Category Archives: beach

dead crow

Walking on the beach

I’ve been trying to get more exercise lately. It’s part of an overall push to get healthier. Less sitting. More greens.

To that end I’ve begun to walk along the beach in the mornings. I leave the dogs home, since they’re not allowed there, which means that I can just worry about myself for an hour or so.

I drive out to M-116 which is the access road to the Ludington State Park, and then I start my beach walk a half mile north of where I started the previous time I went, crawling over whatever dunes are between me and the water. Then I go north for a half hour before turning around and heading back again. I take pictures, make a note of the songs or parts of songs that I hear in my head, pick up trash. Today I thought, I’ll make a sculpture of whatever I find today on the beach. That’ll be fun. But by the time I was back in the car, with a shopping bag full of crap, I’d lost whatever enthusiasm I had for the idea.

You’d think that on a beautiful beach like this one, with a lake view that goes on for miles, people would pick up after themselves, but you’d be wrong.

There was a sculpture made of driftwood and what looked like random trash right at the place where I turned around this morning. I don’t know who is making them, but I’ve seen a couple in the past few years.

I have questions, though, such as, do they, the creator(s), then come and disassemble it and throw the trash away? Or does it all come apart on its own and the trash go back to being trash and not part of a sculpture? Or is it comprised of their/her/his own trash that they bring to the beach in order to sculpt with it?

Maybe it’s just my inner curmudgeon asking. In the meantime, I’ll continue to pick up stuff as I walk along, even though it pisses me off that I need to. Knee bends are good exercise, too, you know.


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Me and You

This is a portrait of me and my husband from a selfie I took a while ago. We were out walking around Magoon Creek, which is about a half hour north of where we live along Lake Michigan. It’s a really pretty spot to wander in, with a wooded area, a creek and then a long strip of beach. It was late fall when we were out there, pre-pandemic. The sun was shining in our faces, the wind was blowing. It was a glorious day.

Later, after I stopped recording the time lapse of this piece, I ended up overworking it and lost whatever likeness I’d achieved earlier. Sigh. It happens. Just means I need to do more of these and more often.


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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 downloads in my Etsy shop or cards imprinted with a personal message and mailed for you in my Signed Cards store. Buy greeting cards, prints and stickers in my Square shop. Please contact me directly about purchasing original artwork. Thanks!

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daily paintings time lapse

Latest daily paintings

Making an effort to do more daily paintings. Here are a few of the latest time lapses.

Those Clouds Look Interesting, soft pastel on sanded paper, 12×12″.

This one is inspired by a drive back from the Ludington State Park where we’d dropped off our camper for some friends of ours to use. I said something like, “Those clouds look interesting,” and Steve promptly pulled over so I could get some pictures. Next day I pulled them up on my computer and made a painting.

Old Bent Gate study, soft pastel on sanded paper, 5×7″.

I based this on a scene right outside my door, practically. Along the ditch that forms a boundary on our property is one of those metal gates that don’t really block anything. It’s a little bent and sort of just hangs there, unconnected to anything. I noticed how the sun was lighting up the bracken behind it, and the dark trees just behind the bracken. Honestly, the golden morning light fascinates me. Anyway, I took a picture of this scene to paint later. I’m glad I did, because yesterday when I walked past it again with the dogs, all the color had vanished, leaving drab browns in its place. Lesson to me: if something makes you look twice, take the picture! It’ll never be like that again.

Between the Dunes study, soft pastel on sanded paper, 5×7″.

One of the last times Steve and I went to the beach for a swim this year, I took pictures of the space between the dunes. This painting is all about the low hills just behind the beach and then the higher, older dunes beyond that. I love the grass, the way the wind blows it every which way, the colors of it in the lates sun. I could paint this every day I feel and never get tired of it, never run out of things to say.


