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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.

Friday, May 29, 2015

DELIVERING ART TO SANTA FE


I'm having a fabulous day delivering new, art inventory to my Santa Fe, NM gallery. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

OKC PASEO ART FESTIVAL




My booth at the Paseo

The OKC Festival of the Arts just concluded and it was a bit exciting.  The three day festival took place over Memorial Day during some pretty ferocious weather.  Like much of the Southwest, Oklahoma City has experienced record rainfall resulting in flooding.  During the show we had three days of rain and one day the weather was so severe (including nearby tornadoes) we were shut down early.  

Loading in and loading out booths is always challenging.  Due to the high winds and rain a lot of people broke down their booth and left early.  We road it out until the end but had to do a lot of our break down in bad weather.  I am still drying out my tent and display curtains.

My wonderful girls

What I love most about this personal, community sponsored art show is that it happens at a time of year and location where my family can visit.  My three daughters and their children all spent time with me.  My husband and my grandson ran the booth a few hours so we could play together.

One corner of the Theater

Located in the Spanish mission style Paseo is a performing arts group called Theatre Upon A Star Dance Swan.  The group has been housed in the Paseo as long I as I can remember - maybe 30 years.  It's a magical, strange place that hosts fairy making and storytelling.  It's always the highlight of the Paseo especially for my girls.


My daughter Lindsay and granddaughter Lily meet the theater hostess

The theater sets up piles of bowls filled with paper dolls, birds, feathers, and fabric scraps and embellishments then invites you to make your own fairy.  After you have finished you get to meet the fairy hostess and she helps you tell your fairy's story.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CLOSING OUT THE SCHOOL YEAR


My 2015 Ceiling Tile

Only a few more hours of school for 2014-2015.  I've had a pretty good year with lots of challenges and accomplishments.  At the end of each school year my advanced students and I cleanup the art room and create some public art projects around the high school.  


A couple of my students painting their ceiling tiles

One of the most popular projects is doing an acrylic painting of their choice (with my permission) on a tile from our ceiling.  I permit my students to create whatever they like as long as I can live with it and it doesn't violate any school policies.  For the rest of the year my students have to use noncopyrighted images in their artwork so they have to work from personal photographs and direct observation.  For this "for fun" project they are allowed to use copyrighted images since the tiles aren't being sold, entered in competitions or a part of their portfolios.


Our community has been saving plastic bottle caps for us and we've started a mural around the walls of my classroom.  We hope to create an actual image soon but this project proved to be a lot of fun.  

Bottle Cap Close-up


Here are some of my senior craft students with their finished paper mache' sculptures. This is another year-end project.  Most of our seniors are finished and out of school for the last few days.  These lovely ladies dropped by for a quick photo.


My principal gave us permission to graffiti the walls on the hallway leading to my classroom.  Again students have to show me what they plan to draw on the walls but they are then turned loose with Sharpies to draw what they want on a giant drawing.  We've worked on and off of this project for the past few years.  I love the different little doodles my students add.

Finally, our seniors usually paint a backdrop for graduation.  This backdrop is used on the stage behind the graduates and then students have photos taken in front of the painting.  This particular design was purchased for their senior T-shirts this year and has been printed on our programs and announcements.

So goodbye to the 2015 school year and on to a busy summer ahead.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

HONOR

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

I first drew an honor page three years ago.  I asked my father-in-law who had served in the army to let me take a photo of his hand over his heart.  I then asked him to send me pictures of any medals he might have been awarded during his service to have on his shirt.  After I finished the drawing, I never made a scan. I never made any prints.  I gave it as a one-of-a-kind gift to him.  The drawing hangs on the walls of his home.

I've done quite a few pages about the arm forces and the military and I wanted to include something new in next weekend's art show over Memorial Day.  I had to do quite a bit of searching for old photos on my computer and I finally found the photograph of my father-in-law's hand.  I decided I wanted to make this more of a universal piece so I suggested some camo and added the army tag.

I am very proud of my family for their military service in a variety of branches if the armed services.  I'm very grateful to my friends and students who have served.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

MORE WINE

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

I've had this drawing started in my studio for months.  I kept looking at it to finish and then tucked it away for later.  This morning I decided to drag it out and play with it.  This is the result.

This is a wonderful page from a great old book.  The whole left-hand column of definitions refers to wine.  I love finding a perfect page for a subject.

As I've gone along, I have discovered better ways to draw on these fragile, old books.  This page was extremely thin and I actually had to do some repairs to the page.  I've discovered a great system of using scraps of old parchment and acid free glues used by scrapbookers to patch a page from behind.  I will tell an interested customer about the patch work but they rarely can find my repairs.  I think it further rescues this page and gives it new life after a little surgery.


Here is a photo of my models and my studio this morning as I worked away on this new drawing.




Friday, May 15, 2015

SUNFLOWERS IN JAR

Sunflowers in Jar
7" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

I have more ideas swimming around in my head than time to create.  School is chaotic with only one week left and at the end of that week is another major art show.  I have quite a bit of new work finished and a lot in the pipeline but it seems I get some kind of new inspiration every day.

This is a quick post to share this new, little fella and I'm back to the studio to play.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

ACCOUNTANT

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

I think this may be one of the single most requested dictionary pages I get requested.  I have had people asking if I have a page about accountants since I started drawing on dictionaries.  So I finally broke down and did something for them.

From the very beginning I didn't seek to draw every profession out there.  I am much more interested in making nostalgic drawings that suit the age of the page they live on.  I recently discover an old adding machine that met my needs to create something vintage.  So here ya go, folks.

