Category Archives: Art life

goo gone really worked

How to remove sticky residue from Optium acrylic

I have been busy prepping work for a show coming up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Two of my skeleton pieces were juried in and I needed to find frames for them for the exhibition.

The frame closest in size to Neverending Love Story was a tiny bit long on one side so I planned to cut a mat to make it work. That meant the spacers on the acrylic needed to be removed which left a sticky residue. Since you can’t use a solvent on Optium acrylic, I needed something else.

Fortunately, my husband had some 99% isopropyl alcohol in amongst a plethora of substances in his workshop (being married to a chemist has its advantages!), which worked, but it required a lot of elbow grease to remove the adhesive, as well as gloves, since the alcohol really dried out my hands. He was going to try adding some acetone to it to make it work a bit faster but then happened to see a little bottle of Goo Gone on the shelf and brought that up from the basement. Voila! It worked a treat!

So, I’m just passing this along for what it’s worth. If you find yourself trying to remove spacer glue residue from Optium acrylic, use Goo Gone. It takes the stuff right off after you let it sit for five or ten minutes and it cleans up with hot water and soap. This was a real life saver for me, since I had to use what was available because there just wasn’t time to order new glass or frames in time to ship my beauties to the show.


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You can buy my art imprinted on all kinds of cool stuff in my Fine Art America Shop. You can purchase my original art on Daily Paint Works or in my Etsy shop.

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Marie Marfia, Cheers!, soft pastel on paper, 24x18".

Skelly paintings traveling to New Mexico

I’m so excited that two of my skeleton paintings, Cheers! and Neverending Love Story, have been accepted to a show at KEEP Contemporary Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico! Details below!

Marie Marfia, Neverending Love Story, soft pastel, 12x16.375
Neverending Love Story, soft pastel on sanded paper, 12 in. x16.375 in., $800.

Neverending Love Story is a parody of Marianne Stokes’ wonderful painting of Nicolette and Aucassin, a pair of lovers I was first introduced to in Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles novels. I highly recommend these books, if you’re a romantic at heart like me. I love them. Marianne Stokes’ work is, of course, sublime, and it was a pleasure to use her piece for inspiration.

Marie Marfia, Cheers!, soft pastel on paper, 24x18".
Cheers!, soft pastel on paper, 24 in. x18 in., $1800.

I painted Cheers! as a parody of Charles Marion Russell’s self portrait/Christmas card which I then used as my holiday greeting card back in 2020. At the time I was still in my old studio space in downtown Ludington. Good times! I remember deciding to make it as big as I could because I just knew all those horse skeleton bones were going to be difficult! And they were! Fun, though.

Details for this show:

The New Vanguard: Explorations into the New Contemporary V
Keep Contemporary Gallery
142 Lincoln Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
January 19-February 16, 2024
Opening Reception Friday, January 19, 5-8pm

I can’t go but if you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come!

KEEP Contemporary is one of Santa Fe’s newest and most unconventional art spaces bringing fresh energy to the local art scene.


Sign up for my Bone Appetit newsletter! You’ll get regular updates about my latest work in the studio and insights into my process. Plus, get a free downloadable print just for signing up!

You can buy my art imprinted on all kinds of cool stuff in my Fine Art America Shop. You can purchase my original art on Daily Paint Works or in my Etsy shop.

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10 things I’m grateful for in 2023

Here’s a list of the things that made me happy last year:

  • I was able to travel and spend a lot of time with family and friends. I’m lucky to be able to pack up and go almost any time I want and, bonus! I now have a lot more good references for future portrait practice.
  • I took art lessons from Michigan artist, Vianna Szabo. She has helped me progress with my art and I feel a lot more confidence in the quality of my work. I’m so glad she took me on as a student.
  • I had more opportunities to hang out with the creative people who live here, attending more art receptions and going on plein air outings. Artists inspire me to do more work plus they’re just a lot of fun to be with.
  • I taught more pastel classes this year. Not only did I teach at Ludington Area Center for the Arts, but I was also invited to teach at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts in Manistee. I love teaching pastels! The people who attend are talented and kind and curious, and those are the best kinds of students of all.
  • My art got juried into more shows. It’s so cool to see “Invited” on the Café form. I don’t always get in but when I do it’s really awesome.
  • I won an award. This was so unexpected and such a thrill. It would have been enough to know that my work was hanging alongside a lot of beautiful pastel paintings, but getting recognition was the icing on the cake. It’s been four months and it still feels awesome every time I see the shiny ribbon hanging in my studio.
  • I sold more art. Thank you to everyone who bought an original or a print or a card or an ornament from me this year. It always gives me a little rush to know someone liked my stuff enough to spend their hard earned cash for it.
  • I got sick, which may not sound like something to be grateful for, especially since it was Covid. I had to miss participating in a local holiday market as a result, but I used the time off to play around more with my skeleton art, which was fun! And really, I was very happy that my case was mild enough I didn’t need any intervention stronger than Nyquil to get through it. (Vaccines work!)
  • I got a dog! Well, technically I share her with my husband, but finally! A dog! Her name is Daphne and she’s a retriever mix, tan and white, very pretty and with Egyptian eyes and a very loving personality. 
  • As a result of the aforementioned dog adoption, I am getting more time outdoors, which is always something to be grateful for, because I live in a beautiful place, and the more time I spend outside the better I feel.

So that’s my gratitude list for the year! It’s good to look back and remember all the positive things that happened and will hopefully continue into 2024! A big helping of gratitude to you, too, for coming with me on my art journey. Hope your new year is awesome.


Sign up for my Marie Marfia Fine Art newsletter! You’ll get regular updates about my latest work in the studio plus insights into my process. Plus, get a free downloadable print just for signing up!

Sign up for my Bone Appetit newsletter! You’ll get regular updates about my latest work in the studio and insights into my process. Plus, get a free downloadable print just for signing up!

You can buy my art imprinted on all kinds of cool stuff in my Fine Art America Shop. You can purchase my original art on Daily Paint Works or in my Etsy shop.

Share