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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

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Dirty Linen Night

Hi all y’all!

Lulu White has been selected to be in the gallery at 1901 Royal Street for Dirty Linen Night.

Dirty Linen Night is a “… less fashion-conscious alternative to the city’s biggest art party, White Linen Night, which takes place a week earlier in the warehouse arts district.” (NOLA.com)

I am super excited to be in the gallery on Dirty Linen Night. Last year, 10,000 people attended.

Fairer_Sex_II_Invite

I have an idea to paint this prostitute of Storyville leaning against the window frame, inside a reclaimed window frame. I am using a window screen, because the wood is lighter.

This is the beginning.

Stoyville Woman in Progress

This is two steps backwards. I painted areas of black, gold and yellow ochre on the background. I wanted depth and a little intrigue, but not distraction. I added puddles of rubbing alcohol to disperse the paint and lend mystery.

I used this technique on Shotgun Angel for the starry sky. Because this painting is on birch plywood, it ran onto the woman, especially her face. When I wiped the alcohol off of her face, it pulled all of the paint off, down to the original black gesso. (Sorry, no photo)Storyville Alcohol DamageI am repairing and repainting. The repair is a layer of white gesso. Then light sanding to make it smooth.

Wood is a more difficult substrate to paint on. The paint sits on top of the wood, so I can’t be wild with the strokes.

Speaking of Dirty Linen, there is this…

Walt Handelsman's Dukkke

Walt Handelsman‘s cartoon.

People often tell me that I sound so happy. This will balance that a little. David Duke is running for Senate from Louisiana. Lord help us.

Here in New Orleans, it is the last days of summer. Teachers in the parish where my daughter and sweet darlin’ teach go back to work on Wednesday.

Hate to see summer end.

Already reminiscent,

Gator Girl

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They didn’t know.

Hi all y’all,

Today, I am combining my blog and Mardi Gras celebrations. Don’t you think one of the hardest things is to balance? Like balancing work and play, me-time and family, king cake and exercise. From the minute I wake up it is a puzzle to see what I can fit into my day. Give and take.

My recent painting has been fun and frustration. It started like this…

Indecision
It started like this. 

Indecision. I added colors that I liked. I was leaning towards an alligator among lily pads. Then I added Jesus on the cross that Maggie drew, a peace symbol, a note from my sweet darlin’, advice from mini Mags, a movie stub, a fortune, cute little deer.  My collage items were all based on love.

Starting Over
Starting Over with a plan

My friend, Rene, posted on Facebook, “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” I Googled it and found out it was an old saying attributed to nobody in particular. It fit perfectly into my strong women theme.

We were seeds. Completed
We were seeds. Completed

I kept very little from the beginning. The colors are still mostly blue and orange. There is a little bird and most of the fortune. I was going to paint a lot of flowers, but the trees looked so strong.

This is what it looks like on the parade route near our house. Only, it will be more crowded tonight.

Our Mardi Gras Crew
Our Mardi Gras Crew

My daughter, Angie, sets this all up for us every day. This year I decided to cook dinner and bring it down to the parade. Tonight is red beans and rice.

This is me as a Pussyfooter.

Gator Girl Mardi Gras '15
Gator Girl Mardi Gras ’15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mardi Gras y’all!

 

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Girl Power

Hi all y’all,

While I am impatiently waiting for a delivery of art supplies, I started a fun painting.

Girl Power in chalk
Girl Power in chalk

I used a free-cycle canvas (the background was already on the canvas) and a photo of Maggie in California for inspiration. I made grid lines with chalk to get an idea of proportion.

Girl Power in progress
Girl Power in progress

I Googled “bubbles” to see how other people painted bubbles. I combined a couple of ideas.

Painting bubbles with cups
Painting bubbles with cups

This idea came from a one minute video that I found on You Tube. I went to Home Depot and bought some spray paint. I went to the grocery and bought some paper cups.

Bubbles in progress
Bubbles in progress

OK…

First, I cut the bottom off of the cups.

