- flying shoes art studio
- 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, November 28, 2015
Monday, November 23, 2015
A small pile of my hundreds of wonderful image files
Back when I was a kid I started collecting images I wanted to draw. I remember my grandmother had stacks of scrapbooks stuffed full of photos, postcards and illustrations she loved. I still have some of her handmade picture books. In college my professors required that we organize and keep photos as resources for a variety of different subjects. I had enormous calligraphy, window display and style files. I made files of magazine photos of different animals, birds and kinds of trees. I spent hours looking for different kind of insect and fairy wings and had huge files of all sorts of flowers. All of these images have been valuable to developing artwork. Even with the need to create original artwork, it's necessary to study all sorts of images before hand.
When I started teaching 16 years ago, I dragged my boxes of swipe files to my classroom and have used them when my students needed a photo resource. These files have helped me and others through the years until we arrived in the digital, Google Image Search age.
My tiger image files
Like most artists and art teachers, I occasionally have to clean out my studio/classroom - I could easily be overwhelmed with keepsakes like a true hoarder. I've known it was time to part with my swipe files for a few years. Anytime I or my students need a photo resource these days, we go to the Internet and my swipe files have been collecting dust and taking up valuable space.
So I took a deep breath and dumped all but a few of my picture files. I have to admit, it was hard to do. I also have to admit that I didn't just purge the boxes but I opened each file and revisited some of the images I had harvested for nearly 50 years. It felt like tossing out part of my family but with time, I think I will enjoy having a substantial amount of storage space available.
So now I am embracing the digital age. Let's hope the powers that be keep us wired in and hooked up.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Each fall I create an original, stippled ink drawing while my students are also working in ink. AFter it is finished, I then scan and print the drawing on adhesive labels as personalized bookplates for friends, coworkers and family.
This year I knew I wanted something that included the glass marbles I picked up during my summer art shows. I also fell in love with the old compass we used as a prop in our high school, one-act play "Terra Nova."
So I am putting all these things together to work on something themed around "Cosmology." I've got some reproductions of ancient maps and am going to include some engravings of notable astronomers and cosmologists.
So here we go with one dot after another for this year's drawing. I love working on this project. Each year I like to give myself a new challenge with this drawing. I think capturing the distorted images through the crystal, glass ball will be exciting.
Monday, November 16, 2015
32" x 12" Dimensional Watercolor
I haven't created an original watercolor painting as a baby gift in a long time. My niece recently had a new baby - another miracle baby - and this is her gift.
Her nursery colors are gray and yellow with little elephants. I've loved doing cartoon characters since I was a little girl so it's always great fun to do something a little different and silly.
I painted the background and then made the stars, birds, banner and elephants individually. I cut all that out and attach it to the background using foam adhesive dots popular with scrapbook artists. This process really started years ago when I made a mistake on a watercolor painting. In desperation I built some pieces and glued them over a mistake. I liked the outcome so much that I've done it ever since even without a mistake to hide.
I can honestly say - I don't want to ever attempt to paint chevron pattern ever again. I love patterns but this was not fun to do. It was also a challenge to create a nice gray in watercolors. Black is so concentrated that it's difficult to maintain an even gray.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
One of my first purchases as an art teacher were these wooden, geometric forms. I use them every year. I like to teach my students precise methods of using their pencils to create smooth marks without smearing then we pull out these forms. I demonstrate and we cover shadows and shading for each of the basic forms. Then the students have to combine them and create a composition.
I have extension cords running from all over the room so each group of students has a tray with their own light source. I've done this type of activity since I first started teaching. I imagine every art teacher out there has something similar in their drawing classes.
My classes are currently large - 27 or so in each of my beginning classes. I am fortunate to have a big classroom which can accommodate all these people and have room to store their work and all my supplies.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Every artist I know loves new art supplies. I get the treat of gifting my students new art supplies from time to time. I feel just like Santa Clause.
We start an ink unit each fall. This year I decided to introduce my students to dip pens and different kinds of waterproof and water soluble inks. I haven't really played with ink washes and dip pens since college a million years ago. I actually burned out with ink washes back in the dark ages. We did all our commercial art and design work in black ink washes before color printing became economical and universally possible. After I graduated I was happy to never do ink washes ever again - until now.
All my students got new pens, tips and their own black ink bottles. I purchased some colored inks for them to share. Some of my students went right to work and are enjoying the old school methods of creating ink drawings - others discovered the convenience of using modern, disposable pens.
Monday, November 09, 2015
I don't often display my artwork in my hometown. This past weekend, my three daughters and I set up an art booth during a local craft bazaar. The bazaar raises money for medical expenses for area families which this year included a popular high school student who is battling an aggressive form of cancer.
We had a wonderful day of visiting with friends and family and made a lot of sales. My daughters brought jewelry and some darling, miniature pies baked in tiny jars. I thought our booth display looked awesome.
At most art shows, I am restricted to only have artwork for sale. Some shows permit print sales while others only permit originals to be displays and sold. For this show I was able to reproduce some of my artwork on other gift items. It was great fun to create a little shop.
One of the new things I built for this show were the wooden wings I hung on the front of the booth. I saw wings like this at other craft shows and knew I wanted some of my own. I purchased the metal face during a trip to see my sister in California. I hope to create a copy of my flying shoes logo to use at art shows next spring.
This was my last art show until next spring. My Etsy shop is getting a lot of holiday orders which has me busy. My biggest creative project for now is directing "Man of LaMancha" at our community theater. So watch for stories about that adventure.
Thursday, November 05, 2015
Preserved Hydrangeas & Roses in Tin Buckets
This weekend my daughters and I are participating in a local, craft bazaar. I am going to have artwork and prints and decided to create these little, tin pails for the event.
When my youngest daughter married last year we used all kinds of preserved (dried) flowers in these distressed, tin pails. I have stacks of them in storage. I tidied them up and then created miniature versions of dictionary prints to decorate each bucket
Miniature Versions of my Dictionary Prints
After the wedding I still can't throw away a bouquet of flowers so I've been drying and storing bouquets all year long. I especially love these tiny roses.
I love these dried hydrangeas. Unfortunately they are extremely fragile and easily shatter. I'm not able to sell these online in my Etsy shop since they wouldn't survive shipping.
I mounted each of the miniature prints on a sheet of copper and wrapped the pails with burlap, lace and different ribbons. I also decided to distress the tiny prints so match the colors of the pails and dried flowers.