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My childhood was rooted in music and art and horses. I thought if people knew those three things about me, they would know who I was. I loved to sing and draw as a little girl of 7 or 8 yrs old. My first time singing for people was when I was 10 at a church Christmas program in Basin City, WA. My Aunt Beulah was practicing for the program with a couple of her friends around the piano and I kept singing along in the background. They decided I should have my own song in the program and signed me up to sing Silent Night. That summer we hit on hard times and went to Montana to pick cherries in Flathead Valley. My mom would sing with me and taught me how to hold the melody while she sang alto on You Are My Sunshine. My first time on stage was in Deer Park, WA at the middle school I went to. The music teacher went to several schools to teach part time at each one. When she came to our school, she instigated a talent show and encouraged us all to participate. I signed up to sing a song I knew well from listening to my daddy’s records and his radio station, Your Cheating Heart. Grandma Alkire bought me the sheet music and the music teacher kindly transposed it to a key I could sing in and accompanied me on piano. My mom and dad were very excited and proud of me. Daddy found a silver sparkly cowgirl outfit for me he borrowed from a friend who had a Jr Rodeo princess in his family. I loved singing that night on stage and was awarded a standing ovation and tons of compliments by the audience. Grandma Alkire was sure I could win a talent show on TV and took me up to audition at the station for Starlit Stairway, a local talent search program in Spokane, WA. I didn’t have my own accompanist, so their studio piano player played for my try-out. I didn’t know that magic key my music teacher had picked for me and I bombed out really badly when he picked a key that was too low. Daddy decided if I was going to sing, I better learn an instrument to accompany myself. He rented a guitar for one month and bought me a Mel Bay beginner’s guitar book. I taught myself that month the old folk songs in the key of C. But we couldn’t afford to rent it another month and watched for an opportunity to buy one. A couple years went by before I got my own guitar. We were strapped financially, and Dad was without work when we went picking fruit to make ends meet. The orchard hired me at half pay to thin pears and I earned enough money to buy my own guitar at Kmart! We were living in a campground and I learned the chords to House of the Rising Sun from one of the other campers. Without anyone else to teach me I played all I knew and started writing my own songs. I even made up chords to my songs because the ones I knew were not enough. Then I joined choir for 6 years! I also became a Christian and wrote a couple of Christian songs: Temperance and Miracles.


A New Day

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New Horizons

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Author of historical fiction books, hobby filmmaker, world traveler, vintage/antique collector, musician of like 3 or 7 instruments, artist, and enthusiast of life in general. I'm the bouncy smiley addition to the band, playing lead/background instruments and some vocal pieces that some say tie the band together. I love telling stories to my nephews and nieces in between concerts, and I  really enjoyed traveling around America in a tiny motorhome with my large family doing random adventures! 2020 saw a different shift in my life; I lived in North Dakota full time, spending my time enjoying friendship and working on a variety of creative projects. I released my first single and music video, Out of The Deep, and am focusing on my 6 book, historical fiction, series, Legacy of Chevolta.

In December of 2020, I said "yes" to marrying my best friend, Josh, and we married in April 2021.

I still join the band every now and then for concerts and help them with projects behind the scenes.

You can check out my books via the link below and I'd love to connect with you on Instagram!



The Struggles

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A New Dream

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Sunrise, Sunset

"Bree is a spirited and standout font that takes its inspiration from handwriting. It's sure to grab your reader's attention, especially in short paragraphs."



A New Day

"Bree is a spirited and standout font that takes its inspiration from handwriting. It's sure to grab your reader's attention, especially in short paragraphs."


Bob’s music background was mostly in band. He learned to play trumpet and stuck with it through High School and 2 yrs of college where he also joined choir and dance band and took up music as his minor. All his brothers also played brass. He loved the big band era.  After college Bob pursued learning 12 string guitar and traded his expensive trumpet for a guitar to learn the more current folk genres of the time.











early drawing from concert posters used


school, world fair, government soil samples, travel agency, pen and ink etc..

I was 16 when I got my job at the World's Fair in Spokane. And I when I was 16 in high school, I did pencil portraits. So my classmates would bring me, you know photos of their friends and family and their selves or whoever. you were 16? Yeah, and I would do.

You did pencil portraits?

