18×24" — oil on stretched canvas

When I set this up in my studio, it was mid-day and the thing that really excited me was the way the sunlight fell across these peaches and tablecloth.  That was what I was concentrating on.  But alas — I soon realized how QUICKLY the sun moves!  Or, to be more correct — how quickly the Earth moves!  The sunlight pattern only fell in this exact pattern for just about 4 – 5 minutes.  Then it all looked different!  And peaches rot so quickly — wow — it was no time for dilly-dallying!

It took about 3 days to finish this one.  Ordinarily I'd finish a small still life in a day, maybe 2 days.  I'd paint as much as I could, getting the drawing and perspective as well as I could, but I had to be standing at the easel, paint colors mixed, brush in hand, at exactly 1:10 PM to catch the sunlight pattern.  It was kind of a fun challenge!

I used a vintage tablecloth for this.  I'm kind of a collector of vintage tablecloths.  Some people collect vintage cars, but I tell ya — tablecloths are SO much cheaper & easier to store!  I'd like to do some companion pieces for this, but maybe that will have to be next summer.  Peaches are kaput….

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Margie Guyot

About Margie Guyot

In grade school and junior high I basked in the glory of being the School Artist.  But my high school art teacher disliked me when he found out I was also in the band.  I was into realism; he was into abstraction (it was the late 60's).  He was fat and he made whistling noises through his nose.   Totally grossed me out.  "You can't do BOTH music and art!" he declared, hairy nostrils flaring.  So I quit art.  Went to college and majored in music.  Wore a sparkly, fringed dress and played sax in a traveling band after college.  Got a job on the assembly line at Ford.  During the Big Layoff of 1980 somebody loaned me a copy of Betty Edwards' "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain".  It changed my life.  I saw the improvements the high school kids achieved and thought hell -- if they can do it, so can I!

Thus, the Monster was created.  I signed up for some workshops at Scottsdale Artists School and most recently, a workshop at Scott Christensen's, near Jackson Hole.  Probably the two best, most influential teachers I've had are Clyde Aspevig and Scott Christensen (and Betty Edwards, of course!).  I'm also a great admirer of the work of Janet Fish.

Thank goodness the assembly line days are long gone, but they taught me how to persevere.  I love a good challenge.  When I set up still lifes I'm always trying to make them as challenging as possible.  I also love doing plein air landscapes.  Bouncing back and forth between the bright colors of studio still lifes and the more sedate (sometimes "sour owl" colors) of plein air landscapes is a nice, refreshing balance for me.