Tag Archives: red

red wing blackbird silhouette painting

So it begins!

New project!

This summer I’ve decided I want to learn to paint with acrylics. So, as I’ve done before here and here, I’m committing to painting a small acrylic painting every day for the next 100 days. At the end of that time I hope to be more comfortable painting in acrylic and to have a bunch of work to show for my efforts.

Unlike my previous projects, I don’t entirely know what I’ll be concentrating on as far as subject matter goes. Right now I figure I’ll paint whatever subject appeals to me in the moment, concentrating on technique and composition rather than say, landscapes or portraits.

Today’s painting is based on a video tutorial that I watched this morning. The tutorial was about making a dark to light background and featured a bird and some branches in silhouette. It used just two colors—black and white—to make it easier for a novice (that would be me!) to get the hang of blending and simple enough that I would have a nice painting at the end.

I was inspired by the idea of a bird and also the graduated background. But of course I had to mix it up a little bit. Two colors? Nah. How about four?

See, I love to get up before the sun and watch it coloring the sky orange and gold and shining through the trees, so I decided to make my background reflect the color of the sky from this morning. So I needed red and yellow for that. For the bird I picked a red winged blackbird because they have so much personality and they’re everywhere around here. Plus, they have lovely red and yellow epaulettes on their shoulders, so I thought that would be perfect with my peachy background.

Here’s today’s effort:

red wing blackbird silhouette painting

001 Red Winged Blackbird, 6×6″ acrylic on canvas. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

Fear not, I am not giving up on pastels! I will continue to work with them because I love doing it. But it’s always good to shake things up if you possibly can, try something new. Keeps me thinking creatively, and who doesn’t need more of that?

I’ll be posting them here on my blog, so if you’d like to keep track of my progress, please bookmark this page and come back often. Or come and visit me in Ludington, Michigan. I have a new exhibit space next to the Bonafide Gallery called James St. Gallery and I’ll be hanging these paintings there all summer. Hope to see you soon!


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Sky on Fire

pastel painting of morning sky

Sky on Fire, 5×7″ pastel on gessoed mat board by Marie Marfia

I stepped outside this morning, letting the dogs out to pee, and when I turned around, this happened.

The sky was on fire and it held me spell bound as I walked down the dirt road opposite our house. The dogs didn’t seem to notice anything out of the ordinary, but to them, every day is the best day. It’s just humans who make a fuss about sunrises and sunsets.

I brushed out my first attempt at this and started over, trying to paint how I felt instead of what I thought I saw. They’re two different things, you know.

 

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pastel painting of a smiling elderly woman

No. 10, 100 Portraits in 100 Days

Thank you, Suzanne, for sending a picture of your mother for me to paint. She looks like she loves her life. Such a great smile.

pastel painting of a smiling elderly woman

Gloria, No. 10, 100 Portraits in 100 Days, 6×9″ pastel on UArt 400 sanded paper, mounted on foam core, by Marie Marfia. Sold.

Here are the progress pictures:

Read more about my 100 Portraits in 100 Days project, and follow along on Facebook or Instagramor TwitterSign up for my newsletter and be the first to see my portraits as I finish them!

 

 

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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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So Far Apart

So Far Apart

These apples are at the limit of the picture plane in all directions. All except the one on the top, which could be directing traffic, or could be trying to find common ground between the other two, or might be counting to ten before they turn and fire.

pastel painting of three red apples on a pale blue ground

So Far Apart, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples on a pale blue ground

So Far Apart, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples on a pale blue ground

So Far Apart, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples on a pale blue ground

So Far Apart, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

Here are the progress pics:

This painting is available at auction on ebay beginning at 9 pm eastern, January 20, 2016.

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pastel painting of three red apples

Playing with my food

When in Roma

How about a new series? I know I’m ready for one.

To be honest, between the portrait series and trying to get our house ready to sell, I’m feeling the need to simplify my life any way I can. So for the next month or so I’m going to concentrate on uncomplicated subject matter. And what’s simpler than food?

Steve and I are getting into a new diet plan and I thought, This is great! I’ll paint what I’m eating, which, as it turns out, is a lot of fruit and vegetables. I enjoyed doing these so much last year (remember the xmas zucchini?) and I feel like it’s time to get into them again. Hope you enjoy them.

pastel painting of three red apples

When in Roma, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples

When in Roma, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples

When in Roma, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples

When in Roma, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of three red apples

When in Roma, detail, 6×9″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

Progress pics:

This painting is available at auction on ebay beginning at 9 pm eastern, January 19, 2016.

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pastel painting of a woman's portrait

Number 12, 30 Friends in 30 Days

Alice

This is Alice. She’s amazing and that’s all you need to know about her.

Well, okay. She’s a nature nut, a biker chick, a chef extraordinaire, married to Lenny, who sent in her picture, and mother of two brilliant boys. She was my best friend in college and beyond and then she and Lenny moved away, we each got busy in our alternate universes, and kind of lost track of each other. I hope that once Steve and I move back to Michigan, we’ll be able to re-connect with our old friends again.

I loved the red shirt Alice is wearing in this painting and I used that color as reflected light on almost every part of her face. I loved that she was standing in front of trees because I know that forests are some of her favorite places to be. Thank you, Alice (and Lenny) for sending me your beautiful face to paint!

pastel painting of a woman's portrait

Alice, Number 12, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a woman's portrait

Alice, Number 12, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a woman's portrait

Alice, Number 12, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

pastel painting of a woman's portrait

Alice, Number 12, detail, 30 Friends in 30 Days, 9×6″ pastel on illustration board by Marie Marfia

Here are the progress pics:

This is my 30 Friends in 30 Days series. Each day I take a friend’s selfie and make a pastel painting from it. Then I post it to ebay at auction for 7 days. Follow my progress as I learn to paint pastel portraits with a little help from my friends.

Click to bid on this painting.

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