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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

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Tropical Storm

Hi all y’all!

We’ve had a lot of rain here. Even after living in New Orleans for 6 years, I expect the rain to be cold. In California most of the rain happens in the winter. Sometimes, in New Orleans,  I make hot chocolate in my air-conditioned house and don’t realize it is 90 degrees outside.

This is “Tropical Storm”.

I like a tropical storm if I can stay inside. A tropical storm can mean a lot of wind and rain. We bring things inside that might blow around the yard.

The unsettling thing about a tropical storm is that it can turn into a hurricane. I live near a lot of people with Hurricane Katrina PTSD, with good reason.

This makes the tension rise.

I painted this during Tropical Storm Cindy. She did not develop further.

Here is some storm information…

In a tropical depression the winds start to circulate. When the winds exceed 38 mph, it turns into a Tropical Storm. The maximum wind speed in a tropical storm is 73 mph. A hurricane has wind rotation with speeds of 74 mph and above.

Hurricanes are rated 1 through 5.

1 is 74-95 mph

2 is 96-110 mph

3 is 111-129 mph

4 is 130-156 mph

5 is greater than 156 mph

Almost all hurricanes happen during hurricane season. Where I live, the season is from June 1 through November 30. Most hurricanes happen in August and September and rarely in November.

I changed the starry sky in the most recent Swamp Girl painting. Looking at the painting close-up, the sky looked ragged. I smoothed it out and added some tiny dots for stars. Painting some stars blue and leaving some stars silver made some stars look farther away.

So far, so good.

Looking forward to a sunny tomorrow,

Gator Girl

 

 

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Posted in Swamp Girl

Swamp Girl, A Collaborative Book

Hi all y’all!

It has been 2 months since I have blogged or done much of anything. I have had this monster brace on my right hand for that long. I can take it off for a short time now to do something easy like typing. I still have to wear it for almost everything else. It has been hard not to paint much or very well.

I had a cooking mishap. It was a big iron skillet full of zucchini. I was dumping the zucchini into a bowl with one hand because I felt invincible. I twisted my wrist and hurt the tendon.

hand brace

I have been able to work on Maggie’s and my  book for short stretches of time. It is pretty painful to hold the brush.

We don’t have the whole story yet. That will be our next step. We are thinking that I will paint the swamp girl and the alligator for continuity. Maggie will paint the manatee, turtle, nutria, etc. We are not sure who all will be in the book.

helping-alligator

He offered to stretch his tail as high as he could to help her down out of the Cypress tree. 

The idea so far is that Swamp Girl will wander into the swamp, become lost, and find a new friend.

I am ready to paint something to hang on the wall and sell. I like the idea of my paintings in people’s houses. It is a little isolating to paint pages in a future book.

I hope you enjoyed the preview. More to come.

Best Wishes and unending love,

Gator Girl

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The Pussyfooters have new costumes.

Hi all y’all!

My cousin, Lisa asked me to paint a new Pussyfooter painting. It seems like a reasonable request because the Pussyfooters have new costumes. We look like superheroes with a “P” on the back of our capes. Lisa is on the costume committee. She is a braver woman than I am.

You can see a pretty good picture of the cape in the first photo. Lots of people took their capes off that day because it was so hot. She has her cape tied around her waist. You can see our logo.

The second photo shows our new pieces.

The painting is in the half done ugly-ish stage. I think I will just show parts of the painting this week.

Painting the Pussyfooters this year is different from the last time I painted Pussyfooters. After 5 seasons, I can feel what it is like being in a parade while I am painting. I am tempted to have a zipper busted open or sweat riveting off a body. I choose to try and capture the joy (for now).

This is the only part I am totally happy with so far. It is a bit small. This will be an afro wig and a tinsel wig. The women are close together, but really they should be an arms length apart. I think it will be called “Let’s Dance”.

tinsel-wig

This is Here Come the Girls. I painted it 4 years ago. I can tell by the corset.

Here Come the Girls_@120
Here Come the Girls

We are all a little sad about the season being over. I have to go to the rec center to exercise now… and I mean now :/

With gratitude and best wishes,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

A Couple of Illustration Changes

Hi all y’all!

