Friday, August 5, 2016

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’t do it,” said George often about painting. 

It wasn’t the painting itself, however, but rather the act of painting and the solving of the puzzle that he found "fun."  I can see him in my head explaining this, holding an imaginary brush and palette.  “I love the feeling of applying the paint to the canvas,” he would say.  

Yet it was clear that George himself, even when he joked or laughed about a painting, never saw “fun” as important to his finished artwork.   He enjoyed making people happy, and it pleased him when others found joy in his art.  Yet he constantly stressed, “My paintings work because they’re painted in a very serious manner.”  

The Blue Dog is not Snoopy; it's not a character. George winced at the word ‘whimsical’ and was more likely to embrace descriptions like mysterious, mythical, regional, naive, surreal, and abstract.

-click photo to enlarge-

(Pictured:  paintings by George Rodrigue from my collection, as I prepare to pack them for shipment to Carmel’s Rodrigue Studio Silver Anniversary Exhibition, opening August 13th, 2016-)

I've always taken George's artwork seriously, in some ways now more than ever, as I search for the man himself within his paintings.  For this exhibition, I part with my paintings for six months, because I know that ultimately they have a life of their own ---certainly beyond me, and possibly even beyond George. And they need to be seen.

In recognition of Galerie Blue Dog Carmel’s outstanding first year, George presented me with Immaculate Dog, a painting I admired since he completed it in early 1992.  I appreciated George’s daring alteration of Ingres’s The Virgin of the Host (1852), where he replaces the religious ‘host’ with the Blue Dog, further linking his staring creation to the mystery of life, as even the Madonna gazes upon it.  (The following year we visited the original Ingres painting at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France.)

-click photo to enlarge-

Prior to the invention of electricity, religious art was often framed for Catholic churches using gold leaf.  The surrounding candlelight illuminated the gold, which illuminated the painting.  I sought to replicate this in my rented Guadalupe Street Carmel cottage, where I hung Immaculate Dog with reverence above the fireplace, flanked by a family heirloom ---- Renaissance-style candelabras.

It so happened that Galerie Blue Dog’s neighbor on 6th Avenue, artist Loran Speck (1943-2011), was not only a gifted painter, but also a craftsman who hand-carved and gilded frames in the traditional style.  A gentle and meticulous man, it took Loran two months to complete the beautiful wooden and genuine gold leaf frame for Immaculate Dog….. and it took me one year to pay for it.

Once I began traveling with George, friends and family often used my cottage while I was away.  Nearly every time, the thank-you note included a mention of an evening before the fire, discussing Immaculate Dog.  It was my most prized possession and the showpiece of my Carmel home.

“Because you’re one Hot Dog!” laughed George in 1994 as he hung this canvas, his first painting of me, just inside the front door of Galerie Blue Dog, Carmel.

Unlike our wedding portrait (below) the dog looks straight out, while I look up --- so that my gaze links the three elements in a surreal composition that, like most Rodrigue paintings, defies explanation.

Even though George gave me the painting, he insisted that it remain on view in the gallery.  Some people laughed, and some were confused.  But I never found it funny, and I was mesmerized by George’s interpretation of me.  Today it’s my favorite of his paintings.  It hangs in my bedroom and is the first and last thing I see each day.  No matter how much I study it, the meaning, like the meaning of life ...and loss... eludes me.

In 1995 George painted a second version of Hot Dog Halo, but seven feet square and without the hot dog, calling it Chanel #5.  The canvas went on to hang in numerous installations, including The Time is Always Now Gallery in New York City, and the store windows of Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Houston, and Honolulu.

In 1997 George surprised me with the painting Wendy and Me as our wedding portrait and the cover of our invitation.  He approached the painting and his idea with a structure and purpose that reflects multiple meanings.  What may seem funny on the outside reveals deep and universal themes, such as the mystery of life, the inevitability of death  ….and, certainly in the case of this painting, love.

Throughout his career, George connected with the Modern Cezanne, the Surreal Dali, and the Regional Thomas Hart Benton, as opposed to the Contemporary Multitudes.  Although most often linked to Pop Art by others, he was influenced by numerous movements (even though he rarely admitted it publicly), ultimately creating his own direction. 

