Category Archives: Skelly dancer

New art, prints and cards at The Starving Artist for November

box of x-mas skelly cards

6 X-Mas Skelly Cards in a Box, available at The Starving Artist in November and also in my shop.

Skelly X-Mas cards will be at The Starving Artist for November 2015. They feature six different dancing skellies in santa hats per box for $17.95. The cards are 4.25 x 5.5″ when folded, are blank inside and come with envelopes. Also available in my shop, if you can’t get to St. Augustine to the gallery. Perfect for the Day of the Dead fans on your list!

Pastel painting of a skeleton couple dancing at an outdoor cafe.

Skelly Dance at Bougival, 24×12″ original pastel, $670

pastel painting on Canson mi teintes paper of a skeleton blowing bubbles in front of the city gates in St. Augustine, Florida. Well, where did you think orbs came from, anyway?

Orbs! 11×14″ original pastel, $300

pastel painting of a skeleton couple dancing on the beach

Shall We Dance? 11×14″ print, $34.95

Pastel painting on Canson mi teintes paper of a skeleton couple enjoying a romantic evening in the moonlight on the beach at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine, Florida

Pull My Finger, 11×14″ print, $34.95

Pastel painting of a skeleton couple, just married, and enjoying a horse and carriage ride through St. Augustine, Florida.

Happily Ever After, 11×14″ print, $34.95

Original pastel art at The Starving Artist in November includes “Dance at Bougival” for $670, and “Orbs” for $300. I’m working on designing prints and cards based on “Dance at Bougival”, and hope to offer them soon. Meantime, since the holidays are for lovers, I am including “Shall We Dance”, “Happily Ever After,” and “Pull My Finger” in 11×14″ size and as 5×7″ cards.

The 11×14″ prints are $34.95 and the 5×7″ cards are $4.95 each or 3 for $12.95 or 6 for $18.95.

skeleton postcards

Greetings from St. Augustine postcards, now at The Starving Artist Gallery in St. Augustine, Florida

As always, there is a good selection of “Greetings from St. Augustine” postcards at the gallery, too. Postcards are $1.95 each or 3 for $4.95.

If you’re out and about in St. Aug for November, be sure and stop by to get your skelly fix!


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Getting ready for my party on Friday

Skeletonized Dali

Skeletonized Dali

I found a portrait of Salvador Dali on Wikipedia and skeletonized it so I’d have something for my shrine on Friday during the Day of the Dead Festival and Artist Reception at the Red Sable.

Since Salvador was the inspiration behind the original Skelly Dancers, I added the very first one I ever painted in the background and then I painted in skeleton features over his face in blue and added some hearts, because I love his mustache and his devil-may-care attitude. He was a fantastic painter, a real craftsman.

I’ve been to the Dali Museum over in St. Petersburg, Florida. I especially love the large paintings they have. Very wonderful.

So I made a shrine for him. I added candles and some bone sprinkles around the picture frame and I’ll have some pretty yellow sunflowers in a vase. You’ve got to have yellow and this is as close as I can get to marigolds. I wouldn’t mind being haunted by Dali’s ghost. I bet he’d have some good advice for me about painting skeletons and throwing parties.

I’m off today to get some boxes of wine. A red box and a white box. That should just about cover it. And I have to practice my own sugar skull makeup some time before Friday. Half face? Full face? Happy? Scary? What shall it be?

Plus, I wonder who will win the custom sugar skull portrait? Last I checked, there were quite a few names in the box… I’ll be pulling someone’s name out the pile on Friday. Might it be yours?

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Sugar skelly number 4, green and orange

orange-flower butterfly

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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Sugar Skelly Dancer #3

detail of finished skelly

Finished Sugar Skelly Dancer number 3, detail

Here’s a sugar skelly dancing in blue and yellow with marigolds on her head. I am enjoying this process so much. Sometimes pastels seem fussy. This is a nice change from the usual.

I like drawing with a felt tip very much and I like the cartoonier feel of these. I will probably continue to work with them, so expect more where this came from!

 

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Digitized sugary goodness

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This is the digital file, directly from my computer.

Here you can see the original line drawing and a test print.

Today’s sugar skull girl is digital.

I began with a line drawing from my sketchbook, scanned it, imported it to Adobe Illustrator, traced it, then filled her with frosting colors, added a pattern behind her and voila! Sugar skull deliciousness!