A fabulous Mardi Gras came and went in the Crescent City. The weather was in the 70’s and breezy. The weather is kind of a big deal, because whether you are in a parade or watching one, you are outdoors for many, many hours. I am always amazed that I can finish a parade. It turns out to be around 17 miles when you count all of the dancing in place when the parade stops. (Some of the women had Fitbits.)

Here are the Pussyfooters during a pause in Femme Fatale. Eli Mergel took the photo. (click on “Eli Mergel” to see lots of wonderful photography.) There are about 120 Pussyfooters in total. About 50 women did this parade.

behind-flag

This is my sweet darlin’ and me on Mardi Gras day. We parked across the river and took the ferry. Excellent idea.

ferry-mardi-gras-2017

I revised two pages for the Not-Yet-Revealed author. I like both pages better now.

Pop is dressed more maturely. He is also wearing a wedding ring.

 

 

 

Poppee has grey hair and his goatee is narrower and longer. I like Poppee better, too. I made his eyebrows less prominent while I was adjusting his look. I appreciate a man with good grooming.

I think there is a pause here with the book. I am going to schedule photos of the first 5 pages. The author is going to send these beginning pages to publishers. I hear that publishers want to see 3-5 pages. I hope a publisher is going to love the book and grab it up without too many changes. I will let you know as soon as I do.

Today is the first day of Lent. I am just going to try to be an all around better person. Like making a conscious effort to be more Zen and less reactive.

How about you?

With hope and anticipation for the future,

Gator Girl

 

Posted in Book, Uncategorized

Page 5, Poppee!

Hi all y’all!

Happy Mardi Gras! The first uptown parade is today!

This is me on the front page of the Times-Picayune! (I must be excited because I already used 3 exclamation marks.) The Pussyfooters were the first women’s dance troupe. We started in 2001. My favorite parts about being a Pussyfooter, aside from becoming famous, are that I dance for women who can’t and we raise money every year for the Metropolitan Center for women and children. This year we raised $38,000.

made-the-times-picayune

Page 5 of the book is Poppee.

He is grandpa to the baby.

poppee

In the painting are some New Orleans icons. On the shelf behind Poppee are cups from . Coffee with chicory and beignets are often the first stop in the French Quarter for visitors to our city. It is open 24 hours.

He is stirring a pot of gumbo and holding a gumbo bowl, with a smaller pot for white rice on the other burner. Next to the stove top are an onion, green bell pepper, and celery. These three vegetables are called the Holy Trinity. The trinity is in most New Orleans dishes… jambalya, étouffée, gumbo…

I wanted to capture the love in Poppee’s expression when baby walks into the room. I like the repeating rectangle pattern in the basket and bricks. I was going to paint Poppee’s shirt in a check print, but thought that would be too distracting. (I still want to.) My favorite parts of the painting are the cups and the trinity.

Poppee is the last of the human characters in the book. You have met them all now.

In lewdness and proudness,

Gator Girl

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Angel of Peace

Hi all y’all!

I am feeling a little over-whelmed with what is going on in the world. I would probably be unaware of some of the underreported news if it weren’t for my Facebook friends. Like the pipeline protest in North Dakota, the pipeline spill in Georgia and Alabama, or photos of children killed in Syria. There are so many things happening at once that it’s hard to chose one thing to focus on… child sex trafficking, global warming, Hurricane Matthew, the election…

Here is an angel of peace in my attempt to bring love into the world. (After I see the painting online, I will probably add some shading here and there, a silver lining on the clouds, more green on the olive branch, but it is pretty done.)

angel-of-peace

I collaged the background in random paper to give myself time to think. I like the texture.

I wanted flowers somewhere in the painting, so I added them in the paper I used for her wings.

