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.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


 Each fall I begin a lengthy ink unit with my advanced students.  While they work away I start an original bookplate design which I eventually scan, print on adhesive paper and give to friends and family for Christmas.  This year's bookplate is finally complete

I've known for a long time that I wanted to celebrate my success with my fruit and vegetable still life paintings by using the same subject matter in my bookplate.  My youngest daughter had discovered a little white plate with blue flowers at a local thrift shop and I had been itching to use it in a piece of art work.  I also wanted to design a decorative border around the still life.  I started by drawing a flourish design and inked it with a .08 micron pen.  This pen has a relatively thick tip.  I planned to create the entire piece using stippling (layers of dots/dashes).

I also selected a pomegranate as my subject matter.  I was surprised to discover how symbolic this particular fruit is for so many different religions and cultures.

I knew I wanted something a little different from my earlier bookplates so I decided create something vertical.  I cut a piece of Crescent mat board 9" x 15" for my support.  It is nice to have a hard surface to work on since this piece is hauled around for weeks between my home and classroom.

 For the background of my still life I wanted the look of a folded tablecloth so I draped some fabric under the little plate and sliced open what would be a series of ripe pomegranates.  I wanted to have the final layout be straight down and not a traditional side view of the plate and fruit.

For the remainder of the piece I used a .005 micron or prismacolor ink pen.  It's like drawing with a tiny strand of hair.  I have no idea how many dots/dashes make up this piece.
 Like most things that take a lot of time to complete.  This detailed ink drawing began to evolve.  The more I learned about the significance of the pomegranate, the more I wanted to make a statement in this year's work.  I can't help but be influenced by world news and current events in our household and part of the fun of creating an annual work of art is to use it to mark the occasion or note what's happening around us.

In researching the pomegranate I learned that it is a frequent icon in almost every established religion.  You can find it in synagogues, temples, mosques and churches all over the globe.  Each group claims it and identifies it with their faith.  So I couldn't just feature it on a little floral plate. 

After some further study I wrote the word "Peace" in a variety of languages around my subject.  I felt this made more of a statement and took this piece from being just a simple still life.

So here it is.  Hope you approve.  Hope you'd like to have a print for your very own.  And most importantly I hope you find some time of peace and joy during the holidays.

"The Symbolic Pome"
8.75" x 14.75"
Black Ink Stipple on Crescent Mat Board

Monday, December 06, 2010

Aven's Watercolor

Aven's Watercolor
6.5" x 10.5"
Watercolor & Colored Pencil on 200 lb. Watercolor Paper 

I made it a goal to post on "The Shoe" with more frequency but deliberately chose not to post some of my recent commission work.  Many of these new pieces are gifts for friends and former students. I didn't want to ruin the surprise for my customers should someone accidentally see their Christmas gift ahead of time.

This commission piece is for a very young child and was ordered by my son-in-law's sister.  I doubt the child will discover this post but I hope her mother will be pleased.  My challenge for Aven's watercolor was to create a folk art piece inspired by the owner's piggy bank.  Aven's room is decorated in matching colors and designs.
I am just about done with two companion pieces for Aven's brother and sister.  Each of their paintings are entirely different and have been a lot of fun to create.

I am nearly finished with my 2010, inked bookplate.  Stay tuned to see this year's design.

Friday, November 12, 2010


"Walk A Mile"
8" x 10" Colored Pencil on Canson Mi-Teines Paper

I am very fortunate to own a number of authentic, antique, Native American artifacts.  My grandmother, Gussie Powell collected all sorts of beautifully beaded items and blankets and my family has given me many of them since my home is decorated in a rustic/western theme.  These moccasins are in that precious collection.

This piece grew out of a need to accommodate a brown/cream, wooden frame for the upcoming Miniature Art Show at the local, Wild Horse Gallery.  It also gave me the challenge of replicating bead work and worn hide.  I selected the rust, yellow ochre color scheme to suit the brown Canson paper.  Colors always read differently depending on the color of the paper support.  This same color scheme would have a completely different look if created on white or black paper.

