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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.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

M IS FOR MERMAID ON THE MOON IN THE MOONLIGHT


It's so much fun working my way through the alphabet on the children's old dictionary.

I knew I wanted to draw a vintage looking, crescent moon on the page with includes definitions for moon and moonlight but I wasn't sure what else I wanted to include.  I wanted one more image that started with 'M.'

I considered monkey, mole, magician - nothing really sent me to the moon.  (sorry about that)  Mermaid just sounded the best.  So here she is - basking in the moonlight.

GEOLOGY

"Geology"
12" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

I never really knew much about geology.  We have a geologist in our family and last summer he treated our whole family to a trip to Utah to dig for fossils.  I wasn't sure what to expect.

He packed each of us our own geologist backpack with all the tools we might need and then arranged for us to spend the day hammering away.  We cracked geodes (my favorite) and then spent time hunting for trilobites - the little fossilized remains of prehistoric bugs.  It was a great time.

We live in a state where there are lots of geologists so in response to their requests, here is my drawing about their trade.

Monday, May 23, 2016

PLAGIARISM

My artwork is on the left. The art on the right is being promoted as original artwork by a man named Brinkman in Dallas.  

Occasionally I discover someone plagiarizes my artwork and then promotes and sells it as their own.  I am always disappointed that some people are so void of ethical character and imagination that they steal to produce art and then claim it is theirs. 

I have been copied from time to time - most often by student artists who have discovered and admired my work so much that they contact me and ask permission. I am always thrilled to discuss my simple process and share with them so they can stand on my shoulders and do something even grander on their own. What an honor. 

These students and their quality teachers show great integrity and appreciation for the artists they enjoy. Unfortunately, would-be artists like Brinkman Artworks also found at hhtp:brinkmanartworks-aaa.yolasite.com need to be exposed when they obviously steal.

ANGEL


"Angel"
9" x 12" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary Page

I've been asked to create an Angel page for some time.  I've debated about doing a male or female, child or adult - I just didn't know which direction I wanted to go.  So instead of thinking too hard, I just let my pencil take me where it wanted to go.  I started with a pencil sketch across this thin, fragile paper and I started first on the wing on the right side.  As that image started to develop I decided I wanted to create something pretty classical so I studied a lot of Roman and Greek sculptures to try to create some sort of flowing robe.

As she developed I also saw a heart like shape and then knew how I wanted to finish to composition of the figure inside the wings.  As always, the placement of the definition on the page had a lot to do with how and where everything needed to be placed.

I have lots of different kind of wings in my art studio - it is called "Flying Shoes" after all.  So I had lots of feathers and faux wings nearby while I worked.


A LITTLE MORE WHISKY

"Whisky"
8.5" x 12" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

This piece was a commission for a friend who not only enjoys his whisky but also loves a good cigar.

I've done a whisky drawing before so the challenge on this piece was to do something a little different.  I love the colors of this drink when the glass or decanter is hit with some light. To make this piece different, I decided it needed a different view so I chose a diagonal composition.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

LUCK

"Luck"
12" x 18" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary Page

Who couldn't all use a little good luck and I am amazed at all the charms or symbols of good luck.  Each culture has their own so I did a little research and drew some of my favorites on this terrific, old page.

I included a lucky penny, a wishbone, a ladybug, a rabbit's foot (I never understood that one), a horseshoe, some four leaf clovers, an ace of spaces, a lucky kiss, some Lotto balls, a gold fish, a lucky 7 hit on a slot machine, come dice and a maneki-neko (a Japanese beckoning or lucky cat).

This is one of my larger pieces which is actually draw on really old parchment that has had the dictionary page reproduced or as my printer says it - digitized on the paper.

Like I often do, I had to hide a few personal images on the page.  You will note some of the dice have six on them to represent my six grandchildren.  I also hid a little 60 partially on one of the Lotto balls since that is my age.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

SHELL SPREAD ACROSS TWO PAGES

"Shell"
15" x 10.5" Mixed Media Drawing on Two Facing, Dictionary Pages

One of the wonderful things about doing a series of related pieces (often called an Area of Concentration) is exploring new and different approaches while staying true to the original idea.  I think it is essential to constantly experiment and grow as an artist - I push my students to keep trying new styles, themes, subject matter, etc.  

When I am examining dictionary pages to prepare a drawing I have often been faced with a definition that spreads across facing pages.  I've usually discarded these pages but recently considered drawing across both pages and framing them together.  This is my first attempt.

I love this old page and already have a double mat ready to frame. I'm planning to reproduce it for a print but may only format the left side....I'm still not sure.

Friday, May 20, 2016

SALEM ART FAIR & FESTIVAL



I am so excited to announce that I have been invited as one of the juried visual artists to participate in the 2016 Salem Oregon Art Fair and Festival.

