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Because of the long days both my daughter and her boyfriend put into their jobs,
they are still not trusting their baby's,
Penelope now Tatum and Granger to be home alone for hours on end,
so my ex and I have been alternating days & pitching in to check on the little ones about midday.
And I'm in puppy heaven.
These two crack me up!
On the day I took these pix a couple of weeks ago,
Tatum was just starting to want to play with Granger and not be scared of him.
He is a year old now and the kids brought him Tatum (11 weeks) to keep him company.
Above you can see that Tatum is not quite sure of Granger there.
But the more she prods him the braver she gets,
until they are rolling on the grass together
and playing with the ball.
But that's a lot of hard work or them so their mommy bought them a pool to cool off in.
Granger is using it as a large water bowl,
and the little one tries but ends up falling in with both front feet.
This grand-parenting business is so much fun!
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chalk on chalkboard

Every year I like to invite 2 of my students up to the board during their spare time at lunch
to decorate either the Frontal or Profile Formula Heads that I lecture and diagram with,
before we start the actual drawings of each other.
I never know what I'm going to get so it's always fun.
Last school year (2017-2018) senior Jessica Mones and junior Manishka Ranjit
volunteered for the honors.
The girls spent several lunches working on the Profile Head
and it actually turned out resembling one of the students in the class,
senior Alyson Tam. 
How about that!
I thought it was pretty cool,
Thank you ladies for that bit of fun.
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Class of 1996,
Alumni Brian Kesinger has really hit the big time.
A retrospect of his work is being featured at the Oceanside Museum
with the reception this Saturday nite from 6-8 p.m.
Dang Brian,
you are in a museum,
and your artwork is
This is HUGE!!!!!!!

I have spotlighted Brian before if you'd like to read more about his journey and work
with the Disney Studios,
just slip his name into my search engine.

These words are Brian's that I pulled off Facebook.
I hope that some of you might be able to attend!
If I was still teaching I'd say Extra Credit for sure!

Wow guys! It’s getting real now! Serious goosebumps when I saw these banners go up on the streets of Oceanside! My #dreamityourself exhibit sponsored by @spectrumnoir opens this Saturday at @oceansidemuseum! The opening reception is from 6-8pm go to briankesinger.com to get tickets. The first 100 people to say the secret phrase “Otto sent me” at the reception check in will receive a very limited edition Otto and Victoria medallion! See you there!
I couldn't be more proud of this amazing and extremely talented artist.
And to say I knew him when;
I was his art teacher from 7th grade thru his senior year.
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photo from 1993 in Newspaper article titled Teaching Art with Her Heart

Dearest Whitney Family,
Friends and Blog Followers,

I think many of you knew this was coming,
some of you even guessed it was soon,
but I turned in my retirement papers this last week Tuesday.

To the students who have signed up to take my classes,
the District has flown the vacancy and I'm sure many qualified teachers will be banging down the doors to teach Art here at Whitney.
I know many of my ex-art students have been asking me for years when I'll retire
because they want to take over for me.
Whoever is chosen,
know I will make myself available to help them get started if they want me to.
So no worries right!
(in fact I just lined up one of my former art students who teaches art already in Arcadia,
he will be in for an interview,
 and I put word out to others who I know are interested as well)
You will be getting someone who is so much more current and fresh,
and who probably knows Digital Art as well.
So please don't bail out of those art classes you signed up for,
or else the numbers might go too low to continue the Visual Arts at Whitney.
Do you hear me!
Stay put!!!!!!!
And Eliana Lee,
 I will write your Letter of Rec. this year when you need it.
Just let me know.
You know I love you dearly
and it would be an honor to do this for such a creative young artist.

Here is the letter I composed to my staff at Whitney which I think explains it all:

Dearest Staff,

It is with great difficulty and profound sadness that I have finally decided to retire after 39 years of teaching all the Visual Arts in room 18.  This past Monday, my Doctor had a Come to Jesus with me about how unhealthy I am after several blood tests and x-rays were taken mid June.  Of course I knew this was coming because she had warned me after last summer's physical that I better get my act together and get healthy.  I only made it half way though when it was time to start this last school year.  I was tired much of this year, dragging and even falling asleep a couple times when driving home. Scary stuff.  And most days after work instead of making myself go to the gym, I'd take a nap instead.  So I knew it was time.  Every year when someone would retire, I'd always ask them how did they know it was time.  The answer was always the same.  They just knew.  I guess I knew it too but had a really hard time facing and accepting it.  For me, this is so very bittersweet because I feel incredibly blessed to have had such a long and exciting career doing something I love so much.  And I'm extremely thankful it was at Whitney where the students pushed me hard to be my very best. I have learned so much about life and about myself amidst these cardboard walls.  But it's so hard to leave.  A huge piece of my heart will always be here.  My classroom has been my second home for a long, long time.  

It has been such a pleasure to have worked with so many of my ex-students, to watch all of you grow up, get married, start your families and become Whitney teachers.  To see you happy and fulfilled has been such a joy.  And how lucky I have been to have worked with so many exceptionally gifted teachers over the years, many of you the best in your fields.  Whitney High is a magical place, it always has been for me and I know it will continue to be so.  I want to thank all of you for your continued love and support over the years; supporting our art students and buying and hanging their pieces in your rooms and offices.  For trusting me to teach you to draw, craft and build with clay Donna Hall,  & Deliana Park. The thought of leaving all of you as well as our students fills me with extreme sadness but it's time.