Okay, so you did pencil portraits when you were 16 for your classmates. Yeah, and then I would sell those to them for $1.5-3 dollars and make extra lunch money pocket money buy more art supplies. the life of an artist! and then when I went to work for Maxine as a live-in housekeeper, that's what I.
Was just before I turn 16 when I moved in with her. So I was 15 years old.
people love helping young people with their dreams and.
My dream was to be an artist and.
So I got I went to for an interview at the World's Fair at the gallery Barbizon was two brothers that from Austria. I think it was the own the gallery there and they hired sidewalk artist.
On commission. portraits? and charcoal. I'd never done charcoal up into that point. I'd always done pencil, but when I went to for a interview, they needed charcoal portrait artists and I couldn't go to work until I was 16 so they said come back when you are 16 and we will hire you, you know, I took my my.
You know my pad of paper that I had done paper portraits of my friends in and that was my resume just show them this is what I've done. Wow! and they were like great come back when you're 16 and will hire you and so and then I had a friend that Maxine's friend bought me a or gave me one she had in her attic who knows.
And then I practiced in charcoal that whole month before I turn 16. so it wasn't like a year before? no, it was like a month I practice in charcoal and did portraits of Maxine and anybody else would sit still so I had tried some and then I was still in high school, of course, so I get out of school and catch the bus and go downtown and go to work at the World's Fair.
And work Until 10 o'clock at night for the rest of the fair which went to midnight. didn't you get bad grades in art class? I didn't get a bad grade in art class. I gotta B one year. Other than that I got all A’s. a “bad grade.” It was my bad grade. it was a bad grade to me because that was the year. My mom told me she would pay me if I got straight A's.
And my only B was in art, and it was because I was tardy to because art class was in an Annex Building on one side of the high school and lunch cafeteria was in an Annex on the other side of the high school building and I did not gauge my time. Well, and I was Gabby and my art teacher was he was a punctual.
stickler when the bell rang. He locked the door and take attendance and then let everybody else in with with a bad Mark. Was there a lot of tardy people? there were three or four of us waiting outside the door to get in we might have been one minute late, you know.
But it any rate. No, I did good in art. I was always ahead and did lots of extra work and I even came in early to try to make up for my B but, you know, but I didn't make it. came in before school started to try to make up credit. But anyway, that's beside the point. I got a job at the gallery Barbizon.
it was Gustav and..., they were brothers from I think I think it was Austria. I don't know I could put those those a long time ago. Gustav makes me think that Germany. Yeah. Well Germany and Austria right next to each other and I suppose the Germans took over. That's true. Yeah.
Austria not Australia, Austria, Austria is a little tiny country next to Germany and Switzerland.
The world art show?. So the world the world's fair was 1974 Expo 74. I keep thinking it is the same thing as the Olympics. No, it's not. The Olympics is called the is called the World's Fair and it's like every four years.
Countries from all over the world their exhibits. To the worlds fair. Wow. That's amazing. Wow. I was in the worlds fair as a sidewalk artist doing charcoal portraits. And I made 40% commissions. 60% went to the gallery. And they paid for my pass
But you are 16, So that's... I was 16 and I was it was great. I went to school all day I think I came home and did a 15 minute nap caught the bus and went to work and work till ten o'clock at night at the fair. Wow. from August 31st. about two and a half months and then after I was
16 or 17. I didn't do art. You know, I've worked as a live-in housekeeper. I didn't do a whole lot of art, but I was a.
You know, I was a young Christian. I was really involved and going to church 3-4 times a week and met daddy at the prayer meeting at the university. when we got engaged and he was looking for a job for me. He was a job counselor at a job service.
You know other than housekeeping job and I went out and went all all over Spokane looking for a job and I went to silkscreen shops and newspaper shops that you know do the grocery ads and all kinds of different art venues. I walked up and down the business streets and finally I went into this one place. I think it was a t-shirt shop. I can't remember.
For the second time see if maybe they needed me now and The proprietor told me, you know kid. I know all the professional artists from Seattle to Chicago. They all have it a secondary college degree. Go to school Yeah. I was 18. I was 18 so you had graduated?
I had graduated. Yeah, but just just High School. Yeah, and so I gathered up my portfolio and went to a college and you know talk to someone at the college and they said sure you know can take you on and teach you you know for a for exorbitant fee and it was like but my reason was looking for a job is because I didn't have any money. you needed money not to
Spend money! needed money, and I decided not to go to college.
Right about the same time one of the ladies in the prayer group I was going to worked for the federal government in the soil conservation. and she told me, she knew I was looking for a job, and she says we are looking for temporary employees to do paste up and lay out.
work for doing soil Maps.
You basically be doing you know working on a light table taking little labels and putting them on maps and they will pay you a GS two wage which is the government system is all GS this and that on a um, but GS two.
three dollars and sixteen cents an hour.
Which was above minimum wage. $3.16 an hour was above minimum wage? In 1979. Yeah.

