Life and Legacy

George Rodrigue’s life, art, and philanthropy touch lives every day. In a reality that, from my perspective, is both exhilarating and unsettling, I see him moving into near-mythic status, grouped in art lessons with Van Gogh, Picasso, and Matisse.  I’ve always known that he belongs with these artists —Modernist giants whose output enriches our world,Continue reading “Life and Legacy”

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”

George Rodrigue: “Fun for Me”

As Rodrigue Studio celebrates its 25th year in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, I’ve reluctantly stared memories hard in the face, piecing together, without George, a history that’s all about George.  As is the case throughout his life, a central aspect of the story exists within his artwork. “It’s got to be fun for me, or I don’tContinue reading “George Rodrigue: “Fun for Me””

Magic People

“I never thought before that I was interesting, but after talking with you, I realize that I’m fascinating!” –Roz Cole In September 2013 I spent several weeks in a New York City hospital room with George Rodrigue’s longtime literary agent, Rosalind Cole.  Weak from his medication’s side effects, George couldn’t travel, and I remember wellContinue reading “Magic People”

Boundless: Saved by Art

Early last year I retreated for three months to a tiny cottage in Seaside, Florida.  I was raised on nearby Okaloosa Island, and as I searched for ‘home’ ….alone… this community provided physical safety and comforting memories, especially during the quiet off-season between Christmas and spring break.   Around 1980 I watched, with my motherContinue reading “Boundless: Saved by Art”

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”

Swimming Upstream

This morning George joined me in the bedroom after painting all night.  We stood at the window and watched the sunrise.      “There’s only one owl,” I whispered.      “Maybe they split up,” he replied. But we both knew better. -from The Other Side of the Painting We wanted to see the bears.Continue reading “Swimming Upstream”

Cora’s Restaurant and CODOFIL

In 1968 attorney and former Louisiana State Senator and U.S. Representative Jimmy Domengeaux* (1907-1988) of Lafayette founded the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, known as CODOFIL. Impressed with the initiative, Louisiana Governor John McKeithen pushed through a bill that granted the organization the necessary state credentials. (pictured:  In 1912 Louisiana Governor HallContinue reading “Cora’s Restaurant and CODOFIL”

Rembrandt: A Memory

In the summer of 2005, George Rodrigue and I visited Amsterdam.  Rembrandt’s house was recently opened to the public.  Because he declared bankruptcy, a detailed list exists of his 1656 belongings, enabling today’s historians to replace every furnishing, fossil, and vase from his vast collections. Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) was an art rock star, bothContinue reading “Rembrandt: A Memory”

The Lone Artist

“The artist is involved with art as a way of life.”* George Rodrigue and I discuss often the definition of art.  We study the roles of craft, commercialism, high and low art, concluding always that there is no definitive answer, but that the fun —indeed the tradition— lies in the debates. Ideally, art reflects theContinue reading “The Lone Artist”