Posted in Uncategorized

Black Girl Magic

Hi all y’all!

I’ve decided that I paint my best when I chose exactly what I want to paint and paint exactly how I want. This is Black Girl Magic.

I found a board in the garage and a frame that I got at an estate sale of a local artist who passed a few years ago. The frame had some damage to a paper coating, that I knew paint wouldn’t cover. I ordered some party napkins that were black with gold dots. I separated the layers, cut them in strips and adhered to the frame with Liquitex Gloss Medium.

I love painting on a board, because it is recycling. It is very different than canvas. It has little absorbency. Board is not as forgiving.

I am including 6 stages of the painting. First, I painted 2 layers of black gesso and 2 layers of black acrylic ink. I drew her face with chalk. I tried out some transparent brown paint. At this step, I sprayed the painting with Grumbacher Matte Varnish to hold the chalk in place.

Next, I painted layers of transparent red and transparent yellow. I didn’t mix the paint. I used transparent blue for the shadows. (I am loving transparent paint.) I highlighted with titanium white on a dry brush.

Then, more layers of red, yellow and blue. Trying out some hair and a large bead necklace. I can see her personality now.

Feeling confident. Her and I.

I thought I was finished, but decided I didn’t like the stylized highlights that worked on Booker.

Finished, probably. I might darken her eyelashes a little. I never know how far to go with lashes.

Black Girl Magic

I am pretty happy with her.

I hope you are finding a way to keep cool.

Love, Gator Girl

Posted in alligators

Shopping in the French Quarter for Pretty Things

Hi all y’all!

I just finished, sealed and varnished a new painting. I got my idea from a photo on line of Ruthie the Duck Girl. She is a New Orleans icon. When she was a child, her mother put her hair in ringlets to look like Shirley Temple. She sent her out on roller skates with her pet duck and charged for photos. Ruthie continued to walk/roll around the Quarter all of her life often in a wedding dress. She sold postcards and posed for photos. She was born in 1934 and passed away in 2008. I love this story and that people in New Orleans supported her and her eccentric behavior.

So, I was looking at photos of Ruthie and wanted to paint her. I thought to myself or maybe out loud, “I wish I liked to paint ducks.”.

Shopping reminds me of going to a parade or to a girls lunch on a warm, humidish Saturday. They are both fixed up and wearing their pink nail polish. Best friends excited to be out during a pandemic lull.

The painting is 24 x 30 inches, acrylic paint, charcoal and varnish.

My favorite thing about this painting is the plaster wall. I think I nailed it. My next favorite thing is their relationship.

Wishing you all the best! Stay safe.

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

Flowers in a family frame

Hi all y’all!

Here we are 33 days until the presidential election and in a pandemic. Who knew? On the brighter side, the weather is beginning to feel like Fall.

I have had a difficult time painting. I have several theories about this.

  1. I was burned out from the Children’s Hospital paintings.
  2. It is hard to find inspiration in Netflix.
  3. I was thinking I needed extra rest from the stress of Covid, but maybe it was really hot out and I am a bit lazy.

I usually paint people. I love how the face emerges. I like painting skin tones. I feel like faces tell a story.

Our family had a mirror that was about 100 years old. It fell off of the wall and broke. The frame broke, too. I loved the wood and it was very hard for me to paint over the beautiful wood, but I had no choice as I could see it. My daughter Katy cut a piece of 1/4 inch plywood to fit inside. Then it got tricky.

I painted this bouquet of flowers sooo many times. I only have two photos. I never thought I would finish it or blog about it.

You can see the wood frame next to the painting. I attached the broken pieces with wood putty and sanded it the best that I could with my dremel tool. I couldn’t stand this layout. There were too many colors. I thought my flowers should look like real flowers and that isn’t how I paint.

I asked my daughters and their wives what they thought a good background would be. I got so many ideas. A window, mercury glass with the flowers reflecting, stained glass because of the shape of the frame, a bright contrasting color, Katy’s face. I went with solid black just like I began. The table cloth is suppose to look like lace using some of the yellow from the sunflowers.

Finally, I like it.

I see that I need to make the stems darker on the baby’s breath. I painted this for our new house, so maybe our current house will sell now.

This is my original inspiration. I have liked this painting since I was a child. My mom painted this when she was in high school about 1936.