I'm hoping that the next art teacher will be a former Whitney Grad, who understands the rigor of this exceptional school as well as it's culture, and will make the art room and program a haven to relax, decompress in and critically create.  To learn how to access the Right Hemisphere of the Brain, to learn to see all the beauty around them in nature, in the cracks in the sidewalk, and the patterns on manhole covers.  To learn to produce this beauty with their hands, hearts and minds.  There is beauty all around us but sadly so many of our youngsters haven't had a chance to learn to see it or record it.  They need the arts in their lives.  It's so very necessary to be a well-rounded human being.

I want to give a special shout out to Suzanne, Donna, Jodi, Virginia, Rod, Mike, Deliana, Paul, Derek, Stephanie, Eileen, Yen & Brennan, for being my rocks when I felt I needed an ear, and to Javier for being the best man for the job of cleaning up an art room, my hat goes off to you, you are such a wonderful person, and Juan for making me laugh every afternoon when you stick your head in my door to say hello.  And to Dave, my dear friend for many years, all that you have helped me with and done for me, thank you.  And I can't forget my best friend of all and drinking buddy, Dennis Brent, former Whitney English teacher extraordinaire.  And Cindy, I wish I would have been able to stay a bit longer to have gotten to know you even better.  You have such a special vibe about you and are so much fun.  And to former Whitney student Bill Sevedge, Class of 1984, for coming back to visit years later and teaching me to use a computer and building my blog for me. 
Lastly, but most importantly, to former 8th grade science teacher Virginia Pooler, who passed way too soon, thank you for talking me into getting my Master's Degree with you at USIU in 1985.  That's where I met my 1st husband and because of you came my beautiful babies Zach & Danielle.   You were such a strong presence on our campus teaching our students so many important life lessons, not just science. and not afraid to tell them the truth.  All of our hearts were broken when you left us.  You were one of my early mentors and I still think about you everyday,

So many of you who have touched my heart over the years, please forgive me if I have left anyone out.

Well, I wish all of you a relaxing summer.  Gotta tell you the one thing I won't miss is doing another accreditation.  Good luck with that my friends.  You know where I'll be, spending lots of quality time with my husband, my own children and their young ones and animals, traveling to art shows and workshops (and hopefully teaching some of those), at the cabin, in my gardens, at the gym, reading voraciously, creating art and on my blog.  OH, and still continuing to take as many new art classes as possible since I am a life long learner.  I hope you will stop by for a visit.  

 Hail to Whitney High!

With much love to all,
Debra A. Price Agrums Sposa
Former Art Teacher 1980-2019
Whitney High School
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A friend that I made thru blogging,
a local So.Cal. expert in the art of Shibori,
takes an eager group of students to Japan every year and always returns with treasures.
This year in her shop,
 I was able to purchase many of the pieces listed below in her letter. 
She bundled the letter around the precious remnants,
and they did not disappoint.
Below are shoots and close-ups of all that I bought.
I've been thinking about what to use them for.
 So far I have a favorite pair of jeans that the holes have become too large in,
 I think I might cut off a piece of each fabric to mend them with.
After that I'm not sure.

the family crest button a top an indigo dyed loosely woven fabric

a vintage piece of boro cloth

two different pieces of Ikat dyed and woven fabric
close up below

two more pieces of Ikat
Just a note.
I did learn the art of Ikat dyeing and weaving in college (1979),
and I remember how extremely time consuming and difficult it was 
so it is fabulous to see the real thing in person.

honestly, I'm not sure what this cloth is called.
got to do some research.
but isn't it lovely?
you can see how old it is where the two worn areas are.

This last one is my favorite because it's my go-to technique to do with my students
in the Beginning 3-D class.
The favorite of all the Shibori techniques that Glennis taught us.
This cloth was all all hand stitched, pulled tightly then dipped into the Indigo vat.
When dry the stitching was removed to reveal the design.
This piece was so expertly done,
so clear in it's design, and the dye so perfectly applied,
rich and dark.
When I saw it in the packet my eyes just popped with happiness!

And I already know the first thing I will do with snall pieces of each remnant,
I'm going to mend/patch a loved pair of holey jeans.
Anding it to my list right now!
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the colors of nature grab me everytime.
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pencil on paper 
(this is a xerox copy of the original drawing)

Look what I just found when I was cleaning out my files from years past,
one of your mommy's drawings from back in the day!
There is no date and I've forgotten what year I had her.
I'm guessing late 1980's or early 1990's.
I want to say that I think that's my T.A. Lester Virtudazo who modeled for us.
Let me know if your mom remembers.
I hope you see this or one of your friends does and let's you know I've posted it
so you can share it with your mom.
Notice your mother's score?
A 5/5,
She was a terrific student just like you.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree as they say.
Sorry I didn't make graduation,
I was on the floor, 
turned upside down, 
cleaning out a drawer 
and when I got up my stupid Vertigo had me spinning in my classroom
right before the ceremony.
I didn't trust myself to walk down the aisle in front of you guys at the beginning of the ceremony
without veering to the right.
As it was I barely made it home that afternoon.
I had to drive like a little old lady going 50 mph on the freeway.
please thank your parents for the huge gift basket they put in the teacher's lounge.
I took the chocolate biscottis.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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