I was explaining to Maggie that it’s not summer yet. A difficult concept when it’s 90 degrees. My little poet said, “I don’t like it when the hot summer puts its heat into the cool spring air.” Word.
My friend, Julie, is coming to visit. She finished the school year teaching in California. I went back and counted the days we have had company on my calendar. Since Mardi Gras, Julie’s visit puts us at 54 days of house guests. When you live in New Orleans, the party comes to you.
I painted Nice Hair for pure fun. I love the two major colors. I think she looks like Kalinda on the Good Wife. I would have added a lot of jewelry, but she is all about her hair.
This is day one of my Mardi Gras Indian. I am going to sew sequins on his outfit. I am not sure what his finished colors will be. I am thinking dreamy background.
This is the access key pad for my studio. If you forget the code, it is underneath.
I am planning on finishing the Mardi Gras Indian this week. Julie is a painter, too, so she won’t mind.
In New Orleans, when we aren’t talking about our next meal, we’re talking about the weather. FYI, my next meal is coming from Juan’s Flying Burrito and the weather has been gorgeous for two weeks straight. 80’s, sunny and dry. My favorite weather is dry in the day and raining all night, but not when I am leaving my art all night in a tent on the bayou.
Duke, my sort of brother-in-law took some fabulous photos of Bayou Boogaloo. I think this will be a photo essay. I will include information for first time festers, which I am not one of. (Thankfully.)
Gator Girl Art had exposure to the public. Lots of people came out. I sold a little over $1,000. My expenses were a little over a thousand dollars. I almost broke even. Yes, I would have liked to make some money. No, I am not giving up.
I signed up for Blues and Barbecue taking place in Lafayette Square in October.Jazz and Heritage will tell me soon if I have been accepted. You will be the first to know.
Walking to New Orleans seemed to be the crowd favorite.
My sort of brother-in-law bought it. Thank you, Duke.
In New Orleans, if you are selling in an arts district, there is no city or state tax on original art. The tax I had to pay is only on the $200 I made selling prints… $8. That’s cool, right?
I decided some things for the next festival. I am going to buy nice, white, mesh sides for my tent. They will be easier to transport and look professional. I am going to paint some smaller originals. I like originals better than prints. People who have a small space or limited finances will be able to buy an original. I am only going to take my originals and one size prints.
I made these cool presentation binders. One binder has all of my originals that are still for sale. One binder has all originals already in collections. I filled the binders with 8 x 10 prints. On the facing page is their story. I am going to take along the binders.
This has been an important week for Maggie. She graduated from kindergarten and turned 6!
Things are gearing up around New Orleans. The Pussyfooter’s Blush Ball is this Saturday. I am stretching my comfort zone by being very brave. I am dancing in the front row at the ball. Whew. I am not a dancer by nature.
Everyone is talking about Mardi Gras and the Jazz Fest. It feels like fun is blooming all around.
I had to stretch myself artistically. I was asked to paint a picture of my God daughter. It is way more stressful and sometimes feels more mathematical than artistic. I don’t want to make her nose to big or her ear too small. I thought I was done, but I see the jaw line is not perfect yet. I am calling the painting Dandelion Prayers. Because I think wishing is a little lame, unless wishing is backed by a lot of hard work.
The parts of the painting that I had the most fun with are the parts I made up. I added the green dress to match the meadow and her eyes. Usually, I like a lot of messier lines, but this painting is rather clean. I rubbed Dorland’s Wax Medium all over her face and hair, I sealed the rest of the painting with Golden Satin Varnish. I will post this again when I am completely done.
Effy Wild offers a lot of courses in art journaling. I decided to try her free course, Wildly Inspired. She posts on Wednesdays. I know I will probably get behind in this, but it is there for inspiration and I plan on keeping up. The two major things I tried with Effy’s first video was texturing the coat of Gesso and sealing the whole cover with Golden Self Leveling Clear Gel.
I think journaling will help me stay open in 2014. I notice on the cover that I am standing very straight and looking a little closed. That is OK, because this is just the beginning. What kind of trip would this be if I was already there? I put the card with the number 5 on the back, because in numerology, 5 invites people into your life. I used to have a “5” (just add up your house numbers) two bedroom house and at one point there were 8 people living there. We rented a port-o-potty for our second bathroom.
Maggie calls her board Tam (Tame) for no reason that I can decipher. The initials for her vision board are T.A.P. The initials don’t stand for words. She envisions for herself: Christmas, her 6 year old birthday and Mardi Gras.
I want to share with you, that being OPEN sounds great, but it is a little hard.
May I ask… what is your word?
