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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

 

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Life in Progress

Hi all y’all!

I have a to do list as long as my arm, but my studio is quiet and here I am.

Just a little update today.

Company is coming to New Orleans in waves. And why not? New Orleans in the Spring is the best.

Raffi is beginning a large painting of his pets. He wants it to go with his 3-year-old painting of his family.

Beginning of pet portrait
Beginning of pet portrait

I gave him some student quality paints for the first layer. Besides the color, the paints themselves look drab. I ordered him some Liquitex paints for the next layers. They aren’t Golden, but they are nice.

My Gator in the Hen House is still in progress. I have spent many hours on this. I will continue to paint it until I am happy with every inch.

Gator in the Hen House, still in progress
Gator in the Hen House, still in progress

This is why I am a little late with my list today.

Nice Hair, the beginning
Nice Hair, the beginning

This is super fun. I have painted the darks. I think her hair will be full of fun stuff. Maybe butterflies, bugs, a bird? I don’t know yet.

She seems to welcome Spring.

Maggie's front tooth

Maggie lost her tooth. Too cute.

Gotta run.

Until next week my loves,

Gator Girl

 

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Mardi Gras and a Gator

Hi all y’all,

We are in the full swing of Mardi Gras come rain or come shine.

Day 2 Mardi Gras, last weekend
Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Last Saturday, the weather was beautiful, the crowds were there, but in a gentler, roomier way.

It rained all night.

Throw me something, mister!
Throw me something, mister!

Sunday, started out muddy and fun. Then the deluge. Only the hardcore monsters of Mardi Gras stuck it out.

Sunday's parade
Sunday’s parade

Pussyfooters put on a happy face.

I am working on a new painting called Gator in the Hen House. It could symbolize government corruption. I really wanted to paint it because chickens can be so colorful. I wanted a challenge. This painting is pushing me to experiment with proportions, movement and design. I am just going to take my time.

So far, it is only acrylic paint.

Gator in the Hen House in progress
Gator in the Hen House in progress

My plan is to add some ink behind the chicken wire for depth and color. Then, chicken wire made with medium gel gloss using rabbit wire as a stencil. I want to add paint to molding paste and put some of the feathers on with a palette knife. Finally, many more layers of paint.

All of this will occur after Mardi Gras.

I am already liking the Gator’s swashbuckling attitude.

That’s what’s happening in my neighborhood. What’s going on in yours?

Happy Mardi Gras,

In abundant love,

Gator Girl
Gator Girl

 

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Walking to New Orleans

Good morning all y’all!

New to me stuff going on in New Orleans. The schools, government offices and many other businesses are closed for two days because of a storm coming in. The grocery and Red Box were crowded with people yesterday, like before a hurricane. The low tonight will be 27. It is 36 as I write this. The roads will be icy. Some bridges will be closed. For this transplanted me, this preparedness seems over the top. Maybe I will be educated.

The Blush Ball was last Saturday. There is a great video on Facebook of our dance, but I can’t get it to transfer out of Facebook. At least you can see our costumes and our awesomeness.  We raised $30,000 for  the Metropolitan Center of Women and Children.

George Long Photography
George Long Photography

That is me in the very middle in a short pink, curly wig.

Walking to New Orleans, because I have been thinking about alligators and skyline.

Day One
Day One

I have a nice old frame that I acquired at an estate sale. My sweet darlin’ cut a piece of wood to fit in the frame. It measures 15.5 x 28 inches. Usually, when I do a background, I start haphazardly, intention mixed with wild abandon. Most of it gets covered up. This time, I thought it would be cool to paint the land and sky the same colors. I started painting land and sky (with intention and abandon).

I cut out maps, music, and decorative paper for the buildings and paper that looks like French writing for the foliage. I outlined the skyline in black paint and painted a much finer line around the buildings.

Walking to New Orleans
Walking to New Orleans

I am waiting for Golden self-leveling gel to arrive in the mail. It will be shiny and totally protect the paper. I think people will be drawn to touch the buildings, so I want to protect them.

The Chinese New Year begins this Friday. The year of the horse. Symbolically, I plan to dust the house before then. I like to take a small part of another culture’s ritual and make it my own. Especially, if many cultures share the same ritual.

Look at the magnificence.
Look at the magnificence.
“Horse year is a time of fast victories, unexpected adventures, and surprising romance. Energy is high and production is rewarded. We’Moon 2014 

 

Sorry FolksLooking at the rain. Shaking my head. I believe we will be open again on Thursday.