In 2011, reflecting on his failure to find gallery representation for his Cajun paintings, he said, “My style was outdated and out of touch with contemporary directors that viewed their shows as a reflection of what was going on in New York.”  Read more. 

It wasn’t until his last few years that George found a kinship, once again in his own way, with the Contemporary art movement.  It might be said that he formulated his own Minimalism, where scale, materials, and technology compete with the subject for importance.   

-click photo to enlarge-

George the person was as enigmatic as his paintings ---confident, serious, and complex----  while at the same time humble, laughing, and down to earth.  He didn’t question his decisions, in art or in life, because they came from within the big picture of his role in art history, and the even bigger picture, a legacy and lesson to all who knew him, of following his heart.


-Pictured above:  George Rodrigue at his easel in Carmel, California, 2012-

-Please join me, along with George’s sons André and Jacques, for Rodrigue Studio Carmel’s Silver Anniversary Weekend of Events, August 13th and 14th in Carmel, California.  Details here-

-Don't miss BAYOU, a series of 40 paintings by George Rodrigue painted between 1981-1984, on view (opening 8/6/16) for the first time ever as a collection.  By appointment at the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, 747 Magazine Street, New Orleans.  Details here

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Shidoni: A Friendly Greeting

I returned recently, for the first time in five years, to Shidoni, a place where George worked regularly over three decades.  

Located in the lush Tesuque Valley, an oasis in the desert near Santa Fe, New Mexico, the foundry was George’s choice for some thirty years for transforming his clay sculptures into bronzes ---whether three-dimensional interpretations based on Longfellow’s poem, A Tale of Acadie, two-dimensional wall mountings of Blue Dogs in various patinas, or a late uncompleted project of a fuller, smoother, abstracted dog, meant for chrome, two sides, a pole, and a stand.

As I write this, a raven calls “Shidoni” from the apple tree above me. 

I approached Shidoni with an original Rodrigue piece that spans, within one work, those same thirty years.  It begins with a clay relief modeled by George circa 1980 onto the backside of his mother’s china plate.  Originally intended as a bronze relief, George abandoned the project until I discovered it somewhere---I don’t remember where---early in our marriage.  I proclaimed it “a favorite,” running my young fingertips over his young fingerprints, clearly visible in the greenish clay.

He gave me the plate, and I placed it on a table-top easel within our living room, where it remained, a cherished and personal expression, for sixteen years.

After losing him, I consulted George’s longtime artist-friend, Douglas Magnus of Santa Fe, for help in reproducing this clay oak tree design as jewelry for a family gift.

“George sent me this!” he exclaimed. 

And indeed, even while he was ill, George had sent Doug photographs of the piece, intending jewelry as a surprise for me.

Pictured:  Pendant, prototype photographed on a page of The Cajuns of George Rodrigue (1976, Oxmoor House); click photo to enlarge-

I’m told by locals that the ravens are the smartest of birds, perhaps the smartest of animals.  I see them in the Turquoise Hills; I see them in the morning when I walk in my slippers upon my new High Heel Highway, a desert necessity for this southern girly-girl….

…One time a raven greeted me alongside my car, George’s car, when it landed on the edge of a near-by parked pick-up as I sat, windows down, at a traffic light.  The giant bird and I stared at each other, maybe three feet between us, and the cars backed up behind me without my realizing it, and without anyone honking.  Like me, they were amazed by the fearless glossy bird and perhaps they too saw him as a sign in “The Land of Enchantment” and “The City Different.”

Pictured:  Clay murals with ravens by Priscilla Hoback, as they look today on the wall of our home in New Orleans; purchased by George as a gift for me in Galisteo, New Mexico in 1998; click photo to enlarge-

It’s strange ----emotional….right…and oh-so-wrong---- that I should explore and in some cases complete George’s projects without him.  No one understands better than me that I am not the artist.  And yet I find myself caught between, well, forgive the pun, letting sleeping dogs lie, versus tackling unfinished projects defined in my head by George’s animated soliloquies, as he outlined his plans on cocktail napkins over quiet dinners, or on our frequent cross-country drives, when we eventually abandoned music in favor of such sharing or, more often, the silent road.

