CHAIRish the Children – Groovy Gator

Just like last year, I’m donating a chair for the Louisiana Children’s Museum CHAIRish the Children event.  The theme this year is the funky 1970’s!  So fun!  My initial instinct was disco balls and afro wigs but I decided to go a different avenue.  I always like to incorporate a green eyed gator because the donation is coming from the gallery.  So I did a gator head on top of a 70’s inspired floral print.  I ordered some faux gator fabric off of etsy and upholstered seat of the chair with it.  I hammered some brass tacks around the whole base.  I’m really, really happy with it!  It’s one of those pieces I finished and then just wanted to keep for myself.

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So there it is!  I dropped it off yesterday in time for it to be showcased during White Linen Night.  The event is on August 23rd.  It was a blast last year and so I’m looking forward to this year’s party!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s St. Patricks Day and I’m Irish as hell, y’all.  My family has always celebrated this holiday and I love that New Orleans is big on it too!  The weekend’s festivities started off with my favorite Bearded Oyster march of the year, the Molly’s at the Market St. Pat’s parade!  Two of my sisters are erstas as well so we donned our usual white and silver with the addition of some green and orange and partied through the quarter.  Erin’s boyfriend was in town all week and was a shucker for the night!  We did some serious jigging that night!Image

Saturday was the Irish Channel parade which is just the BEST.  It’s also become an annual crawfish boil thrown by some of our friends that live just off of the route.  Heaven, you guys.  Seriously, it’s heaven.  Nate has missed this day the past two or three years in a row now and it was so fun having him here.  ImageImageImageImageImageImage

I’m sitting in my shop now.  It’s a surprisingly chilly day in New Orleans, especially for March, but I’m still rocking my green.  Best outfit of the day definitely goes to my neighbor Peter though.  Once quitting time is here I’ll be heading home for some corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread.  

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Majestic as F*ck

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So you guys remember when I mentioned that eagle bike I was working on?  Yeah, of course you do because EAGLE BIKE!  Well, I finished it and it made its debut this carnival season with the artist krewe of Kolossos.  My friend Katrina runs both Kolossos and The Bearded Oysters which is how I came to be involved in this project.  I put many hours into it and it was so worth it, I mean look at the picture above this paragraph from mardigraparadeschedule.com.  That’s me with four Saints super fans majestically carrying red white and blue ribbon poles behind me.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt or looked cooler.  I may never look that cool again.  Freedom!

ImageI was doing non-stop paper mache while at my shop for three days straight, eight hours a day.  I was dreaming about it at night.  Everyone that came into the gallery loved it and kept asking, “So this is for The Mardi Gras?!”  It is, I would reply and think about how it’s odd that tourists feel the need to turn Mardi Gras into THE Mardi Gras.  Then I would just keep on sopping up glue water with phone book strips.  I took her on a test drive around the quarter to make sure she was road worthy, fixed some problem spots, and brought her to the art lofts where I painted her all up.

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It only took me one day to paint thanks to Katrina having already done a base coat of white for me.  My sister Erin stopped by when she got off work and painted the claws for me.  She also brought me a slice of pizza from Pizza Delicious which was much needed fuel at that point.  Thanks Ern, shout out to you!

ImageImageMuses was the tricycle’s grand debut.  I wanted to be equally as fabulous as the bike so I made a huge feather head piece (because, necessary).  As for my dress, I got it from a costume liquidation sale from a theater last month.  It was a Donald Duck costume made for a chunky child which ended up being an almost perfect fit for me.  I chopped off the arms, added some sequin trim, and called it good to go.

ImageImageHow amazing does it look lit up?!  Amazing!  I can’t take any credit for that, I know nothing about adding lights to art trikes.  I rode it again on Saturday for Tucks and had an amazing time that day as well.  I got a lot of “MERICA!!!!” along the route and successfully started many “USA! USA!” chants too.  I’m hoping more pictures will surface in the next week or two because I was posing like a crazy lady.  The one above this paragraph and below were both taken by one of my fabulous artists from the shop.  Thanks, Loopy Boopy!  And that’s that.  Every year, when Mardi Gras ends, I’m sad that it’s over but excited to try and top my costuming and parading next year!

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Carnaval de Rêves Opening

The carnival themed group show I’ve been prepping for opened last night and it was a GREAT success.  I’m so pleased!  Sometimes I throw events like this one and the weather is crappy or no one shows up and I wonder why I still do them.  Well last night was the reason why!  We had a stellar turn out, made some sales, and loads of fun.  I think the highlight of the show is Scott Garrett’s float filled with naked leather dolls.  Everyone was freaking out over it, including myself.  I sold one of my paintings, Camellia, and while I’m sad to see her go, she’s going to one of my dear friends so I’ll get to visit her every so often.  Double win!

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageIt’s been so nice to be able to show off my new paintings and I can’t wait to complete some more.  My next major deadline I’m setting for myself is French Quarter Fest.  Better get working, but tonight, WE PARADE!

