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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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

I'D LOVE A CUP"

"I'd Love a Cup"
24" x 18"
Pastel on Black Canson MiTeintes Paper

Here's a brand new, large pastel made especially for the opening of the new coffee house.  I'm also claiming this as this year's valentine artwork for my family.  I hope to hang my work sometime later this week in time for the coffee house opening on Saturday.

Since this was a quick piece, I decided to make it all about the color.  I discovered a quote a few days ago that read "Value tells the story but color gets the credit."  I wrote it out and posted it in my classroom.  My students are all learning color theory and starting to work in colored pencils or pastels.  It's a real challenge for them to suddenly work in colored media so I am constantly talking about the importance of color value.  I thought this piece would help me explain using the color wheel, developing color values and being bold with color choices.

I think I may need to do some more pieces in this simple style.  I used to do a lot of work with strong, black outlines on black paper and I forgot how much fun they are to do.  I've also been itching to use some metallic pastels I found in an art shop in Santa Fe which I finally put to use to make the portal around the coffee cups.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

CAMI'S WATERCOLOR

They say "The cobbler's children have no shoes" and there are lots of times when my family has asked why don't I create more artwork for them? 

My granddaughter, Cami has had to wait four years for her very own, personalized watercolor.  She turns four this weekend and I've finally made her a painting.  We don't get to see Cami as much as we'd like.  She lives with her birth mother in Texas and visits my daughter and son-in-law on alternate weekends.  She is a loving, sweet, bright little girl and we are so happy she is a part of our family.
 Cami loves cupcakes, art (that pleases me tremendously), monkeys and fairies so those are the images we selected to signify the letters of her name. 

Before the ravenous legal team at Disney chases me down on the copyright on Tinker Bell - no money was exchanged for the use of her image and my granddaughter has hundreds of legally purchased "Tinks" on bedding, posters, T-shirts and toys all over her room.

Friday, January 28, 2011

ART SHOW IN A NEW COFFEE HOUSE

I am really excited to have been invited to hang some of my artwork in a brand new coffee house opening in our community.  The owner of the business is one of my cast members in the murder mystery dinner theater I am directing.  She approached me about being her first featured artist.

Yesterday I stopped by the shop and was pleased to see how clever it looks.  I plan to show some of my inventory of pastel still life paintings but I hope to build a new pastel with coffee cups especially for her shop.

I love visiting coffee houses when we travel and enjoy the original artwork that is usually on display.

I've got my ideas and my paper ready.  I hope to get something wonderful going this weekend.  Dreaming of patterns, vivid colors and of course, coffee cups.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATER

A long time ago, a fellow artist commented that they had stopped growing a garden each summer because it robbed their creative energy.  I thought that was odd since I didn't view creativity as a limited resource.

Since then I have discovered that her words, in fact, are true.

I find that I need to limit where I direct my creativity and if left unfocused, I can get bogged down in endless projects and never finish anything.

Since I was a kid, I have loved performing in live theater.  I remember vividly when my mother took me to see Carol Channing in "Hello Dolly."  I wanted to to do THAT!  I don't honestly know how many shows I've acted in or directed.  Since founding our community theater in 1979, my husband and children have all contributed lots of time both on and off stage.

I am right in the middle of directing a murder mystery dinner in our town to benefit a newly forming emergency youth shelter.  It's a very worth while project and I am having a great time working with both the youth shelter committee and the talent I've assembled.  The show, "My Fatal Valentine" is about a group of rival romance novelists who are competing for an award.  One of them is murdered and the audience gets to vote for "whodunit."

BUT - I'm also yearning for my free time and my time on other projects - mainly painting.  I've got my easel set up and hope to get some time there preparing for my Taos show but I know that I can't easily jump back and forth from theater to visual art without one suffering or feeling spread too thin.  In about three weeks the production will be gone like pixie dust and I'll be able to concentrate on my paintings. 

Yes, you can most definitely spend your creative currency so be thrifty, dear friends.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Sun, The Rain & The Appleseed: Flying Shoes Inspiring Minds

I am really honored that a good friend featured me in his beautiful blog.  James worked at the local gallery before launching out to seek his fortune elsewhere.  He was a wonderful advocate for me then and I am grateful for his continued support and friendship.

Here is a link to visit his blog.

