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About Me

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Guymon, Oklahoma, United States
I am blessed to live where my grandfather homesteaded, to have three beautiful daughters who are my best friends, to have six delightful grandchildren who live nearby, to be married to my sweetheart of 35 years and to thrill to the special magic of creating my own works of art. I'll never cease to thrill to witnessing new ideas and images come to life from the point of a pencil or splash of a brush. I am blessed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"FANCY SHAWL DANCERS"

Since completing the OHMS show, I have been pushing to finish this big acrylic painting on masonite.  I still have some touching up to do on the border but decided to go ahead and post it now.  My free time on my easel is close to an end with school starting soon.

Like just about everything else I seem to do, this piece started out as a classroom demonstration.  I was showing my students how to apply collage surfaces and glued a piece of fringed fabric to a 24" x 48" sheet of primed masonite.  From there I started building up the images of three, Native American, Fancy Shawl Dancers.

I have been intrigued by the Fancy Shawl Dance since I discovered it a few years ago.  It is a modern dance which provides Native American women a chance to show their athletic and performance skills equal to those of men.  It has no single tribal affiliation and costuming can be just about anything the performer wants as long it features flowing fringe/ribbons and light weight fabrics.  When performed, the dancer nearly lifts off the ground and it's an amazing sight to see the showmanship of a skilled Fancy Shawl performer.

In this piece, I wanted to show something of a progression of the dance and the dancer.  I envisioned the dancer on the left to be the elder moving slower and in a more traditional fashion.  I saw the center dancer becoming faster and more athletic and finally I wanted to portray the dancer on the right as the flashy youngster who spins about with amazing agility and quick, pounding footsteps.

The dessert for me in this piece was painting all the tiny bead work and all those ribbons and fringe.  I really wanted to capture their movement.  Since this piece is built from photographs I found and didn't personally take (even though I altered and changed lots of elements) I don't intend to sell it.  I plan to add a few more finishing touches and maybe put some bead work along the edges of the glued fabric background, varnish it and hang it in my home.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

MY MISSING SKETCHBOOK

Ten years ago I purchased a small, spiral sketchbook and used it to teach a unit on experimentation.  I took a quick photo of myself and then used that same image on every page of the sketchbook.  The challenge was to use different media, approaches, styles, what-have-you on each page.  I told my students to do the same on at least three pages of their personal, graded sketchbooks.

The whole idea of this experiment was to push to explore lots of media and to sample lots of different styles and techniques.  It also meant that neither I nor my students had to worry about what to draw but rather how to draw it.  I used markers, ink, colored pencils, oil pastels, soft pastels, ink transfers, collage - you name it.

I had over half my book filled with some fun and some poor experiments and I loved this book.  I got it out each fall and used examples from it not only for the experimentation unit but also when we started new mediums.  It often rested on the tray under my classroom's dry erase board.

At the conclusion of this school year, I couldn't find my little sketchbook.  When I closed up my classroom, I searched everywhere and couldn't locate it so I decided that like a lot of my stuff, it had probably been carried back home and was now lost in my disorganized, messy studio. 

I cleaned out my studio this past week and never discovered my book.

I can't imagine a student took it since it is filled with one picture of me over and over again and I can't bear to think it might have been discarded but either way - it's missing and I'm terribly sad about it.  Today I remembered that long ago I scanned some of the pages and posted them on an ancient myspace account page.  So here's all that's left of my treasured, little book. 

If you see it out there, somewhere lost in the cosmos - please bring it back home.  I think you will recognize the owner. *sniff*