Monthly Archives: September 2015

Win a sugar skull pastel portrait!

Heather, 10x8" pastel on UArt 600 paper by Marie Marfia

Heather, 10×8″ pastel on UArt 600 paper by Marie Marfia

I am offering a free 8×10″ Sugar Skull Pastel Portrait to one lucky winner of the raffle at my Skelly Show at The Red Sable in St. Augustine, Florida during the month of October, 2015!

What’s a Sugar Skull pastel portrait, you ask? First I start with your picture, then I sketch it out with pastels, adding sugar skull style details. Simple! Here’s a time-lapse video of my process:

Wouldn’t you love to see a portrait of yourself as a sugar skull-ized crazy person? To enter, all you have to do is go to my show (at The Red Sable, hours: Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, closed Sunday), fill out an entry and drop it in the Sugar Skull Portrait Raffle box. That’s it! I’ll draw a winner on the night of October 30 at my Artist Reception slash Day of the Dead Festival slash benefit for Childhood Cancer Research and it could be you!

Bonus, you can opt in to my Bone Appetit! mailing list so you’ll get all the latest Skelly news delivered right to your inbox every week, including free stuff and subscriber-only deals on originals, prints and cards.

This Sugar Skull Pastel Portrait is a $150 value! So hurry down to St. Augustine during October and get your name in the box! Someone’s going to win, and it might be you!

Would you like a Sugar Skull Pastel Portrait? Contact me for more information and to arrange payment and shipping. Thanks!

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All framed up…

 

Madame X-Ray, framed up and ready for the show!

Madame X-Ray, framed up and ready for the show!

….and some place to go. She’s such a little drama queen. I think putting her in an ornate gold frame was a good idea. It’s the perfect finish and gives her a truly Old (Dead) Masters feel. I took a picture of her in the garden behind my house. She’s looks quite the coquette, hiding behind those purple leaves.

Madame X-Ray will be at The Red Sable beginning on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 along with three others from the Old (Dead) Masters series, plus seven paintings from Greetings from St. Augustine and three Skelly Dancers. They’re going to be there all October, along with matted 5×7″ prints and small notecards. I’ve already sold one piece from the O(D)M (I’ll tell you all about it on a later post), but Madame is available for $270, which includes her splendid gilded frame. Contact me if you’d like to purchase her.

You’ve got some place quiet and secluded for her to be, don’t you? She won’t want to compete with anyone else for space. And even though she’s small, just 10 inches wide by 14 inches tall with the frame, she’s going to command a lot of attention. Drama queen, remember?

 

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Sugar Skull in time-lapse

black and white line drawing of a woman's face

Heather Sugar Skull, 8.5×5.5, black sharpie on sketch paper

Hi Heather! Here’s your sugar skull girl. Thanks for requesting it! It’s given me all kinds of ideas to try out so you can expect a few more along this line. Line. It’s a line drawing. Get it? I know, I know… It’s the coffee, as my sister would say. Someone oughta apply for a government grant and do a study.

Here’s a time-lapse video of the drawing. (Click the image to play the video.) Enjoy!

Hey, have you signed up for my newsletter, Bone Appetit! yet? You’ll get a free, printable skelly card with an envelope pattern, plus my latest blog posts about all things skelly every week!

 

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My new postcards are here!

postcards

Postcards to give away and mail out.

Now I just have to give them all away!

Seriously. I have to give them all away. Are you on my mailing list? If you’re not, you can be. Send me an email (marie@mariemarfia.com) and I’ll mail you one of these postcards for my show at The Red Sable in October. It’s going to be awesome. I picked them up today at the printer’s and walked around a little bit on St. George Street in St. Augustine, dropping them off here and there. This weekend I will do more of the same. And mail out the rest.

Next week I’m going to hang my paintings all over the store, which means that this weekend I’m going to be busy putting all my art into frames. I’m getting excited about the big Day of the Dead party on October 30. That’s going to be way cool, too. Wonder if there will be a face painter there? It’d be neat to have my face painted like a skull.

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Decisions, decisions!

Aren't these pretty?

Here are my 5×7″ prints, double-matted to fit perfectly into 8×10″ frames. Sweet!

I’ve got twelve different double matted prints all wrapped up and ready to go for October’s show at The Red Sable. These will be for sale, $12 each or 3 for $30.

Now I’m on to note cards. I figured to put 2 each of 2 different designs into each package and charge $8 or 3 packages/$20. The question is, which ones should I combine with which?

Here are the choices:

Should I put two dancers together? The mermaid and the lighthouse? Pull my finger and the couple in the Ghost Trolley? Which ones would you like to see paired together? Or should I just make all four cards in the package the same? Let me know in the comments!

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Au Moulin Skelly

pastel painting of Au Moulin Rouge with skeletons

Au Moulin Skelly, 19×17″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. This painting is available for purchase, $625. Email me to arrange payment and shipping.

