Play in the puddles, of course! It was raining like crazy again last night and we lost power at the cottage, so I got out my sketchbook and in the early morning light through my window I drew a skelly playing in the rain. Cute, right? I used to love stomping around in the puddles after the rain when I was a little kid, didn’t you?
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.
Arielle, No. 86, 100 Portratis in 100 Days, 6×9″ pastel on gessoed mat board by Marie Marfia
I got to thinking that what I needed for my shrine was a doily. I have seen then on other shrines, cut outs with skulls and skeletons on them. So I thought I’d make one of my own.
Salvador Dali portrait that I found on Wikiart.
I started with Salvador Dali, because of course. And then I used a sharpie to turn him into a simplified, cut out-able skullitized silhouette. This required multiple passes through my brain to find something that made sense and wouldn’t be impossible to do with a pair of scissors or an x-acto knife.
Multiple passes. I love tracing paper.
Close enough to scan.
Then I took the final version, scanned it, cleaned it up in Photoshop, imported it to Illustrator, traced it and then selected all the parts that would be cut and made them black. Then I printed it out a few times and cut out the black parts. I used a hole puncher for all the little dots around the outside. When I set up my shrine I’m going to string the doilies all around it. Cool!
Here’s a version that you can download and print for yourself, if you like.
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I was out taking pictures of butterflies and bees in my wildflower garden yesterday and that was the inspiration for today’s Sugar Skelly. Her dress is the color of the leaves of the flowers and there’s a butterfly flittering around her head, perhaps hoping for a sip of nectar from her pretty bouquet.
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I am recovered, barely, from walking up and down St. George Street and surrounds in St. Augustine last week, delivering art show postcards to anyone who would take them from me. Specifically, hotels, restaurants, shops, galleries, just anyone whose door was open, I walked in and said, “Hello! I’m having a Skelly Art Show at The Red Sable through the month of October and I’d love it if you could come.” This prompted one of three responses:
Where’s The Red Sable?
I don’t like skeletons, but I’ll pass it on.
Coincidentally, this turned out to be a great way to narrow down my target market. What I found out is, they’re younger than I thought. Generally, the older the people were, the less interest they had in skeletons. The younger, the more likely they were to ask me for a stack of cards to give out to their friends.
It wasn’t hard to do, either, going door to door. It was just a lot of walking. And smiling. And talking, which, after about hour two, you have to take a break. So I sat down at a little table at the Bunnery and had an iced mocha with whipped cream on top and sketched out a little skelly who knew just I felt at that moment.
Heather Sugar Skull, 8.5×5.5, black sharpie on sketch paper
Hi Heather! Here’s your sugar skull girl. Thanks for requesting it! It’s given me all kinds of ideas to try out so you can expect a few more along this line. Line. It’s a line drawing. Get it? I know, I know… It’s the coffee, as my sister would say. Someone oughta apply for a government grant and do a study.
Here’s a time-lapse video of the drawing. (Click the image to play the video.) Enjoy!
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