Illustration Friday : Stay

New Orleans would have to be one of my favourite places to stay in the USA.

This is a map I did for They Draw And Travel -- they asked for a very personal map -- things that aren't necessarily in the tourist guides but the things YOU love to do in a city. And that's exactly what this is. We often visit NOLA due to my musician-husband's desire to have been born there, so we have many rituals, a lot of which are on the map.

I have always wanted to illustrate a map and I had sooooo much fun doing this. If I have time I may do another for Melbourne!

I-F: Citrus

It's been nice to have a bit of down time in the middle of the trip to do things like... Illustration Friday! the word this week is Citrus. This technically is still a travel sketch, but from another trip...

and here's a bonus one I drew while waiting for my laundry. (I came home to paint it though) I'm enjoying playing with crazy textures with the paint and then having bold and detailed linework on top.


Funk'd Up

the last two weeks in New Orleans have been totally crazy. between carting around a big keyboard in a little car for Andy's gigs, to dancing 10 hours a day at Jazz Fest and late night gigs, we've been totally funk'd up and now i think we're totally funk'd out! it's been nice to have a little time to relax the past few days. (okay, I can hear the violins playing now...)

but we have seen some amazing music, we are so lucky. one of the best concerts was this pianist i had never heard of, Davell Crawford, at this intimate little venue called Snug Harbour. he could go from funky r'n'b to gospel to calypso so seamlessly and easily, and not only is he a technical player but just has so much soul, and it comes out through his playing and his incredible singing as well.

then there was Dumpstaphunk which is a band put together by Ivan Neville, and just the funkiest *&% you have ever heard. they had us dancing until 4am after being at jazz fest all day, and we were still screaming for more.

then there was Harry Connick Jr. closing out the jazz fest with amazing playing and hilarious dancing, Bonnie Raitt's soulful crooning, P-Funk'n'it, and so much more....

so here is something I did with all that in mind. these are just some of the bands we saw! it is on top of a collage of different gig lists and schedules from our time here, and a style of writing i've seen used here for different signs. enjoy! (if you can read it!)

oh, and I finally finshed up the last new mexico sketch...

having fun experimenting with dropping water on the page just as the paint is drying - it makes such great effects!

I-F: Remember

Please remember New Orleans...

I am staying in New Orleans for the next few weeks, to see the Jazz festival and to get a good dose of Andy's favourite city in the world. This is my 3rd time here, and walking around the French Quarter, you would never know anything had happened. But if you look a bit closer, you can see it everywhere. Many rebuilt, repainted buildings for sale. Lots with spraypainted markings by rescuers to show they had visited there. T-shirts saying 'make levees, not war.'

At the Jazz Festival, almost every musician makes some reference to Katrina. it is still very recent. Most people have been affected deeply in some way and the emotions are still quite raw. We walked into Irvin Mayfield's New Orleans Jazz Orchestra just in time to hear him play a hymn he wrote for his father who drowned in the storm and whose body was never found. it's so heartbreaking that this could happen to such an amazing, unique city and that it's own government hasn't helped it pick up the pieces. There is a lot of resentment and bitterness too. But somehow everyone seems to rise above that and the people who are here do everything they can, and the people who were displaced still love New Orleans.

So this is my hommage to NOLA. (New Orleans, Louisana.) The Fleur de Lys has become a really strong symbol for the city.

I know there is always the next crisis taking media attention, but I hope we can all remember this city from time to time and even help out once in a while, whether it's literally rebuilding houses, or buying a new orleans' musician's CD. every little bit helps.

May it always keep its head above water....