Closing the Gallery

Big News:  just shy of making our three year anniversary, I have decided to close the doors at The Green Eyed Gator.  This isn’t a decision I’ve come to lightly but it’s what is best for me at this time and so that’s what I’m going to do.1

When I opened the gallery, I did so with the intention of having a constant showing of my own work within the space.  I thought that I would be able to set up a small studio within the shop and create while also engaging with customers.  The reality is that because the French Quarter is such a vibrant neighborhood with so much foot traffic, that I never get to paint and I miss it.  First and foremost, I consider myself an artist and any artist will tell you that what they love to do is create.  The business aspect of marketing yourself and selling your work is just something that goes along with it.  I don’t know why I thought it would be any easier than it has been, but I have managed to box myself into a situation in which all I do is deal with the business aspect of the art world and it’s been very draining for me.  Anyone who has been in the store recently or knows me personally also knows that I’m currently pregnant; this obviously plays a huge part in my decision as well.  I know that if I currently think I have no time to paint that once my little dude is born I’m REALLY going to be stuck doing retail and only retail and that’s just not something that I want.  Of course there are many other factors that weigh into my decision as well, but I won’t bore you with all of the details!983769_460118970796120_8775121296846380344_n 10455865_437136569761027_8335139914454102991_n 1475919_348517248622960_1224018990_n

That being said, I’m so thankful for this time of my life.  Owning this gallery has been such a learning experience and I’ve met so many amazing people.  In fact, the one thing I’ve come to value the most over the past three years are the connections I’ve made.  I LOVE each and every one of the artists that I carry in the store.  They’re all talented and wonderful people.  I definitely feel like I’m letting them down in closing but thankfully, they’ve all been nothing but supportive and accepting of my decision.  Next there are all of the people who live and work in the quarter.  These are the people that have made my day to day so fabulous.  They stop in with their pets for a bite of pupperoni, they bring me delicious treats, or they simply pop in for a bit of conversation and they’ve all become a part of my daily life that I’m going to miss greatly.  Finally, there are the folks who have started as customers of the shop and have turned into friends.  These people just happened in one day, we found that we clicked, and the rest is history.  Y’all know who you are and I’m so happy you’ve found your way into my life.998073_294822730659079_264973610_nphoto524543_392452770896074_788839941_n

So now for the specifics, The Green Eyed Gator will be open through French Quarter Fest.  I’m hoping to have a little shindig on the evening of Saturday April 11th to say farewell.  I’m going to be 36 weeks pregnant and (I’m sure) exhausted, so we’re going to play that one by ear for now.  We’ll close our doors on Monday the 13th for good.  From April 14th to the 19th, we’ll be in and out so artists can pick up their work and we’ll be selling off some our our fixtures then.  There will be other odds and ends for sale as well and plenty of other killer deals you’ll find out about if you pop in at that time.  I’ll post the hours we’re planning on being in the gallery each day on our Facebook page.  Speaking of our Facebook page, I’m going to keep it around so I can update y’all on the artists that have made this gallery so special.  Where you can find their work, if they have any shows coming up, what art market’s and festivals they’ll be vending at, etc.10593050_460118344129516_4199323240236012997_n 10460741_460118587462825_1314648392848332029_n IMG_9436

Thank you so much everyone for being a part of this wild ride!  It’s hard to believe it’s been almost three years already.  This time has flown by for me and it’s a period of my life that I won’t ever forget.  While it’s okay to be sad that the French Quarter is loosing a funky little gallery space, please don’t feel sad for me at all.  I am SO thrilled to move onto the next chapter of my life, to get to create and do what I love again, and to begin the journey that is going to be motherhood.  I hope to see y’all over the next six weeks while we’re still open and please, please, please keep in touch!562680_137329706408383_65800610_n


Mardi Gras 2015

Well another Mardi Gras has come and gone and I must say it was a totally different experience this year what with being pregnant and sober and all.  This post is also coming to you almost a week after the fact because I got sick on Ash Wednesday and let me tell you, being pregnant and sick sucks!  There is almost nothing you can take for relief.  I’ve been using essential oils, the neti pot, and all of my other favorite homeopathic remedies and I’m just now starting to feel better so…yeah it’s been great.


Anyway, carnival time!  Nate ended up going offshore and so he was only in for Krewe du Vieux and that’s the one picture we took that night that you see above.  For the rest of the season, I decided not to march with my Bearded Oyster sisters this year as 5 miles was just too much for me and my aching back to think about.  Instead I focused my creative energies into Barkus and my Mardi Gras day costume.  It’s been three or four years since I last did Barkus, the dog parade, and it’s always a great time whenever we do participate.  We came up with the idea for our float last year but couldn’t get out shit together in time to do it.  We went off theme this year (it was Bark-wars) and did a dog spin on a local celebrity, Mr. Okra.  Mr. Okra drives around in his truck selling produce so Mr. Bone-kra, his doggie counter part, drives around and sells the “freshest treats in the hood.”  It was a BIG hit.  The locals loved it and we gave out a crap load of treats.

