Tag Archives: daily painting

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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Coming at you

Smiling dog in the woods pastel coming at you

dog in the woods coming toward you happy

“Roger Coming at You” 18×12″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia..

This is a pastel of my dog, Roger. He’s the one that always comes at you for a pat after he’s finished investigating whatever was in the ferns on the side of the road. Daisy goes around you, but Roger comes right at you. He’s a very good boy.

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Yellow bird, egyptian eyed dog, pink flower

acrylic painting of a yellow bird on canvas

Yellow Bird, No. 9, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

acrylic painting of a dog with dark eyes and muzzle

Egyptian-eyed Dog, No. 10, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

acrylic painting of a pink daisy

Pink Flower, No. 11, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia

Humming right along. I don’t always like what I’m ending up with but it’s okay because I’m learning! I’m excited to try again every day. Onward and upward. That’s the ticket.

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Curious Cow

acrylic painting of a cow face

Sunny Cow, No. 5, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia

Curious Cow

No. 5 is a quickie because I have to go down to Grand Rapids to meet up with my brother and his wife. We’re going to plant flowers in the family cemetery plots today. It’s always a great time to catch up. Joe says he wants to stop at a flea market that’s on the way, not to buy anything, but just to look at stuff and think about them. I can get behind that!

 

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Seeing the Horizon

pastel painting of dunes, lake Michigan, sky, clouds

Seeing the Horizon, 9×6″ pastel on sanded paper. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

I was thinking about these little paintings of the dunes at the Ludington State Park and how I’d started painting them without a payoff, you know? Like the dunes were the obstacles in my life and I couldn’t see the horizon anywhere and then I thought, I need to put the water in there. I need to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I need a carrot so that I keep on climbing. So I put Lake Michigan in the middle of everything because that’s where I want to be.

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

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pastel painting of a sunset over a downtown intersection

Sunset Downtown

This study is from a picture I took while driving around downtown Ludington, not sure of the exact year but I know it was probably November. November is when you get the fiery sunsets reflected against heavy clouds rolling in over Lake Michigan. It’s awesome and dramatic, probably why I took the picture in the first place, although back then I wasn’t doing any painting at all. Just taking pictures for some nebulous future time when I’d have leisure to do something with them. Now I know that future time is the same as now time and if you’re going to do something, it’s best to do it now.

pastel painting of a sunset over a downtown intersection

Sunset Downtown, 5×8″ pastel on mi teintes Touch paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

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pastel painting of tree line with clouds

Behind the Treeline

This is a painting taken from a photo of clouds looming from beyond the trees on our way home from the beach one day. I wanted to leave some evidence of the original drawing in this study. I like my initial sketches and sometimes feel it’s a shame to cover them up!

pastel painting of tree line with clouds

Behind the Treeline, 5×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

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pastel of a sunset over a road

Sunset Drive

Saturday, June 4, 2016 I took a mini workshop called “Paint the Sky” featuring one of my favorite pastel artists, Karen Margulis. (This was offered through First Coast Pastel Society, which is an awesome pastel group, if you’re in the area and looking to paint with a crowd of nice people. Everyone is very supportive and there’s a lot going on. I highly recommend you join them. I’m really going to miss these folks after I move.)

It was very intense because it was very short, but well presented and with a lot of good information. Karen challenged the workshop participants to paint 21 skies in the next 21 days, as a way of starting a new, daily painting habit. I already paint every day (well, almost!) and so I’m not too worried about the habit-forming part of the challenge, but oh, the skies! I can totally do that!

So here’s Sunday’s sky painting. This is a scene based on a photo my son Nick took while we were driving to karate class. I was blown away by the fiery clouds in the sky, handed Nick my camera and yelled, “Shoot! Shoot!” So he did and I found it again while looking through my photos on my computer in search of appropriate subject matter for the workshop.

pastel of a sunset over a road

Sunset Drive, 4×6″ pastel on UArt sanded paper by Marie Marfia. $60, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

Even though these luscious sunsets are the result of more pollution in the air, which I hate, I still love the colors! I guess that’s a love-hate relationship. I can live with that.

 

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small pastel landscape of fall leaves

Dreaming of Fall

small pastel landscape of fall leaves

Dreaming of Fall, Emotional Landscape series, 5×7″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Please contact me to purchase.

With this pastel, I am thinking about my move back to Michigan and four season living again. In Florida, there’s warm and hot, as opposed to cool, hot, crisp and cold up north. I miss the seasons, and yes, I even miss the snow. But fall is my favorite season. The trees are brilliant, the fields are golden and the sky is a warm blue with far off wisps of clouds. Autumn is awesome.

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pastel of a landscape in the Julington Durbin Preserve

Day at the Shop

pastel of a landscape in the Julington Durbin Preserve

Day at the Shop, 5×7″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

Last Sunday was a good day to be at the Attic. There were a lot of people coming in with their kids to look at the Fletcher Middle School artwork—jellyfish, portraits and sculptures hanging from the ceilings, on the walls, and along the perimeter of the room. Some of the kids weren’t crazy about having their pictures taken in front of their creations, but were persuaded that it was for their mom, so that made it all right.

Towards the middle of the day, a pair of sisters came in wearing pretty hats and with flushed cheeks and snappy repartee (“We had wine with our lunch today!”) and bought three skelly greeting cards. That, and a bracelet of Bonnie Beaver’s (beautiful earth tone glass beads with a tiny gold heart clasp) were the sum total in sales for the day.

I don’t mind when it’s not busy. I like to talk to the people who come in to browse, or who ask about how they might become one of the artists there. And it gives me a chance to work on a pastel in between posting to Facebook and sweeping, dusting and wiping off the table and chairs out front.

I did this pastel just before packing up all my stuff to leave. I chose from colors that I used while working on “Ground-skel,” my parody of Edward Hopper’s classic painting.

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