Hi all y’all!
Happy Mardi Gras! The first uptown parade is today!
This is me on the front page of the Times-Picayune! (I must be excited because I already used 3 exclamation marks.) The Pussyfooters were the first women’s dance troupe. We started in 2001. My favorite parts about being a Pussyfooter, aside from becoming famous, are that I dance for women who can’t and we raise money every year for the Metropolitan Center for women and children. This year we raised $38,000.
Page 5 of the book is Poppee.
He is grandpa to the baby.
In the painting are some New Orleans icons. On the shelf behind Poppee are cups from . Coffee with chicory and beignets are often the first stop in the French Quarter for visitors to our city. It is open 24 hours.
He is stirring a pot of gumbo and holding a gumbo bowl, with a smaller pot for white rice on the other burner. Next to the stove top are an onion, green bell pepper, and celery. These three vegetables are called the Holy Trinity. The trinity is in most New Orleans dishes… jambalya, étouffée, gumbo…
I wanted to capture the love in Poppee’s expression when baby walks into the room. I like the repeating rectangle pattern in the basket and bricks. I was going to paint Poppee’s shirt in a check print, but thought that would be too distracting. (I still want to.) My favorite parts of the painting are the cups and the trinity.
Poppee is the last of the human characters in the book. You have met them all now.
In lewdness and proudness,
Hi all y’all!
Here is page 4. Tia is Spanish for aunt. Maybe it is her first name, too? Tia is the baby’s aunt. That’s what I know for sure.
I think baby takes after momma in coloring, but I see Tia in her face.
Tia is listening to music in the kitchen. I did want to make sure Tia wasn’t dancing with the mop or ironing. Even though those stereotypes are etched in my brain, I am trying to break free. She just stopped by the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Probably one of the men took care of that other stuff.
I put in my favorite laminate table from the 1950’s. Baby is too short to see the top of the table, so I put the table top design that I wanted to paint on the cup. You can see the same magnolia bead tree from the garden out the window.
The New Orleans things on this page are only the bead tree and music. The window and the paint color are also typical New Orleans.
I try to keep the family to a moderate income. That’s why the table is her grandma’s and her headphones have a cord.
The painting part is straight forward. When the picture needs some very small details, I use a paint pen or intense pencils. Often I go over this with a brush. I liked the tree better when it was bright green, but I thought there needed to be glass in the window. I mixed a half drop of Golden Titanium White into some matte varnish. I painted the window panes 2 or 3 times with this mixture. I think it looks a little wavy like old glass.
Page five is coming soon!
Love too you all,
Hi all y’all!
Here we are… President Obama’s last day as president. It does feel momentous.
I am writing here today to share page 3 of the book I am illustrating. If I seem cryptic about the book, it is because it is mostly top secret. So far, we have Baby, Momma, and Pop. I will be starting Tía soon.
I relaxed slightly while painting Pop. I am about as nervous as if I was creating a commissioned painting now.
Pop is watching a New Orleans Pelicans game. I wanted to give him cigarettes or a beer, but this is a children’s book.
Framed on the wall is Gator Girl’s painting of Swamp Girl. Swamp Girl is also the first page in the book Maggie Pokorn and I are co-writing.
Next to Swamp Girl are Silent Chimes, by the local artist Kat Ryalls. I received, by request, Silent Chimes for Christmas. They look amazing on my bedroom wall. I don’t do them justice here.
This house looks so much like my house.
Stay tuned. There are 19 pages. Pretty soon I imagine my non-painting life will slow down enough to paint maybe 3 pages a month.
Thanks for reading!