"Honeycrisps #2" -- oil on canvas 24x24" -- Margie Guyot
This is my favorite variety of apple! It tastes like its name: sweet and crisp. Lately I've been on a pumpkin/gourd/apple kick. The most recent painting, "Granny Smiths", featured green apples on a red and white tablecloth. I'm a huge fan of paintings done in contrasting colors, so I had to follow that painting with red apples on a green tablecloth.
This tablecloth was an antique store find. When I pulled it out, I hesitated because of the gold. But the longer I looked at the honeycrisps, the more yellow and gold I saw in them. So I think it was a good match.
My studio is in NW Michigan, along the coastline of Lake Michigan. It's winter here and the skies are overcast about 98% of the time. Summers are a joy, but winters are pretty gloomy. So it's a rare thing to see strong, bright sunlight and shadow patterns in my still lifes -- unless I invent them.
Years ago when I was visiting galleries out West, I was very impressed with the paintings of the American Impressionists and master painters of the Old West. They were so good at painting cloth! I'd stand right up to the paintings, studying how they painted fabric folds. More than once I set off an alarm by standing too close. But at least I got a good look at how they did it.
I always love challenging myself, so I never shy away from painting wrinkled, mussed-up tablecloths! Some people take photos and then project and trace, but I work from life. I do use a little viewfinder to help compose the painting. There are generally a lot of wipe-outs when I'm laying in the design, but I'm used to that, so I don't panic. Heck, it's more fun that shoveling out the chicken coop!
I must admit, though, the pattern of this tablecloth was about to drive me mad!