In love with the adventure. And sometimes a little terrified.
Muy frio. Besides walking the dog, I am lucky to work inside my house.
I have taken a whole week to get myself into the new year. My word is OPEN. For some reason, it always needs capitalizing.
I used about a third of my board from last year.
I tried out some new techniques and some new products. Trying not to mind that supplies are expensive and this is old cardboard.
My board is different this year. It is mostly all painted, but still has so many rectangles.
On the Cosmic Cowgirl January phone call, I saw that the gift that I am giving to the new year is a bunch of white roses. I plan to buy them throughout the year as a reminder.
Last year’s board was a little 3D, so this board is very lumpy.
I left the board a vague on purpose. I think the year might have different plans for me than I imagine… 3 presents, a fortune, 3 spirals, 16 candles, many people, a blank canvas, and my gift of a white rose. I don’t’ know why or what the numbers mean. Running laterally through the board is my piece of the red thread. I spent the whole week, on and off, just wondering and painting layers and layers on this board.
Cosmic Cowgirls each hold one section of the red thread. It is too much to be responsible for everything, so we all commit to doing our part. That is the meaning I am going for with the thread… doing my part. The thread also keeps us connected to other people. Imagine if we were all standing in a circle, all around the world, holding that thread, connected.
So far, I am mostly aware of the people on the vision board. If I am to be open, I will have to be open to people. Hmmm.
This vision board is not about a to do list. It is about dreams and desires.
This really cool sign for my house came in the mail for my birthday.
My BFF, Jules, had it made for me. (Thank you)
I was fortunate to spend a whole day with my mini muse, Maggie. She is a funny and entertaining girl. Our day went from looking for pearls in pistachios (only the organic nuts have pearls) to thinking Rhiana wrote “Monster” just for her. These are the lyrics to the bridge…
I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You’re trying to save me, stop holding your breath
And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy
Glitter and Glam is complete. I think will paint a sequel that expresses the Pussyfooter party energy.
What I like about her the most is the use of real jewelry. Her necklace and earring were added after she was painted. The pearls are painted on and the jewel is from an earring. I sewed sequins on her dress. I ordered them from a majorette website, so they wouldn’t be the thin, flimsy kind. I definitely will sew on canvas again. What inspired me to paint this was this beautiful color, Old Holland Iridescent Carmin. I used this color throughout, adding white, orange, black, brown or whatever to change it up.
I framed “I am enough”. She is suspended with eye hooks and copper wire just inside the frame. My sister made the clay embellishments along the top.
My new painting is on wood. I put three coats of Gesso on the wood, two white coats and one black. If you skimp on the Gesso, it makes it harder to paint. Wood without Gesso, or not enough Gesso, grabs the paint and makes it difficult to spread and mix with other colors.
This painting is called, “That’s what friends are for.” I had the song running through my head while I was painting. Something like, “In good times and oil spills, I’ll be on your side forever more…”
If anyone can make the words flow with oil spill better, I would love to hear from you.
FYI, there are thirty species of turtles, tortoises and terrapins in Louisiana. See, not just bugs.
Although we do have stinging caterpillarsthat drop out of trees making August even more enjoyable. They are deceivingly cute.
Maggie made this cool picture.
On the left is Paw Paw’s house. On the right is my more beautiful house (my words). In between is a river and Paw Paw in a kayak coming to see me. The window at the top left of my house is open, so I can watch him coming. I totally love this painting/ idea. Frida Kahlo lived in a similar style. Diego and Frida had separate houses with a walkway across. I am thinking that this would be an idea women would favor and men not so much. Maybe we should take a poll.
The only thing that I put on my board last year that didn’t materialize is NOLA Groundswell. We had some interest. We almost received a grant, but nothing concrete yet. I sent a letter off to the Internal Revenue Service yesterday asking for approval of our non-profit status. It has been over a year since our request, including a $400 fee for the government to consider our request.
Magnificent Maggie helped me. It is the same cardboard. New duct tape. New bristol paper.
The pink and orange glitter are the Pussyfooter colors.
Physically visible in my fishnets and feathers on St. Charles. Gator Girl Art visible in a gallery in the French Quarter. I will keep you posted on whatever else decides to be visible.
I swear, this snake just turned up exactly like this when I used a brayer with green paint over dried white paint and glitter. I added the eyes and nostrils. I wish you could see the scales.
In one of my We’Moon calendars, I cut out a piece about snake medicine.
Snake medicine is with us.
We can pretend our skin is not shedding,
we can attempt to remain underground, curled up and quaking,
we can refuse to digest our life and suffer indigestion.
