Monthly Archives: October 2016

Teaching Art In An Urban Environment– Never A Dull Day!

Never a dull day, let me tell you. So yesterday my office window shattered. Oh no, I thought, some poor bird hit the window so hard it broke, poor thing musta died. Uh, today the custodial engineers came out to replace the window and pulled out a 9mm slug. Quite a different story. Apparently earlier a rapist was arrested about a block away after firing shots in the air, random like. One of his stray bullets broke my window.
Time to move my desk away from windows, don’tcha think?

Yup, teaching in an urban campus –it’s always a party!

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Thank You To The Bill and Melida Gates Foundation and Latinos In Philanthropy for ArteFest

At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today for ArteFest, the Gates Foundation’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration.

What an honor to be inside the foundation that is making such a huge difference all around the world, and what a thrill to meet so many philanthropists!

I’m also in awe of the sheer creative energies and talents of my fellow Latinex artists.

Thank you so much to Susi Collins, Pilar Pacheco, Izmir Santiago, Io Blair-Freese for being such brilliant hosts, and to Irene Gomez at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture for bringing us all together.

14650174_10154607616627162_6079208263463550758_n 14642354_10154607616507162_1606971730229137135_n 14600931_10154607616267162_3558133849747532664_n 14601056_10154607616157162_2030135349804806690_n 14611046_10154607616762162_6965917557756104218_nThank you Blanca Santander and her dear husband James for the photos!!!

How Podcasting and Blog Talk Radio Are Changing The Art System

My most dependable income stream as a professional artist has been teaching. I’ve been tenured faculty for over 20 years. It should come as no surprise that I am a life-long learner. As a professional culture creator, and as an educator “sharpening my saw” is an imperative!

These days I’m exploring the world of podcasting. I haven’t embraced social media with great gusto, but am beginning to see the potential for expanding our learning, understanding, and networks through podcasts.  I mean, a slow commute can become a classroom with podcasts!

I did my first FB Live last weekend to enhance what I did in the classroom for my anatomy students. If the flu shots yesterday hadn’t floored both my husband and me, I’d be broadcasting again today, maybe in color, since I did another study of the skull.  Why is planar analysis so hard to grasp?

I mentioned the possibilities this feature has for artists an culture creators to one of my models this week, Shawna Holman, and already she’s trying it out too! I hope it’s a feature that can add reach for her art business and self-expression.

I want to thank Leslie Saeta and the other wonderful hosts at Artists Helping Artists on BlogTalkRadio for the inspiration to try it out and spread the word.


Thinking About Refugees Braving High Seas and Teaching Young Artists About Life Drawing

New in the studio, another painting for Migrations, because I’ve been a bit flooded lately, thinking about all the refugees braving the seas:   Crossing The Straits 24°20’38.5”N, 82°29’32.0”W, 12″ x 12″, oil on cradled wood


Today was the first day my drawing students worked with a life model, AND the first day they tried out sighting and tonal shapes. Here are my favorite student drawings from the last pose of the session.

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Also here is a video lesson on how to apply planar analysis to a skull that I filmed this past weekend. It demonstrates how to simplify the intricacies of the bones of the head into three planes: top, front, and side by using a few lines and some shadows.

When The Subconscious Decides To Help You Out

This new drawing in my studio is a perfect example of how the creative process can bring surprises along with it.

It is a new version of the same gesture that I had drawn in graphite powder just days before. (See below).


The newer drawing plays with contour lines in brown marker. The thing about markers is you can’t erase anything. Imagine my surprise when before I even knew how or why, a bird’s nest materialized!

Conceptual as my drawings are, sometimes symbols from the subconscious just bubble up. I have been thinking about my two homelands (Cuba and the USA) a lot lately…they seem to have become two fragile spotty eggs gnarled in my wild hair.

The first version is closer to what I had conceived, but the second, with a little help from my subconscious, is actually far more interesting.

Reflections on Liberty Denied Opening and A New FB Live Broadcast

It’s been a busy first week back on campus teaching full time!

I also had an opening to attend at CWU where I met so many wonderful scholars, artists, and community activists. What a treat!

My gratitude to The Museum of Culture & Environment at Central Washington University, to Provost Katherine Katherine Frank who came out to welcome the artists and guest speakers for Liberty Denied: Immigration, Detentions, and Deportation. Thank you especially to Dr. Susan Noyes Platt for writing such a powerful statement for the exhibit, and to Museum Director Mark Auslander, for hosting the show. Most of all, thank you to all the students and community members who lent their enormous support, passion, and energy to the evening.

Read Dr. Platt’s exhibition essay here:

This week I also tried out my first FB Live broadcast. My drawing students had a tough time grasping planar analysis, so I did a demo in my studio for anyone to watch. Drop on in and get insight on why exercises like these feed my private art practice.