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.

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.