Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Frog Tea Party" -- oil on canvas -- 36x36" -- Margie Guyot
This was a pretty challenging piece. The most difficult part was the tablecloth. It was a vintage find from a garage sale and I about tore my hair out, trying to get it right. Surprisingly, the big glass vase in the center was just a trip! I could paint swirls all day. I found it was best to use a larger brush, turned on its side, rather than a fine brush to do the thin lines.

Those frog pieces are so much fun! I found the teapot, sugar and creamer in a garage sale last summer in my old neighborhood back in Farmington Hills. That woman always had the choicest, most interesting stuff in her garage sales! Every summer she'd have a sale and I'd mop up. She and I had very similar tastes. The water pitcher was found on eBay a couple months ago. I just had to do a painting with these.

If you've followed my blog, you've seen an occasional painting that includes frogs. Frogs have a special place in my heart. Back when I was little, my dad had a cottage on a little river in Iowa and I pretty much grew up out there. I preferred playing with frogs rather than dolls. My sister and I played doctor with them and tried dressing them in doll clothes. We had leopard frogs, green frogs, bullfrogs and the little spring peepers. So frogs have a special place in my heart.

Over the years friends have noticed my affinity for frogs and have given me frog figurines. Which I thank them for, but tactfully as possible ask them NOT to give me any more. Some frogs are cool but others are not. Know what I mean? It's those goofy ones with the gigantic, wide mouths and telescopic eyeballs that I find hideous. And they're everywhere! Like those gawd-awful macrame owls everybody had back in the 70's. No, I guess I'm just a frog-snob.

You'd be surprised at how that setup looks now: the teacups are filled with a fuzzy, mossy scum. The flowers are dried whisps. The cookies look unchanged, but I wouldn't want to eat them. Good old BHT (or whatever preservative they're using now at Pepperidge Farm these days). I always work from life, never a photo, and I'd had countless interruptions while working on this. Normally I can finish a large painting in a week, more or less. It dragged on at least a month this time.

I'm SO ready for some quick, plein air landscapes!

Labels: , , , , , , ,