Maybe I can paint again now. Wish me luck.

Sincerely,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

A New Table Top

Hi all y’all!

I imagine you have a range of emotions staying home all of the time now. I have been practicing sheltering in place my whole life and even I have hard days. There is so much going on in the news. I still am trying to wrap my head around this virus being global. It makes the world seem so small.

I did something I really enjoy. It is for my daughter and her partner’s house. They asked for an oleander table top for their house a few months ago. I was in the middle of the hospital art at the time.

I am going to tell you how I made it, because it was fun.

The women brought me a round table top from the big construction store. It is about 23 inches across.

I painted it with black gesso. While the gesso was wet, I swirled this tool into the top all around the edge about 6 inches in. I use this same tool for Prince’s afro. (With Prince, I dabbed not swirled.)

Swirling tool

Then I painted green lightly on top, so the black was slightly visible. I painted blueish teal in the center and a little bit on the edge. I thought the blue would go with their porch ceiling of sky blue.

Oleander Table Edge

Next I looked at a photo of Van Gogh’s Oleander painting. I painted the leaves from that photo. I started to paint his pink flowers, but stopped half way through to ask for a photo of their oleander tree. Luckily, I didn’t go too far with the flowers, because their tree has white flowers.

Oleander Table

I liked the flowers, but didn’t love them. I ordered some encaustic wax from a company in New Jersey called R and F that makes it by hand. I only ordered from there because it was sold out everywhere. It turned out to be good, because the block of white wax was huge for $20. I cut a piece off and put it in my empty Hot Cakes tin to heat. I could fill 4 Hot Cakes tins with the block of wax.

I used Art ‘n Glow resin because I didn’t see my usual brand. I got it on Amazon for $25 for two 8 oz bottles. It was the perfect amount for the table top. I bought back up incase it wasn’t enough. Small containers are better if you don’t use resin very often. After you open the resin, you should use it in a few months. I liked this brand. It seemed like it had fewer bubbles… hardly any.

Art 'n Glow

That’s it. It isn’t perfect because it is handmade. I am OK with that. It is still beautiful (just like you).

Love in the time of Corona,

Gator Girl

Posted in Children's Hospital, Uncategorized

Last 10 paintings for the Children’s Hospital

Hi all y’all!

I am so pleased to share with you the last 10 paintings commissioned by the Children’s Hospital. I wish I kept up with my Etsy shop and my blog through this commission endeavor.

Luckily, I received a nice camera for my birthday in December. I watched some videos on YouTube to learn how to use it. I captured photos of most of the paintings that I still had at my house in 2020. Up until now I took all of my paintings to a professional photographer. The turn around was too fast to make an appointment a month or two out. I painted about one painting a month prior to doing this job. I painted 30 paintings in 6 months or 5 a month. I am a slow painter, so I painted pretty much every day until I was tired.

Here they are…

Alligator with hot cocoa

Alligator with Cocoa

Cat and Mouse Original 2

Cat and Mouse

Lawn Party Continued

Lawn Party Continues. Featuring a toddler alligator.

Pig Original High Res

Pig in cape.

Lawn Party Original High ResLawn Party

Shotgun House Original

Shotgun House

Unicorn

Unicorn

giraffeGiraffe

elephant Original

Elephant

Daydreaming

Day Dreaming

I have prints of the Uptown Rabbit and Manatee. I will be ordering more prints, but I am not sure what yet. I am partial to the giraffe. I like the pink color in the elephant painting. It was a mixture of bubblegum pink ink and paint. I also like the yellow striped wall paper.

Happy Friday! I hope you are content sheltering in place.

Adoringly,

Gator Girl

 

 

Posted in Children's Hospital, Uncategorized

Ten More Paintings

Hi all y’all!

I have completed twenty paintings for the Children’s Hospital!

The process of these ten paintings (11-20) have been a balance between what I want to paint and what I think the committee will like. I felt pretty sure of myself while painting the first 10. Then, some of the paintings were returned. That had never happened to me before. Originally, I was asked to paint diverse people and happy paintings. When the paintings were returned, I was asked to change the skin color on all of the children that I painted to rainbow colors. I tried to do this to make everyone happy. I changed some of the paintings, but it wasn’t feeling like my art.

