Montana's Best Kept Secrets TM



  About the Artist  (Ike*) is a nickname I received at 14 while working at a full-service Texaco gas station as the  "Chore Girl." The Guys razed me about my real name, Eileen, which was tongue tying sometimes. So one day, they Christened me "Ike". The Owner reached down into a bright silver aluminum bucket of baby blue colored water, crossed my forehead with a soft moist touch, & gave me a shiny yellow, rubber ducky that was floating in the water. When I asked why...I was told, "So we can yell at you!" Then sent back to work with a new name. At age 16, I added the asterisk * to create my sovereignty for uniqueness, originality and its been with me ever since."        

Oooh... those innocent years...  


Finally! Graduation from High School...

2 sons  later


Years flow by.....

        Golden Wheel Casino 1978.     Jack Lane & Ike* 1979.   


      Welders' Helper 1980.                    Driller's  Helper 1981  


Time Shimmers forward 5 years....

              Time away from The Navy and Navy time...


(Ike*) was born in Oregon & moved to Wyoming at the age of 3 months where her 4 brothers were born. The family moved to Montana when she was 11 years old. At that young age, she was raised by a single parent & is the eldest of 6 kids. While growing up, the talented child was footloose and carefree. Played baseball, basketball, tied flies, camped out, hiked, fished, hunted, explored, climbed trees or mountains, dug up rocks and bones. Joined the "boys" 4-H club because they had more fun and was accepted. Then had summer jobs to help raise her family starting at age 14 and started paying taxes at that age. She also rode & trained horses, raised & showed Malamute huskies, cats, sheep, rabbits, goats, chickens, cattle, and cared for anything else that may have been found or brought home, including wild animals. At the same time, the enterprising girl was always drawing or creating something in school or at home.

       Ike's Mom taught her how to draw before she started grade school. Her "Mom" was a good Western Artist in her own right and turned the eager child loose to create her own unique style and technique. When the kid was 13 years-old, she sold her first oil painting for $150 bucks which was a lot for a child at that time! Then she went on to win several art contests in school, local fairs, and earned a full Art scholarship to the University of Montana for which she declined. Instead, Ike* traveled throughout the United States & raised a family. Worked as Bartender/barmaid  and she painted a wall in the Golden Wheel Casino. Worked as welder's helper on 100 % sour gas pipe lines and 1st girl ever hired by Matador Pipelines. Worked in the oil fields & worked with explosives & Drills. Joined the Navy & jumped out an airplane & taught aviators how to stay alive. Worked for the Department of Corrections & witnessed a riot and learned the truth of it, and went to college & graduated with honors and started her own company. She conceived & Trademarked "Montana's Best Kept Secrets," in 1994, and uses her inventiveness to create "things" or to frame art or to display her distinctive artwork.


                      My desk & computer being used.

        Ike* also writes stories and articles.  Frames artwork and personal items.  Gardens and experiments in the kitchen.  Landscapes and remodels homes.  Manages someone else's home office, and oversees her own business. Is the CPA during Tax time and does the books. Carves ceramics and chalks them.  Doctors the humans and animals and gives shots when necessary.  Experiments with her artwork all the time which surprises her family and friends.  Plays on computer and wastes time with certain games. The works on computer to create graphic designs.  Cherishes her true friends and loves modern technology when it works.  Uses power tools and builds things or tears down walls.  Writes and publishes Poetry for fun. Makes up "Jingles" for radio stations just for fun. Loves to curl up to a good book when she can, and is a die hard Sci-fi fan, and a High Saturation  "Trekkie".    


     My Office door          Spirited Halloween...          

     Today, Ike* works out of her home in the United States. She is still the imaginative Enchanter who draws for the love of it! Sharing life with Tim, Kids, Grand Kids, Good Science Fiction or action Movies, True Friends, Computers programs & games, P2 games,  and High Definition TV and the History, Discover or Science channels. The Australian Red Merle Shepard's, Feral Kitten Kat, Rare Orchids & Scented Geraniums that her Mom gave her. Makes her own incense and potpourri using essential oils.  Lastly, living in the mountains among the multitude of wild critters that stop by occasionally to visit or to eat the wild flowers such as Grizzly Bears, Red Foxes and Deer. She is still going forward like the "Energizer Bunny" which happens to be a charging moose


                              Ike* has many Artistic& Hard Work Accomplishments,

  • Donated Artwork to the 2009 Masonic Home Ex-Student Association Homecoming in Fort Worth, Texas.