2. I sprayed a small amount of silver spray paint in the cup, aiming at one edge.

3. I took that same cup and ran the rim through some white acrylic paint. I used this to make a whiter edge.

4. I didn’t like the whiter edge and muted it with LuminArte’ paint. Now looking at the photos, I think the white edge makes it look more 3 D. I am going to add some white back in. I am also going to add some white highlights where the light is hitting. My highlights are too subtle.

5. I looked at photos of bubbles on Google as a reference and added some colors that were already in the painting. I used LuminArte’ because it is so delicate and luminous.

What is working for me:

the topic, Girl Power

the childhood symbols of bubbles, a marble circle, and hopscotch

the brilliant colors.

I want her hair more flow-y, add shoelaces, and darken some of her features, because the background is so dark.

Incase you are wondering what happened to the other cups…

What happened to the other cups.
What happened to the other cups.

Last weekend at Southern Decadence…

Decadence Parade with Paddy
Decadence Parade with Paddy

It is so easy to make friends in New Orleans.

Until later,

with alligator kisses,

Gator Girl

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Crows on a Wire

Hi all y’all,

The weather is heating up here. It gets really muggy and then the thunder showers start. I love the south unreasonably.

I have some pictures to share today.

Chandelier
Chandelier

I bought this chandelier at an estate sale in the Marigny. The man who died was an old artist. Maggie showed me the chandelier. I told her I was busy and needed to look quickly because there were so many people there buying his treasures. She insisted I come with her and she showed me this chandelier for $25.

I took the bead strings off and soaked them in vinegar for 48 hours, and then in vinegar and dish soap. 60 years of grime floated off. I painted the chandelier with two coats of gold craft paint that I had sitting around. On the underside of the horizontal parts when you look up from underneath, I added brown glitter flakes and gold glitter.

Close up of Chandelier

Close up of Chandelier

I wrapped the candles in washi tape. They came out super nice. You can’t even tell it is washi tape. It cost me $75 to have it installed above my desk. As an added bonus that I didn’t expect, all of those lightbulbs made it much brighter in here.

Maggie and Raffi's dresser for art storage.
Maggie and Raffi’s dresser for art storage.

I bought this dresser at the estate sale, too. It is IKEA and it cost $20. I had some cans of paint from other projects that I wanted to use up. I also wanted the dresser mainly black to go with my mainly black and white studio. The black part is gloss enamel. I love the shine and resilience of enamel.

Maggie's bees
Maggie’s bees

The blue and yellow parts are latex paint. I wanted Maggie’s bees to adhere. She drew the bees with Montana paint pens. The pens are filled with acrylic paint, but are easy to control, like a pen.

Crows on a Wire
Crows on a Wire

I wanted to see what would happen if I painted a wild background with many colors and shapes as the base of my painting.

#2
#2

How much do I cover up of the original painting? I love all the colors, but it is so busy.

#3
#3

The little houses got larger. The crows are dressing up. The tree is turning into a magnolia tree.

Where is this going?

La Femme Fatale at Urban Roots
La Femme Fatale at Urban Roots

This is a picture of one of my paintings at Urban Roots. Counting her Chickens and Bee Love are also there. I love that place.

I worked like crazy this week.

My BFF from California is coming to New Orleans tomorrow. She has never been here before. I am totally excited.

Love to you all,

Gator Girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the garden.

Good Morning all y’all!

Happy June! Today is a picture sharing day.

In the garden.
In the garden.

In the garden is finished. I might frame this, but I also like the purple edge. The girl has her hands full. She is balancing her friend on her head. Girls are creative and strong that way. She doesn’t mind getting her hair a little messed up.

Cathy and Dennis
Cathy and Dennis

Cathy and Dennis sent me this picture from their home in California. It makes me so happy to see them with the painting. (The nasty voice in my head is fearful of buyer’s remorse.) They said that Heidi from Parcels and Post wrapped it so well, it could have traveled around the world.

