Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Feature: Margie Guyot

"Bowl of Cherries" by Margie Guyot
I'm so excited about today's Friday Feature!  As soon as I stumbled upon Margie Guyot's work I was blown away.  Her compositions, colors, whimsy are all so admirable and inspirational.  I am in love with her work and can't wait to share her interview with you.
To see more of her work visit her blog website and Facebook page.

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?

Back in grade school I basked in the glory of being “the school artist”. High school was another story, however.  The art teacher was into abstraction (it was the late 6o’s) and I was entranced by realism.  When he found out I was also in band, he told me I couldn’t do both.  So I dropped art entirely at age 15.  And majored in music education out of spite.  It’s amazing what we can accomplish out of spite.
"Granny Smiths" by Margie Guyot
Where were you born? Davenport, Iowa

If you could live anywhere where would you live? The Amazon jungle.

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why? It’s a toss-up between plein air landscapes and colorful still lifes.  I like doing landscapes because there’s a minimum of thought involved – you see it, you like it, you paint it.  Still lifes can take days to set up and they can be a pain-in-the-ass to paint.  But I love the bright colors, reflections and shapes.  In a world that seems to be going to hell-in-a-handbasket, the thought of having total control over something – and being able to solve its problems – is appealing.  I guess I just flip-flop back and forth all the time between the two.  I detest being bored.

"Banks Two Park" by Margie Guyot

"Scott Road in Winter" by Margie Guyot

"Gennet Rd" by Margie Guyot

Could you talk about your painting techniques?  

I was taught alla-prima, although sometimes layering and glazes work best (when painting glass in still lifes).

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites? 

The best paints for me are Vasari, particularly the “grays” of Scott Christensen.  And then I do love off-the-wall shades (aurora pink by Shinhan, for example). 

Do you have a favorite artist?  I have several favorites: 

Janet Fish, Sorolla, Scott Christensen, Clyde Aspevig.  Who has been your biggest inspiration?  Definitely Janet Fish for the still lifes.  Edgar Payne – for his landscape compositions.

What have been some of your crowning achievements? 

Ha ha – I can’t think of any offhand.  I do manage to juggle both music AND art.  I still play my saxophone in several local groups.

List a few things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

I’d love to find gallery representation in a good gallery that sells still lifes.
I’d love to be able to go painting in Iceland.
I’d love to go painting in Tierra del Fuego.

"Fish Teapot" by Margie Guyot
What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career? 

Well, there’s nothing to be ashamed about having a “regular” job.  I worked on the Line at Ford Motor Company for 30 years.  May sound tragic, but hey – it enabled me to be able to afford to take some good art workshops, studying with some of the country’s top painters.  And now I have retirement and Blue Cross.  So I’m not saddled with the problem of trying to make a buck to survive.  I am free to paint what I love, rather than trying to guess what people would want to buy.  

And – it’s important to really work at your art.  I know people who never pick up a brush unless they’re in a class.  How could they expect to improve like that?  

What I did was look at the art magazines and pick out a few painters who painted the way I hoped to paint.  Then I located where they gave workshops. Most of them will give workshop at least one week a year.  Go and spend a week with them.  Then come home and work your tail off!
"Caladiums" by Margie Guyot, shown with her set up

"Caladiums" by Margie Guyot
What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?  

Work directly from life – all the answers are right in front of you ---- Clyde Aspevig

Also – Robert Bateman told us to try to make our art look “fresh”, something like nobody’s seen before.  I decided long ago that the world did not need another somber, brownish still life with a wine bottle and spray of orchids.  

At my very first workshop with Clyde Aspevig, he handed us all a simple cardboard viewfinder.  Showed us how to use it to compose.  I used it until if fell to shreds.  Somebody gave me a nicer one out of plastic.  I use it all the time. 

Another very helpful "tool", if I could call it that, is Betty Edwards' "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain".  Somebody loaned me a copy many years ago and I did all the exercises.  I was surprised that I could draw!  All it is is measuring and comparing.

And my philosophy is "Making a good painting involves learning how to control your panic!"  Don't just put anything down, thinking you'll correct it later.  Clyde told us to take the time to wipe it out re-do -- "otherwise you'll end up with a painting that's all wrong!"

"Fiesta" by Margie Guyot

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate!

Your dream vacation spot? Amazon jungle

Book or movie?  It’s a toss-up

Favorite author? Bill Bryson

Favorite movie? The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Romance or comedy? Couldn’t really say

Favorite dessert? Coconut cake

Night owl or morning person? Morning

Thank you so much Margie!  I'm so inspired:)



  1. NOW ONE of my favorite new artists!
    Stunning Work ( :

  2. I love Margie's work and am pleased to learn more about her. Nice interview!

  3. One of my new favorites too! Thanks for sharing Carrie and Margie!

  4. Wonderful interview Carrie. Her work is stunning. I was drawn to her snow scenes that are much like what we have here today. Just what I need, more snow. But, hers is lovely.

  5. Thank you for sharing Carrie, I am off to visit Margie's sites!

  6. I love her work and just saw where she is from my home town of Davenport, proud of her.

  7. Her work is beautiful and I love her down to earth mentality too!

  8. Love Margie's work, I can relate when she talks about drawing and making the painting your own. I love how she studies her pieces before she paints - her still lifes.

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