Last weekend my husband and I drove to New Orleans to visit some of my family and for my high school class reunion. We stayed in a bed and breakfast in my old neighborhood. On Sunday morning I got to go on my own private sketch crawl. I was searching for secret places that gave evidence of the inner life of the place. This small handmade altarpiece was leaning against the base of a grotto in the front garden of a high school on Esplanade Avenue that used to be the terrifying Orphan Asylum. The grotto itself is interesting with its small collection of stuffed animals on shelves under the statue of the Virgin Mary. But this altarpiece was wonderful. It was made of a piece of what looked like old birch plywood with two turned chair legs for sides. The roof was a curved piece of wood thoroughly encrusted with old jewelry and Mardi Gras beads. There were also flattened bottle caps and pieces of silvery stuff. Behind the small plastic statue (St. Anthony?) there was a rusty escutcheon with two key holes.
One more mannequin piece and I promise I will move on to something else! But I saw a high school friend the other night at our reunion and she told me she actually loves my mannequins! I was so excited I promised to post my latest drawing of them and here they are: the Tannequins!! These are real mannequins, I am not making this up. I am having a hard time imagining them in a department store somewhere, but they are great looking at the Tobacco Barn in all their gleaming tanness and musculature, even though headless. (If you turn your head sideways you can read a little bit about them.)