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Small Plate

Hi all y’all!

The heat index is well over 100 degrees today. I’m trying to stay hydrated and indoors. I finished my blue crab painting today. David took the photo at our Mother’s Day crab boil. I added the plate and table cloth. This one has already been dinner.

This painting was only suppose to be practice for my encaustic crab. It turns out that I like it quite a bit. I put some embellishments on the plate with molding paste. I thought it would give the painting some texture and interest. I think I could have used just paint.

It is kind of fun to add molding paste. While it is wet, you can just scrape it off with a credit card or pallet knife. After it dries, it is hard as nails.

I like this version of the painting, too. I almost left it blocked out. I am happy I added the plate shadows and the table cloth. I stenciled the table cloth on with just paint.

This is the final painting.

I hope this summer finds you well. Try to stay cool. It’s OK to rest and take some time for yourself however you can manage that.

Love to everyone,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

Tropical Storm

Hi all y’all!

We’ve had a lot of rain here. Even after living in New Orleans for 6 years, I expect the rain to be cold. In California most of the rain happens in the winter. Sometimes, in New Orleans,  I make hot chocolate in my air-conditioned house and don’t realize it is 90 degrees outside.

This is “Tropical Storm”.

I like a tropical storm if I can stay inside. A tropical storm can mean a lot of wind and rain. We bring things inside that might blow around the yard.

The unsettling thing about a tropical storm is that it can turn into a hurricane. I live near a lot of people with Hurricane Katrina PTSD, with good reason.

This makes the tension rise.

I painted this during Tropical Storm Cindy. She did not develop further.

Here is some storm information…

In a tropical depression the winds start to circulate. When the winds exceed 38 mph, it turns into a Tropical Storm. The maximum wind speed in a tropical storm is 73 mph. A hurricane has wind rotation with speeds of 74 mph and above.

Hurricanes are rated 1 through 5.

1 is 74-95 mph

2 is 96-110 mph

3 is 111-129 mph

4 is 130-156 mph

5 is greater than 156 mph

Almost all hurricanes happen during hurricane season. Where I live, the season is from June 1 through November 30. Most hurricanes happen in August and September and rarely in November.

I changed the starry sky in the most recent Swamp Girl painting. Looking at the painting close-up, the sky looked ragged. I smoothed it out and added some tiny dots for stars. Painting some stars blue and leaving some stars silver made some stars look farther away.

So far, so good.

Looking forward to a sunny tomorrow,

Gator Girl




Posted in Book, Uncategorized

Page 4, Tia!

Hi all y’all!

Here is page 4. Tia is Spanish for aunt. Maybe it is her first name, too? Tia is the baby’s aunt. That’s what I know for sure.




I think baby takes after momma in coloring, but I see Tia in her face.

Tia is listening to music in the kitchen. I did want to make sure Tia wasn’t dancing with the mop or ironing. Even though those stereotypes are etched in my brain, I am trying to break free. She just stopped by the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Probably one of the men took care of that other stuff.

I put in my favorite laminate table from the 1950’s. Baby is too short to see the top of the table, so I put the table top design that I wanted to paint on the cup. You can see the same magnolia bead tree from the garden out the window.

The New Orleans things on this page are only the bead tree and music. The window and the paint color are also typical New Orleans.

I try to keep the family to a moderate income. That’s why the table is her grandma’s and her headphones have a cord.

The painting part is straight forward. When the picture needs some very small details, I use a paint pen or intense pencils. Often I go over this with a brush. I liked the tree better when it was bright green, but I thought there needed to be glass in the window. I mixed a half drop of Golden Titanium White into some matte varnish. I painted the window panes 2 or 3 times with this mixture. I think it looks a little wavy like old glass.

Page five is coming soon!

Love too you all,

Gator Girl

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Page 2, Momma

Hi all y’all,

Happy Holidays!

My work ethic is getting a boost. I paint every day now unless I am out of town.

Here is momma.


The New Orleans images are shrimp boots, vegetables that grow well here (eggplant, okra, tulips, creole tomatoes, a magnolia tree), dark Mississippi river soil, a Mardi Gras bead tree, and a shotgun house.

I wanted a garden like this. It seems like you need a lot of money in the city to buy a house with a big garden area. I fudged on this because this is a family with an average income.

Here is a photo of momma in progress.


I didn’t mess around too much with the composition this time. The neckline of her shirt was an accident. I wanted to tell myself when I came back to paint that I wanted the neckline smaller, so I used a paint pen to mark the new neckline. It reminded me of a burnout shirt, so I left it.

I am going to put a little more of her hair on her right cheek (left cheek to you) because it looks too big. The danger in that is that it is hard for me to put the brush down. I am usually changing another thing an hour later.

The challenge for me is that it takes me so long to paint. I think the author might get tired of waiting. Each page is a full on painting, so it does take a while. I hope I reconcile with this soon.

