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Bon Fires on the Levee

Happy New Year to all y’all!

This is the first year that we stayed in New Orleans for Christmas. We tried to do some fun activities that happen only during the holiday. Mostly we ate out.

This is what I think I know… The bon fires go on for 3 miles. They need a permit and have a maximum height of 15 feet. They all start at 7 pm on Christmas Eve, wind permitting. This is a tradition going back a 100 years or more. The reasons vary, and my favorite version is that the bon fires light the way for Santa Claus.

Saint James Parish is about 30 minutes west of New Orleans. It took well over an hour to get to the river on Christmas Eve. We went to Paulina to see the beginning of the bon fires, then we drove through Lutcher and Gramercy.

It’s dark, so you can only see the structures in front of you.

Bon Fire

The arrow is pointing down river. All of the lights on the levee are bon fires.

Bon Fire 1

This is a close up.

Bon Fire Close-Up

Now you can listen to it. Most structures are full of fire crackers, and people shoot off  BIG fireworks. I took these photos with my phone…

but there are better photos at nola.com.

And here is a youtube link to the fancy turtle bon fire.

Now you are on your own. Google away.

Love and all of my best wishes.

Gator Girl

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Tropical Storm

Hi all y’all!

We’ve had a lot of rain here. Even after living in New Orleans for 6 years, I expect the rain to be cold. In California most of the rain happens in the winter. Sometimes, in New Orleans,  I make hot chocolate in my air-conditioned house and don’t realize it is 90 degrees outside.

This is “Tropical Storm”.

I like a tropical storm if I can stay inside. A tropical storm can mean a lot of wind and rain. We bring things inside that might blow around the yard.

The unsettling thing about a tropical storm is that it can turn into a hurricane. I live near a lot of people with Hurricane Katrina PTSD, with good reason.

This makes the tension rise.

I painted this during Tropical Storm Cindy. She did not develop further.

Here is some storm information…

In a tropical depression the winds start to circulate. When the winds exceed 38 mph, it turns into a Tropical Storm. The maximum wind speed in a tropical storm is 73 mph. A hurricane has wind rotation with speeds of 74 mph and above.

Hurricanes are rated 1 through 5.

1 is 74-95 mph

2 is 96-110 mph

3 is 111-129 mph

4 is 130-156 mph

5 is greater than 156 mph

Almost all hurricanes happen during hurricane season. Where I live, the season is from June 1 through November 30. Most hurricanes happen in August and September and rarely in November.

I changed the starry sky in the most recent Swamp Girl painting. Looking at the painting close-up, the sky looked ragged. I smoothed it out and added some tiny dots for stars. Painting some stars blue and leaving some stars silver made some stars look farther away.

So far, so good.

Looking forward to a sunny tomorrow,

Gator Girl

 

 

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Local Girl

Hi all y’all!

I wanted to wait until this painting was finished before I wrote to y’all. I didn’t want to miss another week of blogging.

I saw a photo on Facebook of my friend who works in a Laundromat on Sundays. I loved her Rosie the Riveter bad ass look. She was also wearing the same shirt that I own from Target.

I am going to go in backwards order here. This is my almost finished painting.

almost-done

Half way through, I think her eyes are too large. The counter came to the bottom of the washing machines, so it looked like a floor. I like the blue behind the chandelier, but the wall seemed too fragmented and I thought wallpaper behind the chandelier would be cool.

granite-counter

I tried gold leaf on the chandelier. first I used the gold leaf that you press on and rub. It has a paper back. I think you must need  hard surface for that. The canvas has too much give. Next, I bought ten tiny sheets of gold leaf advertised for use in Buddhist worship. I like the look.

simple-leaf

I watched You Tube videos about making a faux granite counter top. It is basically dabbing wet on wet paint with a sea sponge. I made small sponges from a kitchen sponge and cut some larger holes to resemble a sea sponge. It was funny to make a tiny granite counter.

sponges-for-counterbanana-on-counter

I love the painting except for the counter and the chandelier. They are just not quite right yet.

Thank you for walking through the last 2 weeks with me.

You are very patient and kind.

XOXO,

Gator Girl

 

 

 

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Alligator and Introspection

Hi all y’all!

I have been painting some heavy topics lately. My last 3 paintings were about slavery and prostitution. I think artists have a responsibility for social change. This is Banksy 2011 protesting the foreclosure debacle.

Bansky 2011

This is me protesting slavery.

NOT FOR SALE staged for website

I decided it was time for a light hearted alligator.

While I was painting him again today, I was thinking how I forgot why I paint. I paint for people to be happy; to cheer up a room. Maybe I paint happy alligators and heart wrenching topics. Do you think there are some light hearted topics dealing with social change? Maybe an alligator on a picket line?

My Etsy sales are slow this month. I had use money to promote my art. The voice in my head was critical of me for painting slowly. In response to the voice: Etsy sometimes has a slow month. I have to pay for things even when the money is just going in one direction (out). Slow is OK.

Happy Alligator

You can’t see in this photo that his teeth are white with iridescent pearl for the top layer. There is a little yellow ochre near his gum line because he has some gingivitis. It’s not to a critical stage. If you have seen previous photos of the gator in progress, the big change I did today was some shading and a few coats on the green parts of his body to tie him together.

There is a surprising thing about me. I am pretty terrified of alligators. I was reading about them online to appease my fear, but it just fueled it. There was a woman moving to Florida and asked if people in Florida got tricked into buying a house near the water and then were unable to sell it because of the alligators. Because who would live near alligators. I thought she was pretty funny, but my crazy self bought some of it. If you have any alligator advice before I go camping, PLEASE let me know.

I am a little long winded today. I hope everything is going well in your part of the world.

Lovingly,

Gator Girl

 

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Zèle NOLA Move In!

Hi all y’all!

Gator Girl Art moved into Zèle NOLA yesterday! It is on Magazine Street, the block between Community Coffee and Starbucks.

20160817_175258

Magazine Street, the block between Community Coffee and Starbucks.

Zèle is the first of its kind in the New Orleans area. It’s not a co-op or a flea market. Zèle is a Multivendor Art Market. NOLA has several outdoor art markets offered monthly, but we do not have any permanent indoor markets where our local artists can display and have their extraordinary work sold for them.
This is exactly what Zèle offers, a place for and by NOLA’s own!
My 8 foot wall!

My 8 by 8 foot wall!

20160817_174300

Let me know if you stop by. 🙂

Gratefully yours,

Gator Girl

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This Weekend on Royal Street

Hi all y’all!

This weekend Lulu White and  NOT FOR SALE will be at the gallery at 1901 Royal Street for Dirty Linen Night. I will be there, too!

Lulu orig. for website Lulu Staged NOT FOR SALE staged for website NOT FOR SALE, orig for website

 

 

My friend, Christine from Two Chicks Walking Tours is the best tour guide. You can listen to her being interviewed about the Garden District.

Christine

Tales of the New Orleans Garden District

That’s all folks!

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