Posted in Mardi Gras Indians

Artspace Open House

Hi all y’all!

There was an open house at the Bell Artspace Campus last week. It is really an amazing place. All kinds of artists live there… painters, writers, photographers, Indians… Each floor has a beautiful gallery. This is the main building.

Affordable housing for artists is important. Housing costs are more and more expensive in New Orleans. Many of the people who make New Orleans what it is have a hard time living here.

Artspace

They really did a nice job with the open house. It was all free, including delicious food from the food trucks. I had to leave early, but I saw a performance by the Washitaw Nation and

Big Chief David Montana.

Tribe

A print of my painting of the Big Chief is hanging in one of the Artspace galleries. The prints are for sale now. 8 x 10 inch limited edition prints are $35 on nice paper.

16 x 20 limited edition prints on canvas are $200. The original painting is 30 x 40 inches and is still available for 1500. Big Chief David Montana will sign the original painting if you want.

me and print

This is pretty cool.

No Racist Terror

Check out the Puppet Painter. The more I look into Sierra’s work the more amazed I am.

Boat People

This is a small representation of a fabulous place. If you hear of something going on there, say yes!

All my scaly love,

Gator Girl

 

Posted in Mardi Gras Indians, Uncategorized

Big Chief David Montana

Hi all y’all!

It has been pretty fabulous at Gator Girl Art lately. I will tell you this one tale…

I was at my agent, Derrick Hemphill’s house. (Cool, huh?) He was having an open house to introduce his huge, new printer. While I was there, I asked Derrick if he could get permission for me to paint a Mardi Gras Indian. He knows a lot of people and he grew up in the Treme.

Right away, he asked his mother to go down stairs and get Big Chief David Montana. This threw me right out of my comfort zone. I never thought of painting a Big Chief. He came upstairs and he agreed to let me to paint him. I also, got to see his house, the suit he is working on, and lots of photos.

This is all so cool. Google him. He’s famous.

I chose to paint him in a pink suit. He let me borrow a reference photo.

So, I haven’t yet continued with my New Orleans Musician series. I still have several large canvases gessoed in black and ready to go.

I started on a 30 x 40 inch canvas. I painted the border in Golden Alizarin Crimson. Then I painted the entire canvas, including the border in Old Holland  Iridescent Carmine. It is a vivid crimson… a beautiful pink.

Chief drawing

Here is the finished painting (as far as I know).

Best photo of Chief

It is a little tilted on purpose. I was worried about all of the little feathers, but they turned out really fun to paint. I used a fan brush and loaded it with three colors of pink. I used The Chief as the light source. I am a little proud of that idea.

Here it is. I did my best. I feel lucky.

With all my heart,

Gator Girl

Posted in Uncategorized

Living in New Orleans

Hi all y’all!

Often, I wonder why everyone doesn’t live in New Orleans. New Orleans is the only place I have lived where I have to choose between (often free) things to do. If you live here, you have to turn down parties, festivals, second lines… because you can’t be in two or three places at once.

I am not ordinarily a party girl, sometimes I choose to stay home all weekend and paint. Those times, it is nice that my sweet darlin’ has something to do.

Last weekend several tribes of Mardi Gras Indians were putting on their suits at Bayou St. John in preparation for parading. I am not a big fan of crowds, but I am a big fan of the Mardi Gras Indians. What? No crowds! Mardi Gras Indians are the coolest thing in the city. I thought there wold be huge crowds.

I made a video of the photos David and I took to show y’all.

Until later, alligator!

Gator Girl

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Back Street Museum

Hi all y’all!

Welcome to the dog days of summer. It is hot in New Orleans in August.

I finished Magnolia. Magnolia is blending with the tree by the same name. If you look closely, she has little dots on her tissue crown and in the iris of her eyes, representing the seeds in the magnolia blossom. She is glistening a little from the August heat. She is in the middle of being framed in a dark green recycled screen door. I want to get a photo before I frame her. The magnificent Dorka is back in New Orleans and available to photograph this week!

