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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.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

GOING TO THE DOGS

Chinese Crested Dog

Commissions are a tricky venture and not my favorite thing to do.  I am always anxious about pleasing the customer.  I just completed this dictionary drawing of a very unusual breed of dog - A Chinese Crested Dog which is either covered with a heavy coat of unruly fur or partially hairless.  This commission was requested as a gift for someone who raises and shows these dogs.  The customer sent me photos of the actual dogs her friend loves and shows.  She requested the dictionary word be "Crested."  She also mailed me her own dictionary page from a book she treasured.


Bulldog Dictionary Drawing

I've done a variety of different pet commissions.  When I show my work at galleries or festivals I am often asked for dog pages and its difficult to have a generic dog page.  Everyone has a favorite breed of dog and often a very prized pet that is like a member of the family.  This bulldog drawing was created from a customer's photo, too.  I loved his happy face.

Sheepdog and Hunt Dictionary Pages

Both of these drawings were created from customer photographs.  We once had a black and white sheepdog very similar to the sheepdog drawing.  She was a part of our family and we still grieve her death.  The hunt drawing was created as a gift for a customer's father to celebrate a once treasured and adored hunting dog.  She looked like such a sweet, affectionate companion.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

LEDGER DRAWING



We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot

When I reflect on my current art pursuits, this sentiment seems to express 
what I am doing with my work.  The more I explore, the more I rediscover my roots, 
my heritage and my beginnings on a farm on the Oklahoma plains.

I have often been approached by Native American artists who compare my work on dictionary pages to their tradition of creating artwork on ledger pages.  The only paper many Native American tribes had was the pages from ledgers used during trading.  Like so many people, they created their artwork out of what they had.

After my parents passed away I discovered stacks of old farm ledgers.  My mother was a meticulous bookkeeper and she recorded everything in these books.  I discovered detailed entries about every vaccination, wedding, and feed purchase.  I've considered doing something with these books for a long time and this last week I decided to try my hand at creating something with them.


I have to admit that I wasn't keen on drawing directly over all this family history.  Nobody else in my family really wanted these old books but I hated to damage them.  So I scanned a few pages and printed them on a high quality, laser printer.  Then I replicated the color and hole punched spine. I did most of the drawing with a sepia colored pencil. When I finished the drawing I mounted the page of stiff card stock and distressed it with ink.

The page I decided to play with first was one which documented house repairs over the years. The heading on the page was 1931.  Many of the entries are to businesses in our little, farm town - some still in business, others long gone.  


Since this page was about house repairs it made sense to draw a picture of our farm house.  My grandfather first built this house close to 100 years ago and my parents added on as they could.  It is still standing and occupied.

I am anxious to know what people think of this "cousin" of my dictionary drawings.  I'm going to continue to play with these pages.  I love revisiting my family history.


Monday, September 21, 2015

DONORS CHOOSE PRINTER

We love our new printer!

It's been a crazy start to our school year.  I haven't had a moment to blog or get much of my own work done but my students are already back in the groove.

Last Spring I created a Donor's Choose request to help get a new, color, laser printer for my classroom.  Thanks to the generosity of lots of kind folks, our printer arrived over the summer and we've kept it busy every since.

If you aren't familiar with Donors Choose it is a fabulous online program to help teachers from all over the country to get things they need for their classrooms.  Teachers complete a request and supply list which if approved is then posted for people to contribute.  It's like having a giant, interweb bake sale.  We were thrilled that our request was funded in less than a month.  Lots of local people gave money but funds came in from strangers across the country.

Taking Resource Pictures

One of the first projects my advanced students did was to create three drawings inspired by bicycles.  I set up three old bikes in my room then students used their smart phones or my classroom digital cameras to photograph their subject.

Taking Resource Pictures

The students were then able to format their pictures and print them out on our new printer.  This printer is awesome.  We were able to include the cost of the colored ink cartridges with our Donors Choose project,  If we are conservative, we should have enough ink to get us through two school years.

My students with some of their finished work

My students were required to create a photo realistic pencil drawing of a cropped image of the bicycles,  Their second piece could be a painting or drawing but had to feature the negative space around the bicycle.  Their final piece was to be innovative and could be any style or medium. These were all what I call "Warm-Up" assignments to get my kids back into the routine of creating artwork.  We have since moved on to larger, more challenging pieces.  The new printer is getting lots of good use. 

If you'd like to learn more about Donors Choose and help out a worthy teacher and their students visit .donorschoose.org/