2016 has been a hard year for a lot of people. I hope you are doing alright.

Keep hanging in there.

All of my love,

Gator Girl



Posted in Uncategorized

Angel of Peace

Hi all y’all!

I am feeling a little over-whelmed with what is going on in the world. I would probably be unaware of some of the underreported news if it weren’t for my Facebook friends. Like the pipeline protest in North Dakota, the pipeline spill in Georgia and Alabama, or photos of children killed in Syria. There are so many things happening at once that it’s hard to chose one thing to focus on… child sex trafficking, global warming, Hurricane Matthew, the election…

Here is an angel of peace in my attempt to bring love into the world. (After I see the painting online, I will probably add some shading here and there, a silver lining on the clouds, more green on the olive branch, but it is pretty done.)


I collaged the background in random paper to give myself time to think. I like the texture.

I wanted flowers somewhere in the painting, so I added them in the paper I used for her wings.

My favorite part is the transparent rainbow. I also like the abstract olive tree.


This is half way through. I was thinking of a woman looking up, but the angel adds more power. I woman might feel overwhelmed like me.


This is the sketching out. I had a shotgun house and a woman in mind for the painting. I needed more sky and less house. Sometimes the words under the paint are as important as the painting. sketching-out

I hope your psyche is feeling balanced. I hope you will chose to do something good for our ailing world however small. It’s the only one we have.

With hope,

Gator Girl
Posted in Uncategorized

Local Girl

Hi all y’all!

I wanted to wait until this painting was finished before I wrote to y’all. I didn’t want to miss another week of blogging.

I saw a photo on Facebook of my friend who works in a Laundromat on Sundays. I loved her Rosie the Riveter bad ass look. She was also wearing the same shirt that I own from Target.

I am going to go in backwards order here. This is my almost finished painting.


Half way through, I think her eyes are too large. The counter came to the bottom of the washing machines, so it looked like a floor. I like the blue behind the chandelier, but the wall seemed too fragmented and I thought wallpaper behind the chandelier would be cool.


I tried gold leaf on the chandelier. first I used the gold leaf that you press on and rub. It has a paper back. I think you must need  hard surface for that. The canvas has too much give. Next, I bought ten tiny sheets of gold leaf advertised for use in Buddhist worship. I like the look.


I watched You Tube videos about making a faux granite counter top. It is basically dabbing wet on wet paint with a sea sponge. I made small sponges from a kitchen sponge and cut some larger holes to resemble a sea sponge. It was funny to make a tiny granite counter.


I love the painting except for the counter and the chandelier. They are just not quite right yet.

Thank you for walking through the last 2 weeks with me.

You are very patient and kind.


Gator Girl




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See Prince in Florida!

Hi all y’all,

I have “met” the nicest people. They live in Florida and have purchased 3 paintings. That is not why they are nice. (Well a little bit why.) We have 33 messages between us. I have high hopes for this relationship. They are coming to New Orleans in February 2017.

Seriously, I work alone all day and words of encouragement are priceless.

This is exactly how I met Rene and Amy. It started with a Rene buying Feathered Friends and turned into life-long friends. You can read about Rene and Amy. I highly recommend it. It is one of the coolest things that has happened in my life.

This is Melissa and Phillip’s wall in their house.

Melissa and Phillip's Wall
Melissa and Phillip’s Wall

The following is how I made the frames. If you aren’t into making frames, feel free to skip this.

I framed the  two Prince paintings in red oak plywood. The part you see in the front is nice looking red oak. The sides looked like plywood. I gessoed the sides to mimic the sides of a canvas. Then I painted them black with the same acrylic paint that I used on the paintings.

I bought some purple stain, but the oak was too hard for the stain to sink in like I wanted. I went back to my comfort zone and thinned out some permanent violet dark Golden acrylic paint with Liquitex varnish. I think the color is wonderful. That same violet is in some of the darker areas of the paintings. Lastly, I sealed the frames two times in varnish. Next time, I won’t even shop. I will just use my paints.

The bad news is… even with my new blade, I made a couple of errors in the cutting. It takes some practice to cut enough, but not too much. If you don’t look too closely, you won’t notice.

Melissa and Phillip are happy and that is what I wanted.

And I want all y’all to be happy, too. Let’s have a happy summer.

With loving wishes,

Gator Girl



Posted in Uncategorized

A Vlog in a Blog or Epoxy Resin Arty Table Top

Hi all y’all!

I made a pretty cool table top and I made a video of the process.

I have been thinking about editing videos for a long time. I like to watch instructional videos, so I bet you do, too.

This is my first attempt.

Here are the links to the things I found while making the table top that really work well. They are both on Amazon.

Foneso Tri-Pod

Foneso Tri-Pod/ Selfie Stick is 21.99 Prime Shipping. It holds my phone easily and securely. It also holds a Go Pro. it has a remote control.


