Sunday, June 23, 2019


scratchboard, nubs/pen holder & watercolors

Every year the kids are intimidated but excited to try this completely new medium.
They've seen the results from years before and they want to give it a go as well.
I buy the nicest scratchboard I can find because if you don't it won't hold up to the watercolor.
I get mine at Art Supply Warehouse in Westminster, Ca. 
I'm sure they take online orders. 
You will also need two different types of nibs that fit into a pen holder.
One is pointy and the other is a scoop shape.

tiny amplers done by seniors Christian Balbido and William Tan
1 1/2 " by 3"
2" by 2 1/2"

I start the kids by demoing the two different nibs on a tiny piece of scratchboard.
Then I give them all a small sample piece and have them choose a subject 
and practice working on this little piece.
Then they practice their watercoloring over top.
In the meantime at home they are searching for a great subject for their larger piece.

Here is another sampler.
It looks enormous but is really very petite.
Probably about 2 1/2"  by 3" at the most.
I believe this kitty was done by Sarah Oh as her practice.

These are the larger pieces from last school year.
Some of these photos didn't turn out as colorful as I was hoping for
so I apologize ahead of time.
The best resources to work from are photos are animals because of their fur.
Most of the nib strokes are done with crosshatched or hatchure lines.
Some of the kids like to incorporate pointillism as well.
In this gorgeous owl by junior Angelica Luza, 
you can see her watercolor much better along with its range of value.
They had to bring in range in both the drawing and the painting.

These dogs above were beautifully done by senior Sarah Oh.
You can see the pointillism in the backdrop.
The kids were also required to make their own matt.
I really like the thin strip of gold that Sarah put on before the black matt.

And senior Christian Balbido choose to do his own adorable pup.
Loving the scale he worked to as well as how he cropped the piece within the matt.

 This regal and incredibly gorgeous piece is the work of senior Tiffany Chen.
I feel this work really shows off her amazing drawing skills and attention to detail.
I so wish there would have been an art competition at the end of the year.
I would have entered this piece.
Exceptional work Tiff!!

WAnd w end with this brilliant work by senior Mary Kim.
She spent so many hours on this work and it was worth the wait.
She wasn't able to complete it when it was due 
so this is the first time the kids from her class are seeing the finished product.
Exactly a year later because I'm so tardy getting these pieces posted.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019


I'm so thrilled to share that my hardworking daughter and her equally hared working boyfriend 
were able to save up enough money to buy their first home together,
with a little bit of help from all the parentals.
And she's only 8 mins. away by car!
Woo Hoo!!!!
(I'm trying so hard not to go over everyday to see if she needs any help)
Danielle has been working since she was 16 and saving her money
for a down-payment and she finally made it.
I couldn't be more proud of her!
She was also promoted to manager and gaining a lot of service industry experience
and thinking of opening her own business.
She is on the way to making her dreams come true.
Their home is a two bedroom ,
two bath that has been redone,
and the kids are making it their own.
It's got a nice sized backyard, 
big enough for a pool if they ever choose to put one in.
But right now their two puppies love playing in the lush grass back there.
It's in a cute and safe neighborhood on a cul-d-sac 
which is also great if any grand-babies come along.
Hint, hint!
And one of the best things are the garden and home improvements that need doing together.
She's wanting to learn how to do things, 
and we've made many runs to Home Depot for plants and mulch for the backyard,
and nuts and bolts for hanging things.
We've dug weeds and dead headed roses together,
arranged furniture and hung decorative pieces on the walls.
She has even put a few of my clay pieces around her home.
I'm a happy woman!
She has a perfect side yard in full sun where her brother 
is going to build her several raised vegetable gardens
because she is also learning to cook as well.
Life is good!
The kids and my grandson & granddaughter pups
in their backyard.

Sunday, June 16, 2019


Meet the newest member of our family,
She is a rescue and we think she is part German Shepard and part Labrador Retriever.
My daughter and her boyfriend adopted her yesterday to keep their other pup Granger company.
And so far so good, 
they are getting along.
She is already pretty big and has huge webbed feet,
so we think she might enjoy the water.
Jim and I met her today and she is a doll,
very low key and loves to snuggle.
Her name is not set in stone,
so we will see if Penny sticks.
More pix to come I'm sure.

