horse grazing pastel painting

Horse in the Paddock, pastel painting of a horse having breakfast

My husband and I are camping on a friend’s property for a week or so here in Tucson, AZ, and I’m taking the opportunity to paint horses!

This morning’s effort is a painting of a horse eating her breakfast in a small paddock.

I have always liked horses as subject matter, although I was never a riding enthusiast growing up. That said, when I was twelve or so, my sister and I pedaled our bikes for miles to a small farm every Saturday where we’d ride ponies all day long, stopping only for lunch. The farm belonged to Mr. and Mrs. S., friends of our parents whose kids had long since moved on to mini-bikes. They were happy to have us exercise the ponies. I didn’t much care for the long bike ride, although I’m sure my mother felt I needed the exercise. Mary probably would’ve have biked three times as far for half the riding time. She was crazy about horses.

I remember the air was hot and full of buzzing deer flies. We rode along mini bike trails out in the piney woods for hours. Socks was a dapple grey, the smaller of the two, and she took good care of me, patiently putting up with my considerable lack of riding skills. My sister’s mount was another matter. A beautiful appaloosa, Gepetta was almost horse-sized, very smart and an opportunist, as she regularly tried to buck Mary off at the first available sandy patch on the trail, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

Once while we were eating sandwiches at the house, Mr. S. happened to overhear us telling Mrs. S. about Mary getting dumped. Mary hadn’t been hurt by the fall and we’d just followed Gepetta back to the house as usual and planned to go out again after lunch. But Mr. S. immediately went outside to where the ponies were hitched, and picked up Gepetta and threw her onto her back, saddle and all. She scrambled back up and stood there, shaking, while he yelled at her. Gepetta never bucked Mary off again, but I think Mary would’ve died before she’d have ratted Gepetta out to Mr. S. again anyway.

Eventually the ponies were sold or maybe I refused to bike over there, I can’t remember how or why we stopped going. Mary continued to find horses to ride, I continued to accompany her when she pestered me into it. I never have been a confident rider and in general I prefer to paint them, although our friend here put me up on her horse Easy last night and it was sweet. He’s a patient horse, too, very gentle, just how I remember Socks.

Horse in the paddock, pastel on sanded paper by Marie Marfia
Horse in the Paddock
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On the road again

I’m traveling in the southwest USA for the next few weeks. Steve and I packed up the camper last week and, after chiseling it out of three inches of ice in our back yard, we hauled it down to our current location in Tucson, AZ. It’s not exactly warm here (50 degrees as I type this), but compared to the wilds of Fountain, Michigan, it feels like a tropical heat wave.

I am determined to practice drawing and painting while traveling so I brought along a sketchbook, among other stuff, and I’ve been trying to take it out and draw what’s in front of me whenever I can.

This has resulted in what at first glance would seem to be a couple of less than inspirational scenes, but when you’re logging a lot of expressway miles, you have to make do. So, some semi trucks, and once, the waiting room at the Marshfield Chevy dealer (The driver’s side door stopped working and we had to get it fixed. Nice service shop, friendly and helpful and the price was fair, although we would have paid practically anything not to have to crawl in and out of the truck through the passenger side door. And before you ask, neither of us is capable of using the driver’s side window as way in or out. We’re old.).

Surprisingly, drawing things that I wouldn’t normally think of as interesting subject matter turns out to be just as consuming as a face or a figure would be. I think it’s because I don’t know what a semi tractor looks like. I’ve never really looked at one before. I need to remember not to discount anything out of hand. It’s all worth looking at, exploring, discovering, drawing.

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pastel painting of a lake michigan sunset during winter

Late Winter Sunset, pastel painting of a sunset on the beach in winter time

pastel painting of a lake Michigan sunset during winter.
Late Winter Sunset, 6×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia ©2019. This painting is available for a short time on eBay. Click the link below to bid.

Sunsets in winter time are so full of drama! Dark clouds! Orange and yellow reflections! So pretty. I love it here.

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!

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

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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, 6×8″ pastel of a tree leaning over the snow cover road in the woods by Marie Marfia ©2019. This painting available for a short time on eBay. Click the link to bid!

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 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!

http://ebay.us/Y1jORx?cmpnId=5338273189

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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 6×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. This painting is available for a short time on ebay. Click the link below for more information.

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

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!

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

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pastel painting of dune grass and snow in the winter time

Winter Dune Path

Winter Dune Path, pastel painting of footsteps through the snow on a dune in winter time.
“Winter Dune Path,” 9×6″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia ©2019. This painting is available on eBay for a short time. Click the link below for more info.

This scene if from a recent walk along the dunes in wintertime. I love the Ludington State Park!

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!

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

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pastel painting of a path through snow covered dunes to Lake Michigan

Winter Path to an Inland Sea, pastel painting of a path through the dunes to Lake Michigan

pastel painting of a snow covered path through the dunes to Lake Michigan
Winter Path to an Inland Sea, 9×6″ pastel on paper of a path through the dunes to Lake Michigan by Marie Marfia ©2019. This painting available on eBay. Click the link below to find out more.

This painting is from a walk along the beach in the middle of Michigan winter. I love this time of year because there is so much drama. It’s a beautiful time to visit the beach!

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

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pastel painting of a winter dune in michigan

Winter Dune Grass, pastel painting of a dune on Lake Michigan with snow

pastel painting of a dune in winter time on Lake Michigan shoreline
Winter Dune Grass, 9×6″ pastel painting on Canson paper by Marie Marfia. This painting is available on eBay. Click the link below for more information.

This painting is from a walk along the Lake Michigan shoreline during winter time. The snow peeks in and out of the grasses which are blowing in the wind. You can see the lake under dark clouds. One of my favorite times of year. So much drama!

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!

http://ebay.us/rX0ayE?cmpnId=5338273189

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