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.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

YES! I got the tickets for the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art! And we have our hotel reservations confirmed for next weekend. We will be leaving a week from tomorrow for San Francisco and I can hardly wait! Any excuse to be back in the city is okay with me. The sepia photograph above is my favorite Frida Kahlo image. The photograph was taken by Imogen Cunningham, 1 of my favorite photographers and whose work I have posted before.

I have always LOVED the painting of the 2 Fridas and their hearts. Juliana Coles has a wonderful 2 page spread in 1 of her journals, titled "Mandala" that reminds me of this painting. You can view some of Juliana's amazing artwork, from her journals, at this link, http://www.flickr.com/photos/julianacoles.
One of Frida Kahlo's self-portraits. I like the richness of her brown dress and how the parrot almost blends right into it. I am very excited about seeing this exhibit. Countdown: 1 week from Saturday.

For anyone wanting to see The Clash perform "Rock the Casbah" in all its glory, go to VH1's link, which I have included here, www.vh1.com/artists/az/clash/artist.jhtml. Once you are there, go to the category, "Angry Punk Rockers" and you will see the Clash. You will be treated to the full length version of "Rock the Casbah". I bet you will have a hard time controlling your feet! After all these years, I still LOVE this song and video! Makes you want to get out of your chair and dance!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Well, the last 3 days have been very exhausting at school! Being the summer school principal is really, really demanding work. But I am also enjoying it very much; now just no more earthquakes for awhile! Last night, I got a chance to see my friend, Claudia's new blog! Welcome Claudia to the blogging world. Claudia is 1 of the most special persons in my life. She is a wonderful friend, an excellent teacher, and a pretty terrific role model for our students. So, I read her blog and learned that she didn't know that the Clash ("the only band that mattered" as they have been called from the beginning!) actually were the originators of "Rock the Casbah". Being that I was an MTV kid, it is only fitting that I include in this post 1 of my top 10 all-time favorite videos, "Rock the Casbah" in all its glory. Afterall, the Clash is still 1 of my favorite bands after all these years. While I was growing up in the 70's (yes, I DO feel like I am re-living the 70's every time I get a glimpse of "That 70's Show"!), punk was just starting off. By the time the Clash hit the airwaves with "London Calling", I was a teenager. And me being in love with their music sent my dad over the edge!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Last post of the evening. This is the cover of James Jean's new book called "Covers of James Jean". The book will be released in December. I have already pre-ordered my copy! Today is coming to an end. My day was really crazy at work! And right before noon, an earthquake hit the L.A. area. Actually, the epicenter was Chino Hills, which is east of Los Angeles. The earthquake measured in at 5.4. Today was my first earthquake as an assistant principal! I evacuated the entire school, which because of the summer school schedule, was much smaller than the regular school year. We evacuated a total of 67 classes! Everything went very smoothly and the teachers and students were great! This is the 3rd evacuation during an emergency situation that I have run. In the last 2 years, I have had 2 bomb threats, a gas leak, 3 lock-downs, and today, the earthquake, that I have had to supervise because I was the acting principal. Thank God each evacuation gets easier and that there have not been any injuries to date. Days like today are a reminder to all that an emergency situation can strike at any time and therefore, we need to be prepared. A 'light' moment during the evacuation today: a group of students, both boys and girls, told me they were scared. At that point, the entire school had already been evacuated to the football field and I was making the rounds to check on everyone down on the field. One of the boys in the group told me, "Miss, I am going to sue the school district for this!" I said to him, "Sorry, you will have to sue Mother Nature! LAUSD didn't have anything to do with this earthquake!"
Here is some of James Jean's artwork. James Jean is becoming one of my favorite artists.

I LOVE this illustration! It is perfect with just black and white. Look at the folds of the girl's gown. Such detail!
Interesting and not too much color distracting from the main focus of the piece.
This is from the Prada Spring 2008 campaign. James Jean collaborated with Prada and did a line of clothing and handbags for that campaign. After jumping through a couple of hoops, I purchased 1 of these bags back in May. It is such a beautiful bag, but I have yet to use it. I feel like I should be framing it because it such a wonderful piece of art. Almost my entire life, I have had a thing for French and Italian designers, especially when it comes to shoes and purses. Luckily, I am very, very picky as to what I buy. I own about a dozen pair of shoes and a couple of dozen purses. The last thing I ever want to be is another Imelda Marcos! I expect to put this bag to a lot of use very soon. For more of James Jean's work, go to http://www.processrecess.com/.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Last post of the day. Yesterday, I joined the group, "The Baghdad Diaries". I will get an opportunity to do some artwork in 1 of the books that is circulating around the world regarding the war in Iraq. I felt that by adding some of my artwork to the project, it would give me an opportunity to be a part of something that unites people from all over the world through art regardless of our gender, religion, nationality, ethnicity, and political party. As more dialogue takes place, one day, we will all realize that we have more in common than we think. But if we can't talk to one another, then like Bob Marley said many years ago:

