Yellow bird, egyptian eyed dog, pink flower

acrylic painting of a yellow bird on canvas

Yellow Bird, No. 9, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

acrylic painting of a dog with dark eyes and muzzle

Egyptian-eyed Dog, No. 10, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

acrylic painting of a pink daisy

Pink Flower, No. 11, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia

Humming right along. I don’t always like what I’m ending up with but it’s okay because I’m learning! I’m excited to try again every day. Onward and upward. That’s the ticket.

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Sad-Eyed Dog and Iris Eyes

acrylic painting of a sad eyed King Charles Spaniel

Sad-Eyed Dog, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia

acrylic painting of an iris flower

Iris Eye, 6×6″ acrylic painting on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

Where was I?

Oh yes, I was posting every day about my 100 Acrylics in 100 Days project. Whelp, there have been developments and suffice to say, I’m still doing these, but there may be interruptions from time to time. Please bear with me. I appreciate your patience.

Every time a Pride Festival happens…

…someone gets their wings. I was asked to provide a pair of wings for the Pride Festival coming up here in Ludington, Michigan on June 10 at Rotary Park. So here they are. I painted them on a gessoed tablecloth stretched to about 4’x5′. Hope you can come out and get your picture taken with these lovely rainbow wings. I’ll be there!

 

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Curious Cow

acrylic painting of a cow face

Sunny Cow, No. 5, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia

Curious Cow

No. 5 is a quickie because I have to go down to Grand Rapids to meet up with my brother and his wife. We’re going to plant flowers in the family cemetery plots today. It’s always a great time to catch up. Joe says he wants to stop at a flea market that’s on the way, not to buy anything, but just to look at stuff and think about them. I can get behind that!

 

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acrylic painting of a pit bull dog face in purple

004 Purple Dog

acrylic painting of a pit bull dog face in purple

Purple Dog, no. 4, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia

Purple Dog

I remembered this morning that I had the Anderson Creek Kennels facebook page to use for inspiration and sure enough, there was a sweet pit in today’s pictures. I’ll probably do a bunch of doggy portraits. They’re really perfect for this size.

Calling it finished

Also figured out what to do with the background on this portrait of my brother Joe and his wife Anna. Two of my favorite people in the world. This was a pleasure to complete.

pastel portrait of a couple smiling

Joe and Anna, 11×14″ pastel on sanded paper. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

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Yellow Face

acrylic painting of a woman's face

Yellow Face, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

Yellow Face

This is number 3. Kind of a lot different from yesterday’s attempt. As is my m.o., I thought to myself, why stress about this? Just have fun. Do a doodle and see what happens. And about five hundred iterations later, this is what I have. So I quit for today. Maybe tomorrow will feel more like playing and less like torture. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and paintbrushes at the ready.

Progress is still being made

I am also working on finishing this portrait of my brother Joe and his wife Anna. I’ve been mostly staring at it for about a week now. I think I want to do something different with the background, but not sure what. Ima do some research and play with the picture in photoshop. Stay tuned!

pastel portrait of smiling couple

Joe and Anna, 11×14″ pastel on sanded paper. WIP.

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landscape painting with mustard field under a gray sky

That’s the Mustard

landscape painting with mustard field under a gray sky

That’s the Mustard, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia

That’s the Mustard

Clearly I need more practice at this! I watched a video about blending, which I didn’t really need to do any for this painting of a field of mustard that’s on my way to work (or home, depending). I was drawn to paint the field because it glows yellow green right now and I wanted to capture that. I don’t think I did, really, so I tried it a couple of times with pastels and still not really there for me. Oh well. I’ll keep plugging away at it. Maybe when I look at it again tomorrow it will seem better than it does today. This happens to me a lot.

In other news

Hey, at least I’ve licked my picture hanging system problem! Actually, Steve was once again a really big help. He wields all the tools with consummate skill, I must say.

We spent part of the weekend and yesterday putting up electrical conduit. I’m going to suspend the art in the James Street Gallery from it using picture hanging wire, braces and STAS picture hooks. Sweet!

A big thank you to my friend Liz for giving me the idea to do it this way. It’s saving me a ton of money and it’s going to look pretty cool.


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red wing blackbird silhouette painting

So it begins!

New project!

This summer I’ve decided I want to learn to paint with acrylics. So, as I’ve done before here and here, I’m committing to painting a small acrylic painting every day for the next 100 days. At the end of that time I hope to be more comfortable painting in acrylic and to have a bunch of work to show for my efforts.

Unlike my previous projects, I don’t entirely know what I’ll be concentrating on as far as subject matter goes. Right now I figure I’ll paint whatever subject appeals to me in the moment, concentrating on technique and composition rather than say, landscapes or portraits.

Today’s painting is based on a video tutorial that I watched this morning. The tutorial was about making a dark to light background and featured a bird and some branches in silhouette. It used just two colors—black and white—to make it easier for a novice (that would be me!) to get the hang of blending and simple enough that I would have a nice painting at the end.

I was inspired by the idea of a bird and also the graduated background. But of course I had to mix it up a little bit. Two colors? Nah. How about four?