My favorite part is the transparent rainbow. I also like the abstract olive tree.

transparent-rainbow

This is half way through. I was thinking of a woman looking up, but the angel adds more power. I woman might feel overwhelmed like me.

half-way

This is the sketching out. I had a shotgun house and a woman in mind for the painting. I needed more sky and less house. Sometimes the words under the paint are as important as the painting. sketching-out

I hope your psyche is feeling balanced. I hope you will chose to do something good for our ailing world however small. It’s the only one we have.

With hope,

Gator Girl
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Local Girl

Hi all y’all!

I wanted to wait until this painting was finished before I wrote to y’all. I didn’t want to miss another week of blogging.

I saw a photo on Facebook of my friend who works in a Laundromat on Sundays. I loved her Rosie the Riveter bad ass look. She was also wearing the same shirt that I own from Target.

I am going to go in backwards order here. This is my almost finished painting.

almost-done

Half way through, I think her eyes are too large. The counter came to the bottom of the washing machines, so it looked like a floor. I like the blue behind the chandelier, but the wall seemed too fragmented and I thought wallpaper behind the chandelier would be cool.

granite-counter

I tried gold leaf on the chandelier. first I used the gold leaf that you press on and rub. It has a paper back. I think you must need  hard surface for that. The canvas has too much give. Next, I bought ten tiny sheets of gold leaf advertised for use in Buddhist worship. I like the look.

simple-leaf

I watched You Tube videos about making a faux granite counter top. It is basically dabbing wet on wet paint with a sea sponge. I made small sponges from a kitchen sponge and cut some larger holes to resemble a sea sponge. It was funny to make a tiny granite counter.

sponges-for-counterbanana-on-counter

I love the painting except for the counter and the chandelier. They are just not quite right yet.

Thank you for walking through the last 2 weeks with me.

You are very patient and kind.

XOXO,

Gator Girl

 

 

 

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Alligator and Introspection

Hi all y’all!

I have been painting some heavy topics lately. My last 3 paintings were about slavery and prostitution. I think artists have a responsibility for social change. This is Banksy 2011 protesting the foreclosure debacle.

Bansky 2011

This is me protesting slavery.

NOT FOR SALE staged for website

I decided it was time for a light hearted alligator.

While I was painting him again today, I was thinking how I forgot why I paint. I paint for people to be happy; to cheer up a room. Maybe I paint happy alligators and heart wrenching topics. Do you think there are some light hearted topics dealing with social change? Maybe an alligator on a picket line?

My Etsy sales are slow this month. I had use money to promote my art. The voice in my head was critical of me for painting slowly. In response to the voice: Etsy sometimes has a slow month. I have to pay for things even when the money is just going in one direction (out). Slow is OK.

Happy Alligator

You can’t see in this photo that his teeth are white with iridescent pearl for the top layer. There is a little yellow ochre near his gum line because he has some gingivitis. It’s not to a critical stage. If you have seen previous photos of the gator in progress, the big change I did today was some shading and a few coats on the green parts of his body to tie him together.

There is a surprising thing about me. I am pretty terrified of alligators. I was reading about them online to appease my fear, but it just fueled it. There was a woman moving to Florida and asked if people in Florida got tricked into buying a house near the water and then were unable to sell it because of the alligators. Because who would live near alligators. I thought she was pretty funny, but my crazy self bought some of it. If you have any alligator advice before I go camping, PLEASE let me know.

I am a little long winded today. I hope everything is going well in your part of the world.

Lovingly,

Gator Girl

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Zèle NOLA Move In!

Hi all y’all!

Gator Girl Art moved into Zèle NOLA yesterday! It is on Magazine Street, the block between Community Coffee and Starbucks.

20160817_175258

Magazine Street, the block between Community Coffee and Starbucks.

Zèle is the first of its kind in the New Orleans area. It’s not a co-op or a flea market. Zèle is a Multivendor Art Market. NOLA has several outdoor art markets offered monthly, but we do not have any permanent indoor markets where our local artists can display and have their extraordinary work sold for them.
This is exactly what Zèle offers, a place for and by NOLA’s own!
My 8 foot wall!

My 8 by 8 foot wall!

20160817_174300

Let me know if you stop by. 🙂

Gratefully yours,

Gator Girl