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, April 30, 2013


Butterflies are and have been one of my favorite subjects.  I can't seem to keep many in my inventory so I am pushing to have a few new, butterfly drawings ready for the Oklahoma City art show at the end of May. 

I love to play with whatever colors I feel like and I use all kind of resources when I am building new butterfly drawings.  Many years ago I gave my mother this wall hanging of actual butterflies encased in a class sphere. I keep it in my studio.  Whenever I start a new butterfly piece I like to keep it close by to study the intricate parts of the insect.

This drawing started with line work and details drawn in sepia ink on a large, old page that is incredibly thin.  I have almost finished adding color to the variety of wings in this collection.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


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

Okay, okay, okay - I realize that I've created quite a few pieces with scissors but I LOVE them and customers seem to agree.  (There are a few more planned as part of other drawings.)  As an art teacher I am surrounded with art and craft making tools and there never ceases to be unusual scissors in my classroom.  In our remote, rural community we have experienced an influx of students from across the globe thanks to a pork processing plant in need of workers.  My classroom is now home to teenagers from Ethiopia, Sudan, Burma, Guatemala, Korea - just to name a few.  With these new populations come some unusual tools including a variety of different scissors I've never seen before.

Of course, the scissors I drew on this page are pretty mainstream for scissors found in Oklahoma.  Like so many of my pieces, I sought to age and wear them in my drawing.  I like celebrating items with some history and some signs of use or possible neglect.  I think of it as giving my subjects a little character.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly,
is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.

Sing in the shower.
Dance to the radio.
Tell stories.
Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.
Do it as well as you possible can.
You will get an enormous reward.
You will have created something.
                       Kurt Vonnegut


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

I am gradually building up my inventory for my growing list of summer shows.  Early in this series I created a piece about time and it sold pretty quickly.  I decided to reproduce that page but I didn't want to just redraw what I had already done.  I find it really boring to copy something even if it is from my original work. But I've discovered that certain themes and images are popular so I want to include them in my new shows.

For this page I wanted to build something that looked like it was pretty used up.  I have long loved clock faces and have used them quite a bit in my artwork.  I especially like vintage, old clocks that show some wear and tear.  In other pieces I've set the clock to reflect the birth dates of our family members.  In this clock I have the hands at 2:14 which is the birthday of our newest grandchild, Quinn.

While I was working on this piece our family got word that a classmate of Quinn's mother, my daughter Lindsay, had unexpectedly and tragically died.  It's been a very sad week.  As I drew I thought a lot about my precious little Quinn and about Lindsay's childhood friend who died at the age of 30.  I think my feelings came through on this piece - the passage of time and all that transpires with it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


A few months ago I applied to be juried into the Salida, Colorado Riverside Fine Arts Festival.  I was thrilled last week to get my official notification that I've been invited to participate.  I've stewed all weekend about the wisdom of doing another large show this summer and on the weekend before I report for another school year but thanks to lots of family support - I said yes.

Salida, Colorado is a very cool, artsy town.  We used to travel through there with some frequency when our youngest daughter lived in Telluride on the Southwestern edge of Colorado.  There are lots of galleries, creative shops and a beautiful atmosphere.  I think it will be a great place to enjoy a cool, Colorado weekend.

According to "The 100 Best Art Towns in America" written by John Villani, Salida is one of America's best art towns.  Colorado Events describe this festival as held in a picturesque willow tree filled park with lush green lawns on the banks of the Arkansas River.  It is near a Historic District located downtown where there are unique shops and restaurants.

There is live music scheduled throughout the park during the festival featuring lots of local blues and folk musicians.  Sounds wonderful.  Hopefully this will be a glorious way to end our summer.

Monday, April 22, 2013


9" x 12" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

I am having a lot of fun revisiting some of my favorite subjects on the pages of a really old, larger, dictionary. Working on a larger surface gives me the opportunity to create more images on the page.  This book is exceptionally fragile and the pages are extremely thin much like the pages from a Bible.  I also love that some of the early pages in each section feature tab cutouts found on this page.

For this drawing I researched a variety of bees but as usual - after I studied different varieties I took off on my own without real regard to recreating specific types of insects.  I never knew there were so many different kinds of bees...I think I may have invented a few more.