The Sun, The Rain & The Appleseed: Flying Shoes Inspiring Minds

Saturday, January 22, 2011

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

I can hear strains of Gene Autry as I gather supplies and organize my easel for my upcoming Taos, NM show.  I have a pile of measured papers and mats ready to go.  I've found that it's easier to prepare
everything in advance so I can concentrate on the fun of painting when the mood strikes and the time is right.

I measure, cut, tape and label my Canson MiTeintes papers in assorted sizes on scraps of mat board.  For a show I like to create an assortment of small sizes ranging from 4" to 18."  I love to work larger but smaller pieces are cheaper to frame, ship and sell for less.

Next I cut mats and frame backing for each piece.  I detest cutting mats which is made easier since I have access to a fabulous mat cutter in my high school classroom.  This time of year I am cutting hundreds of mats (in spite of how much I hate doing it) for my student's competitions.  There are lots of scraps left over which help my budget.  This way I also know exactly what size of frames and glass I am going to need.  This helps me budget what expense I am going to have.

So now I'm ready to start a new series of food still life paintings for my Spring show.  I bought some lovely, golden pears last night that I think will be the first piece on the easel.  I hope to add about ten new pieces to replace the inventory I've sold or given away.

"Back in the Saddle Again!"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PATRON SAINT OF FACEBOOK

Here's my homage to Facebook with its very own patron saint.
This piece is also done in Derwent colored pencil on black Canson paper.  It measures 3" x 9".

Patron Saint of Twitter

I have a number of 3" x 3" wooden blocks left over from making mini art blocks with my students.  I have glued a lot of altered, vintage images and prints of my artwork on them and sold them well at our local art gallery. 

I've been trying to come up with another novel way to use them.  Last summer when I set up my art show in Amarillo, the previous artist was taking down her work which was canvas panels hinged together of saint-like characters.  So I thought "Why not invent some saints of my own based on some current pop culture?"

So here is my first, personal saint.  This is my Patron Saint of Twitter.  He is created on black Canson paper with Derwent colored pencils.  He measures 9" x 3" and soon will be glued to three little 3" x 3" boards in a triptych.

Notice the Twitter 't" on his hat, the Twitter bluebird and Blackberry, CXL which are Roman Numerals for 140 (which is the number of characters/spaces you have to post on Twitter) and the phrase "Follow Me."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

THE MYSTERIOUS "MAE"

Last summer I found this painting at a yard sale and I had to rescue it.  The yard sale was in the former home of the deceased Guymon resident, Vonceil Gray (not sure I spelled that correctly).  She and her husband had owned a wonderful dress shop on main street where I remember shopping with my mother and older sisters.  Vonceil was a really classy woman who was always beautifully dressed whenever you saw her. When she died, her home and it's contents were sold.
It's hard for me to see a discarded work of art (well there are some that might deserve to be hidden under the bed).  I have difficulty throwing away abandoned student work left in my classroom, too.  Mae (which was written on the back of the canvas cardboard) needed a home so I not only brought her to mine but I also hung her on the wall.  Someone did a nice job of depicting this person using some lovely color techniques.

The only other clue I have is the date "1972" written on the back of the piece.  Someone had marked out something beside the name, Mae but I can't make it out under the black.

I've lived in the same little town for over 50 years and think I know just about every aspiring artist in town but no Mae comes to mind.  I don't know if it's the name of the artist or the subject.  So Mae remains a mystery.

Maybe someone out there can help identify her.  Regardless, she is admired, enjoyed and appreciated each and everyday as I walk past her.  Someone cared enough to capture her and Vonceil cared enough to frame and display her in her beautiful home.

I think each and every working artist hopes that their creations outlast them and are appreciated and cared for long after they are gone.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

LUKE WATERCOLOR

Here is another dimensional watercolor commission I did for Christmas.  This piece was for a little boy who adores John Deere tractors.  The mother gave me one of his toy tractors for inspiration and basically asked me to do whatever I wanted.

Camra's Christmas Commission

Now that the holidays are over, I am geared up and starting a lot of new projects.  I have waited to post a few of the Christmas commissions I did until I knew the gifts had been unwrapped and I wouldn't spoil any surprises.  This 17.5" x 7.5" watercolor was created for a really wonderful young lady who was a former student and an active member of my husband's speech and debate team.  She is currently a college student who is actively pursuing a career in theater wig construction.

Camra's mother commissioned this piece during the Art Show I participated in way back in November.  All of the images and the color scheme were her suggestions.