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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I recently had a commission to do cartoon caricatures at a friend's wedding.  Due to the impending knee surgery there was no way I could sit and do caricatures on the upcoming wedding date.  The bride asked if I would at least create caricatures of her and her family for decorations.  Here is my finished work.

Year's ago I used to set up and draw quick, ink caricatures at local events and children's parties.  I actually haven't done much cartooning like this in years.  I enjoy the exaggerated facial features of caricatures but for friends and family I generally create "cute" cartoons that flatter a little more than traditional caricatures.  I remember doing hours of these quick sketches finding I had to create drawings of baby after baby.  I learned very quickly that every baby has to be cute no matter what. 

The couple also asked that I design a cartoon frame for the cartoons.

This is the bride and groom which the couple plans to recreate on the top of their wedding cake.

 I didn't get a lot of suggestions of hobbies or interests for the bride so I just let her celebrate.
 The groom loves Nerf guns.
The youngest daughter is described as a princess
 One son loves money, nerf guns and anything spy-like.
 This son has his own superhero symbol.
 This son excells in all sorts of sports and academics.
The oldest daughter loves FFA, her boots and claims to be the boss of the family.

My blood pressure is coming down with the exception of the recent calls from the hospital business office regarding payments for the joint replacement surgery this Friday.  Maybe I can set up a booth in the hallway of the hospital and raise some money doing caricatures to pay the bill.

Keep those prayers coming!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I've had two commissions for personalized watercolors waiting for my attention for a long time.  With the end of school, family and pending surgery I am behind on these orders. These simple little pieces take a great deal of time to complete and are often more of a gift of my time even with the price tag.  I thought I'd share a little of the process.

To start I draw multiple, cartoon images to suit the customer.  Most of these watercolors are personalized baby gifts and match some sort of nursery theme.  I usually draw the images in colored pencils and then paint them with watercolors.  I often make a ton of these pieces not knowing exactly how I'll arrange them around the child's name.

Then comes the job of cutting out each little piece over and over again.  I use both scissors and X-Acto knives to get the intricate, tiny cuts.  I actually stumbled on the idea of creating 3-dimensional paintings after a horrible watercolor mistake on a nearly finished piece.  I was desperate to salvage hours of work and decided to create cut-outs to cover my mistake.  The idea took off!  I think having this little characters and embellishments popping out of the picture are a great touch.

So here is Asher's finished watercolor.  As in all commission work - I sure hope my friend likes the finished piece!
Here's a close-up of the monkeys, background and the silly, jungle birds I invented to embellish the painting.  I tend to get really "busy" with these paintings but the fun is assembling all the tiny pieces and seeing it come to life.
 I debated about posting the painting for baby Hadley.  As is sometimes the case, this customer needed a copyrighted image used which always makes me a little itchy.  But this special baby has a Disney themed nursery waiting.  I really prefer to invent my own cartoon characters but I actually loved putting this painting together.
I am still preparing for a total knee replacement next week.  However, I am also battling my blood pressure which has been extremely high.  If the blood pressure problem doesn't regulate I may be hobbling around a little longer - so, prayers appreciated!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


 Now that my show of little pastel still life paintings has been up for a few weeks and my acrylic street banner is hanging high above our brick main street for the upcoming art, food and wine festival, it's time to catch up on some overdue commissions.

As a rule I'm not fond of commission work but I sure appreciate the paycheck that comes at the end.  Last fall my oldest daughter, Kiley and I sat up a booth at a local craft fair.  She marketed her fabulous hair bows and I promoted my personalized watercolor paintings.  I've had two such orders for watercolors waiting for my attention.  I also have a niece and a former student with new babies waiting for a personalized baby gift.  So my easel has changed over to a center full of watercolors and colored pencils.
I have one more week of teaching art at the high school before our summer break begins.  That means lots of work packing, inventory and requisitioning supplies. I'm also in charge of supervising student artists who are creating graduation backdrops and last minute projects.  It's always a hectic time up until the last bell rings on Friday.