You can buy my art imprinted on all kinds of cool stuff in my Fine Art America Shop. You can purchase downloads in my Etsy shop or cards imprinted with a personal message and mailed for you in my Signed Cards store. Buy greeting cards, prints and stickers in my Square shop. Please contact me directly about purchasing original artwork. Thanks!

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Marie Marfia, Been There, Done That, Bought the Sweatshirt, acrylic on canvas, 6x6".

Fundraiser is Saturday

I have three small 8×8″ acrylic paintings available to buy in the Ludington Area Center for the Arts center Grab and Go fundraiser. Each is available for purchase starting at 10 am this Saturday, September 4, 2021.

From their newsletter: “…you’re invited to join us on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. for our 2nd annual Grab & Go Fundraiser… The Grab & Go is back this year with the theme of “Grab a Piece of Ludington.” Each 8×8 canvas artwork is available for only $35 on a first come-first serve basis. All proceeds go to LACA, thanks to the time and talent of local artists.”

Artwork will be available for viewing in person Friday, September 3 at 11:00 am.

Here are the three I donated to the cause:

Marie Marfia, Trash Pickin', acrylic on canvas, 8 in x 8 in
Trash Pickin’, acrylic on canvas, 8 in x 8 in
Marie Marfia, Been There Done That Bought the Sweatshirt, acrylic on canvas, 8 in x 8 in.
Been There, Done That, Bought the Sweatshirt, acrylic on canvas, 8 in x 8 in.
Marie Marfia, Morning Sam, Morning Ralph, acrylic on canvas, 8 in x 8 in.
Morning Sam, Morning Ralph, acrylic on canvas, 8 in x 8 in.

And here’s a timelapse of the second pass on “Morning Sam, Morning Ralph.”

Time lapse of the second pass on “Morning Sam, Morning Ralph.”

I tried to fulfill the requirements implied for a fundraiser with the theme of “Grab a Piece of Ludington,” without being too traditional. I played around with the naming and/or the composition for all three. I wanted Ludington landmarks but I wanted humor in there somewhere, because that’s just who I am. I like to laugh. A lot. Sometimes I’m the only one who gets the joke, but that’s okay, too.

Trash Pickin’ is all about the seagulls. I relate to them because I’m a trash picker, too. Ever hopeful that what I bring home from a thrift store or estate or yard sale is going to be useful for a future project, that’s me. I may end up throwing it right back out again in six months, but in the moment I am optimistic as hell.

Been There, Done That, Bought the Sweatshirt reminds me of a time when I and some fellow Rotarians brought visitors from Thailand to the Big Sable Point lighthouse and they asked whether the prices of the sweatshirts in the gift shop were reasonable. I opened my big mouth and told them, “If you want clothing that says “Ludington” on it, Goodwill has a lot of it and it’s a whole lot cheaper.” I understand that shortly after their thrift store experience the group learned about garage sales next and then insisted on stopping at every one of them on their way up to visit the Traverse City Rotary Club. A good time was had by all, and they got some really good deals to take home from their visit besides. A win-win.

For Morning Sam, Morning Ralph, I was nearly done with it when I realized the juxtaposition of the carferry and the barge in the composition reminded me of a Looney Tunes cartoon about Sam the Sheepdog and Ralph the Coyote. Remember them? How they punched in and out of a time clock before getting on with their daily work routines, Ralph trying to steal a sheep, and Sam trying to deter Ralph from a life of crime? Do they make cartoons like that anymore? Should they? Who’s they, anyhow?

Here’s all of the art available:

I got a picture of all 72 canvases (holy cow!) at the Member Show opening last night. Can you find my three?

You have to go in person to purchase, or possibly you could call LACA 231-845-2787 and tell them over the phone which canvases you’d like. But best to be safe and get yours in person. There might be a scrum! Wouldn’t that be cool?

UPDATE: All three of my small paintings have sold! Thanks to whoever it was that helped raise money for LACA. I appreciate your generosity! There are still more pieces available to purchase. Grab a piece of Ludington today!

