Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Here are the final two panels for my Breaux Mart mural, "Makin' Groceries in Early New Orleans". One features a creole couple strolling by the dry goods market. If one of them bears a strange resemblance to Obama, that is no mistake! A neighbor requested I include him in the scene so that he can see him every time he steps outside his door so he can feel like "he really is still here with us". The one with Cafe du Monde combines an image of Rose Nicaud with the famous coffee stand she laid the ground work for. In New Orleans, slave owners traditionally gave their forced laborers Sundays off. Rose Nicaud saw how busy the market place was on this day, and decided to sell fresh, hot coffee to the shoppers. This enabled her to buy her freedom and make that her full-time employment.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
I still have a a little more work on this 10' x 60+' mural, but I feel good enough about it to post a few photos of it. It is in the private courtyard of a wonderful gentleman who rides in the Krewe of Rex, and was commissioned as a gift by his lovely wife. It features him riding with a friend the float he rides on annually, as well as the one he first rode on, which is the reknowned Le Boef Gras. It also features all ten of the grandchildren in the mural- twice! The mural spans across two walls, each approximately 30'. The first section encompasses all of one 30' length, and allows them to enjoy some Louisiana scenery outside their kitchen window. The other wall is divided by a tree about 2/3 across. The largest section reminds them of the joyful times they enjoy as a family during Mardi Gras. The last section features the grandkids sitting as they would for a family portrait on and around a picnic table.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
This is a classic look for a float- covered in flames to ignite the imagination as it rolls by in the dark of night. There can be a number of thematical reasons for a float to be "ungulfed in flames"- but this is part of a Winged Mythological Beast theme that Universal employed for its Mardi Gras parade in Orlando last year. This look never goes out of style- even if I'm a year late in posting this!
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
In another of the six panels on the Breaux Mart mural, I depict a couple of the door-to-door peddlers that used to be omni-present in the residential neighborhoods of New Orleans. We once had many people selling goods as they roamed the streets, each with their own unique call as they strolled past houses. Both of these peddlers were inspired by actual illustrations made in the 1880's by itinerant artists such as found in water-colorist Leon Fremaux's book and Leslie Frank's Illustrated Newspaper.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
This scene represents the colonnaded walk in the French Quarter that now has stores built in its center portion. This walk was one of the first places in the city to have gas light starting in 1860's, which was very modern and high-tech in its day. Native Americans were also omni-present in the market all the way until the 1950's, from what some old-timers tell me. To me the most important thing was that there were more ethnic groups in constant contact with each other in New Orleans than any other place in the country perhaps, with the exception of New York, at that time...
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Monday, April 17, 2017
The new mural for Breaux Mart's Toledano Street wall is now complete- or perhaps I should say, I've stopped myself from working on it! As may folks say, it's not easy for many artists to declare a painting completed, especially one on this scale! This is definitely my most challenging project to date, and Salvador Dali sometimes spent a year working on paintings smaller than this wall. All this said, the mural includes six historic vignettes framed in tromp l'oeil arches, to help transform an ordinary cinder block wall into something in the spirit of 19th century architecture. Each view is designed and painted to make you feel as if you are looking through the wall into another time when we did not simply pick up all our sustenance from one store. The first one I want to share is the milk wagon, which made rounds through the neighborhoods, parked near the Ursuline Convent with a nun approaching to purchase milk. It is based on a photo of a "milk man" taken in the late 19th century, clearly in the French Quarter- most likely Decatur Street, though I have used artistic license in placing him near the convent and adding the nun, who would have been a common site in that area into the 1950's or '60's.