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Move to New Orleans if you want house guests.

Hi all y’all,

I was explaining to Maggie that it’s not summer yet. A difficult concept when it’s 90 degrees. My little poet said, “I don’t like it when the hot summer puts its heat into the cool spring air.” Word.

My friend, Julie, is coming to visit. She finished the school year teaching in California. I went back and counted the days we have had company on my calendar. Since Mardi Gras, Julie’s visit puts us at 54 days of house guests. When you live in New Orleans, the party comes to you.

I painted Nice Hair for pure fun. I love the two major colors. I think she looks like Kalinda on the Good Wife. I would have added a lot of jewelry, but she is all about her hair.

Nice Hair
Nice Hair

This is day one of my Mardi Gras Indian. I am going to sew sequins on his outfit. I am not sure what his finished colors will be. I am thinking dreamy background. 

Mardi Gras Indian roughed out, day 1
Mardi Gras Indian roughed out, day 1

This is the access key pad for my studio. If you forget the code, it is underneath.

Access code for my studio
Access code for my studio

I am planning on finishing the Mardi Gras Indian this week. Julie is a painter, too, so she won’t mind.

I hope you are all having a great summer spring.

With unconditional, scaly love,

Gator Girl    (Click Gator Girl to go to my website)
 
My Etsy Store
 
 

 

 

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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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Dandelion Prayers

Hi all y’all,

Things are gearing up around New Orleans. The Pussyfooter’s Blush Ball is this Saturday. I am stretching my comfort zone by being very brave. I am dancing in the front row at the ball.  Whew. I am not a dancer by nature.

Everyone is talking about Mardi Gras and the Jazz Fest. It feels like fun is blooming all around.

I had to stretch myself artistically. I was asked to paint a picture of my God daughter. It is way more stressful and sometimes feels more mathematical than artistic. I don’t want to make her nose to big or her ear too small. I thought I was done, but I see the jaw line is not perfect yet.  I am calling the painting Dandelion Prayers. Because I think wishing is a little lame, unless wishing is backed by a lot of hard work.

Dandelion Prayer
Dandelion Prayer

The parts of the painting that I had the most fun with are the parts I made up. I added the green dress to match the meadow and her eyes. Usually, I like a lot of messier lines, but this painting is rather clean. I rubbed Dorland’s Wax Medium all over her face and hair, I sealed the rest of the painting with Golden Satin Varnish. I will post this again when I am completely done.

Effy Wild offers a lot of courses in art journaling. I decided to try her free course, Wildly Inspired. She posts on Wednesdays. I know I will probably get behind in this, but it is there for inspiration and I plan on keeping up. The two major things I tried with Effy’s first video was texturing the coat of Gesso and sealing the whole cover with Golden Self Leveling Clear Gel.

5 x 8 Journal
5 x 8 Journal

 

I think journaling will help me stay open in 2014. I notice on the cover that I am standing very straight and looking a little closed. That is OK, because this is just the beginning. What kind of trip would this be if I was already there? I put the card with the number 5 on the back, because in numerology, 5 invites people into your life. I used to have a “5” (just add up your house numbers) two bedroom house and at one point there were 8 people living there. We rented a port-o-potty for our second bathroom.

Maggie, making her vision board.
Maggie, making her vision board.
Peace and Love. That's my girl.
Peace and Love. That’s my girl.
Maggie's 2014 Vision Board.
Maggie’s 2014 Vision Board.

Maggie calls her board Tam (Tame) for no reason that I can decipher. The initials for her vision board are T.A.P. The initials don’t stand for words.  She envisions for herself: Christmas, her 6 year old birthday and Mardi Gras.

I want to share with you, that being OPEN sounds great, but it is a little hard.

May I ask… what is your word?

In love with the adventure. And sometimes a little terrified.

Gator Girl

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OPEN (my word for 2014)

Hi all y’all,

Muy frio. Besides walking the dog, I am lucky to work inside my house.

I have taken a whole week to get myself into the new year. My word is OPEN. For some reason, it always needs capitalizing.

I used about a third of my board from last year.

1/3 of my 2013 board
1/3 of my 2013 board

I tried out some new techniques and some new products. Trying not to mind that supplies are expensive and this is old cardboard.

My board is different this year. It is mostly all painted, but still has so many rectangles.

Vision Board 2014
Vision Board 2014

On the Cosmic Cowgirl January phone call, I saw that the gift that I am giving to the new year is a bunch of white roses. I plan to buy them throughout the year as a reminder.

Last year’s board was a little 3D, so this board is very lumpy.

I left the board a vague on purpose. I think the year might have different plans for me than I imagine… 3 presents, a fortune, 3 spirals, 16 candles, many people, a blank canvas, and my gift of a white rose. I don’t’ know why or what the numbers mean. Running laterally through the board is my piece of the red thread. I spent the whole week, on and off,  just wondering and painting layers and layers on this board.

