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 alligators

A Girl and Her Gator

Good Afternoon all y’all!

Remember me? It’s been a year since I painted anything to share. I think it was a combination of painting too many commissions and the world wide pandemic. Painting started to feel less creative and more like work. The never leaving my house part of the pandemic was not stimulating.

I feel like painting again and also feel like sharing.

Jazz Fest is going on in New Orleans right now. It is especially wonderful because it has been 2 years. Everyone is so happy to be out eating great food, seeing excellent art and watching amazing musicians. It’s hot. Sometimes very hot. If you pace yourself, rest and hydrate, it is all enjoyable.

When in doubt, I paint an alligator. This one is a happy baby. I love his baby teeth. I am not sure why the girl is a little startled. Maybe she is surprised by her new pet.

I am close to finishing another painting. I will share it as soon as next week. It’s called, Shopping for Pretty Things in the French Quarter.

All the best. Pray for Ukraine, Roe Vs. Wade, our world any way that you do.

Love, 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

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

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

My Queen, a Wedding Gift

Hi y’all!

I hope this blog finds you well.

We have been fixing up my daughter and her fiancée’s back yard because people are coming into town for their wedding in a couple of weeks. They asked me to make a new table top for an old iron table. I love to paint furniture. And I extra love using resin. It makes everything so shiny and hard. My beer garden table that I resined two years ago still looks good in impossible Louisiana weather. The only downside of resin is the weight. It gets especially heavy if you try to encapsulate something, even glitter, that requires more than one pour.

They let me paint anything I wanted. That is my best kind of commission. I painted two birds that look like Katy and Gen. I put crowns on both of the women so they could both be queens. I took the photo before I poured the resin, because resin has too much reflection. The finished table is much shinier. 

Someone is reading the poem, The Queen, by Pablo Neruda at the wedding. It is a beautiful poem. That is why the birds are queens.

I hope they like it. 

My unending love,  

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

 

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