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Don’t Shoot

Hi all y’all,

It is pretty scary being black in America. I only know this through the news and hearing my friends talk. I have never had to have the discussion with my children about what to do if they are stopped by the police. I haven’t had to explain to them that they SHOULD NOT RUN through our neighborhood and to NEVER wear a hoodie.

I am near the top of the entitled group. I would be at the top if I were male. Part of being entitled is not having to think about entitlement. I was never afraid to be stopped by the police. In the handful of times I have been stopped, “I am sorry officer. Did I do something wrong?” was enough to never get out of the car and never get a ticket.

You might wonder why I painted Don’t Shoot. I relate to being a woman who is unsafe. I know what it is like to be afraid. I see black women on the news crying because they are so scared of being pulled over

and I feel sad and angry.

I want racism and misogyny to disappear.

It made me feel better to paint about the problem the same way it made me feel better to participate in the Women’s March on Washington. What can we do besides stand together. Together we are stronger.

Don't-Shoot-1

Don’t Shoot.

The background is red for her anger/ grey for her measured non-response. I gave her a short haircut and urban colors to epitomize her strength. She looks small and powerful. I also opted against long lashes. I didn’t want her to need any of the feminine trappings. She is woman enough as is.

I’ve got your back,

Gator Girl

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Imagine it and you can have it… in the tangible.

Good Morning all y’all!

Either my husband is so sweet or I am risking my marriage to write to you. Time will tell. It is our 28th anniversary today and he helped me to nail on the trim to a dresser that I am reclaiming and now I am blogging about the process.

About 2 weeks ago, I was looking for a dresser on Craig’s List and found the perfect one for $20 in Mid City. I didn’t have a car that day to pick it up. By the time David got home with the car, the dresser was gone. I thought, maybe I will find one closer and less expensive. I didn’t quite believe it. Then… last weekend, our neighbors moved out and put a cheap dresser on the curb. This dresser didn’t have the same quality as the one I saw on-line. But it made me happier, like getting a dog at a shelter happier. This dresser was going straight to a landfill. Besides being cheaply made, it was missing a drawer and the front of a drawer. To me this was perfect. I needed a flat place to store my prints instead of on the top of everything And I always need more general storage.

I painted the top, framed the open drawer with molding from the neighbor’s trash, bought two baskets at Target (exactly 17 inches deep) for a grand total of $30. This total does not include painting with Golden Acrylic paints. I couldn’t wait long enough to buy less expensive paint.

Aerial View of Dresser

I saw the idea for putting baskets in place of the drawers on Pinterest.

Let it be me. In progress.

I am  not quite done with Let it be me. I am going to try something new (to me). I am going to paint melted bees-wax around the woman to soften the background. I tried painting something small with bee’s wax before, but not one of my paintings. Wish me luck. I really operate on a combination of luck and divine intervention.

This painting is representing the moment of surrender. The giving up of self to the greater power. Big step.

I am hoping to heal the world with painting. What are you hoping today?

Sincerely,

With all my heart,

Gator Girl

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Follow Your Heart

Hi all y’all,

Hurricane Isaac is now Tropical Storm Isaac. I was a little too nervous to write before and during the storm. Mostly, I just waited him out. Everyone handles situations differently. My husband went out and cleaned the storm drains on our street when there was a break in the wind. I just waited. My daughter had everyone over for beer and board games because they still had power. I just waited. What was the best thing to do? I guess you have to follow your heart.

While I was waiting, I thought about painting. I worked on this all day yesterday. It is called, “Let it Begin with Me”. Today, I think she may be called, “Follow Your Heart”. I am sure it will all become clear when she is done.

Let it Begin With Me

Big changes during the painting. She started out looking like a white girl in the 70’s and changed to a prayerful                African-American woman. She isn’t finished yet.

Maggie painted along side of me most of the day. She told me when she finishes a painting she always sings a little song. The end of it was… let your imagination sing. 4 years old is such a nice, open age … but not without concerns.

Maggie’s Girl in Progress

Maggie asked for a canvas the same shape as I was working on. I gave her a smaller canvas with the same shape.

Yesterday, Maggie asked me for some advice.

She said, “I have a feeling to stomp evil rabbits, and I don’t know why.”

I said, “Look in your heart and see how you would feel if you stomped the rabbits. What does your heart tell you?”

To my surprise, Maggie replied, ” My heart wants me to stomp evil rabbits.”

I told her, “Well, I think you should follow your heart. That is all we can do.”

… Follow your heart, because that is all we can do.

With a prayerful, loving heart,

Gator Girl

Disclaimer: No imaginary evil rabbits were stomped or harmed in any way. I hope they were persuaded to change their evil ways in a gentler manner.

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Life in Progress

Good Morning all y’all!

I hope this Friday finds you well.

I need your help.

I am so excited about the painting that I am doing and am just waiting for some words to find me. I started looking for words and realized that I just need patience.

I started 2 new paintings this week. And the one I am going to show you is the one that grabbed me yesterday and I painted like fire all day.

the past
girl in progress

I started out painting on an old canvas of MMMM’s from when she was one. It is 16 x 20 inches. I printed out mostly black and white photos of my past and applied them with Golden Gel. The pictures are a little random. I have my grandmother and parents which would be expected. But then I have a golden chipmunk from our cabin in Lake of the Woods, Oregon. The catholic church in Red Bluff, because I have wanted to be Catholic since I was 5 when my best friend Carol got to go to catechism classes on Saturday and I had to stay home.

I just went with my intuition and as you will see, it doesn’t matter in the end, because I cover it all up.

When I really got excited and couldn’t paint fast enough was when I saw this bubbly paper in my paper drawer and saw her hair. I cut it into strips, put it on with gel medium and voilà! I love it.

covering pictures
girl in progress 2

I painted her hair with my favorite Golden Mars Black. It is such a rich and mat color. She has a small nose, because in the beginning, she was a child.

I covered the pictures with paper. Some ripped and some cut with scissors.

The skin color is equal parts cadmium red and yellow oxide, with a little blue to make it a richer brown.

waiting for words
young woman almost done

 

She is almost done. Just a little tending and she is waiting for words. You can see she is waiting expectantly.

And she is willing to make a deal.

If I use your words on the painting, I will send you a free print from my ETSY site.

 

 

With exuberant love and anxious expectancy,

Gator Girl