Pictured:  with Scott Hicks at Shidoni Foundry; May 2016

Last week I brought George’s plate to Shidoni Foundry, where it now is destined for several versions:  the bronze he intended in 1980; the chrome he loved in 2013; and the giant scale he embraced in his sculptures of the 2000s.  (I don’t know what George ultimately would have completed, so I’m following through with all of them.)

Since moving to New Mexico, I’ve learned that I’m Bilagáana.  I’ve become familiar with the Navajo people, the Diné, through my friend and great-niece Katrina, who traded “the rez” for love and Hollywood.  Her beautiful spirit remains with her, however, as she and her bright smile hold steadfastly natural and optimistic within an oftentimes false and cynical outside world.

Pictured:  Katrina with a horny toad at Turquoise Hill in the Cerrillos District of New Mexico-

I never heard Katrina say the word “Shidoni,” a Navajo friendly greeting, according to the internet.  Rather, she greets me, without fail, with her beautiful smile and a warm hug.  I’ll need to double-check with her, I guess, that the google translation of her language is accurate, as I would not want to offend these ancient and spiritual people with my presumptions.  But then again, what harm ever came from a genuine “friendly greeting.”

More to come.  Shidoni.


-for a related post and photographs, see “George Rodrigue:  The Bronzes”-

-pictured above:  with Katrina Kavanaugh on Easter Sunday, 2016-

-stay tuned for more on George Rodrigue’s Shidoni Foundry projects in the coming months-

-please join me this weekend, June 3rd and 4th 2016, at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts for a series of events honoring George Rodrigue.  Free and open to the public.  Learn more-

-don’t miss “Rodrigue:  Spirit of the Game” now on view in New Orleans, featuring 20 original paintings by George Rodrigue spanning thirty years.  Learn more-
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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Blue Dog Hog

George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog Hog premiered in 1994 in a New York City gallery called The Time is Always Now.  This unique three-dimensional artwork dazzled at the center of the warehouse-type space, with George’s paintings, some as large as fifteen feet across, surrounding the bike.

-click photos throughout to enlarge-

The exhibition coincided with the release of the book Blue Dog (1994, Viking Penguin), George’s first U.S. publication on the Blue Dog Series, and his first major book since The Cajuns of George Rodrigue (1976, Oxmoor House).

Excited about the book, the space, and the big city, George painted and created specifically for the show.  Every piece was large-scale to take advantage of the colossal interior.  The Blue Dog Hog, intended by George as the exhibition’s showstopper, sat on a riser in the center of the room. 

I remember George lifting his petite publishing agent, Roz Cole, onto the riser during the star-studded and slammed opening night party, accessed by tracking blue paw prints for blocks throughout SOHO. 

At age sixty-six, Roz, a lifelong New Yorker and former MGM recording star, donned the hand-painted helmet over her bouffant-style wig, threw her bare legs and black stilettos over the seat of the Harley, and posed for half the night with a glass of red wine in one hand while waving her other hand in the air, as though she rode a mechanical bull.  

(I also recall her light blue VW bug parked out front, and how we all marveled that she actually drove to the exhibition and found a parking space).

“This is terrific!” shouted Roz from atop the bike.  Not one of the hundreds of folks in attendance, including actor Matt Dillon and artist/photographer Peter Beard, left the party without taking her picture.

Following the NYC exhibition, the bike returned, in 1995, to Louisiana.  …..but not to Butte la Rose, where George had painted it in the swamp at his camp on the Atchafalaya River, but rather to the New Orleans French Quarter, where it caused no end of frustration for our sales staff.  Every passerby fancied a photo-op on the Blue Dog Hog, similar to the Chicago cows of the late 1990s and the Rodrigue Steinway of 2012.

To this day, few people realize the vastness of George’s interests within his art.  The spectacular bike surprised the public.  Too often he’s dismissed as “the guy who paints the Blue Dog,” as though he lacks variety within his work.  The truth is, however, that his career cannot be divided neatly into 25 years of Cajuns and 25 years of Blue Dogs.  Rather, it’s 50 years of creative development ---on his canvas, in his personal interests, and within his community.  Just as he remained loyal to his childhood friends and his home state, he also remained true to his subjects.  He didn’t abandon one style for another; instead he kept adding.

