Posted in Uncategorized

Yemaya

Hi all y’all!

This is my most recent painting. Yemaya, Goddess of the Ocean and the New Year. Click on the link and read all about her.

The Pussyfooters were invited to a Second Line  and ceremony for Yemaya about 2 months ago (Fresh Johnson narrates the Second Line video and is a Pussyfooter). This was the first I had heard of Yemaya. We raised money by selling raffle tickets. It was the kind of raffle where you split the pot. Part of the money went for our police escort. You need to have a permit and police to close the streets for the Second Line. Part of the money went for the brass band. Part of the money went for women in Orleans Parish Prison who cannot post bail. Sometimes a woman is sent to the prison because of a traffic ticket that she cannot pay. She doesn’t have any money for bail, her kids are put in foster care, she loses her job, and she waits. Part of the money goes to the lucky winner whose name is drawn. In this case the lucky winner put her winnings in with the bail money. We raised $800.

We had a Second Line to the river where the leader said a beautiful prayer to Yemaya and made offerings of fruit. Eli Mergel took photos.

I wanted to paint Yemaya immediately. I love to paint women. I also like a goddess. I am donating the original painting to the raffle table at Blush Ball. Blush Ball is where the Pussyfooters raise the most money. Anyone can go to the Blush Ball. It costs $40 or $60 a ticket. With the $60 ticket you get in an hour early and drink for free for that hour. It is really fun. The Pussyfooters perform. There is a band and a DJ. And a raffle table where you will find an original Yemaya.

FYI, the Pussyfooters raise money all year for women and children. We usually raise between $20,000 and $30,000 in the year.

That took a lot of words to share my painting. I hope you like her.

Sincerely trying my best,

Gator Girl

 

 

Posted in Mardi Gras Indians

Big Chief David Montana to Paris

Hi all y’all!

Big Chief David Montana is on his way to Paris this morning. He is there to talk about a new documentary that is being filmed in France called Black Indians. (The link takes you to the film’s introduction.)

He is taking 20 prints of Flamingo Madness with him. I am so excited to have the prints traveling to France!

Derrick Hemphill of the Daily Commune has made all of this possible. If you go to his website, then “print services” you can buy a print. He does his own printing on beautiful paper. If you want to have him print something, I do recommend him. Derrick is the only one printing Flamingo Madness.

Flamingo Madness Low Rez Original

The Big Chief is also taking a sample piece of the flamingo suit to Paris for collectors. It is the same design as his original flamingo suit. I bought one to frame.

Small likeness of Flamingo suit

Here is a photo of the Big Chief in his pink flamingo suit. My friend Laura took the photo. She has a blog you might be interested in called L.A. to N.O.L.A.  – Carnival, Concerts, Cuisine, Culture.

Big Chief in his Flamingo Suit

That is my big news for the day. Thanks for tuning in.

All of my love,

Gator Girl

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Dog Days of Summer

Hi all y’all!

I hope you are having a good summer. I heard that someone, somewhere is enjoying a soft cool breeze. That would sure be nice.

I am trying out painting with oil paints. I have been painting with acrylic paints for about 15 years. My limited experience with oil painting has been very different from acrylic painting.

I tried painting a beagle in oil paint. I saw a cute photo on Instagram that my daughter’s friend posted. He said his dog was “throwing shade at the dog park”. I loved the phrase. So this is Remington in oil. 

Remy

I had an idea to paint another beagle in acrylic paint to compare my experience. My sister-in-law has a beagle that she loves. I asked her to send me two or three photos.         So this is Buddy in acrylic paint.

Bud

It was challenging to paint with oil. The good news is that it stays wet a long time. The bad news is it stays wet for a long time. I just walked into the studio in my street clothes and got paint on my shirt.

With oil there are a few days between coats. I tried adding Gamblin Cold Wax Medium to give the paint more thickness. I liked how the brush strokes were more apparent… like dog hair. I tried adding Gamblin Galkyd Lite to make the paint dry faster. It also thins the paint. I used Galkyd mixed with the paint when I painted Remy’s eyes. It is harder for me to achieve detail with oil.

Because the oil paints stay wet, I put my hand on the painting and did a lot of smearing. I waited until the paint dried and fixed the smears (many times).

