Slab Built Ceramic Heart Boxes

February’s theme was hearts and clay at PFA Studio.  The Wednesday Elementary Art class made slab built ceramic heart boxes.


IMG_1311First we learned about clay and using the slab roller.  We used my Shimpo Slab Roller that I absolutely love!

Then everyone rolled out their own slabs.

Cut the top and bottoms of the ceramics boxes with heart-shaped cookie cutters.

Built walls.

Attached it all together – not as easy as it may seem.



After they were fired, the students painted them with three coats of ceramic paint.

Then they were fired again.

You can see the results!  I just love them.

And one photo of my super cute Pottery Barn.  Yes, I literally have a Pottery Barn!


Day 3 – Shooting on Manual

For our last day of photo camp, we put the concepts from the days before together and shot in Manual Mode.  All photos in this post are by students of the photo camp.


We ventured out on this very cold today into the beautiful neighborhood of Hollywood Hill.


And visited the farm and floral studio of Flori Flowers.





Thank you Flori Flowers for sharing your beautiful animals, space and talent with us.



Thank you for sharing the last three days with me.

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I hope that you learned something about using your camera in manual mode and, most importantly, had fun!


XO, Jamie

2018 Photo 101 - little pony in stall



“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” – Ansel Adams

Day Two – Photo Camp Shutter Speed

Today we braved the cold and ventured to Kenmore Air to practice Shutter Speed.  All photos in this post were taken today by students.

2018 Photo 101 - Plane with reflection














SHUTTER SPEED:  Controls how long your shutter stays open for, and so also controls how much light reaches the sensor.


Leaving your shutter open a long time, smaller number, will let in lots of light and will capture motion as it moves – meaning you will see it as a blur.  Anything under 1/60 requires a tripod.

2018 Photo 101 - Waterfall


A short shutter speed, a faster number like a quick blink, freezes a moment in time without blur. You would use this if you want to freeze a fast-moving bird, animal, or car in your photo. A shutter speed of anything faster than 1/500th of a second is considered ideal for freezing an object, but this may vary depending on the speed of the subject.


Thank you Kenmore Air for hosting us!



Aperture – Day 1 Photo Camp

Today was the beginning of our three day mini photo 101 camp.  As we are learning to take our camera’s off auto, we focused on Aperture Today.


The photos in this post were taken by students during the workshop today.


APERTURE:  The aperture of a lens is how wide the lenses opens when you take a photo and ranges from wide to narrow, and is measured in f/stops, such as f/4 (wide aperture) to f/22 (narrow aperture). AV


  • The smaller the number, the wider the aperture, the more light is let in  and the smaller the depth of field.   So, for a portrait, you want the subject in focus but the background to be blurred.  You would use a low aperture.  I love a shallow depth of field so I shot a lot of my photos on the lowest aperture that I can.


  • The opposite of this is true as well.  The narrower the aperture, the less light is let in, darkening your shots an resulting in a larger the depth of field.  While shooting landscapes or citys capes, you might want to have both the foreground and the background in focus.  For this you would want a high aperture value, f/16 or f/22 to get deep depth of field.


  • We shot in  Aperture Priority mode today which allows you to take control of the aperture, leavingthe shutter speed and ISO to be controlled controlled by the camera.   We practiced adjusting the amount of light entering into the camera through the lens and setting our depth of field.


Tomorrow we will explore shutter speed.


Olympic Tributes

The youngest elementary art students completed some mixed media tributes to the 2018 Olympics.


The figures were designed after the Olympic Pictograms.


They were harder to assemble than you might think – requiring measuring and placement of body parts.


We also learned a little about the Olympics.


And as always, had V05A3774a lot of fun.

Teen Landscape Watercolors

The teens completed their landscape watercolor paintings.


There were a lot of lessons wrapped up into this project.


We started with an introduction to watercolor painting and all of the different types of marks you can make with watercolor.


We learned about color mixing and painted our own colorwheels.


We also had an in depth lesson on one point perspective.


We then completed mini-sketches of our paintings to check the overall composition.


And then our larger landscapes.


Watercolor is a very hard medium and they did a great job; had fun and learned a lot.


Acrylic Ice Cream Cone Paintings

I think my students are picking up on my love of colors.


I may have said this once, or a hundred times, but most importantly I want my students to have fun and positive experiences while they explore art.


But, I used to be a lawyer, and that Type A side of me is always trying to teach basic art concepts.


With this lesson we got an introduction to painting standing up at an easel with acrylic paint.



And a lesson on color theory and value.


Hope these brighten your day.


XO, Jamie

Strolling in Paris


Strolling in Paris

16 x 20, Oil on Panel



New Series:  Walking Home

I have been searching for a way to combine my love of photography, travel and painting.

A couple of years ago, I was on a service trip in Nicaragua walking down what was honestly a filthy road filled with trash. I was having a conversation with Pedro, a minister in Leon, Nicaragua.  During that week we held craft fairs, passed out food and donated cloths, had a soccer tournament etc.  But as we were walking down this road with a local family, Pedro mentioned to me how he feels closest to God, and most fulfilled, while walking down the roads in Nicaragua and just listening and being friends with the local families.  I agreed completely.

This painting is Paris, not Nicaragua.  It was from a photo I snapped walking back to our apartment after a lovely day with friends in Paris.  Because, in the end, no matter where we were born or currently live, we are all just walking each other home.