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Page 5, Poppee!

Hi all y’all!

Happy Mardi Gras! The first uptown parade is today!

This is me on the front page of the Times-Picayune! (I must be excited because I already used 3 exclamation marks.) The Pussyfooters were the first women’s dance troupe. We started in 2001. My favorite parts about being a Pussyfooter, aside from becoming famous, are that I dance for women who can’t and we raise money every year for the Metropolitan Center for women and children. This year we raised $38,000.

made-the-times-picayune

Page 5 of the book is Poppee.

He is grandpa to the baby.

poppee

In the painting are some New Orleans icons. On the shelf behind Poppee are cups from . Coffee with chicory and beignets are often the first stop in the French Quarter for visitors to our city. It is open 24 hours.

He is stirring a pot of gumbo and holding a gumbo bowl, with a smaller pot for white rice on the other burner. Next to the stove top are an onion, green bell pepper, and celery. These three vegetables are called the Holy Trinity. The trinity is in most New Orleans dishes… jambalya, étouffée, gumbo…

I wanted to capture the love in Poppee’s expression when baby walks into the room. I like the repeating rectangle pattern in the basket and bricks. I was going to paint Poppee’s shirt in a check print, but thought that would be too distracting. (I still want to.) My favorite parts of the painting are the cups and the trinity.

Poppee is the last of the human characters in the book. You have met them all now.

In lewdness and proudness,

Gator Girl

Posted in Book, Uncategorized

Page 4, Tia!

Hi all y’all!

Here is page 4. Tia is Spanish for aunt. Maybe it is her first name, too? Tia is the baby’s aunt. That’s what I know for sure.

tia

 

 

I think baby takes after momma in coloring, but I see Tia in her face.

Tia is listening to music in the kitchen. I did want to make sure Tia wasn’t dancing with the mop or ironing. Even though those stereotypes are etched in my brain, I am trying to break free. She just stopped by the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Probably one of the men took care of that other stuff.

I put in my favorite laminate table from the 1950’s. Baby is too short to see the top of the table, so I put the table top design that I wanted to paint on the cup. You can see the same magnolia bead tree from the garden out the window.

The New Orleans things on this page are only the bead tree and music. The window and the paint color are also typical New Orleans.

I try to keep the family to a moderate income. That’s why the table is her grandma’s and her headphones have a cord.

The painting part is straight forward. When the picture needs some very small details, I use a paint pen or intense pencils. Often I go over this with a brush. I liked the tree better when it was bright green, but I thought there needed to be glass in the window. I mixed a half drop of Golden Titanium White into some matte varnish. I painted the window panes 2 or 3 times with this mixture. I think it looks a little wavy like old glass.

Page five is coming soon!

Love too you all,

Gator Girl

Posted in Book, Uncategorized

Page 3, Pop!

Hi all y’all!

Here we are… President Obama’s last day as president. It does feel momentous.

I am writing here today to share page 3 of the book I am illustrating. If I seem cryptic about the book, it is because it is mostly top secret. So far, we have Baby, Momma, and Pop. I will be starting Tía soon.

I relaxed slightly while painting Pop. I am about as nervous as if I was creating a commissioned painting now. pop

Pop is watching a New Orleans Pelicans game. I wanted to give him cigarettes or a beer, but this is a children’s book.

Framed on the wall is Gator Girl’s painting of Swamp Girl. Swamp Girl is also the first page in the book Maggie Pokorn and I are co-writing.

Next to Swamp Girl are Silent Chimes, by the local artist Kat Ryalls. I received, by request, Silent Chimes for Christmas. They look amazing on my bedroom wall. I don’t do them justice here.

This house looks so much like my house.

Stay tuned. There are 19 pages. Pretty soon I imagine my non-painting life will slow down enough to paint maybe 3 pages a month.

Thanks for reading!

lovingly,

Gator Girl

 

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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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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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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

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This Weekend on Royal Street

Hi all y’all!

This weekend Lulu White and  NOT FOR SALE will be at the gallery at 1901 Royal Street for Dirty Linen Night. I will be there, too!

Lulu orig. for website Lulu Staged NOT FOR SALE staged for website NOT FOR SALE, orig for website

 

 

My friend, Christine from Two Chicks Walking Tours is the best tour guide. You can listen to her being interviewed about the Garden District.

Christine

Tales of the New Orleans Garden District

That’s all folks!

Gator Girl

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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

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Zèle NOLA

Hi all y’all!

I am going to be in another location (as in adding another location) August 15th.

Zèle NOLA is a local vendor art market. There are presently 40 artists.. 

stencil.default

My youngest daughter and her girlfriend told me it would be a perfect place for me to market my smaller items. Art that people won’t mind carrying around, putting in their carry-on… the art acquired at festivals.

I went down to Zèle NOLA to check it out. I liked the woman who owns it and her staff. I know some of the other artists. Mostly, it is a place I would shop. There is a variety of art… bow ties, glass, candles, cards, jewelry, paintings…

The address is 2841 Magazine Street. It is uptown of Washington Avenue.

I couldn’t be more exited. I have that feeling where it feels right.

I am renting an 8 x 8 foot slat wall.

I will post some photos when I am set up as a reminder to stop by.

fervently and zelously yours,

Gator Girl

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NOT FOR SALE

Hi all y’all,

I have declared that I would never visit another plantation.

The plantations I have been to in the past are so sad and have a kind of heavy, clingy feeling to them.

I had to eat my words. I had a fabulous trip to the Whitney Plantation last week. When you come to New Orleans I recommend this tour. It is an honest portrayal of slavery on this plantation. I think it is the truth that makes the air feel breathable there.

This is what happened. This is what it was like for the people in slavery. Somehow, unexplainably,  the Whitney Plantation shows the history on the plantation in a way that is bearable and beautiful. The spirits of the people are there and also their names and their personal histories.

Our tour guide grew up 10 miles from the plantation. Because of her last name, it is very likely that her relatives were slaves there. She was entertaining, well spoken, and I could feel how important this history was to her.

Sugar Pots
Sugar Pots
slave quarters
slave quarters

mother and child statue

One of many statues of the different children enslaved on Whitney Plantation
One of many statues of the different children enslaved on Whitney Plantation

I put my Storyville series on hold for a week or so. I decided to paint a young woman who was a slave in Louisiana. I don’t have any information other than her photo. I wish I knew her name. While I was painting her in blacks, browns, buff and white, looking like the early 1900’s, I was smashed with the feeling of present day slavery. Like a ton of bricks.

I started asking everyone who came around too many questions. I couldn’t calm my brain. Did I just want to paint a girl in slavery from the 1900’s because I knew she was free now?

I stayed up late painting. Very late for me, past midnight. I added colors. I thought I added colors in her hair to show depth. I added colors to her dress because I knew I was going to cover her dress with material. The original plan was to glue sack cloth on her dress outline.

The next morning, I saw a slave from the last century in colors. So it is both. Old and continuing slavery.

We can’t deny it.

We shouldn’t deny it if we want the air breathable.

girl slave close-up

NOT FOR SALE is the name of the painting. The painting is for sale. :)
NOT FOR SALE is the name of the painting. The painting is for sale. 

Very truly yours,

Gator Girl