Sunday, January 20, 2008

"Waiting for Spring" -- oil on canvas -- 8x10" -- Margie Guyot
I trudged through 12" of snow to get out to my studio this afternoon. The Charlevoix area has had nonstop snow for the past several days, with howling winds. Now that I no longer have to get up at 3:45 AM and drive rush hour traffic on the freeway to get to work in the noisy, stinky factory, I love this weather!

Will I ever get unpacked? Will I ever find a place for everything? Good question. I found this little glazed pottery frog vase in a box. I certainly don't remember buying it, but I must have. Actually, this is my second attempt at painting this. I made a stab at it on Friday but ended up wiping it out. Last night I bundled up and went out into the blizzard to Possum Hollow, the name of my new studio, and sat on the massage chair, sipping a shot of Southern Comfort and listening to "Prairie Home Companion" on NPR. It's a 2-hour show and I'm never one for sitting and relaxing for long. Soon I was up, starting in on another attempt on the frog. For something so small, it was rather challenging.

Although I'm enjoying this winter, I'm looking forward to spring when I can put a little bouquet of wild violets into this frog vase.


Monday, January 07, 2008

"January Thaw -- Scott Road" -- plein air field study -- 9x12" -- Margie Guyot

If you turn onto Scott Road, just off of Route 31, this is what you would see today. It's a hairpin turn and the gravel road swirls with turns and hills. As I write this blog, I can see out the window that it's raining pretty hard now. There is a bird feeder in front of this window and there are probably 2 dozen goldfinches, pecking away on oiler sunflower seeds. They've got their winter plumage on, a dull brownish shade.

Just a few days ago it was near zero degrees, with strong winds and drifting snow. These past few days have been in the 40's and most of the snow has melted. The fog was thick this morning on the drive to Ellsworth to pick up a package at the Post Office. It's very beautiful up here. I see dozens of scenes I want to paint. I love doing large, complicated still lifes, but I think it's a good thing to go out and do quick landscape studies on a regular basis. Like doing sit-ups, these small "quickies" keep an artist's eye in shape. The odd patterns left by the mostly-melted snow are what I found most interesting this morning. Up here, the white cedars turn a kind of ochre-reddish in winter. We've also got lots of white paper birch, maple and "popple".

Fortunately, I was able to paint this study before the rain hit. Although it was unusually warm, I still wore my goosedown jacket and gloves. Standing still, painting, allows a body to get chilled fast. I've learned to use my car as a safety barricade and set up my easel in front.