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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.

Friday, January 31, 2014

BERKSHIRES HERE I COME


Just got my official invitation to participate in the Berkshires Arts Festival over July 4, 5, and 6.  This is the 13th year of the festival which boasts of kicking off the cultural season in that area with art lovers streaming in from Boston to New York City.

I am really excited to be taking my dictionary drawings to the East and I am really looking forward to spending time in this beautiful area.  I am waiting to hear if I am included in an art show the following weekend in Chicago which will make this venture on the road potentially more lucrative.  All art shows are gambles but what a great excuse to travel the country, meet new people and possibly sell a little artwork.

If you are in the neighborhood, drop in and see me.




Centennial Collages Reappear

Oklahoma Sports Themed Dimensional Collage
4' x 8' torn paper over Styrofoam letters on a plywood Board

Years ago the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Hideaway Pizza people joined forces to create a collage competition to celebrate our state's Centennial.  From 2000- 2007 they hosted a yearly contest in different age categories with a state appropriate theme each year.  I entered the competition twice and won the top prize each year.  The finished collages were then owned by the historical society and occasionally toured the state and were displayed at their state office building.  I haven't seen them for years. 

Arts in Oklahoma
Torn Paper Collage on 4' x 8' Plywood Board

My youngest daughter recently ate at a Hideaway Pizza in Oklahoma City and their had hung my two pieces in the restaurant.  She sent me these photographs.  It looks like they have held up well after their tours sometimes setting for days outside in state parks and state offices.

These pieces were created on 4' x 8' plywood.  I used the torn paper collage technique I teach my students and also added dimensional, Styrofoam letters, pieces of quilt, old books, etc.  The first picture was created using a sports theme.  The next picture was to use an arts theme.  I had to apply layers of varnish to protect the surface.

It was sure nice to see these old friends resurface.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

SHEEPDOG COMMISSION

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

Thanks to the school year starting and the flu bug running through me and my entire family, it's been difficult to focus and make time to draw.

My classroom is starting to settle in and I've put lots of energy into getting the chaos there better organized and cleaned up.  I am void of the gene for organization and I avoid cleaning at all costs....then the piles and turmoil starts to take over and I am forced to deal with it.

This commission was actual born during my Thanksgiving show in New Mexico.  I frequently have people ask if I have any dog drawings.  The truth is I don't because I can never decide which breed to draw.  I am rather partial to mutts and mixed breeds but every dog owner has a preference plus they often have a strong relationship and attachment to their pet.  This customer wanted to capture their actual sheepdog and a few weeks ago sent me some photos and requested I create this drawing.

I love the expressive face and pose of this particular photo.  What a wonderful animal.  I sent a pic to the customer this morning and hope she finds it expresses how she feels about her sheepdog.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1/22 WHAT'S ON MY DESK


Printmaking Unit Demonstration

My classroom is a total mess.  I have equipment and supplies everywhere.  It's that time when one unit has just finished up and another is starting in everyone of my classes.  I'm just about to the tipping point where I've got to spend time doing nothing but packing and storing and organizing and cleaning.  

Today I started a relief printmaking unit with my craft students.  I like to start with little rubber mats often called Eezy Cut.  I precut each student a little 2" x 2" square and require them to come up with a design, carve their design then print a series of pulls.  We progress to more difficult to manage linoleum plates and blocks each with specific assignments.

Friday, January 17, 2014

SCRAPBOOK

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

Our community has a big heart.  When someone is in need there are lots of generous, kind folks who step up to lend a hand.  I think the pioneer spirit that helped settle this remote prairie still exists.

A friend of mine established a craft studio a few years ago and each month she opens up her studio for anyone who wants to come use her equipment and purchase hard to find crafting supplies.  She is incredibly generous and has gifted my art program with a wonderful printer and other craft supplies.  When a member of our community and fellow crafter was diagnosed with cancer, my friend jumped into action planning a community -wide fundraiser to help with medical expenses.

I decided to donate a drawing for the fundraiser.  This scrapbook drawing is that donation.  The subjects are simple scrapbook tools I'm familiar with on a page with the definition of scrapbook.  I hope it helps support someone who needs it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

MY ART STUDIO FLOOR


Painting Pattern on my Studio Floor

I am blessed to have a home, art studio.  When we bought our old, fixer-upper the garage had been converted into a beauty shop so I had used that space as an art studio for years.  Unfortunately, the old water pipes never really worked and there was no heat or air so I didn't work in there very often. 

