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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.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

ORANGE HUMMINGBIRD

Hummingbird
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

It all started with a hummingbird so the last piece I am adding to my inventory for the Rio Grande Arts Festival in Albuquerque next week is a hummingbird.  These beautiful birds exist in all colors and sizes so they are an artist's dream to create.  I especially love the blue green birds but I decided to venture out and create one with more earth tones.

I am off to hand letter about a dozen new pieces, put them in mats and frames and start packing my booth.  I am really looking forward to spending next weekend in New Mexico.  It will be my first experience celebrating Thanksgiving away from home and family but my husband and I are excited about our adventure.  I sure hope we find lots of happy homes for my artwork and as always, I hope we make some new friends while we are there.

Friday, November 22, 2013

ANOTHER LITTLE BEE

Bee
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

I am finishing up the last of my drawings I plan to frame for my holiday show in Albuquerque.  I have done a few bee drawings on dictionary pages and they are always a joy to create.  I've really had fun drawing this little insect so I wanted to take one along with me to New Mexico next week.

As is usually the case, these guys don't really have characteristics specific to actual bees but are a hodge-podge of bees made from spare parts.  My favorite part of this particular drawing is the chubby little guy in the upper right hand corner.  I think he is adorable.  He was a last minute addition after I remembered reading somewhere that this kind of bee defies nature and shouldn't be able to fly because of his build.  What a little trooper!  People say he can't fly and he does it anyway - there!  Waytago, Mister.

2013 BOOKPLATE PROGRESS


It is a treat to take a break from time to time to work on my stippled, ink drawing. This is my therapy. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

TYPEWRITER

Typewriter
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

I did a drawing of an old typewriter (the actual typewriter lives in my husband's office) very early in my series of dictionary drawings.  When I first started I was cropping my drawings into square formats but quickly started to draw on the entire, vertical page.  I cringed every time I cut up an old book page.   My first typewriter drawing was in that square format and I've wanted to go back and recreate it on a full page for a long time - finally I did it.

This has got to be one of the most fragile papers I've drawn on.  It's from the same children's dictionary I love most but this page was extremely temperamental.  It wouldn't permit me to use many marks before it fell apart and blending anything was out of the question.  It's going in a frame right away to protect it from further damage.  I treat each page so it will last past it's usually life span so this drawing will be around for a number of years in spite of it's age.  It sure didn't want to tolerate much pressure from my pencils or very many strokes of ink.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MICROSCOPE

Microscope
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

I love drawing old objects.  I love the character and personality you can play with in an object that has a history.  I also love finding ways to use unusual color schemes with everyday items.  I liked throwing in a little lime green and violet where it didn't belong to give this object some jazz.

This piece was a lot of fun to create.  I have been on a bit of a scientific, academic trek lately and lot of my recent work is about that world.  This fellow is kinda a combination of a variety of different microscopes I've found so I apologize to those of you who know a thing or two about the real thing.  I took some artistic adventures building it.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

BALLOON

"Balloon"
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

I'm heading to Albuquerque in a week to participate in the Holiday Rio Grande Art Festival and I figured I'd better include a hot air balloon piece.  Albuquerque (which I have just about learned how to spell and often hear in my head being said by Bugs Bunny) is the home of one of the biggest, hot air balloon festivals in the country.  I have always wanted to attend.  I hope a few hot air balloon fans will attend next weekend's art festival.

My goal for this piece was to create a nostalgic mood with my balloons. I deliberately left out any people in the baskets. I've actually ridden in a tethered balloon a few years ago but I would love to take one of those romantic rides across a beautiful landscape someday.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

LARGE HUMMINGBIRD

"Hummingbirds"
12" x 18" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Parchment

I am really busy preparing inventory for my New Mexico show.  I only have a week and half to get things finished, lettered and framed so my studio is a real mess.

