Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Lemon Pie #2" -- oil on canvas panel -- 5x7" -- Margie Guyot

"Lemon Pie #1" -- oil on canvas panel -- 5x7" -- Margie Guyot

Had quite a busy day today! I had baked a pie shell (from scratch, of course!) yesterday so it would be ready to use. This morning I used my grandmother's recipe for lemon meringue pie. It's been years since I made this pie, so I was really watching every step. So easy to foul up, especially with the meringue. I almost DID foul-up. When I stuck this into the oven to brown the meringue, I considered taking some scraps out to the chickens. Good thing I stopped. I know I would have gotten side-tracked and the whole thing would have been burnt to hell.

It was very dark and dreary here today, so I used a studio light. And I set a box on my table and set up my still life on top, so it would be a bit higher. Was just in the mood to show the pie a bit closer, maybe the way a child would see it, looking more head-on, rather than looking down from above (like an adult). Pie #1 has a pose rather reminiscent of a big shark, ready to leap out at you.

I picked up a tiny kitty in the middle of the road a few days ago and since nobody would take it, I decided to make it my studio cat. Named him Picasso. Picasso kept wanting attention, so I'd say about 50% of both paintings were done while holding little Picasso. He doesn't like being ignored! He tries clawing his way up my jeans, as if they were trees.

Guess I'm going to be one popular person in this neighborhood! I gave away the rest of the pie to the neighbors. Gave away the apple pie I baked the other day to the neighbors. I'm TRYING to be on a diet! If I don't give the pies away, I'll be a blimp.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Apple Pie" -- oil on canvas panel -- 5x7" -- Margie Guyot

"Ala Mode" -- oil on canvas panel -- 5x7" -- Margie Guyot

Friday I baked an apple pie just for the purpose of getting to paint a picture of a slice of it. I have been on a diet since March, so this is the first pie I've baked in months. I could have bought a slice down the street at Friske's (south of Charlevoix), but it's never as good as homemade. And expensive!

I had intended on painting a series of slices of pie but had been busy with all kinds of things all summer. Glen's Market had "buy one, get one free" on bags of Ginger-Gold apples, so that's what I used. Turns out they worked great.

I used a tablecloth I bought a few weeks ago at a garage sale.

These two paintings I did, using the same slice of pie. I finished one, turned it a bit and put a scoop of ice cream (Stroh's Vanilla Bean). In the middle of painting it, my neighbor Jerry came by and we visited a little. Ah -- how fast ice cream melts! Good thing I'd painted it in early. I had to pick up the plate & slurp (remember that Jell-O scene with John Belushi in "Animal House"?) to avoid it flowing over onto the tablecloth.

OK, ok, I DID eat this piece. But I'm giving the rest of the pie to my neighbors. Stay tuned for "Lemon Meringue", coming soon....

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"Black Bell Peppers and Corn" -- oil painting on stretched canvas -- 18x24" -- Margie Guyot

A few days ago I found these bell peppers in a roadside farm stand south of Eastport, north of Elk Rapids. I'd never seen this color of pepper before and just had to have some to paint! Got this sweet corn at the farm stand as well. I thought it looked more interesting to leave the silk and part of the husk on. I'd avoided painting corn. What to do with all those kernels??? How to handle the silk?

What I did was paint a deeper gold tone on the corn cob. Later I went back with some lighter paint and just dabbed it along in rows. It turned out to be easier that I'd thought. And painting the silk was a lark!

This setup remained on the table for several days, so the corn was a little too old to eat. I gave it to my chickens this morning and after a few dubious pecks, they quickly decided it was "edible - choice".

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

"Maple Conservancy Barn" -- plein air field study -- oil on birch panel -- 11x14" -- Margie Guyot

I'd driven down to this spot with the intention of painting the sunflower fields. But alas -- I'd arrived too late: the sunflowers were done blooming, heads hanging down, heavy with seeds. Boo-hoo! But then this old barn caught my eye.

I loved the strong sunlight/shadow pattern running across the red boards. And I especially loved the fact that I was able to paint this view, standing under the shade of a big maple tree. Even so, I had to put up my BestBrella, as little rays of sunshine occasionally peeked through the tree, falling onto my painting surface. Ah, technology -- love it!

The Maple Conservancy is a beautiful parkland located between Elk Rapids and Traverse City, Michigan.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

"Peaches" -- oil on stretched canvas -- 18x24" -- Margie Guyot

I'd found these wonderful peaches at a little market and wanted to use them in a still life painting. As soon as I set them on this table, the thing that struck me as being most interesting was the way the sunlight and shadows fell. That made the whole thing exciting.

What I became very aware of is how quickly the sun changes! Or more correctly, how fast the earth rotates. This exact pattern of sunlight/shadow only lasted a couple minutes. Every day I had to be ready, paint mixed, brush in hand, waiting for 1:10 in order to see the same vision, how the light patterns affected the peaches and highlights on the antique glass bowl.

As usual, I'd used a vintage tablecloth in this one. It was horribly wrinkled -- and since I hadn't found my iron since moving up here, I decided to make the most of the wrinkles. Painting them in was less work than digging around for that stupid iron & ironing board!

The glass bowl I inherited from my mom. How it survived all these years without breaking, weathering about 3 or 4 moves, is amazing to me. It's got an intricate pattern of gold-gilt roses.

And let me tell you -- those peaches were perfect! Sweet and dripping with juice!