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.

Friday, March 30, 2012


"It's Impossible, Elvis"
5" x 7" Mixed Media Drawing on "It's Impossible" Sheet music

A friend asked me to create a drawing of Elvis on the music for "It's Impossible" as a gift for a friend.  He said his friend has a huge crush on the King and this is his favorite Elvis song. 

As with all commission pieces, I hope my friend approves of the finished drawing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I have been working all week to properly scan, describe and post my work in an Etsy store.  If you are unfamiliar with Etsy think of it as an ebay-type site for artists and crafters.

Today I hit the publish button and was thrilled to make my first sale in minutes. For Etsy I am selling little, digital prints of my dictionary drawings and my pastel, still life paintings.  My first sale was a print of the dragonfly drawing created on a dictionary page.

To check out my new shop go to

Monday, March 19, 2012


"Alarm Clock"
5" x 5" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed Dictionary Paper

A little, turquoise, alarm clock seemed a fitting drawing to play with while I sat in my classroom this evening waiting to visit with the parents of my students.  It's parent/teacher conference night.  I am watching the clock quite often since we are counting down until spring break begins tomorrow evening. Tonight I have been in my classroom for three hours and probably only talked to a half dozen parents.  I've been fortunate to have some terrific parents who care deeply about how their child is doing.  Unfortunately, parent participation in spring conferences is dwindling more and more.  The quiet time has provided me with some lovely, uninterrupted time alone.

I also just noticed that this is my 200th blog post.  I think that deserves a special post denoting the occasion and I just couldn't wait until tomorrow to create it.


5" x 6" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed Dictionary Page

Every time I draw I learn something.  I think art is constant experimentation and exploration and these little dictionary drawings, although simple, have provided me with some terrific problem solving opportunities.  I have been struggling to try and pop some highlights into the drawings but couldn't find anything that added the right, bright white.  I am using micron pens and assorted colored pencils and pastel pencils but I couldn't get any white versions of those materials to show up.

I've thought about getting out a little gouache but I really didn't want to use a wet medium in the drawing stage.  Today I decided to try a little white charcoal BEFORE I started using my colored pencils and "yes-sir-ee-bob" - that worked.  I really like the dash of bright white on the tips of the wings.  I discovered that it just wouldn't stick to the other mediums but it loved to be applied directly to the paper.

Now, if any of you are butterfly specialists be adviced - this fellow isn't really any particular variety.  I just played with patterns and colors and created my very own.  If he resembles any specific butterfly - well, that's another happy accident.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I have always loved Chinese laundry shoes.  In fact these shoes were the inspiration for my Flying Shoes Studio name and logo.  Recently I saw the idea for covering shoes with fabric and I decided to try my hand at covering a pair of Chinese laundry shoes or what many folks call Mary Janes.

I found a cool collection of batik and tie dyed fabrics, cut them to size and glued them on the shoes using gel medium.  I can't wait to wear them!  I think I will finish them out with some buttons.  It's a fun way to spend a weekend!

Friday, March 16, 2012


5.5" x 8" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed French/English Dictionary

I am having a ball drawing images on these sheets of French/English dictionary pages.  These simple, little drawings have almost drawn themselves this afternoon.

My students are working away on colored pencil exercises this afternoon so I've had some time to sit at my desk and sketch too.  It's been a great way to spend a Friday afternoon.  I am really blessed to have a job where I get to not only teach what I love but I often get to create myself.


5" x 6.5" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed French/English Dictionary

I am excited to try drawing some images on a French/English dictionary.  I actually borrowed this dictionary from our high school French teacher with the intention of photocopying some pages but during a particularly hectic morning I discovered I had accidentally torn the book.  I was horrified!  Thankfully I discovered a replacement book online and my friend was understanding and forgiving about me destroying her dictionary.

So I now have a whole French/English Dictionary to scribble on!  This image is pretty simple because the pages of this book were really thin and fragile so I was fearful of working too many marks onto the surface.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


5" x 5" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed Dictionary Paper

It's been an extremely hectic week thanks to closing the third nine weeks and gearing up brand new units for the last of the school year.  Today I found a little drawing time at noon to work on a little pocket watch drawing.

I am looking around for an inexpensive method of framing these small pieces.  I am also struggling with getting a color accurate scan.  Someday I've gotta take a course in Photo Shop to improve my digital skills.

Monday, March 12, 2012


I am trying my mobile blogging app on my iPhone to post. I am curious to see how this works and thought capturing today's art one unit on pattern would be the subject

Pattern is a favorite element of mine and I require my students to apply it often in their assignments so I broke down the basics to start this unit with my art one students. It has served me well to teach the concept early and require it throughout the four years I have many of my talented students.

My Pattern Vocabulary/Worksheet

This is the vocabulary/worksheet I use to lecture about Pattern.  I like breaking down the six types of patterns described in most of the classroom texts I've used.  The six types of patterns include Random Patterns and the five types of Planned Patterns which include (1) Rows, (2) Grids, (3) Radial, (4) Alternating and (5) Half Drop.