Instead of a summer filled with exciting travel I am preparing for a total knee replacement June 3rd which should influence how I spend the rest of my summer vacation.  I have been gathering and organizing my supplies in hopes that I will find comfort and distraction painting during my recovery.  Let's hope so.  I was one of the youngest patients in the orthopedic clinic this week that wasn't there due to a sports injury.  The thought of using a walker at my age has really upset my self image.  Hopefully my blog will be filled with lots of great work due to my confinement and who knows what you'll discover due to copious amounts of pain medication.

Your prayers will be most appreciated!!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


 She is finally done!  This year's banner is a bit of a departure from the floral pieces I have done in the past.  I hope she enjoys her home hanging high above main street for the next few weeks.  I also hope someone adopts her and gives her a permanent place to live.

Banners are supposed to be turned in to the local gallery on Tuesday and are to be hung soon after that.  I am excited to show off two banners that are being created by two of my daughters.

I think I have enjoyed my girls work more than mine this year.  It is such fun to watch them doing something I enjoy.

Monday, May 09, 2011


I have more of the under painting and choices made regarding this year's Sunflower Festival banner.  The deadline for turning it in is this weekend.

I can't believe how orange I've gone in this piece.  I rarely use that color except for highlights and when it's required as a local color.  I plan to tone it done quite a bit.  I also plan to change the right hand to soften the pose and expose more of the fingers. I don't care for how the thumb is sticking out even though I like it on the left hand.  I am going to "paint out" the large, green leaf so the fingers are prominent.

At this stage nothing is really finished but I have finished blocking everything in excluding the right hand changes

  It's time to start details and pump up the values.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


This year's banner is progressing nicely.  I always have great expectations and fun at this stage of a new project.  I thought using an orange and blue complimentary color scheme would make a jazzy banner when seen from the street.  I really like covering the canvas with medium values before I start creating highlights and shadows.


Tuesday, May 03, 2011


 Rene and Kimberly are the owners of the amazing Trading Post Cafe.  Their restaurant and gallery has been praised in the New York Times and Frommer's.

The Trading Post Cafe has been open for seventeen years in the same beautiful location in historic Ranchos de Taos right at the base of the San Francisco of Assisi church.  They were tremendously kind to show my work during the peak of the New Mexico tourist season.
 It is always stressful to pack and travel with artwork and especially with the delicate, powdery pastels I chose for this show.  I added an extra element of concern when I matted everything in pure white mats that showed any pastel residue that might fall from the work.  Thankfully everything traveled well without any breakage or changes.

 I inventoried and priced each piece before my husband, Michael and daughter, Kelsey started to hang the work.  I deliberately waited to price the work until I saw examples the day before.  Taos is a busy art market and I decided to price the pieces a little higher than I normally do.  I still priced the work inexpensively in hopes of better sales.

I was extremely honored to be given the best room in the gallery/restaurant to show my work.  It is a huge room and I was challenged to build an exhibit of my small pieces that would fill the space.  Kelsey and I spread out the work and decided to group pieces by size and color rather than evenly space them across the walls of the room.
 I have eighteen pieces in the total show.  With help from Michael and Kelsey the show was hung in about an hour.  At the same time we were hanging my work a local Taos artist was in the back hanging her new show.  I was shocked when I discovered her work was being put in the restroom!  Wow - I had the biggest room in the place and she was happy to hang in the bathroom.

I can't express how thrilling this experience was for me.  I have traveled to Taos since I was a little girl and I've dreamed of showing my artwork there all of my life.  This was truly a dream-come-true day.  My show will be on exhibit until July 10th.  The Trading Post Cafe is open Sundays at 5:00, Closed Mondays and open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.


The Sunflower Art, Food and Wine Festival opens June 3rd and one of the highlights for me is painting one of the twenty street banners that hang on main street before the event.

This year I asked a beautiful friend to model for me and be my banner subject.  The painted area of the banner is 24" x 35" and begins with a heavy coat of gesso.  The canvas has to be carefully stretched since it is 100% cotton and likes to shrink when wet.

Stay tuned to see this project develop.  I am excited that my daughters are also painting banners this year and I will post some of their work, too.