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Two Shows!

Hi all y’all,

We are starting the festival season here in New Orleans. There are many things to do every weekend from now until after Mardi Gras. This weekend I am lucky enough to have art in 2 locations.

Mr. Mario Padilla has invited my paintingFly” of Frida Kahlo to be in his show.

I am definitely not going to miss this next year.

I dropped Frida off while they were setting up last night. The Healing Center looked amazing. Really great art and music. I hear there will be a parade.

Miss Mandie from Downtown Chic Salon has invited me to share 10 paintings at Fall for Art.

I will be here.

I feel so fortunate and grateful for double invitations.

I finished Dancing in the Moonlight (alternately The Happy Family). I like the family. They look like New Orleans to me. I decided against button eyes and their mouths sewn shut. With the baby in the picture, it was going to look too gruesome. I just wanted them to look recently departed and back for a visit.I probably decided to paint them because of the Fall weather and Day of the Dead being just a couple of weeks away.

Dancing in the Moonlight

They are wearing many of the same colors as the night sky. You can see that the children inherited their mother’s chin. It was fun to see the family resemblances. I secretly have always liked the mother to pass down the genes.

Maggie wants another baby in their family in real life, so she asked me to paint a baby in the picture.

Dia de los Muertos is one of my favorite days. I spend time honoring and remembering loved ones that have passed over. I have a box of photos I look through that I have collected and pick a few for the altar. I don’t put everyone up because I would be too crowded, but looking through the pictures is part of the honoring and I think the departed understand.

My mom and I had a shaky relationship. She passed on several years ago.

I recently found a picture of the two of us enjoying time together. I am going to see if I like having the picture up in our house. Sometimes it takes a long time for forgiveness and understanding. At least for me it does. It turns out the altar is healing as well as honoring.

Wishing you healing and a lovely Fall.

With an open heart,

Gator Girl

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More Artists I Adore

Hi all y’all!

You know, humidity gets a bad rap. I think it is kinder than scorching hot, dry heat. The air sort of envelopes you in a warm blanket. If you are not loving the heat and humidity in New Orleans in August,  you can visit St. Mary’s, Tasmania, Australia. The high is 55 degrees today. If that is not an option, go on-line for a virtual visit.

I was reading the blog of Gone Rustic and kept thinking of people I wanted to share Rita’s art  with. My sister and my California art friends, Mary Helen and Julie would love her art quilts and her dye and stitch projects. She also has a drawing section with one of my favorite things, Babushkas. Another, very cool thing is her shop is in Tasmania, Australia. Check it out!

Needle Felting Sample
by Rita Summers

This is one small sample for what she shares with you on her blog.

Next up is, Stephan Wanger of Galeria Alegria. I have a great respect for Stephan’s philosophy and art. He uses Mardi Gras Beads that would have ended up in a landfill and makes the most beautiful art with them. He cuts every bead apart from the strand, glues the beads onto wood, then frames the finished piece.  His art is truly amazing.

I don’t know when he finds the time, but Stephan also donates his time and supplies to local schools. He personally works with groups of children all day, and he leaves the finished art with the school.

Just check it out!

Can you believe this street car scene is made from individual beads? If you are in or around New Orleans, you can see original Mardi Gras bead art at 4431 Banks Street in Mid City. It will blow your mind.

Both of these artist’s websites are great.

Until next time,

With unfathomable love,

Gator Girl

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Gator Girl Art is on Etsy!

Good Morning all y’all,

If you would like an original Gator Girl painting, but need to wait a while for the opportunity, there are prints available on Etsy. My prints start at $30 and there is a special going on for the month of April. Go ahead and check it out. You can also send me your email address through my email account at nancy@gatorgirlart.com and I will send you an email when I have a new painting, OR you can also see all my paintings in progress by following my blog.

And thank you, thank you for reading my blog!

I have completed 3 paintings.

Dreaming of Camembert

The original of Monsieur Gator was painted on commission and is not available.

The collector asked for a French Gator. Painted in French around the outside edge of the canvas are the words “Strolling at Sunset, Dreaming of z Camembert”.

 

I listened to Chante France on the Internet. M. Gator loved the music. It seemed to put him in the mood for a portrait. What an attitude he has!

