Posted in Uncategorized

Flowers in a family frame

Hi all y’all!

Here we are 33 days until the presidential election and in a pandemic. Who knew? On the brighter side, the weather is beginning to feel like Fall.

I have had a difficult time painting. I have several theories about this.

  1. I was burned out from the Children’s Hospital paintings.
  2. It is hard to find inspiration in Netflix.
  3. I was thinking I needed extra rest from the stress of Covid, but maybe it was really hot out and I am a bit lazy.

I usually paint people. I love how the face emerges. I like painting skin tones. I feel like faces tell a story.

Our family had a mirror that was about 100 years old. It fell off of the wall and broke. The frame broke, too. I loved the wood and it was very hard for me to paint over the beautiful wood, but I had no choice as I could see it. My daughter Katy cut a piece of 1/4 inch plywood to fit inside. Then it got tricky.

I painted this bouquet of flowers sooo many times. I only have two photos. I never thought I would finish it or blog about it.

You can see the wood frame next to the painting. I attached the broken pieces with wood putty and sanded it the best that I could with my dremel tool. I couldn’t stand this layout. There were too many colors. I thought my flowers should look like real flowers and that isn’t how I paint.

I asked my daughters and their wives what they thought a good background would be. I got so many ideas. A window, mercury glass with the flowers reflecting, stained glass because of the shape of the frame, a bright contrasting color, Katy’s face. I went with solid black just like I began. The table cloth is suppose to look like lace using some of the yellow from the sunflowers.

Finally, I like it.

I see that I need to make the stems darker on the baby’s breath. I painted this for our new house, so maybe our current house will sell now.

This is my original inspiration. I have liked this painting since I was a child. My mom painted this when she was in high school about 1936.

Maybe I can paint again now. Wish me luck.

Sincerely,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

A New Table Top

Hi all y’all!

I imagine you have a range of emotions staying home all of the time now. I have been practicing sheltering in place my whole life and even I have hard days. There is so much going on in the news. I still am trying to wrap my head around this virus being global. It makes the world seem so small.

I did something I really enjoy. It is for my daughter and her partner’s house. They asked for an oleander table top for their house a few months ago. I was in the middle of the hospital art at the time.

I am going to tell you how I made it, because it was fun.

The women brought me a round table top from the big construction store. It is about 23 inches across.

I painted it with black gesso. While the gesso was wet, I swirled this tool into the top all around the edge about 6 inches in. I use this same tool for Prince’s afro. (With Prince, I dabbed not swirled.)

Swirling tool

Then I painted green lightly on top, so the black was slightly visible. I painted blueish teal in the center and a little bit on the edge. I thought the blue would go with their porch ceiling of sky blue.

Oleander Table Edge

Next I looked at a photo of Van Gogh’s Oleander painting. I painted the leaves from that photo. I started to paint his pink flowers, but stopped half way through to ask for a photo of their oleander tree. Luckily, I didn’t go too far with the flowers, because their tree has white flowers.

Oleander Table

I liked the flowers, but didn’t love them. I ordered some encaustic wax from a company in New Jersey called R and F that makes it by hand. I only ordered from there because it was sold out everywhere. It turned out to be good, because the block of white wax was huge for $20. I cut a piece off and put it in my empty Hot Cakes tin to heat. I could fill 4 Hot Cakes tins with the block of wax.

I used Art ‘n Glow resin because I didn’t see my usual brand. I got it on Amazon for $25 for two 8 oz bottles. It was the perfect amount for the table top. I bought back up incase it wasn’t enough. Small containers are better if you don’t use resin very often. After you open the resin, you should use it in a few months. I liked this brand. It seemed like it had fewer bubbles… hardly any.

Art 'n Glow

That’s it. It isn’t perfect because it is handmade. I am OK with that. It is still beautiful (just like you).

Love in the time of Corona,

Gator Girl

Posted in Children's Hospital, Uncategorized

Last 10 paintings for the Children’s Hospital

Hi all y’all!

I am so pleased to share with you the last 10 paintings commissioned by the Children’s Hospital. I wish I kept up with my Etsy shop and my blog through this commission endeavor.

Luckily, I received a nice camera for my birthday in December. I watched some videos on YouTube to learn how to use it. I captured photos of most of the paintings that I still had at my house in 2020. Up until now I took all of my paintings to a professional photographer. The turn around was too fast to make an appointment a month or two out. I painted about one painting a month prior to doing this job. I painted 30 paintings in 6 months or 5 a month. I am a slow painter, so I painted pretty much every day until I was tired.

