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.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A few days ago, I received this stash from Juliana Coles. I was supposed to take a weekend class with Juliana this weekend, but I took a very bad fall a couple of days ago, and am home resting. I was in the tub, taking a shower. All of our bathrooms have plastic mats inside the tubs. Somehow, the mat moved while I was in the shower. I lost my footing, slipped on the mat, and fell out of the tub. I landed on the tiled bathroom floor, flat on my back. I missed hitting my head against the wall by just a few inches. It all happened very quickly. I was very fortunate that I didn't break anything. I am very sore and bruised and my back is killing me! I can't sit for too long because the pain starts shooting up and down my spine. I really, really hate losing out on Juliana's class! So, I want to use the rest of this post to talk about Juliana. Juliana is so generous, creative, and nurturing. She is a phenomenal instructor and artist. I am going to steal one of Kelly's lines: if you have an opportunity to take one of Juliana's classes, don't walk, run to sign up! It will be worth every penny you spend to take her classes. I have taken many of her classes and have NEVER been disappointed! Support our artists - go to Etsy, www.etsy.com, and you can see Juliana's and other wonderful artists' works.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter! No views on the world today. Instead, I am posting photos I took yesterday. These are all shots of my garden. The nasturiums have been blooming since winter and pretty much bloom all year long. The shot of the sweet peas is my favorite. These are the first sweet peas of the season. Shortly after I finished taking photos, I cut these beauties. They are now in my studio, on my desk. They are so fragrant. But alas, they only last for a few days. Lastly, the trumpet is ready to explode with flowers. Their color is a butter yellow. I have several trumpets in my yard, but this baby is the one that is really blossoming.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One more posting for today. On one of my postcards that I posted yesterday, it reads, 'Did too much religion cause 9/11?' There is a story as to how that piece came about. That part of the card was a copy of a piece I did last year. Like some of Juliana Coles' postcards, I like to re-work some of my old work and make it new. I made that piece in one of my classes @ the Art Center, in Pasadena. As part of our grade, each student was given a composition book. Before we started working in our books, the professor told us we would each need to focus on a theme for our books. Each week, all of us would trade our books and we would work in someone else's book. The theme of the book that I did that particular piece in was 'too much religion'. So, I tried to do a take on 'the war on terrorism', religion, particularly Islam, and propaganda and how they impact the lives of all. I have never thought religion was the reason 9/11 occurred. On the contrary, I think to put it on Islam is a very simplistic view of looking at the problems in the Middle East. I believe it is the U.S.'s bad policies that have created a lot of the problems we now face throughout the world. Looking back @ 9/11, it was such a horrific event, but as horrific as it was, it was the first time in my life I saw the rest of the world unite behind the U.S. There was so much goodwill towards the U.S. and it is hard to imagine that in a very short time, it was squandered away. As we start looking to November 2008 to elect a new president, it is very apparent that whomever is the new president, they will have their work cut out for them. Lastly, the theme of my book was 'the value of a life' something that I constantly try to address in my art and life. I have posted these pages before, but feel the message needs to keep coming out loud and clear.
I created this piece as a memorial of sorts, to honor the anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death and the thousands of Iraqi civilians, U.S. troops, and allies who have died in Iraq as a result of the United States' "war against terror". One day, we as a planet will figure out that sometimes, we are our worst enemy! Rachel Corrie, an American activist, was crushed to death by a bull-dozer in the Gaza Strip, on March 16, 2003. An Israeli soldier killed her. Rachel Corrie had tried to protect the area near the Palestinian wells and the Palestinian workers from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). For many years, the media has presented a very one-sided account of what has been going on in the Middle East, particularly in regards to the Palestinian people. It is unbelievable that someone such as Rachel Corrie, a pacifist, would be murdered because she was trying to help a group of people who face many hardships on a daily basis. It is hard to believe that we just marked our 5th year in Iraq. And after 5 years, there is still no legitimate evidence of nuclear weapons! What bullshit is the tale our leaders have tried to spin! Hubris at its worst. Self-denial is dangerous.

