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August 9, 2021


Below are the Instructors’ Insight Archives, where teachers from The Studio School shared their thoughts and artmaking tips through videos, writings, and small galleries during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. These exercises familiarized our faculty with web presentations, making The Studio School [online] possible.





Forming clay on a potter’s wheel is fascinating, but this is only the beginning of a long process.  The piece generally needs to be refined, and then the fun begins.  What to do with the surface?  Hopefully, the artist has a vision as the piece is being formed or the form itself speaks to them.  Handles? Carving?  Added clay?  Added colors? Or nothing, and just left to dry as-is before the first firing (bisque).  Then more decisions are needed.  What kind of firing?  High fire?  Raku, sodium, saggar, low fire as alternatives?  Read more HERE.




In this instructional video the viewer is given an over-the-shoulder vantage point to see all steps taken to create a painting. Working from a photo reference, a pencil sketch shows the important elements of shape and value when planning your classic composition. Also seen is basic color mixing on the palette, and all brushwork needed to complete the painting.
For over 40 years, artist James Wisnowski taught painting which reflects both his spiritual, and artistic inspiration found in the quiet beauty and serenity of nature. Slowly disappearing landscapes are captured and documented in this ever-changing environment for future generations. He shares the rediscovered beauty that may be lost or forgotten in everyday subjects.






See this step-by-step instruction to make a Saggar Kiln Insert or, How to fire Saggar work without messing up your regular or raku gas kiln <SEE MORE>.



Watch Francis Mastrangelo in his studio as he talks about the power of being an artist. Read more <HERE>.



Wool painting is a relatively new technique used in Europe and Central Asia, using layers of wool and enhancing it with various colored wool fibers. This form of painting does not use any paint nor is there a need for a brush. Solmaz Shams has offered wool-painting classes at PVAC. She has also prepared a video for beginner or intermediate-level learners in which she demonstrates the process of using wool fibers to create paintings using a technique called “Needle Felting.” To inspire viewers to make their own art pieces, the video is a step-by-step demonstration of experimenting with wool fibers of various colors, laying out on a sheet or base and needle-felt the fibers to create a painting. <READ MORE>



Mandala Art / Ages 6 and Up

Mandala art has been created for thousands of years by people from all around the world. The word Mandala comes from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language. Mandala means “circle.” The circle is seen as a magical form, without beginning or end.

The materials needed for this project include coffee filters, markers, and water in a spray bottle.

Step 1: Fold coffee filter in eighths.

Step 2: Spray with and saturate coffee filter with water on both sides.

Step 3: Draw a design with markers, flip over and trace the same design on the other side.

Step 4: Open and reveal!  <READ MORE>


Pastel Sunset Seascapes/ Ages 5 and up

Seascapes depict views of the sea. Seascapes became popular between 1790 and 1800, but works of art depicting the sea stretch back to antiquity. 

The materials needed for this project include paper and chalk pastels.

Step 1 Draw horizon line

Step 2 Draw the sun, sky, and blend

Step 3 Create the water

Students will learn about line, shape, color, and blending. <SEE MORE>



Robin comes from a family of artists and her creativity has been fostered by her parents since she was a child. Following this path, she has taught children and adults in local schools and art institutions including Palos Verdes Art Center. Robin has over 18 years of teaching experience. In this video, she demonstrates a fun and historic art form that even young children will enjoy. <SEE MORE>



Over the years, I have experimented with many materials used in construction as well as several artist mediums sold in art supply stores.

Combining all my experiences and my multi-talents, the enjoyment of experimenting in itself and diving into the unknown has been the greatest teacher of all, as you get out of your own way and become free. <SEE MORE>



Carolyn LaLiberte, feeling the overload of communication and chaos of our contemporary world, struggles to find a place of spiritual clarity. LaLiberte explores thoughts and feelings through her imagination, asking questions that she knows cannot be answered. In her installation, Travelers Bound for Future Lives, she has created an imaginary world of floating ceramic boats. The 102 boats loom above, hanging from the ceiling in a mass of repetition.  <SEE MORE>



The pieces are made on a pottery wheel and combined with hand sculpting to add multiple clay parts. Depending on my idea, I choose to either throw the main body or hand sculpt. All the smaller elements are mostly made on the wheel achieving machine-like parts using straight edges instead of my hands to achieve a clean-edge look. By using these tools and techniques, I’m able to make my ideas come to life through a form of ceramics that emphasizes assembly. <SEE MORE>



These four pieces represent my understanding and feelings about painting in the Abstract Expressionist style. The result is my interpretation and application of some of the philosophies of that period. The main concept is that the basic art elements, color, line, texture, design are “the subject” of the painting rather than a recognizable object such as a landscape, still life or figure, etc. <READ MORE>



Art reflects who we are, what we see or hear, what we experience and feel. My art also allows the viewer to peek a little bit into my soul. These four paintings are my most recent works of art and reflect my experience painting during the Pandemic.  The COVID-19 virus hitchhiked via planes to the USA and jolted the world with unexpected changes. Everything came to a halting pause except for “the essentials.” Brick and mortar schools and businesses were closed, meetings and events were either canceled or postponed indefinitely.  When a “State of Emergency” was declared on March 13 and the stay at home orders were given, I realized I needed to quickly adjust to a new way of thinking and living to get through this pandemic with minimal negative effects. I was determined to keep a positive attitude. <READ MORE>



“I find great joy in knowing that my work is used. Whether that is with a mug that someone uses to start their day, a table full of plates that a meal is enjoyed with, or simply a piece on a shelf that is admired. While the goal is functionality I also strive to make that form as graceful and carefully decorated as possible.” <READ MORE>



Watch Francis Mastrangelo in his studio as he explains why it’s fantastic to be an artist, and what he does when he’s tired of painting stars. See the video <HERE>.

Learn How to Play the Surrealists’ Drawing Game: Exquisite Corpse,” <HERE>


August 9, 2021


August 9, 2021