"White Cattelaya Orchid" -- oil on canvas 30x40" -- Margie Guyot
Why settle for nondescript, insipid houseplants when you can have orchids? That's my philosopy. I'd bought this plant about 15 years ago at a garage sale in Birmingham, Michigan. It was big then and kept getting "huger and huger" (pardon my English!). It'd become so pot-bound it quit flowering. Oy vey -- the mess of untangling the mad snarl of roots! I separated it into about 5 plants a couple years ago and now each plant is a flowering fool!
Besides being beautiful and stupendous, these orchids have a faint, sweet scent. And my house sure can use some sweet scents. I've got 4 cats.
But you want to read about this painting! OK, ok. Before I did this particular painting, I did a close-up view of the orchid. But I thought it was depressing. It looked too trite! I just cannot abide trite. No, what this wonderful plant needed was to be be featured in its full glory: sprawling madly across a larger canvas!
But how should I arrange it? What color scheme? More and more, thinking about the overall color scheme is something I consider first of all. I laid back on my studio couch, feeling agitated, thinking color...color...color.... Then my eyes fell on a painting I did last year, all in shades of gold and lavender. Aha!
And since Easter is on the horizon, I wanted to include (finally!) an old, metal cake pan in the shape of a lamb. It'd been another resale shop find. And a conch shell -- how Easter-y is that? Ha ha.
I love that silk shawl! The fringe on the edges almost gives is an "in flight" sort of feel, like the Magic Orchid is out for a cruise.
In the background, on the upper left, is an antique yellow dish that I love. It's got a "busy" pattern to it and casts the most interesting shadows. Next to it is an antique ice cream dish.
I love painting shells! Maybe I should have moved nearer to the ocean. Did I ever mention that I collect conch shells? I pick them up whenever they show up in garage sales, up here in northern Michigan. One of mine I bought in Peru, when I was on a 3 week excursion into the wilds, studying the shamans. That particular shell was cut at the tip. It can be tooted, like a trumpet. I tooted on that thing all along the Inca Trail. Ah, but that's another story.
Besides the conch, there's an abalone shell in the center, by the orchid. I don't know how well the colors came through in this photo (or on your monitor), but it's one of my most fun, favorite things to paint! I could just fall into those iridescent colors! I could totally zone out into abstraction when painting that.
I had to use silk daffodils in this painting. Mine were still coming up at the time of painting. Am I forgiven?