I am on vacation this week - spring break. However, I went into work on Monday and today, for a total of 10 hours. And I am glad I did because I got so much done in 2 days since there were minimal interruptions. During part of my vacation, I have spent it doing 2 things: 1) catching up with my family and friends and 2) making art. Here are my latest postcards. It's funny because I read Kelly's blog yesterday and saw her postcards and info about her latest mail art class and thought how much I would love to take that class! I started these beauties on Monday night and it has taken me several hours to finally get them completed. I have the next 2 days off. The plan for Thursday is to spend the day with 3 of my closest friends. Then, on Friday, Good Friday, my sister, Rachel and niece, Francesca, and I will be heading to tea @ 'The Tea Rose', in Pasadena. For the last 3 years, on Good Friday, the 3 of us have a tradition of going to tea. It will be our first time @ 'The Tea Rose'.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My last post of the night! I was off from work today. My back has been acting up again! Not only is my back bothering me, I can now add my shoulder. My back has never been the same since I took that fall down the stairs a few years ago. And as soon as I woke up this morning, I knew I better not mess with my back. The best thing I can do for my back when it starts acting up is just to rest it. I took a steaming hot shower and took a couple of prescription pills the doctor gave me for the inflammation, but nothing worked. So, I just took it easy today. And that meant working on my blog and not doing too much else. I have been trying to add some new artwork and videos to my blog. Bob Marley, rightly so, is listed in my artist's links. What an amazing artist and human being! When I look back at my life, there is a BIG reason my dad didn't let me work at the local music store: I would have never finished school! To say I LOVE music is an understatement. I live and breathe music. And without it, I would die. And I still enjoy watching videos as much as I did when I was younger. Afterall, I grew up watching MTV! My favorite line from Bob Marley's "Running Away" is "You can't run away from yourself". And as I get older, I have finally figured out that this is very true.

Bob Marley - Running Away - Live`79

Bob Marley is the undisputed king of reggae. I am honored to share the same birthday. And I was so very fortunate to see him play @ Pauley Pavilion, @ UCLA, in November 1979. If I had to rate the best concerts I have attended, Bob's would be in my top 3. Almost 30 years later, Bob's music still resonates throughout the world with its powerful messages of love, peace, and equality.

Pepsi - Simply Irrestible

Robert Palmer is one of my favorite artists. I cried when I heard the news he had died. Such a talented and charming artist who died too early. I have a Robert Palmer poster in my office @ work. In fact,I have several posters of various artists in my office. Just like in this video, Robert Palmer looks very dapper in that poster. A well-cut suit will take you far and it sure became Robert Palmer's signature look. Anyway, Robert Palmer epitomized sophistication and polish in all of his videos. And I think he pushed the envelope in this Pepsi commercial. This commercial was very sophisticated and at the time, there wasn't anything like it on television.

Robert Palmer - Simply Irresistible

I LOVE this video! What can I say about Robert Palmer? Mr. Suave. Mr. Sexy. Mr. GQ. When I saw Maxi Priest's "That Girl" video, it reminded me of "Simply Irresistible". A couple of my buddies have told me that I remind them of the women in this video. I don't think so! One, if that were the case,I wouldn't be working as an administrator. Second,I think I have more going for me than looking like a mannequin.

That Girl by Maxi Priest feat Shaggy

I love Maxi Priest! Ever since Bob Marley and Dennis Brown died, I have gotten more into Maxi's music. He is now my favorite living reggae artist.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On the subject of strong women, 2 of my favorite roles: artist and teacher. The 1st photo was taken back in November 2007. Gina Armfield took this picture of me @ my dear friend, Carol Parks', house. We took a 3-day Lynne Perrella workshop called "Frida's Trunk". The 2nd photo was taken a few years ago, in my classroom @ Garfield High. These are some of my "girls" with me. I am very proud of these girls: Maria, Elvira, and Pam. I had these girls for 3 of their 4 years of high school. They are all independent, intelligent, educated, and strong women. And of course, I am a little presumptious to think I had just a little bit of influence on them. Now, it is their turn to influence the next generation of women! Kelly asked me yesterday why I haven't "fucking posted"? Well, besides the fact that I have never worked this hard in my entire life, 2 weeks ago, I got a chance to go back to my teaching roots. I taught for a week in the CAHSEE English boot-camp. I had 14 students; 13 boys and 1 girl. I worked SO hard that week. I was exhausted every day. I taught 2 periods in the boot-camp, then switched back to my Assistant Principal role for the rest of the day, each day. As tiring as that week was, I felt so good about teaching again and having that opportunity to connect with students in a way I don't always get to do as an administrator.

This is some of my artwork from the last 2 years. I weaved a theme into all these pieces. I wanted to show that women are more than sexual objects. I showed their strength whether they were naked, semi-clothed, or fully dressed. I varied techniques to make these pieces. I drew, collaged, and photographed images of women. I am thinking of reworking these pieces into 1 larger piece. Some ideas are bouncing around in my head! I like to incorporate nudes into my artwork. 2 HUGE influences on my work are my dear friend and amazing artist, Juliana Coles, and Anh Duong. I LOVE Anh Duong's book, "(Self) Portraits". I find myself constantly refering back to it. Now, I just wish Juliana would publish a book of her work. The best way I can describe Juliana's work is raw, honest, and provocative. There is nothing I have seen in the last few years that comes close to Juliana's artwork. At the end of this month, I will be taking a weekend class that Juliana is teaching @ Carol Park's spectacular house/studio. I am so grateful for every moment of every class I have taken with Juliana because she has challenged me as an artist and person in ways no one else has. After her classes, you feel exhausted emotionally, mentally, and physically. If you ever get an opportunity to take a class she is teaching, don't walk; "run" (as my other dear friend, Kelly Kilmer says) to it!