“The Favorite”

“The Favorite” — oil on birch panel 40×18.5″ by Margie Guyot

As I attempt to write this blog (still kind of a struggle!), I’m also keeping an eye on the live coverage of the Mars landing! Kind of an exciting afternoon! A blizzard rages across the Midwest. Meanwhile, in my studio…..

“The Favorite” refers to my favorite cat, Picasso. He’s the black & white cat in my arms. I found him in the middle of Old Dixie Highway about 11 years ago. He was just a little handful with blue eyes. I had to teach him how to drink from a saucer. He’s grown up to be the smartest, most loyal cat ever! I think he understands every word I say.

I zipped into Charlevoix at daybreak on Black Friday to pick up some bargains.  It was a rare, sunny morning and the colors were so wonderful: a pale, warm peach at the horizon, rising to a pale blue. The snow reflected a blue-ish lavender. As soon as I got home I flew into the studio and mixed up colors of the sky and snow, dabbing them as references onto the panel. 

I have a mini-forest of blue bottle trees, topped with plastic owls. People ask me “why?” Well, why the hell not?

Things would have been so much easier if I’d had a photograph of myself holding the cat. In my dreams! I had to keep getting up and walking over to the mirror and get into a pose, take a good look, then go back and try to draw it.

The day after I drew in the basic figure, I walked into the studio and was aghast: there were 6 fingers on one hand! And I’d made myself a midget! That’s the good thing about painting on birch: unlike canvas, you can scrape it off, sand and paint it over. I won’t tell you how many times I redid things in the past couple days.

The coat is a lucky find at an upscale resale shop in Petoskey. As soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect in this painting.

The two cats at my feet: Mr. Wonderful, the tabby, who had been abandoned at the Eastport Post Office. The Siamese is Bernie Sanders, found on Craig’s List. He’s been attacked by coyotes twice. All 3 cats sleep next to me in bed and their favorite word is “dinner”!

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