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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, March 31, 2015

LITTLE OWL

Owl
5.5" x 6.5" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

After three years of creating drawings on antique dictionary pages, I've revisited a number of subjects.  I love drawing birds and one of the birds that I believe has the best personality is an owl.  I like the symbolism, colors and expressions found on this bird.  There are lots of varieties of owl so I've had no shortage of styles and types to enjoy.

This fellow is drawn on an especially old page.  This 1890's book is such a treasure.  I also loved this particular page that ended the 'O' section and started the 'P' section.  Isn't this little guy a hoot (pun intended) -  He is so puffed up with his expression and his chest sticking out.  Now this owl has some attitude.

Here are the other two owl drawings I've done still available in prints.



MARGARITA

Margarita
7.5" x 10.75" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

I mentioned in a previous post how I snapped some great photos while traveling with my husband over Spring Break.  This piece was born from one of those photos.

We started our trek in Santa Fe.  It was a quick stop to check in at my gallery to visit and check my inventory then some awesome shopping and a great dinner.  We love to eat and eat and eat while we are in Santa Fe.  The city has amazing restaurants and we can't get enough of the fabulous green chile.  Another treat is trying all the varieties of margaritas featured at each restaurant.

For our evening we stopped into the historical La Fonda on the plaza which is just a block from my gallery The WOW! Gallery.  My husband and I both ordered a different margarita to share and try.  Both were, of course, excellent.  I had to grab a picture and try my hand at creating a dictionary drawing of it for the little bar series I am doing.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

TRUCK

1955 Chevy Pickup Truck
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

I drew my dad's old pickup years ago on a dictionary page and I've been meaning to draw another every since.  I'd love to own a refurbished old truck.  I've wanted one ever since I first saw Tom Hank's movie "Castaway."  At the end of the film he met an artist who drove an old pickup and her logo happened to be wings....sound familiar?

I've been on the look out for a pickup that caught my eye for my drawing (buying a pickup is kinda outta of the picture right now but who knows).  While my husband and I frolicked over spring break we stayed in a wonderful bed and breakfast in Florence, CO.  As we left we discovered this great truck abandoned in a ditch not too far from town.

My husband actually spotted it first and I popped out of the car, waded into the muddy ditch and started taking pictures.  Out of the blue someone pulled up, scolded me for being on private property and ordered me to leave.  I did manage to ask the year of the truck and he told me it was 1955.  That makes this truck 60 years old.  I decided I needed to find a page to draw it on from the same, exact year.

Thank goodness I had captured a few photos before I had to go.

Isn't this a great truck.  It has so many great colors and the morning light was fabulous.


If you want a fabulous experience I strongly recommend enjoying a night at the lovely Florence Rose Bed and Breakfast in Florence, CO.  Bob and Barb are spectacular hosts and the history of the home is worth the stop.

Visit the Florence Rose Website

Saturday, March 28, 2015

SATURDAY MORNING IN THE STUDIO

What's on my studio desk


Summer shows are lining up and my first show of the season is less than a month away.  It's an extremely busy time in my classroom,too so I'm going a bit nuts.

I've spent the week pushing my students to finish competition pieces and have already matted over 50 pieces of their artwork.  I also made a fast trip to Kansas to pick up artwork from their last competition.  I've been trying to find time between classes to work on my own artwork but it's been difficult.  My classes are all changing units now so that means lots of time spent cleaning supplies before they are stored and organizing new supplies for upcoming units.  Out goes printmaking, pastels and tempera paint to make room for paper mache', watercolors and colored pencils.

Today I got to spend the day in my studio.  I dream of days like this when I have uninterrupted time alone to play in my art studio.  However, I am feeling the crunch to have enough inventory ready for my April art show.....mixed blessings.

My husband and I enjoyed a quick get-away over spring break and I took tons of photos for new pieces.  I am excited to start some drawings from these photos.  I took pictures of lots of old locomotives, some buffalo, the gorgeous margaritas we had with dinner one evening and a fabulous old pickup we discovered on the side of the road.

