VISIT MY ETSY SHOP TO PURCHASE MY WORK

About Me

My photo
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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

FRENCH NEST

Nid d'oiseaux (Little Nest)
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, French/English Dictionary

I am so-o-o-o-o excited to have brand new stacks of really old and varied dictionaries.  I never knew there were so many different dictionary publishers.  I not only have French and German dictionaries but I now how multiple publishers and books from 125 years old, 100 years old and lots from the 40's through the 60's.  Each edition has it's own characteristics and personality depending on where it has lived.  Some smell very mildewed and others have a hint of pipe smoke....I LOVE THEM ALL!

I watched this piece find a new home last week at the OKC Festival of the Arts.  My sister sacrificed her whole week to help me man and sell from my booth and she kept commenting how much she wanted this drawing.  When someone came in and swooped it up I was actually a little disappointed to see it go.

I love the three little eggs nestled away in this nest - one for each of my precious daughters.  All three of my girls helped make last week's show a big success. My husband, son-in-laws all pitched in.  I am very grateful for their support and efforts to help me exhibit in OKC.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

FIREFIGHTER

Firefighter
15.5" x 17" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

This is the final, new piece I am building for my upcoming OKC Art Show.  I have often had requests for dictionary drawings to honor specific occupations and I have created a few.  I've had people asking for a Fireman page for years and I was thrilled when I recently discovered this gender-neutral page with the word Firefighter.

Firefighters are extraordinary people wherever they are.  They make incredible sacrifices and serve our communities is heroic fashion.  I admire them very much.  Oklahoma City firefighters hold a very special place in my heart and in the hearts of others in our state.  They were the brave, first responders who answered the call when the federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed years ago.  I knew a number of those responders and they were forever changed by that day.

My art booth next week will be set just a few blocks from the sight of the OKC bombing.  It is a beautiful memorial now and a very sacred place to visit.  I am a little emotional that I will have this tribute hanging in my booth as a small reminder of my appreciation and affection for our fantastic firefighters.

FAIRY TALE

Fairy Tale
15.5" x 17" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

This piece is one that I've absolutely loved creating.  I am a HUGE fairy tale fan and have especially loved stories by Hans Christian Anderson.  When I found this page in a big, unabridged dictionary I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I decided to include images from some of my favorite fairy tales.  I have Cinderella's shoe, Rapunzel's Hair, a Magic Lamp, Snow White's apple, The Frog Prince, Magic Beans and a mechanical Nightingale.  I also included a mirror (not on the wall) but this one let me add the face of a queen, wolves, wings and a castle on the top.  That way I could work in more fairy tale elements.

I think my all time favorite fairy tale is The Nightingale.  I have always loved the mix of the real bird versus the real bird and what that symbolized.

Lots of challenges in this piece but it was still great fun to create.  I am excited to show it off when my booth opens to the public next week.  I even had a local printer build me a T-shirt with this design on it to wear during the art show.

Monday, April 07, 2014

BICYCLE ON 1890's DICTIONARY PAGE

Bicycle
Mixed Media Drawing on 1890's Dictionary

This is such a special page from a very special dictionary.  I absolutely love the definition on the page - "A two-wheeled velocipede, propelled by treadles."  I think that beautiful, rare definition and the age of the page makes this drawing unique.

My family found this dictionary and gave it to me.  I never intended to use it for drawings but when I inspected it I discovered that the book was pretty damaged and had some marks on pages so I carefully tested a page and found it would permit me to mark on it.

From time to time I have someone confront me angry that I destroy books.  That really burns my biscuits.  I am very much a book lover and we have a HUGE library of treasured books in our home.  I located another 1890's dictionary on ebay recently but the seller refused to sell to me because he disapproved of my working on book pages.  I had hoped that the new dictionary would be in better shape and replace this damaged one.....oh well.

I feel strongly that I repurpose and rescue these old books.  The books I use have been discarded and are often quite damaged.  Dictionaries are becoming more and more rare.  Our school no longer keeps dictionaries in our classrooms thanks to online resources and the same is true across our country.  I feel strongly that my work is about valuing and celebrating these beautiful pages and their text.  I know that won't satisfy everyone.  I have grown as an artist and have learned a lot by building this series of dictionary drawings.  They mean a great deal to me and it's personal.

Friday, April 04, 2014

FROMAGE

FROMAGE
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing in Distressed, French-English Dictionary

I decided to explore a few more drawings using the French-English dictionary I own.  I own a French-English dictionary because I thought it might be fun to photocopy some pages out of my fellow, high school teacher's dictionary and carelessly cut a page out.  I replaced her beautiful book with a brand new dictionary and now own the original. (She has forgiven me and purchased a few pages for herself).

I thought it would be fun to create some french pages that might suit a kitchen or dining room setting.  Cheese is tasty.  Cheese comes is endless varieties.  Drawing cheese in a way to make it interesting with exciting color choices and a good composition is.....challenging.  Maybe someday I'll get to return to France and enjoy some for myself.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

TEA AGAIN

Tea
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on 1970's Edition, Webster's Dictionary

There are lots of tea lovers out there and they seem to appreciate a nice drawing of their favorite drink.  I enjoy a nice cup of hot tea especially when I am sick.

One of the fun parts of this piece was working on the light shining through the bottom of the tea bag.  I had noticed a damp tea bag reflecting the sunlight from my kitchen window so I decided to include that in this drawing.  The tea ring stains are a little dark on this drawing - that was originally my husbands idea so I've included it in my drawings of tea, coffee and wine.

The fella is ready for his new home in a new frame as he waits to be presented at the OKC Festival of the Arts in a couple of weeks.

I usually add prints of my latest drawings right away to my online, Etsy shop.  I am having a big, spring print sale on Etsy right now so I'm going to wait until after the OKC show to include my latest work for sale as a print.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

MAGIC

Magic
12" x 18" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Digitized Parchment

I have used the phrase "Make the Magic Happen" in my classroom since I started teaching 15 + years ago.  I have always felt that creating artwork is magic.  As a child I remember marveling at how a few marks on a flat piece of paper could suddenly BE SOMETHING that didn't exist before.

As I prepare for a series of big art shows across the country, I am building a lot of work that I think will have appeal to potential buyers.  I am repeating popular subjects that patrons have purchased in the past and I am always researching popular trends to guide my choices.  But now and then I do a piece just to please me - this is that type of piece.

I've thought about doing a magic themed piece for a long time.  After I settled on my images and sketched them in I discovered that I had a page full of white objects.  The challenge for me was to create some color impact and jazz up what might otherwise be a pretty bland piece.  It was fun to find ways to give this piece some interesting color schemes.  I also decided to pump up the use of red - what I think of when I think of a magician's cape.

I keep this magic wand on my desk in my high school classroom. I don't know where it came from but it's been on my desk from the very first day.  From time to time I wave it over a student's work and try to conjure up some inspiration or improvement.  It was fun to finally use it on a drawing.