Sunday, April 15, 2007

"Conch Shell #3" -- oil on canvas -- 9x12" -- Margie Guyot

"Conch Shell #2" -- oil on canvas -- 12x12" -- Margie Guyot

"Conch Shell #1" -- oil on canvas -- 10x10" -- Margie Guyot

Amazing fact few people know about me: I like conch shells. I've got 5 or 6 of them, which is a thing that most Michiganders don't have. OK, I cheated: some I got in Peru and some were from garage sales. Two of them have been altered so they can be blown, like horns. The first Peru trip I went on, I had to carry my conch shell horn on the Inca Trail, stopping to blow every few minutes. We were hiking with 2 shamans and they wanted us to do a lot of horn-blowing. The mountains near Machu Picchu are very steep -- nearly vertical, and the trail hugged the side of the mountain. One false step and you'd cascade thousands of feet down. But it was a great place for echoes!

Another memorable place I've blown my conch shell is while marching in the Telluride, Colorado Mushroom Parade. Everybody was dressed like mushrooms and banging on drums or making some kind of noise. My kinda place! I think that was the most fun I ever had. I had on hot pink tie-dyed longjohns and my Peruvian hat that I'd haggled for in the market place. Did I paint my face blue? I don't remember.

Anyway, somebody wanted me to do some small conch paintings and this is what I came up with this weekend. Conchs are such fun to paint! I could probably do 100 conch paintings and still find them fascinating. Having worked for nearly 30 years on an auto assembly line, doing the same motions for 8 - 10 hours a shift, makes me not only tolerate doing what appears to be "menial, boring tasks", but to kind of enjoy doing them! Years ago, when I had an exhausting job of installing rear fascias on Lincoln Town Cars (they were heavy!), I longed for an easier job. "I don't care how boring it is, as long as it's easier!" So, sitting and painting pretty conch shells is kind of nice. Far better than installing carpeting in Town Cars, on your hands & knees, soaked in sweat and covered in fibers!