Until the philosophy
Which hold one race
Superior and another inferior
Is finally
And permanently
And abandoned
Everywhere is war
Me say war

That until there are no longer
First class
And second class citizens
Of any nation
Until the color of a man's skin
Is of no more significance
Than the colour of his eyes
Me say war

That until the basic human rights
Are equally
Guarantee to all
Without regard to race
And this a war

That until that day
The dream of lasting peace
World citizenship
Rule of international
Will remain in but a fleeting illusion
To be pursued
But never attained
Now everywhere is war

And until the ignoble
And unhappy regime
That hold our brothers in Angola
In Mozambique
South Africa
About human bondage
I have been toppled
Utterly destroyed
Well everywhere is war
Me say war

War in the east
War in the west
War up north
War down south
War, war
Rumors have a war

And until that day
The African Continent
Will not know peace
We Africans will fight
We find it necessary
And we know we shall win
As we are confident in the victory

Of good over evil
Of good over evil
Good over evil


If we cannot come together as a united world to end these things, then we will continue to have war.
Some of the Frida pieces I have created in the last couple of years. I have Frida fever! I am hoping to see the Frida exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, http://www.sfmoma.org/., within the next week-and-a-half! The exhibit runs through September 28. The plan is to be up in San Francisco a week from this coming Friday. This will work well with my current schedule because as soon as summer school is over for the week, I can leave, pick up my husband, and off we go to San Francisco, and we can be on the road as early as 2:00.

Frida Kahlo has been my favorite artist for almost 20 years. As a new teacher, I had to take classes as part of my "professional growth", as well as a way of renewing my teaching credential. I took a class called "The Folk and Traditional Arts of Mexico", back in 1991 and this is where I first learned about Frida Kahlo. I instantly fell in love with her work. I NEVER looked at her as a tortured, suffering artist. If anything, I admire her because she was able to rise above her physical limitations and create a body of work that speaks to us so vividly about the cycle of life.
Back when I first started learning more about the artist, Frida Kahlo, I had several family members and teacher friends make fun of me because they saw her work as "morbid" or even "grotesque" and they just could not understand why I would be even remotely interested in her work. It didn't make a difference to me what they thought! I have always been drawn to artists who paint real life. And sometimes, real life is morbid and grotesque. I have always been a BIG fan of Edvard Munch and Francisco Goya, so of course, I was going to be attracted to Frida Kahlo's work.
I have been very fortunate to see some of Frida Kahlo's paintings up close. In the early 90's, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art had some of her paintings on display as part of their "30 Centuries of Mexican Art". The exhibit was AMAZING! And I saw the exhibit several times before it moved on to another city. So, I am looking forward to seeing this new exhibit in San Francisco. Much of the artwork in this Frida Kahlo exhibit has never been exhibited outside of Mexico, so this will definitely be a treat. Besides the link to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art exhibit, check out my blog for the link to the Frida Kahlo Museum, in Mexico. It promises to be a feast for the eyes!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Here we go... yesterday's post dealt with the subject of friendship. I have been extremely blessed to have such a large group of friends. All of my friends are very special and dearly loved by me. Some of my friendships are 30 or more years old. My girlfriend, Kim is my oldest friend. We have been friends for 42 years. Give me your take on friendship and at the end of the week, I will pick a winner. I promise the English teacher in me will not grade you! The book I will be giving away next Saturday is "The Art of Fabric Books".
Yesterday, I wrote about us selling our house and that the search is now on for our next home. Our current home is a big-ass house with more space than 2 people will EVER need! I am so looking forward to living in a "normal" size home again! In that vein, I have been cleaning and organizing my studio like there is no tomorrow! I have been re-organizing my bookshelves too! Afterall, there are only so many books a person can read! So, I decided to give some of my books new homes. I will be giving away some of my books for the remainder of summer. I will give away 1 book a week and include shipping. Each week, I will pose a question. Give me your take on the subject. At the end of the week, I will pick a winner. These are some of the books I plan to give away. Also, I will have 2 "surprise" books that I will give away mid-September. All books are new and in excellent condition. In my next post, I will have this week's topic.
"The Art of Fabric Books" by Jan Bode Smiley deals with creating books and journaling with fabric. "The Art of Resin Jewelry" by Sherri Haab deals with designing and creating jewelry out of resin.

"Organizing Your Craft Space" by Jo Packham illustrates how best to utilize your work space.

"Paper Quilting" by Bridget Hoff deals with quilting, collaging, and utilizing found objects by using paper as a "canvas".

