Tag Archives: beach

Of Two Minds

pastel painting of sand dunes and sky, snow and Lake Michigan in the distance

Of Two Minds, 9×6″ pastel on sanded paper. ©2018 Marie Marfia

Finally heard from my youngest after what felt like years but was probably only a month and a half. He’s been struggling to find work for almost a year. I had high hopes that this month he’d found something because we hadn’t yet got word that he needed rent money. Now I’m thinking we ought to reconsider whether or not to send it.

I am of two minds about this. I want to continue to provide for him because I’m his mother, it’s what I’ve done for twenty plus years. But I want him to stand on his own two feet. I can’t continue to be his safety net because as long as I do that he can’t call himself independent.

The pros to cutting him off: He lives in Florida, so if he has to live in his car, he won’t freeze to death. He’s got friends who will let him couch surf if he has to. He’s smart and resourceful, he can solve his own problems.

The cons: I feel like I’m throwing my baby out of a moving car. If he does end up on the street and something terrible happens I’ll never forgive myself. If he reneges on his lease, our name is still on it and they’ll come after us.

But you know what? there are all sorts of things that I already can’t forgive myself for, so really, what’s one more thing? And while it feels really crummy to cut him off on Valentine’s Day, any other day will feel just as bad. Probably.

Sigh. Children. I love them but it’s so hard to do the right thing. I suppose if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

This painting is on ebay as of 9pm tonight. Bidding starts at 99¢.

Share

Paths to Water

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

Paths to Water, 9×6″ pastel on sanded paper. ©2018 Marie Marfia

You can lead a person to water, but you can’t make her drink. Well, actually, in my case, you don’t have to make me drink. I’ll do it all on my own.

I like how the light comes right up to the lip of the dune where all the footprints are leading up to, and then it stops and everything from that point to the foreground and right off the edge of the paper is in shadow.

I have spent a lot of time painting landscapes with roads or paths in them. Recently I noticed that the roads all end somewhere about a third of the way or two thirds of the way up the picture plane, and the end of the road is usually obscured by clouds or distant trees. This is probably something to do with me thinking about my future and wondering whether I’m going to go like my dad did, via Alzheimer’s, or if I’ll get lucky and be like my mother, who died with most of her faculties still intact.

I like these dune pictures because the paths all lead to the water. I read somewhere that water represents spirituality when you dream about it. My water dreams aren’t very nice, but maybe if I keep painting water as a final destination they’ll change.

Did I mention? We just moved my mother-in-law up to a memory care unit here in Ludington. It’s a lovely place. She’s doing well there. I stop by to see her a couple times a week, Steve does, too.

It’s hard to watch someone you love losing their mind like this. And wondering if it’s going to happen to you, too.

Nothing I can do but paint it out.

This painting is on ebay as of 9pm tonight. Bidding starts at 99¢.

Share

Birthdays

pastel painting of the Lake Michigan beach with snow and clouds

Birthdays, 9×6″ pastel on sanded paper. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

Man, are we getting old. My oldest brother, David, is now 70. My youngest brother, Stephen, just turned 50.

Holy crap. I never expected to get this far. Not that I thought I’d die of a drug overdose or anything like that. I just never really thought about what it would be like to be 57 (now almost 58) years old. I remember imagining how weird it would be to reach 40 in the year 2000 back when I was a teenager. But I never considered what it would mean to live to be so (to me) ancient.

So here we are, all of us older than we feel. Does this happen to you? Do you catch your reflection unexpectedly sometimes, like going past a mirror at Wal-mart or seeing yourself in a window downtown or even bothering to watch yourself brush your teeth, and thinking, “Who the heck is that? Wait, that’s me. How did I get so old?”

The same way anybody does, baby. One fricking day at a time.

At least, if I keep up my daily painting practice, by the time I’m 80 I’ll have hundreds and hundreds of paintings to remind me of every single day.

This painting is on ebay as of 9pm tonight. Bidding starts at 99¢.

Share

Patch of Grass

pastel painting of dune grass and snow

Patch of Grass, 9×6″ pastel on sanded paper. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

I thought, I need to get closer to the grass, really understand it. This is the first attempt of many. I can see that I captured some of it, but I think I can do better. Every day in every way…

This painting is available on ebay, bidding begins at 99¢.

 

Share
pastel study of a child running along the beach

Sam’s Glee

This is less about the sky, although that’s important, than it is about Sam running freely down the beach. You can’t see him, but Nick is right behind. Maybe I’ll add Nick when I do a larger version of this one. For now, the contrast between skin and sand and sky are what made me want to try this one.

pastel study of a child running along the beach

Sam’s Glee (at beating his younger brother in a race on the beach), 5×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

Share

Nick and Abby, Warm and Cool

I did these two studies while I was working at the Attic last weekend. I combined two different photos for the reference and then tried it twice, once on warm toned paper and once on a cool toned paper. Which do you like best?

child and dog on the beach on warm toned paper

Nick and Abby, warm, 5×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

Nick-and-Abby-cool-800

Nick and Abby, Cool, 5×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

Share
pastel painting of a late afternoon on the beach

Pink Gloaming

Today’s sky painting is the 4th in a series of 21 that I’m doing as a result of a wonderful mini workshop with Karen Margulis

I remember being on the beach in the late afternoon when I took the picture that this painting is based on. I was there with a few friends and we just didn’t want to leave yet. The sun went down behind us and then the real fireworks started. All the contrails came into high relief against the blue and pink and aqua in the sky. The sand glowed orange. It was wonderful.

I’m looking forward to being back in Michigan, hanging out at the beach for sunsets and then painting them, every one that I can.

pastel painting of a late afternoon on the beach

Pink Gloaming, 5×8″ pastel on Canson mi tents paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

Share

Steve in a Green Shirt

Pastel painting of a man on the beach

Steve in a Green Shirt, 10×7″ pastel on sanded paper by Marie Marfia. $129, unframed. Email me to purchase.

Steve in a Green Shirt

Of course, you know that he was wearing a tie-dyed shirt, right? I elected to simplify it to plain green. He looks good in it.

I am thinking about experimenting with this one, doing it on a really, long, skinny piece of paper. First I have to find the right frame, and then I’ll do it to fit.

Today was the meeting at The Attic gallery. We talked about things to do to get some more people through the door. I absolutely have to go back tomorrow and re-stock skelly cards. And then I’m going to walk around to all the hotels and put some postcards at the concierge desks. Maybe that’ll help bring some people in.

It’s a bit frustrating. But that’s natural. Anything by committee is. And probably less than half of the people who are in the gallery care whether they sell anything or not. I offered to write the PR for the gallery in order to keep my art on the walls, after we move and I can’t work there anymore. I think I’d like to put a newsletter together, too, and then see what everybody thinks. If we sent one out once a month, it would help draw people back in more often.

Share

Yellow Bikini

I painted this last week, while I was working my shift at The Attic. I liked the contrast between the woman’s dark skin and the bright bikini and really, really liked both against the cool blues of the water. She was so relaxed, sitting in the surf and letting the waves wash over her. I think I was wearing shorts or jeans or something and I remember feeling a little jealous. Why wasn’t I sitting in the water like her?

woman sitting on the beach in a yellow bikini

Yellow Bikini, 6×9″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a woman on the beach

Yellow Bikini, matted and framed, $269.

Yellow Bikini, 6×9″ pastel on paper, matted and framed, $269.

Share