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mom bought her her first water color paints, starts putting verses in, begins art shows, learnign the ropes and marketing.

To the nine months trip around the country and came back. I was still doing the pen and ink little bit of water color and then when we got back to.
Montana and then moved when now I'm back to where Johanna was three, and I started selling roses for Valentine's Day and by then I was putting verses in all my pictures and they were in watercolor and I was selling for like forty-sixty dollars. They were Eleven by fourteen Originals Yeah that was just for the paper unframed. Maybe they were $25, but I was really happy.
That year we made $2,000 in art because it was somewhere in that year daddy told me that if I sold...because we were looking at a really cool piano. I wanted to do music and music had kind of Gone by the wayside and I wanted to do music more. We're singing at coffee houses. I was singing coffee houses. The piano was $1500 and daddy said I could sell enough artwork. I could buy it. So we started to put more effort.
Into selling my art work. daddy signed up for another art shows it was our second time at the CMR Russell art show in their gymnasium, you know, sometimes high schools raise money by having an art show and renting the booth space and we did a few of those that were really good in the booth spaces were pretty reasonable. This one the booth space was kind of spendy, but it was a it was a good show.
And the first one I done there I didn't make much money. But this time we went so this was a year later. We went and daddy said okay, we're going to do this art show and he's tried to set me up to succeed and he says okay. He says this is what you need to do paint a Hundred Flowers 50 of them roses and 25 of those red., and so he bought me the.
Supplies to do that and I painted and painted and painted five by seven roses So they were all uniform one size all one subject and what he felt was a good mix for demand. and he bought the fabric, it was the bright bright blue.
double knit waffle weave type fabric. and we the booth we rented was two 4x8 sheets of plywood put in a V. That's how they sold them and they were just accordion across the floor and you paid for 2 boards. So it was a really efficient use of the balcony space. We were in the balcony and so he's thinking this is our second time to the show last time. We had a table on the main floor and he's thinking we got a balcony.
Space people can see it from all over so he put them in bright blue fabric and he bought this blanket Fabric and made huge letters cut out of blanket fabric that said originals
five dollars a piece.
You know and you could read it from anywhere in the gym. So and we didn't frame them or anything. We took like straight pins and stuck onto the fabric and covered... My Niche was price, originals and visibility and then he had also given me a winning mix of what people would buy and I think we sold 400 dollars worth.
We didn't sell everything but we just about did. did you sit there and paint? No, no, there was no room. There was only room to stand there and sell them. So that was my first successful art show.
And part of it is because daddy took an interesting marketing it and he did a really good job. And so from then we started developing that a little bit more but didn't take it. Seriously. We were just trying to raise money to for that piano so we kept working towards that.
But so in the course of that year, we got the daddy got license with the Assembly of God for Christian workers papers, and we started singing and preaching and going around and we did that and ended up in Hungry Horse Montana at the assembly God Bible Camp because there was no more places for us to go.
And we were basically living out of a car with two tents by then. And Daddy is looking for a way to bring in some income. So he decided to sell my pictures and.