Today was a productive day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TRAFFIC SIGNAL BOX DESIGN



Like many other communities across the country, our town is asking area artists to create designs to decorate metal, traffic, signal boxes.  These unsightly, metal boxes are located at intersections to house the electronics necessary to run traffic lights.

Lots of places have had local artists paint directly on these metal boxes but ours is going to reproduce selected designs on vinyl wraps that will be attached to the box.  I required my second, third and fourth year students to all create original designs for our town's contest.  Our community is going to select three designs for the first three wraps.  They plan to add additional wraps as funds become available.

Like so many assignments, I did a demonstration piece along with my students.  I deliberately used student grade materials (Crayola colored pencils and Sharpie markers) to show my students what they could do with inexpensive supplies.  I decided to go ahead and finish my design and throw it into the contest, too.  The vinyl wrap will go around all four sides of the box and the top.  I took the measurements our city office provided and enlarged them so my students had a template to work on.  

My design was inspired by vintage postcards popular in the 1950's.  I don't know of any similar design used for my town so I invented my own.  Like other vintage postcards, I included landmarks inside the block letters which spell out my town's name "Guymon."  I included the local grain elevator, our county courthouse, the marque on the community theater on main street, a bronc rider representing our nationally ranked rodeo, the clock located at our centennial park and one of our many water towers.  I also included the livestock, crops and flowers that are raised here.  The last touch was an oil pumper which dots the fields around our town.  Since my design will wrap around the box (if selected) I drew the red ribbon behind the letters so it continued from the front around to the back panel.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

ANNOUNCING ART SHOW CIRCUIT


I am starting to finalize my art show circuit for the spring and summer.  I still have a number of shows to consider but here's what I've got scheduled now.  We plan to stay closer to home this summer but if you are close by, please stop by and see me.  I have lots of new work to exhibit plus beautiful prints available.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

MARTINI

Martini
6.5" x 10" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

I've been thinking about a bar series of dictionary drawings for some time.  I've had people ask if I have anything like these so today was the day to start.

On our 20th wedding anniversary we tried our first vodka martini.  It paired perfectly with the thick, juicy steak we enjoyed that special night.  A vodka martini has become our celebration drink ever since.  There is something so sophisticated about drinking something out of one of these ridiculously hard to manage, long stemmed glasses all the while juggling your toothpick of olives.  I have to say, I am particularly fond of any drink that includes something to eat.


Here are some of the photos I took to build this drawing.  I set up some glasses and a shaker on my dining room table and took photos from all sorts of angles.
Now let me admit, that there is only water in these glasses but I did shake up water some with ice to try to get a little moisture on the outside of the shaker

I really like unusual views and not boring side views of subjects.  I loved the look of the olives in this glass but decided it might not "read" as well as others.





Friday, March 13, 2015

A LITTLE LETTER

Letter
5" x 7" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

Sometimes small and simple just hits the spot.  This 1920's dictionary is darling.  The pages are pretty brittle and thin but their fragility just makes them more precious.

I have stacks of old, love letters wrapped in ribbons that were written between my parents back in the 1930's.  I cherish them.  So what better than to marry this old book and those letters together.  This is a pretty simple drawing on a small page but I think it has a unique charm.

POLICE

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

This is another frequently requested subject at art shows.  I decided it was time to build a dictionary page featuring police.  

I've had lots of different jobs in my lifetime.  I've been a high school art teacher for 15 years which is the longest I've ever stayed at a job.  Prior to that I've worked in all sorts of social work settings from HIV/AIDS counseling/testing to drug prevention and director of a drug rehab center. I've always been a working artist but raising a family required I find a steady paycheck.  Not many people know that I even was employed as a police officer for a short time.  Really.  I was.

When I graduated from college my husband had another year to go.  We were married and I needed a job knowing we would move as soon as he graduated.  I got a job creating ads for our local newspaper but discovered it wasn't exactly a job for me.  The only job I found outside of food service in our little college town was with the city.  I didn't grasp that I was applying for the job of a police dispatcher....and that no women had worked for this particular force EVER.