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Amanda, who owns Queork, was the mastermind behind the whole idea.  It was a collaborative effort in the building of the float.  The first day we put our two wagons together and built a wooden frame for the foam board to adhere to.  I was off the next two days so Amanda did all of the foam board cutting and putting together of the structure.  I then came in and paper mached the edges and did all of the painting.  All in all, it took us about a week to put together.  Amanda’s bulldog, Popeye, played the part of Mr. Bone-kra and Gypsy, Carlos, and my sister’s dog Hank were his veggie friends.  In true Shannon procrastination fashion I was sewing the dog’s costumes together until about midnight the night before and then I had to actually put the veggies on the shirt the next day.  Cutting it a little close but I got it done.

I watched most of the parades that came by the house this year.  I LOVE a parade.  It’s been about four years since I watched Muses, instead of marching in it.  It’s easily one of the most crowded of the parades and what everyone wants is a shoe.  I got two shoes, admittedly both from friends, but it’s so exciting when they hand them to you off of the float.  How insanely gorgeous is the butterfly clog that my friend Jane made?  The handmade throws are where it’s at.  Don’t get be wrong, when you get a big ass string of beads it’s really exciting too, but the handmade throws are what I cherish.

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Mardi Gras day was COLD again this year but fortunately it wasn’t raining like last year.  I woke up with a tickle in my throat and thought about skipping Zulu but it’s not Mardi Gras day with out a Zulu coconut, am I right?  Plus I had made my costume and who knows if I’ll be pregnant during Mardi Gras again?  I’ve always loved the zombie baby popping out of the belly costume and so I did a King Cake spin on it.  I made the king cake pillow out of felt and did the icing in paint and the sugar is glitter, obviously.  I also made my headdress and between the King Cake and that I got glitter ALL OVER the house.  I had the baby parts laying around and I made the little speech bubble out a paper clay.  I had to bundle up so my belly wasn’t quite as prominent as I would have liked but it was still a hit all around.

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I got my coconuts and called it a day.  Until next year, Mardi Gras and holy crap, next year will be baby’s first carnival!  He’s obviously going to love parades as much as his mama does.

Baby On The Way


God, sometimes I just fall off the blogging wagon so hard.  It makes me sad too, because I really enjoy looking at my blog posts  from the previous year and looking at all of the ups and downs and day to day accomplishments.  Well, I haven’t written much because I’ve been so preoccupied by the baby growing in my belly.  Nate and I got a positive on that pee stick the day before we left for vacation at the end of August.  I was late and just wanted to know before we left.  I almost lost it when I saw the positive line pop up.  Despite wanting to run down the street screaming, it took us a little over a year to make it happen and so naturally, I didn’t want to jinx it by telling everyone.  I told my immediate family because I am truly the worst at keeping secrets, but other than that we kept it close to the chest well into the second trimester.  Part of that was because I want to surprise my Grammy on her 80th birthday.  Success, she was surprised!  I then had to tell the rest of my family to zip it so that we could surprise Nate’s family members that weren’t in the know yet over Thanksgiving.  Success again!  Then on Thanksgiving day, I told the internet world with the picture above and the cat was officially out of the bag. 10850032_10100231590158465_6146920408038283582_n

We found out on December 8th, my Dad’s birthday, that we are going to have a baby boy.  I had felt that it was a boy all along so it was exciting to be right.  Nate said I had a fifty fifty shot of being right but that didn’t stop me from gloating and then posting baby’s first dick pic for all to see.  I was waiting to find out the gender before putting the finishing touches on my Christmas card this year.  The tiny stocking was either going to be pink or blue, although I was tempted to just fill it in blue before the ultrasound because I was THAT sure.  I love the way the card turned out.  I spent quite a bit of time on it over a two day period while I was at the shop. 10863894_10100240096945795_7852916835452240689_o

So 2015 is sure to be a big year for us, for many reasons, but most importantly because we have a baby boy due during the second weekend of Jazz Fest.  For years now, I’ve been so excited to decorate a nursery and now that’s becoming a reality and y’all, DO I HAVE PLANS!!  I’ve picked the theme, made Nate do all of the wall and ceiling painting, and I’m hoping to start with the mural next week.  Pictures to come!

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.  


Majestic as F*ck


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  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.


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!


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!


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


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.


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


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.