This is the heart of the revolving exhibitions (since February 2014) currently within George’s galleries, focusing on themes such as Graveyards, Music, Sports, Politics, and Mardi Gras.  In each case, the paintings, borrowed from private collections, span decades, pulled from both the Cajun and Blue Dog Series, and yet tied together by George’s lifelong interests.

Similarly, the Blue Dog Hog incorporates all three Rodrigue identifiers.  The Oak Trees, prominent within his paintings and sculptures since the late 1960s, stretch like Oak Alley's promenade along the back fender.  The Blue and Red Dogs, prevalent since the early 1990s, echo each other throughout the composition.  The equally distinctive rolling red “Rodrigue" signatures are a strong design element within George’s Cajun posters of the 1970s and 80s, as well as within many of his Blue Dog silkscreens.

“I was never the best draftsman in art school,” George often recalled.  “But I always had the best ideas.”

Transforming these ideas into tangible works of art proved challenging.  In the case of the Hog, for example, George dissembled the bike before painting it, piecing his design together like a puzzle before rebuilding the motorcycle.  

The red dog and signatures clearly relate to the bike’s rear brake light, reinforcing George’s focus on design and concept.

Just as important is the emphasis on the bike’s chrome details, an obsession for George since the 1950s, and an element increasingly important within his work, especially within late series such as Swamp Dogs, Hollywood Stars, and a brilliant collection of mixed medias on shiny metal.

….proving once again that George enjoyed the challenge of growing creatively within the repetition of his favorite ideas.

“I know there’s going to be a Blue Dog in it,” he often said, referencing a blank canvas (or in this case, a motorcycle), “but beyond that, I haven't figured it out."  

"And that’s where the challenge lies.  That’s what keeps it fun for me.”


*photographs courtesy New Orleans Auction Galleries-

-More on Rodrigue and motorcycles here-

-Please join me, along with George’s sons André and Jacques, for the opening reception of “Rodrigue:  Spirit of the Game,” a new exhibition at Rodrigue Studio New Orleans spanning forty years of paintings, ranging in theme from boxing to bourré.  Thursday, May 19, 2016 from 6-8 p.m.  Details here-

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

I am Not the Artist.

Over the years countless people approached George Rodrigue with ideas for paintings.  They didn’t understand that George was original.  He was authentic.

“They all think they’re the artist,” he would say, shaking his head over the umpteenth person to “have a great idea,” insisting that he paint the Blue Dog with St. Louis Cathedral or the Eiffel Tower…. or on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach.

“I don’t even play golf!” he would say, to which they usually replied,

“….but you’d make a ton of money!”

(pictured:  Don’t Slow Me Down, 2013 by George Rodrigue; the last silkscreen design he completed ….and never printed; click photo to enlarge-)

In the first few weeks after losing George, I received three pieces of advice* that I return to repeatedly:

Stay close to the floor, messaged a teacher.  And on days when I can’t lift my head, I move slowly from the bed to my mat, sometimes, especially in those first few months, as late as five or six in the evening, and begin my practice.  And afterwards, always, I feel better.

(pictured, Death Valley, March 2015; click photo to enlarge-)

Relax the struggle, wrote a mentor.  And on days when the enormity of my loss crashes into the enormity of my responsibility, I remember that I am human.  And afterwards, always, I feel better.

(pictured, Sunshine is Mine, October 2012 by George Rodrigue, 16x20, acrylic on canvas; learn more-)

Don’t do anything you don’t want to do, stressed one of George’s doctors in a voicemail.  And on days when others stress how I should conduct my life, I give myself permission to follow my heart instead.  And afterwards, always, I feel better.

(pictured, Turquoise Hill in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2016; click photo to enlarge-)

Looking back, the advice was there all along from George, with himself as the example--- a grounded and down-to-earth person, immune to criticism, and true to his own vision within his art and life.

(pictured, Rodrigue & Camera - a file from George's computer; click to enlarge-)

We all recognize that no two people are alike, and yet why is it that we presume to understand aspects of the human condition as though they are universal standards?  Loss is different for everyone, no matter how familiar the circumstances may seem, and no matter what the outward perception. 

Facing others means dreading the question, How are you?  The answer is impossible, because the pain is unique and personal (not unlike George’s paintings), and the sense of loneliness and exposure and confusion undulates, so that this thing called grief becomes more of an appendage than a process.

