Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Corn and Tomatoes

"Corn and Tomatoes" -- oil on canvas 36x36" -- Margie Guyot
A few weeks ago I revisited a favorite, funky gift shop at Stonehedge Gardens, near Charlevoix.  They always have such cool stuff!  This metal basket was so interesting-looking, I had to get it.  And that's a "new" vintage tablecloth.  Then it was a short trek down to Eastport Market, where I snagged a dozen ears of sweet corn.  Not one to waste resources, I carefully bagged the corn at the end of each painting session and returned it to the fridge.  And the tomatoes are from the neighbor women's garden.  They were monsters (the tomatoes, not the women) that weighed 2 pounds apiece!  I like the Brandywines.  Not only do they taste good, but they have such interesting coloration.
As a final touch I decided to add a few sprigs of goldenrod and some sunflowers.  They're a new kind of sunflower variety that is kind of like a black-eyed susan.  Somehow they managed to survive the deer this year.  The first blossom I painted looked awful.  I'd painted it facing straight at the viewer.  It stuck out like a sore thumb!  So amateurish!  I wiped it all out (and what a mess that was!) and re-did it in a more natural pose.  I was so happy to finally finish this one, I had to celebrate by hauling more buckets of rocks.  But that's another story....

Apples, apples, apples!

"Braeburn #2 -- oil on canvas 6x6" -- Margie Guyot

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

In my spare moments (ha ha) I've been painting all kinds of apples.  So far I've painted about 55 apples.  Here are just a few of the ones I've done.  Painting this many apples is good for "keeping in practice".  I've found that my skills of observation have sharpened over this past year.  And OK -- I admit it: I am starting to grow weary of painting apples!  

Two Nocturnes

"Full Moon over Grand Traverse Bay" -- plein air field study -- oil on birch panel 10x8" -- Margie

"Lights over Northport" -- plien air field study -- oil on birch panel 8x10" -- Margie Guyot

My plein air setup on Rex Beach

At the beginning of September we had a full moon.  Since I'm an early-riser by nature, it was no trouble at all to drive down to Rex Beach and paint @ 5AM.  I waited until that hour so the moon would be in a better position over the lake.  OK, I admit it: I pre-mixed a dark and a medium tone in the studio, where I could see what I was doing.  For the most part, I was able to paint solely by the light of the full moon.  Once in a while I had to turn on the flashlight.  The second painting happened about 5:45 AM, when things were starting to lighten up a little.  The sun still hadn't risen and everything was a deep gray.


"Pink Begonia" -- oil on canvas 12x12" -- Margie Guyot

"Yellow Begonia" -- oil on canvas 12x12" -- Margie Guyot

"White Begonia" -- oil on canvas 11x14" -- Margie Guyot
These begonias were on end-of-season sale at Pine Hill Nursery so I snapped them up.  I loved the wonderful shapes and colors of the leaves.  The flowers are gorgeous, too.  I wish I could keep them over the winter, but begonias are one of the plants that I seem to kill within weeks!