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.

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.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Olives With a Jar

Only two more pieces to go for my goal of fifteen in this series of food still life pastels.  I tried to once again push myself into using a warmer palette for this piece.  I naturally reach for cool colors when I start to work and I want to experiment with other color schemes. 

I find the digital images of pastels are a poor substitute for the actual pieces.  Pastels are pure pigment and have rich colors enhanced by the crystal-like nature of the medium.  If you look at soft pastel under a microscope, it looks like tiny little crystal shards and those facets of color tend to reflect light and sparkle.  I have never found a giclee print that looks as lively and vibrant as an original pastel since a print can't capture and reflect light like the true medium.  Pastels are also colorfast since they are pure pigment with a minimal amount of binder added.  Pastels will hold their color for centuries and not fade, dull or get cloudy like oils.

This is a 6" x 8" pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes Paper

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I have two weeks left to finish my Texas show.  I have had this painting of three Anaheim Peppers almost finished but set aside while we enjoyed some vacation time.  My house is empty for a few days while family is gone so the easel is set up, junk food is in the frig and I've got a long list of chick flix in my Netflix queue.

These guys tasted fabulous filled with pineapple cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and grilled over some charcoal.  One of the best things about doing food, still life paintings is that I get to eat my subject matter!

This is a 7" x 12" pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes paper

More Family Artists

Our youngest daughter, Kelsey lives and works in Telluride, Colorado.  She has been hired to paint a mural in the kid's recreation room of The River Club, a beautiful time-share owned by her employer.  During our recent visit to Telluride, we got to watch her put the finishing touches on her mural.  She has painted scenes of mountain sports framed in multi-colored circles.  It is always wonderful when I get to see my daughters doing artistic work!

These are just two of her finished pieces.  She has since finished the entire room and hopes there will be more mural work coming soon.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Figure Drawing Group

This past winter a group of local artists and good friends met at our local gallery for figure drawing sessions.  We have been fortunate to have some wonderful models and the sessions are as much a social time as they are for working on our life drawing skills.

A good friend and fellow artist, Alex True, posted this image on her blog of me working away one evening.  I am grateful to our local gallery for providing this experience and doing so much to support our little community of artists.

Alex posted a link to my blog and I'd like to return the favor and share her link

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sunflower Art & Wine Banner Results

The Sunflower Art and Wine Festival was held this past weekend.  My daughter, Lindsay and I both painted canvas banners that hung on mainstreet with proceeds from the banner auction given to benefit our local gallery. 

Lindsay is posing underneath her banner with her daughter, Lily.

I was out of town during this year's festival but was happy to have my banner purchased by close friends and expecially happy that Lindsay's banner was a big hit.  I am seriously thinking of starting some acrylic paintings of flowers after I finish the last OHMS show pieces.

The OHMS show is now going to be hung June 26th in order to avoid Father's Day.  I have three more pieces to complete for the show and have been spending the past two days building mats and frames for the finished pieces.

Visiting Rainbow Gate in Santa Fe

Since I began this blog, I have focused on posting only my artwork but over the past few years I have enjoyed a variety of artist's blogs that include images and information about their discoveries, travels and personal life.  So I have decided to branch out and include those same things.  I hope my family and followers will enjoy this, too and tolerate some of my vacation photos and stories.

For years I have admired a little window in the historic La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe that promotes Rainbow Gate.  So during our recent trip Michael and I found the pottery studio and shop.  It was great fun visiting with some of the local artists and watching them hand paint stunningly beautiful pieces.  I bought a small, red bowl hand painted with two dragonflies.

There were three artists working the day we stopped by.  They paint carved foam stencils with glaze, stamp the designs on the already glazed green ware and then hand paint additional details making each piece in a series and original work.

To see more of Rainbow Gates beautiful pottery visit their website at