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  • LJ Rucker

"Radiant Oklahoma" Series at the Norman Library

With getting ready to have our first child here in March, my 2023 resolutions were going to be simple:


Have baby.


BUT THEN! Right before Christmas, I got a surprise email about a last-minute scheduling change, and asking if I'd be interested in displaying some of my artwork for January at the West library branch in Norman:


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Now, this holiday season, in addition to hitting the third trimester pregnancy and rushing to get DIY/house/nursery projects done, the husband and I also were gifted with COVID (and let me tell you, pregnancy fatigue + COVID fatigue... a whole new level of tired!)


So while attempting to survive the holiday festivities while being sick and pregnanant, I now had the added task of throwing together a quick art collection to have ready in 1 week.


Was it crazy? Yes.


Did I lose some sleep? Duh.


But did I accomplish my goal?


HECK YES!



It's a modge-podge collection put together in DAYS, but after looking through my existing art to see what I already had, I realized I've painted several colorful Oklahoma wildlife species, so I took that idea, ran with it and decided to build a collection around the theme of vibrant Oklahoma wildlife.


And JUST because I love to push/punish myself, I also challenged myself to try to complete 3 NEW paintings to add to the collection. Which was absolutely insane, but SOMEHOW I managed to pull it off.


And thus, the "Radiant Oklahoma" series was born!


Fun fact about me: I currently live in OKC, but I actually grew up in Norman (back when Norman still had a Hastings and a Blockbuster and this library was a NEW Borders Bookstore lol)


So I was excited to drive down to my old stomping grounds and do the thing where I tell my husband all the things buildings used to be (This library was a Borders, that Chelino's used to be a Burger King, that empty building was Pier 1, etc). It was a fun little trip down memory lane for me.


 

Now, another place close-ish to Norman (in Noble) is this AMAZING organization called WildCare, which I volunteered at for a few months last year before having to take a break while I grow this baby potato. But even though I haven't been active with them, they are still near and dear to my heart (and I'm always following their constant updates of their latest rescues and activities), and I realized I could use this Oklahoma-themed series to help support an Oklahoma non-profit that rescues and rehabilitates Oklahoma wildlife... a win-win-win!


So, for the month of January, while my art is at the library, for any original paintings that sell, 50% of the proceeds will go to WildCare to help them as they finish out this winter and start gearing up for their baby season!


Also, later this month, on Jan. 24 (Tuesday evening) there will be a reception at the library with myself AND some of the folks at WildCare for anybody that would like to see/buy a painting, meet the artist (and I'll have some extra surprises/art pieces with me to have for sale!) and/or meet some people from WildCare, and learn more about their mission if you aren't familiar with them!


Talk about an exciting start to the new year! I was already expecting big/good things for 2023, but this was a fun surprise cherry on the ice cream sundae!


So if you have a chance, stop by the West branch of the Norman library during January, check out a book, browse my art, and I'll see you at the reception on Jan. 24!

 

Here are the 10 pieces that are currently on display at the library:



These were the three new pieces I completed for this series; the Indigo Bunting, a bleu damselfly, and the Ring-Necked Pheasant, with the pheasant maybe being my new favorite painting I've ever done.




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