What I really love is the brightness and richness of the oil paint.

I feel comfortable with acrylic paints. They suit my impatience. I have experience with the mediums I can use with acrylic paint to achieve what I want. I used Golden Extra Heavy Molding paste to make raised letters on the dog blanket. It took about the same time to complete each painting. They look very different. Buddy has many layers of different colors. Remmy is striking. He reminds me of a super hero.

My analysis is… I will use the paint that will achieve the affects I desire. I am not giving up on oil paint too soon.

If you have any thoughts on oil vs acrylic paint. I would love to hear them.

Practice makes perfect (or not).

Summer dreams,

Gator Girl

Posted in Mardi Gras Indians

Artspace Open House

Hi all y’all!

There was an open house at the Bell Artspace Campus last week. It is really an amazing place. All kinds of artists live there… painters, writers, photographers, Indians… Each floor has a beautiful gallery. This is the main building.

Affordable housing for artists is important. Housing costs are more and more expensive in New Orleans. Many of the people who make New Orleans what it is have a hard time living here.

Artspace

They really did a nice job with the open house. It was all free, including delicious food from the food trucks. I had to leave early, but I saw a performance by the Washitaw Nation and

Big Chief David Montana.

Tribe

A print of my painting of the Big Chief is hanging in one of the Artspace galleries. The prints are for sale now. 8 x 10 inch limited edition prints are $35 on nice paper.

16 x 20 limited edition prints on canvas are $200. The original painting is 30 x 40 inches and is still available for 1500. Big Chief David Montana will sign the original painting if you want.

me and print

This is pretty cool.

No Racist Terror

Check out the Puppet Painter. The more I look into Sierra’s work the more amazed I am.

Boat People

This is a small representation of a fabulous place. If you hear of something going on there, say yes!

All my scaly love,

Gator Girl

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Cool Cat

Hi all y’all!

It’s a beautiful day here in New Orleans. Just a quick post to share the companion piece to James Booker. Cool Cat.

Cool Cat Original Low Rez

Cool Cat is 16 x 20 inches. I used the same color pallet as for James Booker, but went heavier on the reds and yellows.

Booker Original Low Rez

James Booker is much larger at 30 x 40 inches.

Tonight is the opening for Art of Flavor at the Old No. 77. It is beautiful there.                The Old No. 77 is a restaurant, bar, hotel and gallery. Where Y’Art and the Old No. 77 do a top-notch job putting it all together. Nina Compton, Chef at Compère Lapin and Abigail Gullo, bartender at Compère Lapin are curating.  I’m excited.

Art of Flavor, Part 1

Flamingo Madness and Counting Her Chickens were chosen to be in the show.

Loving all y’all,

Gator Girl

 

Posted in Mardi Gras Indians, Uncategorized

Big Chief David Montana

Hi all y’all!

It has been pretty fabulous at Gator Girl Art lately. I will tell you this one tale…

I was at my agent, Derrick Hemphill’s house. (Cool, huh?) He was having an open house to introduce his huge, new printer. While I was there, I asked Derrick if he could get permission for me to paint a Mardi Gras Indian. He knows a lot of people and he grew up in the Treme.

Right away, he asked his mother to go down stairs and get Big Chief David Montana. This threw me right out of my comfort zone. I never thought of painting a Big Chief. He came upstairs and he agreed to let me to paint him. I also, got to see his house, the suit he is working on, and lots of photos.

This is all so cool. Google him. He’s famous.

I chose to paint him in a pink suit. He let me borrow a reference photo.

So, I haven’t yet continued with my New Orleans Musician series. I still have several large canvases gessoed in black and ready to go.

I started on a 30 x 40 inch canvas. I painted the border in Golden Alizarin Crimson. Then I painted the entire canvas, including the border in Old Holland  Iridescent Carmine. It is a vivid crimson… a beautiful pink.

Chief drawing

Here is the finished painting (as far as I know).

Best photo of Chief

It is a little tilted on purpose. I was worried about all of the little feathers, but they turned out really fun to paint. I used a fan brush and loaded it with three colors of pink. I used The Chief as the light source. I am a little proud of that idea.

Here it is. I did my best. I feel lucky.

With all my heart,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

James Booker

Hi all y’all!

