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Making Amends

Good Afternoon all y’all,

It is almost August, if you can believe it. Exactly two weeks until our Gator Girl Art and Friends of Samuel Square Party. If you are in or around New Orleans, I hope you come by.

Angela and I sent our application in for a huge grant to improve Samuel Square. I have a good feeling about it. It is for $75,000 and their decision is between two parks. It might be good if you picture us at the ribbon cutting of the new playground.

Today, I am going to share the finished Making Amends. I chose the name because those were the words that refused to be covered.

Making Amends Completed

I oiled and varnished the frame. I like the rich brown color. The wood is the top half of a door. The top hinge is still on the right. I couldn’t decide why the painting wasn’t finished for a while. Then I put the sun further back and voilà.

Close up of her face.

I feel like I know her.

Close up of her baby.

I think he is going to do something special for the world.

I am getting some giclee’s made, framing a print, making a menu. It is exciting to have a party. My Aunt Grace is coming with three of her childhood girlfriends, so I already know it will be fun.

Until later,

You are always in my heart,

Gator Girl

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Open House


Hi all y’all!

You are invited to our house. So please mark your calendar. It will be a perfect night for some good food and good friends.

The Front of the Invitation

You will see what is new at Gator Girl Art.

10% of all sales go to NOLA Groundswell to renew parks and green spaces in New Orleans.

Currently, we are raising money and awareness for Samuel Square Park.

Expect to:

eat great food,

have sparkling conversations,

drink a variety of beverages,

bring your kids.

2317 General Pershing Street

August 11, 6:00 pm

My youngest daughter, Katy, will be here from California. Antonia will be visiting from Austria. This seems like the perfect time to have a party.

Update on NOLA Groundswell. We met with some people from All State on Friday at Samuel Square Park. This is a picture of me picking up the application from. I have a good feeling about our chances.

That’s me talking about our grant possibility.
This is Angela talking with the people from NORD and All State.

The meeting was scheduled at the exact time a huge rain storm was coming through New Orleans from the Northshore. I think that is why many of the people coming to support us didn’t come.

Why I think people decided not to meet us at the park Friday.

One of the really great things about New Orleans is that people use their initiative to make things better  for everyone. When Angela and I decided to improve the park we found several organizations that are interested in working with us. This is all very exciting.

I hope to see y’all on August 11th. I am testing out some mini pecan tarts today.

With an Open and Optimistic Heart,

Gator Girl


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Art is 99% Heart

Good morning all y’all!

Rain is dripping off the tin roof outside my window. I love that. I heard recently that if you say out loud something you love about someone, something, or some situation thoughout the day, your life will change dramatically for the better. It makes sense to me. Which brings to mind that I love all y’all reading my blog. It warms my heart.

I wish I could share my completed process of my painting, but I think I am 60% done.

Beginning Intention

The words say: making amends for the brutality of the human race, sending love, praying for a brighter future for all people. She is painted on a thin canvas nailed to the top half of a door with square nails repurposed from old shutters.

The woman is young, holding her baby in front of the house she lives in. Her baby is wrapped like a cocoon. She is either working for no or little money. Her hope is for her baby’s future. This woman is of African decent living in America. The painting is for all people in this situation in all the world.

60ish Percent Complete

The woman and the story that the painting is telling unfolded for me. I feel like if I went back in time, and ran into this woman, I would know her. The painting is a little unusual, because it is divided completely in half, with the young mother standing on the line. I painted the woman and waited for what was going to be in her arms. The baby showed up in a cocoon wrap.

I didn’t know what was going to be in the upper right corner and Miss Maggie said that sunflowers need sun. I painted the hot, African, or maybe Louisiana sun. The dots represent souls. Maybe they are supporting her journey, maybe they are waiting to be born, maybe both.

Mags wasn’t happy with the darkness of the cotton field and repeatedly suggested pink flowers and butterflies to lighten it up. I stopped and explained that not to long ago, as crazy as it may seem, the people with darker skin, right here in America had to work for free for the people with lighter skin. My painting is telling that story. She said, “Oh, just like the Pharaoh!” then she broke into a song… let my people go… no, no, no. She got it.

Next week, I will post the completed piece.

One of the interesting things that happened while painting…the words making amends could not be covered with 10 coats of all colors of paint. Maybe this is the name of the painting?

For the exciting update on our park project, please visit

We have a Facebook page called, Friends of Samuel Square Park. Please “like” it.

Keep doing what you love,

and remember to pour your heart into it.

With unreasonable love,

Gator Girl


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Blue Dog Camp

Hi all y’all!

Summer is sure heating up. Record highs in so many places. I am on a road trip to Memphis. It is an extremely cool town, but I don’t have a travel blog, so I am sharing Maggie’s Blue Dog Art Camp adventure.

Maggie had an opportunity to go to a super well-staffed art camp put on by the Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts. Her class had about seven 3-4 year olds. She had so much fun and learned about different media and techniques.

Maggie coloring an alligator.

I sat in the class one day to see how they ran things, secretly hoping George Rodrigue would pop in.

Maggie’s Class on the last day.

Next year, Raffi can apply.

Resort Life in Uptown New Orleans

I like the grittiness of city life. Kids don’t get too soft or entitled when they only have 8 feet until the sidewalk.

NOLA Groundswell, our non-profit set up to rebuild the parks and green spaces in New Orleans, received an email from the New Orleans Recreational District last week. Samuel Square Park might be chosen for a big grant! I envision a refreshing water area where the kids can play, accessibility for everyone, cool climbing structures, drinking fountains… Dream big if you are going to dream. Why not?

Last, but not least, we are combining a Gator Girl Art Open House with a Nola Groundswell Party in early August. Antonia, a guest from Austria, is a video blogger. She is going to capture the evening on video. Sometimes dreams are bigger than I even dreamed possible.

Until next week,

Take care and stay cool. If you can’t’ stay cool, drink some water.

Unending love,

Gator Girl