Monthly Archives: June 2015

Rainbow Flowers 3

This morning I was staring at the ceiling fan during corpse pose (my favorite yoga position of all) and saw my bouquet of rainbow flowers up on the counter. Later, I got back down on the floor to draw them from that particular angle.

A change in perspective can be awkward and cool at the same time. Awkward because I’m flat on my back looking up at the subject. I have to hold the board against my stomach and reach over my body to get to my pastels. Cool because I can see the undersides of all my flowers. I noticed there’s a lot more leaves and stems visible.

pastel painting of flowers in a vase from underneath

Rainbow Flowers 3, 9×6″ pastel on UArt 600 sanded paper by Marie Marfia


Rainbow Flowers 2

I decided I need to keep painting these flowers. They make me feel happy and that’s all the reason there needs to be, yes? I like how this one sprig of purple something or other is sticking out at the top of the bunch, like a lone tree on a quilted hillside. I like how the daisies run up the hillside, like a path. Those orange ones on the lower right are going to require some intense work at some point. I am not grokking them as yet, but I mean to.

pastel painting of a flower bouquet

Rainbow Flowers 2, 9×6″ pastel on UArt sanded paper by Marie Marfia

Also, I have been working on six sets of cafe curtains for the front porch. This morning, as I was getting ready to cut the lining for the final pair, I ran short of fabric. This would have stopped me in my tracks as recently as a few months ago. I do not suffer reverses all that well, but every time I finished a set this past week, I would hang them in place of the sad old bed sheet material that was already out there, and it would make me absurdly happy. So I went to Wal-mart and bought another yard so I could finish. It’s in the washer, and then I’ll dry it, iron it, cut it out and sew it up along with the last two pieces of material. Once that’s done, anything is possible.

DSCN0090 DSCN0091


Rainbow flowers

Steve brought me flowers along with the pizza last night, just because. He does this. I’m a very lucky so and so. I thought I’d paint them this morning and it occurred to me that they are all the colors of the rainbow, which I think was accidental, or maybe Flowerama was just taking advantage of the new impromptu holiday that happened because of the Supreme Court ruling yesterday about gay marriage. In any case, I didn’t see the rainbow when I got them, but only today when I painted them.

The shadows gave me fits and I tried wrestling them into submission with the addition of medium and light gray. It needs neutrals, otherwise everything fights to be first. I wanted the painting to be sketchy and loose and I think I achieved that.

pastel painting of flowers in a vase

Rainbow Flowers, 9×6″ pastel on UArt 600 paper by Marie Marfia.

Oh, and for those of you following along, this is the final on the family portrait commission that I was working on earlier this month. All done and shipped.

pastel painting of a family

Commissioned family portrait, 16×20″ on Canson paper by Marie Marfia


Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Jellybeans, Black Krim, Brandywine and German Green tomatoes. I can’t tell which is which anymore (the sticks with the names on them have long since disappeared) and that can be a problem if they turn a color other than red when they’re ripe. Well, at least they’re all delicious.

pastel painting of tomatoes

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, 9×12″ on UArt 400 paper by Marie Marfia


Don’t Mind Us

I’ll be out at the beaches today. Steve’s got a company party and it’s going to be a million degrees out there. I’m packing sunblock, an umbrella and my camera. You never know who you might see doing something a skelly might do. Like this guy.

skelly napping in the late afternoon sun

Don’t Mind Us, Work in Progress, 18×24″ pastel on Canson paper by Marie Marfia

Me, I stopped napping in public when I first woke myself snoring. Once the ol’ palate goes loose, it’s over, baby. No more sleeping beauty. More like drooling grandma. I am not just ready to face it.


Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, WIP

They’re coming. And there’s nothing you can do to stop them. Steve keeps telling me he didn’t expect them all to survive, but now they have, and the kitchen counter is starting to get the least little bit crowded. I picked out some likely looking specimens for today’s painting and you know there’ll be more tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that.


Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, WIP, 9×12″ pastel on Uart sanded paper (400) by Marie Marfia


Family doings

I’ve been working on a larger, commissioned painting of a beautiful family and I thought I’d share some of the work in progress with you. I have to fit 12 heads on a single sheet of paper, so this is 20×16″ rather than my usual 10×8″ or 14×11″. I plan to have this done by this weekend, so more progress pictures to come. I’m also busy with worky-work this time of year. All kinds of graphic design jobs to finish, so painting has to fit in whenever I get a free minute.

I’m grateful to be busy, to have so many loyal clients, and to have new clients who want me to paint their families. Speaking of which, my own family reunion is coming up in July, and I’ll be back in Michigan for a whirlwind visit. I plan to take a lot of pictures so that I can continue with my portrait series when I get back.

I’ve also got some good ideas for more skelly art, too, so stay tuned for those as well.


Traced image onto Canson mi teintes paper using a grid.


Filling in initial values using a posterized photo for reference.


More values filled in.


Starting to work on faces, going from left to right.