As a plein air (outdoor) painter, Eastport artist and Iowa native Margie Guyot plies her craft year round, during winter squalls and summer’s fierce heat. The prolific oil painter creates everything from moody landscapes to humorous political commentary that delights and piques our curiosity.

Why paint outdoors?

It’s an adrenaline rush! Years ago I read a poem, something like “breathing the crisp, frigid air that had flowed through the fur of wolves out on the tundra…” I still think of that when I’m out painting on the ice. The first few years after I moved up here, I’d rush down to the lake and climb up on the ice pyramids to paint. Eventually, I was shocked to read an article about how dangerous that is.

Who inspired you?

Russian painter Isaac Levitan, who painted in all kinds of weather, sometimes having to lash himself and his easel to a tree to keep from being blown over. I’ve painted in a blizzard down at the shoreline, holding onto my easel with one hand, brush in the other.

How do you dress for winter painting?

Layers! Long johns, snow pants, SmartWool socks, a Ninja mask, Arctic boots, heavy down coat and fingerless wool gloves.

Find work by Margie Guyot at Sanctuary Gallery and Michigan Artists Gallery in Traverse City, in addition to Somebody’s Gallery in Petoskey.

Northern Michigan Artists