Tag Archives: manistee national forest

pastel study of a road through the woods

Half Invented – pastel study of a road in the woods

pastel study of a road through the woods

Half Invented, 6×9″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. ©2018 Marie Marfia. Available $110.00

Half Invented

This is the same place as yesterday’s post but today I just painted what I remembered. I like it better. It’s truer to what I meant rather than what the camera meant, if you know what I mean. It’s fresher feeling, more lively. I like it.

This painting is available in my web store for $110, includes shipping.

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Tall Pines over the Pere Marquette – pastel painting of a river in the woods

pastel painting of a river in the woods

Tall Pines Over the Pere Marquette, 9×6″ pastel painting by Marie Marfia. Available $110.

Tall Pines Over the Pere Marquette

Made it all the way back to the first campsite but the second one was occupied so we had to cut our walk short a little bit. No worries. The view was spectacular as always and I’m glad I picked this particular dirt road for our walk today.

This painting is available for $110 in my shop.

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End of Kinney Road – pastel painting of a road through the Manistee National Forest

End of Kinney Road, 9×6″ pastel painting of a road in the Manistee National Forest. ©Marie Marfia. Available $110.

End of Kinney Road

This is a pastel painting about the bright light at the end of Kinney Road, which is a place that I love to walk with my dogs in the mornings.

Here are some details:

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pastel painting of two dogs in the woods

Daisy and Roger Listening – pastel painting of dogs in the woods

pastel painting of two dogs in the woods

Roger and Daisy Listening, 18×12″ pastel on paper. ©Marie Marfia. Available $210.

I really like how this turned out. I tried to keep it simple. Wasn’t sure about adding the dogs on the first day but then walked in this morning and thought, “Why not?” So that’s what I did. I like all the gestural lines around the dogs. I love the dark tunnel ahead of them and the light filtering down through the tree canopy. Enjoy!

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walk in the woods with my dog pastel painting

Morning Walk with Daisy – pastel painting of my dog on a path through the woods

walk in the woods with my dog pastel painting

Morning Walk with Daisy, 9×6″ pastel on paper. Available $110.

This is a pastel painting of my dog Daisy, walking along a path through the Manistee National Forest. This road in particular is one of our favorites. It winds along the Pere Marquette River for about a mile and goes past a couple of really awesome camping areas. They’re usually full of campers on the weekends, but now that it’s after Labor Day I’ll probably come here more often.

Here’s a video of me working on this piece:

Some detail shots here:

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Synchopation – pastel painting of the Manistee National Forest

Synchopation, 9×6″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. Available $110.

Synchopation – pastel painting of the Manistee National Forest

I went out walking after the rain this weekend. So good to be out in the woods! I love my little cottage in the forest, but you know, it’s awful nice to be able to stretch your legs every day in such beautiful surroundings. I’m trying to soak up as much as I can.

Here’s a video of me creating this piece.

 

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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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Walking my dogs makes me a better painter

At least it gets me off the couch in the mornings. Truthfully, if I had my way, I’d spend all day on the couch eating bonbons and flipping through Imgur on my iPad, but the dogs aren’t going to let themselves outside and since our yard isn’t fenced (yet!), I have to go with them.

This involves piling them into the back of my minivan and driving out to the woods. See, I’d walk them around the neighborhood but there are too many potential pitfalls involved with this, i.e. other loose dogs. So my preference is to drive about five miles south on Walhalla Road, turn off onto any one of half a dozen “seasonal roads” and tromp around the Manistee National Forest for an hour.

The dogs get to sniff and dig around, I don’t have to clean up after them (although I’ve unofficially adopted the first two miles of 6890 because, let’s face it, people are pigs), and we all get some fresh air and exercise.

Sometimes we see deer, sometimes a dead snake, and once Roger thought for sure a cat walked out of the ferns not six feet in front of him, but it was a skunk and he was not allowed to get any closer to it although he fussed a bit about my decision. I held firm, though. You should see the divots my feet left in the road even two weeks later. I held on for dear life, I’m telling you.

So how does this make me a better painter?

It provides subject matter, of course. I won’t tell you how many pictures of my dogs are on my Google drive right now, but it’s a lot. Like thousands. Sometimes I keep my finger on the camera button, snapping pic after pic of Roger digging in the dirt just to get that one glorious moment when he leaps back into the road to try to catch up to whatever he’s smelling off in the distance.

It lets me paint wonderful scenes of my dogs enjoying the great outdoors. I used to think I went out to the woods for me, but really, I go out there for them. They’re the ones that are having the great time.

I guess I’m jealous. Here I am, covered in Deet to keep off the bugs and checking for ticks and bears and swiping at deer flies and those two are just loping along with their tongues hanging out, having a grand old time. Every. Stinking. Morning.

I love it. I love them. I’m a lucky girl to have these lucky dogs.

©2017 Marie Marfia “Roger and Out” 6×9″ pastel on paper.

©2017 Marie Marfia “Daisy in the Dark,” 9×6″ pastel on paper.

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pastel painting of a river

Kink in the River

pastel painting of a river

Kink in the River, 5×7″ pastel on gessoed mat board by Marie Marfia

Today I had a mammogram. This is not my favorite thing in the world. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I never know what to do with my hands. And I’m uncomfortable being the only one in the room who’s topless.

Maybe if I was in my twenties or thirties, but not nowadays. Nowadays I’m almost 60 and I’m not interested in letting everything hang out there in the fresh air. Nude beaches? Not so much. That’s not to say I wouldn’t try it, but I’d have to see it first, see if there was anyone else like me out there, nekkid.

Still not comfortable in my own skin. I wonder if I’ll ever be?

About the painting

This daily painting is from a photo I took on a high bluff over the Pere Marquette River in the Manistee National Forest. Steve and I had just sat down to rest for a minute and I was struck by the bright reflection of the sky and the diagonal of the trees in the background. I like the sweep of last year’s leaves in the front of this piece and the green, purple and orange colors. The swirling brush strokes capture the movement of the water. This piece reminds me how lucky I am to live here.

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