Magnolia
Magnolia

I started a fun painting inspired by the Waterbeams and their advertisement for new members. I already like the woman on the right edging away from the blissful gator.

Synchro Swim Accepting New Members
Synchro Swim Accepting New Members

I am ready to bead the Mardi Gras Indian. I have some apprehension, because I don’t want to make a mistake. I looked at some photos my sweet darlin’ took on Super Sunday last Mardi Gras.

Super Sunday 2013
Super Sunday 2013
Mardi Gras Indian Children
Mardi Gras Indian Children

I looked at many photos on-line. I went to Jefferson Variety to buy gems, beads and talk to the helpful staff. The women showed me photos and told me what they knew about costuming. I talked to a Mardi Gras Indian buying sequins for her costume. She told me that Downtown Indians use more sequins and pin feathers and Uptown Indians used more beads, gems and plume feathers. Now I really didn’t want to blow it.

From there, I was directed to the Backstreet Cultural Museum. I looked at the costumes closely and took my time. It is OK to take pictures at the museum. Here are two. Notice on the first photo, there are sequins, beads and gems.

Detail of suit
Detail of suit

In this example, the scene is entirely beaded.

Details of suit
Details of suit

At the Backstreet Cultural Museum, I learned the only rule is to start fresh every year. You are not allowed to use part of last years costume.

In my painting, I am going to sew beads, sequins and gems on the parts of the costume that are pinkish red. I cannot sew on the very bottom because of the wood bracing in the back. I am not sure what I am doing there yet.

Mardi Gras Indian in progress
Mardi Gras Indian in progress

I have also been making necklaces of my art. I will share that next time.

I appreciate all your support. Thank you for reading my blog.

Ever grateful,

Gator Girl

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Me as Tour Guide

Hi all y’all!

74 degrees and everything is starting to bloom. Don’t hate. It will be unbearably hot before you know it.

With Spring comes house guests. It is fun to see our city through the eyes of someone here for the first time.

When someone has been here before, I like to act as a bed and breakfast. But for the first time visitor there is so much to see, I think a tour is in order.

We have friends here from California this week. After 6 days of being a tour guide, I felt they had seen enough of New Orleans for a first visit. I was not willing to release them before this. (It is such a great city, I think you really have to live here full-time to experience it.) Today, Mary and Ulco are taking a self-guided walking tour of the Garden District.

We started the week with a car tour… breakfast at Camilla Grill, Audubon Park, the French Quarter, Frenchman St., the Marigny, the Bywater, and City Park. The next day, we rode the Streetcar to the French Quarter and had beignets at Cafe du Monde followed by  lunch at the Gumbo Shop. Mary and Ulco were kind enough to go to the finale of Entrepreneur Week to support Where Y’Art. (Where Y’Art won the popular vote, but not the judges vote for $50,000.)

We went to Hogs for a Cause at City Park on Saturday. It had rained all night and it was a muddy mess. *House guests don’t really like wading around in the mud. To be honest, we didn’t like it either.

We stopped by Chickie Wah Wah to see Paul Sanchez. He invited several guest artists on stage during the show. It was super fun. I have to go see Antoine Diel again.

Antoine Diel with Paul Sanchez
Antoine Diel with Paul Sanchez

We were super lucky to see the Mardi Gras Indians on Sunday. After that, my sweet darlin’ drove them through the 9th Ward and Chalmette.

Mardi Gras Indian
Mardi Gras Indian

The top 3 things we did this week were:  1) the French Quarter. 2) the New Orleans School of Cooking. This is a great over-view of history as it relates to food.

3) Honey Island Swamp Tour. I like this tour for a first visit because it is close to the city and well run.

The restaurants are too many to mention.

Art? No art. I better get busy.

With scaly, reptilian love,

Gator Girl