Category Archives: Gestures

pastel painting of a young woman

No. 86, Arielle

This woman. She is full of ideas, and mischief, which is kind of the same thing. I wanted to paint her in the style of an artist I only just found out about this morning, Richard Suckling. His plein aire landscapes are full of big marks and squiggly lines and I want my art to be like that, so today I did a more gestural drawing to start with and then I made sure I stopped before I’d completely covered it up. I like the lines! I think they give my work a more dynamic feel. And Arielle is the perfect subject for this, because she’s all about movement. She wants to do things, to change things, to make things better. She’s a mover and a shaker and this is what I see reflected in this portrait. Aahh! Love it.

Ariel, No. 23, 100 Portraits in 100 Days, 6×9″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia

You may remember Arielle as this skull painting (No. 23 in this series), as well. She’s awesome on the inside, too.

pastel painting of a young woman

Arielle, No. 86, 100 Portratis in 100 Days, 6×9″ pastel on gessoed mat board by Marie Marfia


Sketching op

The internet can be magical. This morning I was wondering what to paint for a quick study and then I remembered the Eagle Cam that was featured on the npr website and voila! I had a subject all ready for me.

I put down my oatmeal, grabbed my pastels and a piece of paper and had about five minutes before she/he got up and presented me with a different view. I quit then because my breakfast was getting cold. Here’s the result from this morning. I think I’ll go back again this evening and see what kind of light is available when the sun is on other other side.

Eagle nesting

Eagle Nesting, study, 6×9″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia

It got me thinking that there are probably a million web cams pointing to interesting scenes from all over the world. I don’t have to fly anywhere to find something to paint. I can sit at my monitor and pick something at random.


Stealth sketching

I decided to try to get some sketching in while I was waiting for my number to be called at the Tax Collector’s Office today.

It felt kind of funny to be one of the only people out of about fifty-some that wasn’t on a cellphone. It was just me, a couple of elderly ladies, and a toddler or two. The toddlers looked like they would have liked to play on a phone. The one that was directly in front of me settled for poking at the walker belonging to the old lady next to me.

I haven’t yet worked up the nerve to ask someone to let me take a picture of them to use to draw with. My friend Cynthia does this all the time. I swear I’ll do it. One of these days.

This was fun, though. The first one is of a young woman who was intent on her smartphone. She had lightning fast texting skills. The other was of a woman leaning on the counter to my left. I liked the way her shirt draped in folds across her back.  These are the first of more sketches to come, I hope. I want to do more of it, whenever I can, instead of automatically going for a distraction, like sudoku puzzles or imgur.