This painting is number 5 in the Paint the Sky challenge given by Karen Margulis, and it is based on a photo I took while on the beach at Mickler’s Landing, in Ponte Vedra, Florida.
While I’m not fond of hanging out when storms are coming in (all that lightning makes me kind of nervous), I couldn’t resist taking a picture before leaving. I especially like the reflected light in the ocean under the clouds. Cool!
Dark Horizon, 5×8″ pastel on Canson mi teintes paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.
Today’s sky painting is the 3rd in a series of 21 that I’m doing as a result of a wonderful mini workshop with Karen Margulis.
Clouds Roll In is taken from a photo from an afternoon at the beach, probably at Mickler’s Landing but it might also be from a bit farther south at Guana Beach. Both places are fairly close by and Steve and I like to get out to walk along the surf as often as we can. On this day, I got lucky because there were big clouds on the horizon. Looks like there was a little rain coming down out over the water.
I am enjoying the process of creating my own grays using tertiary and secondary colors layered on top of each other. This painting was done on Canson mi teintes paper.
Clouds Roll In, 5×8″ pastel on Canson paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.
When I knew we’d be moving away, back when I lived in Ludington, I would walk down to the end of US-10 every day with my camera, right where the road met the water. I’d stand there and starting with the view on my left, I’d take a series of photos, ending up with the view on my right. I hoped to have a series of panoramas when I was done, a scene from every season, something to remember where we used to live.
In the end, all those pictures were uploaded and then forgotten on numerous hard drives. Every once in a while I’d run across them and think, “Oh yeah, that project,” and then promptly move on to something else that seemed more pressing.
The thing is, we didn’t think we’d ever have to leave there. We planned to stay and finish raising our family. Moving to Jacksonville, Florida was a lot like moving to Mars. It was so bloody hot, for one thing, and there was no one around to talk to. I mean, everyone was indoors. Even though we lived in a nice residential area, in a nice house, with a big yard, it felt completely isolated compared to our old life, in our old town, where everyone knew us and we knew everyone.
The first year I spent in mourning, sometimes going to bed at 3 in the afternoon and staying there until the next day. I’d get up to fix dinner or do a little computer work, maybe, but I never went outdoors, I didn’t drive anywhere I didn’t absolutely have to. The kids were depressed as well. The schools were huge compared to what they were used to, and they felt lost. The second year, I started homeschooling with the boys and things got better. We met nice people, made friends, began exploring where we lived. Homeschooling probably saved all our lives, come to think of it.
But I still miss the landscapes I used to know. Now that I will be returning, I allow myself to imagine what it will be like to be back in the friendly woods, to be on the shore of Lake Michigan, to be racing leaves in the Pere Marquette River.
Sometimes, when I’m doing yoga and I lay back on the mat with my eyes closed, it’s as though I’m floating in familiar waters and I feel weightless. There is no hidden danger waiting to grab me from below, only the sun on my face and the feel of soft waves, lapping at my skin.
End of the Road, 5×7″ pastel on Crescent board with pumice ground by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.
Steve in a Green Shirt, 10×7″ pastel on sanded paper by Marie Marfia. $129, unframed. Email me to purchase.
Steve in a Green Shirt
Of course, you know that he was wearing a tie-dyed shirt, right? I elected to simplify it to plain green. He looks good in it.
I am thinking about experimenting with this one, doing it on a really, long, skinny piece of paper. First I have to find the right frame, and then I’ll do it to fit.
Today was the meeting at The Attic gallery. We talked about things to do to get some more people through the door. I absolutely have to go back tomorrow and re-stock skelly cards. And then I’m going to walk around to all the hotels and put some postcards at the concierge desks. Maybe that’ll help bring some people in.
It’s a bit frustrating. But that’s natural. Anything by committee is. And probably less than half of the people who are in the gallery care whether they sell anything or not. I offered to write the PR for the gallery in order to keep my art on the walls, after we move and I can’t work there anymore. I think I’d like to put a newsletter together, too, and then see what everybody thinks. If we sent one out once a month, it would help draw people back in more often.
I did today’s wave painting without a reference photo. Just started with the shadow in the middle and worked my way out from there. I used to draw like this all the time. I would touch my pen to the paper and see where it led me. This painting’s process was like that. I started with a dark blue shadow and with no idea how the wave would shape itself.
The trick is to have no expectations. It’s easier when you don’t use a photo because then you don’t have anything to compare the final painting with. If it works, it works, and it doesn’t matter how much or how little it resembles anything else. It’s nice to go with the flow of the work without worrying about capturing a likeness.
Wave Portrait No. 131, 5×7″ pastel on UArt paper by Marie Marfia. Painting available on Etsy. Prints available on Fine Art America.
Wave Portrait No. 131, detail, 5×7″ pastel on UArt paper by Marie Marfia. Painting available on Etsy. Prints available on Fine Art America.