Now I am back to the watercolors to complete some new commissions that have come in since last week's craft fair.  I am also working away on this year's, holiday bookplate.  So stay tuned.  Visit me often and a thank you to everyone who stops by The Flying Shoe.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


"Autumn Moth"
7" x 5"
Colored Pencil on Canson Mi-Teintes Paper

Our local gallery, The Wild Horse, is once again hosting a Miniature Show which opens on November 18th.  I was concerned about getting anything ready for this year's show due to the demands of my personalized watercolors.  But one of the joys of being an art teacher is that I actually have time occasionally to work on my pieces at school. 

Long ago I purchased some small, inexpensive brown/cream, wooden frames.  So I decided to create a piece that complimented that natural color scheme.  After working for weeks with watercolor I also wanted to play with a different medium.  My students and I are all doing ink pieces right now but in a few weeks my advanced students start a new unit with colored pencils.  So I pulled out my Derwent colored pencils, some brown Canson Mi-Teintes paper and started playing.

Monday, November 08, 2010


 It was a lot of work, but my daughters Kiley, Lindsay and I had a booth at our local, fall craft fair.  Kiley sold her adorable bows and hair accessories and I took orders on my personalized watercolors.  We were fortunate that this huge festival had a space available at the high school so I was able to use a lot of the display units from my classroom. 
I borrowed back a lot of the watercolor gifts I have done over the past few years.  This is the first time I have actually tried to sell these items.  I had quite a bit of interest and have had people calling about placing orders in time for Christmas.

Friday, November 05, 2010


 I've been collecting some of my previous watercolor paintings to exhibit tomorrow for the arts and crafts show.  When I picked up this painting I did for my granddaughter, Lily, I realized I had never gotten a digital photo or posted it - so here it is.

I have been doing so many of the name only paintings that I forget how fun these cartoon paintings are.

Here is a close-up of Lily's painting

I start setting up in just a couple of hours which is always a huge job.  I used to love doing art festivals when my girls were little but have only done one in recent years. 

Two of my daughters are working with me this weekend.  My eldest, Kiley is selling her handmade bows and Lindsay, my middle daughter, is helping us out.  I hope we do well!

Thursday, November 04, 2010


I noticed totally by accident that my last post was my 100th blog post (cue confetti, horns and balloons).  I realize in blogville that I am a blogging infant but still felt it deserved to be celebrated.  I have been amazed that my little posts have been read by people all over the planet.  Last night I noticed that I had almost 800 hits just in the month of October.  THAT'S CRAZY!

Thanks to everyone who stops by to follow my creative life and artistic experiences.  This effort has really motivated me to create more and be more disciplined with my artwork.  It's my personal goal to post with more frequency. 

I've loved art all my life.  It's hard to imagine that the little girl who used to leave a trail of drawings behind her would some day have total strangers around the world share her journey.  Now - where's my cake!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Here is a commissioned, personalized watercolor requested by a former student.  The obvious color scheme is pink, lime green and black.  The introduction of black made this one very different and striking.  They asked I add lime green bows.

This is the last piece I'm preparing for this weekend's show.  I think I've got a nice variety of work to display

Here's a close-up that shows all the details and dimensions.  These pieces look really "scrapbooky" but it's all cut-out and layered watercolor pieces.  The finished painting is 6 1/2" x 18 1/2" on 200 pound watercolor paper.  I am finishing each painting in a 2" white mat wrapped in acetate.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


 The Pumpkin Patch Arts & Crafts Show is this weekend and I am pushing to get last minute touches ready on my booth and sample paintings ready to exhibit.  I just finished assembling a sign to hang on my display tent which is comprised of watercolor patterns.  I hope this will help potential customers decide on possible patterns for their personal paintings.