Or we can embrace the magic of our transmutation–
Chew on our life, swallow and savor it,
Slither out of our skin and leap out of ruts with passion,
Swirl into new experiences and dance,
Then feel the sun on our skin and dream.
–Gloria Rohlfs 2011
OK. I said it. Words are powerful.
Maggie wrote “izmot”. She might have meant “tomzi” I asked her what it meant and she said, “Good Luck, happy celebrations, and love.” I couldn’t have said it any better. Isn’t that what everyone wants?
Happy New Year to y’all.
With abundant love, an open heart, and shedding skin,
Hurricane Isaac is now Tropical Storm Isaac. I was a little too nervous to write before and during the storm. Mostly, I just waited him out. Everyone handles situations differently. My husband went out and cleaned the storm drains on our street when there was a break in the wind. I just waited. My daughter had everyone over for beer and board games because they still had power. I just waited. What was the best thing to do? I guess you have to follow your heart.
While I was waiting, I thought about painting. I worked on this all day yesterday. It is called, “Let it Begin with Me”. Today, I think she may be called, “Follow Your Heart”. I am sure it will all become clear when she is done.
Big changes during the painting. She started out looking like a white girl in the 70’s and changed to a prayerful African-American woman. She isn’t finished yet.
Maggie painted along side of me most of the day. She told me when she finishes a painting she always sings a little song. The end of it was… let your imagination sing. 4 years old is such a nice, open age … but not without concerns.
Maggie asked for a canvas the same shape as I was working on. I gave her a smaller canvas with the same shape.
Yesterday, Maggie asked me for some advice.
She said, “I have a feeling to stomp evil rabbits, and I don’t know why.”
I said, “Look in your heart and see how you would feel if you stomped the rabbits. What does your heart tell you?”
To my surprise, Maggie replied, ” My heart wants me to stomp evil rabbits.”
I told her, “Well, I think you should follow your heart. That is all we can do.”
… Follow your heart, because that is all we can do.
Rain is dripping off the tin roof outside my window. I love that. I heard recently that if you say out loud something you love about someone, something, or some situation thoughout the day, your life will change dramatically for the better. It makes sense to me. Which brings to mind that I love all y’all reading my blog. It warms my heart.
I wish I could share my completed process of my painting, but I think I am 60% done.
The words say: making amends for the brutality of the human race, sending love, praying for a brighter future for all people. She is painted on a thin canvas nailed to the top half of a door with square nails repurposed from old shutters.
The woman is young, holding her baby in front of the house she lives in. Her baby is wrapped like a cocoon. She is either working for no or little money. Her hope is for her baby’s future. This woman is of African decent living in America. The painting is for all people in this situation in all the world.
The woman and the story that the painting is telling unfolded for me. I feel like if I went back in time, and ran into this woman, I would know her. The painting is a little unusual, because it is divided completely in half, with the young mother standing on the line. I painted the woman and waited for what was going to be in her arms. The baby showed up in a cocoon wrap.
I didn’t know what was going to be in the upper right corner and Miss Maggie said that sunflowers need sun. I painted the hot, African, or maybe Louisiana sun. The dots represent souls. Maybe they are supporting her journey, maybe they are waiting to be born, maybe both.
Mags wasn’t happy with the darkness of the cotton field and repeatedly suggested pink flowers and butterflies to lighten it up. I stopped and explained that not to long ago, as crazy as it may seem, the people with darker skin, right here in America had to work for free for the people with lighter skin. My painting is telling that story. She said, “Oh, just like the Pharaoh!” then she broke into a song… let my people go… no, no, no. She got it.
Next week, I will post the completed piece.
One of the interesting things that happened while painting…the words making amends could not be covered with 10 coats of all colors of paint. Maybe this is the name of the painting?
I asked Maggie to finish this while she was still 3 years old. It is almost done, except for glitter and other adornments. She has been patiently waiting to add glitter from the beginning.
Since the last posting, Maggie added a beard on Jack and eyelashes on Sally. She gave Sally a peachy colored face with a purple chin. Her hair is long, purple and teal. There is a purple vine circling them both. On Sally’s side there is a crimson sun in front of her body contraption. On Jack’s side, there is a white sun to his left.
I hope you enjoy following Maggie’s painting. My part has been to hold her palate and ask her to tell me what she is going to do next. Most times she draws it in chalk first so she stays with the concept of product. When she is playing, it is all about process with her. It must be super fun to be 3.
Right here… X… I tried to add a picture of Maggie at Jazz Fest. Uploading didn’t work. I am happy that the main picture uploaded.