MaryAnna Stover2 days ago

That blue fabric around it and then shut the lid and then pin all the pictures to the lid to the hood of the car, you know, so we were improving in our ability to Market. So anyway, he did pretty good with that and made quite a bit of money. We were able to you know by the bus and everything. In fact by the end of the year, we had sold $2,000 worth of artwork, but we hadn’t saved it all we used it. What year was that? That would be 1985
In 85, so that was the first year that we felt legitimate. So then we took off and we're going to go to Arizona for the first time with the artwork and stopped in Ogden, Utah and.
That's where daddy bought a booth in a mall and set up my artwork there and I was so painting by this time Eleven by fourteen Originals of wildlife as well as flowers. So I was doing wildlife and flowers and sceneries and he read a guy told him that if we had been framed they would sell better. And for more money. He says I can't afford frames. He says,.
As I have a frame shop, you put my business cards on your table. I will frame one of your pictures for free on your table and send them to me to get them framed when you sell them. So they'll know what they look like finished give them my card. It'll take him to my shop. He says and we both win. And and it worked really good sold a lot lot of them. I can't remember how much but it was enough to pay for.
getting a bus to Arizona and finding a place to stay for two months. and so then.
This is all leading up to when Hidden Verse Art finally started as a business . But so when he sold all of that the guy gave him his suppliers, which is something people never did he gave us the names of his suppliers for frames and matts and glass because it's really hard to we have
Trouble now finding them at good prices. So so then we finished getting down to Arizona, but we were still trying to go into Ministry and your music and you know, the artwork is still kind of a an emergency. how many kids did you have? Just those three. Okay, so then we went down there and daddy tried.
Several things he tried getting a job teaching at a Bible College and then he did Roofing he did all kinds of things down there. And we finally the bus broke down on the side of the highway in between one job in the other and and this guy came and towed us to some place he thought we could get help
While we were there in Arizona and the bus was broken down and they towed us to this one church group on the west side of town. We were stuck for money again. Daddy got a job digging ditches for cable TV, and he worked Dawn till Dusk every day doing that. trying to get the parts to fix the bus and did that for a few weeks?
Probably three or four weeks five weeks and.

And did you put versus in them right away? I started putting versus in my paintings when Johanna was a baby. So I was painting clear back then but it wasn't a business. Oh, so I still... so what did you do with them then? I sold them. I guess that makes it kind of like a business. Yeah! my first painting. Okay what I started in watercolor when I was expecting Johanna.
What year was that? 1982. because Joel was born in 80 and she's two years later. Okay, so it would have been in 81. Yeah. You started doing watercolor in 81? My mom bought me a children's watercolor set. like the one you get for a dollar at Walmart? Yeah, like she bought me one of those. great things start in small places! and a pad of
Watercolor paper and I took that home and I painted three pictures is all I could get out of that set because there's so little pigment in them. But one of them... that's still pretty amazing! What were they of? What did you do? I did one of a deer in the woods. They all had to be three different colors because I used up one color on one. That's a really cool exercise. But Granddad got one of my very first paintings and it's of the deer in the woods.
Granddad has it? Granddad Balyeat. Where'd it go? I don't know. is was at his house. I told somebody it was mine. Okay. I don’t know if I’ll ever get it back.
I started painting to help buy music equipment so we could so I could sing.
I wanted a piano.
And to begin with I had.
Johanna was three years old. Johanna was three? Yeah. Wow! she's born in 81. So in 84... so you had three kids and they were ages 345? Yeah, something like that when I started painting and I started painting... Seems crazy; just goes to show don't wait until you’re less busy. Until your kids grow up.
The leader of the Republican women's when I did the float for the Republican party for the Fourth of July. couple weeks after I was born. Yeah, I guess a month. Yeah, July 4th, July 4th. You were barley a month old but we did the whole thing before that. You had to build. Yeah build the float for the parade. She said it just goes to prove ask a busy person to do something and it'll get done. Yeah. So anyway,.
It’s not always The people that aren't doing anything that will get anywhere. That ask a busy person. Yeah, that's Crystal for sure. Yeah. Um, so you're saying you had three kids and you wanted a piano. three kids and I wanted a piano. we sold my guitar so we could buy one for me to learn on I bought it like an $89 little Casio about this big. you sold a guitar to buy a piano? Yeah. It's a little electric piano.
People buy them for their kids these days but back in 1984. It was a Casio little battery operated... it wasn't a $20 piano? No, now they are! but,
I sold my 12-string guitar so I could afford it. You had a 12-string? Yeah, my dad bought it for me for Christmas. Oh.
Before I was married. wow! and Daddy and I had invested money in it to get it worked over at a shop to make it nice and playable and everything, but I wanted to learn piano. So I taught myself Suzuki book 1 and 2 on this little tiny Casio that I was able to buy because I sold my guitar and then I started selling roses for Valentine's Day that year.
Palm Trees in a sunset watercolor painting