Long story short, I could never paint well enough to be happy with my work by painting in reverse on glass. Reverse and glass are two words you won’t hear me say again.
This is my latest and last attempt.
I decided to do mixed media on canvas paper, then put it behind the glass. I am still doing 6 versions of Winny.
This is Boxer in Pearl Earring. What you see at the top is my latest attempt at crackling the background like an old Vermeer. Paint a coat of white glue, any brand, and while it is tacky, paint over it with paint. When it dries, it looks crackled, but mostly in one direction no mater how I paint the undercoat. I say good enough. This is my plan for the background.
I was thinking of an over-all name for the piece. Maybe Tiny Boxer like the Tiny Dancer song. Maybe she will be wearing Elton John sunglasses. The words for the song fit her perfectly.
Hold me closer, tiny boxer
Count the headlights on the highway (like on a road trip)
Lay me down in sheets of linen (in our bed)
You had a busy day today (watching walkers by)
That's all for now. I have a way forward that I am happy with.
May I wish that for you.
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.
I will be working hard for about the next 4 to 6 months. I wasn’t going to share this until I believed it myself. The people buying art for the new wing of the Children’s Hospital commissioned 30 paintings. They are giving me 10 months to finish them, but I think I will be done in 6. We’ll see.
The paintings are all 18 x 24 gallery wrapped canvas. I am painting happy paintings that tell a story and that I think the children will like. They gave me few restrictions. No flying birds, no angels, no blood or menacing teeth. I made a few of my own restrictions. I am doing only acrylic paint and not adding paper or glitter so they will be easy to clean. I am giving them an extra coat of varnish.
The first 10 are complete. I think the last 10 will be the hardest, if I run out of ideas. I painted a version of a few paintings that I have already done because the people commissioning the paintings liked them and I liked them.
Let me know what yourfavorite is so far and also if you have painting suggestions. Excuse the photography. Some of the colors are a little off. I don’t have professional photos yet.
It is kind of fun to paint prolifically and not wonder when and where the paintings are going. I made a bulk order of 30 canvases and bought a bunch of paint, brushes and varnish.
Accepting New Members 2 (She is not really that yellow.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That is my big news for the day. Thanks for tuning in.