Category Archives: Figure study

pastel study of a man and his mother

Giving comfort

pastel study of a man and his mother

Steve and Diana, 5×7″ pastel study by Marie Marfia

This study is done from a photo that I took last Christmas of Steve and his mom, Diana, on the couch at my daughter’s place. She was just resting on his chest while watching some movie on TV. I wonder if she was pretending he was someone else.

Diana has dementia. She’s living in an assisted living facility. She has her own apartment, a two bedroom with a kitchenette, although she doesn’t cook anymore. She walks down to the dining room for her meals. When she’s walking back to her apartment she always says she lives in outer Mongolia because it’s such a long way away.

Diana doesn’t always remember who we are when we come to visit, so we always tell her as we’re coming through her door. “I’m your favorite daughter-in-law, Marie.” “I’m your oldest son, Steve.” That way, she doesn’t have to scramble to come up with names right off the bat. She’s pretty good at covering up her memory lapses right now, but that skill is slipping away, too, like everything else.

This is a hard thing to watch. She’s always prided herself on her intelligence. She got all As in school growing up and got a Masters of Library Science. She still speaks French sometimes and likes to play Duolingo on my iPad.

The place where she lives just called this week to tell SteveĀ that she needs more care now, help with dressing herself, taking showers, doing laundry. It’s fine. Steve’s Dad made good investments and saved all his life before he died. She’s got plenty to cover the extra costs. It’s just that it’s another step down the road that you hate to have to take. We all gotta die. I get that. I wish it didn’t have to be like this, that’s all.

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Pelvis 3

Another in the series of human bones. It reminds me of a butterfly from this angle or maybe a ram’s skull or a bird in flight.

pastel drawing of a human pelvis

Pelvis 3, 5×7″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia.

pastel drawing of a human pelvis

Pelvis 3, detail, 5×7″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia.

pastel drawing of a human pelvis

Pelvis 3, detail, 5×7″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia.

Someone asked me today why I paint skeletons and bones. My first thought was, they make me laugh. Well, these don’t exactly make me laugh, but they are a challenge.

Bones. You think you know them, but you don’t, really. They’re hidden from your sight, unless you’re a surgeon or you happen to see someone’s broken bones or you look at them on an x-ray. Even then, they’re not your bones.

Bones are what I hang my me on. Without them, I’d be a puddle of flesh on the floor. I don’t give my bones enough credit for holding me up, giving me shape, form. But they’re there, inside, doing a lot of hard work. And they’ll still be there, long after I’m gone. Bones last.

If you’d like to purchase this pastel, it’s available at auction on ebay through November 2, 2015. After that date, you can contact me via email about availability, payment and shipping.


 

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Pelvis 2

pastel drawing of a pelvis

Pelvis 2, 5×7″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia.

pastel drawing of a pelvis

Pelvis 2, detail, 5×7″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia.

pastel drawing of a pelvis

Pelvis 2, detail, 5×7″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia.

Another drawing of my/a pelvis. I mean, it’s supposed to be my pelvis, but I’m using a model, so I feel weird calling it my pelvis. It’s a pelvis, a human one, and it represents me, how about that?

I also posted a time-lapse for it, if you’d like to watch it all come together.

This is available on ebay at auction until October 30. After that, if you’d like to purchase it, please email me and I’ll arrange payment and shipping.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? It’s a weekly round up of the best of my blog, plus subscriber only purchasing opportunities. Click the link on the right for Bone Appetit! and you’ll receive a printable notecard featuring “Hello Sailor,” plus a little bonus item, just for signing up!

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