This is another gift for a family friend.  All the direction I was given was the baby's name and that the nursery was decorated in pink and green.  I hope this is the last of my "free" pieces for awhile and that I have some orders coming soon from paying customers.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Last night I was searching through my cluttered studio looking for my old artist trading cards.  At the very bottom of a box of swipe files (files I've made over the years of all sorts of images and collected, project ideas) I discovered my missing sketchbook.  I nearly cried.  This book has been missing for nearly a year and I had given up hope that i would ever find it again.  I am so-o-o-o-o-o happy!

Needless to say, I will be very careful how I manage this little treasure from now on.

The sketchbook is filled with a variety of approaches of a single image - me.  I started it a long time ago and have nearly filled all the pages with multiple mediums and styles all of the same photo.  It's not about what I study as my subject matter but about how I study my subject matter. 

Again- so happy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Personalized Watercolor Card

Finished this show card for the craft fair I am doing Nov. 6th.  I have been working on an order form so potential customers can have something to pick up and use later.  I find people need time to contemplate before making an art purchase thanks to our poor economy.  I hope that by giving them something to carry away from my booth I might make some sales after the event.

I am printing these up on card stock and plan to pass them out.  They are 4" x 6"

Monday, October 18, 2010


Our high school art club, The Art Zombies, are raising money through an online T-Shirt Contest.  One of my students designed this grunge tiger design and she also uploaded my scratch art design we have been using as our art club logo.

I hope my followers will help us out be visiting the website, registering and voting for these two designs.  The more votes we receive, the more likely we are to win some contest money.  It doesn't cost anything to register to vote and it won't put you on any mailing lists.  You don't have to buy anything to register or vote.

We don't get money for the purchase of a shirt.  The prize money is strictly based on how many votes we get during the course of a day, a week and a month.

So log on to and cast your vote.  You should find these two designs on the vote page or search for them by the artist's name HatchTheGirl.

This is Molly's Tiger Design

This is my scratch art design.

All prize money will go directly to our high school art account.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I finally got confirmation about the dates for my first art show in Taos, NM.  The owner of the Trading Post Cafe contacted me yesterday and asked me to select and I decided to show for the two months of May and June of 2011.

This is a huge thrill for me after years of traveling to New Mexico since childhood and admiring the work of established artists.  Yes, I am showing in a buffet room of a restaurant but it isn't exactly a Wendy's.  The Trading Post Cafe is a historic trading post set in historic Ranchos De Taos at the feet of the Ranchos De Taos San Francisco De Asisi Church.  It is a spectacular sight to show and will be packed with tourists next spring.

Again, this is a really exciting step for me down a road I've always dreamed of.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wedding Anniversary Gift

This Friday is my eldest daughter and son-in-law's first wedding anniversary.  They married last fall in San Antonio, Texas with millions of Monarch butterflies overhead.

Monarchs migrate from the far Northern parts of the United States down to Mexico and since they have an extremely short life span, it may take multiple generations to complete the long trip.  It's an amazing, beautiful journey for an amazingly beautiful, fragile life.  We were fortunate to be in the path of their flight through Texas where millions converge before entering Mexico.

The kids were married outdoors in the Japanese Gardens under a sky filled with butterflies.  At the conclusion of the ceremony, I captured a Monarch on our windshield and have been saving it ever since.  I knew I wanted to give it to them on their first anniversary.

I tried a number of approaches for how to best display the butterfly and finally settled on this idea.  My daughter carried her favorite flowers, Gerber Daisies for her wedding so I selected a silk version to nestle the butterfly.  It was really tedious to rebuild the wings and protect it while trying to mount it in a 5" x 5" shadow box.

I hope it lasts a lifetime this way and that they enjoy remembering the clouds of Monarchs over their heads on their wedding day.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Grant Lee Watercolor

Grant Lee's mother is much like a fourth daughter in our family.  She spent a great deal of her childhood playing at our house and is someone very special to us.  She recently had her first son, Grant Lee and decided to decorate his nursery in a jungle theme.  Here is her baby gift just finished today.

