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, May 31, 2010

Speaking of Pablo Neruda, if you have not seen "Il Postino", you are in for a real treat! This is one of my favorite foreign movies - what a love story! What a valentine to the poet and this beautiful Italian island!
I spent my 4-day (including a furlough day) weekend doing exactly what I love most: 1) spending lots of time with my husband, 2) making art, 3) gardening, and 4) relaxing. The above photo is from a book a colleague gave me for my birthday, back in February. I had not done much with the book other than jot down a few ideas and random thoughts. Over the weekend it came to me what I wanted to do with this little booklet. I made it my latest journal. First thing I did was cover the outside covers in red paint, then I added the gilded edges, which are really stickers. Since I spent almost all of this past February and half of March sick, I felt I short-changed myself on my favorite day of the year: Valentine's Day. So, I spent some of Saturday making valentines (who says you can only give them out on February 14?!) and this new journal will be my "love" book.

First page of my love journal. Lots of thoughts on what love is and what types of love there are. I feel SO lucky to have such a wonderful family and friends, and especially, my husband, who is in a category all his own. It does not get better than that.

These next pages are my ode to Pablo Neruda, my favorite poet. This is an excerpt from "Your Hands":
I crossed the roads,
trains carried me,
waters brought me,
and in the skin of the grapes
I thought I touched you,
the almond announced to me
your secret softness,
until your hands
closed in on my chest
and there like two wings
they ended their journey.
Although not many would dispute that Shakespeare was the greatest poet of all time, Pablo Neruda has always had a BIG place in my heart! Throughout my teaching career, I taught Shakespeare's plays and sonnets, but it wasn't until I taught Neruda's poems that I really fell in love with poetry.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The top photo is a shot of a gift my dear friend, Kelly Kilmer made for me. It and the rolls of tape were just part of a larger gift box Kelly gave me for my birthday.

The photo above is a shot of my India journal and field kit. A few months before the holidays, Kelly told me that she has always wanted a book of my art, whether it be copies of my artwork or original pieces. While I worked on my India book, Kelly posted comments on a regular basis each time I posted photos on my blog. So, a lightbulb clicked in my head about what would make a good gift for Kelly. I got my journal and took it to Kinko's to have it xeroxed. Then, I made a new book of my India journal artwork and I added some new artwork, along with the xeroxed copies. The photos below are the original pieces I added to Kelly's book.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I have been on a cigar box thing since February! I have had several boxes laying on the floor of my studio; they have been in a neat pile for the last 2 years! It was time to do something with them. I made Valentine's Day gifts out of 3 of them and this was my valentine to me! My Frida box has found a permanent home on my desk - inside of the box are little scraps of paper that mean something only to me. More importantly, the scraps and box are constant inspiration when I need a jump start on an idea.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

This past week, my dear friend and fellow artist, Kelly Kilmer, was a 'Guest Curator' for Crescendoh. One of my posts got a HUGE plug and helped give my blog a much needed jolt. Check out Kelly's picks here: http://blog.crescendoh.com/crescendoh/index.html. Thanks Kel!
It seems like forever since I have blogged! Here is my latest completed piece. During my Easter break, I worked on this piece, which was actually a gift I painted for a former colleague of mine. This school year was an especially hard one for me. Although I got both flu vaccinations, the influenza shot in early October, and the swine flu shot in December, I spent all of February and half of March sick with the flu. I got a little breather, but got sick again in April. So, the little time I felt up to making art was done in that week of spring break. During spring break, I was given the best news possible: I got the principal position for the Social Justice Leadership Academy! I have waited patiently for this school to open for the last few years. I applied for the job in May 2009, was told I got the job, then, everything was put on hold. To say I am excited is an understatement! I am going home, back to East Los Angeles, and my new school will consist of many, many familiar faces: Garfield friends and colleagues and maybe a few surprises! Let me come back to this piece... in June 2007, I was told I would be moved to a new school at the end of the year, "to give me another school experience before I would become a principal." I was given the news almost two weeks before the school year ended. The day I got that news was one of the most painful experiences of my life. That day, I was the acting principal and here I was being told I would be moved without any input from me or any thought as to how I would feel about this. For the next two weeks, I had a tremendous outpouring of love, respect, and good wishes bestowed on me. The faculty collected several hundred names on petitions and put pressure on our local district and Board of Education to not move me. The last attempt saw two dozen teachers go to the last Board meeting of the year. One of my oldest friends and colleagues, James Wicks, addressed the packed Board meeting and tried to persuade our former Superintendent not to move me from Garfield. In the end, I was moved not to the school I was originally told, Roosevelt High, but instead, to Wilson High. I was given the kind of send-off you would expect at a funeral. I got the best eulogy you could possibly get, and although the pain of being moved would last throughout my time @ Wilson, I got a golden opportunity by being moved to Wilson. However, that is for another day. I received many, many cards and emails throughout my first year away from Garfield; sometimes, it felt like I was receiving these on a daily basis during that first year. But the most touching one I received was a poem that my fellow colleague and B track teacher, Ann Braeff, gave me. It was an acrostic poem that used all of the letters of my first and last names and it addressed me and the topic of change. When I received this gift, I told Ann I would make a copy of the poem and somehow, I would use it for an art piece for her. It took me almost three years to get that piece completed! When I started to work on this in late March, most of the piece was done very quickly. By working on it, the piece reflected how all of a sudden, I felt: a new beginning, full of hope for what lies ahead with this new school, and coming full circle. I embedded in the background of this piece, Ann's poem. Although it is very subtle where Ann's words are in the painting, the focal image echoes those words very loudly. Lastly, there was no way I could have created this piece back in 2007 - I had to live these last three years exactly in the manner I have to get to this point in my life: a new beginning.