 

La Femme Fatal is mixed media, 12 x 36 inches painted on wood. She is standing on the street in the French Quarter after the parades have passed. She still has “it” after all these years. She sells for $800.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mardi Gras Muse or as MMMM calls her, Princess Masketier is mixed media on reclaimed wood, with a reclaimed wooden frame. The original is $800. The frame is part of the painting, so a small portion of the frame was also photographed.*

Princess Masketeir
Mardi Gras Muse

There are words about Mardi Gras running through her hair, and a 3 dimensional king cake baby. She is wearing a raven mask for my sister who owns Raven Wisdom Studio in Chico, California.  (She is a clay artist.) The music is from the song “Mardi Gras Mambo”.

Mardi Gras Muse started out clearly in my mind’s eye, but took over a month to complete.

Now that these 3 paintings are complete, I will be starting a new painting from scratch. The options are swirling around me as I type.

Please stay tuned,

All my love from an ever-opening heart,

Gator Girl

*The photography is by the amazing Dorka Photography in New Orleans.

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Spread the Love

Good Morning and Happy Friday!

Sometimes a kind gesture seems to go unnoticed, but makes a positive ripple in someone’s life. Today, I celebrate two fabulous women who do kind things every day. They both happen to be my aunts. I think aunts and grandmas are like moms only without the baggage. Unless they raised the child, they are free to just spread love.

My Aunt Ruth is in her 90’s. She is the older sister to my mother. She took the time to send me a card that someone had given her with an alligator on the front.

Card from Aunt Ruth

That simple gesture validated me as an artist.

It was double nice because Ruth is an amazing photographer and artist.

Aunt Ruth
This is Ruth when she was a photographer in Arizona.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Aunt, Grace, lives an hour away. She came to my Gator Girl Launch Party and gave me a lamp that she bought at a garage sale. She thought it would be fun to paint. And it was.

Lamp
Lamp after painting

It says, “This lamp offers no promise of enlightenment. It is only a lamp.”

I painted the shade with acrylic Mars Black. I love that black. I strung some glass Mardi Gras Beads on the shade. I love the beads, but maybe not on the shade.

I painted the words on the base, then went around them with a black paint pen to make the letters crisp.

I gave it to my husband for his bed side table. I thought the red would be good Feng Shui.

Aunt Grace
Aunt Grace and me at Gator Girl Art Launch Party. Isn't she cute!

Grace has 5 adult grandchildren and she still took the time for me.

Update on my art:

Mardi Gras Muse
80% complete

I have painted and re-painted.

From experience, I think the paintings that take a while end up being closer to my heart. I am starting to like this one.

The music is “Mardi Gras Mambo”. There are small words about Mardi Gras woven through her hair.

Maggie 2 years
Maggie last year.

 

 

I started painting people from photographs for fun. I like them a little edgy, not like their photos exactly. I bordered this painting with dragonflies, because Maggie is in the dragonfly class this year. And a little crown for my princess.

Raffi one year old
Raffi at one.

 

 

 

Raffi looks so different now that he is 2. Such a little baby face here.

Incognito
Katy in progress, maybe done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Katy’s Facebook picture. My husband, David, doesn’t like it because she has sunglasses on. I think she would appreciate being incognito.

All of the people paintings are about        10 x 10 inches.

I was totally long-winded today. Thank you for letting me share.

Until next time,

All my love,

Gator Girl

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Painting Your Future

Hello all y’all, 

Just wondering today if you know that you can paint your future?

 A few years ago, my mentor, Rev. Shiloh McCloud, needed two people to help her run her women and girls publishing company. She started painting three women, just standing together, smiling.  Shortly thereafter, at the exactly right time, the perfect women showed up. One of the women, Mary, just wandered into Shiloh’s gallery and fell in love. She was visiting from Canada at the time. She packed her bags and moved straight away — been here every since.

 Three years ago, when I was living in California, I started painting alligators, angels, and swamps. I was consciously painting my way to New Orleans. Everything unfolded perfectly, down to the last detail. I told anyone who cared to listen that I was retiring in three years, moving to New Orleans and becoming a full-time professional artist. Speech is undeniably powerful. 

Just as I believe all religions are roadways to the same higher power, I believe any means you use to project out to the universe what your dream is will work. 