See, I love to get up before the sun and watch it coloring the sky orange and gold and shining through the trees, so I decided to make my background reflect the color of the sky from this morning. So I needed red and yellow for that. For the bird I picked a red winged blackbird because they have so much personality and they’re everywhere around here. Plus, they have lovely red and yellow epaulettes on their shoulders, so I thought that would be perfect with my peachy background.

Here’s today’s effort:

red wing blackbird silhouette painting

001 Red Winged Blackbird, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

Fear not, I am not giving up on pastels! I will continue to work with them because I love doing it. But it’s always good to shake things up if you possibly can, try something new. Keeps me thinking creatively, and who doesn’t need more of that?

I’ll be posting them here on my blog, so if you’d like to keep track of my progress, please bookmark this page and come back often. Or come and visit me in Ludington, Michigan. I have a new exhibit space next to the Bonafide Gallery called James St. Gallery and I’ll be hanging these paintings there all summer. Hope to see you soon!


If you like what you’re seeing and reading, sign up for my newsletter, Bone Appetit (on the right). You’ll get regular updates on what’s happening in my studio plus exclusive access to twice yearly sales on my originals, prints and cards.

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Skelvis!

pastel painting of Elvis as a skeleton doing the Jailhouse Rock

Skelvis! 24×18″ pastel on paper. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

Skelvis rocks!

When I was in college I did a lip synch video to Elvis’s immortal “Devil in Disguise.” I enlisted the help of my sister and a friend, dressed one like an angel in a pretty white frock and the other in  red flannel underwear with a tail and horns. They took turns dancing on my shoulders throughout the song through the use of video magic (well, it was magic back then). I was dressed as a tele-evangelistic minister in a sharp suit and tie, with my hair slicked back and holding a leather-encased bible.

Flash forward to this week when someone asked me if I’d yet done Elvis as a skeleton. The suggestion immediately brought back all the fun we had making that video. Truly, it was the highlight of my college career, not even kidding.

When my dad saw it later, I heard he laughed himself silly. High praise indeed.

To paint The King, I needed just the right reference photo. I didn’t find Devil in Disguise but I did find Jailhouse Rock. Looking it over, it occurred to me that a ribcage can look a lot like a striped uniform shirt, and well, he came together pretty quickly after that.

Here’s a couple of videos of the process:

And now all that hip-shaking sexiness is available for you to have for your very own! The original (18×24″ on paper, unmatted and unframed) is $600 and in my shop. You can also have him to grace your walls as a canvas wrap print, paper print, or a greeting card.

Do you know someone who loves the King and skeleton art? Please share.


If you like what you’re seeing and reading, sign up for my newsletter, Bone Appetit (on the right). You’ll get regular updates on what’s happening in my studio plus exclusive access to twice yearly sales on my originals, prints and cards.

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pastel painting of a wave crashing

Bring on the floaties!

I’ve stopped giving the sky the stink eye, finally convinced that no more of that evil white stuff is about to come out of it.

And in true hamster-in-a-wheel fashion, I’ve leapfrogged over spring entirely and sat down and made a list of what I hope to accomplish this summer.

Number 1, swim more. Last year I meant to, but actually only made it to the lake once. I remember the day very well. I was in a panic because the summer had come and gone and I hadn’t yet gotten wet anywhere besides my shower.

“Let’s go swimming,” I told my beloved one gloriously warm day in early September and he said, “Sure!” because that’s what he always does. Steve’s my personal enabler and that’s why I love him so much.

So we put on our bathing suits and headed out the door. We planned to stop at the Walhalla Walmart (Dollar General) and pick up whatever they had left by way of floatation devices. Steve came out with a couple of air mattresses and with that we were well on our way to blissing out on the water somewhere.

Unfortunately, Steve had in mind that this would be Walen Lake, which is out in the middle of nowhere in the Manistee National Forest. I imagined a shoreline crowded with cattails, alive with bloodsuckers, all under a cloud of mosquitos. “Seriously?” “Yeah, let’s just go check it out real quick.” “Fine.”

Fortunately for me, when we got there it was cheek to jowl with trailers, tents and people with dogs. “Nope.” Back we raced to Round Lake and pulled up at the township park by the crack of 4 o’clock. All the running around had given me ample time to finish blowing up the inflatables so we were set.

We hurried down to the water and then walked about a mile out into the lake whereupon we flopped onto our air mattresses and didn’t move again for a straight hour and a half, unless it was to paddle farther out, away from the splishers and splashers closer in to the water’s edge. To be honest, I didn’t even do that much. I just grabbed Steve’s feet and let him tow me.

We dodged the odd pontoon boat and a flotilla of loons, speculated about whether or not the big painted turtle bobbing in the distance was hungry enough to go after our piggy wiggies, and baked in the afternoon sun. It was heaven.

And this year I mean to repeat myself at least twice a week from June through August. I mean it. I’ve already decided to wear a bathing suit to the studio every day just so I’ll be ready to hit the beach at the drop of hat.

I mean, what’s the point of living where all the lakes are if you never swim in them?

So that’s my list for the summer. Do you suppose I’ve forgotten anything?


If you like what you’re seeing and reading, sign up for my newsletter, Bone Appetit (on the right). You’ll get regular updates on what’s happening in my studio plus exclusive access to twice yearly sales on my originals, prints and cards.

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