Monthly Archives: January 2016

Beach Boys

Beach Boys

This is a quick study from one of my very favorite pictures of Sam and Nick. They were probably 5 and 8 years old. Sam has his hands in his ears and Nick has a smile on his face. We were at Stearns Beach in Ludington, Michigan, probably late in the day. I used to haul the kids to the beach nearly evening during the summer, starting in May.

I remember the white imprints of small feet by the back door, made from Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Powder and beach sand, a mixed media artwork that lasted all summer.

Here’s a time-lapse video of my practice this morning. I apologize for all the times my face got caught crossing in front of the camera. I’ll remember to put either my pastels or the camera on the other side next time.

Here are the final pics:

pastel painting of two boys on the beach

Beach Boys, detail, 6×9″ pastel study on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of two boys on the beach

Beach Boys, detail, 6×9″ pastel study on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of two boys on the beach

Beach Boys, detail, 6×9″ pastel study on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of two boys on the beach

Beach Boys, detail, 6×9″ pastel study on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of two boys on the beach

Beach Boys, 6×9″ pastel study on illustration board by Marie Marfia

This painting is available at auction on ebay starting tonight at 9pm eastern.

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So Far Apart

So Far Apart

These apples are at the limit of the picture plane in all directions. All except the one on the top, which could be directing traffic, or could be trying to find common ground between the other two, or might be counting to ten before they turn and fire.

pastel painting of three red apples on a pale blue ground

So Far Apart, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples on a pale blue ground

So Far Apart, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples on a pale blue ground

So Far Apart, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples on a pale blue ground

So Far Apart, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

Here are the progress pics:

This painting is available at auction on ebay beginning at 9 pm eastern, January 20, 2016.

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pastel painting of three red apples

Playing with my food

When in Roma

How about a new series? I know I’m ready for one.

To be honest, between the portrait series and trying to get our house ready to sell, I’m feeling the need to simplify my life any way I can. So for the next month or so I’m going to concentrate on uncomplicated subject matter. And what’s simpler than food?

Steve and I are getting into a new diet plan and I thought, This is great! I’ll paint what I’m eating, which, as it turns out, is a lot of fruit and vegetables. I enjoyed doing these so much last year (remember the xmas zucchini?) and I feel like it’s time to get into them again. Hope you enjoy them.

pastel painting of three red apples

When in Roma, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples

When in Roma, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples

When in Roma, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples

When in Roma, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples

When in Roma, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

Progress pics:

This painting is available at auction on ebay beginning at 9 pm eastern, January 19, 2016.

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pastel painting of a man searching for shark teeth on the shoreline

Searching for Shark Teeth

Searching for Shark Teeth

Here’s a pastel of my husband, Steve, loosely rendered. He’s looking for shark teeth on the beach at Mickler’s Landing, in Ponte Vedra, FL.

I loved the contrast between the hot orange of his shirt and the deep blues of the surf. The sun was low in the sky for this picture and so all the foam was creamy where the light hit it. Delicious!

After the craziness of all those portraits, it’s kind of nice to relax and do some low key painting for a while. Since my life is only going to get more hectic as I go, what with getting our house ready to sell and moving back to Michigan, I think I’ll do beach scenes for a while. They’re calming, a good place to put my head.

pastel painting of a man searching for shark teeth on the shoreline

Searching for Shark Teeth, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a man searching for shark teeth on the shoreline

Searching for Shark Teeth, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a man searching for shark teeth on the shoreline

Searching for Shark Teeth, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

This painting is available on ebay beginning at 9pm eastern time tonight, January 15, 2016.

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pastel painting of a man and his wife

Nos. 32-33, 30 Friends in 30 Days

William and Co.

This was another challenge because William is almost completely in shadow and his lovely wife’s hair is almost completely blown out by the overhead lighting.

This is how selfies arrive, though. You can’t say, “Take another one!” because that would be cheating.

This also took me two days to complete but I’m pleading a trip to the dentist for a crown as my reason for not finishing it yesterday. I got back from that ordeal and just could not muster any enthusiasm for art making.

I like my dentist. He’s capable and a bit quirky and I realize that I’m lucky to be able to pay for his services, thanks to insurance through Steve’s job. So I’m not complaining. But my jaw is a little bit sore yet today. It sort of felt like they were using the right side of my mouth for taffy pulling practice there toward the end.

Anyway, this is it. This is the last of the 30 Friends in 30 Days series. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. I’ll post a complete write-up of it later this week, promise.

pastel painting of a man and his wife

William and Co., Nos. 32-33, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 10×8″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a man and his wife

William and Co., Nos. 32-33, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 10×8″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a man and his wife

William and Co., Nos. 32-33, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 10×8″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a man and his wife

William and Co., Nos. 32-33, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 10×8″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

Here are the progress pics:

This is my 30 Friends in 30 Days series. Each day I take a friend’s selfie and make a pastel painting from it. Then I post it to ebay at auction for 7 days. Follow my progress as I learn to paint pastel portraits with a little help from my friends.

Click here to bid on this painting.