Do you write? collage? paint…sing…dance…sculpt… How do YOU put yourself into your perfect life? 

Image

I am holding off sharing Mardi Gras Muse with y’all because I just bought a miter saw, installed it in my kitchen, and am making a frame before I post her next week. My idea is to make a frame out of reclaimed wood and embellish it with whatever calls to me. 

Until next week my loves,

Gator Girl

 

 

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Hello March!

Hi friends,

La Femme Fatale finished.

skeleton woman
La Femme Fatale

I put fine silver glitter on her veil to make it stand out more. I put red chunky glitter on her roses and gold metal finish on her gold tooth. She makes me very happy now. 2 coats of varnish insure her lasting beauty.

Mardi Gras Muse or as Maggie insists Maskatier Princess (named for her mask and partial tiara), is still in process. I played with both kids all day Friday and Saturday and it threw off my painting time in a good way.

Masked Muse
Mardi Gras Muse in progress

I am having a lot of fun painting the muse. She is wild and entertaining. Her hair is a mixture of purple and pink paint in Golden Heavy Gel. I like the ridges. It gives her hair a thickness that mine has never achieved.

It seems like Spring has arrived in New Orleans, at least for today. It is a little chilly, but the sun is shining. We are having a crawfish boil in Audubon Park by the Mississippi River later today. I don’t think life gets much better.

Until next week, my loves.

Gator Girl

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Mardi Gras

Hi y’all,

Things have been super fun and exhausting here with our first Mardi Gras. I think on Sunday there were 7 or 8 parades. It was like hanging out in a tent village. The best part for me was the parade goers. Everyone was so friendly. There are special throws that you try to catch at certain parades. Maggie got a shoe at the Muses all decorated with glitter, David got a Zulu coconut, and Will Farrell gave Maggie and David a cow bell. Pretty awesome and free fun. Y’all will just have to come see for your self.

Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Parade
Mardi Gras
Angie, NOPD and lots of ladders for the kids

This was walking distance from our house.

What I am sharing this week is the progression of 2 paintings that I am working on. You will have to use your imagination about what they are going to look like when I am finished or check in next week when I am done. The skeleton is finally coming along. I am going to call her La Femme Fatale. I went through a lot of names. I think it was because I started painting what I had in mind, but forgot to check in with her. A couple of names that she had for a while were Lasting Beauty and  Haunting Beauty. Maggie wanted to name her “A field of Unicorns”. Apparently, the unicorns were invisible. I like La Femme Fatale because New Orleans has such a French influence and She is hanging out in the French Quarter around Mardi Gras. She is pretty fatale being beyond the flesh and blood stage of her life.

skeleton in progress
first skeleton picture

I decided that I didn’t like such small details, so I went larger.

Skeleton
2nd, Larger Picture

In the second picture, I am starting to like her here, but she has a long way to go.

Skeleton
La Femme Fatale Almost Finished

Fetching, I’d say, in a fatal way. Those are little crawfish fireflies in the street light, a small alligator playing a tambourine on her shoulder. She  is now wearing a little hat with a veil that is so popular with the parade crowd. She had on a real Mardi Gras bead necklace, but I removed it for now. I may add it back in using an old glass bead throw that you can still catch once in a while. I put a net veil on the hat, but liked the permanence of a painted veil. I put little glitter fleur dis lis on her dress. This painting has been a labor. Some times things don’t come easily.

She is starting to look satisfied. I would say she’s almost finished.

 

 

I just want to introduce the painting I am having a lot of fun with. She is Mardi Gras Muse. If you want inspiration, paint a muse. They so love the attention.

Mardi Gras Muse
Preparing the wood

I picked 3 colors: mars black, magenta and white. I painted these words on in gold: Mardi Gras feel the happy love. I added a big heart on the right and 2 little hearts on the left.

Mardi Gras Muse Blocked Out
Mardi Gras Muse Blocked Out

 

 

 

I am just going to have fun with her. Lots of symbols, pictures and words in her hair.  She will have plenty of bling on her mask and glitter on her tiara. I see her so clearly already.

 

I hope you check in next week to see the progress. Life in New Orleans is a dream come true.

What we found out during Mardi Gras is that it is not a sprint, it is a marathon, so pace yourself. There is a bit of life wisdom in that.

With grateful and abundant love,

Gator Girl