Jazz Fest Fridge Magnet Thursday, Apr 30 2009 

NEW ORLEANS - APRIL 24:  Leroy Jones & the Fai...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife
 Many Jazz Fest designs sold at Fig Street Studio
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Art In The News: Royal Street Musicians Monday, Apr 27 2009 

The famous Rue Bourbon, or Bourbon Street, is ...
Image via Wikipedia

I found this fascinating French Quarter story today:

Throughout the French Quarter are Street Musicians who play day and night. Many are regulars for years and excellent musicians. I painted the banjo player years ago but you can see musicians playing there today and everyday. Music fills the streets of the Quarter.JK Schwehm, Art In The News, Apr 2009

You should read the whole article.

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Royal Street Musicians Monday, Apr 27 2009 

Throughout the French Quarter are Street Musicians who play day and night. Many are regulars for years and excellent musicians. I painted the banjo player years ago but you can see musicians playing there today and everyday. Music fills the streets of the Quarter. Street musicians make good art compositions.

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Art News Blog Sunday, Apr 26 2009 

 I somewhat keep a running list of art and graphic designs I have done in a blog I call “Art News”. It started out as some odd news articles for April Fools Day but was an easy place to add in an announcement of what new designs I made. When Twitter came along I could add in all my Tweets. So it is a busy place with a lot of short blog entries but a good place to learn and see a lot of my graphic designs. Whenever I do a new design I add in a picture and link to it and I also add in other older designs as people ask about them. Here is that link- http://oddinthenews.blogspot.com/

Big Red Streetcar Painting Sunday, Apr 26 2009 

 

 

In the fall of 2006 I painted a big red streetcar mural for a nice New Orleans themed restaurant in Athens, GA. and kept a blog on its progress. I did not want to repeat the long blog here so I thought I would just add the link here. Stop in and read how it was done- http://bigredstreetcar.blogspot.com/

Family and friends have stopped in and ate, said the food is good and the painting is fine.

That Old Crawfish: What’s In The Name? Thursday, Apr 16 2009 

The word “Crawfish ” comes from the Cajun French word “escrevisse“.  Many places use other names, crayfish, crawdad, mudbug but we here in Louisiana prefer “crawfish”. No matter what it is called it is a favorite food in spring. Boiled Crawfish with corn, potatoes, garlic, sausage and more is served at many family picnic or back yard party. I am told the real scientific name is Astacoidea Cambardae and there are over 300 types in North America alone, a big family even by Cajun standards.  The art of boiling them was covered in another blog entry but it is easy just get any of the boiling spice packages from Rex or Zatarain’s and follow the directions. To make it real fancy people add in corn on the cob, and other veggies that boil well, even artichokes. Whatever you like add in the boiling water and have friends over.

One time I even wrote a fable about a Cajun Mermaid, part crawfish part woman on how the first Cajun ate the beautiful red swamp crawfish.

Cajun Mermaid design at Fig Street Studio

Cajun Mermaid design at Fig Street Studio

I use the crawfish too in many of my gift designs sold on the web at http://www.cafepress.com/figstreetstudio/596208 I would think along with the Fleur De Lis, the Crawfish is a symbol of Louisiana. See the Fleur De Marais design here: http://www.cafepress.com/figstreetstudio/5246408

Crawfish Fleur De Lis design at Fig Street Studio

Crawfish Fleur De Lis design at Fig Street Studio

Crawfish designs sold by Fig Street Studio

Crawfish designs sold by Fig Street Studio

By whatever name it is called it is a fun delicious food found in the swamps of South Louisiana, the swamps we must all protect as they once protected us.

