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Lulu White, Storyville Madame

Hi all y’all!

I had an idea to paint mug shots of Storyville prostitutes. I painted Lulu White and enjoyed painting her. She was arrested many times for all manner of things to do with her brothel. She was the madame of Mahogany Hall.

Operating an Immoral house

Let me backtrack with the assumption you might not be up on New Orleans history. I am not patient with a lot of details, but I will give it a try.

Storyville was a part of New Orleans, lakeside of Basin Street, between 1897 and 1917 where it was legal to be a prostitute and run a brothel. Prostitution was so legal they had a Blue Book advertising what the different girls offered. Mahogany Hall was an upscale brothel, boasting of Octoroon (1/8th black) prostitutes.

Mahogany Hall is the first building on the right.
Mahogany Hall was the first building on the right.

Lulu seemed like a outgoing, self-made, woman. She was born of two slaves in Alabama, but re-invented herself. She told people she was born in the Caribbean.

Even though I love portraits and I love to paint women, mugshots are a little bit sad. A child born into slavery is also sad.  I am going to paint a prostitute or two from Storyville, because the women are beautiful, but I don’t think my heart can manage more than that. On the other hand, I don’t want these women to be forgotten.

Lulu White

This is Lulu White in 1920. It is a mugshot from one of her many arrests. I painted her with acrylic paint and charcoal pencil on 11 x 14 inch canvas. Her shawl was made with Liquitex Gloss Gel and a stencil. I put the gel on with a pallet knife through the holes in the stencil, lifting off the stencil carefully. Then, I let it dry over night. I painted the shawl with blue, orange and gold. (You can always message me for specific colors or more information in general.)

Lulu’s necklace is made to resemble clear glass beads, popular in the 1920’s.

I think she looks sad and annoyed.

Mahogany Hall Stomp for you, Miss Lulu.

Until next time,

Adoringly,

Gator Girl

 

 

 

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A Vlog in a Blog or Epoxy Resin Arty Table Top

Hi all y’all!

I made a pretty cool table top and I made a video of the process.

I have been thinking about editing videos for a long time. I like to watch instructional videos, so I bet you do, too.

This is my first attempt.

Here are the links to the things I found while making the table top that really work well. They are both on Amazon.

Foneso Tri-Pod

Foneso Tri-Pod/ Selfie Stick is 21.99 Prime Shipping. It holds my phone easily and securely. It also holds a Go Pro. it has a remote control.

Epoxy-Resin

Clear Epoxy Resin is 59.99 plus 9.49 shipping. This is a good price for a gallon. It costs more at Home Depot. 92% of the Amazon reviews give it 5 stars. I give it 5 stars. It has good directions and dries as clear and hard as glass. Measure carefully and keep the area as free from dust, hair and bugs as possible. Use a drop cloth.

The dragonfly painting is mine. The tiles are left over from a kitchen re-model.

With a loving heart,

Gator Girl

TheKiss 4

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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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The Whimmsey Shoppe Opening

Hi all y’all!

The Whimmsey Shoppe is at 828 Rutland Street in Covington, Louisana.  Covington is an artsy town across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans.

Pontchartrain Causeway
Pontchartrain Causeway

Cool fact. The bridge is 24 miles long. It is the longest bridge over water in the world.

The Whimmsey Shoppe will be open starting November 1. The hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11-7 and Sunday 12-4.

The owner is Kathleen Peterson.

Kathleen and me
Kathleen and me

We just met and you can already tell we are BFF’s.

Cool fact #2: Our birthdays are 4 days apart and our favorite color is green.

This is the place where art meets antiques. Gator Girl Art is here with prints, giclee’s and original works of art. In downtown Covington there is no sales tax on original art. Win/Win.

Kathleen finds great stuff and makes it better. She has lots of mid-century furniture and cool new items. This can be your one stop shopping for eclectic gifts.

I hope you do everyone a favor and stop by.

With holiday cheer and unbridled optimism,

Gator Girl
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After the festival (a re-hash)

Hi all y’all!

