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Back Street Museum

Hi all y’all!

Welcome to the dog days of summer. It is hot in New Orleans in August.

I finished Magnolia. Magnolia is blending with the tree by the same name. If you look closely, she has little dots on her tissue crown and in the iris of her eyes, representing the seeds in the magnolia blossom. She is glistening a little from the August heat. She is in the middle of being framed in a dark green recycled screen door. I want to get a photo before I frame her. The magnificent Dorka is back in New Orleans and available to photograph this week!

Magnolia
Magnolia

I started a fun painting inspired by the Waterbeams and their advertisement for new members. I already like the woman on the right edging away from the blissful gator.

Synchro Swim Accepting New Members
Synchro Swim Accepting New Members

I am ready to bead the Mardi Gras Indian. I have some apprehension, because I don’t want to make a mistake. I looked at some photos my sweet darlin’ took on Super Sunday last Mardi Gras.

Super Sunday 2013
Super Sunday 2013
Mardi Gras Indian Children
Mardi Gras Indian Children

I looked at many photos on-line. I went to Jefferson Variety to buy gems, beads and talk to the helpful staff. The women showed me photos and told me what they knew about costuming. I talked to a Mardi Gras Indian buying sequins for her costume. She told me that Downtown Indians use more sequins and pin feathers and Uptown Indians used more beads, gems and plume feathers. Now I really didn’t want to blow it.

From there, I was directed to the Backstreet Cultural Museum. I looked at the costumes closely and took my time. It is OK to take pictures at the museum. Here are two. Notice on the first photo, there are sequins, beads and gems.

Detail of suit
Detail of suit

In this example, the scene is entirely beaded.

Details of suit
Details of suit

At the Backstreet Cultural Museum, I learned the only rule is to start fresh every year. You are not allowed to use part of last years costume.

In my painting, I am going to sew beads, sequins and gems on the parts of the costume that are pinkish red. I cannot sew on the very bottom because of the wood bracing in the back. I am not sure what I am doing there yet.

Mardi Gras Indian in progress
Mardi Gras Indian in progress

I have also been making necklaces of my art. I will share that next time.

I appreciate all your support. Thank you for reading my blog.

Ever grateful,

Gator Girl

 

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Gator on the Go

Hi all y’all,

This gator is headed to New York City.

My sweet darlin’ and I have not been away for our anniversary for a while. We decided to go big. Not Europe big, but definitely USA big.

I don’t know if other New Orleanians feel like this, but it is always hard to leave New Orleans even if the destination is fabulous.

There is so much to miss here.

Somewhere around the middle of July, I will be a full-time artist again. Right now, I am only painting enough to keep a small hold on my sanity.

Crow Questioning the Moon is almost complete. I just need to put the wire on the back and varnish it. This painting is small. 12 x 16 inches.

Crow Questioning the Moon
Crow Questioning the Moon

I am not happy with Joan of Arc yet. I think I know where it is going, so I am sticking with it. I planned to paint Joan in her father’s garden hearing the angel for the first time. Then the flames came to mind, lots of red, and words like courage, loyalty and strength.

The painting looks like heaven and hell with the flames and the cross. I like the linen dress that I made out of my grandmother’s table-cloth. I like her up-turned eyes with the sky reflecting in them.

I need to soften the sky, her nose and her chin. The cross is a combination of a sword and cross. This combination seems like too much detail. If I add more orange to the flames or green to the sky the colors will compliment each other better.

Maybe I wanted to paint her for the wrong reasons. I started painting Joan because I like to paint women and I like to paint New Orleans themes. I am not in love with leading soldiers to war. I am not sure I love Joan. I don’t like to judge, but was she crazy?

Joan of Arc in progress
Joan of Arc in progress

The light pink areas on the Mardi Gras Indian will have sequins. I bought a variety of sequins to sew on the canvas. I have to finish the painting first. I feel like he is almost done, except for brightening the feathers. I painted a combination of 1/3 lime green acrylic paint with 2/3’s varnish on some of the feathers. I just need to do more of something like that.

Mardi Gras Indian, in progress
Mardi Gras Indian, in progress

The Indian painted himself. I felt like I just uncovered him.

Mardi Gras Indian, in progress, close up
Mardi Gras Indian, in progress, close up

… back to painting Joan.

I wish for you a wonderful summer.

I wish for water in the drought.

I wish ease for the people in crisis.

unending love,

Gator Girl 
 
(Click on the words “Gator Girl” for my website.)
 
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