It is a 12" x 7" watercolor and colored pencil painting on 200 lb, rough watercolor paper.  Since little Grant Lee's name was so long, I decided to create a different size painting rather than the long pieces I have traditionally been doing.  I really enjoyed building the cartoon, animals.  Years ago I did a lot of cartooning work so it's always fun to return to those characters.

This piece is a gift for a special family which is why I have been making them in the first place. 

I have finally decided on prices for the craft show I am participating in soon.  I am going to have a flat fee of $55.00 for any name of four letters or less.  Then I plan to charge $12.50 for each additional letter.  The longer the name, the more time and detail is required to complete the painting. This smaller piece is an exception.  We'll see how this system works.  These pieces take a great deal of time to do so I hope this is a wise method of selling them.  Pricing is always difficult for me and I tend to under price my work in hopes of making more sales.

I plan to provide a 2 inch white mat and clear acetate wrap for each painting and to require the customer to pay in advance.  I am going to give the customers limited color choices and the opportunity to select from a variety of backgrounds and patterns. 

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Circle of Friends Donation

Each fall our local Circle of Friends Chapter holds a fundraising banquet and auction and I have donated a painting for the cause.  This group provides money to cancer patients for gas, food, treatments and just about anything else needed during their cancer battle.  Having lost my mother to cancer, I believe in helping this group anyway I can. 

This is my donation for this year's event.  It is colored pencil piece I did last November for our local miniatures show.  I love this piece and have sold a few prints of it but the original has been hanging in our local gallery unsold.  I drew it from photos I took while visiting an early morning, farmer's market in Telluride, Colorado.  I enjoyed all the fresh, frilly sunflowers on display that day.

I hope it helps someone in their fight and makes that fight a little easier.

McKennon's Watercolor

 Whew!  Another baby watercolor is finished and this one is for our church youth pastor's family.  Their son is named McKennon and their nursery has a hippo theme.  I added the little yellow birds for more "whimsy."
This watercolor/colored pencil painting measures 4.75" x 20" and is painted on 200 lb, rough watercolor paper.

I am still not sure what I will charge for orders to make these custom paintings.  The craft show is only four weeks away so I need to make some decisions soon!

Here is a close-up of the bottom of the painting.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"TEAL" Watercolor

My eldest daughter, Kiley has purchased us a space at an upcoming Arts and Crafts fair, The Pumpkin Patch.  It is held the first weekend of November and is a huge event in our little community.  Kiley has been making the most amazing hair bows for the past few months and plans to sell those.  She has asked me to show and sell my customized "baby" watercolors.

For the past few years I have been creating watercolor paintings for new babies and this is my first attempt to market and sell them to the public.  They are extremely time consuming projects with lots of intricate details on top of details.  I generally ask the parent to give me suggestions of things each letter of the alphabet can stand for (A is for Apple..) or give me the color scheme/theme of their nursery.

I paint a colorful background then paint and cut out the additional pieces and attached with foam adhesive so the final painting has lots of dimension.  It takes a ton of time! 

To prepare for the craft show, I decided I'd best gear up and finish some of the gift paintings I needed to complete.  So this week I have been swimming in watercolor working on four gifts at once.  This is the first one I've finished.  It is for a special friend who just had her first child and named her Teal.  This dear friend was once a teen participant in a youth counseling training program I directed and she now coordinates the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program for children caught up in the legal system. 

"TEAL" is 8 1/2" x 18 1/2" watercolor & colored pencil piece on 200 lb rough, watercolor paper

 Here is a closeup of some of the details in the finished painting.  Each piece is hand painted, decorated and individually cutout.  Taking orders to make very many of these will be a mixed blessing.  I still haven't decided on a reasonable price for my time and expenses and I don't know exactly how I am going to design a system for the customer to customize their personal painting.  So stay tuned and give me your suggestions.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Commission is a Commission

This may be one of the strangest commission pieces I have ever been asked to do.  A former student whom I adore recently asked me to create him a painting.  And here is that work - a bottle of Windex.  As bizarre as the request was, I was determined to make something of it and to attempt to find something pretty with some interesting color choices.