  • Donated (1) hand-painted oil paintings on Christmas bulb to Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer in 2008 who put it on his residential tree. 

  • One of Ike* 's Christmas bulbs was seen by one of Governor Schweitzer's staff on a tree in Senator Jon Tester's Office in 2008.

  • Donated (3) hand-painted oil paintings on Christmas bulbs to the White House for the Capital Christmas Tree in 2008. Montana trees where used at the White House that year.

  • Won Best-In Show ribbons at State and local fairs throughout  Montana & Wyoming for over 30 years.

  • Selected as one of the "Framers"  for Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's yearly Banquet in Casper Wyoming. Nov 1998, 1999, 2000 & 2001.

  • Selected as one of the "Fine Artists" for Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's yearly Banquet in Casper Wyoming. Nov 2000 & 2001.

  • Organized and Implemented the 2nd " Art in a Lot" on Sept.3, 2000 in Edgerton, Wyoming. That was fun!

  • Chosen and Published Poem "Words" @ InterNational Library of Poetry & on-Line. 2000. Fun!

  • Chosen and Published Poem "Burned" @ InterNational Library of Poetry & on-Line. 1999. Fun!

  • Nominated & Selected for Who's Who of American Women in 1999. Who cares.

  • Member of Prairie League Institute of the Arts. Gillette, Wyoming. 1999.

  • Designed and trademarked the only current "Wyoming Made" logo in 1999 until 2001 when she moved from that state.

  • Organized and Implemented the 1st " Art in a Lot" Sept 4, 1999 in Midwest, Wyoming. Fun! Fun!

  • Selected to Display Artwork at "Elk Camp Exposition" Feb 11-14, 1999. Reno Hilton, Reno, Nevada.

  • Nominated for IBC 's 2000 Outstanding Artists & Designers of the 20th Century in 1999.

  • Earned a place in "Wyoming Works' for three months with the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper in 1998. A Great honor! And I did it the first time I entered!  Whoa!

  • Then found herself the 1st recipient of the Liberal Studies club, "Award for Excellence" from Montana Tech of the University of Montana for her Generous spirit of service in 1998. A surprise! Whoa!

  • Opened Business, "Montana's Best Kept Secrets" in Midwest, Wyoming, in April 1998.

  • Nominated & Selected for Who's Who in the World in 1998. Who cares.

  • Earned "Best in Show" & Voted "Artist's Choice Award" in "Fine Arts" at Wyoming State Fair.1998-2001.

  • Earned "Best in Show & Judges Choice" in "Fine Arts" at Wyoming Central Fair 1998-2001.

  • Selected to Display Artwork at "Elk Camp Exposition" Feb 19-22, 1998. Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon.

  • Won Editor's Choice in a US National Poetry contest  For "Ebb"  in 1997. A surprise!

  • Member of Montana Institute of the Arts. Butte Branch. 1996 & 1997.

  • Contributed art to Rocky Mountain Elk Foundations in the states of Montana, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado & Wyoming. 1995,1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001. Contributed art to Anaconda High School, Libby High School, Butte Literacy Program, Friends of the Ice Rink, United Way organizations, local Medical Facilities in Montana, & various Wildlife Foundations or Institutes throughout North America, and Generously  donate to our Children and to our Elderly.

  • Trademarked Montana's Best Kept Secrets in Montana in 1995 and again in 2005.

  • Selected to participate in Copper Village Art Museum's Annual Art Auction held at Fairmont, Mt.1995, 1996, 1997.

  • Participated in Virginia City Artist's Festival. Virginia City, Mt. 1996, 1997.

  • Juried & Selected to participate in Lewistown Art Center's Annual Art Auction. Lewistown, Mt. 1997.

  • Juried & Selected to participate in Art in the Park. Anaconda, Montana. 1995, 1996, 1997.

  • Juried & Selected to Participate in Art in the Park. Greatfalls, Mt. 1996.

  • Bachelor of Science Degree from Montana Tech of the University of Montana. Butte, MT. Major, Society and Technology\technical and professional communications. 1995.

