Thursday, February 24, 2011

Donut with Sprinkles; Danish

 "Donut with Sprinkles" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

"Danish" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

At last: several sunny days in Michigan!  Our winters are generally overcast, so it was exciting to have strong sunlight and shadows.  The shadow shape of the donut, with its sprinkles, was what I found most interesting.  And I loved the bright colors of the sprinkles.  A friend had brought me a few pastries from Johann's in Petoskey.  When I first saw this donut, I was rather surprised.  It is a variety I probably never would have bought for myself.  But it ended up being a visual treat!

Last of the bunch was the Danish.  Painting the jelly was my favorite party!  Love painting "mooshy" things!  The bakery must have some kind of mechanized "thingie" that puts the frosting glaze on.  I found the stripes fascinating, especially the color changes as they fell into shadows.  Another fun one to do! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jelly Donut #2

"Jelly Donut #2" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

A friend came to visit on Sunday and brought a box of donuts.  Not so much for me to eat, but to paint!  She knows what I'm up to these days.  This one is from Johann's Bakery in Petoskey.  I love painting the red jelly -- it's just so fun -- and gooey!  A nice break from painting frosting swirls, that's for sure!


Lemon Love and Triple Chocolate

 "Lemon Love #1" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

 "Lemon Love #2" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

 "Lemon Love #3" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

 "Triple Chocolate" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

 "Triple Chocolate #3" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

"Triple Chocolate #4" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

Whew!  I'd been running behind on my posts!  Trying to catch up this morning.  All these cupcakes come from Simplycupcakes in Traverse City, Michigan.  They're no ordinary cupcakes.  Len Mayhew makes them from scratch every morning, in small batches.  The Lemon Love cupcakes have lemon curd filling and are topped with fresh lemon zest.  The Triple Cocolates have chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache, etc.  They all smell wonderful!
I'm finding it interesting to zero in on each cupcake, examining it from different angles, rather like an astronaut approaching a new planet.  Hmmmm.... what does it look like over here?  

The most challenging part of painting these is the frosting patterns.  All the twists & turns!  So easy to go into a panic.  Painting these has been good for me.  I'm looking forward to starting a series of small flower paintings.  I figure if I can paint frosting swirls, then I sure as heck will be able to handle rose petals!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Butter Finger & Simply Delicious

 "Butter Finger #2" -- oil on canvas 6x6 -- Margie Guyot

"Simply Delicious #2" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

Realized I've been running behind on my posts!  These are the most recent cupcake paintings.  I'm trying to do at least 3 versions of each variety, seeing as how I've got 3 art shows coming up to paint for.  Each time I paint a cupcake, I turn it a little to get a new angle.  Doing identical paintings wouldn't appeal at all to me.  These are actually kind of fun to do.  Challenging, but fun.  A nice switch from the big still lifes, which I will get back to.

These are wonderful, gourmet cupcakes from Simplycupcakes in Traverse City, Michigan.  NOT like those nasty cupcakes from the grocery store!  Len, the owner, gives me these for free.  I've taken a few paintings down to him and he's got them up on the wall of the bakery, for sale.

Cinnamon Roll & Jelly Donut

 "Cinnamon Roll" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

"Jelly Donut" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

A break from cupcakes (momentarily, at least!).   My friend Gail came over, bringing a giant box of fancy pastries from Johann's Bakery in Petoskey.  They looked interesting, so I thought I'd try painting some.  As soon as I painted one, I took it to the chickens.  Hey -- I can't eat everything I paint!  The chickens were quite excited.  They were pecking furiously at the jelly donut and when they hit the jelly, they paused for a second.  Lifting their heads, looking around and licking their beaks, as if they were thinking aha!  They were very thirsty after all that jelly.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Butter Finger

"Butter Finger" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

I think my waistline is growing thicker, just by LOOKING at these things!  This one is called "Butter Finger", described in Simplycupcakestc website as: dark chocolate cake topped with Peanut Butter buttercream and sprinkled with butterfinger candy.

This cupcake is safely tucked back into its box, in the refrigerator, waiting to be painted again.  I've got jazz ensemble rehearsal this morning, but maybe I can get back to my studio again this afternoon.

chocolate donut

"Chocolate Donut" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

OK, a little break from the cupcakes!  My friend, Gail DeMeyer, came over to see my studio and she brought a huge box of donuts from Johann's Bakery in Petoskey.  Egads!  We OD'd on coffee and donuts.  She had a gay old time, photographing my chickens. 

Then she watched me paint "Butter Finger", another of the cupcakes from Simplycupcakes of Traverse City. 

After Gail left, I grabbed this chocolate donut and painted a view of it.  The sun was out (a rarity here in winter) and I loved the shadow pattern and the glare on the frosting.  When finished, I took the donut straight out to the chicken coop.  No more donuts for me!!!!  The chickens were quite thrilled.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Silly Wabbit

 "Silly Wabbit #1" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

"Silly Wabbit #2" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

Standing in front of my north studio window, I saw a movement of some kind.  Looking closer, I saw a mink staring at me!  He was under a pile of lumber.  Then he took off, bounding through the snow, back out into the swamp!  I love it here.

So this is another new selection from Simplycupcakes of Traverse City (Michigan).  It's carrot cake, topped with chocolate ganache, white Italian buttercream and finished with finely chopped walnuts.  I've never been too interested in carrot cake with chocolate, but the smell was ravishing!  And no, I didn't eat this one.  I'm going to try to paint a 3rd view of it tomorrow.  

The swirl formations just captivate me!  I really enjoy painting a view from directly overhead.  The view is something reminiscent of a galaxy.  Or maybe a rose or a lily.  

