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Yemaya

Hi all y’all!

This is my most recent painting. Yemaya, Goddess of the Ocean and the New Year. Click on the link and read all about her.

The Pussyfooters were invited to a Second Line  and ceremony for Yemaya about 2 months ago (Fresh Johnson narrates the Second Line video and is a Pussyfooter). This was the first I had heard of Yemaya. We raised money by selling raffle tickets. It was the kind of raffle where you split the pot. Part of the money went for our police escort. You need to have a permit and police to close the streets for the Second Line. Part of the money went for the brass band. Part of the money went for women in Orleans Parish Prison who cannot post bail. Sometimes a woman is sent to the prison because of a traffic ticket that she cannot pay. She doesn’t have any money for bail, her kids are put in foster care, she loses her job, and she waits. Part of the money goes to the lucky winner whose name is drawn. In this case the lucky winner put her winnings in with the bail money. We raised $800.

We had a Second Line to the river where the leader said a beautiful prayer to Yemaya and made offerings of fruit. Eli Mergel took photos.

I wanted to paint Yemaya immediately. I love to paint women. I also like a goddess. I am donating the original painting to the raffle table at Blush Ball. Blush Ball is where the Pussyfooters raise the most money. Anyone can go to the Blush Ball. It costs $40 or $60 a ticket. With the $60 ticket you get in an hour early and drink for free for that hour. It is really fun. The Pussyfooters perform. There is a band and a DJ. And a raffle table where you will find an original Yemaya.

FYI, the Pussyfooters raise money all year for women and children. We usually raise between $20,000 and $30,000 in the year.

That took a lot of words to share my painting. I hope you like her.

Sincerely trying my best,

Gator Girl

 

 

Posted in Mardi Gras Indians

Big Chief David Montana to Paris

Hi all y’all!

Big Chief David Montana is on his way to Paris this morning. He is there to talk about a new documentary that is being filmed in France called Black Indians. (The link takes you to the film’s introduction.)

He is taking 20 prints of Flamingo Madness with him. I am so excited to have the prints traveling to France!

Derrick Hemphill of the Daily Commune has made all of this possible. If you go to his website, then “print services” you can buy a print. He does his own printing on beautiful paper. If you want to have him print something, I do recommend him. Derrick is the only one printing Flamingo Madness.

Flamingo Madness Low Rez Original

The Big Chief is also taking a sample piece of the flamingo suit to Paris for collectors. It is the same design as his original flamingo suit. I bought one to frame.

Small likeness of Flamingo suit

Here is a photo of the Big Chief in his pink flamingo suit. My friend Laura took the photo. She has a blog you might be interested in called L.A. to N.O.L.A.  – Carnival, Concerts, Cuisine, Culture.

Big Chief in his Flamingo Suit

That is my big news for the day. Thanks for tuning in.

All of my love,

Gator Girl

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Cool Cat

Hi all y’all!

It’s a beautiful day here in New Orleans. Just a quick post to share the companion piece to James Booker. Cool Cat.

Cool Cat Original Low Rez

Cool Cat is 16 x 20 inches. I used the same color pallet as for James Booker, but went heavier on the reds and yellows.

Booker Original Low Rez

James Booker is much larger at 30 x 40 inches.

Tonight is the opening for Art of Flavor at the Old No. 77. It is beautiful there.                The Old No. 77 is a restaurant, bar, hotel and gallery. Where Y’Art and the Old No. 77 do a top-notch job putting it all together. Nina Compton, Chef at Compère Lapin and Abigail Gullo, bartender at Compère Lapin are curating.  I’m excited.

Art of Flavor, Part 1

Flamingo Madness and Counting Her Chickens were chosen to be in the show.

Loving all y’all,

Gator Girl

 

Posted in Uncategorized

A Couple of Illustration Changes

Hi all y’all!

A fabulous Mardi Gras came and went in the Crescent City. The weather was in the 70’s and breezy. The weather is kind of a big deal, because whether you are in a parade or watching one, you are outdoors for many, many hours. I am always amazed that I can finish a parade. It turns out to be around 17 miles when you count all of the dancing in place when the parade stops. (Some of the women had Fitbits.)

Here are the Pussyfooters during a pause in Femme Fatale. Eli Mergel took the photo. (click on “Eli Mergel” to see lots of wonderful photography.) There are about 120 Pussyfooters in total. About 50 women did this parade.

behind-flag

This is my sweet darlin’ and me on Mardi Gras day. We parked across the river and took the ferry. Excellent idea.

ferry-mardi-gras-2017

I revised two pages for the Not-Yet-Revealed author. I like both pages better now.

Pop is dressed more maturely. He is also wearing a wedding ring.

 

 

 

Poppee has grey hair and his goatee is narrower and longer. I like Poppee better, too. I made his eyebrows less prominent while I was adjusting his look. I appreciate a man with good grooming.

I think there is a pause here with the book. I am going to schedule photos of the first 5 pages. The author is going to send these beginning pages to publishers. I hear that publishers want to see 3-5 pages. I hope a publisher is going to love the book and grab it up without too many changes. I will let you know as soon as I do.

Today is the first day of Lent. I am just going to try to be an all around better person. Like making a conscious effort to be more Zen and less reactive.

How about you?

With hope and anticipation for the future,

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.

almost-done

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.

granite-counter

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.

simple-leaf

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.

sponges-for-counterbanana-on-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.

XOXO,

Gator Girl

 

 

 

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Zèle NOLA Move In!

Hi all y’all!

Gator Girl Art moved into Zèle NOLA yesterday! It is on Magazine Street, the block between Community Coffee and Starbucks.