In New Orleans, when we aren’t talking about our next meal, we’re talking about the weather. FYI, my next meal is coming from Juan’s Flying Burrito and the weather has been gorgeous for two weeks straight. 80’s, sunny and dry. My favorite weather is dry in the day and raining all night, but not when I am leaving my art all night in a tent on the bayou.

Duke, my sort of brother-in-law took some fabulous photos of Bayou Boogaloo. I think this will be a photo essay. I will include information for first time festers, which I am not one of. (Thankfully.)

Gator Girl Art had exposure to the public. Lots of people came out. I sold a little over $1,000. My expenses were a little over a thousand dollars. I almost broke even. Yes, I would have liked to make some money. No, I am not giving up.

I signed up for Blues and Barbecue taking place in Lafayette Square in October. Jazz and Heritage will tell me soon if I have been accepted. You will be the first to know.

Walking to New Orleans seemed to be the crowd favorite.

Walking to New Orleans
Walking to New Orleans

My sort of brother-in-law bought it. Thank you, Duke.

In New Orleans, if you are selling in an arts district, there is no city or state tax on original art. The tax I had to pay is only on the $200 I made selling prints… $8. That’s cool, right?

I decided some things for the next festival. I am going to buy nice, white, mesh sides for my tent. They will be easier to transport and look professional. I am going to paint some smaller originals. I like originals better than prints. People who have a small space or limited finances will be able to buy an original. I am only going to take my originals and one size prints.

I made these cool presentation binders. One binder has all of my originals that are still for sale. One binder has all originals already in collections. I filled the binders with 8 x 10 prints. On the facing page is their story. I am going to take along the binders.

This has been an important week for Maggie. She graduated from kindergarten and turned 6!

Maggie's Celebration
Maggie’s Celebration

I am pretty excited to paint again.

With green, scaly gratitude,

Gator Girl

 

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The art of Jenafer Joy

Hi all y’all,

It has been a while since I posted about an artist that I love. This is a double love, because I love the artist and her art. 

She puts words together like, 

 Life is alive in the place where dreams refining and becoming real, whisper.

She creates art.

Bright Future, by Jenafer Joy
Bright Future, by Jenafer Joy

She offers classes.

Jena offers classes on line.
Jena offers classes on line.

I bet you will fall in love with Jena, too.

 

Looking hopefully into the future.

Lovingly,

Gator Girl

 

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Mostly a cat costume

Hi all y’all!

Happy 3 day weekend!

My intention is to be accepted as a vendor at  The Bayou Boogaloo this May. I am working on a banner. Each letter will be on fabric measuring 8.5 x 11 inches, then sewn on a sturdier fabric, probably the weight of denim, so the letters will hang nicely. Lastly, embellished and strung like prayer flags.

10 flags.

GATOR GIRL ART. “Art” will be on one flag.

The space is 10 feet across. I am going to buy a 10 x 10 white easy-up.

The beginning of "G"
The beginning of “G”

I printed the G on material; but it is still in progress.

While I was playing with the banner, Maggie came by with some plans of her own. Literally.

costume plans
costume plans

We are all having a going away barbecue on Monday for some friends who are moving to Hawaii. Maggie wanted her cat to have a party outfit. (Sorry about the shadows.) Maggie chose the purple outfit, but in a different color.

the outfit
the outfit

Maggie did the cutting and sewed the grey ribbons on by hand.

shoes
shoes
The cat sans the shoes
The cat  

Lacey was willing to wear the cape, but did not cooperate with the shoes.

I am working on two paintings. I need a little time with the turtle and pelican.

And I am waiting for supplies to complete my Pussyfooters painting.  I ordered a brighter orange acrylic, some small brushes, and Liquitex paint pens. The Pussyfooters volunteer all year, but the season picks up speed in the fall. Practices start next week. I am Pussyfooting in Southern Decadence tomorrow. I haven’t been to their parade before, but it sounds like fun.

Until next time,

With unending love,

Gator Girl