New Paintings

ImageTonight is the opening of the carnival themed show I’ve got going on at the shop and holy cow, it looks like a Mardi Gras bomb exploded in the store.  Pictures of that to follow; but first, I’m SO excited to have some of my work in the gallery again.  If you follow along with my blog then you know I inherited a WHOLE bunch of vintage Mardi Gras beads from the previous owners of the house we’re renovating.  Feeling inspired by the sweet note they left me, I wanted to figure out something to do with them.  I had painted some florals for my sister’s business cards and because of that, the idea of plant based pieces popped into my head.  I most like painting people and faces so ethereal women seemed like an obvious choice to compliment the flowers.  I decided to go with indigenous flowers to base each painting off of and that the canvases would have beads sewn into them.  I won’t like when I say I’m not the best at sewing but I found my groove while working on these and I’m really happy with how everything turned out.

So with my theme in mind, I did some sketches.  I always think it’s interesting to peek inside of other people’s sketchbooks and I hope you do too!

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Laurel was one I wanted to do even though it’s more of a leafy plant than a flower.  The house we purchased is on Laurel Street so it felt like a must.  Laurel crowns are, and always have been, very popular in art and architecture so I wanted to incorporate that idea.  I got REALLY carried away with the beading on this one.  They’re all through out her crown and on her robe.  She’s wearing them as well as holding a strand as if she’s waiting to give it away.  I used one of the fabulous old hanging “Made in Czechoslovakia” tags on the hanging strand of beads.ImageImageImageImage

Camellia was actually the first sketch I completed.  I associate Camellias with the south; they’re the state flower of Georgia and hello, Camellia Grill, anyone?!  I decided early on that I wanted to do a teal background with a gold stencil on top.  They have something along those lines in the dressing room of Trashy Diva Lingerie and I’ve always loved it.  Plus they’re my neighbors at the store so it felt like a natural choice.ImageImage

Iris, with its purple flowers, lent herself to becoming the embodiment of Mardi Gras.  After decided to used a stencil for Camellia, I wanted to carry that theme through out and a Fleur de Lis felt like the obvious choice for Ms. Iris.  She ended up getting REALLY purple, which I love in conjunction with her lime green background and her gold accenting.ImageImage

Last but not least, Magnolias are basically the most Southern flower around.  It’s the state flower of Louisiana (and Mississippi) and I just love them.  I really love the way Ms. Magnolia turned out.  She’s wearing one of my most favorite strands of beads.  It’s the black and gold one with the big teal bead in the center.  Speaking of the beading I used all broken strands in the flowers and I ended up sacrificing some intact stands for the women to wear; that’s true of all four paintings.  Iris is wearing one of my other favorite strands; it’s the one in the center that’s purple, green, and gold.ImageImageImage

Finally, I wanted to have a couple smaller paintings of just solo florals with some beading worked in for those who loved the large scale oils but couldn’t afford a big one.  I ended up only finishing two of those in time for tonight’s opening but I plan on doing more.  I’m feeling happy and inspired again and I can’t wait to get back to work after the carnival season is over.  Until then I have a lot of costuming and parading to do!

I’m a Glutton for Stress

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It’s true, I can’t help myself.  I constantly take on way too much.  I know I’m doing it and that I’m going to make myself crazy, but I do it anyway.  I currently have tons of projects in the works.  The way I get myself through times like these is I say, “It’s only six weeks of my life.  Or it’s only a week I won’t be sleeping…”  You know, things like that.  Currently, one of my big projects being the eagle bike.  It’s a mini man powered Mardi Gras float that I’ll be riding during Muses and Tucks.  Holy crap do I have a lot of paper mache to do.  I’m working on it while I’m at the store because all of my time on my days off is spent working on paintings for a group show I’m hosting at the gallery on February 20th.  I’m putting in really long days painting but it will be so worth it when I have some of my own work in the gallery again.  Here are some of the canvases I’m working on in various stages of completion.

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ImageWhen I finish these gals I’ll post in full about the meaning behind each along with a photo.  I may be hella busy but I’m still taking time to have some fun.  Last night was the 610 Stomper Debutante Ball and it was a blast.  It was 80’s themed, Six Ten Candles, hence those glorious getups.Image

Bring on my most favorite time of year!

On Football

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I didn’t grow up in a home where we watched sports.  My dad isn’t a football fan and my mom isn’t much of one either; in short, we never root root rooted for the home team.  It wasn’t until I moved to New Orleans, that I fell in love with a sports team and found a passion for football.  Finding myself actually enjoying watching a football game is something that I NEVER thought would happen for me, but it has.  The enthusiasm and love that the Saints generate for this city is undeniable.  The energy and excitement that pulses through New Orleans is palpable on game days.  The camaraderie you feel whether you’re watching a game at a bar or at home with friends and family is unlike anything I’ve experienced; it’s magic.  You celebrate the wins and console each other on the losses.

While I would have rather seen the Broncos win last night after the Seahawks took us out of the playoffs, I can imagine the celebration on the streets of Seattle and I’m happy for the fans.  The 2010 Superbowl, where the Saints defeated the Colts and brought New Orleans our first ever Lombardi trophy will forever remain one of the most fun filled days of my life.  Seattle, like NOLA before the 2009 season, had never won a world championship before and it was well deserved for them.  Job well done, Seahawks.  I know I can’t wait for the next time The Saints head to the big game and bring us home another victory.

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