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The One Really, Really Important Rule About Painting

Hi all y’all,

I have been wanting to connect with y’all on-line, but the universe has been conspiring against me. Maybe it is all this retrograde talk or maybe my blog was just not ready to be birthed.

Crows on a wire has been a difficult painting.

#1 I painted a tree without really knowing how to paint a tree, so I painted the tree 20 times before I was happy with it.

#2 The question occurred, “Why are the crows dressing up?”

#3 “Why are they all wearing random costumes?”

I don’t usually paint with massive amounts of detail. I usually know basically where the painting is going. I am trying to just remain open.

I am getting to know these quirky birds.

I have a million women inside of me wanting to be painted. I do not know how the crows took precedent.

July 1st version of Crows on a Wire
July 1st version of Crows on a Wire

I love how the background showed up in the roof.

I now know the crows are dressing for Mardi Gras.

The 2 black capes on a black bird were getting lost. I tried something new with the judge’s robe. I colored the robe with a black oil pastel. Then I melted the pastel with a heat gun. I like the feeling and the denseness. On the vampire’s cape, I streaked silver ink, let it dry and colored in with black oil pastel. I am going to paint with acrylics on top of all that.

Magnificent Maggie, who I am certain is going to be the next Rodrigue, told me something interesting.

She said, “Nena, there is one really, really important rule you need to know about painting.”

I replied, “What is that, Mag Pie?”

“The one really, really important rule is to Never quit painting until you are happy with it.”

Seriously, words to live by.

Unabashedly in love with life,

Gator Girl

P. S. In my next blog you will see the finished Mardi Gras Crows, as well as a, hopefully, happy story about visiting Gaza Gaza.

Really Beyond Excited about Raven!

Good Morning!

When I wrote in my profile that I am living, working and thriving in New Orleans, I am.

I have been painting for Raven Wisdom Studio in Chico. That is my sister’s place. I kept putting Raven aside and working on it little by little. When I started looking at each area  of the painting. One of my favorite parts of the painting didn’t please me any more. It looked too dark. Raven’s can be a little dark, themselves, and I didn’t want to portray that. Also, it was lacking whimsy, which I really like.

Today, I could feel the excitement of creating pumping through my veins. I ripped up paper and painted without even a sip of my coffee.

Right now the frame is drying. I don’t love framing, because I am not confident with it yet, or competent. I am too impatient to wait for help so I just push ahead. I am liking this frame.

Clean wood.
Part one of Raven Wisdom

After I cut the old wood, I scrub it with soap and water. I love old, but don’t think dirty is good in a house.

The Frame

This was super fun. I painted the heart, filled it with love, turned it upside-down and sprayed it with water. When I turned it over it looked like flames.

Raven appears, timid at first.

I left the wood this color. It looks like old houses I remember fondly. The frame is going to have a shelf to hold Raven’s favorite trinkets.

I painted Raven with a lot of water and rolled the canvas with a roll of paper towels. I learned this technique from Effy Wild. It left the outline dark, and picked up the paint in the middle. Nice effect.

Raven Wisdom, nearly complete

I painted Raven bigger, to be more of the focal point. Along his back is part of a Rumi quote, “be the soul of that place”.

I tried a new technique. I painted black, sparkly embossing powder mixed with acrylic varnish and melted it with a heat gun. It made a nice, black texture. You can see where I added it on the blackest parts of Raven.

The nest is made with corrugated cardboard that my sister insisted I needed to pack when I moved to New Orleans, lichen from the Lake of the Woods, Oregon (our favorite place), a red thread for the sisterhood, a fortune about friendship, and a flaming heart from Mexico.

There are other things making up the nest, like sheet music and journal paper. I added gold, brown, red and black paint for depth and mystery.

I am so sorry that the words do not stay put when I hit “publish”. I will keep working on this.

Thank you for reading about my process. Painting is pretty solitary business if you don’t count spirits chiming in. I appreciate the togetherness of my on-line family.

Where are your thriving in your life? What makes you lose track of time? Where do you feel your heart expand? I would love to hear.


Gator Girl