The heat index is well over 100 degrees today. I’m trying to stay hydrated and indoors. I finished my blue crab painting today. David took the photo at our Mother’s Day crab boil. I added the plate and table cloth. This one has already been dinner.
This painting was only suppose to be practice for my encaustic crab. It turns out that I like it quite a bit. I put some embellishments on the plate with molding paste. I thought it would give the painting some texture and interest. I think I could have used just paint.
It is kind of fun to add molding paste. While it is wet, you can just scrape it off with a credit card or pallet knife. After it dries, it is hard as nails.
I like this version of the painting, too. I almost left it blocked out. I am happy I added the plate shadows and the table cloth. I stenciled the table cloth on with just paint.
This is the final painting.
I hope this summer finds you well. Try to stay cool. It’s OK to rest and take some time for yourself however you can manage that.
My newest painting is about alligators in love at Jazz Fest. I painted a similar painting a couple of years ago. The first Jazz Fest painting was inspired by a photo of my granddaughter, Maggie, and her cousin Lenny. They were dancing at Jazz Fest as part of a family reunion.
While the original painting was hanging in my living room, I fell in love with the composition. So when my daughter wanted that painting for her house, I decided to paint the same scene with alligators.
The grass has the shape of the whole world. The skywriting is really a thing at Jazz Fest… not so much the wildflowers.
The whole painting seems happy to me.
This one is a little different… taller grass, no purple flowers, more imaginative. I based the girl on Gator Ballerina just in case I want to include this painting in a traveling alligator book one day.
They are both large paintings, 30 x 40 inches. I will be making prints after the paintings are photographed.
Jazz Fest is a great adventure. If you haven’t been, I hope you can one day.
I was recently inspired by the words of Reda Rackley. I don’t know Reda in person. We are Facebook friends. She is also and artist. She wrote, “She took off her halo and wore it as a necklace.”
I have permission to use Reda’s words in my art.
I might have painted her too quickly because I felt I had to get her down on canvas. She reminds me of the recently elected women to Congress. I was also thinking of the powerful women’s march this year. That was before it was cancelled in New Orleans.
I like her urban-ness, her basic black, her deadpan stare. Her halo looks like glittery barbed wire.
She is not listed for sale anywhere. I will send her to you for $200 + shipping if you would like to have her around to inspire you in these tenuous times.
She is 16 x 20 inches, acrylic, glitter, varnish on canvas. You can email me at email@example.com.
This is my most recent painting. Yemaya, Goddess of the Ocean and the New Year. Click on the link and read all about her.
The Pussyfooters were invited to a Second Line and ceremony for Yemaya about 2 months ago (Fresh Johnson narrates the Second Line video and is a Pussyfooter). This was the first I had heard of Yemaya. We raised money by selling raffle tickets. It was the kind of raffle where you split the pot. Part of the money went for our police escort. You need to have a permit and police to close the streets for the Second Line. Part of the money went for the brass band. Part of the money went for women in Orleans Parish Prison who cannot post bail. Sometimes a woman is sent to the prison because of a traffic ticket that she cannot pay. She doesn’t have any money for bail, her kids are put in foster care, she loses her job, and she waits. Part of the money goes to the lucky winner whose name is drawn. In this case the lucky winner put her winnings in with the bail money. We raised $800.
We had a Second Line to the river where the leader said a beautiful prayer to Yemaya and made offerings of fruit. Eli Mergel took photos.
I wanted to paint Yemaya immediately. I love to paint women. I also like a goddess. I am donating the original painting to the raffle table at Blush Ball. Blush Ball is where the Pussyfooters raise the most money. Anyone can go to the Blush Ball. It costs $40 or $60 a ticket. With the $60 ticket you get in an hour early and drink for free for that hour. It is really fun. The Pussyfooters perform. There is a band and a DJ. And a raffle table where you will find an original Yemaya.
FYI, the Pussyfooters raise money all year for women and children. We usually raise between $20,000 and $30,000 in the year.
That took a lot of words to share my painting. I hope you like her.
Big Chief David Montana is on his way to Paris this morning. He is there to talk about a new documentary that is being filmed in France called Black Indians. (The link takes you to the film’s introduction.)
He is taking 20 prints of Flamingo Madness with him. I am so excited to have the prints traveling to France!
Derrick Hemphill of the Daily Commune has made all of this possible. If you go to his website, then “print services” you can buy a print. He does his own printing on beautiful paper. If you want to have him print something, I do recommend him. Derrick is the only one printing Flamingo Madness.
The Big Chief is also taking a sample piece of the flamingo suit to Paris for collectors. It is the same design as his original flamingo suit. I bought one to frame.
Here is a photo of the Big Chief in his pink flamingo suit. My friend Laura took the photo. She has a blog you might be interested in called L.A. to N.O.L.A. – Carnival, Concerts, Cuisine, Culture.
That is my big news for the day. Thanks for tuning in.
I hope you are having a good summer. I heard that someone, somewhere is enjoying a soft cool breeze. That would sure be nice.
I am trying out painting with oil paints. I have been painting with acrylic paints for about 15 years. My limited experience with oil painting has been very different from acrylic painting.
I tried painting a beagle in oil paint. I saw a cute photo on Instagram that my daughter’s friend posted. He said his dog was “throwing shade at the dog park”. I loved the phrase. So this is Remington in oil.
I had an idea to paint another beagle in acrylic paint to compare my experience. My sister-in-law has a beagle that she loves. I asked her to send me two or three photos. So this is Buddy in acrylic paint.
It was challenging to paint with oil. The good news is that it stays wet a long time. The bad news is it stays wet for a long time. I just walked into the studio in my street clothes and got paint on my shirt.
With oil there are a few days between coats. I tried adding Gamblin Cold Wax Medium to give the paint more thickness. I liked how the brush strokes were more apparent… like dog hair. I tried adding Gamblin Galkyd Lite to make the paint dry faster. It also thins the paint. I used Galkyd mixed with the paint when I painted Remy’s eyes. It is harder for me to achieve detail with oil.
Because the oil paints stay wet, I put my hand on the painting and did a lot of smearing. I waited until the paint dried and fixed the smears (many times).
What I really love is the brightness and richness of the oil paint.
I feel comfortable with acrylic paints. They suit my impatience. I have experience with the mediums I can use with acrylic paint to achieve what I want. I used Golden Extra Heavy Molding paste to make raised letters on the dog blanket. It took about the same time to complete each painting. They look very different. Buddy has many layers of different colors. Remmy is striking. He reminds me of a super hero.
My analysis is… I will use the paint that will achieve the affects I desire. I am not giving up on oil paint too soon.
If you have any thoughts on oil vs acrylic paint. I would love to hear them.
There was an open house at theBell Artspace Campuslast 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.
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.
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.
This is pretty cool.
Check out the Puppet Painter. The more I look into Sierra’s work the more amazed I am.
This is a small representation of a fabulous place. If you hear of something going on there, say yes!