Like many of it's brothers and sisters, this piece is heading for a frame and for my growing list of summer art shows and festivals.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013


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

I really enjoy drawing butterflies and expect to see a few more in the coming weeks.  One of my first dictionary drawings was a yellow butterfly and I've drawn many others since then but none with this color scheme.  When I am drawing these illustrations on the pages of discarded books, I don't strive to reproduce an exact replica of an actual butterfly.  My goal is to create whatever I want, however I want it, using the tools I have.  I doubt you will find this guy in any science book.

Because these old pages are so brittle and fragile, they will only endure so much mark making before they start to flake and dissolve.  I have experimented with all types of media to discover a "recipe" of particular dry and wet media that works.  For the most part, I use pretty subtle and neutral colors all combined with sepia ink outlines.  I think this combination contributes to the vintage look of the drawings.

I have only thrown out one drawing that crumbled into dust from too much drawing.  It's interesting, too, how different each book feels and reacts.  Even dictionaries from the same year and the same edition can feel different.  It shows that all have changed over time based on their environment and care - kinda like people.

This little guy is heading for a frame so he can shine at the Paseo Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City at the end of May.

Here's my first butterfly on a dictionary page -

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

Even though I am working away on a lengthy series of dictionary drawings, there has been an evolution of my work.  When I first began I cropped the pieces (sometimes actually cutting the pages down ((makes me cringe now)) - other times just digitally cropping on the computer for prints) into square formats.  I loved the look of the squared images - especially in square frames but I have discontinued that approach to now use a full page composition.

I also started out with an ancient scanner so earlier works that were scanned for prints or digital files all ended up with a yellow tint (blame the equipment - I know).  Since most of these original pieces are sold and long gone, I have no way to re-scan them to capture their true color.  You can identify earlier works because they are all very yellow. Thanks to better equipment, my prints and digital files are now much closer to the actual color of the original art work.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


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

This is a second bicycle drawing I have drawn.  I am revisiting a number of my popular subjects so I can include them in my inventory for my upcoming, summer shows.  I had a red bike very similar to this one when I was a kid.  I think it goes well with the red tricycle.

Not a lot to add today because I'm off to spend the day in my studio working on more drawings.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


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

I have learned a lot about subjects and past times that I've never experienced thanks to interesting commissions from customers.  I recently received a request to create a dictionary page for a climbing enthusiast.  I actually have repelled when I was MUCH younger so I am a little familiar with carabiners and ropes but it took me awhile to come up with what I hope are authentic tools of climbing.

This original piece is heading all the way to the UK.  As with all commissioned works of art - I hope the customer is pleased.

Sunday, April 07, 2013


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

Commissions are tricky - it's a challenge to create something that someone else has envisioned.  It is always a relief when the customer is pleased with the outcome.

This piece was commissioned by a friend and my husband's former student now living in Colorado.  It is a graduation gift for her daughter, Lindsay.  Lindsay's passion is music and her favorite song is 100 years.  Her mother also requested I include the heart symbol.

The tough part of this drawing was getting a pleasing arrangement with all these images.  I didn't want the music to be lost in all the dictionary text so I set it at a diagonal.  At first I thought I could draw the music using some studio tricks but discovered that I had to hand letter it all.  It's pretty darn close to the actual notes in the sheet music with one exception - I hope few discover that.

Lindsay is a beautiful girl and the photo resource I was given was a joy to recreate.

Saturday, April 06, 2013


12" x 18" Acrylic Paintings on Gallery Wrap Canvas

When my first grandchild was born I created a series of paintings for his nursery.  My daughter and I found some darling bedding with lamb designs so that determined the theme of his room.  (which is funny since my son-in-law is part of a cattle ranching family)

I had almost forgotten these paintings since my grandson is now 5 and has long since outgrown a sheep themed room.  He is much more interested in Mario and Spiderman these days.  I decided I needed to photograph and preserve these little, cartoon paintings since they will probably not be part of the family much longer. 

My niece has just opened a consignment shop for infant and children's clothing.  I encouraged my daughter to take these pieces and try to sell them.  It was after I saw them hanging in the shop today that I realized I'd never mentioned them online.

Here they are....four little sheep enjoying themselves and looking for a new home.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


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

Okay this one may seem a little odd but I've noticed lots of realistic, human heart images popping up around me and I wanted to try my hand at drawing one.  I had a student recently use a human heart as the subject of her printmaking and I liked the way it turned out.

Like anything new, this one took some research and study.  I even looked over Leonardo da Vinci's notebook drawings of hearts that he created for some inspiration.

Who knows - someone else may think this is cool, too.  This one is ready for a frame.