Category Archives: skelly life

Frida Skelly with Monkeys ofrenda display for Duncan Woods Park trunk show

Trunk show coming up in October

I and my skellies will be at “A Walk in the Woods,” pop-up art show in Grand Haven on October 10, 2021. Rain date is October 17.

This is going to be a fun show! I will bring all my skeleton prints, cards and stickers, plus one original (see below) and I hope to see a lot of people coming out to browse the trunks.

Frida Skelly with Monkeys all dressed up for the show!

I spent a morning figuring out how to use my Ford Focus to best advantage for this show. I especially loved making an ofrenda for Frida Skelly using some battery operated candles and lights under the hatchback. I wonder what kind of foods she might like? Bonbons, of course! I plan to add some more things to her altar to make a fitting tribute to her life and work.

Bonus! I will be giving away a Frida Skelly with Monkeys print at the show to some lucky person who fills out an entry for the drawing. I will also be drawing a random name from my subscriber list for the same prize, so keep an eye on your inbox for an announcement of the winners.

The show will go from 1 until 4 pm, and there will be lots of other artists participating, so please come if you can and show your support! Here’s some more info about Duncan Woods Park.


You can buy my art imprinted on all kinds of cool stuff in my Fine Art America Shop. You can purchase downloads in my Etsy shop or cards imprinted with a personal message and mailed for you in my Signed Cards store. Buy greeting cards, prints and stickers in my Square shop. Please contact me directly about purchasing original artwork. Thanks!

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Next skelly art!

I’ve been meaning to do another romantic skeleton Old (Dead) Master piece and I think I have my inspiration.

Aucassin and Nicolette, by Marianne Stokes - http://www.art.com (specific URL), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4469708
Aucassin and Nicolette, by Marianne Stokes – http://www.art.com (specific URL), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4469708

Isn’t it awesome? I first heard the reference for this story in another book series that I have loved for about oh, 30 years or so. The story of Nicolette and Aucassin is mentioned in one of the Chronicles of Lymond series books by Dorothy Dunnett. If you’ve never read them, don’t waste any more of your life. I think they’re fantastic.

The books would be reason enough to do the parody, but I also really love this work, not least because it’s by a woman, yay, but also because the story is in itself a parody.

So right now I’m just sort of studying this to see how I might tackle it. I always learn so much from these. But anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up on what’s coming. Wish me luck!

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Skeleton window art

the final skeleton art window painting
This means you! Final window art over my office.

Ever since I moved into my space at the back of 307 S. James St. I’ve been meaning to put something in the window that overlooks the office where I work. The truth is I like to take naps in there every once in a while and it makes me feel a little too exposed to lay on the floor on a yoga mat and know that anyone walking by the window can see me snoring in there. I could have just hung up a curtain but why settle for fabric when I can make something awesome instead? So naturally I decided to make some skeleton window art.

It took a little longer than I hoped and this was because I had to order more leading strips and paint colors directly from the manufacturer (Plaid Gallery Glass) and their cheapest shipping option turns out to be very slooooooooow. But oh well. I was busy doing other things, if you recall. It got delivered eventually and then the whole project was finished up quickly after that.

Step 1: Make a sketch

sketch
I changed the bottom line to “for the skeleton army” because it’s closer to the original. Also I didn’t want it to seem like I was being a money grubbing jerk.

First I needed a design for the window. I settled on the classic Uncle Sam army recruiting poster as a starting point. Not hard to convert to a skeleton version. If anyone is interested in doing the same thing for themselves, just let me know and I’ll send you a scalable pdf file that you can use as a template.

Step 2: Convert to scalable vector art

template

This is what my template looks like. I have the colors on separate layers in Adobe Illustrator. It took about 16 letter-size pages which I then taped together.

Once I printed out the template I taped it up to the back side of the window and then started putting leading strips on the front side of the window, cementing them in place with a drop of liquid leading.

