Walk With Me to the Future

It was while bedridden with polio that George Rodrigue (1944-2013) discovered painting. Unable to walk, and highly contagious with a disease feared by parents everywhere, he remained at home throughout much of the third grade with only his mother for company. His father, George, Sr., supported his family from the road while working as aContinue reading “Walk With Me to the Future”

Teachers (And Why It Almost Didn’t Happen)

Presenting to teachers presents an unusual challenge.  After all, that is their role with their students during hundreds of classes each year.  Last week, during the Oklahoma A+ Schools “Not Your Average Conference” at the University of Central Oklahoma, teachers from seventy arts-integrated schools laughed at me, or rather with me, when I asked duringContinue reading “Teachers (And Why It Almost Didn’t Happen)”

What’s With This Dog?

George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog artworks became a phenomenon, as well as a portal to creative freedom for the artist.   On his canvas, along with drawings, sculptures, and digital expressions, the surrealist impulses within his Cajun paintings flourished beyond imaginary Louisiana settings to include the broad expanse of George’s mind, unlimited by a culture orContinue reading “What’s With This Dog?”

Rodrigue Jewelry

George first created jewelry in the 1970s, hand-forming designs in clay from his images of Oak Trees and Jolie Blonde, which he reinterpreted as solid gold pendants.  Later he made for himself one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras coins featuring elements from his paintings, also in gold, and embellished with precious stones. In the 1980s George met DouglasContinue reading “Rodrigue Jewelry”

Circle of Life: Round Paintings

As I understand it, the bright-colored mandala represents the universe; its creation in sand and its inevitable destruction represent the impermanence of life.* Some years ago I asked George Rodrigue if he would paint, for me, a meditative symbol.  He replied, naturally… “I already have.” (pictured: Circle of Life, 2002, an original silkscreen by George Rodrigue,Continue reading “Circle of Life: Round Paintings”

Absolut Blue Dog

It’s twenty-five years since George Rodrigue last drank alcohol,* and yet he was part of one of the most successful stories in advertising history, promoting a vodka. “Even when I did drink,” laughs the artist, “it was always bourbon or wine.  I never liked vodka.” (pictured, Absolut Rodrigue, 1993, one of three paintings created byContinue reading “Absolut Blue Dog”

Rocky Mountain Blues

Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, George Rodrigue, like many New Orleans artists, sought temporary venues for his work.  Even after the Rodrigue Gallery reopened in January 2006, it was several years before tourists returned strong to the city.  Local artists depend on this exposure to sell their art. In addition, although George and I experiencedContinue reading “Rocky Mountain Blues”

Shiny Happy Blue Dog

“We mortals are but shadows and dust.” –Proximo, Gladiator Recently, while shopping for skinny jeans and day-glo tees with my sister and cousin, I time-warped to the 1980s when flashy jewelry, exaggerated shoulders, and acrylic fingernails prevailed.  For a while, subtle feminine style seemed lost forever. George Rodrigue has never been subtle, in his ideas,Continue reading “Shiny Happy Blue Dog”

Blue Dog: A Life of Its Own

“Feel the dignity of a child. Do not feel superior to him, for you are not.” – Robert Henri It was in Hollywood, ironically, that George Rodrigue and I reflected recently on the Blue Dog in a new way.  We learned of a school in southern California that used the styles of art world mastersContinue reading “Blue Dog: A Life of Its Own”

Blue Dog, The Book

“To find her you must lose her.  The Blue Dog knows the way.” –Blue Dog, 1994 In March of 1992 journalist Bridget O’Brian interviewed George Rodrigue for an article, front page, center column, in The Wall Street Journal. Although George had no control over the content, O’Brian allowed him one special request.  Without hesitating, heContinue reading “Blue Dog, The Book”