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pastel painting of a woman's face

Number 31, 30 Friends in 30 Days

Deb

I am not positive, but I think I took this picture of Deb during a camping trip to one of the Manitou Islands up by Charlevoix, Michigan. We had to stay an extra day because the ferryboat couldn’t leave port on account of high winds. There were something like 20 women in our group and we quickly divvied up all the cigarettes and booze and then a few of the more nurturing types wandered around to see if anyone else in the other campsites needed anything. That trip was a real hoot. And sooooooo long ago. I’m sure glad I lived to mis-remember it.

Thank you, Deb, for letting me paint your beautiful face!

pastel painting of a woman's face

Deb, No. 31, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a woman's face

Deb, No. 31, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a woman's face

Deb, No. 31, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a woman's face

Deb, No. 31, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

Here are the progress pics:

 

This is my 30 Friends in 30 Days series. Each day I take a friend’s selfie and make a pastel painting from it. Then I post it to ebay at auction for 7 days. Follow my progress as I learn to paint pastel portraits with a little help from my friends.

Click here to bid on this painting.

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Pastel painting of two women friends

Nos. 29-30, 30 Friends in 30 Days

Suzanne and Sharon

I had the pleasure of meeting Suzanne and Sharon at belly dancing class.

Belly dancing raqs, as they say.

It was at belly dancing class that I first got the itch to draw again, after 20 plus years of graphic design. I fell in love with all the women there and the movement and felt I had to draw them all. So I started bringing my newsprint pad to class and staying a little later to sketch with charcoal pencils. It was wonderful.

Eventually, I decided to try using pastels, and now, five years later, and with a daily practice, I feel like I’m starting to understand how to use them. It’s been an awesome journey. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

Thank you, Suzanne, for sending me yours and Sharon’s beautiful faces to paint!

Pastel painting of two women friends

Suzanne and Sharon, Nos. 29-30, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 10×8″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of two women friends

Suzanne and Sharon, Nos. 29-30, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 10×8″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of two women friends

Suzanne and Sharon, Nos. 29-30, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 10×8″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of two women friends

Suzanne and Sharon, Nos. 29-30, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 10×8″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

Here are the work in progress pics:

This is my 30 Friends in 30 Days series. Each day I take a friend’s selfie and make a pastel painting from it. Then I post it to ebay at auction for 7 days. Follow my progress as I learn to paint pastel portraits with a little help from my friends.

Click here to bid on this painting.

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pastel portrait of a cocker spaniel

No. 28, 30 Friends in 30 Days

Chester

Chester is my friend Sally’s dog. He’s gone now, but of course, he was the best dog ever. I enjoyed painting him, partly because I got to try out a new kind of pastel paper and partly because he’s a dog! I love dogs.

Thank you, Sally, for sending me Chester’s beautiful face to paint!

pastel portrait of a cocker spaniel

Chester, No. 28, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 7×5″ pastel by Marie Marfia

pastel portrait of a cocker spaniel

Chester, No. 28, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 7×5″ pastel by Marie Marfia

pastel portrait of a cocker spaniel

Chester, No. 28, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 7×5″ pastel by Marie Marfia

No progress pics today because I was on the road while working on Chester’s portrait.

This is my 30 Friends in 30 Days series. Each day I take a friend’s selfie and make a pastel painting from it. Then I post it to ebay at auction for 7 days. Follow my progress as I learn to paint pastel portraits with a little help from my friends.

Click here to bid on this painting.

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pastel painting of a man's face

No. 27, 30 Friends in 30 Days

Mike

This is Mike, Janet’s son, and all I know is, I learned a lot about painting a 5 o’clock shadow on this painting! And I remember reading something about it once, a long, long time ago, but it didn’t come back to me in time for this piece. I had to brush it out and start over again. There’s a trick to doing them so that the person doesn’t look like a reprobate. I think I managed it on the second time around.

Thank you, Janet, for sending me your son’s beautiful (and challenging) face to paint!

pastel painting of a man's face

Mike, No. 27, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a man's face

Mike, No. 27, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a man's face

Mike, No. 27, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a man's face

Mike, No. 27, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

Here are the progress pics.

This is my 30 Friends in 30 Days series. Each day I take a friend’s selfie and make a pastel painting from it. Then I post it to ebay at auction for 7 days. Follow my progress as I learn to paint pastel portraits with a little help from my friends.

Click here to bid on this painting.

Share
pastel painting of a woman's face

No. 26, 30 Friends in 30 Days

Sha

This is Sha, the sister of a friend of my husband’s. I tried to see the resemblance between her and her brother the whole time I was painting this portrait, but in the end I had to admit that maybe I didn’t remember Joe as well as I thought I did.

This happens with increasing frequency, but I try to relax and enjoy the process anyway. That’s all I can do and it’s usually more than enough.

Thanks, Sha, for sending me your beautiful face to paint!

pastel painting of a woman's face

Sha, No. 26, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a woman's face

Sha, No. 26, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a woman's face

Sha, No. 26, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a woman's face

Sha, No. 26, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

Here are the progress pics.

This is my 30 Friends in 30 Days series. Each day I take a friend’s selfie and make a pastel painting from it. Then I post it to ebay at auction for 7 days. Follow my progress as I learn to paint pastel portraits with a little help from my friends.

Click here to bid on this painting.

Share