Category Archives: Pastels

Good Morning – pastel painting of a path through the woods

pastel painting of a road through the woods

Good Morning, 9×6″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. Available $110.

Good Morning

It’s always a good morning to walk in the Manistee National Forest! I think any excuse would do but I’m glad I have a couple of dogs to make me jump in the car and go.

This painting is available for $110, free shipping.

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End of Kinney Road – pastel painting of a road through the Manistee National Forest

End of Kinney Road, 9×6″ pastel painting of a road in the Manistee National Forest. ©Marie Marfia. Available $110.

End of Kinney Road

This is a pastel painting about the bright light at the end of Kinney Road, which is a place that I love to walk with my dogs in the mornings.

Here are some details:

This painting is available in my store. Click here to go to my product page.

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pastel painting of two dogs in the woods

Daisy and Roger Listening – pastel painting of dogs in the woods

pastel painting of two dogs in the woods

Roger and Daisy Listening, 18×12″ pastel on paper. ©Marie Marfia. Available $210.

I really like how this turned out. I tried to keep it simple. Wasn’t sure about adding the dogs on the first day but then walked in this morning and thought, “Why not?” So that’s what I did. I like all the gestural lines around the dogs. I love the dark tunnel ahead of them and the light filtering down through the tree canopy. Enjoy!

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pastel painting on paper of a tree in the woods

Through a Screen of Pine – pastel painting of a tree in the woods

pastel painting on paper of a tree in the woods

“Through a Screen of Pine” 9×6″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. Available $110.

This is a painting from my walk in the woods today. I had turned a corner and was struck by the patterns of light and shadow through a screen of pine boughs. I love the way the branches swoop down over the tree in the background. Love living here and walking in the Manistee National Forest every day.

Here’s a time-lapse vide of me making this piece:

Details of the painting:

This painting is available for purchase! Click here to go to my webshop.

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walk in the woods with my dog pastel painting

Morning Walk with Daisy – pastel painting of my dog on a path through the woods

walk in the woods with my dog pastel painting

Morning Walk with Daisy, 9×6″ pastel on paper. Available $110.

This is a pastel painting of my dog Daisy, walking along a path through the Manistee National Forest. This road in particular is one of our favorites. It winds along the Pere Marquette River for about a mile and goes past a couple of really awesome camping areas. They’re usually full of campers on the weekends, but now that it’s after Labor Day I’ll probably come here more often.

Here’s a video of me working on this piece:

Some detail shots here:

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Synchopation – pastel painting of the Manistee National Forest

Synchopation, 9×6″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. Available $110.

Synchopation – pastel painting of the Manistee National Forest

I went out walking after the rain this weekend. So good to be out in the woods! I love my little cottage in the forest, but you know, it’s awful nice to be able to stretch your legs every day in such beautiful surroundings. I’m trying to soak up as much as I can.

Here’s a video of me creating this piece.

 

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Coming at you

Smiling dog in the woods pastel coming at you

dog in the woods coming toward you happy

“Roger Coming at You” 18×12″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia..

This is a pastel of my dog, Roger. He’s the one that always comes at you for a pat after he’s finished investigating whatever was in the ferns on the side of the road. Daisy goes around you, but Roger comes right at you. He’s a very good boy.

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pastel painting about a walk in the woods

A pastel about a walk in the woods

pastel painting about a walk in the woods

A Walk in the Woods, 18×12″ pastel on paper. Available $210.

I love to walk in the Manistee National Forest. The trees make a tunnel over my head and at the end of the road there’s a bright light shining. I always feel better after spending time in the woods.

Enjoy a video of me creating this pastel!

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pastel painting of a path toward the river

Towards the River

Walked around the Custer cemetery today after dropping Sam off at work. I like all the towering pines there and the dogs have lots of things to sniff. We skirted the cemetery proper and made our way down an almost completely overgrown path leading to the river. Alas, there were people fishing along the opposite bank and I didn’t want to disturb them (Roger went on full alert as soon as he heard humans talking). So I settled for a picture of an angler through the trees and we made our way back to the car and home.

This is a study based on a photo of the light through the trees. The river is just beyond the tree line.

To purchase this painting, click here.

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Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love

“Ugh.”

“That’s horrible.”

“What a mockery!”

It’s hard not to take it personally when I hear comments like these floating through the door at my studio. Maybe putting The Very Last Supper front and center in my shop window has something to do with it?

I could place a more traditional piece there, like a landscape or a still life or a portrait, and people would walk by and never say a word. But poke fun at a religious icon and suddenly everyone loses their minds.

detail of Jesus in The Very Last supper

The Very Last Supper, detail, by Marie Marfia

I could try to soft-pedal the subject matter by combining genres. For instance, skeletons with vases of flowers or skeletons in the landscape would be more palatable maybe. But I’ve found that skeletons are pretty polarizing as a general rule. People either really, really like them or they really, really don’t.

My mom was one of the latter group. Whenever I told her I’d sold another piece of skeleton art I’d have to preface the news with an apology. “Hi Mom, I’m sorry but I sold a skeleton painting today.” She’d always wrinkle her nose at the news, as though I’d just farted in front of her. “Oh, Marie,” she’d say, and sigh. She’s gone now, but I can still hear her sighing like a mournful ghost.

Certainly the skeletons don’t mind whether or not people like them. They’re glandless creatures and so they don’t have feelings that can be hurt.

The question is, can I live with some people not liking what I do?

The urge to please everyone all the time is a real issue for me. I come from a large family and I spent a good portion of my life trying to make people like me in order to get attention, which I craved. It was only when I hit menopause that I stopped caring quite so much. Once my body realized I was done reproducing, my brain took over and said “I’m in charge now,” and that was that. (See? Biology is another thing skeletons don’t have to worry about. More reason to love them!)

The bottom line is, I’m trying to learn how to paint. Studying the classics is a really good way to do this and adding skeletons makes it more fun.

But some people are not amused by skeletons, and they’re especially not amused by biblical scenes with undead people in the starring roles.

(I confess, I deliberately put that print in the window hoping to persuade a couple of political organizations, which shall remain nameless, to set up their tents elsewhere instead of directly in front of my studio during Friday Night Live events. And it worked, sort of. At least, the next weekend, they’d moved across the street. With them a littler farther away I figured I had a better chance of attracting my target demographic—people with a sense of humor who aren’t afraid of death.)

So to answer the question about what I can live with, while it bugs me when people openly sneer at my work, I absolutely adore the people who love it. They say things like, “These are so cool!” “That’s hilarious!” and my personal favorite, “I’ve gotta buy this.” So I’m going to focus my attention on them and everyone else, including my dead mother, will just have to deal.

Thank you to everyone out there who keeps laughing along with me. You know who you are. As long as I know you’re out there, giggling, I can handle a hater or two.


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