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Art on the Move

Hi all y’all!

A rainy Spring day is the perfect day to blog. These are the pages that are going out to local publishers. I would like to share the mock up, but the words are not mine to share. Also, it’s nice to have some anticipation.

I have a wish coming true. I have 3 paintings in the art show, Soul, Soul, Soul at the Old No. 77. The show starts on April 6 at 8 pm. It is a beautiful venue.

Were You There Low Rez

Were You There? is a large original painting 30 x 40 inches. I painted New Orleans as a statue, depicting the strength of stone. She is holding lilies in one arm signifying rebirth. In her raised hand she is spilling out golden sparkles of hope. Her wings are lined with broken glass. She has been through hell, and you can see it swirling around her in darkness. The words are from a spiritual that is traditionally sung during the stations of the cross at Easter. I replaced he with she in the song.
Mardi Gras Indian Low Rez

In New Orleans, Mardi Gras Indians are revered. It is always a pleasure to see them perform. In tribute to this tradition, I painted an Indian using mostly acrylic paint, then I beaded him by sewing individual beads and sequins on the canvas. It is 16 by 20 inches.

Big Freedia Low Rez

I choose to paint Big Freedia because I was part of the Guinness Book of World Records for Twerking in 2014. The crown is based on Queen Elizabeth’s crown.

Big Freedia was the star of that contest. She is beautiful and her personality is bigger than the sky. This painting is 16 x 20 inches.

I have a lot more to blog, but I don’t want to overwhelm. Stay tuned!

All of my love,

Gator Girl

 

 

 

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Beading the Mardi Gras Indian

Hi all y’all!

I started beading. It is taking longer than painting. I can see why it takes a year to make a costume. I started on the front of the headdress with sequins.

Sequined Headdress
Sequined Headdress

I like the seed beads better. Because they are smaller than the sequins, they are more forgiving. I think they look more traditionally Native American.

Beginning to bead the breast
Beginning to bead the breast

On the lower part of his suit I am going to bead a design with seed beads on another piece of material and attach it to the painting with gel medium. I like sewing directly on the canvas, but it is awkward and thick. I can’t sew on the bottom of the canvas because of the stretcher bars. Mardi Gras Indians usually sew the beads on a separate piece of material and attach it to their suit. By the end of this project, I will know what works best for me.

Raffi hasn’t started pre-school yet. While he was over here this week, he worked on his big painting. It is 30 x 40 inches. It is not finished yet. For sure he is going to put a little more paint on Lacy. When he is all finished, he will add goggly eyes.

Raffi's pets
Raffi’s pets

Lacy is a cat that has a “tail like a raccoon”. Alberta is a Guinea pig. Kenobi is a mix of Great Dane, Lab and maybe Pitbull. The crawfish is  John Jones Nixon. When Raffi finishes his painting, I will post photos of the animals.

Until next time.

With scaly love,

Gator Girl

 

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Gator on the Go

Hi all y’all,

This gator is headed to New York City.

My sweet darlin’ and I have not been away for our anniversary for a while. We decided to go big. Not Europe big, but definitely USA big.

I don’t know if other New Orleanians feel like this, but it is always hard to leave New Orleans even if the destination is fabulous.

There is so much to miss here.

Somewhere around the middle of July, I will be a full-time artist again. Right now, I am only painting enough to keep a small hold on my sanity.

Crow Questioning the Moon is almost complete. I just need to put the wire on the back and varnish it. This painting is small. 12 x 16 inches.

Crow Questioning the Moon
Crow Questioning the Moon

I am not happy with Joan of Arc yet. I think I know where it is going, so I am sticking with it. I planned to paint Joan in her father’s garden hearing the angel for the first time. Then the flames came to mind, lots of red, and words like courage, loyalty and strength.

The painting looks like heaven and hell with the flames and the cross. I like the linen dress that I made out of my grandmother’s table-cloth. I like her up-turned eyes with the sky reflecting in them.

I need to soften the sky, her nose and her chin. The cross is a combination of a sword and cross. This combination seems like too much detail. If I add more orange to the flames or green to the sky the colors will compliment each other better.

Maybe I wanted to paint her for the wrong reasons. I started painting Joan because I like to paint women and I like to paint New Orleans themes. I am not in love with leading soldiers to war. I am not sure I love Joan. I don’t like to judge, but was she crazy?

Joan of Arc in progress
Joan of Arc in progress

The light pink areas on the Mardi Gras Indian will have sequins. I bought a variety of sequins to sew on the canvas. I have to finish the painting first. I feel like he is almost done, except for brightening the feathers. I painted a combination of 1/3 lime green acrylic paint with 2/3’s varnish on some of the feathers. I just need to do more of something like that.

Mardi Gras Indian, in progress
Mardi Gras Indian, in progress

The Indian painted himself. I felt like I just uncovered him.

Mardi Gras Indian, in progress, close up
Mardi Gras Indian, in progress, close up

… back to painting Joan.

I wish for you a wonderful summer.

I wish for water in the drought.

I wish ease for the people in crisis.

unending love,

Gator Girl 
 
(Click on the words “Gator Girl” for my website.)
 
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Move to New Orleans if you want house guests.

Hi all y’all,

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.

Nice Hair
Nice 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. 

Mardi Gras Indian roughed out, day 1
Mardi Gras Indian roughed out, day 1

This is the access key pad for my studio. If you forget the code, it is underneath.

Access code for my studio
Access code for my studio

I am planning on finishing the Mardi Gras Indian this week. Julie is a painter, too, so she won’t mind.

I hope you are all having a great summer spring.

With unconditional, scaly love,

Gator Girl    (Click Gator Girl to go to my website)
 
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Sanding My Painting

Hi all y’all,

I am a little in the “is Mardi Gras over already?” and “really, 2 months until Jazz Fest?” slump. It is like when you  are a child and you are first able to realize that on December 25th, Christmas is 364 days away.

It also feels like a time of introspection and I am not as excited to put myself out in the world right now. It would be perfect if someone wanted to stop by my house and buy art.

I am just going to sit tight and wait until the ebb of life turns to flow.

Today, I am sharing the steps of my most recent painting. I was going to blog when it was completely done, but the feathers are taking a while.

First
First

Step one: adding a little color. Spraying it with water and blending. I love this part where I set my intentions for the art.

gel medium
gel medium

Next, I textured it with gel medium and scraped it with a credit card. I wanted to make some raised squares like an Indian blanket.

Warrior Heart
Warrior Heart

I liked this part of the background, so I saved it for his heart area. It looks like dreaming and passion.

War Paint
War Paint

I used my fingers and thick white paint to make the war paint.

sanding
sanding

I made feathers with gel medium and painted them many, many times… still unhappy with how they looked. My genius sister suggested I sand the feathers to blend them into the background and make them feathery thin.

Dream
Dream

I wrote the title with my finger and thick white paint.

Eye Brow
Eye Brow

I added a close-up of his eyebrow because I love it.

Dream Little Chief
Dream Little Chief

This is a boy dreaming of being a Mardi Gras Indian Chief one day.

My husband, David, is marching on Saint Joseph’s Day in the French Quarter with the Italian American Marching Club. Since I will be in the Quarter on St. Joseph’s Day, I will have another chance to see a Big Chief.

One more thing… I am really hoping two women look like the couple that I painted entitled “Justice” (even a bit). If so, please send me a photo at nancy@gatorgirlart.com. I will send you a super nice print.

lovingly yours,

Gator Girl