Clear Epoxy Resin is 59.99 plus 9.49 shipping. This is a good price for a gallon. It costs more at Home Depot. 92% of the Amazon reviews give it 5 stars. I give it 5 stars. It has good directions and dries as clear and hard as glass. Measure carefully and keep the area as free from dust, hair and bugs as possible. Use a drop cloth.

The dragonfly painting is mine. The tiles are left over from a kitchen re-model.

With a loving heart,

Gator Girl

TheKiss 4

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The Kiss

Hi all y’all!

I have painted The Kiss for more than a month. I chose the elements and found some reference photos in Annie Hamman’s Class. Spots, the alligator at the Audubon Zoo had just passed on and I wanted to honor his life. I didn’t rework the painting during the month, I just worked on it.

Here’s how…

Sketch of The Kiss
Sketch of The Kiss

It started with black gesso. It has a rich, dark, mat finish. Then I added three or so coats of black acrylic ink. If you use acrylic ink (vs. India ink) it won’t bleed through into your paint. The ink made it even darker and shinier.

A little color
A little color

I doesn’t matter too much what color you start with usually, but I wanted to limit the colors this time. Spots was a white alligator and I wanted to accentuate this throughout the painting.

The Kiss, midway
The Kiss, midway

I mostly paint women and alligators. Landscapes not so much. I started with what I know and like best. I think because I have spent a lot of time with my daughter’s dog, Kenobi, his personality came out in the alligator’s love for the girl.


I textured her shirt with a scrap piece of lace collar. I laid the collar down and stippled hard molding paste, mixed with green paint through the lace. I mixed paint with the molding paste so I could see where the pattern was going. I liked the green shirt, but I wanted white.

Lace Collar
Lace Collar

The month-long journey included enlarging the alligators front foot, changing the angle of the girls foot, shortening the logs… and lets not even talk about the sky.

The Kiss
The Kiss

I plan on framing it in some reclaimed green wood that I have saved.

The original Shotgun Angel has moved to Florida. It is so exciting! (The link is for prints.)

Shotgun Angel
Shotgun Angel

If you have wondered what it is like to work at home… It is mostly lovely. The usual things you hear apply. I am in the shirt I slept in, I am close to coffee and more coffee, I am doing what I love. The hard part is the pull from the house. There are always things that need doing here… laundry, dinner, bills… I like doing all of that, too, so it is hard to ignore.

Right now, I am going to go out on the porch and paint the trim. The trim is not pulling me.


Gator Girl





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My plan for smaller original paintings.

Hi all y’all!

Things are heating up around here. It is raining today, but the rest of the week will be dry and 90. (Weather  √ ) My sweet darlin’ is barbecuing all day to acquire some kind of pink line in the meat that lets us know he did it perfectly. The barbecue is on auto pilot now while he takes Maggie and Riff Raff to the children’s library. (Next meal  √ ). One of the reasons he is my sweet darlin’ is because he takes the kiddos out so I can talk to y’all.

Now, an art update.

I painted a picture of my oldest daughter in oil paints. I found some oil paints that clean up in soap and water. I felt like I wasted a day, but I learned that I hate oil paints. They are creamy and lovely to paint with, but the look is creamy. They take forever to dry. I am spoiled by how quickly acrylic paints dry and how bold they look. I had a thought in the back of my mind that when I was a real artist, I would paint in oils. I don’t know why I thought that. (No more oil paints  √ )


Dislike oil paints.
Dislike oil paints.

I love the way the cowboy hat looks. I didn’t finish the painting. I knew I would never get it right with the oil paints. This is a small canvas, only 12 x 16 inches.


Covered with paper.
Covered with paper.

Because the paint was still damp the next day, I covered everything with paper. At the top, there is a Lucky Rooster coaster. Bottom right is a Juan’s Flying Burrito logo. Some bingo paper and little red dots because dots make me happy. Peaking out is my sister and her beau.

I am going to show you what I am painting, but it is still in progress. I photographed the paintings today on the easel, because I don’t like to see my unfinished paintings when I google something. I wonder if people think they are done.

Crow in progress.
Crow in progress.

I am half done with this. It is called Crow Talking to the Lucky Moon.

This turtle is also 12 x 16 inches. Pretty much half the size of my go-to canvas. I am going to make a frame for him.Maybe a few more wrinkles on his neck.

Turtle needs a frame.
Turtle needs a frame.

I have a small problem with Nice Hair. Maggie wants to buy it. She has $20. When I finish her, I guess she is already sold. I might put some molding paste in her hair and for sure attach some antique embellishments. My plan is to paint flowers in her hair and a butterfly hovering.

Nice Hair, in progress.
Nice Hair, in progress.

I like the blue background. It reminds me of Tiffany blue.

Well, that’s all she wrote.

The kids are here all week. It is between school and summer camp.

Cool Zoo
Cool Zoo

Feeling lucky,

Gator Girl