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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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

READY FOR OKC ART SHOW


I have 38 drawings framed and packed for the Paseo Art Festival this weekend in Oklahoma City.  I've had a heavy heart finishing up my exhibit for the show after the horrible tornado that hit Moore which is a suburb of Oklahoma City.  I have two daughters who live in Oklahoma City and they both took shelter when this storm happened.  We had some tense moments while they road it out.  They both know families who lost their homes.

So far, only two artists have backed out of the festival because of the storm.  The festival organizers have taken action to see that victims of the storm are not forgotten during the show and have included fundraising as part of the weekend.

I hope friends and followers in the Oklahoma City area will drop by my booth and visit.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

END OF A SCHOOL YEAR MASKS

Lorie showing off her inventive mask she wired so the eyes have blinking lights

Our school year wraps up in a couple of days and final projects are being completed.  I have been so fortunate to start my day this year with a fabulous group of students in my crafts class.  They have been working on paper mache' masks and sculptures and I am thrilled with the creative outcomes.

It's hard not to have favorites but I have to admit I love the blue, toothy guy.

Students could chose whether they wanted to make -  a decorative mask or a standing sculpture but everything had to start with a paper mache' foundation.  I then taught them to cover their work with plaster and a couple of coats of gesso to hide those pesky strips of newspaper.  Everyone got to go in whatever direction they wanted but I required that they add embellishments and decorations to whatever they built.

I think these girls really did a fabulous job

I am going to miss this special group.  When I first started teaching, I was handed this craft class and told I could do whatever I wanted.  I've developed a class that gets to do all sorts of projects from printmaking to paper making to weaving and folded paper and paper mache' sculptures.  It is generally an upper level course for students who aren't interesting in learning drawing or painting skills.  *sniff* this teacher is sad to see these terrific people go.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

HUMMINGBIRD REVISITED

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

The Oklahoma City Paseo Arts Festival is one week from today and most of my new work is matted, framed and ready to go.  I've got boxes of work piled high by my front door.  My tent and display panels are already in OKC.  I keep watching the weather and so far it may rain some but the temperatures are forecast to be mild.

I have revisited a number of popular subjects for my summer show circuit and I had to include another hummingbird.  The more I draw these delicate, tiny birds the more I love them.  There is no limit to the color schemes you can use so I get to use the "whole box of crayons" on these guys.

Friday, May 17, 2013

DRAGONFLY REVISITED

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

The three day, Paseo Art Festival is a week away and my studio is piled high with frames and mats and prints all needing my attention.  I have added 20 new pieces to my inventory in hopes the show is a profitable and I move some work.

To prepare for the show, I have revisited quite a few popular subjects.  I have drawn another dragonfly but this time decided to brighten up the color scheme so all the tiny lines and details will show.  I also added a couple more of the little guys so the focal point won't be all alone.

Today I plan to work away in my studio doing all the hand lettering on these new pieces.  When I scan them, I digitally add the text but I then hand letter the originals using sepia watercolor.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

AFTER SCHOOL MOSAIC CLASS

10" x 10" mosaics on wooden boxes

I was approached last fall by our administration to teach an after school art class for some of our migrant children.  A migrant child lives in a household supported by migratory agricultural employment and usually moves with frequency.  Our school has a large number of migrant children and our administration works closely with a variety of government agencies to see that these children get a quality education.

I decided to teach a mosaic workshop.  I have wanted to work with mosaics but the supplies can be expensive.  I have a long term goal to create a community, public art mosaic in our town but knew I needed to get some hands on experience before I tackled a large scale project.  I've done small mosaics in the past and I've had a few students do mosaics as independent projects.  This was my first attempt to teach a full class and to work with tiles and small children.


I was fortunate to have five of my high school students volunteer to help me.  I purchased 10" x 10" wooden boxes to use as the support for our mosaics.  We painted the sides of the boxes and let each child design their own mosaic pattern.  My philosophy with children's art is that they get to create what they want, how they want.  We had some unusual images but everyone had a great time.

Here are a few of the completed mosaics waiting for grouting.  I have had black grout under my nails for about two weeks as my high school students and I did that step for the children.  We polished each, individual tile with newspaper and varnished them before the kids got to take them home.  The ultimate compliment came when the kids said, "This class rocks."

My Finished, Sunflower Mosaic


Friday, May 10, 2013

TEACH

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

It's Teacher Appreciation Week.  I've been thinking about doing a page for and about teachers for a long time.  Teaching is our family business.  My husband and I are both teachers (he's taught for 34 years and I've taught for 13).  My sisters are teachers and two of my daughters and both of their husbands are all involved in education, too.  My mother-in-law and father-in-law are also retired from teaching.

For this piece I decided to include some vintage and traditional tools used by a teacher.  I didn't want it to reflect a particular subject area and I wanted to include items I might have seen on the desk of a childhood teacher.

I actually grew up attending a tiny, rural school located in the center of our farming community.  I learned in a room with first through sixth grade children all together under the guidance of one, sometimes two teachers.  It closed for lack of students when I finished the sixth grade.  It wasn't a one room school house - this building had two classrooms and a gym/auditorium/cafeteria.