I would have to drag a space heater and fan to my studio as the weather demanded and eventually the space just turned into storage.  As my daughters left the nest, I would set up tables around our big house and live with the clutter in my living room or dining room.  One day I woke up to the fact I lived in an enormous house with five bedrooms and no one occupying much of the space.  So I set about clearing a second story bedroom with perfect, North light and established my studio.  It was just the step I needed to really "seal the deal" and create a working studio.

Now and then I try to improve my little studio with better storage and little touches that make the space more artsy and cozy.  There is a pretty damaged, hardwood floor in the room.  My middle daughter once occupied it as her bedroom so there are paint splatters and scars here and there.  I knew I didn't want to carpet the floor since more paint and such were sure to happen but I needed to improve the floor.

So I plopped down, grabbed a bottle of black paint and started building a carpet of patterns.  I don't know when I'll finish but it's sure fun to take a break from time to time and add another little square.  I occasionally have studio visitors and I think this adds a cool touch.

About a year ago I got the urge to sell our big house and find something newer and smaller.  I visited with a realtor about listing our home and he immediately said we had to repaint rooms and make more neutral changes.  I have freely painted rooms all sorts of vivid colors and even added "creative" touches outside.  I let my daughters design and paint their rooms to suit their moods, too.  Realizing I actually love our old, run down HUGE house I went the other way - I've added more artistic touches like this floor.  I want to live in my house and enjoy it.  The next owner can do what they want but for now - it's my space.

Monday, January 13, 2014

WHEN I GROW UP - BRAND NEW SKETCHBOOK


When I grow up....
I wanna be a Funky Old Lady

While I was in Santa Fe I treated myself to a brand new, leather bound sketchbook filled with handmade paper.  Since I was a kid I've loved new art supplies and a new sketchbook holds such promise.  I often will hesitate to use new pencils, sketchbooks or paints forever because they look so pretty and perfect in their packages.

I knew just what i wanted to do in this sketchbook.  I want it to be something of a journal/diary.  

When I was in high school a ka-zillion years ago I wrote and illustrated a journal in my English class.  I loved my teacher and I really worked hard to create an original book.  When I was finished she loved it so much that she asked to borrow it.  I never got it back - NEVER!  I've tried to find her and once, actually discovered her mailing address and sent her a note asking for the book back - no response came back. 

I've thought alot about that book and it's contents.  So I decided I'd build another just for fun.

This first page is totally true.  When I was a kid I answered the question of "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with "A Funky Old Lady."  I'm just about there (in my mind but maybe more so if you ask my family and students).  When I showed this drawing to my husband he laughed and said it really did look me as I rushed off to school each morning.  He knows that because he usually is loaded up, too, with frames, art supplies and display items.  I've never learned how to teach art without lots of stuff. 

Whenever we travel somewhere one of the biggest chores for me is to decided which art supplies to leave at home.  I never know what I'll want to play with so I usually pack EVERYTHING just in case I get the urge to paint or draw or sew or whatever.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

WHAT'S ON MY DESK

I got the bright idea to record my classroom and studio desk/work space throughout the year. I thought it would be fun to preserve my life from day to day. This pic is my desk as I prepare to do a demo for my first hour craft class. We have been making handmade paper and they are now creating personalized journals to hold 20 sheets of unified, handmade paper.

These materials are examples of materials and methods to use to cover and embellish their journals. The black apparatus in the upper, left hand corner is a document reader which projects my desk on the wall so my students can better see me working.

I plan to post these pics from time to time.  I often consider this blog to be my personal scrapbook and diary but I hope others will enjoy a little of my day to day experiences, too.




Friday, January 10, 2014

I AM REPRESENTED IN SANTA FE, NM GALLERY


This little girl has always dreamed of being a big-time, full-out, Santa Fe artist.  When I was a teenager that dream included living in a teepee, selling my art on what was then a dirt trail down Canyon Road in Santa Fe and as I've grown older I've thought that dream was far from ever being a reality.  (At my age, I also prefer dreams that include indoor plumbing.)