Cathy wrote…

I call the painting WAITING FOR MOSES.
I love what you said about it in your blog when you were painting her. As I remember you were trying to show her in an unhappy place as a slave who had a hard life picking cotton on a plantation, but with the hope of a brighter future for the baby she is holding. The darker side of the painting clearly says this to me and all the brightness is on the right side as the hoped for future. It fit so perfectly for me as I had read and talked with my 3rd graders over the years of Harriet Tubman that many slaves knew and called Moses for secrecy. They called her Moses because she made numerous trips south to lead her people north to freedom. Plantation owners placed a bounty for her dead or alive.

Thank you, Cathy for liking and buying Moses.

Maggie O'Keefe
Maggie O’Keefe

Maggie’s teacher at the JCC taught the kids so much about art and artists this year.

Apparently, 4 year olds are little sponges.

And the JCC teachers are awesome.

 

Maggie Chagall
Maggie Chagall

 

Maggie said, “I was dreaming that the unicorn and me were looking for a lost toy.

The unicorn was dreaming about going to the grocery.”

Now, what’s new with me… and then I will let you go.

warm colors
warm colors

Acrylic paint dropped on canvas with a lot of water.

warm colors with salt
warm colors with salt

Added Kosher salt. Let dry completely. Brushed off salt into the sink.

 

warm colors with cool blues

warm colors with cool blue

 

Painted intuitively, whimsically, with abandon. I used brushes, my fingers, more water and a little bit of ink.

I don’t know the end version of this painting. I am hoping a crow turns up… a whimsical crow… with a friend.

I have been busy painting a dresser and a chandelier. I will show you next week. They are both going in my studio, so I am just having fun with them.

Wishing you all a fabulous summer,

filled with good luck, happy celebrations, and love.

Gator Girl

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Bee Love

Hi all y’all,

I am playing around here (I mean working) instead of doing housework. I never minded housework before I had so many better things to do. I do believe I was in the minority back then.

I am posting my results of non-stop painting this week.

I love many aspects of Bee Love. I am thinking of painting a series. My husband hates the human-looking face on the bee so much that he actually said the word “hate”. Obviously, some childhood trauma.

I think she is just too adorable to hate. She is definitely a girly girl worker bee. She is wearing a cream-colored vintage plastic bow. The letters are from a fancy set of Pairsinpears. The  black polka dot tape is Washi tape that I bought on Etsy.  She looks a bit like a Pussyfooter Bee with her pink striped leggings and orange hair. She is a hard-working worker bee. She feels she can dress pretty without having aspirations of being queen.

I have been trying out this fun technique. I color with Caran D’Ache watersoluble crayons over dry acrylic paint. Then I mix the crayon in as much as I want with acrylic varnish using a paint brush, making it water proof. Sometimes I leave a little crayon-look and sometimes I blend it completely in. Finally, I seal it two more times.  I like the look and it is just kind of fun to color with crayons.

I just have a bit more shadowing to do on Bee Love.

Stand Up

Stand Up’s Side View

These are the words that are on the front of the painting Stand Up:

When a woman chooses to source her truth

from within her very bones, rather than

looking to a set of rules outside of herself,

she is truly wise.

These are the words typed on the side of the painting:

When she can stand up and speak a truth

that is boiling up inside her no matter how

big a risk it is to speak it, she is claiming her

wild soul, perfect and untamed.

When 5,000 years of conditioning is telling

her that her way is wrong, but she decides

right then and there that her way is right,

and in fact, always has been, she is finally

free.

Kitty Cavalier 2012

An odd thing about the words on the painting… I named the painting Stand Up, tentatively while I was painting. I found the words later in Kitty’s blog. I don’t know if I believe there are no accidents in life, but I do believe in synchronicity if you keep your heart open. 

I have been invited to show my art at Fall for Art in Covington, Louisiana on October 20th. My art and I will be at the Downtown Chic Salon from 6-9pm. My niece, Mandi is the owner/ stylist.

Mandi is on the right of center wearing all black.

Until next week…

My wish for you is your heart’s desire.

lovingly,

Gator Girl