Cosmic Cowgirls each hold one section of the red thread. It is too much to be responsible for everything, so we all commit to doing our part. That is the meaning I am going for with the thread… doing my part. The thread also keeps us connected to other people. Imagine if we were all standing in a circle, all around the world, holding that thread, connected.

So far, I am mostly aware of the people on the vision board. If I am to be open, I will have to be open to people. Hmmm.

OPEN

This vision board is not about a to do list. It is about dreams and desires. 

This really cool sign for my house came in the mail for my birthday.

Gator Girl Art Sign

My BFF, Jules, had it made for me. (Thank you)

I was fortunate to spend a whole day with my mini muse, Maggie. She is a funny and entertaining girl. Our day went from looking for pearls in pistachios (only the organic nuts have pearls) to thinking Rhiana wrote “Monster” just for her. These are the lyrics to the bridge…

I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You’re trying to save me, stop holding your breath
And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy

I am so excited to watch MMM grow up.

Looking forward to 2014.

Opening to possibilities.

Gratefully in love,

Gator Girl

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I call this style “Mine”.

Good morning all y’all!

Glitter and Glam is complete. I think will paint a sequel that expresses the Pussyfooter party energy.

Glitter and Glam
Glitter and Glam

What I like about her the most is the use of real jewelry. Her necklace and earring were added after she was painted. The pearls are painted on and the jewel is from an earring. I sewed sequins on her dress. I ordered them from a majorette website, so they wouldn’t be the thin, flimsy kind. I definitely will sew on canvas again. What inspired me to paint this was this beautiful color, Old Holland Iridescent Carmin. I used this color throughout, adding white, orange, black, brown or whatever to change it up.

I framed “I am enough”. She is suspended with eye hooks and copper wire just inside the frame. My sister made the clay embellishments along the top.

I am enough. (In frame)
I am enough. (In frame)

My new painting is on wood. I put three coats of Gesso on the wood, two white coats and one black. If you skimp on the Gesso, it makes it harder to paint. Wood without Gesso, or not enough Gesso, grabs the paint and makes it difficult to spread and mix with other colors.

This painting is called, “That’s what friends are for.” I had the song running through my head while I was painting. Something like, “In good times and oil spills, I’ll be on your side forever more…”

If anyone can make the words flow with oil spill better, I would love to hear from you.

That's what friends are for. 4 or so hours in.
That’s what friends are for. 4 or so hours in.

FYI, there are  thirty species of turtles, tortoises and terrapins in Louisiana. See, not just bugs.

Although we do have stinging caterpillars that drop out of trees making August even more enjoyable. They are deceivingly cute.

Stinging Caterpillar
Stinging Caterpillar

Maggie made this cool picture.

The River
The River

On the left is Paw Paw’s house. On the right is my more beautiful house (my words). In between is a river and Paw Paw in a kayak coming to see me. The window at the top left of my house is open, so I can watch him coming. I totally love this painting/ idea. Frida Kahlo lived in a similar style. Diego and Frida had separate houses with a walkway across. I am thinking that this would be an idea women would favor and men not so much. Maybe we should take a poll.

Wishing you all a happy day.

love,

Gator Girl

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2013 Vision Board

Hi all y’all.

I am sharing my vision for 2013.

It looks different from last year.

I don’t think I want as many things to change.

The only thing that I put on my board last year that didn’t materialize is NOLA Groundswell. We had some interest. We almost received a grant, but nothing concrete yet. I sent a letter off to the Internal Revenue Service yesterday asking for approval of our non-profit status. It has been over a year since our request, including a $400 fee for the government to consider our request.

Magnificent Maggie helped me. It is the same cardboard. New duct tape. New bristol paper.

The pink and orange glitter are the Pussyfooter colors.

2013 Vision Board
2013 Vision Board
My word for the year.
My word for the year.

Physically visible in my fishnets and feathers on St. Charles. Gator Girl Art visible in a gallery in the French Quarter. I will keep you posted on whatever else decides to be visible.

The year of the snake.
The year of the snake.

I swear, this snake just turned up exactly like this when I used a brayer with green paint over dried white paint and glitter. I added the eyes and nostrils. I wish you could see the scales.

In one of my We’Moon calendars, I cut out a piece about snake medicine.

 Snake medicine is with us.

We can pretend our skin is not shedding,

we can attempt to remain underground, curled up and quaking,

we can refuse to digest our life and suffer indigestion.

Or we can embrace the magic of our transmutation–

Chew on our life, swallow and savor it,

Slither out of our skin and leap out of ruts with passion,

Swirl into new experiences and dance,

Then feel the sun on our skin and dream.

                                                                  –Gloria Rohlfs 2011

GGA in a gallery.
GGA in a gallery.

OK. I said it. Words are powerful.

Affirmations
Affirmations
My favorite.
My favorite.

Maggie wrote “izmot”. She might have meant “tomzi” I asked her what it meant and she said, “Good Luck, happy celebrations, and love.” I couldn’t have said it any better. Isn’t that what everyone wants?

Happy New Year to y’all.

With abundant love, an open heart, and shedding skin,

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.