The Other Side of the Painting

Oftentimes it takes others to point out our achievements.  What begins as small and for oneself can become something else.  George Rodrigue paints today with confidence, sure of both his brushstrokes and direction.  His paintings are steps towards expounding his vision, whether within a specific series or his career’s oeuvre. But this was not alwaysContinue reading “The Other Side of the Painting”

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”

Some Like It Hot

George Rodrigue’s newest artwork, Some Like It Hot, pays tribute to Marilyn Monroe, a golden icon of the silver screen and public fantasy.  He frames her with a bold design of color and shape, including his own icons, the Blue and Red Dogs. (pictured, Some Like It Hot, 2012 by George Rodrigue, 26×40 inches, silkscreenContinue reading “Some Like It Hot”

The Patchwork Gift

In 1978 George Rodrigue tackled a 5×7 foot canvas, piecing together a group of women at a church quilting party, a common Acadian gathering during the 1940s and 1950s.  The ambitious project includes twenty figures, including a portrait of the painting’s new owner with her child, all gathered beneath Rodrigue’s typical Louisiana oaks. -click photoContinue reading “The Patchwork Gift”

Blue Fall in Louisiana

“When they showed me my body, it was blue,” explained George Rodrigue to a friend this week.  “Nothing dark, no patches, they were all gone.” I overheard him on the phone and my ears picked up, not because I hadn’t seen the scan, but because I hadn’t thought of his body as blue, and IContinue reading “Blue Fall in Louisiana”

Harouni Paints Rodrigue

Recently artist David Harouni painted a portrait of George Rodrigue, a special request by mutual friends Kerry and Tiffa Boutte of New Orleans.  Known for his powerful painted Heads, usually his own, Harouni traces his life’s journey, the imprints of memory and experience, layering and scraping paint in a process both concealing and revealing. BornContinue reading “Harouni Paints Rodrigue”

Painting (and Living?) Again

George Rodrigue and I returned to New Orleans early August as though our old lives were a dream. It’s hard to believe we threw parties in this house, I mused, as we settled into our sofa and BBC television. “I barely remember going out to dinner,” countered George. Meanwhile, artist Glenda Banta asked me on-lineContinue reading “Painting (and Living?) Again”

Success

This week I read Just Kids, poet/rocker Patti Smith’s personal account of life with her closest friend, artist/photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.  I had planned an essay on Louisiana’s Legends, a series of portraits completed by George Rodrigue for Public Broadcasting between 1990 and 1993, but after finishing Smith’s memoir late Thursday night, I suffered Friday aContinue reading “Success”

Starry Starry Eyes: A Runaway Hit

In 1991 George Rodrigue’s printed artwork bolted forward with new color and precision as he applied the latest in ink and technology to his silkscreens.  This was a substantial advancement over his earlier Cajun posters and Blue Dog silkscreens.  For the first time he created complex original print designs using intense hues. Prior to theContinue reading “Starry Starry Eyes: A Runaway Hit”

Clifton Chenier and a Cajun Explosion

In 1985 George Rodrigue painted the great musician Clifton Chenier (1925-1987).  At the time, Chenier was world-famous, crowned a Grammy Award winner in 1983 and summoned everywhere from San Francisco to Switzerland to share his unique Louisiana sound. Rodrigue’s timing in painting the portrait honors Chenier not only for his music, but also for hisContinue reading “Clifton Chenier and a Cajun Explosion”