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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, February 26, 2016

THERE'S A DICTIONARY ART MOVEMENT GOING ON



I never dreamed when I first doodled a drawing on the page from an old classroom dictionary that this process is going on all over the world.

I certainly wasn't the first person to come up with the idea of drawing or painting on odd supports.  I first noticed people photocopying oddball images on old book pages on Etsy years ago.  Those same folks are still publishing and selling today with thousands of their random prints on old pages sold.



I live in an area of the country rich with Native American culture.  Native American ledger art is perhaps the father of drawing on old book pages.  I've had the honor to show my art along side some amazing ledger artists.  It's all about using supports for your artwork that are available and familiar. Sometimes its about the passionate need to draw on something, anything even when you can't afford a blank page.


I believe, however, that the grandfather of the altered book, drawing on book pages movement has got to be the Commonplace Books which came along when books were first commercially printed and available to the common person.  One of my favorite examples of the Commonplace Book is in the film "The English Patient."  On my - that movie is romantic.  I wonder where that prop book ended up....

Thanks to the connections made possible through the Internet I have recently discovered lots of artists across the globe are trying out drawing on dictionary pages.  I am always delighted when I find folks who mention me in their posts.....who knew I'd enjoy that kind of connection.

Here are some online resources I've recently found


I have been so honored to have fellow art teachers ask to use my images and techniques in their classrooms.  I have been contacted by teachers and students from all over the world who saw my work online and wanted to know more.  I am amazed by this kind of notoriety and I am really pleased to work with elementary to collegiate students.

Here is a lovely lesson plan developed by Miss Wilson for her students that includes some of my work

http://artwithmisswilson.weebly.com/2-artist-research.html

Here is another website that features student work on dictionary pages.  I love student art work!
http://www.smallhandsbigart.com/illustrated-book-pages/

Pinterest has been provided me with an international audience and fabulous resources for both my studio and my classroom.  I really enjoy finding others creating dictionary art and this kind artist even mentioned me
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/359373245236017133/


Yesterday I stumbled on this blog that wrote about a facebook group dedicated to artists who are drawing and painting on dictionary pages.  I asked and they kindly invited me to join.
http://www.artbyyukari.com/2015/05/dictionary-art-sort-of.html

Friday, February 19, 2016

MAKING "MAN OF LA MANCHA" PROPS




One of my favorite parts of doing live theater is building sets, props and costumes.  "Man of La Mancha" is set in the 1600's in Spain during the Spanish Inquisition.  It tells the story of knight errant, Don Quixote and his many crazy adventures.
One of the standards of "Man of La Mancha" is a scene where he meets his principal rival "The Enchanter or the Knight of Mirrors."  Most directors costume an actor in an elaborate suit of shiny army for the Enchanter but I knew I wanted to do something a little different.
For my knight of mirrors I wanted to create a giant puppet and have the mirrors that eventually jolt Quixote back to reality come out of the puppet.  This is the result of that plan.  I had parts of this giant guy all over my classroom for weeks.  I was thrilled when my cast finally got to introduce him to the audience.  His eyes glowed.  He had great personality thanks to the three puppeteers who manipulated him.  He also filled the entire stage when he was fully extended.


Another standard of "Man of La Mancha" are Quixote's horse Rocinante and Sancho's burro, Dapple.  Directors approach these elements lots of different ways from stick horses to full costumes requiring two actors/dancers each.  I think the strongest tradition of the horse and donkey is that they interact with other actors and perform a difficult, high kicking routine while Quixote and Sancho first set out on their quest.

At the beginning of the musical, Sancho and his master are thrown into a Spanish prison.  The only props they have to tell their story are found in a trunk that's brought with them.  It was important to me to have the horse and donkey be props that looked primitive and handmade.  I also needed to make the masks open enough so the two dancers inside could see to move around, on and also off the stage.


I loved how my two dancer/actors brought these animals to life.  They stole the show.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

QUIXOTIC

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




I have neglected my blog and my art studio for the past few months.  I have been pouring all of my creative energy into directing a show at my local, community theater. 

My husband and I helped to start a community theater in our small town nearly 40 years ago.  Since it began I have directed over 17 different productions.  My last show was "1776" 14 years ago.  I really had moved on and didn't think I would ever direct a show there again - for lots of reasons.

Last spring a former student and the current president of the community theater came to visit my husband and I in our high school classrooms and pleaded for us to come back and do another show.  It's impossible to say no to a former student.  We said yes.  So for the past year, we have been planning, designing and calling in favors to create a production of "Man of La Mancha."

"Man of La Mancha" is a huge production and tells the story of Don Quixote.  I have loved this show for over 30 years (lots of nostalgic dates in this post) so it was the show I most wanted to build.  I cast the production back in November and started building the set and costumes right away.

This is one of the first dictionary pages I have created since starting the show.  I am using it as a Thank You gift for my cast and crew.  I loved this dictionary page with its many references to Don Quixote.  I selected the word "Quixotic" to feature.  Quixotic (strangely pronounced kwix-otic) is being Quixote-like and having lofty schemes, visionary, idealistic.  These are all the characteristics and attributes I love about this particular musical.  I think we could all use some Quixotic effects in our lives.

I had a great time creating my own versions of the visionary, madman Quixote and his always faithful squire, Sancho Panza.