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.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


It is always esteeming to having other art teachers want to use lessons I've done in my classroom.  It's especially affirming when a publisher asks to feature your lessons.

I recently had another one of my lessons featured in the online publication, The Student Art Guide.  This is such a rich warehouse of teaching ideas and lessons.
This was a lesson I did a few years ago as a back-to-school warm-up.  I had my students find shirts and jackets with some character and we pinned them to our display panels.  They worked from direct observation and from black and white resource photos to draw their shirts.  They started with photorealistic drawings first.  Their second drawing had to use the same shirt but add interesting, unusual textures and their third drawing had to be an innovative, stylistic drawing of the same shirt.

Thank you, Amiria Robinson, for giving us this terrific attention.

Student Art Guide Link

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Over the years I have discovered quite a few basic, graphite pencil techniques I like to share with my students.  I decided to post some of what I teach my kids.

There are a lot of drawing techniques I require of my students.  I believe there is more than one way to draw but I also believe there are some basic tricks that can help improve any dry medium drawing.  

I hate for my students to smear with their fingers and only use tortillions sparingly. I like drawings to include lots of microscopic details and I want my student artists to understand how to get the biggest bang for the buck out of their different pencils.

One of the tricks I love is making deliberate indentions/scratches into a drawing to create tiny, white details. My second year students warm up with observation drawings of lace-up shoes and this technique works great to create tiny, white stitches in dark shoes.

Most folks have had this accident happen especially in a sketchbook.  You draw or write across a page not aware that your marks may be leaving indentions and marks on the next page.  When you start the next page you discover you have scratches from the previous drawing that appear like a secret code in your new drawing.....disaster!!!

I save old pieces of cardboard from sketchpads and packing and encourage students to use them as a buffer, sandwiched between the sketchbook pages they are working on the blank pages behind them.

To create deliberate indentions/scratches like the tiny, white stitches, I lay a piece of typing paper or tracing paper over a drawing after I've created the contours and before I start to shade (be sure you can still see the drawing underneath).  Then with a pointed tool, a stylus,or a mechanical pencil point with the lead pushed back inside - scratch into the page.  Be careful not cut through the paper.

Another fabulous trick is to use rubbing plates or rough surfaces to make impressive textures in your drawings,  This is a fabulous shortcut to create textures and patterns.  I've had students quickly create the look of burlap or denim just by starting with a rubbing of those actual fabrics.  I've also invested in a variety of commercial rubbing plates.  This trick works best with a soft lead.

Always practice a rubbing on a scrap paper before you apply it to a nice drawing.  I often have my students work more marks over their rubbing to establish realistic cast shadows and highlights.

Here is a copy of my handout of "Pencil Points,"  Please feel free to copy and use it in your classroom or studio.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


The magic of the internet (and it still holds incredible magic for this old gal) has provided me with endless inspiration and fascinating artistic voices from across the planet.  One such artist I discovered and love following is David Galchutt.

I adore David's paintings - many of which have a fantasy, fairy tale feel and are filled with elegant, intricate patterns and colors.  David (he calls himself the Artmeister on etsy) has been a sought after illustrator and earned awards for his children's book illustrations.  His gorgeous, original work is available for purchase at his etsy shop and I'm amazed at his reasonable prices.  My hope is to some day have one of his originals.

Visit David at David's website
Also stop by David's etsy shop at The artmeister

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Artists come in all shapes and sizes and their work is born from their personal experiences and the world around them.

As part of American Artist Appreciation Month I would like to share the fabulous work of artist, Holly Ulm Bundy.  I first met Holly at an art show in Glenwood Springs, Colorado where we were both exhibiting.  Her booth was swarmed both with customers and with her beautiful jewelry made from actual butterfly and dragonfly wings.

I've since discovered there are other artist who work with preserved wings but I think you will agree that Holly's work is amazing.  She and her partner are dedicated to the conservation of the insects she uses and all her work is created from insects who have not been killed just to become art.

I also fell in love with her creative packaging.  She is so creative by packaging her wing jewelry in a little jar much like a child would use to capture a bug in the garden.

Please visit her Etsy shop and studio called Isms to admire and purchase her work.

Friday, August 14, 2015


I just discovered that August is officially American Artist Appreciation Month. So I am going to feature some of the creative, talented artists I've discovered who energize and feed me with their work. 

First up, Patience Brewster who contacted me about the month of celebrating American artists. Visit her website and enjoy and purchase some of her whimsical, inventive creations.