Category Archives: Woods scape

sunlight trees forest field

Longing for Summer

I woke up this morning to a fresh coating of snow. Happy April Fool’s Day!

I found myself wishing for warmer days and so I searched my Google photos for a summertime reference to paint today and happily discovered one that made me feel better about all the white stuff on the lawn.

When I’m walking the dogs I frequently stop to take a picture of the sun lighting up the landscape behind the green trees. Something about all the beautiful warm light peeking out between the leaves makes me feel optimistic about the future. Call me crazy.

Longing for Summer, pastel painting of sunlight through the greenery by Marie Marfia. Available $600
Longing for Summer, pastel painting of sunlight through the greenery by Marie Marfia. Available $600
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First Light, pastel painting of sunrise in Michigan

My dogs love wandering around in our “back forty” now. So many little critters to roust out of their beds! I like being out there, too. Especially on mornings like this, where the sun and the clouds combine to make a colorful layered palette in the sky–blue, purple, pink and gold. It’s just glorious.

First Light, 8×5″ pastel on sanded paper by Marie Marfia, ©2019. Available $180.

Here’s the time-lapse for this painting:

Time lapse of First Light, pastel painting by Marie Marfia.

And here are the studies I did first. Each one is 4×2.5″ on sanded paper.

First Light study no. 1, red and purple underpainting.
First Light, study no. 2, red and yellow underpainting.
First Light study no. 3, blue and yellow underpainting.
First Light study no. 4, blue and aqua underpainting.

This painting is part of a series I’m doing for the Holiday Artsie Craft Show coming up soon! Read all about it here.

If you’re interested in purchasing this painting, please email me.

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Daily paintings

I did a study on regular Canson paper and then a larger one on sanded paper. I’ve been reading Carlson’s book about painting landscapes and it’s really helping me a lot.

This is the one on Canson paper, 6×8″.
This is the one on sanded paper. I also started with a warm (red, orange, yellow) alcohol underpainting with this one. 11×14″.
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What we leave behind

I love walking in the woods in the spring. No wearing three layers of clothing, no mittens to keep track of, no boots! I can just slip into my regular tennis shoes and a jacket, throw the dogs in the car and off I go.

Unfortunately, when the snow melts the other thing that’s out in the woods besides me is garbage. I don’t mean beer cans, although there are a ton of those out there. I mean garbage like television sets, shingles, plastic containers, tires, diapers… Just crap, really. A whole ton of crap.

I go from euphoria at being outside all the way to absolute fury at the way some people use the woods as their personal dumping ground.

I wish there was a place where people could drop off all their crap. Oh wait! There is! It’s called a dump! But it costs money to take your crap to the dump or to have someone haul it away and it’s so much cheaper to drive down a two track out in the forest somewhere and throw it out there.

I wish I had a superpower that would let me zap all the crap in the woods so that it would disappear from the forest and reappear in whoever’s house it belonged to. Right on their living room floor. Or maybe on their bed. Yeah! Take that, you littering litterer!

Anyway, after walking the dogs I was so depressed at all the fresh garbage out there, I got out my pastels and painted a scene from another walk I’d taken recently with my family. A beautiful day on the Pere Marquette River, sun shining, water flowing, birds twittering. A gorgeous, gorgeous day.

Of course, we also found snarled fishing line, bait containers and cigar wrappers along the banks. Wherever you find beauty I guess you can also expect to find evidence of thoughtless humans. We picked up what we could on the way out.

I guess I’ll start bringing a garbage bag with me on my daily walks. It’s little enough, but it makes me feel a little better to at least clear the areas where I love to wander. Painting also helps. Although having a crap zapper superpower would be nice, too.

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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, soft pastel on paper, 6×8″.

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 was 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!


Sign up for my Marie Marfia Fine Art newsletter! You’ll get regular updates about my latest work in the studio plus insights into my process. Plus, get a free downloadable print just for signing up!


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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, soft pastel on paper, 6×8″.

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

This painting was 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!


Sign up for my Marie Marfia Fine Art newsletter! You’ll get regular updates about my latest work in the studio plus insights into my process. Plus, get a free downloadable print just for signing up!

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Sun Peeking, pastel painting of the sun through the trees

Sun Peeking, 6×9″ pastel painting of the morning sun through the trees during a winter walk by Marie Marfia ©2019. This painting is available on ebay. Click the link below for more info.

I love walking in the woods on a winter morning, especially just as the sun is coming through the trees. The sky is all kinds of peach colored and the light looks like stained glass to me. Beautiful!

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!

Click to go to my eBay listing

http://ebay.us/OfhNK1?cmpnId=5338273189

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pastel painting of a snow covered cabin in the woods

Sunrise-pastel painting of a snow covered house in the woods

pastel painting of a snow covered house in the woods with a sunrise
Sunrise, soft pastel on paper, 5×7″.

Luckily, on days when it’s too cold outside to paint I can look out my own window and watch the sun come up!


Sign up for my Marie Marfia Fine Art newsletter! You’ll get regular updates about my latest work in the studio plus insights into my process. Plus, get a free downloadable print just for signing up!

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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pastel painting of a bend in the river

On the Bank, pastel painting of a bend in the river

On the Bank, soft pastel on paper, 5×7″.

I love this bend in the river. I stand on the bank and look down on the water flowing by. It’s very peaceful and makes me grateful to live where I do. 


Sign up for my Marie Marfia Fine Art newsletter! You’ll get regular updates about my latest work in the studio plus insights into my process. Plus, get a free downloadable print just for signing up!

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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pastel painting of a tree on the bank of the river

Old Guardian-pastel painting of a gnarly old tree on the banks of a river

pastel painting of a tree on the bank of the river in the forest
Old Guardian, soft pastel on paper, 6×9″.

I love this old tree that sits on a the bank of the Pere Marquette River in the Manistee National Forest. I love the way the left branch spirals out into space, a fractal if I ever saw one. I love the holes in the trunk and like to imagine the critters that take refuge there.


Sign up for my Marie Marfia Fine Art newsletter! You’ll get regular updates about my latest work in the studio plus insights into my process. Plus, get a free downloadable print just for signing up!

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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