Monday, April 9, 2012

"Pansies and Fish Vase"

"Pansies and Fish Vase" -- oil on canvas 24x24" -- Margie Guyot

Ah, pansies!  I love them!  The colors are irresistable.  I had to buy a whole flat of them, in every color, a couple weeks ago at the local nursery, Pine Hill.  They remind me of the huge pansy gardens in Nice, on the French Riviera.  I was there in 1994, attending a workshop with Janet Fish.  Seeing pansies reminds me of that wonderful ten days.

My friend Janet Kondziela gave me the vintage tablecloth when she took her annual vacation to Charlevoix -- in February.  Most people find February the month when they'd most like to LEAVE Charlevoix, but Janet finds it very restful. 

The fish vase was a resale shop find, as was the rippled glass bowl.  I love a good challenge -- and wrinkles and reflections are so addictive!  Years ago I realized that I enjoyed painting difficult things (such as wrinkles or reflections) because I could eventually figure them out.  I'd set up a tough still life and just get totally absorbed in it.  The rest of the world could be going to hell in a handbasket, but by golly -- I could figure out "my own little world".   Although I feel so powerless to stop a war, I do feel a certain sense of accomplishment in being able to paint a darn wrinkle!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

"Apple Pie"

"Apple Pie" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

The model slice I used did NOT look like this: it was a $3 slice I'd bought at a popular roadside restaurant, south of Charlevoix, Michigan.  In reality, the apple filling was more like semi-hardened glue.  Not juicy at all.  I'm sure you know how that is!

Having grown up in a family of dedicated pie-eaters, I know about how pies should be: flaky crusts and juicy fillings, all made from scratch.  And yes, I do know how to make a good pie.  But I've been far too busy to bake this spring.  So most of this pie was painted from memory.

I painted all afternoon in the studio, doing a total of about 10 pie paintings (6 of those were blueberry).  Little paintings, all 6x6", unframed, are kind of popular.  And their sales enable me to do some extra home improvement projects.  I still do large paintings, but have cut back on those a bit, as people haven't had the cash to spend these past few years. 

Back to the studio today for more pie!  Hmmmm....  maybe lemon meringue?  Strawberry?

"Blueberry Pie"

"Blueberry Pie" -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

This pie was painted entirely from memory.  I'd been meaning to paint a slice of blueberry pie for at least a year, but all the pies I saw in the stores looked NASTY.  You know what I mean: crusts like cardboard, filling stiff and glue-like.  Ugh.  But I've been too busy to take a few hours and bake one.   My family was a big pie-eating family and my grandma taught me how to bake pies, so I know what a mouth-watering pie looks like!

I like to paint lots of 6x6" unframed oil paintings.  They're relatively inexpensive and tourists like them.  Of course I really enjoy painting large paintings, too, but they're harder to sell in this economic climate.

Yesterday afternoon I set aside my yardwork (it's endless!) and sequestered myself in the studio and painted pie after pie.  I did 10 in all: 6 blueberry and 4 more apple.  Pies are so much more enjoyable to paint than cupcakes --- all those doggone frosting swirls -- oy vey!

Working from memory, I made sure all my pies look juicy -- the way a pie should look!