Galerie Blue Dog, Carmel

In 1991 George Rodrigue opened Galerie Blue Dog in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.  The one-square-mile village includes cottages, restaurants, shops and galleries, all descending westward towards the beach and Pacific Ocean. “I visited Carmel often while a student at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles during the 1960s,” recalls Rodrigue.  “As long as IContinue reading “Galerie Blue Dog, Carmel”

Life Lessons and an Art Contest

George Rodrigue entered two art contests in his life and failed at both. By ‘failed,’ I’m not talking about losses, but more significant that he was disqualified or learned a hard lesson about cheating. “Nothing in life is fair,” my mother used to say, and maybe she was right. But in the end perhaps that’sContinue reading “Life Lessons and an Art Contest”

Our Anniversary

Fifteen years ago today, George Rodrigue and I married beneath a Louisiana live oak, the same Evangeline-style tree he’s painted for years, in Rip Van Winkle Gardens at Jefferson Island, Louisiana.  It was a stormy day, and yet the sun emerged just long enough, as we exchanged our vows.  “It seems like yesterday,” said George’sContinue reading “Our Anniversary”

Musings of Heather the Great (an Artist’s Sister-in-Law)

My sister, Heather Wolfe Parker, a.k.a. ‘Heather T. Great,’ (her title since grade school), steps in as a guest-blogger this week-  “Hello?” “Hey George! It’s your sister.” “Who?” (pictured above, my son Wyatt, me, my dad, George) It’s the same ol’ dull routine each time I phone. Poor George has been bludgeoned by the forceContinue reading “Musings of Heather the Great (an Artist’s Sister-in-Law)”

The Artist’s Father: George Godfrey Rodrigue, Sr. (Daddy and Baby George)

George Rodrigue rarely speaks of his father.  I’ve written before about his construction and tomb business, as well as peripheral facts regarding his Cajun heritage.  But even when pressed, I had a hard time pulling personal information about Big George from his son. As I suspected, George struggles with these memories, and he stared inContinue reading “The Artist’s Father: George Godfrey Rodrigue, Sr. (Daddy and Baby George)”

The Artist’s Mother: Marie Courrege Rodrigue

“Aren’t you happy?” my uncle asked Marie Rodrigue on the night of my engagement to her son.  “You’re going to have a daughter-n-law!” “I had one,” she replied, her face deadpan.  “It didn’t work out.” When she died in 2008 at age one hundred and three, George Rodrigue’s mother still wanted to “go home” toContinue reading “The Artist’s Mother: Marie Courrege Rodrigue”

A Distinguished Eagle Scout

On May 12, 2011 the Boy Scouts of America honor George Rodrigue with their highest honor, the Distinguished Eagle Award. Since established by the National Eagle Scout Association in 1969, only six Eagle Scouts from the New Orleans area have received this honor, the last one twenty-two years ago in 1989. Never have I seenContinue reading “A Distinguished Eagle Scout”

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”

The Ghost of Christmas Past

I try and, honestly, fail to imagine 1950s New Iberia, Louisiana. I’ve stared at this photograph for hours, a six-year old George Rodrigue dressed as a cowboy on Christmas morning, an only child surrounded by symbols of the time: a Radio Flyer red wagon; promotional Coca-Cola Santa Clauses (in multiples because his dad traded themContinue reading “The Ghost of Christmas Past”

A Gallery of His Own (A Woolf Inspires a Wolfe)

“Be truthful one would say, and the result is bound to be amazingly interesting.”* From day one, from his return to Louisiana from art school in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, George Rodrigue wanted one thing: to make a living as an artist. However, he never imagined that selling his art would be up to him.Continue reading “A Gallery of His Own (A Woolf Inspires a Wolfe)”