I am feeling a little insecure and that makes it harder to paint. For the last 10, I need to paint what I want within the new parameters and not stress about it. So far, I painted a shotgun house and am working on a rainbow colored tween. I started to miss painting faces so much.

Here are 8 of the next ten. I accidentally erased Einstein Alpaca and The Bee. I especially liked the alpaca.

The manatee is my favorite! 

 

Warmest Regards,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

Functional Art

Hi all y’all!

I have to say, I do miss the California coast when it is in the humid high 90’s in September in New Orleans… no rain in sight.

The porch table at the camp is finally damaged so much that we need a table cloth to play cards. I had a piece of wood left over from a project that is too heavy to hang on the wall. It was just the right size to replace the damaged table.

This is an aerial view of our camp on the Pearl River.

Here are the stages of the painting…

I sealed the new table top twice with Marine Coat. We are going to clamp it on with liquid nails.

The river is changing course and taking lots of our bank. I am still hopeful that someone will buy the camp and move the cabins back before they fall in the river. It is really lovely there. The cabins are adorable.

We buried St. Joseph upside down, facing the cabins. I was sure this would do the trick and sell the camp. Maybe it will.

I am back to painting wall art. On the 18 x 36″ canvas right now is the beginning of a dog with a chicken on it’s head. One of my favorite themes is an animal riding on an animal. I don’t know why.

I hope wherever you live you are safe from climate change. I hope you are enjoying your life. I hope the best is yet to come.

Hopefully yours,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

Small Plate

Hi all y’all!

The heat index is well over 100 degrees today. I’m trying to stay hydrated and indoors. I finished my blue crab painting today. David took the photo at our Mother’s Day crab boil. I added the plate and table cloth. This one has already been dinner.

This painting was only suppose to be practice for my encaustic crab. It turns out that I like it quite a bit. I put some embellishments on the plate with molding paste. I thought it would give the painting some texture and interest. I think I could have used just paint.

It is kind of fun to add molding paste. While it is wet, you can just scrape it off with a credit card or pallet knife. After it dries, it is hard as nails.

I like this version of the painting, too. I almost left it blocked out. I am happy I added the plate shadows and the table cloth. I stenciled the table cloth on with just paint.

This is the final painting.

I hope this summer finds you well. Try to stay cool. It’s OK to rest and take some time for yourself however you can manage that.

Love to everyone,

Gator Girl

Posted in alligators

Love is in the Air

Hi all y’all!

My newest painting is about alligators in love at Jazz Fest. I painted a similar painting a couple of years ago. The first Jazz Fest painting was inspired by a photo of my granddaughter, Maggie, and her cousin Lenny. They were dancing at Jazz Fest as part of a family reunion.

While the original painting was hanging in my living room, I fell in love with the composition. So when my daughter wanted that painting for her house, I decided to paint the same scene with alligators.

 

The grass has the shape of the whole world. The skywriting is really a thing at Jazz Fest… not so much the wildflowers.

The whole painting seems happy to me.

This one is a little different… taller grass, no purple flowers, more imaginative. I based the girl on Gator Ballerina just in case I want to include this painting in a traveling alligator book one day.

They are both large paintings, 30 x 40 inches. I will be making prints after the paintings are photographed.

Jazz Fest is a great adventure. If you haven’t been, I hope you can one day.

Love is in the air,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

Her Halo

Hi all y’all!

I was recently inspired by the words of Reda Rackley. I don’t know Reda in person. We are Facebook friends. She is also and artist. She wrote, “She took off her halo and wore it as a necklace.”

I have permission to use Reda’s words in my art.

I might have painted her too quickly because I felt I had to get her down on canvas. She reminds me of the recently elected women to Congress. I was also thinking of the powerful women’s march this year. That was before it was cancelled in New Orleans.

I like her urban-ness, her basic black, her deadpan stare. Her halo looks like glittery barbed wire.

She is not listed for sale anywhere. I will send her to you for $200 + shipping if you would like to have her around to inspire you in these tenuous times.
She is 16 x 20 inches, acrylic, glitter, varnish on canvas. You can email me at gatorgirlart@gmail.com.

Remember history like your life depends on it.

In strength and numbers,

Gator Girl