About me

About me

Hello, my name is Marie Marfia. I am an artist working in Ludington, Michigan. I like to paint skeletons, portraits and landscapes. Pastels are my medium of choice, however lately I’m exploring acrylic and watercolor as well.

Outstanding by my studio in Ludington, Michigan.

My roots

I was born into a very large family. It was pretty noisy, but also a lot of fun. Bonus, you always had enough people to play kick the can.

As a kid I escaped the chaos by reading. I remember a book by Marguerite Henry called “King of the Wind” that featured paintings and drawings of people and horses by Wesley Dennis. I loved that book, and so it had a pretty big influence on me. Consequently, I spent a lot of my growing up years drawing people and horses.

Eventually I went to college to become a graphic designer, because it was more practical than fine art or illustration. I worked freelance for over 30 years. After that, I decided I wanted to do more hands-on art. So, I started exploring soft pastels as a medium. I promptly fell in love with them, and have been making paintings ever since.

The new studio rocks

Recently I purchased a shed and then had it delivered to my front yard. Now it’s absolutely my favorite place to be. You can find me out there most days, painting whatever I feel like, whether it’s figures, the woods, the beach or skeletons doing skeleton-y things.

About my art

Follow the links in the text below the pictures in order to learn more about my painting subjects of choice.

Skeleton art

Marie Marfia, Aucassin and Nicolette, soft pastel, 12x16.375
Everlasting Love (Aucassin and Nicolette parody), soft pastel, 12×16.375″.

Humor has always been my way of coping with life, and so I think that’s where the skeletons come from. Besides, who doesn’t like dead people?

Portraits

pastel portrait commission of a smiling couple
Joe and Anna, 11×14″ pastel portrait commission on sanded paper. Sold.

One of my favorite subjects is people. As a result, I love painting faces and trying to capture the essence of someone. Also I love putting figures into my landscapes. People just doing stuff together, being themselves, is always going to be interesting to me.

Portraits make wonderful gifts! Check out my Portrait Commission page and contact me

Landscape art

Marie Marfia, Walking in the Dunes, soft pastel on sanded paper, 9x12"
Walking in the Dunes, soft pastel on sanded paper, 9×12″

My husband and I lived in Ludington, Michigan for fifteen years starting in 1992. Then the lab were Steve worked was closed. As a result, we had to leave the area in order for Steve to find work. Fortunately, we were able to return again when he retired.

Our home is five minutes from the Ludington State Park, Michigan’s Queen of the state parks. Also, multiple Manistee National Forest trailheads beckon just a short drive east of town.

I love to walk in the woods or along the beaches and trails, so that’s where my inspiration comes from for my landscapes. Check out my latest works here.

Beach art

Marie Marfia, Wave Painting No. 130, soft pastel on sanded paper, 5x7".
Marie Marfia, Wave Painting No. 130, soft pastel on sanded paper, 5×7″.

Walking on the shoreline and painting the motion of the waves, is one of my favorite things to do. It takes me back to my childhood, when going to the beach was at the top of the “what do you want to do today” list.

Where to see my art

Original art, including greeting cards and prints is at Art on the Town Gallery in Pentwater, Michigan. In addition, at Ludington Center for the Arts in Ludington, Michigan. Or visit me in my studio, just shoot me a text or call, 904-566-4473.

Watch me work!

Check out these time-lapes videos on my Youtube channel.

Testimonials

“I love your work and am truly honored to now own a piece. :)” Helene Sirko

You did a fabulous job on my portrait and I don’t even like getting my photos taken! I love showing people my portrait.” Dorothy Gamble

“Thank you so much for putting your beautiful talent to work on my face. I love it.” Mel Mitchell Goodwin

Bio

Marie Marfia is a pastel artist who likes painting skeletons, portraits and landscapes.

After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Marie then worked the next 30 years as a graphic designer. In 2011, she discovered pastels and promptly fell in love with the medium. Now she paints nearly every day.