It’s very cold here. Cold for us. Because most of the houses are raised 3 or so feet when it freezes our pipes freeze and sometimes break. We keep a trickle of water running in our faucets and hoses. Sometimes the pipes still break.

This is my first large painting in the series New Orleans Musicians. I think I will paint six.  The musicians will be close up and I am planning on putting their instrument somewhere in the painting. There might be a corresponding cool cat painting. We’ll see.

James Booker was one cool guy. You can watch a movie called Bayou Maharaja on Netflix. I think the movie has all the footage ever filmed of James Booker. I am not very musical, but even I can tell his piano playing is amazing.

I am historically terrible at following through on a series. I have three 30×40 inch canvases gessoed in black to encourage me.

Try to stay warm.

Best wishes for the New Year.

Gator Girl

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Hey! So I’m a Baby.

Hi all y’all!

It’s been a while.

The book is done and we have it in our hands. The author is Mia Borders. She is a fab rock star. She asked me to illustrate it. What an honor.

She is selling it on her website miaborders.com.

While you are there, go ahead and listen to her music.

eBook_Cover low rez

You can pre-order the book at Amazon. It will be released January 14, 2018.

There will be a book signing at Garden District Book Shop January 28th from 2-4

with Mia. (I am out of town then.)

Stay tuned for further Gator Girl Art developments.

I am going to paint a series of large paintings,

and then a different series of large paintings. Because why not?

The Holiday
Wishing all y’all the best.

XO, Gator Girl

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Pelican and a Secret Feather Tool

Hi all y’all!

Today, I am sharing my latest painting.

Where Y'art 7-27-17 3316 Cropped in frame

I love this painting. It pretty much painted itself. Maggie and Raffi found a bunch of frames out with the trash near their school. I thought the frame looked like pelican feathers. I washed it, added some glue at the joints, and oiled it.

Katy cut a piece of 1/4 inch plywood for me. I painted on 3 coats of black gesso. For the feathers, I applied the paint fairly thick, starting with darker colors and going lighter. Long strokes for the body and short strokes for the head. I applied 3 coats of varnish to finish.

I am sharing my secret feather tool. They are “Not quite a brush. Not quite a palette knife. Princeton Catalyst Blades and Mini-Blades are crafted from flexible silicone to give artists exciting new tools for expression. Mounted on artist brush handles, they offer a unique blend of tradition and innovation.”  (I am not an affiliate, just a fan.)

The Pelican is 16 x 20 inches. I am selling it for $500. If you read my blog, I will let you have it for $400 (plus shipping), because I think you should be rewarded for reading my blog.

I am starting an email list. You might be asking yourself, “What are the benefits of getting an email update?” Emails will be short and to the point, infrequent, you will see my new paintings first and sometimes receive incentives that will not be offered anywhere else. Send me your email address at gatorgirlart@gmail.com.

I am back to painting the book, Hey. So, I’m a Baby.

Best wishes. Stay cool, cuz you know you are,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

Don’t Shoot

Hi all y’all,

It is pretty scary being black in America. I only know this through the news and hearing my friends talk. I have never had to have the discussion with my children about what to do if they are stopped by the police. I haven’t had to explain to them that they SHOULD NOT RUN through our neighborhood and to NEVER wear a hoodie.

I am near the top of the entitled group. I would be at the top if I were male. Part of being entitled is not having to think about entitlement. I was never afraid to be stopped by the police. In the handful of times I have been stopped, “I am sorry officer. Did I do something wrong?” was enough to never get out of the car and never get a ticket.

You might wonder why I painted Don’t Shoot. I relate to being a woman who is unsafe. I know what it is like to be afraid. I see black women on the news crying because they are so scared of being pulled over

and I feel sad and angry.

I want racism and misogyny to disappear.

It made me feel better to paint about the problem the same way it made me feel better to participate in the Women’s March on Washington. What can we do besides stand together. Together we are stronger.

Don't-Shoot-1

Don’t Shoot.

The background is red for her anger/ grey for her measured non-response. I gave her a short haircut and urban colors to epitomize her strength. She looks small and powerful. I also opted against long lashes. I didn’t want her to need any of the feminine trappings. She is woman enough as is.

I’ve got your back,

Gator Girl

SaveSave