“Do not fear, there is always wine
if you are thirsty for love.

Do not fear, there is always water
if your lips are parched.

Do not fear your ruin, inside you
there is a treasure.

Open your eyes, for this world
is only a dream.”

-Rumi (1207-1273)

“Stop this exploitation of your late husband!!!” demanded a Lafayette, Louisiana socialite recently, after my photo (below) appeared on facebook with a Rodrigue collector.

She later deleted the comment; yet this hometown sting, combined with its multiple exclamation points and my own relentless second-guessing of my actions, burned in my memory.  What if I’ve embarrassed George in his beloved Cajun community?  It was only the second time I’ve attended a Rodrigue Gallery function since October 2013 ----when George and I released The Other Side of the Painting together in Carmel, California ----and yet already I roused judgment and ire.

Relax the struggle.

(pictured:  with Lucy Trebotich, who graciously loaned her painting Santa Fe Guitar (1987) to the exhibition "Rodrigue:  Celebrating Music"; New Orleans, February 2016; learn more-)

“Protect yourself,” George often said to me, followed closely by “When are you going to realize who you are?”

It’s ironic that it took losing him for those words to sink in.


*for R.E. did we get here?

-how long will it be?... I often wonder...before I feel comfortable enough to cross my legs, or even my feet, in the moment-

-With a return to public life comes a full plate of events.  No, I am not the artist.  But hopefully, in helping others to better understand and appreciate George's life and art, I’m moving in the right direction in preserving and enhancing his legacy.  Proceeds from all events benefit the arts in education programs of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts.  Please join me for the following:

April 15th:  “A Conversation with Wendy Rodrigue” including a book signing and reading from The Other Side of the Painting (UL Press, 2013);  The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana 6:00 p.m.  Free.  Details here-

April 16th:  The 7th annual George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts Scholarship Luncheon at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 11:30 a.m.  Tickets $50.  Details here-

May 19th:  “Rodrigue:  The Spirit of the Game” opens at Rodrigue Studio, New Orleans.  6-8 p.m.  Details posting soon here-

June 3rd and 4th:  “Weekend with Wendy” including children’s events, lectures, and book signings; The Longview Museum of Fine Arts in Longview, Texas.  Free.  Details here-

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Monday, January 18, 2016

The Alligators Return

Following twenty years in a private collection, this week two special paintings by George Rodrigue hang for the first time ever in New Orleans.  See Lacoste Lineup (1991) and Spooked by Bourré (1993) on view for a limited time at Rodrigue Studio in the French Quarter.  The story behind these paintings is one of the most fascinating in George's painting development-

In the summer of 1991, George rented a commercial space in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.  Downtown rental property was at a premium and rarely available, and he required City Council approval to convert the former dentist’s office into an art gallery. 

The narrow, deep space seemed at first awkward for Galerie Blue Dog, and it relied primarily on artificial light.  Its only window stretched 82 inches across, facing 6th Avenue, one block behind the main drag of Ocean Avenue.  Attracting attention would be difficult --- especially that of art enthusiasts who might merely glimpse George's gallery from the corner as they walked to the well-known street.

I remember the scene well.  George stretched two canvases the exact width of the window, allowing space for a small display underneath. Facing inside, he painted a moonscape, with two dogs staring across the long gallery from above.  Facing outside, he painted Lacoste Lineup, his first artwork created in California since his student projects at the Art Center College of Design in 1960s Los Angeles.  

(pictured:  Lacoste Lineup, 1991 by George Rodrigue, 36x82 inches, oil on canvas, on view now at Rodrigue Studio, New Orleans)

-be sure and click the photo to enlarge-

With its five Blue Dogs, Oak Trees, Swirling Suns, and Alligator, the painting announced a Cajun’s return to the West Coast, and the fulfillment of a dream he sought since Art School.

(pictured:  George Rodrigue works on Lacoste Lineup on a patio in Carmel, California while his son Jacques and friend Shawn look on, 1991; click photos to enlarge-)

Today Rodrigue Studio Carmel occupies a brightly lit location on busy Dolores Street near the corner of Ocean Avenue.  Rodrigue continued to paint for the gallery and its windows, but he enjoyed more flexibility in the larger space.  By 2000 we owned a home in nearby Carmel Valley and George painted most of his artwork, whether for Carmel or New Orleans, in his studio there, preferring the quiet inspiration of the Santa Lucia Mountains to the hectic pace of his otherwise public life.