"Quilted Memories" by Leslie Riley illustrates how to journal, scrapbook, and create keepsakes by using fabric. "Secrets of Rusty Things" by Michael de Meng illustrates how to incorporate found objects into new pieces of art.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Since my last post showcased those beautiful sunflowers I got today, I decided to post about my best friend, Sergio. We have been friends almost my entire career, 24 years. When I started at Stevenson Junior High School, my first school, Sergio had already been teaching there a few years. He is a math teacher. In 1994, he, a group of friends, and I moved to Garfield High School. I have been most fortunate all of my life. My life is pretty terrific most of the time! I have really special and wonderful friends. I am especially lucky to have 3 friends, Sergio, Art, and Blanca in my life. I have been friends with Art since I was 14. And Blanca and I have been friends for almost 28 years. All 3 of them would drop anything to help me and I would do the same for them. Everyone should be that lucky in life to have friends like them. Not a days goes by that I don't thank God for all of my blessings! Anyway, this picture was taken at the Wilson prom, back in late April. Sergio was a good sport and was my date for the evening. My husband has gone to 2 proms and a Winter Formal dance with me and said, "Absolutely, no more! Take Sergio or 1 of your other friends!", after the last event. Fortunately, Sergio said "yes" and didn't mind too much going with me! We had a GREAT time! In this photo, it looks like my dress was very demure, but oh, not at all! The back of my dress dipped low and showed off most of my back, so I especially appreciated the front being more conservative. Besides, I have NEVER been 1 to wear very revealing clothing. I can't really think of anything more boring than being so exposed that there is nothing left to the imagination. And that goes for men too who show off way too much skin. Most people don't find that attractive.
I am winding down the last couple of days of my "vacation". It really hasn't been much of a vacation since I have been going into the office a couple of times a week just so that I can stay on top of my paperwork. Although I should be relaxed from the change of pace, it has been quite a hectic week on a personal level. The week has consisted of:

1. 1 of my closest friends having food poisoning and ending up in the hospital
2. that same friend's wife being re-admitted to the hospital
3. my mother being in the hospital all week with a very serious kidney infection
4. being in escrow officially, after a couple of false starts, and now, knowing we will be closing escrow within 30-40 days
5. taking the house-hunting seriously and realizing we MUST find a place very soon
6. helping out my best friend with the mandatory class he is taking in order to keep his job
7. applying for 4 principal positions (I MUST BE CRAZY!)

So, I decided to take another approach this morning. Since I have only today and tomorrow before my summer vacation comes to an end, I decided to spend those days my way. This morning, Mike and I went to breakfast. My favorite place to have breakfast is at a little cafe-style restaurant called Julienne's, in San Marino. We got there @ 9:30, and most of the time, that means we avoid the crowds! Not today. Not to fret, we only waited about 15 minutes. And since both of us had some caffeine and something to read in our hands, the wait was fast. After breakfast, I received a text from Sergio, my best friend. This is what it said: "Thank you so much. Be sure to check your back door as soon as you get home." This is what I found when we got home:

Sergio left a big, beautiful bouquet of mixed sunflowers on the back porch. I usually leave an empty pail on the back porch. He had put these beauties in water and left the pail right by the back door. Looking at the sunny disposition of these lovelies, how could anything NOW be stressing me out?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"The X-Files" theme song

BIG confession: I am a HUGE "X-Files" fan! This is my favorite television show ever! I am anxiously awaiting the July 25th opening of "The X-Files" new movie. I told my husband, "We are going!" A few months ago, my younger brother, Michael, gave me an absolutely amazing gift; he got me the entire collection of "The X-Files". Now that the movie is around the corner, I am looking forward to re-visiting all of the episodes. Although it has been 14 years since the show's first episode aired, the writing, acting, and directing still seem fresh. I had NEVER been a science fiction fan, but this show changed my mind!

"Jose Chung's From Outer Space" (Part 2)

Without a doubt, my favorite episode of "The X-Files"! I LOVE this episode, however, the best part of the episode takes place in Part 3, which is also available on YouTube.


Another of my favorite episodes of "The X-Files" is "Triangle". This is a terrific episode that finds Mulder and Scully on a ghost ship, the "Queen Anne", that disappeared somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle. The episode takes place during World War II, on this ship.

"Walking in Memphis"

This is the ending of one of my favorite episodes of "The X-Files" called "Post Modern Prometheus".

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I so enjoyed the "This Side of Paradise" exhibit at the Huntington. So, I decided to post some work by some of my favorite photographers. All photos are in black and white. The top photograph is by my all-time favorite, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, the great Mexican photographer.
These next 2 shots are by Imogen Cunningham. The United States Postal Service commemorated Cunningham and other iconic photographers' work by issuing a series of stamps that honored their work. This magnolia was made into a stamp.
Another of Imogen Cunningham's photographs. This is called "The Triangles". If you look closely, you can actually see several triangles.
These 2 shots are by Ruth Bernhard. The 1st photo is supposed to look grainy.
The next 3 photos are by the late Herb Ritts. I LOVE the way light and shadow is used in the below shot. The "zebra" print looks like someone painted it on the back of this woman's back.