And I love the way the swirls also remind me of ski trails on a mountainside.  Not that I ski, but I'm imagining it.  So far, I'm having a good time painting these little "fluffs".  It's kind of a nice change from painting the big, complicated still lifes.  I'm not giving up on those, though.  I just needed a bunch of little cupcake paintings for a show coming up this fall.  Stay tuned!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Simply Delicious

"Simply Delicious #1" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

This one's a real cutie: yellow cake with buttercream frosting, topped with sprinkles and a little heart.   I bet Simplycupcakes will sell a TON of these this Valentine's week.  This was the last one I painted yesterday afternoon and I had to quit.  The sun was setting and I cannot paint under artificial lights.  The glare on the wet paint is confusing.  And the colors never turn out right.  

After painting this one, I thought I should finish assembling the rabbit cage.  While prying a metal clip off, it suddenly flew off like a rocket, hitting me in my right eye!  Thank goodness it hit in the corner and my reflexes were quick.  Another fraction of an inch over and I probably would have blinded myself!  It stung like hell.  Oh boy.  I always wear glasses when using power tools.  Or when I'm cutting brush, mowing the lawn.  

It was a Sunday afternoon and I didn't know if I should go to an emergency room or not.  Fortunately, one of my friends had worked at an eye doctor's office and she told me I'd probably just scratched my cornea and it would heal quickly.  She said to put warm, wet compresses on it.  

Happy to report this morning that my eye feels a lot better.  Still a little sore, but I can see fine.  Good heavens.  Maybe I should wear glasses whenever I pick up ANY tool!

Hint of Mint

 "Hint of Mint #1" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

 "Hint of Mint #2" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

"Hint of Mint #3" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

However garish the green frosting might seem to some of you purists,  as an artist, I enjoyed painting these.  A new color is a treat.  For 30 years I worked on the assembly line at Ford Motor Company.  Our plant made Lincoln Town Cars.  I always paid attention to the car colors.  I had my favorites.  At the beginning of every model year, I had hopes for new, exciting colors.  But they were Lincolns: very sedate colors -- grays, browns, black, navy.  One year they had 3 shades of white!  Oh, boo-hoo!  How I longed for turquoise!  So you can see how much I'm enjoying this green frosting.

Hint of Mint is another wonderful creation from Simplycupcakes, a gourmet bakery in Traverse City, Michigan, that specializes in nothing but cupcakes. This one is chocolate cake with mint buttercream frosting, topped with an Andes Mint.  The smell --- oooh la la!

I'm trying to do at least 3 paintings from each cupcake.  Each one I try to do slightly differently, turning it at a different angle, exploring the many "moods".  I especially enjoy looking straight down at it (#2 here).  It looks almost like a miniature galaxy.  Gives the viewer the impression that he/she is about to fall face-first into it.  Whatta way to go, eh?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mocha #1

"Mocha #1" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

One of my artist friends came over today to spend the day visiting and sharing my studio.  She decided to paint a purple hyacinth and I worked on this very tempting chocolate cupcake.  It's another creation from Simplycupcakes in Traverse City, Michigan.  Their website describes it as:

Mocha : Dark chocolate cake topped with mocha flavored buttercream and finished with a chocolate covered espresso bean. 

After I finished painting this, we decided it was time for a lunch break.  My friend had brought homemade soup.  Once we had 2 bowls full, we declared it dessert time -- and of course you can guess what we had!  Split in half, I figured it wouldn't kill me, calorie-wise.  And goodness sakes -- it was delicious!  We also had 2 glasses of champagne with it.  Ha ha!
Ah, retirement! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Funky Monkey

"Funky Monkey" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

Started the day with the goal of painting 3 versions of this and only managed to paint one.  Some days are like that!  From Simplycupcakes in Traverse City, Michigan, it is described as:
Funky Monkey : A banana cake filled with peanut butter buttercream topped with chocolate ganache and more peanut butter buttercream and a banana chip.

The swirls: always a challenge!  Once I finish a painting, I like to turn the cupcake a little to get a different swirl pattern.  Why paint multiple versions of an identical scene?  That would bore me to tears.

Years ago when I was in a landscape painting class, the instructor took a dislike to me (? why???) and said, "Obviously this comes easy to you!"  Huh????  I was shocked.  I said, "No, it's hard for me.  I always set up and look at the scene and think good grief -- this is going to be tough!  But I just keep plugging along, figuring things out as I go."

Painting, for me, is like taking an algebra test.  When the instructor hands it to me, I initially freak out.  All those problems frighten me.  I flip through all the pages until I see a problem I think I can do.  I do that one, then hunt for another problem I can handle.  One solution feeds the next solution.  And so it is with painting.  I start out with a basic outline, very rough, to figure out where to place it on the canvas.  Then I figure out what space the frosting will occupy.  The paper cup -- how much does that cover?  And so on.  I have to control my panic when figuring out the twists of the frosting.  Then I start in on the darks.  It all goes like that, working from dark to light.  For most of the painting process, it looks pretty bad!  But, like Clyde Aspevig told our class one time, while doing a demonstration painting, "This is the point at which beginners would quit.  But I know how to fix it!"

That's why I tell people, "Making a good painting involves learning how to control your panic!"

Betty Edwards, in her book, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", teaches how you can learn to ignore that part of your brain that wants to tell you it looks awful! You can't draw!  Great book!  It changed my life.

Peanut Butter Cup

"Peanut Butter Cup #1" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot
"Peanut Butter Cup #2" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot
"Peanut Butter Cup #3" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

This cupcake smelled so wonderful, I drooled while painting it!  This is another one of the selections from Simplycupcakes in Traverse City, Michigan.  I've been trying to resist eating all the cupcakes I've been painting, but this time I just had to try it.  Dark chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream frosting, topped with a little Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.  And it was delicious!