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, October 31, 2012


6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

I have drawn about a half dozen images of a little, red tricycle for one thing or another.  I thought I had to include it in my dictionary series.  I had a little trike just like this and I also have a rusted out, bent version in my classroom that I occasionally drag out for my students to study for different units.

I really like the nostalgia of a red trike.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

Sometimes pieces almost create themselves and that was the case with this drawing.  I am currently covering cross-hatching, stippling and modeling techniques with my beginning students so I used this piece as a demonstration.  I wanted them to see how I could shade and create the different values in the eagles' flat wings using hatching and cross-hatching.

This is one of the new pieces I introduced at the show this past weekend.  It still doesn't have an owner.  I hope someone will admire it enough to take it home.

Monday, October 29, 2012


6" x 8.5" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

As hurricane Sandy is pounding her, I thought I would go ahead and post my drawing of Lady Liberty.  This simple little drawing also sold during my show last weekend.  It is always exciting when someone admires a piece and wants to have it for their own office or home.  This lady is now owned by a local attorney who was once a student.

The little corner of the page ripped when I removed it from the book but I was able to attach another distressed piece of dictionary paper before she made her home under glass in the frame.

I have lots of new work to still post on the blog.  I am happily making plans on this year's book plate so my studio is cleaned out of dictionary drawings (for the moment since there are a number of commissions for Christmas gifts) and I am filling it with sea shells and black ink pens.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


6" x 8.5" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

The art show opening has come and gone and I have a number of pieces yet to blog about.  This was one of the first to sell on the day of the show.  It was purchased by a fellow teacher.

Me at the entrance to the show. 
I love that you can see my mother
and father-in-law admiring work behind me. 
My father-in-law was a model in one of the pieces.

I feel like the show went well.  I had a great turn out of friends and family, the gallery looked lovely and there were some nice sales.  It was exciting to see so many people take time to come to the gallery and appreciate what I have been doing.

I continue to be amazed that these simple, little drawings are so popular.  The combination of medium with the page out of a dictionary seems to have hit a nerve with viewers.

Regardless of the outcome, this was a milestone moment for me.  It was my very first, solo show in my hometown.  I can check that off the list of things I want to accomplish and move on to another challenge.

Thank you to everyone who helped and supported this special night.

Friday, October 26, 2012


6" x 8.5" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

I drew keys before on a page from a French/English dictionary and that piece has long been sold.  I had fun with keys, have a stash of antique keys so this one is heading for the solo show.  I added a little "shout out" to my husband by putting his initials in the little key on the bottom right along with his birthday.  After all.....he has the key to my heart!  (ahhhhhhhhhh, right?)

Thursday, October 25, 2012


6" x 8.5" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

My show opens with a reception in less than 48 hours and I still have lots to accomplish.  I've got most of the work framed and hung in the gallery but I have six new pieces that still need to be lettered, framed and delivered downtown.  I know that nobody will miss these last pieces but I hate to not have the opportunity to show them off.  Finding ready-made frames in a small, Oklahoma town is proving to be a challenge.

It has been great fun to return to the small, page-sized drawings.  These pieces created on the old book pages are really what I enjoy doing.  I've been intending to do a vintage camera for months so it was great to get this fella done.  It is always a challenge to render something that is basically all black in a more creative color scheme.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


12" x 18" Mixed Media Drawing Distressed Parchment

This is the final of six large, parchment pieces for the solo show.  I had a lot of fun creating images of art supplies I enjoy using.  I especially liked creating the watercolor paints.

I am going to hang my work this afternoon after school.  I have made new price tags, framed and framed and then framed some more and built my own guest book.  I have 26 pieces ready to go but I hope to finish four more for a final count of 30 pieces.

I have already started planning for this year's ink, bookplate and I've got some other new goals for myself in the coming year.  It's fun to look ahead.

Monday, October 22, 2012


12" x 18" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed Parchment

Time is flying and running short for creating many more new pieces for my upcoming show.  I have had a lot of these pieces in mind for some time but these larger works require quite a bit of time to render.  I think I will have six large pieces framed and ready to hang just in time.