I’m going to frame her up and bring her to the Starving Artist gallery in St. Augustine, Florida in time for this weekend.

It’s fun to do art this way. It satisfies my craving for a smooth line drawing and it lets me adjust the sizes and colors with a mouse click. I can make her fit into any size frame that I have handy. Because I’m adding final touches, like the shading on her bones and glitter on her dress, each print will be a little bit different.

I love her bright colors and I love that she’s dancing. She makes me happy!

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Here I’ve changed her colors and printed her out in three different sizes.

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Isn’t she sweet?

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Closing in on done

The Skelly Dance, WIP

The Skelly Dance, WIP

Do you ever get to a point in a project when you just want to be finished? That’s where I am right now. But I know it’s not finished yet. So I’m going to set it aside for a while and figure out what’s bothering me about it and really be done when I say I’m done. I’m close, but there are still lots of parts of this that I’m not happy about. If I didn’t think I could fix them, I’d quit right now. But I can do this.

So you’ll be seeing this one again, but it might take a little while. Some things come clear after you let go of them for a bit. This feels like that sort of project.

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The Skelly Dance, work in progress

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The Skelly Dance, work in progress

The Dance by Henri Matisse

The Dance by Henri Matisse

I have begun another in the Old (Dead) Masters series. This is based on Henri Matisse’s The Dance, which is another classic work that I love.

I think what I like best about this painting is the dancing, of course. I also love how their arms make a heart shape. I love the colors, red against cool blue and green. I love that they’re naked. It’s interesting that once I make them into skeletons, there won’t be any way to tell what sex they are.

I did another version of this back when I was in college, but this is the first time I’m tackling it with skeletons. It’s also the largest pastel I’ve ever done. Matisse’s work was around a hundred inches tall by a hundred fifty inches wide. Mine will be 20 x 30″, only a fifth of the size of his. I think about how much canvas he covered and it makes me want to paint really big, too. I swear, before the end of the year, I will find a way to make something enormous-sized. I want to use my whole body to draw.

I’m going for the same primitive feel for my skellies as Matisse used in his painting, so trying to limit the detail. It’s a lot of fun, as usual. Can skeletons ever not be fun?

Here’s some progress shots. More to come, so stay tuned!

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Decisions, decisions!

Aren't these pretty?

Here are my 5×7″ prints, double-matted to fit perfectly into 8×10″ frames. Sweet!

I’ve got twelve different double matted prints all wrapped up and ready to go for October’s show at The Red Sable. These will be for sale, $12 each or 3 for $30.

Now I’m on to note cards. I figured to put 2 each of 2 different designs into each package and charge $8 or 3 packages/$20. The question is, which ones should I combine with which?

Here are the choices:

Should I put two dancers together? The mermaid and the lighthouse? Pull my finger and the couple in the Ghost Trolley? Which ones would you like to see paired together? Or should I just make all four cards in the package the same? Let me know in the comments!

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Shall We Dance?

pastel painting of a skeleton couple dancing on the beach

Shall We Dance? 24×18″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia, $645.

I admit it, I’m a sucker for romance. Old movies, fairy tales, dancing with your baby after dark. I love all of that. How about you? Do you like to watch the same old happy endings over and over again?

I think that’s why I love doing these skeletons. They aren’t embarrassed to get caught gazing into each other’s eye sockets. They just do as they please, and if that’s a beach bop on the shore in front of everybody, so be it.

When I thought of the name for this piece, I immediately began hearing “Shall We Dance?” that song in “The King and I,” an old musical with Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. I used to watch that movie every chance I got when I was young, and then later with my daughter. I loved how they kept dancing faster and faster until Miss Anna was quite out of breath and the King of Siam had a particular look in his eye, maybe thinking, “Hmm, there’s more to this dancing stuff than I thought.” It sure seems to get the everyone breathing hard, doesn’t it? Of course, that’s not an issue when you’re a skeleton. You could dance all night and never get tired.

If you’d like to purchase “Shall We Dance,” it’s available for $645. Contact me via email and I’ll get right back to you with purchasing and shipping info.

New to pastels? Read about their care and feeding here.

pastel painting of a skeleton couple dancing on the beach, detail.

Shall We Dance? detail, 24×18″ pastel on Canson mi teintes paper by Marie Marfia.

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