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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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2014 BOOKPLATE BEGINS

Family Keepsakes

Each November I create a stipple ink drawing which I turn into adhesive, personalized bookplates for family and friends.  With the Thanksgiving art show and our daughter's fall wedding, I am behind getting this project started.

I love creating a drawing that has some significance and represents an event or experience from the previous year.  I've known for months what I wanted to use for this year's bookplate and I've been so anxious to finish up my series of dictionary drawings so I could start.  I've had all these items sitting on my desk waiting to go and it's been kinda like waiting on dessert....I am so excited to start.

I discovered love letters written back and forth between my parents when they first married in the 1930's.  I had all the letters out and used them as decorations during our daughter's wedding.  I knew I wanted to use those letters in this year's bookplate.

My mother kept everything and while cleaning out her farmhouse, my sisters and I finally just piled keepsakes in boxes to sort through later.  To my surprised I discovered that I had my parent's original marriage license, too.

So with the big wedding in our family this past year I am combining all sorts of family keepsakes for this year's bookplate.


Starting to Stipple

Creating all these letters will be quite a challenge but a personal challenge is part of what I seek when doing these annual bookplates.  I love the textures, colors and sentimentality of these precious letters.

Well, I'm off to stipple away.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

JUMBO FAIRY TALE

Fairy Tale
18" x 24" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Parchment

This drawing has been in my head for months.  I knew I wanted to challenge myself to create a jumbo sized drawing on a digitized dictionary page and I knew I wanted to attempt to use images from some of my favorite, childhood fairy tales....here is the result.

It's a busy piece with lots to look at..."There's a lot going on" is the phrase I hear used to describe artwork like this.  Because the surface is so large, it permitted me to draw a lot of stuff.  There were also lots of challenges.

I worked on this piece off and on in my classroom with my students watching.  Many of them had no fairy tale references outside of Disney movies.  I explained to them that the Brother's Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson were my favorite fairy tale story tellers.  These images came out of my head and were born a long time ago when I was a child.  It took quite a bit of effort to let them pop out of those memories and not be influenced from other images around me.

Because the text on the page already creates a busy space it is a trick to arrange my characters.  I deliberately want specific words to show through.  I also don't care a bit about the proportions from one image as it relates to the other.  The Nightingale's cage (I LOVE that story) can be big and the Princess and the Pea's bed can be small....it doesn't matter.  It's kinda like they are all spinning around in my head anyway.

I have a frame waiting for this drawing and plan to feature it in my booth this week in Albuquerque.  I'm going to have a pretty hefty price tag on it since it is so big and I'm terribly attached to it.  I put quite a bit of my heart into this piece and I'm fine if it comes home and lives with me for awhile. I also don't know if I'll have print available of it since it doesn't translate well much smaller.

I love a big challenge and it feels so good to enjoy the finished drawing.  Unfortunately I thought up about a dozen other pieces I'd like to do large.  It's like a disease or chocolate - I just can't stop myself.

Here are some close-ups




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PHARMACIST

Pharmacist
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

I am leaving for Albuquerque in a week and I am really excited about going.  Last year I had a couple of people request a pharmacist page so I decided I'd better get one put together.

Every time I visit our local pharmacist (which is pretty often at my age I've noticed)  I enjoy all the varieties of mortar and pestles they have displayed above them.  So I thought those images would work great on this old page.  With those molds I decided to include some of the brightly colored, old bottles I've seen at antique stores.  We are so used to disposing of our little plastic bottles and jars but years ago everything was kept and reused over and over again.

Monday, November 17, 2014

THEATER


Theater
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

Our family loves theater.  My husband is our high school speech, debate, theater teacher and we both are active in directing and performing at school, at church and at our local community theater.  All three of our daughters are avid performers and now our grandchildren are getting into the act.  Our youngest daughter teaches theater.