This piece includes a lot of my childhood favorite pastimes.  I loved Jacks, marbles, Play-Doh and I spent hours looking through a viewfinder at 3-D images.  I still have lots of those items including the two, metal tops.  In fact, most of these items are in my old, wooden toy box stored in my utility room.

I hope this piece resonates with some of my friends and patrons.  It makes me a little anxious to learn that a lot of my community is responding that they plan to attend Saturday night's reception and show opening.  I've participated in big events before and I've directed huge plays for years but this event is different.  Me and my work is the main attraction - "gulp."  I hope the critiques are kind and that everyone has a great time together.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


12" x 18" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed Parchment

The studio has really been busy the past two days.  I had to create a second, large version of one of my original, dictionary drawings for the upcoming show.  These was and continues to be one of my all time favorite pieces.  Recreating it in a larger format was much more challenging.  In a larger drawing it is necessary to add finer details and more color choices to keep it interesting.

I love the metaphor of a nest.  I think it expresses hope, birth, new life and home.  Right now (well I guess always) those are important values to me.  I've included three eggs as in the past drawing.  I have three beautiful daughters and three, precious grandchildren and have been married for over three decades.  Our little nest is about to get two more grandchildren so I may have to expand for future drawings.

I have two more, large drawings to complete.  The frames I need have just arrived and I picked up the glass and mat board so I am about at the stage where these drawings find their nest and are hung in the gallery.  It's a very exciting time for The Shoes.


Wild Horse Gallery Window Display
The gallery let me build a window display to promote my upcoming, solo show.  Since we are out for fall break for a few days my husband and I were able to create this during the afternoon.
A fellow, high school teacher has a poster size printer and made 2' x 2' posters of some of my dictionary prints.  I mounted them on foam board then lit them with some pedestal lamps I use in my studio.  I selected some of the outstanding pottery from fellow artists to dress the display.
It is really thrilling for me to see my work glowing from a main street window.  We drove by after dark just to see how it looked.  I'm getting closer to finishing the artwork for the show.  The last of my frames should be delivered today and the glass shop should have the glass ready too.
                                                                             I'm off to the studio to spend the day.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


12" x 18" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed Parchment

I have decided to finish six, large drawings on distressed parchment for my show.  The solo show is less than two weeks away and it's decision time on what I'm going to finish and frame.  My goal is to have 30 pieces in this series of dictionary drawings hanging in the gallery along with some prints of the most popular drawings.

I am thrilled that this piece has already sold in advance of the show.  The buyer saw a digital image of the piece last week on my daughter's phone and purchased it on the spot.  He wasn't concerned about the price and agreed to let it hang in the show for the opening night reception.  My husband is convinced that I need to concentrate on patriotic pieces since they seem to sell quickly.

I really like how this drawing turned out.  The aged parchment is a great foundation for working in mixed media.  It is still old paper but it takes quite a bit of marking unlike the vintage dictionary pages.  It still looks old, worn and pretty interesting.  I've found some off white, aged frames that work nicely with the colors in the drawings.  By this weekend I should be busy framing.

I also had an interesting conversation with a young woman from San Fransisco this week via Etsy.  She informed me that one of my pieces "Tea" had been published on the site Tumblr but that it didn't credit me as the artist.  She kindly gave me credit as the artist and linked the post to my Etsy shop and blog.  I'd noticed that the Tea posting had a great deal of interest on my blog but I couldn't figure out the traffic source.  When I finally tracked it down on Tumblr I discovered that 850 different people had reposted my drawing.....WOW!  I'm glad I have started including my circle watermark or nobody might have ever known it was mine.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


My days are filled with juggling my high school classroom and prep for my solo art show in a few weeks.  I am also helping my husband with our high school one-act play which goes to regional competition this weekend.  It's a busy month in our household.