Last but not least, our own Fats Domino.

Love you all,

Gator Girl

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Gator Agents

Hi all y’all!

I have been living my alternate dream lately. I have been spending a lot of time with my grand babies. They are growing up so fast, I have to slow everything down and observe the wonder of it all.

For a while I had trouble switching gears from creating art to child care. Then an epiphany. When my girls were growing up, I had to work. I wanted to stay home. Now I want to work, but my grandkids need me. I just needed to switch gears in my mind and realize my timing is off. All in good time. (I am becoming quiet fond of old-timey sayings lately.)

2013 is around the corner. My word for the coming year is visibility. This is the year, I put my art out into the world. Fly Be Free Art. I am thinking restaurants, galleries…

My Gator Agents will be an integral part of the plan.

Gator Agent Anne-Claire
Gator Agent Anne-Claire

 

Gator Agent Katy
Gator Agent Katy
Gator Agent Joe
Gator Agent Joe
Gator Mascot Buddy
Gator Mascot Buddy

I have 3 main agents. (One is remaining incognito at this time.) I have an up and coming star-agent as one of my east coast representatives. So far I have two agents based in Los Angeles and two agents in Philadelphia. I am not sure what kind of role Buddy will play at this time. That is why he is pictured here as a mascot.

Really, the sky is the limit at Gator Girl Art, LLC. If you would like to become an agent for Gator Girl Art, please email me at nancy@gatorgirlart.com or fbfgator@gmail.com. Give me a brief description of what you plan to offer. All emails will be read and replied to.

Sincerely,

With hope and faith in the future,

Gator Girl

 

 

 

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Alligator Bliss

Hi all y’all!

We are having the most beautiful fall weather. Seems like it might be perfect for my first Pussyfooters parade next Saturday. I am looking forward to seeing what dancing in front of crowds is like, basically so the nightmares of being exposed in public stop. I feel compelled to do it because it has been a lifelong dream to be in a dance group. (note to parents: just let your kids live their childhood dreams in childhood. The dreams don’t just vanish with a “no”.) With the Pussyfooters, I met the requirements of having or living like I have vagina and being over 30. Yea me! I qualify. The Krewe of Jingle parade is on Canal Street.

Two more awesome reasons to join with the Pussyfooters are the service we do for the community, raising money to support and empower women, and for me to meet other women. Since I work at home now, I feel the need to get out and into the community for mental health.

I have two paintings to share today. I finished the La Virgen de Guadalupe. I just need to varnish her to protect her from dust and uv rays. I am also giving the person who commissioned her a chance to see her before I take her to be packaged and shipped. I painted the virgin how I think she would appear to the person I painted her for. I added the traditional saint card near the bottom of the canvas. 

La Virgen de Guadalupe

I am starting a new painting just for fun on a piece of reclaimed wood. It is just a scrap of wood that I am going to frame in old wood from an old house. It is called Alligator Bliss.

I have some safety glass from a broken car window. It looks like the scales on an alligator’s legs and shoulders. It looks really cool to see the paint through the broken glass. The trouble I am having is the glass is raised up higher than the rest of the gator. My plan is to just continue on with the plan, hoping that it all turns out. Maybe I could put a piece of glass over the whole painting when I frame it. (Insert here any of your good ideas.)

He is not much to see yet. (Why are my alligators always men?)

Alligator Bliss in Progress

I laid some glass on the painting so you can see how cool it looks. Maybe it will be OK just to have the glass parts a little higher. Hmmm.

Looking forward to feedback.

With unending love and gratitude,

Gator Girl

 

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My Mentor, My Love

Hi all y’all,

I need to write 2 distinct blogs on this beautiful day in October. I have  been consciously putting off adding Shiloh Sophia to my list of Artists I Adore. I don’t believe I can do her justice. Today, I decided to offer my best and that will be enough.

Shiloh changed my life. She helped be to discover my dream and gave me the tools to get there. Shiloh is the founder of Cosmic Cowgirls. The idea came to her when she was just a girl. She has always wanted to empower and connect women. One thing that I remember vividly is when she needed two other women to help her run her growing business, she painted 3 women standing together. The perfect women showed up in the perfect time.

When I wanted to move to New Orleans, I started painting alligators. Alligators were all I wanted to paint for 2 years. To me alligators were the symbol and the means to adventure.

