Saturday, November 12, 2011

White Poinsettias

"White Poinsettias" -- oil on canvas 36x36" -- Margie Guyot
I love painting poinsettias!  Every year about this time, I yearn to find them for sale again.  I live in a rural area in NW Michigan and about the only place you can find them is in the grocery store.  Last year when they had poinsettias "3 for $10", I snapped some up.  Red, white, pink -- I love them all!  For fun, I thought it would be an interesting challenge to paint white poinsettias on a white tablecloth.  Which I did last year.  But there was something that troubled me about the painting.  It looked too blah!

So I set it up on the easel last week and every time I'd walk by, I'd look at it, trying to imagine how to "fix" it.  Finally I got the inspiration to darken the background and paint in a box of antique ornaments.  I have lots of old ornaments (of course you'd know I love old, weird things!).  I liked the way the ornaments looked IN the box, so I painted the whole thing, as-is.  Hard?  Of yes, of course it was hard!  But it was a cold, rainy, dreary week and it was that or clean closets.  

I really like the look of the box of ornaments.  I think I'll be doing another big still life with several boxes of ornaments, maybe a couple small poinsettias, a plate of cookies -- and.....? 

Lemon Meringue Pies

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

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

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

  "Lemon Meringue #4" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

 "Lemon Meringue #5" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

Lemon meringue pies are SO much fun to paint!  But the ones I've seen in the grocery stores around here look so nasty.  I baked this one a couple days ago.  Alas, I think lemon pie wants to be eaten the same day it is made: it deteriorates so quickly!  In reality, this slice of pie looked nothing like my paintings.  At two days old, the meringue was shrinking and the crust was soggy and falling apart.  Had to use my artistic license to "pretty it up" a little.

The first painting I did showed the slice on a green Depression glass plate.  I kind of liked the colors, but thought I probably should do the rest on a plain, white background.  

I enjoy painting one view (and I always use a little viewfinder at the start), then turning it slightly for the next painting.  One thing I found rather amazing was how intensely yellow-orange the lemon filling was in spots on the shadow side.  And the meringue was quite dark when in shadow.  I just have such a blast, painting lemon pie!  Thinking of doing a few more.  

And what about eating it?  I doubt it.  It really is quite a pitiful, soggy mess!  This might be something the chickens will savor.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Blue & Orange Striped Pumpkin

 "Blue & Orange Striped Pumpkin" -- plein air field study -- oil on canvas 12x12" -- Margie Guyot

This was another great find in Traverse City, at the pumpkin stand last week.  All pumpkins were marked down to $1 each.  Such a deal!  It was raining cats & dogs, but I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around, picking out such fantastical pumpkins!  Where were these beauties when I was a kid?
We had another sunny day here yesterday -- an amazing thing for NW Michigan in November -- so I set up the trusty lawn chair in the yard, my Soltek, the BestBrella (to shade the back of my canvas) and got to work.  The 4 cats came by to check on me now and then.  Miss America (who is really a "he") jumped up onto my lap at one point.  He's the one who's broken so many of my glass vases.  At least he didn't jump up onto the wet palette.  

The temperature dropped dramatically as the winds picked up at 3:30 (as they usually do), giving me me a final urgency to finish. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Big Blue Pumpkin

"Big Blue Pumpkin" -- plein air field study -- oil on canvas 12x12" -- Margie Guyot

I love all the unusual pumpkins they're coming out with these days!  When I was a kid, they only had orange.  Big ones & little ones.  So I've been going nuts, painting all the different ones I can find around here.  This one is so cool -- I love the blue tones!

We had a rare sunny day today, so I set my lawn chair out by the studio, plopped this pumpkin down and painted away.  Long about 3:30, the winds picked up and the temperature must have dropped a good ten degrees all of a sudden.  It helped "hurry up" my painting process!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lumpy Blue Pumpkin

"Lumpy Blue Pumpkin" -- plein air field study -- oil on canvas 12x12" -- Margie Guyot

Isn't this the coolest pumpkin?  I found it at a roadside stand by Traverse City a couple weeks ago.  To me, it looks a bit on the blue side.  And the lumps just made it even more amazing!  
At first I set it down in the green grass, where I'd painted my other pumpkins.  But since it's rather blue-ish, I thought it might look better in warmer rust tones -- dry grass and fallen leaves.  
The sun struggled to come out this afternoon.  And it was pretty chilly.  I had to wear my down winter coat to paint this.  The wind was pretty steady, blowing my hat off a couple times.  But at least there were no mosquitoes!
Right after I finished painting, the light rain started.  Great timing!