The Jazz Fest Poster: Part 2

With this post, George and I remember Mrs. Frances Fernandez, long-time President and Board member of the New Orleans Jazz Club, who dedicated her life to the appreciation of New Orleans’s jazz musicians. We also remember Bill Hemmerling, a beloved local artist who painted the 2005 poster for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.Continue reading “The Jazz Fest Poster: Part 2”

The Land of Enchantment

Ever since losing our mother, Mignon, my sister and I take a week in the spring just for us. We should have done it years ago, with her, but now instead we travel together with her diaries and her memory, painting our fingernails purple and normalizing our eccentricities, making them near trendy, because crazy seemsContinue reading “The Land of Enchantment”

The Jazz Fest Poster: Part 1

In 1994 when first approached by ProCreations, the poster company for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, George Rodrigue hesitated. “It has to be my rules,” he said: “I want to paint Louis Armstrong, and I want to paint him without the Blue Dog.” Up until this time Jazz Fest posters included only musiciansContinue reading “The Jazz Fest Poster: Part 1”

For New Orleans

I’m sitting on our back porch drinking a fabulous glass of rose wine shipped to us today from Georis Winery, a tiny establishment down the street from our house in Carmel, otherwise known as la-la land. The bottle arrived this afternoon in a box with our club membership, and I couldn’t resist. From my vantageContinue reading “For New Orleans”

Fairs and Festivals, Ducks Unlimited and the New Orleans Jazz Club

If you ask George Rodrigue what made his art famous in Louisiana, his answer might surprise you. It’s not the Blue Dog, Absolut Vodka ads, or Jazz Fest. Rather, it’s the small town festival posters. Throughout the 1980s George created posters for dozens of festivals throughout the state. He sold thousands of these inexpensive offsetContinue reading “Fairs and Festivals, Ducks Unlimited and the New Orleans Jazz Club”

Musical Memories: A Stream of Consciousness

Stories about music lead to obscure references to Rodrigue paintings As we all know, music inspires nostalgia. I have no photograph of it, but in perhaps my earliest memory I’m sitting on the floor of my bedroom with my dad, newly home from flying, singing along to Neil Diamond and roaring, “Hey, hey, hey, baContinue reading “Musical Memories: A Stream of Consciousness”

Musicians: A Series of Paintings

It’s spring in Louisiana, and that means seventy-degree weather, festivals, and live music. This weekend New Orleans hosts the French Quarter Festival, an annual free music festival throughout the oldest part of the city, and popular with both tourists and locals. Through the windows of our third floor bedroom in the Faubourg Marigny, we listenedContinue reading “Musicians: A Series of Paintings”

Miniatures: Manuscripts, Landscapes, Blue Dogs and Blogs

Jean de France, duc de Berry commissioned the Belles Heures, an elaborate calendar and religious volume, in 1405. Created by the German Limbourg brothers, Herman, Paul, and Jean over five years in Paris, the illuminated manuscript is a mere 9×6 inches, with many paintings no bigger than a postage stamp. My friend Emer and IContinue reading “Miniatures: Manuscripts, Landscapes, Blue Dogs and Blogs”

Rabbits and Chickens In (and Out) of Rodrigue Paintings

George Rodrigue’s sense of play spills over from his life into his art. Even in his Cajun paintings, which many consider to be his ‘serious work,’ he plays jokes on the public, entertaining himself and his audience with absurd subject matter, scale, and titles. The truth, however, is that when it comes to the actualContinue reading “Rabbits and Chickens In (and Out) of Rodrigue Paintings”