love and gratitude to having her in my life. On another note, the second photo is of my Frida stash. I am SO stoked about my upcoming weekend classes with Lynne Perrella, and some of the old gang, Carol, Gina, Ginny, and Judi, at Carol's house, in North Hollywood. I can't believe it is right around the corner! I have been sick most of the weekend and so, I have tried to take it easy. "Easy" for me is full speed for many, but I did not want to let my aches and pains get the rest of my weekend from me, so I started putting my supplies and ephemera together for Lynne's classes. This is just some of the stuff I bought today. I ran around to three stores and loaded up. I have more crap than I could possibly use, so it will be easy to share. I still have to go through the rest of my art supplies housed in my closet. I KNOW I have sequins, buttons, and other things to add to my Frida stash. Every time I take classes at Carol's home, it feels like the whole house goes with me. If I can squeeze in some time between now and the end of next week, I would like to work on some dia de los muertos mail art to send out to a few special, special friends and family members. However, if the next few days are anything like last week was at work, I am so screwed and will have to settle for sending these folks the Halloween cards I purchased as Plan B.

This is a cigar box that I am going to give to one of my oldest and dearest friends. I can't say who because it would spoil the surprise! I spent about a month putting it together, wherever I could steal some moments to work on art. I started the box in a weekend class that Traci Bunkers recently taught called "Get Your Art on Buffet". At the end of the weekend, all that I had done with this box was paint it and start the interiors. I have worked on-and-off with the box's exteriors, as well as the interiors, to get just the right look. I am quite happy with the outcome! Since I know it is a gift, it will make it easier for me to send it on its way. Just like Juliana does, I will say a little private good-bye to my box. I know it is going to go to a good home.

Monday, October 8, 2007

There are NEVER enough hours in a day! I had a late night tonight and didn't get home until after 8:00. I am starting on a new piece that is going to be about 12'' x 12'' in size. This is the first stage - I glued down a bunch of decorative papers on a canvas board. If you just look at the photo, it looks like crap thrown together. But by the second stage, it will be completely painted in a neutral color, such as Titan buff; that will be the next layer. And on and on it will go until the images are added. I am working on this piece with a very short deadline: I want to have this completed by the end of this weekend. I am donating this piece to some thing that is close to my heart, a children's center. Anytime kids are involved, I will lend my support. In the next post, I will talk about what is next for me...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The following pictures are of my studio. I have a great place to create in! Art is all around the room. My visual journals are displayed above the wall-long bookcase. Also, I have original works by artists, Juliana Coles, Claudine Hellmuth, and Kelly Kilmer, displayed. Karen Michel's painting is on my easel. Several of my artist friends have also given me pieces that are on display: Christina, Diane, Kim, Val, and Yolanda. My friend, Val, died last year, around the holidays. One of my treasured pieces is a framed photograph of the Sedona mountains he gave me a few years ago. Val was an awesome photographer, and although I really miss him, that photo and the art books he gave me, will forever connect me to him. I can't walk around my studio and not think about him. I have been most fortunate to become friends with Kelly and Juliana. Kelly is a real 'treasure'. What a sweetheart... She and Juliana inspire me to take my art to the next level. I have so many of Juliana's pieces that I have to rotate the art! I affectionately refer to the area I have her artwork displayed on as 'Juliana's shelf'. Lastly, but never least, is my tribute to a very special lady: Carol Parks. Carol hosts artists from all over the country at her studio and home, in North Hollywood, and in doing so, provides so many of us opportunities to take private classes with these artists in an intimate setting. To say Carol is gracious is an understatement! She indulges all of us and is so patient with all that creative energy that seems to take over her home. On one of the shelves in my studio is a piece Diane created for me, one of my pieces, the pink Frida, and pink Chinese slippers Carol gave a group of us about a year ago. Because of Carol's generosity, I have gotten an opportunity to meet some amazing women and fellow artists such as Gina, Lou Ann, Judi, Tracy, Angela, Sonora, Darcy, Tamara, Ginny, Pat, and the list could go on and on...

As promised, here is my art-kit-on-the-run! This is a lunchbox that I have packed to the hilt! The lunchbox is black and has Jolly Roger skeletons in bright colors as the background. It has some of my favorite supplies in it: Caran d'Ache watersoluble crayons, Sharpie poster-paint markers in hot pink and bright blue, Crayola paints, a Scotch permanent glue stick, an alphabet stencil, collage images, Sakura stickers, scraps of paper and other ephemera, a white Signo pen, and silver and gold gel pens. There is even room for my journal - a black Moleskin journal and a small book to jot down some ideas or thoughts. My art kit goes pretty much everywhere with me. If I am not carrying it with me, it sits comfortably in my car, in the front. It has saved my butt a couple of times. Every time I leave the house, I make sure to always have something to do, just in case there is an emergency. I take a book or magazine with me, as well as the art kit. This way, there is plenty to keep me busy. A couple of weeks ago, I had a first (for me, anyway). A student got sick and was transported by ambulance to the hospital. I rode along with the student and paramedics. I had to wait for the parent to arrive at the hospital before I could go back to work. I was tied up at the hospital for about an hour-and-a-half. So, I sat out in the waiting room and worked on two pages I had started a few days before. It was a nice break from the fast pace I have at work and because everything is in the kit, it didn't require me to take a bunch of crap with me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Well, I was going to post some artwork tonight, but I changed my mind after looking at my email. My darling 13-year-old niece, Francesca, sent me a video of one of my favorite artists: Alicia Keys. So, I decided to post one of my all-time favorite songs by my favorite female artist, Sade. I have been in LOVE with Sade and her music since she first burst on the music scene, back in 1984. She is the "Queen of Smooth" - so stylish and sophisticated in everything she does. Her music is timeless. And Alicia Keys is a powerful force to be reckon with. Both of these women are such positive role models. They have succeeded by not playing into the fiction of what a woman is 'supposed' to be. They march to their own drum. And that comes across so clearly in their work. I too try to be that positive role model for all of my nieces and female students. I do not accept that women can't or shouldn't do certain things or that they must act a certain way. I LOVE the challenge of no...it makes me want to do it even more.

Sade - Nothing Can Come Between Us

Monday, October 1, 2007

I am working in a new book. It is a Moleskin watercolour book, ready-made for some artwork! This is still a very new size for me; it is much smaller than I am used to working in. Here are the first few pages of my book. I tend to work with all kinds of sizes. And I go back-and-forth with my books. I easily get bored working with the same journal, so I move in and out of small, medium, and large. Changing sizes seems to keep my interest longer. Sometimes, I stop working with a specific journal, then it goes on a shelf for several months or even a couple of years before I go back to it and re-work my work. I like the size of this book because it fits neatly into my art-on-the-go lunchbox. I will elaborate on that in a future post.