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.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Running Antelope
24" x 36" Acrylic Painting over a Collage of Currency on Masonite

I am calling "Running Antelope" finished.  This is actually my second painting of this amazing, Sioux Chief and I think he is much better than his predecessor.  Like so much of my work, he began as a demonstration piece in my classroom.  Many such pieces never get finished but are stored away until I teach that unit again.  But in this case, I knew I wanted to finish and frame this guy.

I love the story of this Native American.  He was the first to be honored with his image on U.S. currency. The story behind this painting is a tragic mix of cultural misunderstanding.  Running Antelope was said to be a great speaker and close advisor of Sitting Bull.  He is considered one of the eight great chiefs.  Unlike many such powerful chiefs of his time, he advocated for peace with the white man.  

To honor Running Antelope, the government placed his image on a five dollar bill.  Running Antelope posed for the engraving in his full regalia.  Somewhere along the line, either the photographer or the engraver - who knows - someone decided to change his traditional Sioux headdress for the traditional headdress of a Pawnee tribe.  The Pawnee and the Sioux were not friends and to change such a culturally important part of his attire for a warring tribe was beyond a simple insult.

Close-up of Running Antelope $5 Bill Background

I found online images of Running Antelope's $5 bill and reproduced them.  I then collaged them to a gesso primed 24" x 36" sheet of masonite.  I demonstrated all this process with my students while they were assigned a layered, collage painting.  I washed out some of the money with gesso washes and then applied layers of thin acrylic.  I deliberately limited my palette to neutral earth tones.

I created some of the painting at school so my students could observe how to apply some opaque and some transparent images over their backgrounds.  It's always a challenge for painters to decide where to have the overlayed image solid and where to let glimpses of the background show through.  

Then this summer I brought Running Antelope home to finish.  The first painting like this was created years ago and my son-in-law was really upset when I sold it.  He has reminded me how much he loved the story and painting and wished he had it.  Now he does.  This version of the painting is not for sale but intended for my family. 

My Acrylic Painting Palette

I have another acrylic painting waiting in my studio.  I have lots of inspiration for more dictionary art but for now, it's fun to do something different.  Every new piece brings new discoveries and growth.  School starts in two weeks and I have more summer projects than time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Flying Shoes Art Studio has its own Facebook Page

I've debated about adding any more online postings about my art studio.  I enjoy this blog (which I post to rather randomly), Pinterest, and Instagram.  I've tried my hand at Tumblr but abandoned that long ago.  I also enjoy Twitter when I'm involved in a project, event or newstory but I'm don't read it daily.  All these online resource tools can take a huge amount of time and I find they often rob me of the creative time I want in my studio.  However, my recent travels have convinced me that I should create a specific page for my studio outside of my personal Facebook page.

Here is a sample of one of recent Facebook posts.

I really enjoy sharing my adventures online but I think my professional, studio life is better served with it's own identity.  I worry that my friends get a little tired of me promoting my work and this way, they can follow that area of my life if they want to follow my studio page.  I'd also like to use this method of announcing special sales, give-aways and exciting changes in my Etsy shop.

Either way, it's an experiment.  If you'd like to "Like" my page and see my Flying Shoes Art Studio Posts, then visit me here.

I intend to get back into blogging more soon.  I've been enjoying lots of projects around my house for the past few weeks and have starting preparing my classroom for the upcoming school year.  I haven't spent much time in my studio but it's starting to call my name.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Early morning at the Steamboat Springs, Colorado Art in the Park

The jeep is unpacked.  The tent and the artwork are all stored and the laundry is almost done.

Art shows are not for whimps.  It's physically and emotionally challenging.  It's expensive and a big gamble.  Each show is different and each day brings new challenges.  I am pleased with our adventures this summer bbbbbbbuuuuuuuutttttt - I'm going to examine what I do in the future.
The entrance to the Ogden Utah Arts Festival

I really enjoy meeting new people, exploring new places and the excitement of having customers discover and purchase my work.  I was amazed that I had people at each show rush in saying they had already seen my work online either through Pinterest or Etsy or in some cases, even were reading this blog.

I also enjoy being able to talk to followers and admirers.  You can't beat face to face contact with people who appreciate your artwork to make your day.

Another great part of doing festivals is meeting other artists from all over the country.  I've made some wonderful friends and discovered some fabulous artwork.  I've even found new ideas to use with my students when school starts.

Greeting customers at the NICFest in Casper, Wyoming
This is the third year my husband and I have loaded up and done a circuit of summer shows.  There are lots of artists and craftsfolks out there that do this weekend after weekend all year long.  I admire those determined folks.  I'm not sure living on the road and setting up what is basically a mobile store every weekend is my dream job.  It's hard work with no guarantee of making money.

The art show setting in Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Most summer shows are outdoors and that brings with it all sorts of challenges.  Wind, rain, bugs and heat visit upon you.  Sometimes you get all four at once!  And don't get me started on porta potties..... three or four days of those and I'm longing for indoor plumbing.

Shows also like to feature local musicians which can be a curse and a blessing.  It's glorious to sit in a beautiful mountain park and listen to a handsome young man play acoustic guitar and wail love songs.  It's another thing to be trapped in your tent while a newly formed band plays their special style of zydeco-reggae-polka-funk on a stadium size amplifier.

Smart vendors bring their own food/snacks and avoid eating or enjoying the beer and wine tents during working hours.  We were on the road so much we found ourselves often eating the carnival faire found in the food booths.  I'm so done with corn dogs, hotdogs, kettle corn and lemonade.

My snow dome collection from my summer art circuit
This post might seem a little negative - I'm tired and cranky. The truth is an artist has to get out of the studio and get their work in front of potential buyers.  Nobody is going to see and buy artwork you keep under the bed or stuffed in a closet.  Art shows provide established and up-and-coming artists a great way to promote their work.  Just don't be mislead.  It's work....hard work.  

Thursday, July 02, 2015


While traveling for my three week art show circuit, I discovered a small, clear, glass marble at the Ogden, UT art show.  I had been wanting to find one for a long time.  I've seen different Instagram photos taken thru a similar marble and wanted to give it a try.

When you spend 8 to 10 hours sitting in a tent waiting for customers it can be entertaining to have something to play with.  Sometimes art show crowds swarm around you but other times are extremely slow.

My husband found the whole obsession with taking iPhone photos thru a marble to be pretty silly but he was still a good sport.  The trick of making it work is to get the camera to focus on the image in the marble and not on the subject behind it.

I loved these two pictures with my subject (in this case, my father-in-law) peaking around the side of the marble.  I took this photo while we met our family in Utah for a few days of digging for fossils and geodes.

It wasn't until we got to Las Vegas, NV that I decided it would be smart to flip the photo and concentrate more on the picture in the marble.  This is a scene through the spectacular fountain at the Bellagio Hotel

This is a shot of my husband in the Botanical garden inside the Bellagio.

My husband decided it was his turn to try so here is his first attempt at capturing me in my art booth through the marble.  I must admit - the marble adds a few pounds.

Here's a shot of the art show tents at our show in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Here's a cool, fisheye photo of the Bullock building in downtown Deadwood, SD.

It was quite the trick to capture Mount Rushmore in the marble.

Finally I decided to get a photo of my dictionary drawings in the marble.

We had a beautiful sunset in Casper, WY just before we headed for home.