STUDENT ART GUIDE FEATURE




Something I never expected when I started this series of dictionary drawings is the interest it would generate from other teachers.  I get inquiries about my work from teachers and students everywhere - even places on the globe I've never heard of.  Crazy - right?  I am delighted that kindergarten to high school kids are painting and drawing on rescued book pages.

As a public school teacher I am constantly online searching for new ideas for my students and when I'm going through galleries and art shows I am often inspired for a new lesson when I find another artist's inventive work.  I sure never dreamed that something I do would be replicated by fellow educators.

Yesterday I was contacted by a great online resource for teachers asking permission to post information about my dictionary art.  If you are an art teacher of any kind, you need to check out their great resources.  My work was included as an idea for substitutes....something every art teacher struggles with.  It's nearly impossible to leave your room in the hands of a substitute (no matter how good that person might be) and trust that art supplies and materials are going to be okay afterward.  I usually opt for worksheets so I don't have to return to find my brushes destroyed, the room splattered in paint and my desk ransacked.  

So thank you, Student Art Guide for including my process in your posts.  Check them out at 

Saturday, May 09, 2015

PASEO ART SHOW IN TWO WEEKS




School is winding down and my next art show is in less than two weeks.  My studio is filled with stacks of new work and my classroom is filled with stacks of files, supplies and year end projects along with inventory forms, supply requisitions and well.... lots of stuff to accomplish.

My husband has spent the weekend organizing our art show trips across three states.  He has booked our hotels and planned some great adventures between shows.  This summer we are sticking closer to home but will have a two and a half week swing through Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.  Our trip will include digging for fossils with family, a few nights in Las Vegas and headquartering in historic Deadwood, South Dakota so we can explore Mount Rushmore and the Badlands.

Year-End School Projects

My students are wrapping up their final assignments and when they finish they get to work on a wall size mosaic made out of discarded, plastic, bottle caps.  We've been collecting caps in our community for over a year and I think we might have enough to cover the whole school.


I also have my students add to our ceiling tile gallery.  I am blessed with a huge classroom and have well over 300 ceiling tiles overhead.  My students and I usually paint 20 or so new tiles each spring just before school dismisses for the summer.

This is one of my early tiles that hangs above everyone's head as they enter my room.  I also did the sunflower tile.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

THE BUSINESS OF ART


A list of planned drawings with framing measurements

I love to draw.  I love to paint.  I love to teach my students everything I possibly can about all areas of visual arts.  I am loving showing and selling my artwork at shows and galleries.  I do not love the chore of framing my artwork.

As I've added more shows and increased the need for more inventory I have had to be super organized.  It takes a lot of planning to have work finished in time (while still maintaining quality I am proud of) and then have that worked scanned for prints, signed, matted and framed for display.  When I am doing back-to-back shows I need to have my framing and mat supplies ordered and on hand.  I live in such a remote area that there aren't stores that sell these items.   I have to forecast ahead of time what work I am going to do and then stick to those pieces - sometimes that means a new idea has to wait and last minute inspiration has to be ignored until a later date. 

Since my original work is done on old dictionary pages, the work isn't a uniform size.  My books are all different sizes so that means I need to cut mats and order framing that will suit what I'm planning to create.  I have to pull pages and order frames before the work is finished - sometimes all I have is a rough idea of what I want to draw on a page but I need to measure the page for a frame if I'm going to have it in time for a show.

Like most artistic folks - I hate math.  As a teacher I am fortunate that our gradebooks are now computerized so averaging is simplified.  So when it comes to cutting double mats and planning frames I sometimes get a headache.  It's all part of the job.  Drawing is called a discipline and it takes discipline to make it a business.




Monday, May 04, 2015

OKC FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS 2015 IS HISTORY


I had a record breaking art show at the OKC Festival of the Arts.  I had a wonderful location and great neighbors which made the week long experience fabulous.  I hit a professional milestone of sales I never knew I could reach.

I am still amazed at having followers and fans who stop by to visit and look at my work.  I really enjoy meeting people who read my blog and pin my work on Pinterest.  I am still not used to having some notoriety.  I wonder how Madonna does it...... 


Any outdoor show comes with weather challenges.  For the most part, our weather was cool and damp.  We had to close up the tent a little a few times but for every day was beautiful.  The OKC Arts Council, who sponsors this show, provides us with these giant tents which are waterproof and well weighted.  Four artists share each tent with a triangle display space.

One of the joys of this festival is all the school field trips that visit during the week.  Each morning we can count on swamps of elementary age children who usually have some sort of assignment to complete or a scavenger hunt to do while they visit the artists.  There are lots of yellow buses parked along the street every morning when we arrive to open our tents.

I always meet lots of great artists at festivals and aside from making sales, it is one of the highlights of being in art shows as an exhibitor.  One of my next door neighbors was a sculptor from Austin named Dakota Pratt.  Dakota covers wood sculptures with hundreds of flattened pop bottle caps.  He was a joy to share this space.  You can find his work on exhibit and in collections across the country.

Not only is the OKC Festival of the Arts a week long but it open until late at night.  I invested in new booth lights just for this event.  It is so pretty to see all the booths lit up at night.  I loved my retro, goose neck lamps.  I think they gave my display an extra, vintage feel.


Because this show happens during the school year, I have to take unpaid leave to participate.  I am so grateful that my sister, a retired school teacher, worked in my booth for a few days.  She is a great sales person and I love getting to spend some time with her.  My husband came down near the end of the week and helped me finish out the festival.

Thank you, OKC Arts Council for including me in this wonderful event.  I hope to see you again next year!