The police chief was awesome, took me under his wing and quickly had me helping out with patrols and some investigations.  One of the biggest events was when our force was asked to assist the Secret Service when then President Jimmy Carter came to Oklahoma.  I had a ball.  I worked a straight 48 hour shift with the communications department of the secret service.  They were an impressive group of men (no women there either)  At the conclusion of the visit, the president's staff invited some of us to meet the President.  


To my delight, this photo (yes, that's me with a frizzy afro) went all over the media and was published around the country.  Police women were really rare and Angie Dickinson was breaking ground playing one on TV.  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

APPLE

Apple
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

Lately my dictionary drawings have been about the drawing (of course) but more about enjoying the wonderful words on the page.  I fell in love with this old page because of the variety of apple definitions it holds.  It has everything from apple to apple sauce.  My favorite is apple polisher with the example of "bringing an apple to the teacher."  This old teacher found that fabulous.

This was a tough page to work on because it was so thin, fragile and brittle.  Over the years I've learned ways to patch the page when it gives way to my attempts at mark making. I usually treat another page from the book and keep it handy to patch from behind.  You will notice a tear in the bottom left of the page that required some reinforcement.  That tear actually was on the page before I even started but I loved this page so much I still had to work on it.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

MUSIC

Music
12" x 18" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Parchment

I've had this piece on my easel for quite a while.  I've marked on it some adding a detail or two but just haven't had the push I needed to get it finished.  Each instrument is significant to me and a music themed piece is something I've had lots of customers request - I just never picked the drawing when it came time to sit down and work.

This weekend, like so much of the country, we were snowed in.  Other than binge watching Netflix and baking lots of treats, I finally decided it was time to bring this drawing to life.  I really enjoyed my time with it and hope it finds a suitable home where music is loved and enjoyed.

Like I mentioned, each instrument I selected from a vast array of possibilities, has some significance to me.  My daughter played the saxophone, my father played the clarinet and I played the french horn and mandolin (this one by the way, came all the way from Florence when I traveled there after high school).   I took a few violin lessons and my older sister played some, too but the little violin is a tribute to my German grandfather who played the violin at every wedding, barn dance and funeral in southwest Kansas.  My mother often described him as moody and mean but she said her fond memories of him would be hearing him play his violin.

Finally the old piano keyboard is by far my favorite part of this drawing.  I love the dingy and indented keys and I deliberately drew some of them sprung.  It reminds me of the old, upright piano in our rural, country church.  I became the pianist at church when I was still in junior high.  By then few people occupied the farm homes scattered around the area and even fewer came to the run down building on Sunday.  The pews were handmade, you could see daylight through some of the wall boards and there were deep grooves on the keys where many pioneer fingers had played "Victory in Jesus" before me.


500 POSTS

This post is number 500 for me.

That's 500 entries since I first starting blogging in 2006.  Now I realize that's pretty small compared to most folks but for me it marks an amazing journey.


As a child growing up on a remote farm and ranch on the plains of Oklahoma I would have never imagined (and I have a BIG imagination) that I could sit in my house on a computer or use a mobile phone device I carry around in my pocket to send my artwork out to the universe.

Now posts on my blog, Pinterest, Etsy, Twitter, etc. get me attention across the globe.  That attention has lead to exclusive art shows, representation in beautiful galleries and art sales to people on the other side of the world.  I've corresponded with fabulous and well, a few "unusual" people whom I've only met online through this blog.  On occasion I've actually met some of these great folks in person when I've traveled around the country.

I remember when our family got our first computer.  My girls were small and we were one of the first households I knew who got access to the Internet. I never took a computer class and have had to teach myself how to use Photoshop, scanners, fancy printers and so on.  It's been exciting and things change so quickly I'm rushing to keep up.



So thank you, blog and Internet for opening up an amazing world for me and my art.  Thank you to everyone who stops by, sends a comment and admires or buys my work.  It's a thrilling time for me and I greatly appreciate that 500 posts have made so much happen.