Monday, June 10, 2019


oil & water pastels, poster board, & various papers

My posting has been pretty eradicate lately.
I apologize,
I've been very distracted
(more on that at a later date).
But I'm going to try harder to get at least 3-4 posts up a week.
That's my goal anyways,

I'm very excited to share with all of you these gorgeous & creative portraits
done last school year by my 2nd year art students.
The kids were asked to find an interesting frontal portrait from a magazine or the internet,
in color and blown up fairly large so their teacher could see it.
The kids these days want to work off their phones
 and that's just too small for me to see their subjects to be able to help them.
I asked them to fracture these portraits into at least 5 different pieces.
They also had to enlarge the artpiece to at least 16 by 20 inches.
And they could choose to do the work in either oil or water pastel or both.
The students solutions are so well thought out and executed as you will see.

In fact,
the critical thinking in this first one by senior Sarah Oh is beyond creative.
We all loved the way she chose to fracture her work with floating bubbles.
And she asked if she could bring in additional media and I told her to go for it.
I see pen & ink, watercolor, prismacolors, & charcoal.
I know you check the blog,
did I forget anything?
And then her background complimented the portrait so well.
Do you see the netting she glued down in the backdrop?
And did you notice that her bubbles are going off the edge of the format?
All are wonderful attention to details and just plain great designing.
Bravo young woman!!

Next we have senior Tiffany Chen.
Such a soft, lovely work.
I especially enjoyed the thin rice paper  she cut and glued onto the blue background paper,
makes it even more optical and dimensional.
But my favorite part are the petals of the daisies floating thru the work,
as well as how she built up the dimensional flowers.
I believe she used prismacolors for the value ranges on the petals.

But it was this one that all gravitated to.
It was so different then the others and was the work of senior Mary Kim,
an incredibly gifted artist.
The portrait she drew of her boyfriend was so realistic that we thought it was a photograph.
Here it is below.
She used oil pastel.
Instead of fracturing the face,
Mary chose to fracture the backdrop only,
something that no one had thought to do before.
I so love when the kids give me additional ideas for the future!
I have a give away area of old pieces of art that I don't teach with anymore.
And last year I put out several pieces of demo art that local Fullerton Ca. artist Mary Zarbano
had demonstrated Monoprinting on in the 1980's.
She had done them on thin parchment paper that was yellowing and falling apart.
So Mary plucked them from the pile and fractured and collaged them into her backdrop.
Brilliant idea I thought.
It's so great when the kids can repurpose.

Thursday, June 6, 2019


Red Amaryllis

Yellow & White Bearded Iris

Fuschia Geranimum

Ketchup & Mustard Rose

Tuesday, June 4, 2019


Wall of Wisteria where I buy my latte

Tulips growing out of a log

Vinca groundcover going up our side lot in bloom

and more  scrumptious Tulips
(check out those ruffled edges)

Sunday, June 2, 2019


Two rainbows in one week.
I made a wish on both.
Above are the hills that were on fire last year.
But with all the rain,
 life is starting to regrow.
This is my exit off the 91 Fwy at Weir Canyon.
We live at the top of the first hill to the right.
This is also the bumper to bumper traffic I drive home in everyday.
Packed solid for miles and miles.

This rainbow was up at our cabin Saturday night during the Crestline Wine Walk thru town.
All the local mom & pop shops stay open until 8:00,
with local musicians at every stop.
It's a lot of fun with great food booths and local artisans as well.
Plus you are burning calories while you drink and eat.
Gotta love that!

Monday, May 27, 2019


Hi, Ms. Sposa!
I just recently finished my second term at art center with a 3.85 GPA!!! (Only one B plus, but all A's other than that!!!! YAY!) 
It was a really tough term and I had a lot of tough projects that I've never done before, but I'm really excited to present to you the one final that was the most challenging for me.
The final was to create a piece that was LARGER than you on a material that you've never used before.
So for this assignment, I decided to do a lifesize portrait of myself on acrylic glass.
The front side will be realistic and it was all done in oil paint!
The back side is supposed to be like my "insides" with a lot of small little dog creatures running around inside my body. And for my brain, it's just a large toad!
I wanted to utilize the glass aspect of the piece and to do that, I made small windows in my body so that the viewer could look through the glass!
It was really a challenge to get that 5.5 feet tall piece of acrylic glass to stand upright, so I had to make these large wooden stands to keep it upright.
I've included some process pictures of the piece to help showcase just how much brainstorming I had to do for the piece HAHA

After seeing these pix that Sarah sent,
I couldn't even imagine coming up with something this critically thought out at such a young age.
And then to actually pull it off.
My hat is off to you my dear.
Your talent and gift assound me!

