Eagle 13, Patience, 6×8″ pastel on gator board by Marie Marfia. $65, unframed. Email me to purchase.
Steve and I are trying to sell our house here in Jacksonville. It’s a long process, especially the cleaning! I am so tired of sweeping! We have two dogs who love to play outside and they bring it indoors with them. Sometimes, after Daisy has been resting in one spot, there will be actual ripples of dirt on the floor. You can’t keep up with it, not really. I sweep every day and still there are little drifts of fur floating around the periphery of the dining room. Oh well.
We have to be patient. Somewhere, someone will fall in love with this place, just like Steve did (I didn’t fall it love with it right away, but I’m a cynical so and so and harder to please), and we’ll get an offer and we’ll move! Meantime, we’re in limbo.
This eagle, sitting on the nest in the rain, the eaglets cozy and dry underneath the canopy of her feathers, knows how to be patient. There’s nothing she can do about the weather. She makes herself as comfortable as she can and waits. I can relate, baby. I can sure relate.
Sleepyhead, No. 6, Eagle Cam Series, 6×9″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia
Sleeping on the job
Does anyone think these eagle drawings are patriotic? I don’t think of them that way. I think of them as wonderful opportunities to paint something alive without having to run out and catch it.
This drawing is hilarious to me, because the eagle is sleeping, probably after being up all night with its kids. At first, I thought about waiting until it woke up to do a drawing, but then I thought, eagles are birds and birds are living things and all living things need to rest sometime. Particularly when the kids are young. Then you take your naps whenever and wherever you can get them.
Once one of the adults brought back a fresh fish to the nest and proceeded to tear off chunks to eat. Finally, the one sitting on the nest made a move toward the fish, and so the first one flew off to give his/her partner some eating room. Soon she/he began feeding the eaglets.
When they’re doing normal things like feeding their young or napping, I don’t think of them as a symbol of my country or of patriotism. Then they’re just doing the best they can the only way they know how. They’re like everybody else.
Eagle study 3, 6×9″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia
Today’s eagle sketch was made while watching this long-suffering bird snapping at flies that were after his/her partially finished meal. I decided to zoom in a bit on the head of the eagle. I’m learning more and more about what shapes make up an eagle’s head the more that I do this. And it’s fun!
Quick, before it moves!
It’s also tricky, because, unlike a model, who gets paid to hold a pose until the timer goes off, I never know what this bird is going to do next. For instance, right after I finished the preliminary sketch in pink, the bird got up and rearranged itself and I had to decide whether I had enough information to try to finish what I’d started. Turns out, I had enough, and happily, the eagle eventually returned to its original spot. By then, of course, the sun had gotten higher in the sky and the shadows had changed, but that’s life!
Eagle Nesting 2, 9×6″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia
The eagle cam is fascinating. I like watching them sit on the eggs, cocking their heads, ever alert. I like the way the sun bounces off their brassy feathers, how the shadows are blue violet on one side of their white heads. Can’t wait until there are chicks.
The internet can be magical. This morning I was wondering what to paint for a quick study and then I remembered the Eagle Cam that was featured on the npr website and voila! I had a subject all ready for me.
I put down my oatmeal, grabbed my pastels and a piece of paper and had about five minutes before she/he got up and presented me with a different view. I quit then because my breakfast was getting cold. Here’s the result from this morning. I think I’ll go back again this evening and see what kind of light is available when the sun is on other other side.
Eagle Nesting, study, 6×9″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia
It got me thinking that there are probably a million web cams pointing to interesting scenes from all over the world. I don’t have to fly anywhere to find something to paint. I can sit at my monitor and pick something at random.