So Au Moulin Skelly is done, done and done! While working on it I got to thinking about bars and how I used to enjoy going to them when I was younger. You know, BK (before kids). I remember looking forward to the weekends, getting dressed up, dancing with my friends, drinking to excess…

Those days are way behind me now, but painting this nightclub scene, with all these skeletons clearly having a great night on the town, reminded me how much fun that used to be.

I can’t help but imagine the stories behind all the figures. Like the guy at the top left looks like he’s either on his way to the men’s room or he just got rebuffed by the two beauties primping in front of the mirror. What do you suppose they’re all talking about at the table in the middle? And why is that woman photo bombing the picture from the right? Let me know in the comments what you think! Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec probably had a lot of fun painting the original. I know it was fun to recreate it peopled with skeletons!

Pretty happy with the way this turned out. I hope you all like it as much as I do. Click the link if you want to learn more about the Original Red Mill (Au Moulin Rouge).

Remember to sign up for my newsletter, Bone Appetit, to get regular updates about my skelly work.

 

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More Moulin Skelly, WIP

Filling in the details on the other heads.

Nearly done!

Nearly finished with this one. It’s been such a great challenge! So many figures. You really come to understand better how brilliant Toulouse-Lautrec was in the way that he arranged the people in this painting, and made decisions about colors and values. My palette for this was twelve NuPastels, by the way. I wasn’t sure about using black, but in the end, I did it and I’m glad. It really pushed the forms and added so much to the painting overall.

I still have some tweaking and cleaning up to do, but the next time you see this, it will be done, done, done. Here are the progress pics:

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WIP, Au Moulin Skelly

Au Moulin Rouge, by Toulouse-Lautrec

What I’m working from: Au Moulin Rouge, by Toulouse-Lautrec

More work on this Toulouse-Lautrec homage today. I got the block in done and used some packing peanuts to rub in the first layer of pastel. I’ll probably work on this over the weekend and maybe finish it by Monday. It’s coming along pretty well.

This is the stage that’s hardest. Some people call it the ugly stage of a pastel painting. I just think of it as the foundation for the rest of the piece. I noticed that Toulouse-Lautrec used a blue-orange palette in this painting, which coincidentally, I was reading about earlier today. Nothing is new, it seems. Even color palettes.

I like the teal colors along the mirrors at the back of the room and shadowing the skelly’s face on the right. Contrasted with all the warm, golden floor color and the orange-y bar that shoots across on the diagonal in front, I just know this is going to get good.

If you want to see the initial sketch stage, check out my previous post.

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Next up in the Old (Dead) Masters series: Au Moulin Rouge

Au Moulin Rouge, by Toulouse-Lautrec

Au Moulin Rouge, by Toulouse-Lautrec

I have copies this painting before, way back when I was in college. Back then I made a wood cut print and turned all the figures into punks. It was awesome. My brother and his wife have one of my artist’s proofs framed in their home. I thought it’d make a great entry in my Old (Dead) Masters series, so I’m tackling it again in pastel.

I love Toulouse-Lautrec. His paintings are surreal looking, especially this one, with the ghostly green face of the woman on the right, the crazy angles of the bar and the floor boards. I love the young ladies preening in front of the mirrors along the back of the room. It’s a great painting and I feel lucky to be able to screw around with it.

Here’s some work in progress pictures of my initial sketch for this painting. Notice that I started this the first time with the paper the wrong way up. I had to wipe out the first charcoal drawing and turn it 90 degrees and start again. Oh well. It’s my brain. It remembers things just fine, but usually kitty-whompus, like I’ll remember colors but complementary to the ones that are actually there. I’ll substitute blue for orange and red for green. In this case, I remembered wrongly which side was longer. Weird. Check twice, draw once.

 

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Shall We Dance?

pastel painting of a skeleton couple dancing on the beach

Shall We Dance? 24×18″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia, $645.

I admit it, I’m a sucker for romance. Old movies, fairy tales, dancing with your baby after dark. I love all of that. How about you? Do you like to watch the same old happy endings over and over again?

I think that’s why I love doing these skeletons. They aren’t embarrassed to get caught gazing into each other’s eye sockets. They just do as they please, and if that’s a beach bop on the shore in front of everybody, so be it.

When I thought of the name for this piece, I immediately began hearing “Shall We Dance?” that song in “The King and I,” an old musical with Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. I used to watch that movie every chance I got when I was young, and then later with my daughter. I loved how they kept dancing faster and faster until Miss Anna was quite out of breath and the King of Siam had a particular look in his eye, maybe thinking, “Hmm, there’s more to this dancing stuff than I thought.” It sure seems to get the everyone breathing hard, doesn’t it? Of course, that’s not an issue when you’re a skeleton. You could dance all night and never get tired.

If you’d like to purchase “Shall We Dance,” it’s available for $645. Contact me via email and I’ll get right back to you with purchasing and shipping info.

New to pastels? Read about their care and feeding here.

pastel painting of a skeleton couple dancing on the beach, detail.

Shall We Dance? detail, 24×18″ pastel on Canson mi teintes paper by Marie Marfia.

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