Thank you for sharing with all of us.

Monday, May 13, 2019


My beautiful mother,
Rose Patricia,
who cooked for her family every nite except on Sundays
(broasted chicken nite while watching 60 minutes and The Wonderful World of Disney).
This year I'm kicking myself in the butt for not learning her crazy wonderful 
Italian recipes that her mother passed down to her.
I remember her asking "Debra Ann, do you want to watch me make raviolis?"
"Nope" was always my answer.
As I look back today I'm sure I was a bit of a disappointment to her for many reasons.
We were so very different in so many ways.
The list is pretty long,
I'll save that for a therapist one day.
But it really helps me with my own daughter as she is so very different than myself
which can sometimes be frustrating.  
For me though, 
she is no disappointment.  
We live in a different time,
and I'm incredibly proud of her. 
I admire and respect her strength of character, 
her strong work ethic,
 her passion to go after what she wants. 
 She has a fiery spirit 
and is so very smart and savvy. 
She is only 24 years old and already owns her own home!

My mother said I was stubborn,
I say my daughter is strong willed.
Same thing I believe.
Rose Patricia "Patti" in 1968
at her oldest sister's home making ravioli for Easter Sunday

But as much as I annoyed my mother
(and I know I did),
and as much as my daughter won't listen to my reasoning,
my mother was always there for me,
supporting me, loving me,
giving of herself no matter how mad I made her.
She taught me so much about love and giving.
And now I do the same for both of my adult children,
my son who has always been the easy one,
and my daughter who has always been my biggest challenge.
I was my mother's biggest challenge too.
Mom and Myself  1980,
the year I began teaching at Whitney High School

Patti never looked her age.  
She was 64 years old here.
A year older than I am now.
She would have been 103 today.
We were 40 years apart.
She tried for 8 years to get pregnant with me and had 2 miscarriages in the process.
I was her only child,
and I miss her dearly.
We talked everyday on the phone until she developed Alzheimer's at age 82.
She passed away 10 years later in a coma.
Not only had she forgotten us five years earlier,
but she had forgotten how to eat, swallow and finally breathe.
My daughter and I were with her the last night of her life playing her favorite music,
singing and dancing around her to her favorite songs 
by Tony Bennett,
Dean Martin, Andy Williams and Frank Sinatra.
We witnessed her last smile as she listened to her music.

I hope to one day be surrounded by my two babies and my grandchildren 
when I take my last breathe as well.
I'm hoping they will play for me all my favorites and sing and dance too.
Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, Willie Nelson, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Rod Stewart,
 Al Greene, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Marvin Gaye,
and most importantly
 Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra,
and of course The Rockits,
my sweet husband's band.
I guess we were similar in our taste in music after all.

I love you Mommy.
Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 9, 2019


Anthony at 5 months,
rolling over and almost sitting up by himself.
He's a happy baby with so much personality already,
and he can't wait to crawl so he can mix it up with his big brother Syd.

Sunday, May 5, 2019


Ten years ago former Ceramics student Bill Sevedge,
Class of 1984,
built this blog for me and taught me how to use it.
Before then I rarely used the computer.
I was scared of it,
not having grown up using it.
He dropped by for a visit recently and we talked about how much I've learned
since he gifted me this blog site,
and I wanted to give back to him in appreciation.
I asked him to pick one of my current demo. pieces.
He chose one of my favorites,
this black beauty.
It was thrown last school year for the Intermediate Ceramics students 
to show them an Altered Vase Form.
After completely turning back the lip of the pot on itself,
I stamped the shoulder with the head of a large acorn from the cabin.
To finish the piece I stained it with Red Iron Oxide 
and then poured our Black glaze into the inside
then partially dipped the piece for outside coverage.
I was really pleased with how it turned out,
and was so happy to gift it to Bill.

I frequently think of Bill and how grateful I am to him.
He was one of a handful of students to reach the Ceramics IV level back in the 80's.
He enabled me to connect to so many artists around the world thru my blog,
and to be able to share my students with them.
Thank you Bill. 
I hope you occasionally check my blog
and are proud of your student.