Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Big Fish"

"Big Fish" -- oil on stretched canvas -- 40x60" -- Margie Guyot

Some of you probably thought I'd fallen off the ends of the Earth, but no -- I've been busy, slugging away on this still life. That, and doing a little gardening. Trying to get some of the more onerous tasks done outside before the biting bug season starts here in Michigan.

What inspired me to do this painting, you ask? A couple weeks ago I was rummaging around in a drawer, looking for an 8" square cake pan. Bumped into the copper Jell-O fish mold and thought aha! It just mushroomed from there.

I really do have a big fish like that. Well, it's not quite that nice. He came from a ratty garage sale in Dearborn. In reality, he's got a front fin missing and is rather grizzled-looking. Nobody else likes him but me. My neighbor forbade me to have him hanging on the wall during a birthday party. But that's the good thing about being an artist: we can prettify things if necessary, adding fins, a gleam in the eye, etc.

What was the hardest thing to paint in this one? The tablecloth! In real life, the table wasn't that wide and I had to kind of stretch it in the painting. With all the stuff lying on top of the tablecloth, it was rather challenging to try to figure out what was happening with the red & white design.

Liquin: nectar of the gods (to an artist, at least). Mixed with oils, Liquin helps them to dry quicker. When I started this painting, I didn't use Liquin, thinking what the heck: I'm in no hurry for this piece to dry. Wrong! I quickly reached the phase where everything was gooey. It was impossible to go in and make final touch-ups and details. Hence the side-trip into gardening for a few days, giving it time to dry.

What did I enjoy painting most? The roses. I really haven't painted roses much. They're hard! All those petals, all willy-nilly! Yikes! But I just kept reminding myself not to panic. You can figure this out! Actually it's just one rose. I painted it, then held it to the side and painted it, then held it to another side and painted it. Another advantage to being an artist right there! Decided I'll have to paint more roses. They'll probably be a struggle, too, but I'll just keep plugging at them.

Last of all, there's the little sleeping kitty in the lower right corner. That's one of my new rescue kitties, Picasso. He was sleeping in a chair nearby and I was able to paint him in before he woke up.

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