Artist Paula Lucia returned to Daves Avenue Elementary School on Monday, speaking briefly to students about her experiences there. The 2009 Los Gatos High School grad attended Daves when she was in the third through fifth grades and returned to town as a guest of the Art Docents of Los Gatos.
The volunteer docents were formed in 1973 to bring high quality art education to Los Gatos Union School District students.
“Because Paula has gone through Daves, Fisher Middle School and Los Gatos High School she brings it directly to the kids that they can be artists,” docent Theresa Bricker said.
Lucia entertained 23 classes of kids Monday with stories about making “self portraits with weird faces that my mother uses for Halloween decorations,” but added that she needed to get serious about her art after college and make money.
“So, I became an art teacher. Teaching art is a really cool job,” Lucia said.
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She currently teaches at the Marvegos Fine Art School in San Mateo and has a studio in San Francisco, where she creates hats from upholstery remnants.
“I spend half my day with kids like you and the other half of the day I’m an artist,” Lucia said.
And then she talked about making hats.
“The first hat I made was not so good,” Lucia said. “But when I made a second hat I wore it outside and people were coming up to me asking me for hats. That’s the best thing—it makes people feel good about themselves.”
Lucia charges $110 for a hat and sells them primarily at arts and craft fairs.
“Once I have all the fabrics I cut out the pieces and stitch them together,” she said. “Then I make a sweatband and maybe add a hidden pocket for keys or lunch money. It takes about six to eight hours to make a hat, but I don’t stop until I finish.”
The kids were enthusiastic about Lucia’s hats, first grader Carlton Kalin saying, “I like the blue hat she made a week ago.”
First grader Violet Stuermer also liked the blue hat “and the one she’s wearing—they have life.”
Lucia also talked about painting.
“My paintings are abstract, which means it’s not a landscape–there are no people in it–just shapes and lines,” she said. “There are no rules, it can be anything.”
As she draws triangles and lines on a white sheet of paper, Lucia explains that she starts her paintings with light colors in the background “so things look really far away. Then I do the middle ground, which has shapes and lines, and then I paint the sides. Toward the end I add more lines to give the painting definition.”
The lines are what attracted first grader Julia Zacherl to Lucia’s art.
“I like her paintings because they have lots of color, lines and detail,” Julia said.
Lucia spoke to students at Lexington and Blossom Hill elementary schools earlier this year and will be at Van Meter Elementary on May 14.
Artist Steven Bruce, who creates art by applying acids to copper, will speak to Fisher Middle School art students in March.