I added the penmanship practice card in this piece (a subject that is now being phased out of the classroom).  I deliberately chose the letter 'M' to honor my two, grade-school-teaching sisters, Melinda and Mary Jane and tip my hat to my husband, Michael.  These gifted, dedicated teachers have been in the classroom for over thirty years and have influenced countless children.  This is my tribute and way of saying Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

NURSE

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

This drawing is intended as a tribute to nurses.  I think everyone at some time or another has been under the care and compassion of a special nurse.  Growing up in our small town, there are three nurses who stand out to me, Betty, Betty and Charlotte.  These terrific ladies were there when our family needed them and they always did far more than give a shot and follow a doctor around a clinic.  In fact, there were a number of occasions that a doctor might leave, retire or in one case, pass away, that we would follow our nurse to her next clinic.  We trusted our nurse so much that we'd patronize whom ever she had decided to work for.  These ladies looked out for us - and although one Betty is no longer with us, Betty and Charlotte still are close to our family.

Currently our rural hospital is struggling like so many in remote areas.  I think a lot about the staff there and how much we admire and need them to be supported.  So here's my salute to a special profession that serves us each and every day.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

DAMAGED DICTIONARIES

Trying to erase the scribbles on the back of a dictionary page I used for a recent drawing

I love hearing from people who discover my blog or my artwork on Pinterest.  Occasionally I will get a comment from a book lover who is upset that I am disrespecting and defacing a book with my art.  I try and respond that I too am a book lover and that the dictionaries I use are usually discarded and damaged.

I am fortunate to be a public school teacher and sadly, there are no shortage of damaged books.  My high school librarian has been extremely generous to give me books that are too used up to keep on the shelf.  Other teachers also give me their cast-offs knowing that the book will be given new life as a work of art.

The inside of a dictionary which I use to harvest pages

It has been interesting to gather up damaged dictionaries from across the country.  I had no idea how the pages of a book are effected by its environment.  I'm not talking about the doodles or tears a book might suffer but how the very same edition of the very same book may have a totally different feel to the pages.  I love working on children's dictionary pages because I like the simplicity of the definitions and the occasional illustration on a page.  Long ago I decided to use old books that were 50 -60 years old so they were published around the year I was born. So I have a number of the exact same editions and each is different.

When I start to push marks into the page and build up layers of ink and colored pencil the pages of different books feel and react in different ways.  I don't know if climate plays a role or if use chemically alters some books more than others.....I have no idea.  I just know these precious, old books each have a personality of their own - much like people.  I find that fascinating.  Wouldn't it be awesome if they could tell the story of their journey?  Either way - I value these pages and I think I repurpose and reclaim each page.

MOVIE

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

A few years ago I created a drawing on the definition page of "Film" as a wedding gift for a former student.  As usual, I scanned the work, watermarked it and saved it on my computer for use as future prints.  In my rush to complete the process, I failed to save a file of the drawing without the embedded watermark.  I didn't realize my mistake until a customer requested a print of the drawing.  I can't undo the watermark so that drawing is no longer available as a print.

When I discovered my problem, I decided it was time to draw another movie themed page.

My husband and I love movies and thanks to another former student, we get to attend an amazing film festival every Fall in Telluride, Colorado.  During this event we get to rub elbows with film makers, actors and some of the big muckety-mucks from Hollywood.  We've been fortunate to meet and actual talk to Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Colin Firth and many other A list celebrities.   We also get to attend exclusive movie premieres and see these films long before they are released to the rest of the world.

Teaching may not pay particularly well when compared to other occupations but our former and current students have rewarded us in countless ways.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

TRAVEL REVISITED

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

I got the bright idea to reproduce a new drawing of past work that has sold.  It's my work so why not redraw it for another customer?  I have prints available of earlier pieces but an original is worth more - right? Well, this idea has proved to be a strain.  I simply don't enjoy redrawing something the same way I did it before.  I much prefer exploring new subjects, color schemes and compositions.  But I did try on this one.

This stack of vintage suitcases has been a popular print on my Etsy shop and the original sold last Spring.  I've long regretted that I cropped the original so small and that the colors in the original scan were so yellow.  I thought it could do with a make-over.  I had to change it up some but I did start with the same subjects.

I still love the happy little stack and the color choices of the first drawing but I think there are some new things to enjoy with its sister.  No matter how I try I see happy faces on the right side of the suitcases created by the handles and clasps.

Monet painted the same French hay stacks over and over again and look where it got him.


Friday, May 03, 2013

NEW LARGE BUTTERFLY DRAWING

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

I wanted another new butterfly drawing for my Memorial Day art show in Oklahoma City.  We are fortunate that our school system is now having classes Monday through Thursdays until the end of the semester.  This gives me a full, interrupted Friday in my studio leading up to my next art show.

I really enjoyed spending quiet time alone in my studio this morning and this drawing is the result.  I am always seeking new ways to render subjects that have been old favorites.  This finished piece gives me two new butterfly drawings ready to frame.  I am working away to have enough new pieces to manage a three day long event.  I don't have enough display space in my booth for what I have finished but I want to have additional work ready in the trunk of my car should sales go well.