On of the most popular subjects I draw on dictionary pages is a hummingbird.  This whole series started with a hummingbird drawing and I've sold an original hummingbird drawing at every show or event I've done.  This subject seems to be charmed in some way.  I am currently completing another, new, small hummingbird drawing but I decided I needed to up my game and create a large scale drawing of these fascinating birds.

I never knew there were so many colors and varieties of hummingbirds.  They come in all sizes and each have unique wings, tails and beaks.  I decided to capture some variety on a large sheet of antique parchment.

I'm off to work more in my studio.  My goal is to have 50 framed pieces and lots of prints ready for my Thanksgiving weekend show.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

TIME FOR TORN PAPER COLLAGES IN MY CLASSROOM

 
I love this assignment.  Each year I have my non-drawing students enrolled in a crafts class create collages from the ripped up pieces of everyday magazines.  I stumbled on this technique about 15 years ago.  At one time, it was all I did artistically.  I entered and won two big collage competitions using this technique.  I have two 4' x 8' collages hanging in the Oklahoma Historical Museum.  I even collaged on top of a life-sized, fiberglass pig statue for a local event.  That huge pig is now at the national office of a pork producers association...I'm not sure where.

My students get to pick their resource picture and since this isn't a drawing class, I permit them to project it on a full or half sheet of foam board.  I push them to select colorful images with lots of details. They then start ripping and gluing.  They are required to cover the entire surface of the board and they must learn to navigate working on a table easel.

I have an exception group of students this year.  They are doing some beautiful pieces that I think will be "frame worthy."  I often take some of the top pieces to spring competitions.


Here is one of my torn paper collages.  This version of Mona hangs over my desk in my classroom.  She was one of my earliest pieces using this technique.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

ADDING BOOKPLATES TO MY ETSY SHOP


Every November I create original bookplates for friends and family and I've had requests to make these items available for purchase.  It's exciting to have people take an interest in something I make and I've been thinking about how best to sell bookplates for quite a while.

Well, today I pulled the trigger on including bookplates of my dictionary drawings and my black ink drawings in my online Etsy shop.  I hope my planning pays off and I've got a good product ready to go.

One of the tricks to any good shop is quality merchandise.  One of the obstacles (I felt) to having a nice, self-adhesive bookplate was a quality paper that would print well, hold up and not have the manufacturer logo written on the back.  I recently located self-adhesive paper that comes in a matte finish and appears to be nice and sturdy.  It is also plain on the back, peel-away surface.

Next came experimenting with various methods of packaging my bookplates.  I knew I wanted something attractive that would protect but still show off my artwork.  I was pleased to locate some relatively inexpensive cellophane sleeves that do the job.  I plan to add an insert in each little pocket about my studio.

So after a lot of hours of trial and error, I am busy posting my new merchandise in time for what I hope are possible, holiday sales.  Due to the man hours involved in personalizing, cutting and packaging these items I have priced them a little above some other bookplate sellers.  I also think the original artwork is worth some extra - at least I hope so.

We'll soon see.  Let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

TEDDY BEAR

"Teddy Bear"
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

Occasionally I will get a suggestion for a dictionary page that strikes my fancy.  A customer on Etsy recently asked if I would do a drawing of a Teddy Bear.  I though that was a great idea so here he is.

After raising three daughters I have a nice collection of Teddy Bears.  I also have an enormous, stuffed bear I purchased back in college when my mother and I took a trip through Alaska.  I found and bought it before we were actually in Alaska and I ended up lugging the thing for weeks on a cruise, on a train, in assorted buses and even on an airplane.  My mother probably did most of the lugging - without complaint I'm sure.

MANY years ago I even made a teddy bear for my middle daughter.  I remember I was choking and snorting from all the loose fur I stirred up while trying to cut and sew with furry fabric.  It turned out a lot like the bear in this drawing with the exception of a ballet tutu I had to include for my little ballerina.