  • Certified in Public Speaking from Montana Tech. 1995

  • Minor in Occupational Health & Safety.1995.

  • Creator & Owner of Business, Montana's Best Kept Secrets" in State of Montana 1995.

  • Participated in "Anaconda Smelter men's Heritage Days" in Anaconda. Mt. August 4 & 5, 1995.

  • Volunteer "Judge" for the Southwestern Regional Science and Engineering Fair held in Butte, Mt. 1994 & 1995. FUN!

  • Volunteered time and services to Copper Village Art Museum in Anaconda. Mt. 1994 & 1995.

  • Student Member of Society of Safety Engineers. 1994-1996.

  • Nominated & Selected member of the Who's Who Among College Students in American Colleges & Universities. Montana Tech of the University of Montana. 1994. Whoa! an honor!

  • Volunteer "Judge" at the Butte High Speech Debates in 1992 & 1994. Lots of fun!

  • Earned Dufresne Foundation Scholarship. Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology. 1993-1995.

  • Earned Calvin F. Bossard Memorial Scholarship. Montana College of Mineral Science & Technology. 1994.

  • Honor Roll. Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology. 1992-1995.

  • Good Standing. Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology. 1991-1992.

  • Published Writer for "The Technocrat" Newspaper . College Newspaper. Roaming Reporter.1991-1995. 

  • Designed the Liberal Studies Club degree logos/emblems for Montana School of Mines in Butte, MT. And designed the Occupational Safety & Health Club Degree logo and  the Society & Technology Club Degree logo for the college.1993-1994.

  • Designed USN Squadron Logo for VAW 120 and it lasted between 85-93, a long time by today's standards. Commanding officers bring their own designs now and are changed frequently.

  • Public Relations Officer from the Paraloft shop for the squadron, VAW 120 NAS. Virginia. 1984-1987.

  • Developed formal letterhead emblems for US Navy's "Hawkeye Ball" 1986 and 1987.

  • Selected East Coast Representative for 19th Integrated Logistics Support/Acquisition Management Panel for Aviation Life Support Systems. 1988.

  • Selected East Coast Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron Representative for Maintenance Training Readiness Review Conference. 1987.

  • Nominated the "Sailor of the Month" at VAW 120. May 1984 for her Outstanding work & Military bearing which is a hard award to win.

  • Top of the Class in Aircrew Survival Equipment man School in Lakehurst, NJ. 1983. Hard work!

  • Volunteer member of  "US Navy Inter-service Color Guard"  for Military and Civilian functions. Lakehurst, NJ. 1983.

  • Drew emblems/logos for Drilling and Survey companies in Montana, Colorado, and Texas. 1979-1983. 

  • Ike* holds the only female Drill Helper drilling record in Hondo Texas. She beat the boys on a Failing 1000 conventional drilling rig. The boys had three "Buggies" and each buggy had ( 3) helpers each. Drilling record still stands today and will never be broken. 1982.

  • Published Artist for the "Horse Trader" Magazine in Irving, Texas. 1982-1983.

  • Earned Full Art Scholarship For University of Montana in 1975 upon graduation from High School.

  • Won "First Place" in Fairmont Hot Springs Design Contest for the Grand Opening of Resort in Deer lodge County in 1973. But design was too complicated, so it went to the "Parent" Fairmont in Canada and 2nd place was chosen for local area's design.

  • Earned "First Place" in  Keep Montana Green, Forest & Range Fire Prevention Poster Contest. The hand drawing & painted picture was sent to Japan to tour the country in 1971 for a whole year. Then The Forest Service got it back.

  • Certified in Civil Defense Education in Personal & Family Survival. Bozeman Extension Office. Cert. No. 14102. March 31, 1971."Requirement" in that time of history. 


































Visual Story of the beginning

First, there were two different ( Texas & Montana ) people with 2 kids each.


                     They get together                        


Da' Kids


Oldest to Youngest  & Younger to Older

Shawna Lynn


Dedrick Justin


Joshua Ronald


My.. My...  Grand Kids Already

Josh & Paula's (3) girls


Shawna's (2) Boys

      Our 4 footed babies...

Styx of Mush-Qua-Tahs       


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This site updated: 08/24/2015

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