So here is my latest work - an 11" x 15"  acrylic painting of a bottle of Windex glass cleaner.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Altered Butterfly Book

Altered books are both a thief and a feast for creative expression.  Once I get started on a page, I am obsessed with it and ignore more productive, artistic pursuits.  It steals my creative energy and I've learned to avoid starting a new book or page when I am "under the gun" to get some work done.

On the other hand - altered books have proven to be a wonderful tool to get my students motivated, loosened up and inspired.  This year, I am doing an altered book day at least once a month with my two advanced classes and as in the past, my kids eat it up.  There is something naughty about taking an old, discarded book and filling it with paint, collage and drawings that thrills my students.  It also builds confidence in experimentation that ultimately serves my students in their other work.

This Friday I did a lesson which involved painting a light glaze of gesso across two facing pages then collaging found papers to create a focal point.  I asked my students to journal across the pages in a colored pencil then to do light washes of acrylic paint on top of their writing. 

I went on to take funnel-type coffee filters I had long ago purchased and washed them with splatters and drips of raw sienna paint.  When dried, I stamped a variety of different tea-stained stamps across the filters. On my computer, I printed out a butterfly on card stock, cut it out and decided to create a butterfly book in that shape.

I had some old twine, copper, feathers and wire which completed the butterfly which I laced to the page.

Again, this activity is always so satisfying and fun to do...a feast for a creative spirit.  Now I am obsessing about what to do with the opposite page....stay tuned because I probably won't sleep until I decide what goes there.

Silverware Drawing

I've been extremely pleased with how my students have worked on their silverware assignments.  They have created some beautiful, interesting and creative pieces.  One student even elected to create a whimsical sculpture.  I plan to post some of the examples this week.

I decided to finish my demonstration piece and use it for an upcoming gift.  Some of my students swear they find the word "love" spelled out in the composition.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AP Warm-Up Exercise

At the beginning of each school year, I give my advanced students a series of "Warm-Up" exercises to dust off their brains and fingers.  This year I hauled a tub of tarnished silverware I collected from my mother's estate and started my class off with a photo realistic drawing exercise.  This is my example/demo piece.

I love to draw but rarely do much black and white, graphite pencil work to show or sell.  Like so many demonstration pieces, this 9" x 12" piece may never be finished but used for teaching specific techniques.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Shoes are Flying Today!

I am flying high today.  I just got an invitation to show my artwork from the fabulous, Trading Post Cafe in Taos, New Mexico!
Right up the hill from the famous Saint Francis de Assisi Church in Ranchos de Taos is the Historic Trading Post building which houses the Trading Post CafĂ©.  I am particularly excited to show right next to the beautiful St. Francis de Assissi Church since it has been the subject of notable paintings by Georgia O'Keefe and just about every other Southwest Artist at one time or another.

The details of the exact date of the show are still being worked out.  My daughter, Lindsay is picking up the OHMS Amarillo show tomorrow and a few of those pieces have sold.  I plan to build on to the show with some more little food still life pastels and take them to Taos.  The owner of the Trading Post really liked this particular series so I'm excited to add to that inventory.

Again, this is a thrilling, life changing experience for me.  Taos is an international art center and this is a huge affirmation of my work.  I hope to continue to make bigger and riskier goals and who knows what's next for "The Shoe!"

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Since completing the OHMS show, I have been pushing to finish this big acrylic painting on masonite.  I still have some touching up to do on the border but decided to go ahead and post it now.  My free time on my easel is close to an end with school starting soon.