Step 3: Do the fiddly bits

I made the skull, hand, stars and lettering separately on clear plastic sleeves using the liquid leading. That’s because they were too detailed to do using the leading strips on a vertical surface. You can bend the strips into large, simple shapes but anything smaller and they don’t hold the curves. They peel off the glass when my back is turned and it’s frustrating as hell.

making a skeleton art window painting
I am using an exacto knife to trim away the little blobs of dried liquid leading that I used to anchor the strips. See my office through the window? I have plans for later on next spring, so stay tuned. All I’ll say right now is it’s not going to be white when I’m done with it.
skeleton art window painting
Here he is with the head, hand and lettering on the window. See all the little blobs of trimmed off liquid leading on the sill? The floor was covered with them by the end.

Step 4: Decide on a background

The next question was what to do with the background? It needed to cover the whole window, but the original Uncle Sam poster was just plain white. I wanted something kind of gothic. So I ended up using radiating stripes in purple and lilac.

skeleton art painted window
Here’s where I had to stop because I ran out of leading strips. Also, I needed more colors to finish than what I had in my studio.

Step 5: Break up the big shapes

I’m breaking up the big shapes in order to be able to apply the paint and not have the weight of it cause it to drip down the window. This meant there were a lot of places to dab the liquid leading and subsequently a lot more trimming to do.

Step 6: Fill in the rest of the color

Finally filling in the colors! This is the fun part and it goes pretty quickly, although my right shoulder needed a long soak in the tub after I was done. The guy that appears at the end was asking whether I liked the idea of food trucks parked on Filer St. next summer. I said I was all for more food choices in town ;).

Step 7: Enjoy my cool window art!

So this is it! This is my Uncle Skelly Wants You for the Skeleton Army window. What do you think? Pretty cool? I think so, too. And best of all, I can nap in peace!

skeleton art window
I Want You for the Skeleton Army painted glass window, 34″x34″, by Marie Marfia, ©2019.
detail of skeleton window art
Detail, I Want You for the Skeleton Army window art by Marie Marfia
looking down the hall from skelly window art
Detail, I Want You for the Skeleton Army window art by Marie Marfia
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Forever Your Gator Girl

Forever Your Gator Girl, pastel painting of a skeleton cowgirl on an alligator with a sunset and Florida landscape.
Available for $500.

Almost done! I still have a few little things to do before my skelly cowgirl and her trusty gator steed are finished, but she’s pretty close!

Hope you love it. I had a fine time putting this one together. Below are some of my progress shots.

Sketch.
Block in
Adding on
Details, details!

As far as a title goes, I’ve decided on Forever Your Gator Girl, which I made up on my own. Usually I have a title in mind before I start a skeleton painting, so this was a little tougher but it’s all good now!

If you would like to purchase the original, contact me. Forever Your Gator Girl will be available for $500, including shipping anywhere in the continental USA. I’ll have prints and cards in my web shop next week, so stay tuned!

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Gold Coast Artisan Fair is this weekend!

I’m kind of excited.

As you can see, I’m still trying to work out the flow in my booth… Flow is so important.
I kind of like the idea of hanging cards on paracord, like little flags waving in the wind. (Oh, god, I hope there’s not too much wind!)
To bring the skeleton table and chairs or not to bring the skeleton table and chairs… It’s a conundrum.

The question that still haunts me

I am still gathering together the inventory for this show. I have never exhibited here so I don’t know quite what to expect. Should I bring mostly Old (Dead) Masters? Or skeleton couples? Skelvis? I just don’t know. I guess I’ll bring a little bit of everything and see how it goes!

I’ll have stickers at the booth!

The giveaway

I’m going to give away a large print of one of my skellies after the show. I haven’t decided which one it’s going to be or whether I’m going to let the winner choose. (Email me your opinion and possibly confuse me even more!)