Once again, look at the light and shadows on this model's torso. The shawl looks like it was painted on her body. The image does not really look black and white; instead, it looks sepia.

This last image is my favorite of Herb Ritts' work. It is wet sand on a model's back. Once again, a great study of light and shadow.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Today, I spent a good part of my day at the Huntington Museum. I have been wanting to see the "This Side of Paradise Body and Landscape in Los Angeles Photographs" show since it opened in June. It was amazing! The above photo is by Larry Sultan. The exhibit runs until September and I get the feeling I will be back at least 1 more time before it closes. And of course, I bought the book. It has an expensive price tag, but it is worth every penny. For more information, go to http://www.huntington.org/.

Because the weather was so comfortable, I spent quite a lot of time photographing the gardens. The gardens NEVER look the same. Each season has its own show. And because I am member, I try to take advantage of getting to the Huntingon a few times a year to photograph the change of season.
This is a shot of 1 of the sides of the Huntington residence. In the almost 2o years I have been going to the Huntington, today was the first time I noticed the statues on the side of the residence. Until today, I had never been on this side of the house. I LOVE the columns next to the statue. It appears that the columns and statue were all carved together.

Mexican sunflowers are my favorite of all sunflowers. I am not used to seeing the sunflowers this early since I associate the fall being the time of year when they bloom.

Today was a day of 1st's! I have never seen a purple magnolia. But here is 1 to challenge that notion that magnolias are only white!
Speaking of magnolias, look at these beauties! All along my street and in my neighborhood here in Pasadena, the magnolias are putting on a show for all of us.

The lilies-of-the-Nile were the first beauties I saw as I strolled through the gardens. What an amazingly gorgeous blue!

This part of the Huntington has been closed to the public for over a year. It recently re-opened. It is in the area directly behind the Huntington residence. And it offers a spectacular view of Los Angeles. I took a couple of panorama shots from this area.

Lastly, an apricot tree that needs just a little more time for its fruits to ripen. I liked how the branches are spread out and the apricots are like little jewels giving this tree its beauty.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tonight, we celebrated a HUGE personal milestone. We celebrated our 10,000th day together as a married couple! We had dinner at the Parkway Grill, in Pasadena. The Parkway Grill is the same place we celebrated our 20th anniversary, back in 2001. Mike and I will be celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary this coming Valentine's Day. We have been together for almost 29 years - hard to believe almost my entire adult life! And like I told my dear husband this morning, I would do it all over again. Here's to another 10, 000 days! We were making jokes during dinner tonight that if we live to see another 10, 000 days, we will be way into our "golden years" - retired senior citizens! We got a little taste of that tonight - other than the hostess who seated us, we were the 2 youngest people in the restaurant!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Technically, I am on vacation for the next 3 weeks. However, I will be working all summer. The pace is a little slower for the next 3 weeks, so I am going to take advantage that I have a little breather. The plan is to make some new art. These 2 pages are from 1 of my journals. I really like how all the colors and textures seem to blend in perfectly with each other.

These are 2 of my latest postcards. The top postcard was created for 1 of my dearest and closest friends, George. I made this for his birthday, which was in May. George is a cop and he likes comics, so this piece was easy to create. I used 1 of the images from 'Mexican Pulp Fiction'. The bottom postcard was created for my boss. His birthday is in May too! My boss is what I would refer to as a "Renaissance" man and because he LOVES art and is Latin like me, this practically created itself! I like to use hearts and hands in my artwork as much as possible and this piece was easy to make.

A few days ago, I spent a good chunk of my day running around town in search of the latest issue of 'Cloth, Paper, and Scissors'. My dear friend, Juliana Coles is 1 of the featured artists and her artwork graces the cover of the magazine. So, this post will be about Juliana's artwork.
Juliana's work is something special. It is provocative, powerful, and unique. She is constantly challenging herself as an artist. As Juliana tells it, she is not interested in making art that is pretty.

I have been collecting Juliana's artwork for the last 5 years. More importantly, every opportunity I have to take 1 of Juliana's workshops, I jump at the chance! No one has challenged me to become a better artist like Juliana has. And I am SO grateful for that.

In some of these photos, I have included pieces from my own collection of Juliana's work. The woman with the black hair is a piece that Juliana did for me. This piece is part of a group of pages Juliana completed in 1 of my journals. This piece really stands out because Juliana originally started drawing me, but as she continued to work on it, the woman became more her than me! That is a good way of saying it... Juliana even wrote that into the page as a little note to me. If you ever get an opportunity to take 1 of Juliana's classes, like Kelly says, "Run, don't walk!" Her workshops will make you look at the world in a different way. And you will learn about yourself in ways you NEVER imagined!