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  • Amber Leilani

Ida's aftermath...

As many folks know, Dr. B and I moved back to our beloved New Orleans earlier this summer, as he prepared for his first official teaching position at Tulane. The Crescent City was less than kind to us and did not welcome us back with open arms. We had a TON of issues with the move - from getting out of Raleigh to getting into New Orleans - and the issues at our supposedly brand newly renovated apartment... don't get me started! But, by the time classes were scheduled to begin on August 20th, we had finally settled in and felt slightly more comfortable in a city that has felt increasingly foreign to us.



saintliness next door, interminable street work, Houmas House gardens...


The Delta variant has been wreaking havoc so the Governor and Mayor both put mask mandates into place and then Mayor Cantrell also went the extra step requiring proof of vaccination to attend music and sports venues as well as dine out. We were playing it safe, staying mostly in our home, and watching the numbers with the hopes that we might be able to re-enter society soon. We were feeling a smidge more hopeful. And then...Ida.



what our street and house looked like after Ida came through... It came on us so fast! Still reeling from the memory of a 30+ hour evacuation from Miami during our years there, I get jittery and PTSD-y sitting at a red light too long, so we decided to ride the storm out. Miss Patches has been very sick for over a year now and we didn't think she could handle that kind of time in her carrier. So, we decided to stay put. It was terrifying and we lost power around 5pm on Sunday. We thought we were prepared for this, but we were not. After surveying our little domain - we got really lucky!! No damage to our little domicile -- we decided to split town on the Tuesday after the storm and strategically relocated to Birmingham for 10 days. Miss Patches likes it better there anyway.


Miss Patches alert and at the ready in her favorite spot at my in laws house...

I had to leave behind all my art supplies save my travel easel, my oil paints and brushes, sketchbook, and a few blank panels. I'm not much of a sketchbook person...I keep them, in large quantities, but I use them mainly as working sketchbooks, not a play or beautifully kept sketchbooks. Mostly jots of notes and arrows pointing to things I don't have the patience to actually draw!


little face studies in a sketchbook I had to leave behind...


work in progress 6x6 canvas I started before the storm hit...

My very good friend, Cherie Langford was not as lucky as we were and suffered tremendous damage to her house in Jefferson Parish. Her roof blew off and the entire house has been inundated with water and has mold already growing inside. Cherie is one of the most amazing artists I've ever known and a beautiful human being. She and her family have a long road of recovery ahead of them. Her Venmo is @Cherie-Langford if you inclined to help her out.



So, that's what is going on with us and Hurricane Ida. We were able to come home on Thursday...


An ussie on the day we got home. Notice the debris and caution tape in the background...


...and have been slowly getting back into the swing of things. I am currently crawling into what I call my Hamster Wheel/Art Bubble and have over a dozen oil paintings in progress at this time. I have had a few inquiries about purchasing work, but as oils take FOREVER to dry - not only as you work on them, but for the final varnish - I am not sure when I will have work available in my store. Let's just play that one by ear, shall we?!



Small oil I have started working on again...


I hope to have lots of new work to share with you on Instagram ( @amberleilani_art ) and here via my blog.


Until next time...keep South Louisiana in your thoughts. It's really rough down here right now and lots of folks still need help.


Be kind...

Amber Leilani

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