This little guy isn't too furry and I wanted him to look a little worn and loved.  I'm not sure why his face turned out to be somewhat sad but maybe he hasn't had anyone notice him for awhile.  Come to think of it, I need to go find my friend from Alaska and give him some attention, too.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

INVENTION

"Invention"
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed Dictionary Page

This is a drawing I've wanted to do ever since I was first shown the picture by my Mother-in-law.  Now this isn't an original drawing but my reproduction of an actual invention and I think I can claim the right to recreate it on a dictionary page.  You see the inventor that originally created this drawing was my husband's Great, Great, Great Grandfather.

You may have seen this drawing posted around the Internet.  It's not hard to find but I never had noticed it until my Mother-in-law shared it a few months ago.  During her searches for family history she discovered it and has since uncovered the connection to our family.  It was an actual, serious invention for a flying apparatus a person could harness and use.  The patent for the invention was granted on March 6, 1889 to Mr. R. J. Spalding.

I'm not sure what happened to this invention - if it was ever created or tested or whether it worked or not. But I can't argue that it is an amazing idea in aviation so wanted to give it some notice in my work.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

MUSTACHE

"Mustache"
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

Okay, I had to give in to the latest craze and draw something with a mustache.  For the past few years I've noticed mustaches on everything from baby pacifiers to band aids.  I decided it was time I joined in the fun.

I have to admit this dapper fella isn't from an original photograph (wish I knew him but I don't) but rather a public domain photograph I found online.  Since he wasn't copyrighted I decided he needed a little attention on a dictionary page of his own.

So for all you mustache maniacs - here ya go.

A NEW CONNECTION AT A MUSEUM

The Greater Southwest Historical Museum

The power of the internet continues to amaze me.  I was recently contacted by the Greater Southwest Historical Museum located in Ardmore, Oklahoma.  They wanted to include my Oklahoma made artwork in their gift shop.  They found my work online.  I was thrilled!

Ardmore is approximately six hours away from me.  This lovely museum features the history of South Central Oklahoma and now includes some of my prints. My first shipment of prints is heading that way today.  If you live nearby, drop in for a visit.

The Greater Southwest Historical Museum Website

Saturday, November 02, 2013

THE SECRET ART SHOW


I have been so anxious to share a recent, artistic opportunity that I've got to do.  A great friend in California contacted me and asked if I would donate a piece of artwork for their school arts program fundraiser.  I was so excited to be included in a long list of over 400 artists from around the country.  This list included celebrities, film makers, children, established and up-and-coming artists from around the country.

Last night the event was held and it looked amazing.  My work was right there with the likes of Conan O'Brien and illustrator for "The New Yorker," Gary Baseman to name a few.  Each contributor was given a small piece of watercolor paper and told to create whatever they wanted for the auction.  


I selected a small, antique dictionary for the support for my work and I decided to illustrate the word "Journey."  I thought journey was a suitable subject for this artistic adventure.  My dictionary page was pretty fragile to I dry mounted it directly to the provided watercolor paper.  I added a simple watercolor wash on the background.


Here is a photo taken at last night's event.  It looks amazing.  I wish I had been able to attend.  I am very grateful to my friend, Alexandra for including me.  I love supporting worthy causes and helping to build a better fine arts program for Burbank schools is a treat.

To see more about this fun event, see photos of the work and a list of the artists involved  here is their website.

The Secret Art Show Website

It's not a secret anymore and who knows, I might eventually learn who purchased my work....

Friday, November 01, 2013

PROGRESS ON 2013 BOOKPLATE


The first few dots are started.

I feel like I've got my life back after spending October working on our school's one-act play. Our kids competed last week at state and won runner-up.  We are always thrilled to place at a theater competition.  We presented our show one last time this week for parents and the community.  It was a joy to work with this group of students.

I have stacks of work in my studio to complete for my Thanksgiving show in New Mexico.  I am also excited to work on this year's bookplate.  Fortunately, I am teaching an ink unit for all of my advanced students so I have a work-related excuse to have my ink piece out on my desk.  I am trying to figure out the best approach to reproducing the look of burlap.  I think I have a technique figured out.  I am also trying to give the gardening gloves some texture and character.