Here they are…

Alligator with hot cocoa

Alligator with Cocoa

Cat and Mouse Original 2

Cat and Mouse

Lawn Party Continued

Lawn Party Continues. Featuring a toddler alligator.

Pig Original High Res

Pig in cape.

Lawn Party Original High ResLawn Party

Shotgun House Original

Shotgun House

Unicorn

Unicorn

giraffeGiraffe

elephant Original

Elephant

Daydreaming

Day Dreaming

I have prints of the Uptown Rabbit and Manatee. I will be ordering more prints, but I am not sure what yet. I am partial to the giraffe. I like the pink color in the elephant painting. It was a mixture of bubblegum pink ink and paint. I also like the yellow striped wall paper.

Happy Friday! I hope you are content sheltering in place.

Adoringly,

Gator Girl

 

 

Posted in Children's Hospital, Uncategorized

Ten More Paintings

Hi all y’all!

I have completed twenty paintings for the Children’s Hospital!

The process of these ten paintings (11-20) have been a balance between what I want to paint and what I think the committee will like. I felt pretty sure of myself while painting the first 10. Then, some of the paintings were returned. That had never happened to me before. Originally, I was asked to paint diverse people and happy paintings. When the paintings were returned, I was asked to change the skin color on all of the children that I painted to rainbow colors. I tried to do this to make everyone happy. I changed some of the paintings, but it wasn’t feeling like my art.

I am feeling a little insecure and that makes it harder to paint. For the last 10, I need to paint what I want within the new parameters and not stress about it. So far, I painted a shotgun house and am working on a rainbow colored tween. I started to miss painting faces so much.

Here are 8 of the next ten. I accidentally erased Einstein Alpaca and The Bee. I especially liked the alpaca.

The manatee is my favorite! 

 

Warmest Regards,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

Functional Art

Hi all y’all!

I have to say, I do miss the California coast when it is in the humid high 90’s in September in New Orleans… no rain in sight.

The porch table at the camp is finally damaged so much that we need a table cloth to play cards. I had a piece of wood left over from a project that is too heavy to hang on the wall. It was just the right size to replace the damaged table.

This is an aerial view of our camp on the Pearl River.

Here are the stages of the painting…

I sealed the new table top twice with Marine Coat. We are going to clamp it on with liquid nails.

The river is changing course and taking lots of our bank. I am still hopeful that someone will buy the camp and move the cabins back before they fall in the river. It is really lovely there. The cabins are adorable.

We buried St. Joseph upside down, facing the cabins. I was sure this would do the trick and sell the camp. Maybe it will.

I am back to painting wall art. On the 18 x 36″ canvas right now is the beginning of a dog with a chicken on it’s head. One of my favorite themes is an animal riding on an animal. I don’t know why.

I hope wherever you live you are safe from climate change. I hope you are enjoying your life. I hope the best is yet to come.

Hopefully yours,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

I love resin. Me encanta Puerto Rico.

Hi all y’all!

I love resin!

I have been back to my encaustic and resin combo. Encaustic art has been around for thousands of years. There are so many ways to do it. I tried to look for a video to show you, but it was too hard to narrow it down. Encaustic is painting with wax and fusing the wax with heat. I am a beginner. First I paint the subject and background with acrylic paints. For the wax painting, I use an electric skillet, encaustic wax, paint brushes and a heat gun. The tricky part is getting the wax down before it cools. It takes a little more patience than I have.

I was very happy with my magnolia countertop, so I thought I would try a crab. The crab was a little less forgiving than a flower. The crab needed me to stay in the lines.

I like encaustic painting, but I love it after a resin pour. It looks so shiny and 3D.

This is my crab in the middle of my wax painting.

You can see the layers of wax build up.

This is after the resin pour.

It is hard to show resin on the computer. Trust me, it is smooth and shiny now.

I also did a small magnolia.

This magnolia was the prototype for my counter top. I let the edges get a little more melty than the crabs edges.

Me encanta Puerto Rico

My daughter’s significant other is working in Puerto Rico. She invited us to share their Air BnB in Old San Juan. We were lucky to see the beginning of the demonstration to remove the governor. There was lots of banging of pots and pans and lots of singing. It was an every night, growing, demonstration… much louder and more persistent than I’ve witnessed in the states. The protestors were nice people.

The first photo is the beginning of the tear gas. The second photo is tear gas and small fires in the street. The third photo is the clean up in the morning. By 9:00 am you couldn’t see any sign of the demonstration. All of the graffiti was painted over and the street was washed clean.