20160817_175258

Magazine Street, the block between Community Coffee and Starbucks.

Zèle is the first of its kind in the New Orleans area. It’s not a co-op or a flea market. Zèle is a Multivendor Art Market. NOLA has several outdoor art markets offered monthly, but we do not have any permanent indoor markets where our local artists can display and have their extraordinary work sold for them.
This is exactly what Zèle offers, a place for and by NOLA’s own!
My 8 foot wall!

My 8 by 8 foot wall!

20160817_174300

Let me know if you stop by. 🙂

Gratefully yours,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

Dirty Linen Night

Hi all y’all!

Lulu White has been selected to be in the gallery at 1901 Royal Street for Dirty Linen Night.

Dirty Linen Night is a “… less fashion-conscious alternative to the city’s biggest art party, White Linen Night, which takes place a week earlier in the warehouse arts district.” (NOLA.com)

I am super excited to be in the gallery on Dirty Linen Night. Last year, 10,000 people attended.

Fairer_Sex_II_Invite

I have an idea to paint this prostitute of Storyville leaning against the window frame, inside a reclaimed window frame. I am using a window screen, because the wood is lighter.

This is the beginning.

Stoyville Woman in Progress

This is two steps backwards. I painted areas of black, gold and yellow ochre on the background. I wanted depth and a little intrigue, but not distraction. I added puddles of rubbing alcohol to disperse the paint and lend mystery.

I used this technique on Shotgun Angel for the starry sky. Because this painting is on birch plywood, it ran onto the woman, especially her face. When I wiped the alcohol off of her face, it pulled all of the paint off, down to the original black gesso. (Sorry, no photo)Storyville Alcohol DamageI am repairing and repainting. The repair is a layer of white gesso. Then light sanding to make it smooth.

Wood is a more difficult substrate to paint on. The paint sits on top of the wood, so I can’t be wild with the strokes.

Speaking of Dirty Linen, there is this…

Walt Handelsman's Dukkke

Walt Handelsman‘s cartoon.

People often tell me that I sound so happy. This will balance that a little. David Duke is running for Senate from Louisiana. Lord help us.

Here in New Orleans, it is the last days of summer. Teachers in the parish where my daughter and sweet darlin’ teach go back to work on Wednesday.

Hate to see summer end.

Already reminiscent,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

Lulu White, Storyville Madame

Hi all y’all!

I had an idea to paint mug shots of Storyville prostitutes. I painted Lulu White and enjoyed painting her. She was arrested many times for all manner of things to do with her brothel. She was the madame of Mahogany Hall.

Operating an Immoral house

Let me backtrack with the assumption you might not be up on New Orleans history. I am not patient with a lot of details, but I will give it a try.

Storyville was a part of New Orleans, lakeside of Basin Street, between 1897 and 1917 where it was legal to be a prostitute and run a brothel. Prostitution was so legal they had a Blue Book advertising what the different girls offered. Mahogany Hall was an upscale brothel, boasting of Octoroon (1/8th black) prostitutes.

Mahogany Hall is the first building on the right.
Mahogany Hall was the first building on the right.

Lulu seemed like a outgoing, self-made, woman. She was born of two slaves in Alabama, but re-invented herself. She told people she was born in the Caribbean.

Even though I love portraits and I love to paint women, mugshots are a little bit sad. A child born into slavery is also sad.  I am going to paint a prostitute or two from Storyville, because the women are beautiful, but I don’t think my heart can manage more than that. On the other hand, I don’t want these women to be forgotten.

Lulu White

This is Lulu White in 1920. It is a mugshot from one of her many arrests. I painted her with acrylic paint and charcoal pencil on 11 x 14 inch canvas. Her shawl was made with Liquitex Gloss Gel and a stencil. I put the gel on with a pallet knife through the holes in the stencil, lifting off the stencil carefully. Then, I let it dry over night. I painted the shawl with blue, orange and gold. (You can always message me for specific colors or more information in general.)

Lulu’s necklace is made to resemble clear glass beads, popular in the 1920’s.

I think she looks sad and annoyed.

Mahogany Hall Stomp for you, Miss Lulu.

Until next time,

Adoringly,

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.

Epoxy-Resin

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

Posted in Uncategorized

They didn’t know.

Hi all y’all,

Today, I am combining my blog and Mardi Gras celebrations. Don’t you think one of the hardest things is to balance? Like balancing work and play, me-time and family, king cake and exercise. From the minute I wake up it is a puzzle to see what I can fit into my day. Give and take.

My recent painting has been fun and frustration. It started like this…

Indecision
It started like this. 

Indecision. I added colors that I liked. I was leaning towards an alligator among lily pads. Then I added Jesus on the cross that Maggie drew, a peace symbol, a note from my sweet darlin’, advice from mini Mags, a movie stub, a fortune, cute little deer.  My collage items were all based on love.

Starting Over
Starting Over with a plan

My friend, Rene, posted on Facebook, “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” I Googled it and found out it was an old saying attributed to nobody in particular. It fit perfectly into my strong women theme.

We were seeds. Completed
We were seeds. Completed

I kept very little from the beginning. The colors are still mostly blue and orange. There is a little bird and most of the fortune. I was going to paint a lot of flowers, but the trees looked so strong.

This is what it looks like on the parade route near our house. Only, it will be more crowded tonight.

Our Mardi Gras Crew
Our Mardi Gras Crew

My daughter, Angie, sets this all up for us every day. This year I decided to cook dinner and bring it down to the parade. Tonight is red beans and rice.

This is me as a Pussyfooter.

Gator Girl Mardi Gras '15
Gator Girl Mardi Gras ’15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mardi Gras y’all!