The Journey

Where did the journey to Gator Girl Art begin? Somewhere as the tiniest seed. Maybe a color or a thought. When you protect your heart or get really busy with your life sometimes you forget to pay attention to the road signs. Sometimes a dream takes a few false starts or takes a bit longer to materialize.

Looking back, I catch glimpses of my dream materializing. When I was 6, I painted wearing my French beret. I painted a picture of a dream I had when I was in my 30’s. My seven-year old daughter recognized it as me. The woman was sitting on a curb in front of a parking meter that said, “expired” in the window. I enrolled in painting classes now and then through the years. When I started listening and opening my heart the tiniest little bit, things moved so fast towards my dream, I don’t know what happened first.

Somehow in the rush towards dream realization, I started painting alligators. I was teaching kids with special needs in an elementary school more than full time. I was a long way from a real live alligator, living in central California. At Cosmic Cowgirl’s University, I painted a business plan that involved Brad Pitt, living in New Orleans, and giving back to the community. If you really want to jump-start your dream. If you are ready see it in living color, write it down or paint it. Let me tell you, it works like magic.

After a family vacation to New Orleans one summer, we all decided to move here. We were playing a game at dinner. The game was to pick one word that describes you and one word that describes where you live. My word was bohemian-artist. First, I want to tell you where we were living. We were living in a city that I love. The problem I was having was my word was bohemian-artist and we were all living in Salinas, California. The word for Salinas would have to be Mexican or agriculture. My youngest daughter and husband’s  words were “music”. My son-in-law’s word was “work”. My oldest daughter’s word by default was “mama”.

We developed a three-year plan to move our whole family.  My daughters, baby grand kids, and son-in-law moved first. They took a year to get settled. I retired early at 55. At the end of that school year David and I moved to New Orleans.  Here we are.

Living a dream

that started most recently with an alligator.

5 thoughts on “The Journey

  1. This is real commitment – and the whole family got behind it! Again, I’m so impressed, also with the change in direction at the school in Algiers … =D

  2. Hello Nancy,
    I am reaching out, at the last minute, to invite you as a guest artist at Whale Fest 2018 at Arden Cahill Academy in Gretna. The date is this Friday, March 23rd. Whale Fest is a day of cultural learning for our school community where artists, musicians, authors, chefs, Mardi Gras indians, Louisiana conservationists and more from the New Orleans and Louisiana area come and spend the day with our students in a “Jazz Fest” style setting.
    Unfortunately, we had an artist cancel last evening leaving us with a space in the festival schedule.
    We would love for you to share your art, inspiration, technique, experience at galleries, etc. with our students. Anything you wish to sell would be great. At times, artists sell an original as well. If your availability allows, I would like to discuss Whale Fest with you in further detail. Thank you.
    Beth Mastio
    (504) 952-9794

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