I had declined most of my summer show invitations to try to relax, spend time with my family and attack some personal projects but I couldn't say no to this jewel.   The festival is mid July and is a beautiful setting in a wonderful part of the country I've never explored.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

CLERGY

"Clergy"
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary Page

I have been asked repeatedly to create a page to honor ministers.  I learned long ago that I've got to limit and carefully edit the images I draw due to the business of the dictionary text already on the page so creating something with too much detail really muddies up the drawing - creating a book page with loads of text does just that.

I've challenged myself to create a page using a religious text and think this one works well.  I love the definition of Clergy found on this page that describes the vocation as one who guides us in a healthy spiritual journey.  I stewed about what images to use and decided eyeglasses for seeing clearly, a magnifying glass representing close study and examination, a pen for writing and communicating insight and a pocket watch to symbolize the dedication of a pastor's time in service to his congregation. 

I have to admit that I omitted a cross or other symbols of a particular religion.  I have a strong faith but I didn't want to pay tribute just to my faith.

I did add one personal tribute in my drawing.  For much of my life our family has had a devoted shepherd who has been by our side through births, deaths, tragedy and triumph.  He and his wife have remained dear friends even though they long ago left our community.  They still are among the first to arrive when we need a shoulder.  We are blessed by their love and compassion.  So I put Pastor Terry's birthday as the time in the pocket watch.

Thank you Terry and Becky for being our pastors and for being a lasting example of God's love and devotion.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

E IS FOR ELEPHANT EXERCISING IN AN ELEVATOR

"E is for Elephant Exercising in an Elevator"
8.5" x 11" Mixed Media Drawing on a Children's Antique Dictionary

I'm having a ball building an alphabet of illustrations on this precious, children's dictionary.  What I am enjoying most is that I can be silly and totally inventive with these drawings.  In this case, my happy elephant can be any color I want and even dressed in workout clothes.

I hope to reproduce this series in small cards when I am finished.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

STEP ONE IS A SEPIA INK DRAWING


I included information about my process of working on antique dictionary pages on my blog a long time ago - it all begins with a sepia ink drawing on the page.  I have always loved to draw so this stage is my favorite.

I believe these ink drawings could stand alone without adding any color but I continue to paint each piece to have a unified series of my work.  

One of the challenges of this stage in my work is composing my drawing around the definition on the page.  A lot depends on the placement of the definition - if it is high, left or right or smack-dab in the center of the page.  I particularly love finding an illustration already on the page to feature inside or around my drawing.


I think drawing skills are essential to creating all kinds of arts whether it be painting or sculpture or what have you.  I emphasize it in my classroom and have developed a curriculum that can teach anyone to draw.  I rely heavily on the art teacher's Bible "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by the late, Dr Betty Edwards.  I think anyone can learn to draw if they want to.

These are some new pieces I am preparing for my upcoming OKC show over Memorial Day.  I like to draw most of the new work then drag out my color media to conquer the next stage in the process.  I can easily draw at my desk at school while my students are working and use the work to provide some technical instruction for my students.  

FLOWERS

"Flower"
Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Parchment
18" x 24"

I have loved working on large pages.  Thanks to a wonderful friend who works at a local print shop, I can work on these 18" x 24" old sheets of fragile parchment that she has carefully digitized with a page from one of my dictionaries.

I got very nostalgic working on this collection of flowers.  Many of the flowers I chose for this piece have significance particularly to the memory of my mother.  She grew up in Kansas and always referred to herself as a sunflower.  She loved to garden but always had an uphill battle to get anything to last in the strong prairie winds with little to no rain.

For this piece I included lilacs which grew around our farmhouse, heavenly blue morning glories which covered our white picket pence in the backyard.  I had to include a group of wild roses to remember the roses my grandmother brought in a covered wagon to plant on our homestead - they still grow there.  I also have lilies of the valley and a single lily just for my granddaughter, Lily Jane.

I included some of my favorites - tulips, pansies, gardening tools and seed packets then topped it off with an hydrangea which were the flowers we used in our youngest daughter's wedding.

Monday, May 09, 2016

AT WORK IN MY STUDIO


Spending an afternoon in my happy, little studio

I love looking at other artist's blogs and websites.  I envy all the inventive layouts and bells and whistles that most of these creative sites have.  I have tried to "gussy up" my blog but sadly, I lack the digital know-how to do much more than follow the established templates.  Anytime I try to jazz things up and do something different, I lose patience and go back to the tried and true look my blog has had since the beginning.

I appreciate everyone who stops by for a look or to leave a comment.  I am still blown away that my work is noticed by folks across the globe and I am extremely grateful for your attention.

I have been ridiculously busy the past few months and have ignored posting but I'm back in my studio building lots of new pieces and I'm looking forward to sharing - even if my site doesn't have interactive video highlights with push button podcasts and digital workshops options.