One of the classes I took with Shiloh was called Leading a Legendary Life. It was a 6 month Internet course that we begged Shiloh to continue for a year. In that course, we painted the 4 directions of our life. My Southern direction was Louisiana, being an Artist and living in New Orleans. My Northern direction were my Roots and my desire to stay connected to my family. Eastern was health. In the East, I was led to a group where I released 100 pounds. My Western direction turned into Vacation and Travel as California would no longer be my home. All of the canvases came to life.

Since this is a blog and not a book, I will let you follow Shiloh’s link  to learn more.

Part II

I am painting a family from the other side of life. The happy family is dancing in the moonlight. I love celebrating Dio De Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. I will include a picture of my altar at the end of the month.

Dancing in the Moonlight, in progress

I am taking an online class from Jane Davenport. I am feeling more confident painting bodies. I am also trying some new techniques. I rolled a thick coat of Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Phthalocyanine Blue over the whole canvas. Next, I brushed in swirls.  The moon is painted on dry gel medium applied with a motel key card. Swiping the card made some nice grooves. For the girl’s tights, I used a trick I learned on Pinterest. I put a nail in the eraser part of a pencil and used the head of the nail to make black polka dots. I am going to apply a shiny fabric, that used to be  a gift bag for bath products, over the mother’s dress and the girls tights using acrylic varnish. I think the fabric will seem a little other worldly and add some shine and movement.

I am going to say good-bye now. I trust that if you need Shiloh in your life, you will find her. She is a genius for helping you to realize your dreams.

If you have your dream, carry it, nurture it, speak it, do something towards it every day.

With unreasonable love and an open heart,

Gator Girl

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Mardi Gras

Hi y’all,

Things have been super fun and exhausting here with our first Mardi Gras. I think on Sunday there were 7 or 8 parades. It was like hanging out in a tent village. The best part for me was the parade goers. Everyone was so friendly. There are special throws that you try to catch at certain parades. Maggie got a shoe at the Muses all decorated with glitter, David got a Zulu coconut, and Will Farrell gave Maggie and David a cow bell. Pretty awesome and free fun. Y’all will just have to come see for your self.

Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Parade
Mardi Gras
Angie, NOPD and lots of ladders for the kids

This was walking distance from our house.

What I am sharing this week is the progression of 2 paintings that I am working on. You will have to use your imagination about what they are going to look like when I am finished or check in next week when I am done. The skeleton is finally coming along. I am going to call her La Femme Fatale. I went through a lot of names. I think it was because I started painting what I had in mind, but forgot to check in with her. A couple of names that she had for a while were Lasting Beauty and  Haunting Beauty. Maggie wanted to name her “A field of Unicorns”. Apparently, the unicorns were invisible. I like La Femme Fatale because New Orleans has such a French influence and She is hanging out in the French Quarter around Mardi Gras. She is pretty fatale being beyond the flesh and blood stage of her life.

skeleton in progress
first skeleton picture

I decided that I didn’t like such small details, so I went larger.

Skeleton
2nd, Larger Picture

In the second picture, I am starting to like her here, but she has a long way to go.

Skeleton
La Femme Fatale Almost Finished

Fetching, I’d say, in a fatal way. Those are little crawfish fireflies in the street light, a small alligator playing a tambourine on her shoulder. She  is now wearing a little hat with a veil that is so popular with the parade crowd. She had on a real Mardi Gras bead necklace, but I removed it for now. I may add it back in using an old glass bead throw that you can still catch once in a while. I put a net veil on the hat, but liked the permanence of a painted veil. I put little glitter fleur dis lis on her dress. This painting has been a labor. Some times things don’t come easily.

She is starting to look satisfied. I would say she’s almost finished.

 

 

I just want to introduce the painting I am having a lot of fun with. She is Mardi Gras Muse. If you want inspiration, paint a muse. They so love the attention.

Mardi Gras Muse
Preparing the wood

I picked 3 colors: mars black, magenta and white. I painted these words on in gold: Mardi Gras feel the happy love. I added a big heart on the right and 2 little hearts on the left.

Mardi Gras Muse Blocked Out
Mardi Gras Muse Blocked Out

 

 

 

I am just going to have fun with her. Lots of symbols, pictures and words in her hair.  She will have plenty of bling on her mask and glitter on her tiara. I see her so clearly already.

 

I hope you check in next week to see the progress. Life in New Orleans is a dream come true.

What we found out during Mardi Gras is that it is not a sprint, it is a marathon, so pace yourself. There is a bit of life wisdom in that.

With grateful and abundant love,

Gator Girl