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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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A WAY TO SAY "THANK YOU"

"The Quaid Home"
7.5" x 10"
Colored Pencil on Black, Crescent Mat Board

We are extremely blessed to have friends in Santa Fe, NM who invite us to frequently visit.  Santa Fe has always been a special place for my husband and I so having such generous friends is a real treat.

To say thank you I created a little, colored pencil rendering of their home while I was demonstrating colored pencil techniques with my students.  I love drawing on crescent mat board with colored pencils.  The heavier support takes lots of pressure and holds up well to handling.  I prefer to use Derwent colored pencils but also use some Prismacolor and Prismacolor Verithin pencils.  Derwent are a creamy, artist grade pencil that blends and layers well without having the waxy bloom that Prismacolor's tend to develop over time.

While we were visiting Santa Fe last fall I took a series of photographs of the home early in the morning.  I like early morning or late evening landscape images with strong, long shadows.  I invented the sky to reflect one of the brilliant skies often seen around Santa Fe.  It was important then to use the same sky color scheme in the building and plant life.

As with all art gifts, I don't know if this piece will ever be framed and displayed but I do hope the recipient will appreciate the time and effort spent on creating an original gift.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

HANDMADE PAPER & JOURNALS

It has been a busy start in my classroom to 2012.  I thought I'd share a little of what dominates my days as an art teacher.  I spend lots of time preparing examples, organizing supplies and equipment and supervising my large classes.  I haven't found much time these first few weeks to do many personal, art projects.


Each year I teach a unit in my crafts class on handmade paper.  I demonstrate all sorts of techniques on making handmade paper from botanicals and discarded trash.  This year I have a huge enrollment so it's been especially challenging to do such a messy project with so many bodies in the room.

The students start by shredding and blending discarded papers in a blender then run them through a screen
and place the pressed paper on a drying rack overnight.


 The students are required to make papers that require they blend pictures, old books, flowers, etc in the blender or have to float these objects whole in the surface of their handmade papers.

When they finish successfully making a wide range of different kinds of papers they must select a type of paper they prefer and create a hand bound journal for it.  Each journal needs to be decorated inside and out, have a focal point on the cover and at least three embellishments.  We then bore holes to bind them with ribbon, leather or whatever suits their theme.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

BUILDING BOOKPLATES

My Bookplate Work Station

 I treasure my large pen and ink, stipple drawing but the ultimate purpose of this project is to create customized, adhesive labels that can be used to identify personal books.  These labels are traditionally called bookplates and used to include the Latin phrase "Ex Libris." 

In today's digital age, more and more book lovers have reduced their personal libraries but many still cherish their book collections.  Bookplates are an ancient method of marking ownership.  In Medieval times, the wealthy commissioned artists to create custom bookplates and today you can sometimes find commercial bookplates in the dusty corners of book stores.  I like to teach a pen and ink unit with my advanced students that requires they hone their ink skills while creating a personal bookplate.   For nine years now I have been creating an annual bookplate at the same time.

After I have scanned the drawing, I then create and print the image on adhesive sheets with the names of friends and coworkers.  I especially enjoy packaging these labels in a different manner from year to year.  This year I wrapped the personalized bookplates in velum.  I then stamped brown, butcher paper with a vintage, clock face stamp.  I cut these into strips to wrap around the velum.  I intended to add a nickel, silver number to each bookplate but found it really difficult to glue with any hope that it would survive mailing across the country so I decided to just embellish the outside with a small, card stock number.


I would love to manufacture and sell these items but I also like the fact that there are only a limited edition of them created each year for special people in my life.  When the ink drawing is reduced it does lose a little of it's detail compared to the large original.

Monday, January 02, 2012

2011 BOOKPLATE UNVEILED

 "Time Sure Flies"
8" x 13" Ink on Crescent Mat Board

It's been a busy, holiday season and I typically have this piece finished well before Christmas.  This year I finally put the finishing touches on my annual bookplate after the New Year.  I am especially proud of the results.

I like the images I select for this project to have some significance from the year before.  As most of my friends and family know, one of the significant events in my 2011 was my knee replacement so I wanted to "mark" that event without really celebrating it.  So the prominent 6 and 3 is for June 3rd when I had my surgery.

Each of the clock faces has the birth date of my immediate family.  My husband, me, our three daughters and our three grandchildren all have their birthdays included in one of the times.  I also added a little clock without a time tucked partially away to represent what I hope is another birthday for a much wanted grandchild being sought by my oldest daughter and her husband. 

There are other numbers that hold some significance for me.  If you look closely you will find a 4, 5, 7 and 8 which are dates and times of other special events for me and my family.

I really wanted this year's bookplate to be something that both men and women might use since it is a gift for coworkers and close friends.

I need to give a special thanks to Darlene Parker of Feathered Friends in Santa Fe, NM who let me spend time in her amazing shop of wild and domestic birds.  She permitted me access to photograph her birds for references for the little birds I drew around the vintage clocks.  Even if you aren't interested in purchasing a bird, her shop is quite the experience and she is quite the expert on her inventory.

Darlene and her special, feathered friends

I hope everyone has enjoyed a great holiday.  We return to school in a couple of days and my calendar is filled with once again directing a murder mystery dinner theater to raise money for our community's emergency youth shelter.  I am also busy moving my art studio to another space.