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, September 30, 2011


Here's an update on my progress with this class demonstration piece built from my grandmother's quilt using my hands.  I've finished working the piece to demonstrate value and texture techniques but I'm interesting in finishing the entire thing sometime soon - just because.

I love graphite pencil on white paper - sometimes it just "hits the spot."  Thanks to a mention in Southwest Art Magazine, I recently discovered a fabulous Southwest artist named Mary Ross Buchholz who creates beautiful horse and rider drawings using graphite.  Visit her blog at  Her work is extraordinary.

Since my students only have a short time left with graphite this piece may have to wait until next summer for completion.  I am on to building demonstrations using ink which will involve my annual bookplate.


 I spend a great deal of my day creating assignments for my students.  Part of that time is also preparing examples and demonstrating techniques.  My beginning students are studying the Element of Line.  We are doing line drawings of different subjects I set up in the room and currently we are working on expressive line.  I decided to update my unit with a couple of new exercises to teach expressive lines. 

First I had my students create a variety of different types of lines.  Then they had to create a drawing of flowers in a vase using expressive lines.  Like any good teacher, I had to do the assignments, too.

My second year students are about to begin a really challenging ink assignment that will take them the entire second, nine weeks to complete.  They are creating a giant self portrait built from individual grids each filled with patterns.  The trick is to create changing values within the same pattern. 

To start them off in ink work, we draw a random doodle across a sketchbook page and they are to fill each section of the doodle with a pattern.  They are also required to create light, medium and dark patterns.
Ink can feel intimidating at first so this exercise helps loosen students up and get them used to working in that medium.  One of the challenges for me in creating a demo piece is making sure I don't complete a piece that needs to be partially done so student's can figure out the process.

It's been a busy week of building new projects for my classes while also teaching a workshop on Artist Trading Cards.  I've got lots of projects planned for my weekend so stay tuned to see what pops up next.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The Little Red Trike has a tricked out frame and is ready to be delivered to friends who coordinate the area fundraiser for folks who are fighting cancer.  The event is sponsored each fall and I think this is the fourth time I've donated a painting for their silent auction.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I am up to my ears in projects these days but thanks to a text from a good friend I've added Artist Trading Cards (ATC's) back into my life.

ATC's have been around for years and artists across the planet have been building and trading these itty-bitty (2 1/2" x 3 1/2") works of art.  A few years ago I required my students to create ATC's and we had a great time making and trading them.  ATC's are supposed to be original works of art made in miniature and traded, never sold.  You can find websites that feature ATC swaps and there are even kits available to get started.

When my friend texted about hosting an ATC event I got the itch to drag out all the scraps and odds and ends I used to collect for making them.  Today I launched an ATC workshop next week for my students and friends so I am up to my ears in preparations.  The student president of our local art club currently works at a coffee shop and she is going to ask if they would host an ATC swap and show.

I have a few, special ATC's from former students and hope I can entice other high schools, the local college art program and some of my artist buddies to build and swap.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


In the fall I start out my advanced students working on a variety of graphite pencil and charcoal pieces.  My second year students are required to create a drawing which incorporates hands.  This year I decided to demo using an antique quilt top and photographed my hands appearing to piece the quilt together.

This quilt is very sentimental to me.  It was created by my grandmother using remnants from my grandfather's shirts.  I usually have it stretched on a frame and hanging in a guest bedroom since it is small and never was finished.  I also love the fact that it was created over a hundred years ago while my grandparents were still living in a dugout on our family farm.  To make it even better is the fact that I was told the quilt pattern of eight pointed stars is often referred to as "Road to Oklahoma."

This is the early stages of my demonstration.  I am trying to impress upon my students the importance of microscopic details and strong contrast with a variety of values.  The challenge for me in this piece so far is creating the drape and perspective of the star patterns and replicating the patterns on the fabrics my grandmother used.  I am "embellishing" and changing a few of the patterns to add more variety and that helps me instruct my students to change their pieces and not rely totally on the reality of their resources.  I love drawing and all art for that reason - you can change whatever you want, however you want.

I am trying to work from upper left across my piece.  I like to demonstrate this approach to my students to try and prevent smearing pencil marks as you reach across the paper.

As in all demonstration pieces, I don't know if I'll complete this or not but right now it's a lot of fun to work on.

Monday, September 19, 2011


It feels great to be back on the easel.  I've got most of the shoes' local color in place and started adding some value changes.  I really hope to capture how worn these moccasins are so each rip and weathered section is a challenge. 

I'm saving the little beads until last like dessert.  I've created bead work before and I loved working on such itty-bitty details.  I've been jumping from project to project at school and at home but I plan to finish this piece before September ends.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


A year ago I did a small, colored pencil drawing of my grandmother's moccasins.  The piece sold quickly at our local gallery.  I have often thought I should revisit this special subject matter and create more work featuring these antique keepsakes.

I recently purchased two small canvases and decided to take the moccasins out of their protective glass containers and get to work in acrylic.  With the start of school, I have loads of demo pieces going at school with my students but wanted to have a gallery quality piece started on my easel at home too.

So here's my beginning.  I started by under painting the canvas then applied a great carmine color which I roughed up and scrubbed out so the under painting shown through.  I love creating portals in my work so this wrap around canvas was perfect for a vintage looking frame.

I also decided to compose the shoes so they would look like they were hanging on the canvas from a straight forward viewpoint.

So the fun is about to begin.  I am anxious to challenge myself to capture the worn hide and tiny beads on these old shoes.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


"Little Red Trike"
4" x 4" Colored Pencil on 80lb Paper

Just finished this itty, bitty piece as a donation for The Circle of Friends Cancer Fundraiser coming up in October.  Each year I donate a piece for their silent auction and I have been pleased that some of my close friends have purchased my pieces and contributed to this important cause.  I love when something I've created is loved by someone I know. 

This piece is small but has lots of vivid color.  My third and fourth year, advanced placement students have been working on warm-up drawings using an old tricycle and bicycle as their subject matter.  I decided to join in the fun and create one of my own.  Colored pencil work is extremely time consuming no matter what size it is.  I apply layers and layers of thick color blended together so the finished piece has the qualities of painting.  Now that it's done, I am going to frame it in a glossy red frame with a wide, white mat.

I hope someone has a sweet memory of a little red tricycle and gives it a good home.