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From Teacher to Artist

Good morning all y’all!

In New Orleans, August is more of a thing than a month. It hangs around you in wet, warm towels. Only the brave can endure.

Here is a link to an 11 minute interview with Cosmic Cowgirls, Shiloh and Mary.  I think this is an easy way to share my journey from California to New Orleans. 

Someone asked me the other day how they can make their dreams materialize if they don’t paint. I told them to say what you want as often as you can bring it up in conversation. Write it down. Take a picture of it. Keep it in the forefront.

Once we were living in Chico, California.  We were looking to move into a larger house. I wrote that I wanted a big, yellow farm-house near the downtown. In a few weeks, our realtor called me and said she had a big, yellow farm-house near the down town. Did I want to see it? I told her it wasn’t necessary to see it. I am sure it is our house.

Between husbands, (I like to say that because I sound like Elizabeth Taylor.) I told whoever would listen that next time I got married, I wanted  to marry an Italian from a big family. David is half Italian with 5 brothers. I wish I was a little more specific… maybe some sisters. (Italian mothers can be a little intimidating for the first 20 years.)

Anyway, you get the picture. Thoughts and action.

I am off to sew some sequins on my Pussyfooter.

In loving abundance,

Gator Girl

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Brook 2000-2011

My last picture of Brook

Mini Mags and I have been missing Brook. She was tragically hit by a car last week crossing Napoleon Avenue on her own between Dryades and Danneel. The car was a hit and run, but the people there were so nice. When we got the phone call, my daughter and son-in-law responded. The neighbors had Brook covered with a blanket and 5 people were petting her. She was rushed  to Maple Street Small Animal Clinic. They fixed her up and x-rayed her. The x-ray showed too much muscle damage from old age for her to recover.

It was a miracle that my clueless, little escape artist lived as long as she did. I should paint some little lab angels in her picture.

My husband called her an anti-lab. She hated water, even to get her feet wet. She was afraid of guns and did not understand the concept of fetch. She was fetching, however. She loved to dress up, especially if she saw another dog wearing a sweater.

Mini Mags and I were reminiscing about  Brook, and Maggie in her infinite 3-year-old wisdom, said that I should paint Brook.

At the risk of sounding loony-tunes, I am going to start talking about my process. I set the mood. Usually, I play music that inspires me, but when I paint pets, it is unusually quiet. Search me, I don’t know why this is the case. I light a candle, and for Brook, I put out some black and pink paint and her favorite food, an apple. I asked Brook’s spirit to help me paint her. Living or passed on, I feel the animal’s spirit happily respond to this. I guess it is just like an animal in life, eager and loyal.

Calling Brook
Little Altar

I picked 3 colors that I think Brook would like.  With Brook I picked hot pink, a color I always associated with her, pale pink and opaque yellow. Then, I sprayed the canvas with water to make the paint go on easier and freer. I put the paint anywhere that feels right. I put the yellow near the top like a shining light and the pinks everywhere else.

Then I wrote words on the painting. As it happens, all the time so far, the words placed themselves so appropriately. They went on like this: loving was near her tongue, loyal was near her brain and lab was by her throat. When I wrote the words, the canvas was vertical, and when I blocked Brook out, the painting was horizontal. I am just mentioning this to show how this just happens.

Loving, Loyal, Lab
Background and Words

The words are loving, Loyal, lab.

Next, I painted Brook. I chose Black, but it could have been any dark color. I think I will paint the dark places on her coat in Dioxazine Purple and the lighter ones in Micaceous Iron Oxide, with Bone Black predominant. The great things about acrylic paints (I use Golden Acrylics) are the quick drying time and you can layer over anything that you try on. If it is a real mistake, paint it over in opaque white or gesso and start over.

Just on the off-chance that you don’t want to read about painting Brook all day, I will insert a picture of the blocking here.

And thanks for reading about Brook and my process. Stay tuned for the next step.

In love and gratitude, Gator Girl

First coat of paint
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a page from my business plan

2008 business plan

I thought all you might like to see where Gator Girl Art started. This is a page from the business plan that I made during Shiloh’s class at Cosmic Cowgirls University back in 2008. After that weekend, I went home and declared that I would retire at 55 and paint full-time. We just had to figure out how we were going to do it.

I am a big believer in writing down intentions. If the intention is clear, the path will unfold. If something doesn’t support your intention, let it go.