While I was working on this during class one day, one of my students commented that the traditional theater masks are now referred to as "Laugh Now, Cry Later."  I've noticed the masks are popular as tattoos with that saying wrapped around them.  Funny how symbols can change meaning from generation to generation or culture to culture.

Friday, November 14, 2014

ROLLER SKATE

Roller Skate
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

One of my favorite things is to draw nostalgic images.  As a kid growing up on the rural prairies of Oklahoma, a treat was meeting friends at a local skating rink.  My tribe and I spent lots of Saturdays and special occasions from childhood through our teens skating together.  I wouldn't dare put on a pair of skates these days but my grandchildren still skate from time to time on the same old wooden floor at the local rink.

My mother-in-law still gets out her baton and her skates to enjoy playing with her great grandchildren.  Patt puts us all to shame with her energy and her joy.  I am a happy spectator but she is still so young at heart.  I love this snappy photo of her with pom-poms on her lace up skates.


My Mother-in-law Patricia in her skates

I hope someone discovers this little drawing and that it brings up some happy memories of times spent skating away with no cares in the world.  I can still hear Bobby Darin singing as I endlessly flew around on that big, wooden oval.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

LARGE BOOK


BOOK
8" x 11" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary

A good friend brought me a stack of loose pages from a really old dictionary and I LOVE the pages.  They are extremely fragile so I can't make many marks or get very rich colors on the page but the definitions are wonderful.  I especially love this book page.  It has everything from book to bookish to bookbinding.  There really wasn't space to draw much without covering over a book definition of some sort.  So I just drew what I wanted over the big page.

This piece is part of my new inventory for the Thanksgiving show in Albuquerque.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

DOCTOR

"Doctor"
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Antique Dictionary Page

I'm busy in my studio building new inventory for my upcoming show in Albuquerque, NM.  I have piles of work in progress and am so anxious to get there and enjoy this wonderful show and town.

As I prepare new work, I feel like I am walking a bit of a tight rope between making what I think is quality, fine art and just making work that sells well.  Of course, I want to sell a lot of artwork but I don't want to just make something commercial with no soul.

Since I began working on dictionary pages I have had all sorts of requests - some good, some really strange.  I often think of those little personalized license plates for bikes that you used to find in convenience stores around the country.  People would search and search to find their names.  I made myself a promise that I would not create artwork like that.  I love when someone has a personal connection with something I've created but I don't want the process to be all about making an assembly line of drawings that I'm not personally proud of.



I've made quite a few occupation pages on dictionary pages.  I don't want to just generate every occupation out there in hopes of a sale but I do want to capture a sense of that occupation and it's importance. Hopefully, this piece, "Doctor" accomplishes that goal.

My great grandfather was a country doctor in rural Oklahoma.  I'd like to think this is a bit of a tribute to him.

HEADING TO ALBUQUERQUE



15th Annual Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival

I am really excited and so looking forward to spending a second Thanksgiving in Albuquerque, New Mexico doing this fabulous art show.  Last year my husband and I had a ball at the show and discovered so many wonderful things to see and do in Albuquerque.

For most of my life, my family has traveled to nearby New Mexico.  I grew up visiting Taos and Red River as a child.  As a teenager I first set foot in Santa Fe where my dream of living and showing my art first began.  We visit Northern New Mexico frequently and feel at home there.  If it weren't for our family and grandchildren so close, a terrific old house and jobs we love....we would pack up and move there in a heartbeat.

We live in a such a remote part of the world that it takes a long drive if we ever fly anywhere.  The cheaper rates to fly out of Albuquerque drew our attention a couple of years ago and that was our first time to spend much time there.  Also, after binge watching "Breaking Bad" we were intrigued about the place.

Now we can't wait to get back.  The show is awesome, the town is filled with wonderful restaurants, theater and shopping so we are both itching to go.

If you are anywhere close, please come visit me.  In fact, give me a holler and I'd be glad to get you discounted tickets to the show.  See you there.

Here is a link to the festival: