The Perfection of Imperfection

This week I confessed to my students that deep philosophical issues ground art practice. Listening to Lee Ufan speak about the Moon Jar, and how purposeful imperfection opens up the experience of art reminded me that this bridge between the ineffable and the material is one we all share. I’ve been embracing imperfection in my recent work. I’ve purposefully been stretching a translucent ground for my paintings so the repurposed discolored stretcher bars can be appreciated.

Lee Ufan


A HUGE Thank You to Dick Blick and Artist & Craftsman!

I am so thankful today for Chris Rollins of Dick Blick Art Materials. I’ve known Chris for eons, have some of his gorgeous prints in my collection, and have depended on him for advise on art supplies since his days at Utrecht.  I am so happy to say he is still helping artists out now. Every term he comes out to the campus hauling the kits over to the studios so that the SCC art students can get acquainted with what they need for the term. Not only are kits heavily discounted, but Chris usually brings them goodies, and this term he brought gift cards on top of the other freebies! Generosity upon generosity.

I’m thankful too for Michael Rives from Artist & Craftsman Supply. He travels even further to meet with my students and talk to them about their kits and supplies. He brings the students goodies too. I think we all acted like locusts descending on the huge stash of Golden paint samples brought in, and don’t be surprise to see everyone sporting buttons all up and down the hill. I mean…who doesn’t love buttons?! Michael also always shows a lot of heart reaching out to our students!

In this day and age when everyone seems out to get and never to give I am especially grateful for both of these corporate sponsors who extend a friendly and generous hand out to a whole new crop of emerging artists.





Daughters of Immigration Opens Tomorrow

Daughters of Immigration opens tomorrow.  My gratitude to the incredibly talented Blanca Santander. Not only is she an amazing painter and illustrator, but also a highly creative curator as well. It’s not often so much talent is concentrated in one person!

Thank you also to Ken Matsudaira, the director at the M. Rosetta Hunter Gallery. He was at the campus bright and early to help the artists drop off work and then hung the show all by his lonesome…all during spring vacation. Now THAT’S dedication and  heart, folks! Ken, you are an angel!

Learn more about the exhibit and my fellow artists at:  http://seattlecentral.edu/artgallery/currentshow.php


The New Art 202 COPY TEXT

That’s me as The Magician…. Brush in hand, I light the way for anyone interested in the wacky patterns and garden sprouting out of my head. That’s how I see my role as a teaching artist!

Poor art students are at a disadvantage in higher learning. They have to buy their art materials, which let’s face it, run hundreds of dollars even at kit discounts. And they are also expected to shell out hundreds of dollars for textbooks.

One of the ways I try to combat the rising cost of art education for my emerging talents is by preparing COPY TEXTS for each level that they can download into their laptops or smart phones. No need to print these out and kill trees, no need to kill their budgets either.

It also gives me the ability to tinker with curriculum from one year to the next. I ask students for their feedback and change my approaches to best meet their needs.

I’ve spent all week working on expanding options for the ART 202 students. Some were so delighted for the strict Light, Color, & Composition assignments, but too many others felt confined by these projects. This new ART 202 COPY TEXT gives students a choice of five different project series to engage their creative investigations!

ART 202 copy text



Thank you to Seattle Art Museum!

I am so grateful tonight for the Seattle Art Museum’s generosity in comping tickets for the museum’s special Kehinde Wiley exhibit last week to my drawing class. In all my years of bringing students to the museum, never has there been such excitement. I mean there were eye-balls popping out of heads. There were tongues dragging on the ground. There was swooning. And although Kehinde Wiley himself isn’t a religion (though clearly a talent of mythic proportions) there were more than a few converts!

Here are a handful of my very favorite Art 111 and Art 112 drawings inspired by Wiley’s unbelievably stunning work!






FullSizeRender-5 9.16.03 PM


Help FUND A Scholarship And Get Great Art In Return!

Some of you already know that one of my students was just killed in a hit-and-run. We’re starting a scholarship in his honor.
I am donating Epic 132 (Leaping Over Graffiti Wall or Somehwere Over the Rainbow) and the entire sales price will be applied to this scholarship. Every penny.

Why this piece? Noah was a graffiti artist, and Epic 132 portrays the Great Seattle Graffiti Wall in SoDo. Also, this last year FINALLY the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal nationwide! At long last, my dearest friends and cherished family get the legal rights and protections that marriage can provide. And yeah, that’s a drawing of my sister-in-law leaping over a rainbow. FYI, she was one of the first legally married lesbians in California!

So PLEASE spread the word. I want this piece to sell for a lot of money so we can fund the Noah Anderson Scholarship. Here’s the info on the Auction, and two pictures of the piece…which is already framed.


over the rainbow


It’s Hard To Make Sense of Loss

I’m finding it really hard to reconcile the randomness of tragedy with my faith in the wild beauty of life. Yesterday I received the shocking news that Noah Anderson, a student in one of my classes, was killed in a hit and run. I can’t stop thinking about our last conversation. He loved the fan brush and was really excited by oils bc all his previous painting was in spray paint– he was a graffiti artist. His fingers were just coated in paint, and his eyes were so shiny happy. You know the look.
He was so YOUNG! All of that light in his eyes, all that promise, extinguished.

My Students Create A Coloring Book


Well, it’s trending! They’re among the top best sellers on Amazon, and neuroscientists and social critics alike are touting the benefits of picking up some crayons or coloring pencils and de-stressing yourself with one of these.

So for the first time ever, my ART 111 drawing students have designed a coloring book.  Some of the most interesting pages haven’t yet been turned in but will be added as soon as they are scanned.

Why not print this guy up and start chilling.


(post featured image by Sammy Huidi Chen)


The Gap Between Life and Art Grows Narrower

My ART 202 students are studying collage aesthetics in painting practice and we were discussing how artists bring real life into the studio, and the reverse: artists bringing the studio out into real life. Of course we looked at Banksy’s latest contribution to Guerrilla Art in which the little girl from Les Miserables is crying in front of a French flag as tear gas rises from a canister on the ground.

The mural is one of several pieces in which Bansky addresses conditions and abuses at the Calais refugee camp.
One of the other murals in his series depicts the late Steve Jobs (himself the son of Syrian immigrants)on one of the Calais camp walls.


A migrant walks past a wall with a graffiti mural representing Steve Jobs by British artist Banksy in the "new jungle", a field where migrants and asylum seekers stay in Calais, France, December 30, 2015. British graffiti artist Banksy's mural of late Apple founder Steve Jobs as a refugee on a wall in the Calais migrant camp and two other Banksy works in other parts of the city will be protected, local authorities have said. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY