Posted in Swamp Girl

Swamp Girl, A Collaborative Book

Hi all y’all!

It has been 2 months since I have blogged or done much of anything. I have had this monster brace on my right hand for that long. I can take it off for a short time now to do something easy like typing. I still have to wear it for almost everything else. It has been hard not to paint much or very well.

I had a cooking mishap. It was a big iron skillet full of zucchini. I was dumping the zucchini into a bowl with one hand because I felt invincible. I twisted my wrist and hurt the tendon.

hand brace

I have been able to work on Maggie’s and my  book for short stretches of time. It is pretty painful to hold the brush.

We don’t have the whole story yet. That will be our next step. We are thinking that I will paint the swamp girl and the alligator for continuity. Maggie will paint the manatee, turtle, nutria, etc. We are not sure who all will be in the book.

helping-alligator

He offered to stretch his tail as high as he could to help her down out of the Cypress tree. 

The idea so far is that Swamp Girl will wander into the swamp, become lost, and find a new friend.

I am ready to paint something to hang on the wall and sell. I like the idea of my paintings in people’s houses. It is a little isolating to paint pages in a future book.

I hope you enjoyed the preview. More to come.

Best Wishes and unending love,

Gator Girl

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Alligator and Introspection

Hi all y’all!

I have been painting some heavy topics lately. My last 3 paintings were about slavery and prostitution. I think artists have a responsibility for social change. This is Banksy 2011 protesting the foreclosure debacle.

Bansky 2011

This is me protesting slavery.

NOT FOR SALE staged for website

I decided it was time for a light hearted alligator.

While I was painting him again today, I was thinking how I forgot why I paint. I paint for people to be happy; to cheer up a room. Maybe I paint happy alligators and heart wrenching topics. Do you think there are some light hearted topics dealing with social change? Maybe an alligator on a picket line?

My Etsy sales are slow this month. I had use money to promote my art. The voice in my head was critical of me for painting slowly. In response to the voice: Etsy sometimes has a slow month. I have to pay for things even when the money is just going in one direction (out). Slow is OK.

Happy Alligator

You can’t see in this photo that his teeth are white with iridescent pearl for the top layer. There is a little yellow ochre near his gum line because he has some gingivitis. It’s not to a critical stage. If you have seen previous photos of the gator in progress, the big change I did today was some shading and a few coats on the green parts of his body to tie him together.

There is a surprising thing about me. I am pretty terrified of alligators. I was reading about them online to appease my fear, but it just fueled it. There was a woman moving to Florida and asked if people in Florida got tricked into buying a house near the water and then were unable to sell it because of the alligators. Because who would live near alligators. I thought she was pretty funny, but my crazy self bought some of it. If you have any alligator advice before I go camping, PLEASE let me know.

I am a little long winded today. I hope everything is going well in your part of the world.

Lovingly,

Gator Girl

 

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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.

Kenobi
Kenobi

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.

Lovingly,

Gator Girl

 

 

 

 

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Moonlit Walk

Hi all y’all!

Heading into 4th of July weekend. I hope y’all are having a nice summer. I think it is pretty much hot in the United States now, with a few exceptions.

My ginger-haired girl is helping her friend embark on an adventure that leads them out of the swamp. It is the first time for the little gator to see something of the world beyond his home.

Moonlit Walk
Moonlit Walk

On a moonlit night, she hiked up her dress, and together they walked out of the swamp.

The painting is large, 24 x 36 inches, acrylic paint and varnish on canvas.

Best wishes for a fun and safe 4th!

All my love,

Gator Girl

 

 

 

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Alligators have dreams, too.

Hi all y’all,

I hope you are enjoying the first days of summer. I know it isn’t really summer, but the kids are getting out of school around here and we are starting to get the air heating up followed by the afternoon thunder storms.

Some people have mentioned that I am painting more or faster now. The paintings are just smaller. They are smaller for the same reason I sell prints of my art. If someone likes my work, I want them to be able to afford something. These next two paintings go together (or not). They are 11 x 14 on canvas (smallish). I will sell them for $120 each or both for $225. I like a larger painting because it tells a bigger story. It took a little adjustment in my thoughts to go smaller.

Ballerina Gator
Ballerina Gator

I painted the canvas dark reddish-pink. Then I scraped gesso over the walls with a plastic motel key. Lastly, I “aged” the walls with some Titan Buff paint. I wanted the walls to look like old plaster.

The alligator has always had a dream of performing in a ballet. It looks like it was a huge success.

When I was growing up, I had two small paintings in my bedroom of young ballerinas. I am sure this influenced me.

This is the girl who made the gator’s dreams come true. Sometimes it is nice to share the stage.

Ballerina
Ballerina

May has been very busy. My youngest daughter moved back to New Orleans. My niece from California  visited for a week. My oldest daughter graduated from Tulane Law. Maggie turned 7. Now Maggie and Raffi are both between school and summer camp. My sweet darlin’ is basically absent from home because it is the end of his school year.

If you are visiting New Orleans, I think you should make time to go on one of the tours that Christine Miller of Two Chicks Walking Tours offers. My favorite is Drop Dead Sexy. It meets at the visitor center… Marie Laveau’s tomb in St. Louis #1… and hits a bit of Storyville. She will also designs any tour that suits your fancy.  Christine is both entertaining and knowledgeable.

Christine
Christine

Until next time,

Gator Girl
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New Paintings Available

Hi all y’all!

I am here to share my most recent paintings. I am showing them in a group, because I paint 4-6 paintings and have them photographed before I sell them. I also share them on Facebook, but not everyone follows me on Facebook.

Accepting New Members
Accepting New Members
Songbird Singing Songs of Love
Songbird Singing Songs of Love
Jester
Jester
Gator Jester
Gator Jester

 

Distracted no frame
Distracted no frame
Distracted in cabinet door
Distracted in cabinet door
Distraction without frame
Distraction without frame
Distraction on cabinet door
Distraction on cabinet door

The original Distracted and Distraction are sold together. The prints and giclee’s can be sold separately.

You can purchase my paintings on-line in my Etsy shop and Where Y’Art (an artist collective).

My paintings are also in Covington at the Whimmsey Shoppe and on the corner of Julia and Baronne at the M Studio in New Orleans.

I sell prints and giclee’s of all my originals.

There ya go.

Wishing you all the best in everything!

Gator Girl

 

 

 

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After the festival (a re-hash)

Hi all y’all!

In New Orleans, when we aren’t talking about our next meal, we’re talking about the weather. FYI, my next meal is coming from Juan’s Flying Burrito and the weather has been gorgeous for two weeks straight. 80’s, sunny and dry. My favorite weather is dry in the day and raining all night, but not when I am leaving my art all night in a tent on the bayou.

Duke, my sort of brother-in-law took some fabulous photos of Bayou Boogaloo. I think this will be a photo essay. I will include information for first time festers, which I am not one of. (Thankfully.)

Gator Girl Art had exposure to the public. Lots of people came out. I sold a little over $1,000. My expenses were a little over a thousand dollars. I almost broke even. Yes, I would have liked to make some money. No, I am not giving up.

I signed up for Blues and Barbecue taking place in Lafayette Square in October. Jazz and Heritage will tell me soon if I have been accepted. You will be the first to know.

Walking to New Orleans seemed to be the crowd favorite.

Walking to New Orleans
Walking to New Orleans

My sort of brother-in-law bought it. Thank you, Duke.

In New Orleans, if you are selling in an arts district, there is no city or state tax on original art. The tax I had to pay is only on the $200 I made selling prints… $8. That’s cool, right?

I decided some things for the next festival. I am going to buy nice, white, mesh sides for my tent. They will be easier to transport and look professional. I am going to paint some smaller originals. I like originals better than prints. People who have a small space or limited finances will be able to buy an original. I am only going to take my originals and one size prints.

I made these cool presentation binders. One binder has all of my originals that are still for sale. One binder has all originals already in collections. I filled the binders with 8 x 10 prints. On the facing page is their story. I am going to take along the binders.