In 1986 seventeen hatchlings became the first white alligators ever recorded, when they were found by chance in the Louisiana swamps.  The Louisiana Land and Exploration Company discovered the 9-inch babies in their nest, rescuing them before predators took notice of the glowing animals.

Now full-grown and on view at several habitats across the United States, including the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, the alligators are not albinos, but rather have a rare genetic condition called leucism.  Their piercing blue eyes contribute to their exotic appearance and mystique.

George, like many, was fascinated by this remarkable discovery and viewed the alligators often, eventually painting Spooked by Bourré in 1993 --- his only painting ever of a white alligator.  He called the alligator in his painting Bourré after one of the young white alligators named after the popular Cajun card game and now living in a south Florida zoo.

George painted this mysteriously-colored alligator and its Florida palm tree alongside his own mysteriously-colored Blue Dog and his Louisiana live oak.

See Spooked by Bourré (1993, 24x20 inches) and Lacoste Lineup, two unique paintings within a private collection for twenty-plus years, and now on view for a limited time at Rodrigue Studio and for the first time ever in New Orleans-


-sadly, Spots, one of the original hatchlings who lived at the Audubon Aquarium since 1990, and a brother to Bourré, passed away at the age of 28 in September 2015-

-for a related post and paintings see "Alligator Crossing" linked here-

-join me at the Bayou Teche Museum in George Rodrigue's hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana, on Thursday, January 28th, 2016 for the unveiling of his "Saga of the Acadians"; for tickets and info call  (337) 606-5977-

-please join me on Instagram at wendy.rodrigue ....I think I get it now- 

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Rodrigue Comes Home

Those of you who follow this blog know that over the past six years (goodness…..six years….) and more than 300 essays, I focus on text, with quotes from George, and a careful complement of photographs and paintings.

However, after spending a whirlwind week in Louisiana, I’m ready to post quickly and then get on with things like …..Christmas shopping, walking the historic Santa Fe Plaza, wrapping gifts, decorating the tree, and, well, reflecting, being, living, in my new life in the City Different.

This also includes the arts, such as the inaugural exhibition of Edition One Gallery, featuring an original (and debut) photograph by George Rodrigue (I’ll post on this later), as well as an evening supporting the Santa Fe Artist’s Medical Fund, established many years ago by George’s good friend, artist Armond Lara.

A Louisiana Return, in photographs-

-click any image to enlarge-













So there you have it, a 5-day journey to a former life, a place I never thought I’d go without him.  I now know that I’ll return to Louisiana more often, and other places as well.  To my surprise, I felt welcome, loved, and missed.  And most important…. 

...I felt him...

Thank you, Louisiana.  I've missed you too.  And I'll be seeing you-


-within this post, from the top:  the Bayou Teche Museum in George's hometown of New Iberia; Ridge Elementary School in Duson, a Louisiana A+ School; the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; the historic Heymann House and UL Alumni Center, where I signed The Other Side of the Painting as part of the UL Press Holiday Book Sale; Jolie's Louisiana Bistro in Lafayette, featuring George's Cajun paintings; J. Wallace James Elementary School in Scott, a Louisiana A+ School; the Rodrigue warehouse in Lafayette, including the new print Saints on the Bayou; the new Blue Dog Cafe in Lake Charles; Rodrigue Studio in New Orleans (along with the 1989 Rodrigue Gallery sign I stumbled on in the warehouse); a reception for "Louisiana Graveyards" with original paintings by George Rodrigue spanning 40 years; my sister Heather and I channel childhood holidays with Grandma Helen in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel; a reunion with treasured girlfriends at Commander's Palace.   .....and throughout, George's sons Jacques and André, along with Rodrigue staff and friends, and the inspiring and creative students, teachers, administrators, and educators connected to Ridge Elementary, J. Wallace James Elementary, Louisiana A+ Schools, and the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts-

-for more pictures, please join me on Instagram-

-and finally, because George would insist I share these outtakes ...

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