Well, never forget those dreams, my friends.  Over thanksgiving while I was showing my work in Albuquerque, I was approached by a Santa Fe Gallery owner who was interested in representing me in a her brand new gallery.  I couldn't breath!  This past week - it happened.  My husband and I traveled to Santa Fe, met with the wonderful owners of the WOW! Gallery and I officially signed on for them to show and represent me.  It was a terrific experience.

Jessica and Mark are the fabulous folks who own the WOW! Gallery.  They have years of gallery experience and made Michael and I feel right at home.  Jessica is a working artist in Santa Fe and I feel like I've known her all my life.  Mark will be the gallery director and who could resist buying from the handsome, friendly face. 

Visit Jessica's blog at Jessica Wesolek's Personal Blog


Jessica suggested I find more suitable frames for my work that better matched the contemporary style of their new space.  She helped me locate these simple, bamboo frames.  She thought these "green" frames matched my repurposed artwork perfectly - and she was right.

Michael and I finished framing in the hotel room just before we delivered the artwork.  I wanted my work to have as professional a presentation as I could manage even if it meant taping and wiring on our hotel bed.


Speaking of our hotel, Michael booked us a very special night at the historic, Santa Fe Hotel & Hacienda Spa.  It is the only such hotel in the USA owned and run entirely by a Native America tribe.  It was beautiful with our own working fireplace in our room.  We actually stayed in the Hacienda Spa units.  We typically stay with friends or book a room at Motel 6 this was an exceptional treat.

This is a photo of the WOW! Gallery located at Shelby Street in Santa Fe.  It is just one and a half blocks from the old plaza.  It is prime real estate in this artist mecca.  The gallery is small and intimate and is officially set to open next week.  I am anxious to see everything hanging and the logo on the window.

I unpacked and left a dozen of my dictionary drawings.  Jessica and Mark were so supportive and wanted to discuss each piece, it's significance and the process I used to create them.  I was so excited that I probably gave them more background than they were looking for.  I appreciated how much they cared about me and my work.

Our evening ending with an expensive bottle of champagne opened back at the Hacienda Spa by our very own butler, Lubo.  (I told you this place is swanky.)  My husband did an amazing job of helping me prepare, travel to and deliver my artwork.  He made it a very special experience.  I am so blessed to have him share this dream come true.  Without him, I know that this might not have ever happened.



Thursday, January 09, 2014

2014 MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATER UNDERWAY

I am gearing up again to direct a murder mystery dinner theater to raise funds for our local youth shelter.  This is the third time I've directed a show for this group and we always have a ball.

I drew out this artwork a couple of months ago for the promotional materials for the show.  Posters and tickets are now circulating around the community.  We have sold out early and hope we have the same good fortune this year.

We start rehearsals tonight.  My husband and family have a great time doing these shows.  In the past we have purchased scripts and ended up rewriting and adding characters so our friends could join in the fun.  So this year we decided to just write the darn thing ourselves.  My husband is the playwright and I added characters and ideas as we went along.  The final draft of the script was just sent to cast members a few moments ago.

We have a large cast of dancers, singers, actors and general crazy people.  I am even going to have a small role this year - can't wait.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

BACK TO WORK


My Desk

The holidays are over and school is back in session.  This is my Monday-morning-back-to-school-first-day-of-the-Spring-semester-desk.  Lots going on.

I learned long ago to begin the second semester with a little overlap from the first semester.  I never enjoyed dragging myself up to my classroom over Christmas to clear out supplies, build new units and have my room all fresh and shiny for the new year.  It is exhausting to go back to school and to lecture and be up to motivate my kids the first day rarely productive for me or for them.  I now carry over a short assignment so my students come back, jump into routine and know exactly what they are doing.  Then over the course of about two weeks, I start packing up current assignments and getting supplies and equipment out for something new.  I think my students like it to.

Right now my classes are finishing up handmade paper making (a huge supply nightmare) and I am sorting and organizing printmaking supplies (another monster assignment that requires lots of prep and room) to start next week.  My second year kids are finishing up ink drawings while I get charcoals and pastels ready to go.  My advanced students are working on intricate, colored pencil drawings while I am getting ready to blow their minds with some creativity exercises and competition assignments.  My first year children are doing self portraits from photos we took before Christmas and I am dragging out linear perspective examples and assignments (not my fav but over the years I've managed to make it more fun).

Lots to do in my classroom.  I love new beginnings especially when I can manage them.