Farewell to Exhibitions; Welcome to Painting

George Rodrigue and I spent much of the past eighteen months on the road visiting museums and communities for exhibitions, lectures, and education events coordinated by the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) and the New Orleans Museum of Art, which organized the tour as part of its 100th birthday celebration.  Locations included BatonContinue reading “Farewell to Exhibitions; Welcome to Painting”

The Working Artist

Note:  Throughout this post I sprinkled images by Louisiana artists.  Some I interviewed and some not, but all are included in the book The Bicentennial History of Art in Louisiana.*  As I wrote, I thought of the text and images as two separate statements, not necessarily related.  In other words, unless specifically noted, all artistContinue reading “The Working Artist”

Popular Art: Famous Paintings by George Rodrigue

During our recent tours in north Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle, the question arose several times regarding George Rodrigue’s most popular paintings. “My favorite painting,” he’s quick to reply, “is always the one I’m working on now.” (pictured, George Rodrigue at his easel in Carmel Valley, California, 10/6/11) But for the rest of us, humanContinue reading “Popular Art: Famous Paintings by George Rodrigue”

A Number One Tiger Fan

From his earliest commission, a valuable lesson at age fifteen when the funeral home director Mr. Burgess refused to pay the agreed-upon fifty-dollar price for his portrait, George Rodrigue tossed around the pros and cons of outside projects.  Everyone has an idea, most well meaning but ill advised. Human nature requests the obvious, and GeorgeContinue reading “A Number One Tiger Fan”

Museums and Critics, an Early History

“I’m a survivor.” George Rodrigue, 2011 In 1969 the Art Center of Southwest Louisiana held George Rodrigue’s first solo museum exhibition. Located in Lafayette at the University of Southwest Louisiana, the museum, also known as the Pink Palace, existed within a Mississippi River-style plantation, surrounded by huge columns and designed by architect A. Hays Town.Continue reading “Museums and Critics, an Early History”

Counting on Art (and Painting by Numbers)

George Rodrigue first picked up a paintbrush in 1953 when his mother brought him the latest American craze, paint by number sets, to ease his boredom as he lie sick in bed with polio. By the early Fifties the masses saw paint by number as affordable, do-it-yourself art. But even as a young boy, GeorgeContinue reading “Counting on Art (and Painting by Numbers)”

The Family Portrait

Although George Rodrigue admitted to himself only recently that he is an effective portrait artist, he has painted both real and imaginary figures for forty years, accepting commissions for family portraits since the early 1970s. For the family portrait he feels pressured to please everyone from Great Aunt Marie to Baby Hebert with regards toContinue reading “The Family Portrait”

The Collectible Book

George Rodrigue and I spent the past few days in Las Vegas, Nevada. We trekked to and through the City Center, wanting to see the much-touted series of structures firsthand. Although the architecture is over the top and the occasional art piece of interest, ironically it was a bookstore that occupied our afternoon. We talkContinue reading “The Collectible Book”

The Ragin’ Cajun (The Art of the Trade)

Granted I’m biased, however I’ve witnessed over the years that most people, men and women, find George Rodrigue downright charming. It’s something about that Cajun accent combined with the Snagglepuss laugh and his down-to-earth demeanor that reels in both friends and strangers alike. This is a handy character trait regarding his business. For years GeorgeContinue reading “The Ragin’ Cajun (The Art of the Trade)”

Spotlight on Sandra

Two years after opening The Rodrigue Gallery of New Orleans, George Rodrigue followed in 1991 with Galerie Blue Dog in Carmel, California.* That first summer, as he installed his paintings and established himself in the tiny seaside community, a southern gal walked in smiling and reminded him, “Don’t you remember me? We met years agoContinue reading “Spotlight on Sandra”