It’s been a long day at Alligator Fest. It runs from 11 to 11 Saturday and Sunday, and I did 6-11 Friday night. Is it wrong that I’m a little relieved it looks like constant rain tomorrow, and I might forego it altogether?
What I like most about this festival is the other artists, one in particular. His booth is across from mine and we make frequent visits. He’s in his fifties I’d guess, but his two year old daughter trails him wherever he goes. He says she’s never more than twenty feet from him and that’s how it’s been since she was born. She runs around his displays eating peanut butter straight from the jar with a plastic spoon and sometimes settles down underneath her dad’s makeshift desk where there is a pallet of pillows and books that she reads upside down.
This artist carves images into large pieces of wood and then paints on top of them. He works on his pieces in a little work area he’s fashioned in his tent.
Yesterday, he told me I needed to paint while I was here. I’m staying in Metairie for the duration of this fest so when he first said it, the thought of driving back to the northshore just to get supplies seemed absurd. I’d already done a painting in advance to cover myself for these three festival days.
But he made me want to do it— paint in public, let people watch even though I usually like my privacy. But still, it was an issue of distance. My incredibly wonderful boyfriend convinced me to do it and drove me to Mandeville and back just to get my travel easel and paint. Oil paints don’t exactly travel well, but, at the end of the day, why not? What did I have to lose?
When I arrived here this morning, I proudly showed my artist friend my supplies and thanked him for encouraging me to bring them. He said, “Now, go paint a crab.” Which is what I did.
I painted today’s painting, day 27, today at the festival. Honestly, not that many people looked on, but I enjoyed the experience so much I painted two more.
This one happened to be sale; a woman bought it still wet, and I’ll be shipping it to her as soon as it dries. It’s not the best photo. I don’t have my usual set up. I’ll post a better one soon.