This one small plane of glass might be 2 blogs. It is interesting to try to figure this method out. Reverse Glass Painting has been used all over the world since the 1500’s. I fell into it because we replaced a 6 pane window with a door in the back of our house.
The painting has to be well thought out. I immediately did not think this through. I just figured I could learn as I go. I sort of can, but the first thing I had to learn was how to take the paint off.
This is the prototype. It’s called Boxer with Pearl Earring. I put this collage behind the glass panel. The tricky part is painting in reverse. If I make a mistake, I have to take the paint off down to the glass. It is important to look at the back of the glass often. That is cumbersome if you have a heavy, old 6 pane window. The first time I forgot her pupils.
The following image is the side of the glass that I am painting. I tried putting glass beads in the black paint to make it look crackled like an old painting. That didn’t work. I need to order some stuff called Crackle from Blick. This attempt is sort of basic, but not too bad. Just wait…
This is the viewing side. I put on so much paint to make it opaque.
This is where I am now.
I took off the most offensive paint with nail polish remover. I learned this handy information from a YouTube educator. Kayla BameThe entire research I did was watching this young woman’s video; 7 things to know about Reversed Glass Painting.
I am ordering Crackle. And I am trying to not start all the way over. Stay tuned.
I painted this right after the world began to open up after the first wave of the pandemic. I wasn’t quite myself after staying inside my house for so many months. My enthusiasm for painting was low. Mostly, I was painting with on line prompts using someone else’s enthusiasm to spring board off. This was the first attempt I made to paint on my own.
I liked having bird around to give me questionable advice. Today, I decided to offer her to the world. There is one caveat. Take her advice with a grain of salt, or a grain of bird seed in this case.
Skeptical of Bird’s advice is an original painting. 16 x 20 inches. Acrylic, gold leaf, and varnish on canvas. Right now, I am offering her through etsy.com/shop/gatorgirlart and Where y’Art Works.
Thanks for reading!
Wishing you all the best in this holiday season, 2023, and beyond.
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.
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.
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.
This is the first year that we stayed in New Orleans for Christmas. We tried to do some fun activities that happen only during the holiday. Mostly we ate out.
This is what I think I know… The bon fires go on for 3 miles. They need a permit and have a maximum height of 15 feet. They all start at 7 pm on Christmas Eve, wind permitting. This is a tradition going back a 100 years or more. The reasons vary, and my favorite version is that the bon fires light the way for Santa Claus.
Saint James Parish is about 30 minutes west of New Orleans. It took well over an hour to get to the river on Christmas Eve. We went to Paulina to see the beginning of the bon fires, then we drove through Lutcher and Gramercy.
It’s dark, so you can only see the structures in front of you.
The arrow is pointing down river. All of the lights on the levee are bon fires.
This is a close up.
Now you can listen to it. Most structures are full of fire crackers, and people shoot off BIG fireworks. I took these photos with my phone…
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.
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.
Here is page 4. Tia is Spanish for aunt. Maybe it is her first name, too? Tia is the baby’s aunt. That’s what I know for sure.
I think baby takes after momma in coloring, but I see Tia in her face.
Tia is listening to music in the kitchen. I did want to make sure Tia wasn’t dancing with the mop or ironing. Even though those stereotypes are etched in my brain, I am trying to break free. She just stopped by the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Probably one of the men took care of that other stuff.
I put in my favorite laminate table from the 1950’s. Baby is too short to see the top of the table, so I put the table top design that I wanted to paint on the cup. You can see the same magnolia bead tree from the garden out the window.
The New Orleans things on this page are only the bead tree and music. The window and the paint color are also typical New Orleans.
I try to keep the family to a moderate income. That’s why the table is her grandma’s and her headphones have a cord.
The painting part is straight forward. When the picture needs some very small details, I use a paint pen or intense pencils. Often I go over this with a brush. I liked the tree better when it was bright green, but I thought there needed to be glass in the window. I mixed a half drop of Golden Titanium White into some matte varnish. I painted the window panes 2 or 3 times with this mixture. I think it looks a little wavy like old glass.
Here we are… President Obama’s last day as president. It does feel momentous.
I am writing here today to share page 3 of the book I am illustrating. If I seem cryptic about the book, it is because it is mostly top secret. So far, we have Baby, Momma, and Pop. I will be starting Tía soon.
I relaxed slightly while painting Pop. I am about as nervous as if I was creating a commissioned painting now.
Pop is watching a New Orleans Pelicans game. I wanted to give him cigarettes or a beer, but this is a children’s book.
Framed on the wall is Gator Girl’s painting of Swamp Girl. Swamp Girl is also the first page in the book Maggie Pokorn and I are co-writing.
Next to Swamp Girl are Silent Chimes, by the local artist Kat Ryalls. I received, by request, Silent Chimes for Christmas. They look amazing on my bedroom wall. I don’t do them justice here.
This house looks so much like my house.
Stay tuned. There are 19 pages. Pretty soon I imagine my non-painting life will slow down enough to paint maybe 3 pages a month.
I wanted a garden like this. It seems like you need a lot of money in the city to buy a house with a big garden area. I fudged on this because this is a family with an average income.
Here is a photo of momma in progress.
I didn’t mess around too much with the composition this time. The neckline of her shirt was an accident. I wanted to tell myself when I came back to paint that I wanted the neckline smaller, so I used a paint pen to mark the new neckline. It reminded me of a burnout shirt, so I left it.
I am going to put a little more of her hair on her right cheek (left cheek to you) because it looks too big. The danger in that is that it is hard for me to put the brush down. I am usually changing another thing an hour later.
The challenge for me is that it takes me so long to paint. I think the author might get tired of waiting. Each page is a full on painting, so it does take a while. I hope I reconcile with this soon.
2016 has been a hard year for a lot of people. I hope you are doing alright.