Like just about everything else I seem to do, this piece started out as a classroom demonstration.  I was showing my students how to apply collage surfaces and glued a piece of fringed fabric to a 24" x 48" sheet of primed masonite.  From there I started building up the images of three, Native American, Fancy Shawl Dancers.

I have been intrigued by the Fancy Shawl Dance since I discovered it a few years ago.  It is a modern dance which provides Native American women a chance to show their athletic and performance skills equal to those of men.  It has no single tribal affiliation and costuming can be just about anything the performer wants as long it features flowing fringe/ribbons and light weight fabrics.  When performed, the dancer nearly lifts off the ground and it's an amazing sight to see the showmanship of a skilled Fancy Shawl performer.

In this piece, I wanted to show something of a progression of the dance and the dancer.  I envisioned the dancer on the left to be the elder moving slower and in a more traditional fashion.  I saw the center dancer becoming faster and more athletic and finally I wanted to portray the dancer on the right as the flashy youngster who spins about with amazing agility and quick, pounding footsteps.

The dessert for me in this piece was painting all the tiny bead work and all those ribbons and fringe.  I really wanted to capture their movement.  Since this piece is built from photographs I found and didn't personally take (even though I altered and changed lots of elements) I don't intend to sell it.  I plan to add a few more finishing touches and maybe put some bead work along the edges of the glued fabric background, varnish it and hang it in my home.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Ten years ago I purchased a small, spiral sketchbook and used it to teach a unit on experimentation.  I took a quick photo of myself and then used that same image on every page of the sketchbook.  The challenge was to use different media, approaches, styles, what-have-you on each page.  I told my students to do the same on at least three pages of their personal, graded sketchbooks.

The whole idea of this experiment was to push to explore lots of media and to sample lots of different styles and techniques.  It also meant that neither I nor my students had to worry about what to draw but rather how to draw it.  I used markers, ink, colored pencils, oil pastels, soft pastels, ink transfers, collage - you name it.

I had over half my book filled with some fun and some poor experiments and I loved this book.  I got it out each fall and used examples from it not only for the experimentation unit but also when we started new mediums.  It often rested on the tray under my classroom's dry erase board.

At the conclusion of this school year, I couldn't find my little sketchbook.  When I closed up my classroom, I searched everywhere and couldn't locate it so I decided that like a lot of my stuff, it had probably been carried back home and was now lost in my disorganized, messy studio. 

I cleaned out my studio this past week and never discovered my book.

I can't imagine a student took it since it is filled with one picture of me over and over again and I can't bear to think it might have been discarded but either way - it's missing and I'm terribly sad about it.  Today I remembered that long ago I scanned some of the pages and posted them on an ancient myspace account page.  So here's all that's left of my treasured, little book. 

If you see it out there, somewhere lost in the cosmos - please bring it back home.  I think you will recognize the owner. *sniff*

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Michael and I succeeded in hanging my fifteen, food pieces at OHMS this past weekend.  We enjoyed a wonderful meal with old friends on Friday night then hung the show early Saturday morning.

Hanging my work proved to be challenging.  The owner, Mary Fuller met us and explained the system of chains suspended from pipes around the walls of the restaurant and provided me with wire and 'S' hooks to attach my work.    Unfortunately, this system wasn't too secure and my frames bowed out from the walls or slipped around on the tiny 'S' hooks.  There were only a few existing nails available and I understood that this system helped reduce lots of holes in her walls but I wasn't prepared for the trial of making it work for my small, glassed frames.

My work will be featured at OHMS for six weeks.  I haven't heard anything back from Mary since we left Saturday and I am really curious to know if there is any positive reaction to the little show.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meeting the Artist, McCreery Jordan

During a recent trip to Santa Fe, NM, Michael I met the artist, McCreery Jordan quite by accident.  I have followed McCreery's work in Southwest Art Magazine and actually have used samples of her work when teaching collage/painting assignments with my advanced art students.  It was a wonderful surprise to be strolling down Canyon Road, walk into a gallery we had never visited and discover her and her work there.