One of eleven children, Marie was the first girl born in her family. Her parents already had seven boys, and so naturally, they didn’t have a girl’s name picked out. The story goes that her father and brothers put their favorite girls’ names into a hat and drew one out. Unfortunately, it was Mitzi. Fortunately, her mom came out of twilight sleep just in time to name her Marie Charlotte, after her mother. To this day, her older brothers still call her Mitzi.

She currently lives in the Ludington, Michigan area with her husband and two lucky dogs. Her studio is located in front of her house, and so she’s there most weekdays. She invites you to visit if you’re ever in town.

Resume and Contact Info

Marie Marfia

2858 N Sherman Rd, Ludington, Michigan 49431
904-566-4473

marie@mariemarfia.com • MarieMarfia.com

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Kendall College of Art & Design, Grand Rapids, MI

Workshops:

  • Vianna Szabo, Michigan
  • Karen Margulis, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
  • Tom Christopher, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
  • Ann Manry Kenyon, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
  • Margaret Dyer, Tampa, Florida
  • Casey Klahn, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
  • Michael Chesley Johnson, St. Augustine, Florida
  • Helen Ashmead, Jacksonville, Florida

AFFILIATIONS

  • Member, Pastel Society of America
  • Member, Great Lakes Pastel Society

EXHIBITIONS

  • Soul Sisters, Group Show, Historic Ramsdell Theater of Manistee, Manistee, MI, March 2021
  • LACA Member Show, Ludington Area Center for the Arts, Ludington, MI – February, 2021
  • Skeletons! Ludington Area Center for the Arts, Ludington, MI, October, 2020
  • Laurie Carey & Friends Holiday Artsy Craft Show, Ludington, MI – November 2019
  • Gold Coast Arts and Crafts Show, Ludington, MI – August 2019
  • LACA Member Show, Ludington Area Center for the Arts, Ludington, MI January-February, 2019
  • Holiday Art Ramble, Fountain, MI, November 2018
  • Art Ramble in the Woods – Summer 2018, Fountain, MI, July 2018
  • Surreal Soiree 10, Group Show, Baton Rouge Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA, January 2018.
  • Art Prize 2017, The Bitter End Coffeehouse, Grand Rapids, Michigan, September-October 2017.
  • Grand Haven Art Walk, Group Show “October Curiosities,” Grand Haven, Michigan, September 2017.
  • Group Exhibition, Gallery Uptown, Grand Haven, Michigan, October 2017.
  • “Making Faces,” Performance Hall Lobby, Ludington Area Center for the Arts, Ludington, Michigan,
  • April-May 2017.
  • Group Show, First Coast Pastel Society, Jewish Community Center, Jacksonville, Florida,
  • September 2015.
  • Juried Group Show, First Coast Pastel Society, Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra, Ponte Vedra Beach,
  • Florida, May 2015.
  • “Greetings from St. Augustine,” Limelight Theatre, St. Augustine, Florida, September-October, 2014.
  • Group Show, First Coast Pastel Society, Larimar Arts Center, Palatka, Florida, July 2014
  • Juried Group Show, First Coast Pastel Society, Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra, Ponte Vedra Beach,
  • Florida, June 2014.
  • Group Show, First Coast Pastel Society, Gallery 26, Melrose, Florida, December 2013.
  • Art Walk, Carling Building, October 2012-September 2013.
  • Jacksonville Premiere “The Red Tent Movie: Things We Don’t Talk About”, Karpeles Manuscript
  • Library Museum, April 5, 2013.
  • Hip Expressions Dance Studio, St. Petersburg, October 2012-January 2013.
  • Art Walk, Hemming Plaza, June-September 2012.

GALLERIES/SHOPS

Currently seeking gallery representation.

  • Ludington Area Center for the Arts, Ludington, Michigan
  • 4 Directions Alchemy, Ludington, Michigan
  • Art on the Town Gallery, Pentwater, Michigan
  • Professional Graphic Designer, 1986-present
  • Taught Basic Pastels Class, Ludington Area Cultural Arts, 2019
  • Taught multi-age art class, Not Your Average Homeschoolers, 2009-2010
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