Thursday, February 07, 2008

Day #1: "White Duck" -- oil on canvas -- Margie Guyot

Setup for "White Duck"

Yesterday I had a lot of errands to run, including getting a massage, visiting the library, etc. I only had a short while to take a gander (pun intended) at this new little still life setup before the darkness was setting in. Detroit and mid-Michigan were getting hammered with snow and ice, but miraculously we were spared up here in the Charlevoix area -- for a change. I'd found the duck soup tureen at an estate sale last fall and just had to use it in a painting! Bought a package of chinese lanterns wrapped in paper when I was in town that pick up the orange duck beak. And the antique doily is from a resale shop, chosen for its orange embroidered flowers.

I parked a couple plein air paintings to use as part of the background. The big oak tree I'd painted last spring out in Kensington Metropark. The colors went well and I like the dashes of blue sky. And I had to use the plein air painting of the rowboat to continue with the "nature, water, wildlife" theme. It has some blue touches in it (not too visible in this photo). And in the center is a pottery vase with a bunch of macaw feathers and one wild turkey feather. The macaw feathers are so interesting! They vary in shade from olive to bronze to wine to red to blue! Again, the blue tips were just too cool to not use here.

The fishing rods just HAD to be in there! I like to include some bold, strong lines, so these gave some good shapes. And they add to the nature-outdoors feel. Ah -- that reminds me: I will actually have time to go fishing now that I'm retired! Lake Michigan's one mile west of me, so there won't be any more excuses.

As you can see in the photo, it was a very bright, sunny day here. Kind of a shock, actually. It's cloudy most winter days here, and the sudden bright sun made it difficult to work, throwing all sorts of shadows onto the setup and canvas that will not be there tomorrow. So I spent all my time today drawing in the composition with my brush and trying to lay in a few of the darkest areas I knew would not change the next time I look at this setup. Really looking forward to working on this one again! Tomorrow will be impossible, though. I need to run to Traverse City and pick up my saxophone from the repair shop, meet a friend to go swimming and lunch, visit the fireplace store -- and just a jillion errands in "The Big City of the North". Back on Saturday!