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Hi all y’all!

Happy Mardi Gras! I would normally be working on a Mardi Gras painting because I am moved by the seasons… Mardi Gras, Crawfish, Snoballs and Football.

I wanted to finished Rollergirls for any roller derby fans.

I love roller derby. I wish I was brave and tough enough to skate like that. This painting is loosely modeled after the Big Easy Rollergirls. The floor in the painting is more like a gym floor, but their colors are black and gold. The crowd is very close to the players and the fans from both sides are dispersed throughout. I took some artist’s prerogative. The gator is the jammer. That is why she has a star on her helmet. The other team is trying to block our star player. It is just becoming apparent to the crowd that Ms Gator has a winning move.

Every time I came back to this painting, I wanted to change someone’s expression or skin color. The 15 spectators took more time to paint than the rollergirls. I am not really this patient unless I want to complete a vision.



Charles Wendell and Brad of Brad and Dellwen's Flag Party

Can you find Brad and Dellwen from Brad and Dellwen’s Flag Party on Magazine Street in the painting? (The photo is from It is a mystery to me why I choose people to paint. Many of the spectators just have the attitude of people I know, they don’t represent them physically.


I am going to the airport to pick up my friend from California for her first Mardi Gras! Muses rolls tonight! Muses is my favorite parade. I love that it is a women’s krewe. They have great throws and are generous. The Pussyfooters are dancing tonight, but I am going to be a spectator cheering my pink sisters on. I hope to see you on the Avenue.

Happy Mardi Gras!

Gator Girl 

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Hi all y’all!

I hope you had a nice holiday. I know the experience differs between people and year to year. This year was a good year for our family.

In New Orleans, we are rushing into an early Mardi Gras. The Pussyfooter Blush Ball is a week from today and the parades start in January. I am at a loss to explain what Mardi Gras means to New Orleanians. I think it is something like God, family, Mardi Gras.

It was probably October when I started my Rollergirls painting. Faces are one of my favorite topics, so I thought I would paint a crowd behind the skaters. I hit a wall when I felt like it was never-ending. There are 15 people in the crowd, besides the main characters. I don’t know how people paint so small.

So I stopped.

I painted The Kiss. My favorite painting.

The Kiss
The Kiss





Then, I was struck by the sadness of the Holidays for the people who are alone, or broke, or sick. So I painted a holiday painting. I wanted the painting to be generically holiday and express mixed emotions. You will see it again next year on an e-card.

Holiday Card
Holiday Card
Close-up of Card
Close-up of Card

Here it is January, and I am back to Rollergirls.

I put different shades of skin-colors on my palate, aka paper plate, and worked all day on all the faces. I had to keep moving between faces so the paint on the canvas would dry, but my palate would not. Here I was, spritzing my palate with water and going face to face. And face to face.

I started using my charcoal pencils. I have white and black. I thought it would be great to have pencils that worked like charcoal with a fine point, but with lots of colors. I wanted to work on one face until I was happy with it. I started searching on-line.

Ta Da! I already owned the solution. Derwent Intense Pencils.

Derwent Inktense Pencils

These pencils were suggested to me at one time, but I had never used them.

The pencils when dry are like bright, slightly creamy colored pencils. When you brush with water they work like ink and are permanent. When dry you can erase the pencil. I layered the colors before I added water and they mix themselves. I added white to lighten, or lifted the color off with a clean, wet brush.

With these pencils I can finish one face or at least work on one face until I want to move on. I am not tied to a palate of drying paint.


I am about half done with Rollergirls. I am not a fan of sharing unfinished work, but here it is.

Rollergirls in progress

I hope 2016 is a happy and healthy year for all y’all.

Thank you for reading my blog!

All my love,

Gator Girl 

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Life takes over

Hi all y’all!

Here it is September first. I think I am pretty organized, but sometimes I don’t get to my paint brushes.

Sometimes I get to my paint brushes, and I am embellishing giclées, not playing with a new painting.

Sometimes I have a million non-artistic errands.

Sometimes I look up and it is September first.

The painting that I started is Roller Girls. I have some of it blocked out. Here is a glimpse.

Roller Girls, the beginning
Roller Girls, the beginning

I listened to the soundtrack of Whip It, while I was painting. I love that movie. I love Drew Barrymore, too.

Maggie made me a paint brush out of pipe cleaners. It should come in handy. It is adjustable.

Paint Brush

One of my favorite topics about Cuba is the Medical program. Cuba will train American doctors at no cost to the USA or the students. The students are given free room and board with all of their meals prepared for them, their basic medical supplies, and basic toiletries. They are even given a stipend in their last two years when they are most valuable as a resource.

I saw 4 recent US graduates from Cuba’s six-year training program discuss their experiences. One of the recent graduates is from the 9th ward in New Orleans.

Dr. Gigi Simmons
Dr. Gigi Simmons

I will tell you the highlights of the medical program, as I remember them.

The program is taught in Spanish. Most people go to Cuba without any Spanish. The first semester is Spanish immersion. All of the exams are oral, which teaches the potential doctors to think on their feet. When they are stuck on something, they are told to help each other. They spend a full semester without any equipment so they can learn to diagnose with their 5 senses. As for paying Cuba back, they are told to go home and serve.

Medicine as a public service is just the approach that drew many US graduates to ELAM, (Latin American School of Medicine).

“When I learned about Cuba’s health system—free, universal, and with a focus on public and global health—I knew this is where I wanted to study,” Dr. Veronica Flake of Philadelphia told MEDICC, (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba).

“I came to ELAM because I believe health is a human right, and so does Cuba,” said Dr. Tia Naquel Tucker of Sulphur, Louisiana. (

Before I went to Cuba, I would have thought a Cuban medical degree was inferior to a degree in the US. Now I can’t wait until Dr. Gigi Simmons puts her shingle out.

There is no smooth transition here.

We had a tragedy in our family. Although it is sad, I feel it needs to be said. My nephew passed on August 20th. My sweet darlin’ and I flew to California to be with the family. He was 27. It’s a sad story with a sad ending.

Until next time,

Thank you for being there.

Holding you in my loving thoughts,

Gator Girl