Category Archives: Landscape

I’m back!

A month of painting on location equals a lot of new work!

Lots of plein air paintings!
Look at all the pretty paintings!

You know what the biggest surprise was from my time away? How much I enjoy painting outside.

To be honest, I haven’t done a lot of plein air painting because I just always thought it couldn’t help but be a pain. First of all, you have to lug around a lot of stuff. The weather can be brutal. And what if you forget something important, like paper? What if it’s windy out? What if there’s bugs?

But it was either paint outdoors or don’t paint at all on this trip and we planned to be gone for a whole month, too long to go without pastels. So I decided to make an effort because art is important, dammit.

I prepared as well as I could by fitting everything into one big backpack and trying it out once or twice before we left to make sure I had everything. I also did some research on southwest color palettes so that I’d have the right pastels for the job. I cut up a lot of paper to take with me, with different textures and tones to keep my flittery fluttery mind engaged. I ran into one snag at the beginning when I discovered the foam core boards I’d brought to work on were too small, but I clipped two of them together and it was fine.

The only day it was too windy to paint was while we were traveling through New Mexico on day four. It’s pretty scary pulling a trailer in winds gusting to 70 mph. After an hour of that we were only too happy to find a place to wait out the weather. We ended up sitting in a gas station parking lot in Vaughn for seven hours. I doodled semi trailers in my sketchbook and Steve and I took turns watching the cover over the gas pumps to see if it would break loose and go flying off across the prairie.

After that we had non-stop beautiful weather right up until we headed north again. We put off visiting Taos on the way home because camping in the snow is just not a viable option at our age. Most of the time, though, I was up bright and early and working in my pajamas, coffee in hand. It was lovely.

As for bugs, I saw exactly one while I was painting, and that was a bombardier beetle at Las Cienagas National Preservation area. He came perilously close to running into my foot, aimed his butt at me for about five seconds while I held my breath, and then went on his way. Everyone’s a critic.

So now that I’m back I’ve decided to get out there and do more painting outdoors because who doesn’t have as much fun as they can? No one, that’s who. I have to say I like the look of my landscapes much better when they’re done on location than from photos in the studio. I’m looking forward to doing a lot more. It’s going to be awesome.

I’ve posted the best of my southwest USA plein air efforts on eBay this week, so be sure and check them out, a new painting every day at 9pm for the next week or so, and then it’s back to local landscapes, but with a new (for me) outdoor twist. If you see me out there, be sure to stop and say hello!

Don’t I look relaxed? It was a gooooood vacation.
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Natalie’s Room, pastel painting of light and shadow

This is a small pastel on paper I did this morning. My “usual” spot on the porch didn’t look too promising so I turned 180 degrees and painted what was behind me.

You can see by the photo what I was working on. I like the feel of this piece and all the rest of the pastel I’ve been doing while staying here in Tucson. Working outdoors forces me to work quickly which I like and the work is much looser than anything I can achieve in the studio.

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pastel painting of a tree in winter

Leaning In, pastel painting of a tree in the winter forest

pastel painting of a tree leaning over a trail in the forest during winter time
Leaning In, 6×8″ pastel of a tree leaning over the snow cover road in the woods by Marie Marfia ©2019. This painting available for a short time on eBay. Click the link to bid!

Walking in the woods with the doggies and came across this big boy leaning over the road like he’s a boss or something. I take my life lessons where I can find them.

This painting is 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!

http://ebay.us/Y1jORx?cmpnId=5338273189

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Winter Sun, pastel painting of a morning in the woods during winter

pastel painting of a sun rise through the trees in winter time
Winter Sun 6×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. This painting is available for a short time on ebay. Click the link below for more information.

Another glorious sunrise out in the Manistee National Forest, my favorite place to be in the morning.

This painting is 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!

http://ebay.us/cQpFmr?cmpnId=5338273189

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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 is 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!

http://ebay.us/RACJMx?cmpnId=5338273189

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pastel painting of a path through snow covered dunes to Lake Michigan

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

pastel painting of a snow covered path through the dunes to Lake Michigan
Winter Path to an Inland Sea, 9×6″ pastel on paper of a path through the dunes to Lake Michigan by Marie Marfia ©2019. This painting available on eBay. Click the link below to find out more.

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!

http://ebay.us/PyKKuR?cmpnId=5338273189

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pastel painting of a winter dune in michigan

Winter Dune Grass, pastel painting of a dune on Lake Michigan with snow

pastel painting of a dune in winter time on Lake Michigan shoreline
Winter Dune Grass, 9×6″ pastel painting on Canson paper by Marie Marfia. This painting is available on eBay. Click the link below for more information.

This painting is from a walk along the Lake Michigan shoreline during winter time. The snow peeks in and out of the grasses which are blowing in the wind. You can see the lake under dark clouds. One of my favorite times of year. So much drama!

This painting is 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!

http://ebay.us/rX0ayE?cmpnId=5338273189

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Big Dune, pastel painting of a hill at the beach with grass and snow

pastel painting of a dune with snow
Big Dune, 9×6″ pastel painting of a beach dune with grass and snow by Marie Marfia ©2019. This painting is available on eBay. Click the link below.

Last weekend during a break between snow storms my husband and I went out to the state park and walked along the shore for a bit. It was so pretty out there. I love how the beach grass reflects the last light of the day and how the snow peeks out between all the clumps. It’s beautiful here. 

This painting is 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!

http://ebay.us/UatJii?cmpnId=5338273189

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pastel painting of a sunrise through the trees in winter

Morning Glory, pastel painting of a sunrise through the trees

pastel painting of a sunrise through the trees in winter

Sometimes you don’t have to go any farther than your own front yard for inspiration. Glinda had it right!

This painting is 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!

http://ebay.us/pg9mtj?cmpnId=5338273189

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pastel painting of a snowy path through the woods

Who Goes There? pastel painting of a path through the winter woods

pastel painting of a snowy path through the woods

When I was walking along one of the many two track roads in the Manistee National Forest I was spooked by a rustling in the trees. Turned out to be a deer! I’m sure he was more nervous than I was since he was all alone and not accompanied by two pooches!

This painting is 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!

http://ebay.us/Bl3DcV?cmpnId=5338273189

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