Tag Archives: Marie Marfia

What we leave behind

I love walking in the woods in the spring. No wearing three layers of clothing, no mittens to keep track of, no boots! I can just slip into my regular tennis shoes and a jacket, throw the dogs in the car and off I go.

Unfortunately, when the snow melts the other thing that’s out in the woods besides me is garbage. I don’t mean beer cans, although there are a ton of those out there. I mean garbage like television sets, shingles, plastic containers, tires, diapers… Just crap, really. A whole ton of crap.

I go from euphoria at being outside all the way to absolute fury at the way some people use the woods as their personal dumping ground.

I wish there was a place where people could drop off all their crap. Oh wait! There is! It’s called a dump! But it costs money to take your crap to the dump or to have someone haul it away and it’s so much cheaper to drive down a two track out in the forest somewhere and throw it out there.

I wish I had a superpower that would let me zap all the crap in the woods so that it would disappear from the forest and reappear in whoever’s house it belonged to. Right on their living room floor. Or maybe on their bed. Yeah! Take that, you littering litterer!

Anyway, after walking the dogs I was so depressed at all the fresh garbage out there, I got out my pastels and painted a scene from another walk I’d taken recently with my family. A beautiful day on the Pere Marquette River, sun shining, water flowing, birds twittering. A gorgeous, gorgeous day.

Of course, we also found snarled fishing line, bait containers and cigar wrappers along the banks. Wherever you find beauty I guess you can also expect to find evidence of thoughtless humans. We picked up what we could on the way out.

I guess I’ll start bringing a garbage bag with me on my daily walks. It’s little enough, but it makes me feel a little better to at least clear the areas where I love to wander. Painting also helps. Although having a crap zapper superpower would be nice, too.

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Rainy Day

Lately, I’ve been driving out to the state park in the mornings before I settle in at the office. Today it was raining but I just parked in front of some dunes, rolled down the passenger side window and zenned right out.

Rainy Day, 9×6″ pastel on sanded paper. ©2019 Marie Marfia.

This painting will be available on eBay starting tonight at 9pm. Ten percent of the proceeds from each of my auctions goes to benefit AFFEW, a local group dedicated to saving the planet.

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Natalie’s Room, pastel painting of light and shadow

This is a small pastel on paper I did this morning. My “usual” spot on the porch didn’t look too promising so I turned 180 degrees and painted what was behind me.

You can see by the photo what I was working on. I like the feel of this piece and all the rest of the pastel I’ve been doing while staying here in Tucson. Working outdoors forces me to work quickly which I like and the work is much looser than anything I can achieve in the studio.

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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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pastel painting of a snow covered path through the woods

Fresh Snow-pastel painting of a path through the woods in winter

pastel painting of a snow covered path through the snow
Fresh Snow, 9×6″ pastel painting of a snow covered road through the Manistee National Forest by Marie Marfia. ©2019.

This painting is based on a walk down a two-track road in the winter time. There was deep, fresh snow all along the two-track road and a pale blush of peach just over the trees on the horizon. I love walking in the Manistee National Forest with my dogs. It inspires my work.

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/8I2GcT

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pastel painting of a snowy path through the woods

Snowy Trail-pastel painting of a wintry scene in the woods

pastel painting of a scene in the woods in winter
Snowy Trail, 5×7″ pastel painting of a snowy path through the woods by Marie Marfia. ©2019.

This painting is based on a walk down a two-track road in the winter time. Sometimes when I stop to paint what seems like a monotone scene I am amazed by all the color that comes through. I love walking in the Manistee National Forest with my dogs. It inspires my work.

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/66kEDT

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pastel painting of a white dog on a snowy road

White Dog White Road-pastel painting of my dog in the woods

pastel painting of my dog on a snowy road through the forest

This painting is based on a walk down a two-track road in the winter time. My dog Daisy stopped to sniff something in the road and I took a picture to use for a painting later. I love walking the woods in the morning with my dogs. It inspires my work.

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/mmsf6V

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pastel painting of a sunrise through the woods

On the Ridge-pastel painting of a sunrise in the woods

pastel painting of a sunrise in the woods

This painting is based on a walk down a two-track road in the winter time. The little bit of snow on the ground was mixed with lots of oak leaves and I could see the sun coming up over the horizon and throwing beautiful blue shadows everywhere. I love walking the woods in the morning with my dogs. It inspires my work.

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/Cp3wgd

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pastel painting of a snowy road through the woods

Cold Morning-pastel painting of a wintry road through the forest

pastel painting of a snowy road through the woods
Cold Morning, 6×9″ pastel painting of a snowy road through the forest by Marie Marfia. ©2019 http://ebay.us/NmTxjl

This painting is based on a walk down a two-track road in the winter time. I like how the road curves out of sight up ahead and the drama in the horizon line. This was a very fun painting to do. I love walking in the Manistee National Forest with my dogs every morning. It inspires my work.

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/NmTxjl

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My art is on Ebay!

Road Curves Left, 5x7" pastel on paper inspired by the Manistee National Forest. ©Marie Marfia.
Road Curves Left, 5×7″ pastel on paper, available in my Ebay store starting 1/14/19 at 9pm.

I have been selling my original art on Ebay for about five years. I don’t do it all the time, but once or twice a year I get the urge to start posting paintings. Why do I do this? A few reasons…

It reinforces my daily painting habit. I am under a compulsion to paint every day so that by the time I’m 80 I’ll be freaking awesome at it. Since I’m splitting Ebay sales with a worthy cause (see next paragraph), boom! there’s built-in accountability to keep me on the straight and narrow.

It helps others. This year 10% of my landscape sales go to AFFEW, which is a local environmental group. I spend a lot of time wandering around Mason County, gobsmacked by the scenery, and I want to make sure those beautiful views are around for future generations. Happily, AFFEW does too, so they’re an organization I am happy to support.

I. Need. More. Space. I realize pastel paintings are flat, but when you’re painting every day, they pile up. I have boxes of paintings stacked in the corners of my studio as well as my storage space. So selling daily paintings on Ebay keeps the stacks to a minimum.

It’ll make me famous! Not really, but I enjoy the idea of my art being dispersed to all four corners of the planet. I’ve sold pieces to people living in just about every state in the union plus a few overseas. Frankly, my art is more well-traveled than I am, which I find both sad and hilarious.

It fits my impulse-driven lifestyle. With Ebay a painting sells or it doesn’t within 7 days. If it doesn’t sell I throw it in a re-work pile. Then sometime during the next six months I pitch the re-work pile, usually because I’m trying to make room for a pile of new stuff. Problem solved!

It’s my drug of choice. I get the same dopamine rush when someone bids on one of my Ebay paintings as I do when eating an entire bag of Lays potato chips, but this is better because not only does it mean another painting is leaving my studio, it’s also not making me fat(ter)! Since my goals this year include reducing my weight and my inventory, Ebay is a win-win.

So there you have it, some of my reasons for using Ebay as an art sales outlet. Here’s the link to my Ebay store. Thanks for looking and happy bidding!

Long Shadows, 9x6" pastel on paper, inspired by the Manistee National Forest. ©Marie Marfia.
Long Shadows, 9×6″ pastel on paper, available in my Ebay store starting 1/16/19 at 9pm.
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