Grab N Go fundraiser paintings for purchase
Grab N Go fundraiser paintings still available for purchase

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!

You can buy my art imprinted on all kinds of cool stuff in my Fine Art America Shop. You can purchase downloads in my Etsy shop or cards imprinted with a personal message and mailed for you in my Signed Cards store. Buy greeting cards, prints and stickers in my Square shop. Please contact me directly about purchasing original artwork. Thanks!

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My Hat, Squared WIP

My hat squared

I had to try this one again, but this time I decided to make it a square painting. I found a version of the photo reference where her hat was in the air instead of laying on the ground, which I like much better. This is still a work in progress, but I like the direction of it.

My Hat, Squared WIP
My Hat, Squared, 10×10″ pastel on sanded paper by Marie Marfia. WIP

And here’s the final. I love spending time with my granddaughter.

Marie Marfia My Hat soft pastel on sanded paper 10x10
My Hat, soft pastel on sanded paper 10×10. $850.

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My hat! pastel painting on sanded paper by Marie Marfia, $600.

My hat!

Spent a wonderful day at the beach in South Haven, Michigan, playing with my granddaughter, Maeve. I got a picture of her just as her sunhat blew off in the wind and had to paint the memory.


She spent about an hour playing with rocks and pouring out water onto the sand. Maeve is just over two years old and her boundless curiosity about the way the water disappears when you dump it onto sand was irresistible. All that squatting I did to bring her more water from the lake! My legs are pretty sore today!

There’s something really fun about painting a memento of a certain place and the company kept. Good times!

My hat! pastel painting on sanded paper by Marie Marfia, $600.
My hat! 6×9″ pastel painting on sanded paper by Marie Marfia, $600 framed.

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dunes lake michigan path

Rainy Day

Lately, I’ve been driving out to the state park in the mornings before I settle in at the office. Today it was raining but I just parked in front of some dunes, rolled down the passenger side window and zenned right out.

Rainy Day, soft pastel on sanded paper, 6×9″.

You can buy my art imprinted on all kinds of cool stuff in my Fine Art America Shop. You can purchase downloads in my Etsy shop or cards imprinted with a personal message and mailed for you in my Signed Cards store. Buy greeting cards, prints and stickers in my Square shop. Please contact me directly about purchasing original artwork. Thanks!

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!

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pastel painting of a lake michigan sunset during winter

Late Winter Sunset, pastel painting of a sunset on the beach in winter time

pastel painting of a lake Michigan sunset during winter.
Late Winter Sunset, soft pastel on paper, 6×8″.

Sunsets in winter time are so full of drama! Dark clouds! Orange and yellow reflections! So pretty. I love it here.

This painting was for sale on ebay. When you bid on this painting you’re helping me contribute to AFFEW, a local environmental organization. Thanks for your support!


You can buy my art imprinted on all kinds of cool stuff in my Fine Art America Shop. You can purchase downloads in my Etsy shop or cards imprinted with a personal message and mailed for you in my Signed Cards store. Buy greeting cards, prints and stickers in my Square shop. Please contact me directly about purchasing original artwork. Thanks!

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!

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pastel painting of dune grass and snow in the winter time

Winter Dune Path

Winter Dune Path, pastel painting of footsteps through the snow on a dune in winter time.
“Winter Dune Path,” 9×6″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia ©2019. This painting is available on eBay for a short time. Click the link below for more info.

This scene if from a recent walk along the dunes in wintertime. I love the Ludington State Park!

This painting was for sale on ebay. When you bid on this painting you’re helping me contribute to AFFEW, a local environmental organization. Thanks for your support!


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!

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Winter Path to an Inland Sea, pastel painting of a path through the dunes to Lake Michigan

pastel painting of dune grass and snow in the winter time
Winter Dune Path, soft pastel on paper, 9×6″.

This painting is from a walk along the beach in the middle of Michigan winter. I love this time of year because there is so much drama. It’s a beautiful time to visit the beach!


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