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Gator in the Hen House

Hi all y’all,

I wanted to finish Gator in the Hen House before I wrote to you this week. I am taking 4 paintings to Dorka to photograph this morning. This is my photograph of the finished painting. I am going to frame it with some wood I have saved under the house.

Gator in the Hen House ready for photographer

This is pretty large, 24 x 36 inches. My favorite part is the alligator. My second favorite part is the chicken wire.

My goal was to make the gator the center of attention with a smug and cavalier attitude. The chickens are a riot of color and feathers. They each have their own personality.

I raised the chicken wire with molding paste, then lightly brushed some Golden Green Gold and Cobalt Teal back in.

The rooster was painted with Golden’s Permanent Violet Dark, then Carbon Black and more colors. The shiny parts are Silk’s Acrylic Glaze.

This rooster is standing as straight as he can on his tiptoes trying to look invisible.
This rooster is standing as straight as he can on his tiptoes trying to look invisible.

 

This hen's eyes are starting to roll back in her head. She thinks she might faint.
This hen’s eyes are starting to roll back in her head. She thinks she might faint.

I used Golden’s molding paste and Liquitex heavy body acrylic on the white chicken. I said “used” because I painted with a brush, my fingers and a palette knife.

 

Whaat?
Whaat?

I loved this chicken when she was pure green, but I wanted her to be a more realistic color and contrast with the gator.

So I changed her to..

Whaaat?

Mama chicken is yelling, "Get outa here!"
Mama chicken is yelling, “Get outa here!”

 

On Mama Chicken I painted with acrylic paint and Dylusions Postbox Red Ink Spray. I painted with it, not sprayed it. I love how it saturates. I had to seal the hen with varnish and then paint the white bits back in. When you paint with ink it keeps soaking through.

I made the floor of the hen-house dirty, by putting broken toothpicks and beads in black and tan paint, putting them on the floor of the hen-house and pulling the pieces off with tweezers. I knew I would have a hard time making the dirt look random, otherwise.

One of the challenges of this painting was to keep the chickens in the background as supporting actors. They really wanted to take over.

I bought this cart at IKEA. I love it more every day.

Rolling Cart from IKEA.
Rolling Cart from IKEA.

Each day I have to trust again that I am on the right path. For me, right now, it seems like the only one. So I am putting one foot in front of the other and going on.

Loving you unconditionally,

Gator Girl

 

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Life in Progress

Hi all y’all!

I have a to do list as long as my arm, but my studio is quiet and here I am.

Just a little update today.

Company is coming to New Orleans in waves. And why not? New Orleans in the Spring is the best.

Raffi is beginning a large painting of his pets. He wants it to go with his 3-year-old painting of his family.

Beginning of pet portrait
Beginning of pet portrait

I gave him some student quality paints for the first layer. Besides the color, the paints themselves look drab. I ordered him some Liquitex paints for the next layers. They aren’t Golden, but they are nice.

My Gator in the Hen House is still in progress. I have spent many hours on this. I will continue to paint it until I am happy with every inch.

Gator in the Hen House, still in progress
Gator in the Hen House, still in progress

This is why I am a little late with my list today.

Nice Hair, the beginning
Nice Hair, the beginning

This is super fun. I have painted the darks. I think her hair will be full of fun stuff. Maybe butterflies, bugs, a bird? I don’t know yet.

She seems to welcome Spring.

Maggie's front tooth

Maggie lost her tooth. Too cute.

Gotta run.

Until next week my loves,

Gator Girl

 

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Mardi Gras and a Gator

Hi all y’all,

We are in the full swing of Mardi Gras come rain or come shine.

Day 2 Mardi Gras, last weekend
Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Last Saturday, the weather was beautiful, the crowds were there, but in a gentler, roomier way.

It rained all night.

Throw me something, mister!
Throw me something, mister!

Sunday, started out muddy and fun. Then the deluge. Only the hardcore monsters of Mardi Gras stuck it out.

Sunday's parade
Sunday’s parade

Pussyfooters put on a happy face.

I am working on a new painting called Gator in the Hen House. It could symbolize government corruption. I really wanted to paint it because chickens can be so colorful. I wanted a challenge. This painting is pushing me to experiment with proportions, movement and design. I am just going to take my time.

So far, it is only acrylic paint.

Gator in the Hen House in progress
Gator in the Hen House in progress

My plan is to add some ink behind the chicken wire for depth and color. Then, chicken wire made with medium gel gloss using rabbit wire as a stencil. I want to add paint to molding paste and put some of the feathers on with a palette knife. Finally, many more layers of paint.

All of this will occur after Mardi Gras.

I am already liking the Gator’s swashbuckling attitude.

That’s what’s happening in my neighborhood. What’s going on in yours?

Happy Mardi Gras,

In abundant love,

Gator Girl
Gator Girl