I first noticed McCreery's work in a gallery in Taos, NM a long time ago.  I was taken with her delicate figures and faces painted and overpainted with layers of collage, paint and gesso.  In some cases, she had created 3-D, sculptural reliefs inside her pieces and then layered printed silk images over the relief so part of her painting actually lifts off the surface.  Unfortunately, the Grimshaw Gallery which represented her in Taos has closed with so many others in Taos and across the county.

McCreery was a wonderful host in her gallery/studio space on Canyon Road.  By the time we left, she had given us a couple of her signed, published books and shared a lot of her techniques.  I was particularly excited to see the following painting on display.  It had been featured in Southwest Art Magazine and was the piece which inspired one of my senior, advanced art students to complete her own series of collage pieces.  McCreery seemed genuinely pleased to know that her work was used to inspired and teach others.  You can visit her website and follow her work at  

I think any serious collector would be wise to include her work in their private collection.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Here are all fifteen of my pastel, still life paintings arranged in one format.  It's really exciting for me to see them all together.

I always recall the beginning scene from the movie "Romancing the Stone" when Joan Wilder celebrates finishing her novel.  After I finish a piece, I usually have a little ritual of cleaning off my easel, storing my pastels and "celebrating" the completion of a piece.  Since I knew this would be a series of fifteen, I have saved my celebration until now.

I hope friends and family will get a chance to visit this fabulous (but expensive) restaurant, meet the owner/chef, Mary Fuller, have a great meal and enjoy seeing my work on display.

Thank you, everyone, who praised me, encouraged me and helped me accomplish this milestone!

Strawberries in a Silver Bowl

This is the fifteenth and final still life for my Amarillo show.  My sister, Melinda gave me some beautiful strawberries and I placed them in a sterling silver, Paul Revere bowl I was awarded years ago as a 4-H prize.  I liked the challenges of the reflections, the silver surface and all the textures and colors of the strawberries.  I did not like the elbow grease it took to polish up the bowl after it had been sitting for years in the back of my china cabinet.

I am pretty proud of the finished results of this piece and am excited to see it in a frame and displayed at the OHMS cafe and bar.  I've completed four pieces this week!

This pastel piece is 10.25" x 14" on Canson Mi-Teintes Paper

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sometimes It Just Doesn't Gel

Here's a first for me.  I am posting a false start.  I think some people don't realize that every artist occasionally has ideas that don't go anywhere and that our studios are filled with unfinished work and discarded pieces that didn't work out.

I got the idea of finishing out my food series with a little dessert so I baked some chocolate chip cookies and poured a glass of milk.  I took a bunch of photos with different backgrounds and went to work.  To conserve funds, I have been using old frames so I knew this piece had to be large - in this case 10" x 14"  So I was interested in a vertical piece.

I wanted to keep with the concept of a minimal, single colored background with lots of attention to creating vivid colors in shadows and textures.  As I worked away, the "magic" just didn't happen for me.  I was excited about the details on the little white plate and the reflections in the clear glass but the composition had far too much negative space.  I nearly used up a stick of cobalt blue trying to create some interest in the empty background.  I don't think this idea challenges me and I don't like having so much area with nothing really going on.

So I walked away, ate the cookies and drank the milk. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Garlic on Red

This is number fourteen in my series of fifteen food, still life pastels.  I have been wanting to do a piece that was predominately white and push myself to find as much color as I could in the reflected light and shadows.  I preach to my students to save white for the hot spots/the highlights of their work regardless of the actual or local color.  When working with a white subject, the fun is playing with the colored light reflected at the object from its environment.

I had a hard time keeping enough garlic around to study while I worked.  Lately I seem to add garlic to nearly every recipe I cook.

This is a small 8" x 8" pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes paper

I only have one 10.25" x 14" panel paper left to complete my OHMS show.  The problem isn't coming up with what to do but to narrow it down to one, final subject.