This has been an important week for Maggie. She graduated from kindergarten and turned 6!

Maggie's Celebration
Maggie’s Celebration

I am pretty excited to paint again.

With green, scaly gratitude,

Gator Girl

 

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My steps to putting art on-line and check out my finished gator.

Hi all y’all,

Gorgeous today in New Orleans. I opted out of a picnic so that I could write to you. I need to keep a work schedule or I feel like a fraud. Today, I am starting to list 4 of my originals.

It is a process.

Dorka sent me the files of the photos she took of my most recent paintings. I changed the size of the photographs slightly. Dorka discourages me  from changing the photos too much by myself.

Then I up-loaded two sizes to Fotoworks Pro. The sizes I offer are 8.5 x 11 and 11 x 14. I tried printing 8 x 10, but that seems too small for art. Fotoworks Pro is in Southern California and I work with them through the mail. I have had only positive experiences with their personal service and great quality.

After I ordered prints, I started up-loading to Etsy and WhereY’Art. The difference, I think, between the two Internet stores is Etsy is international and Where Y’Art is local. I have been with Etsy for a few years and am pretty happy with it. I just started in February with Where Y’Art. I love that it is local and I know the owners and some of the other artists. Where Y’Art also offers shows out in the community a few times a year. I will let you know more later… when I know more.

Gator in the Hen House
Gator in the Hen House

It takes about 10 days to get the prints from California. (I am sure this is because the mail is coming to Louisiana.) I am only putting up the originals now. I want to have the prints in hand when the orders come in. (Hear that universe?)

I used to hate the business part of painting. Now I like it. It is like having a secretarial job for a day. I wanted to be a secretary once.

I hope your day is going great.

Sending alligator love,

Gator Girl 
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Gator in the Hen House

Hi all y’all,

I wanted to finish Gator in the Hen House before I wrote to you this week. I am taking 4 paintings to Dorka to photograph this morning. This is my photograph of the finished painting. I am going to frame it with some wood I have saved under the house.

Gator in the Hen House ready for photographer

This is pretty large, 24 x 36 inches. My favorite part is the alligator. My second favorite part is the chicken wire.

My goal was to make the gator the center of attention with a smug and cavalier attitude. The chickens are a riot of color and feathers. They each have their own personality.

I raised the chicken wire with molding paste, then lightly brushed some Golden Green Gold and Cobalt Teal back in.

The rooster was painted with Golden’s Permanent Violet Dark, then Carbon Black and more colors. The shiny parts are Silk’s Acrylic Glaze.

This rooster is standing as straight as he can on his tiptoes trying to look invisible.
This rooster is standing as straight as he can on his tiptoes trying to look invisible.

 

This hen's eyes are starting to roll back in her head. She thinks she might faint.
This hen’s eyes are starting to roll back in her head. She thinks she might faint.

I used Golden’s molding paste and Liquitex heavy body acrylic on the white chicken. I said “used” because I painted with a brush, my fingers and a palette knife.

 

Whaat?
Whaat?

I loved this chicken when she was pure green, but I wanted her to be a more realistic color and contrast with the gator.

So I changed her to..

Whaaat?

Mama chicken is yelling, "Get outa here!"
Mama chicken is yelling, “Get outa here!”

 

On Mama Chicken I painted with acrylic paint and Dylusions Postbox Red Ink Spray. I painted with it, not sprayed it. I love how it saturates. I had to seal the hen with varnish and then paint the white bits back in. When you paint with ink it keeps soaking through.

I made the floor of the hen-house dirty, by putting broken toothpicks and beads in black and tan paint, putting them on the floor of the hen-house and pulling the pieces off with tweezers. I knew I would have a hard time making the dirt look random, otherwise.

One of the challenges of this painting was to keep the chickens in the background as supporting actors. They really wanted to take over.

I bought this cart at IKEA. I love it more every day.

Rolling Cart from IKEA.
Rolling Cart from IKEA.

Each day I have to trust again that I am on the right path. For me, right now, it seems like the only one. So I am putting one foot in front of the other and going on.

Loving you unconditionally,

Gator Girl