I then require my students to create the six types of patterns on 2 1/2" x  2 1/2" squares using their colored pencils.  They must create a set of six using one, repeated image such as a star, heart, flower, skull or any symbol or image they prefer.

I provide a variety of pattern resources including examples of Zentangles.  I like to explain how these popular patterns still fall into the six types of patterns.

After I designed this blog post I discovered that my iPhone app didn't provide me with layout options and spell check.  So this is now the edited version of my original post.  I hope the Blogger folks find a way to add these options to the iPhone app but for now I'll continue to happily blog on my PC.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I just started a printmaking unit with my first hour, craft students.  I've learned that it is best to teach students how to carve personal stamps by starting with a little piece of vinyl erasers. 

This weekend I took some of my stamps and did a few quick examples to demonstrate how they can creatively use their new stamps.  Monday morning I will drag out watercolors, markers and remnants of handmade papers and let them experiment.  Their job will be to come up a number of quality prints on a variety of different, creative surfaces.

Thursday, March 08, 2012


3.5" x 4.5" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

The librarian at our high school learned that I was drawing on dictionary pages and brought me a small American Heritage Dictionary with a 1960's copyright.  It had been well used and had some doodles and tears on a few of the pages.  I was concerned that the pages might be too thin and fragile to withstand aggressive mark making but it seemed to hold up just fine.

Yesterday I built another feather page but discarded it because I just didn't like the composition.  I tried to include three, different kinds of feathers but I wasn't happy with the composition.  The small page from this dictionary only allowed space (I think) for one feather.  I also thought it was better suited for a vertical layout.


5" x 5" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

I finished this piece yesterday afternoon and was really not pleased with the outcome.  A couple of other drawings actually were tossed in the trash and I felt pretty discouraged.  Sometimes a piece with create itself with ease and other times drawing and painting can be a real battle - the latter was my experience yesterday.

I am always helping my students rescue a piece when they feel something is ruined.  Fear of messing up and making a wrong choice is a terrible obstacle for artists especially when they have started something that looks great but still needs more attention.  I still lots of my kids stop in their tracks for fear of making a wrong mark or broken hearted after they spill pain, have ink run or a multitude of other problems.  Often we can overcome a problem area but sadly there are times when you just have to appreciate what you've learned and apply it to another piece.

I'm not sure I am fond of this little teacup but I decided it would live to see another day.  I am concerned that the ink values on the cup and saucer are a little too dark and I'm sure I really like the color of the floral design....all choices that someone else may not notice.

Not every piece is a masterpiece and I'm constantly surprised when someone is attracted to a piece that I really didn't think had much merit.  Maybe this little drawing will have an admirer out there somewhere.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


5" x 5" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed Dictionary Page

I have more ideas than time these days to complete a series of drawings on distressed, dictionary pages.  I still like the look of the Sepia brown Micron pens and am really pleased that they are lasting through a lot of drawings.  It's a really busy time at school with the third nine weeks wrapping up this Friday.  My students are just finishing paper mache' mask making and pastel painting.  I am extremely busy preparing printmaking supplies and watercolor brushes, paints and papers for new units.  My afternoon classes are heavily into colored pencil skill building and about to study a unit on patterns.  We also just hung our first competitive show of the year in a gallery in Kansas.  Whew!!!  My room is cluttered with supplies coming and going!

Back to the dictionary series.....
A couple of these drawings are already spoken for and shipped off to new homes.  I hope to complete enough for a booth at our spring art festival - which means digging up funds for frames.  Since I've been getting such a positive response about this series, I plan to investigate the cost of making some Giclee prints.

This morning I borrowed a French dictionary from the French teacher down the hall from my classroom.  I think some drawings on copies of a French dictionary would be lovely to try.

Back to my classroom and hopefully some time for playing.

Thursday, March 01, 2012


5.5" x 7.5" ink, colored pencil & watercolor on distressed dictionary page

I've been successful at creating one of these drawings each day this week.  It's so much fun to play with new art supplies and these simple drawings seem to build themselves.  I have been focusing on doing subject matter that I've already drawn or painted so that has helped me to create so quickly.

When my mother passed away, my sisters and I had the overwhelming duty of cleaning out a home that included many generations of keepsakes and belongings.  In the basement I discovered a damp box of damaged silverware that I hauled home and tucked away for what I had hoped would be some kind of craft or art project.  I have since used them as subjects for me and my students.  Today they seemed to belong in my recent, dictionary page series.  I like the different patterns and tarnished surface of the silverware.

I was creating this series in a square format but no matter how much I tried, I just couldn't crop off the silverware drawing.  I think it works best in a vertical rectangle.  I added the text digitally but have hand lettered the text on some of the pieces that I've given or sold to others.