Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Wine Bottle & Onions" -- oil on canvas -- 48x48" -- Margie Guyot

I'm deep in the "hell of moving", but wanted to keep my blog active. While moving my paintings to my new home in northern Michigan, I saw some that I hadn't looked at in several years. This is one. It was done as a kind of one-person protest against the typical dark, somber, trite renderings involving the classic wine bottle and onions. I have a horror of painting anything boring or trite. I love color. So this was the result!

Some of you may recognize the boston terrier hand puppet in the back. I'd picked him up out in California back in 1994. I've used him in a lot of paintings, often representing men. Yes, men. One time I looked at this goofy thing and something about its silly face reminded me of some of the men I'd dated. They were greedy, opportunistic men, eager to take advantage of my generous nature.

Having had to handle and look at ALL of my older paintings, I couldn't help but notice that I'd gone through a period of surreal, symbolistic painting. I'd have the boy-dogs swirling about, jaws dripping with drool (or sometimes blood!). I can see now that I was expressing my anger with these men (from a safe distance, in my paintings). It reminded me once again that I really should write an article about "painting as therapy", as I believe it really helped me to just "paint it out".

As I said earlier, I'm right in the middle of moving. My new "dream" studio is being made ready, with large windows and lots of storage space. I'm having the monstrosity-of-a-woodstove yanked out and a small LP gas heater installed. Last week I tried lighting the behemoth stove and it was so old, I couldn't shut the firedoor tightly enough. Smoke filled the place, making it unbearable to work in. It will be a treat to have room to paint, instead of feeling cramped in a spare bedroom!

So this moving experience -- not much is left here, and I've had to borrow a small camping cot and air mattress from friends. The TV and stereo are up north. No table or chairs left (other than this computer chair). Hardly any clothes is here, and I am always short on socks and have to do laundry every day, just to have something clean to wear.

This morning I woke up and laid there, thinking about my series of slobbering dog-men paintings. I was thinking to The Universe OK, you had your fun with me. You sent me these goofy men, thinking I'd enjoy the interesting experience of it all. Huh! Well, enough of that! You can think about sending me somebody NICE for a change!

While packing the other day, I found an old diary, dated back in 1998. When I'd go on trips to South America, France, Mexico, or when I'd take painting workshops, I'd always keep a journal. This one from 1998, I saw that I was with G--- out in New Mexico. Wow -- he was the last guy I dated. Was it really 9 years since I've dated? How time flies! Well, I had a lot of anger to get rid of. And that takes time. I had to look back at all the dozens of mistakes I'd made in relationships and see if I could learn from them. Plus, I knew retirement from Ford Motor Company was coming up. And I wanted to be completely FREE to decide where to move. I didn't want to be stuck with some old fart who would tell me No, we have to stay in Detroit! I don't want to leave my grandkids!

One of my women friends is a retired Detroit schoolteacher, never married. Years ago, I used to wonder why she never cared to marry. She's a spit-fire, fun and happy -- a delight to be friends with. At the time, I couldn't imagine not wanting to be with somebody. But as I've grown older, the urge to date has grown dim. Too much fun to have! Too many places to visit! Too many paintings to paint! It almost seems like I hesitate giving up any of my precious time to somebody else. Maybe I've become jaded. Have I become a dried-up old hag? More than anything, I'm bemused, waiting to see what the Universe is going to offer me at this point.

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