Working with the one-act means I've gotta leave my classroom in the hands of a substitute.  I am fortunate to have a friend who is a terrific artist who manages my classroom when I am gone.  We are just finishing up a unit on the Element of Line and will start the Element of Value when I get back. 

Here is the assignment I'm leaving for my kids.

The popular site, Pinterest, has lots of great lesson plan ideas and I've noticed this activity being pinned quite a bit.  I thought I'd break it down and let my students play with it.  I'm calling them "Wormies."  I think they are a clever way to reinforce cross contour lines.

Anytime I invent a new activity it requires that I create step by step examples.  I teach a lot of non English speakers and students from different cultures who struggle with written directions.  Our rural school estimates that we have over 27 different languages in our system and even more dialects.  It's always a challenge these days to communicate.  I am fortunate to teach visual arts that most students can grasp regardless of language barriers.

Here's my finished example.

Monday, October 08, 2012


6.5" x 8" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

Time to go back to drawing directly on old book pages.  As I started listing my inventory of dictionary drawings I noticed that I had quite a few illustrations falling under the alphabet letter of 'C.'  I decided I really needed to include one of the premiere words for that letter - Cat.

While I drew away I was kept company by our house cat, Wesley.  Wesley and I have something of a love-hate relationship.  I have become Wesley's caregiver over the years since he showed up nearly dead on our doorstep during a storm.  Our three daughters pleaded for us to rescue Wesley and of course, they won.  Our girls are all grown with homes of their own but nobody stepped up to invite Wesley.

Hopefully some cat lovers out there will want to adopt his portrait on a dictionary page.


Saturday, October 06, 2012


12" x 18" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Parchment Paper

I just finished a second, larger drawing on a reproduction of a dictionary paper.  I love antique things that show wear and use and that's what I was going for with these vintage compasses.  I thought they served as a fitting metaphor for JOURNEY. 

There were a few times during the construction of this piece that I contemplated tearing it up and throwing it in the trash.  I am at that stage of preparation for my solo show that I am doubting my choices and fretting over what I've sign on to.  I think most creative folks find themselves in this pickle from time to time.

I believe strongly in challenging myself and pushing myself to create.  I know far too many skilled artists who never venture out and promote their work and have stacks of dusty work tucked under their bed or the back of their closets.  I see students every year with mad talent who aren't willing to put the time and effort into creating the work that they are capable of.  I am determined not to let that happen to me.

I took a break this morning to drop off some mailing addresses to the gallery sponsoring my solo show.  They are graciously mailing out invitations to friends and family.  While I was there my daughter Lindsay and grandson Tate stopped by.

Lindsay and Tate admire a poster in the gallery promoting my show

So after a good dose of family support, a friendly chat with the wonderful, gallery director I am back on the easel and going at it again.  Hopefully I won't have to be medicated before the show happens...(just kidding there). 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


12" x 18" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed Parchment

This is officially my 51st dictionary drawing since I started this series last Spring. I've decided to venture into creating some dictionary drawings on a larger scale even though that meant I'd have to abandon drawing directly on the pages of old, repurposed books. (Don't fret. There are still lots of actual book pages on my easel.)

I have experimented with different papers and thanks to the wonderful assistance of Allison Clemons, a fellow artist who works at a local print shop, I discovered some really old parchment papers that could withstand being digitally printed with a selected, dictionary page. I then was able to distress and ink the page and draw right on top of it. Even though it is now a reproduction of a vintage dictionary, it looks and feels very similar. The benefit is that I can now create larger versions of my drawings with far more detail and a lot more images.

I've got a number of these pieces in the works for my upcoming show. The bigger the piece - thegreater the framing costs so I'm investing a littler more money in preparing these larger drawings. It's always a gamble to see what the public thinks of an artistic change. My dictionary drawings have been far more popular than I'd ever imagined. In fact, I've had a request as far away as England from an interested buyer just this week.

The Shoes are once again, flying high. Thank you to everyone who is enjoying this series and supporting me in my upcoming, solo show.