Tuesday, July 12, 2011


"Clematis" -- oil on canvas 24x24" -- Margie Guyot

My friend Linda Boss surprised me a few days ago, bringing me this clipping of clematis vine.  Most of the flower paintings I've been doing this summer have been on 6x6" canvases.  But this was so beautiful - I love the way the vine curls around! - that I had to do a larger painting of the whole thing.  I've always loved clematis but never had any success in growing them.

Because of two "frisky" studio cats, I had to remove the vase of clematis from my studio every evening. 

I used the same gold and lavender silk scarf that I used in an earlier painting, "Lavender and Gold". 

If the blossoms will hold out a few more days, I'm going to try and do a few 6x6" closeup paintings.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Striped Petunias

 "Purple Striped Petunia" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

 "Red Striped Petunia" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot
"Yellow and Red Striped Petunia" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot
I love petunias!  This year I planted the flower beds in front of my porch in dozens of petunias, in every color.  The smell is so sweet!  And petunias seem to thrive on neglect.  Every year it seems the growers come up with new varieties.  The top two (shown above) I bought at Pine Hill.  The bottom one I picked out of a flower box in front of a store in Charlevoix.  And yes, I asked first.  
Stay tuned for more petunia paintings!

Siberian Iris

"Siberian Iris" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

We'd had a cool, late spring this year.  When it finally warmed up, all the flowers went nuts, flowering as quickly as possible.  I hadn't really painted flowers before.  Doing little 6x6" canvases is new to me, too.  By the time I finally decided to try painting stuff that pops up in my yard, and by the time I got to thinking, "Hey -- why don't I paint a Siberian iris?", this was the last one left!  And it was on its last legs, too. 

Ah, well -- there's always next year!

Dark Red Geranium

"Dark Red Geranium" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

Last year I remembered seeing some very deep red geraniums.  All I had here were the brigher, more orange-red varieties.  I looked at every plant nursery around before I finally found a plant up in Harbor Springs.  I save geraniums from year to year, keeping them in pots on the windowsills in my studio.  
I'm enjoying painting geraniums!  At first they were rather intimidating.  For the first portion of the painting, it looks very discouraging -- just colored blobs!  It's the last couple minutes, though, with the little details, that turn it into something that "actually looks like something"!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blue Field Iris

"Blue Field Iris" -- oil on canvas 6x6"  -- Margie Guyot

This was the last paintable iris I could find.  It's one of the many iris I'd dug up from under the trees and moved out into the sun, along my driveway.  After painting some of the newer, fancy varieties, this one seems pretty plain.  I wonder where it came from, what it's history is.  Did it come from somebody's great grandmother?  Next season I'll have to make a search, seeking out some of the older (more subtle) iris growing in backyards.  

When I first dug out the many iris (all of this variety), I'd planted a bunch in a big flower bed I'd created in front of my art studio.  When they bloomed, it was gorgeous.  For about a week.  Then the iris bed looked pretty sad all the rest of the season.  Last year I dug them all out (such a job!) and relocated them all along my driveway, in among the white daisies.  In their place, I planted Russian sage in front of the studio.  Hmmmm....  and now I'm considering moving that, too.  Planting Annabelle hydrangeas in front of the studio.  Flower gardening, to me, is a game of constant movement..... 

Deep Purple Iris

 "Deep Purple Iris #1" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

 "Deep Purple Iris #2" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot
 "Deep Purple Iris #3" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot
This iris was growing along my driveway, in among the daisies.  When I moved here, the previous owner had planted iris all along the edges of the property.  Over the years, trees and shrubs had taken over, shading the iris (and hiding them).  The past couple years I spent digging them out and planting them along the driveway.  Most of the iris are 2-tone: pale lavender and a deeper blue-ish purple.  This one was a surprise.  
I was busy and had put off trying to paint iris.  Finally I picked this one -- the last one with a decent-looking bloom -- and decided to try painting it.  It's almost black.  I didn't use black paint, though.  I mixed ultramarine, alizarin and a little viridian for the darkest shades.  Right at the end I put in a few thin dashes of a paler blue-tone to bring out some of the highlights.  It turned out to be one of my most favorite flower paintings!

Corn Poppies

 "Corn Poppy #1" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

 "Corn Poppy #2" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot
 "Corn Poppy #3" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot
I love these poppies!  They're not the big Oriental variety -- the naughty little rabbits gnawed all the buds off those.  But somehow the rabbits didn't notice these.  So I thought they'd be a hoot to paint.  I realized that only have 2 shades of red on my palette wasn't enough.  Some colors just can't be mixed.  I did these using cadmium red light (an orange-red) and alizarin crimson (deep bluish-red).  It was challenging!  But I did order 5 new shades of red.  Stay tuned!

Japanese Tree Peonies

 "Japanese Tree Peony #1" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

 "Japanese Tree Peony #2" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot
Yikes!  Once again I've fallen behind on my blog posts!  And my Internet service is running slow this morning.  Still, an attempt to catch up a little this morning.  It's kind of a miracle I have any Japanese tree peonies at all.  I'd bought several plants at a moving sale about 5 years ago.  It was in the 90's.  From what I'd read about these plants, they should only be moved in early spring, in cool temperatures.  Somehow they survived being moved twice: first, to my house in Farmington Hills, and a second time, to my house up in northern Michigan.  They're quite beautiful when they bloom, but the blooms only last a couple days.