To enter, just stop by my booth (Section B, space 8) and fill out a form. While you’re there you can also get on my mailing list, but that’s totally optional. You don’t have to be on my mailing list to enter the contest. (But it’d be awesome if you were.)

The important stuff

What: Gold Coast Artisan Fair
Where: Rotary Park, downtown Ludington, Michigan
When: Saturday, August 10, 10-5 and Sunday, August 11, 10-4

The call

Come on out! Say hello! Sign up to win a skelly print! And tell all your friends!

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Skelly on the Half Shell parody of Botticelli's Birth of Venus

Skelly on the Half Shell

Finally done! Yay!

pastel painting of Skelly on the Half Shell, a parody of Botticelli's Birth of Venus
Skelly on the Half Shell, done! Yay!

This piece took a while but it was totally worth it, if I do say so. She is fabulous!

At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to tackle the entire painting by Botticelli and I thought maybe I’d just do Venus. But it was going to be awkward because she’s not really standing in the center of the shell and I’d have to cut something off so I thought, oh the hell with it, I’ll just do the whole thing.

Coincidentally, I happened to read about a method using pastel pencils to create portraits that really kind of glow so I thought I’d try it out on this particular work. Lo and behold, it ended up being awesome, but it also took a loooooooong time to do!

So apologies for making you wait so long for the latest in my Old (Dead) Masters series, but wasn’t it worth it? I think so!

Again, thanks for your patience!

Skelly on the Half Shell, detail 1
Skelly on the Half Shell, detail 1.
Skelly on the Half Shell, detail 2
Skelly on the Half Shell, detail 2.
Skelly on the Half Shell, detail 3.
Skelly on the Half Shell, detail 3.

You can buy my art imprinted on all kinds of cool stuff in my Fine Art America Shop. You can purchase downloads in my Etsy shop or cards imprinted with a personal message and mailed for you in my Signed Cards store. Buy greeting cards, prints and stickers in my Square shop. Please contact me directly about purchasing original artwork. Thanks!

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skelly xmas cards for christmas holiday giving

Skelly Santa cards are on sale this week!

Featuring six of my most popular skelly dancers, dressed for the holiday season and ready to spread skeleton cheer! Each box has six different skelly dancers in it, envelopes included. Go get yours! They’re on sale this week for $9 per 6 cards, includes shipping!

skelly xmas cards for christmas holiday giving

Skelly Xmas Cards – Box of 6 for $12

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Marie Marfia, Bone to be Wild, soft pastel on gessoed gator board, 20x16"

Skelly of the Week-Bone to be Wild-two skeletons riding a motorcycle on the beach

skeletons motorcycle beach

Bone to be Wild, pastel painting of two skeletons riding a motorcycle on the beach.

Bone to be Wild on sale this week!

On sale this week, “Bone to be Wild,” a special motorcycle skeleton couple that I did for Bike Week one year. Still one of my faves! On sale this week for 25% Off, including cards, prints and canvas wraps. Sale ends Sunday, October 28, 2018. Go get one!

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I am spookily delightful!

Here’s a sweet article about my “Greetings from St. Augustine” series in EU Jacksonville magazine. Thank you, Jennifer! It’s fabulous!

Marie Marfia’s Quirky Skeleton Art is Spookily Delightful

To celebrate, I’m putting “Still Got It” on sale this week in my web shop. All iterations of this skeleton piece are 25% Off through Sunday, October 21, 2018. Happy skelly shopping!

©2014 Marie Marfia, I Still Got It, 16×20” pastel on paper.

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Talk like a Pirate Day is Wednesday, September 19!

“I Just Fed You”, on sale this week!

I Just Fed You – pirate skeleton and parrot on sale this week!

So you should totally buy one of my pirate skellies to celebrate! Here’s “I Just Fed You” on sale this week only, September 17-23, 2019. Comes in lots of different sizes to fit anywhere in your captain’s cabin or poop deck or down in the bilges! Aarghh!

 

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