New Basin Canal Lighthouse Monday, Apr 13 2009 

NEW ORLEANS - MAY 29:  Carlos Alvaranga sits o...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Ceramic Tile Sold at Fig Street Studio

Ceramic Tile Sold at Fig Street Studio

 Growing up at West End on Lake Pontchartrain I would often ride my bike to the Lakeshore and fish. I would use a small caste net and caste for shrimp. Then use the small shrimp to fish, mostly for mullets. Once when I was about 7 years old while casting next to the lighthouse I slipped on the green slim that grows on the steps of the seawall  and fell into the mucky lake waters. Lucky for me I did not get tangled in the net but did get cut up on barnacles as I grabbed for the concrete. Opening my eyes I could see the light  and pushed from the concrete through the waves up and when I emerged I could see the lighthouse. Grabbing on a step I climbed out of the water and caught my breath looking all the time at the lighthouse. Since that time that lighthouse has been special for me and when Katrina destroyed it I was concerned after all it was  the beacon that saved me from the murky water that day 53 years ago. Lucky for me I have a collection of photos I have taken over the years and several paintings to now keep me company as they repair and rebuild the lighthouse. Hopefully I can be there when it is done.

Print sold at Fig Street Studio

Print sold at Fig Street Studio

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The Lion At The City Park Peristyle and Old Palm Tree Monday, Apr 13 2009 

Print Sold at Fig Street Art Studio

Print Sold at Fig Street Art Studio

In 1974 when I was a Probation Officer at Juvenile Court in New Orleans I saw an elderly man collecting seeds from the many beautiful palm trees along Loyola Ave by the Civil Courts Building. He told me he planted the seeds in empty coffee cans and grew them for sale. He was correct because I followed his advice and had many palm trees to plant in my yard. New Orleans has many beautiful palms and they make the landscape very interesting. I purposely painted the the palm tree behind the lion in the above painting because with the moon the painting looked like another place not  New Orleans City Park. The park has some unique and beautiful spots that could be found in Europe .

Last November while visiting the park I decided to collect some seeds from that big beautiful palm tree near the Peristyle. I wasn’t sure why. I had already collected seeds from palm trees on Magazine St and they were sprouting. This weekend I was in city park and  discovered to make room for “improvements” that big beautiful palm tree was cut down and laying ready to be cut up into pieces. Now I know why I stopped to collect the seeds. I will not only have a beautiful palm tree but one from the big  palm tree that once stood majestically near the Peristyle in City Park making my painting even more cherished.

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PS:  The construction  is done. The area now has many trees and a beautiful open area with walkway and fountain. The old tennis courts next to it is a nice parking lot. The addition of many trees replaced the one large tree a fair exchange. April 4, 2011

The Piano and Chair Thursday, Apr 9 2009 

Piano and Chair

 

Once when I lived on Fig Street my neighbor was trying to give away an old piano. It wasn’t easy because they are so heavy and costly to repair no one wanted to bother with it. She was telling me all about it and I said I’ll take it. All I had were the electronic keyboards, it would be nice to have an old piano. Well I quickly learned why no one wanted to bother. I got it to the front sidewalk and had to call for help. My son and several of his friends arrived and we pushed it to my front steps then rested as going up was not easy. We made it up and set it inside with my old chair in the living room. A friend is a piano tuner and he came buy to tell me the poor old piano was too old and worn to bother tuning. So what, I couldn’t play well either so we were a perfect match.

I usually paint on a painting table that was set up across the room from the old piano and chair. One day I was painting the Mississippi Queen River Boat with a lot of detail and had to rest. As I looked off to rest my eyes I saw the old piano and chair with my shoes on the floor. To me it looked just like something Van Gogh would paint. He painted his room, chairs, shoes, almost anything that sat still. So I quickly sketched it onto an old piece of paper sitting on the table I used to clean off white paint from my brush, not thinking I would actually finish it. As I sketched then painted it started looking good until I began to shake. If I do not stop to eat I begin to shake from some sort of sugar problem. I finished the painting but was a little upset with the squiggley and shaking lines in it. I put it on the side went to eat and basically forgot about it. As I cleaned up the painting table from the original riverboat painting I saw the Old Piano and Chair so I put it in a cheap frame but did not hang it up. My son saw it and said he thought it was fine and the squiggley lines did make it look Van Gogh like. Maybe Van Gogh had a sugar problem? A friend stop by once and said it was her favorite. So I never really know what a painting would do or how it would affect someone. Mostly I paint for the fun of doing it. Oh, the Old Piano is no more we finally gave it away too, so I am glad I took a rest from painting that day and did the Old Piano and Chair.