Their corrupt governor was removed. Power to the people.

July looks so exciting.

My best to you all. Loving wishes for whatever you are dreaming.

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

Small Plate

Hi all y’all!

The heat index is well over 100 degrees today. I’m trying to stay hydrated and indoors. I finished my blue crab painting today. David took the photo at our Mother’s Day crab boil. I added the plate and table cloth. This one has already been dinner.

This painting was only suppose to be practice for my encaustic crab. It turns out that I like it quite a bit. I put some embellishments on the plate with molding paste. I thought it would give the painting some texture and interest. I think I could have used just paint.

It is kind of fun to add molding paste. While it is wet, you can just scrape it off with a credit card or pallet knife. After it dries, it is hard as nails.

I like this version of the painting, too. I almost left it blocked out. I am happy I added the plate shadows and the table cloth. I stenciled the table cloth on with just paint.

This is the final painting.

I hope this summer finds you well. Try to stay cool. It’s OK to rest and take some time for yourself however you can manage that.

Love to everyone,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

My Queen, a Wedding Gift

Hi y’all!

I hope this blog finds you well.

We have been fixing up my daughter and her fiancée’s back yard because people are coming into town for their wedding in a couple of weeks. They asked me to make a new table top for an old iron table. I love to paint furniture. And I extra love using resin. It makes everything so shiny and hard. My beer garden table that I resined two years ago still looks good in impossible Louisiana weather. The only downside of resin is the weight. It gets especially heavy if you try to encapsulate something, even glitter, that requires more than one pour.

They let me paint anything I wanted. That is my best kind of commission. I painted two birds that look like Katy and Gen. I put crowns on both of the women so they could both be queens. I took the photo before I poured the resin, because resin has too much reflection. The finished table is much shinier. 

Someone is reading the poem, The Queen, by Pablo Neruda at the wedding. It is a beautiful poem. That is why the birds are queens.

I hope they like it. 

My unending love,  

Gator Girl

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Her Halo

Hi all y’all!

I was recently inspired by the words of Reda Rackley. I don’t know Reda in person. We are Facebook friends. She is also and artist. She wrote, “She took off her halo and wore it as a necklace.”

I have permission to use Reda’s words in my art.

I might have painted her too quickly because I felt I had to get her down on canvas. She reminds me of the recently elected women to Congress. I was also thinking of the powerful women’s march this year. That was before it was cancelled in New Orleans.

I like her urban-ness, her basic black, her deadpan stare. Her halo looks like glittery barbed wire.

She is not listed for sale anywhere. I will send her to you for $200 + shipping if you would like to have her around to inspire you in these tenuous times.
She is 16 x 20 inches, acrylic, glitter, varnish on canvas. You can email me at gatorgirlart@gmail.com.

Remember history like your life depends on it.

In strength and numbers,

Gator Girl

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Yemaya

Hi all y’all!

This is my most recent painting. Yemaya, Goddess of the Ocean and the New Year. Click on the link and read all about her.

The Pussyfooters were invited to a Second Line  and ceremony for Yemaya about 2 months ago (Fresh Johnson narrates the Second Line video and is a Pussyfooter). This was the first I had heard of Yemaya. We raised money by selling raffle tickets. It was the kind of raffle where you split the pot. Part of the money went for our police escort. You need to have a permit and police to close the streets for the Second Line. Part of the money went for the brass band. Part of the money went for women in Orleans Parish Prison who cannot post bail. Sometimes a woman is sent to the prison because of a traffic ticket that she cannot pay. She doesn’t have any money for bail, her kids are put in foster care, she loses her job, and she waits. Part of the money goes to the lucky winner whose name is drawn. In this case the lucky winner put her winnings in with the bail money. We raised $800.

We had a Second Line to the river where the leader said a beautiful prayer to Yemaya and made offerings of fruit. Eli Mergel took photos.

I wanted to paint Yemaya immediately. I love to paint women. I also like a goddess. I am donating the original painting to the raffle table at Blush Ball. Blush Ball is where the Pussyfooters raise the most money. Anyone can go to the Blush Ball. It costs $40 or $60 a ticket. With the $60 ticket you get in an hour early and drink for free for that hour. It is really fun. The Pussyfooters perform. There is a band and a DJ. And a raffle table where you will find an original Yemaya.

FYI, the Pussyfooters raise money all year for women and children. We usually raise between $20,000 and $30,000 in the year.

That took a lot of words to share my painting. I hope you like her.

Sincerely trying my best,

Gator Girl