Tag Archives: skeleton art

Marie Marfia, Aucassin and Nicolette, soft pastel, 12x16.375

Nicolette and Aucassin progress

Thought I’d share some progress on the the latest skeleton Old (Dead) Masters painting. It’s coming along. I’m doing some refining right now, and that’s going to take a bit. I like doing these because they’re like a real intense workshop on the style of the artist whose work I’m copying. That’s definitely the case with this one.

grid and sketch of Nicolette and Aucassin
Grid and sketch of Nicolette and Aucassin
initial block in
Initial block in
Easel shot
Easel shot
Work in progress…
As of April 3, 2021.
Here’s a video tour of where I’m at with this one. (Can you tell I’m listening to NPR?)

Here’s the final!

Marie Marfia, Aucassin and Nicolette, soft pastel, 12x16.375
(Aucassin and Nicolette parody), soft pastel, 12×16.375″.

Finally! These parodies always take forever to finish. I have so much respect for the original creators of the pieces I copy. And I learn a ton while I’m working.

So, no official title for this one yet. If you have a suggestion, please send it along. Of course, puns are given first priority and if I pick your title to use, I’ll happily send you a print as a thank you. Email me, marie@mariemarfia.com, and tell me your idea!

As soon as I have a title for this one I’ll be adding it to my Etsy downloads and my Fine Art America shop, so I’ll keep you posted.


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Skeleton window art

the final skeleton art window painting
This means you! Final window art over my office.

Ever since I moved into my space at the back of 307 S. James St. I’ve been meaning to put something in the window that overlooks the office where I work. The truth is I like to take naps in there every once in a while and it makes me feel a little too exposed to lay on the floor on a yoga mat and know that anyone walking by the window can see me snoring in there. I could have just hung up a curtain but why settle for fabric when I can make something awesome instead? So naturally I decided to make some skeleton window art.

It took a little longer than I hoped and this was because I had to order more leading strips and paint colors directly from the manufacturer (Plaid Gallery Glass) and their cheapest shipping option turns out to be very slooooooooow. But oh well. I was busy doing other things, if you recall. It got delivered eventually and then the whole project was finished up quickly after that.

Step 1: Make a sketch

sketch
I changed the bottom line to “for the skeleton army” because it’s closer to the original. Also I didn’t want it to seem like I was being a money grubbing jerk.

First I needed a design for the window. I settled on the classic Uncle Sam army recruiting poster as a starting point. Not hard to convert to a skeleton version. If anyone is interested in doing the same thing for themselves, just let me know and I’ll send you a scalable pdf file that you can use as a template.

Step 2: Convert to scalable vector art

template

This is what my template looks like. I have the colors on separate layers in Adobe Illustrator. It took about 16 letter-size pages which I then taped together.

Once I printed out the template I taped it up to the back side of the window and then started putting leading strips on the front side of the window, cementing them in place with a drop of liquid leading.

Step 3: Do the fiddly bits

I made the skull, hand, stars and lettering separately on clear plastic sleeves using the liquid leading. That’s because they were too detailed to do using the leading strips on a vertical surface. You can bend the strips into large, simple shapes but anything smaller and they don’t hold the curves. They peel off the glass when my back is turned and it’s frustrating as hell.

making a skeleton art window painting
I am using an exacto knife to trim away the little blobs of dried liquid leading that I used to anchor the strips. See my office through the window? I have plans for later on next spring, so stay tuned. All I’ll say right now is it’s not going to be white when I’m done with it.
skeleton art window painting
Here he is with the head, hand and lettering on the window. See all the little blobs of trimmed off liquid leading on the sill? The floor was covered with them by the end.

Step 4: Decide on a background

The next question was what to do with the background? It needed to cover the whole window, but the original Uncle Sam poster was just plain white. I wanted something kind of gothic. So I ended up using radiating stripes in purple and lilac.

skeleton art painted window
Here’s where I had to stop because I ran out of leading strips. Also, I needed more colors to finish than what I had in my studio.

Step 5: Break up the big shapes

I’m breaking up the big shapes in order to be able to apply the paint and not have the weight of it cause it to drip down the window. This meant there were a lot of places to dab the liquid leading and subsequently a lot more trimming to do.

Step 6: Fill in the rest of the color

Finally filling in the colors! This is the fun part and it goes pretty quickly, although my right shoulder needed a long soak in the tub after I was done. The guy that appears at the end was asking whether I liked the idea of food trucks parked on Filer St. next summer. I said I was all for more food choices in town ;).

Step 7: Enjoy my cool window art!

So this is it! This is my Uncle Skelly Wants You for the Skeleton Army window. What do you think? Pretty cool? I think so, too. And best of all, I can nap in peace!

skeleton art window
I Want You for the Skeleton Army painted glass window, 34″x34″, by Marie Marfia, ©2019.
detail of skeleton window art
Detail, I Want You for the Skeleton Army window art by Marie Marfia
looking down the hall from skelly window art
Detail, I Want You for the Skeleton Army window art by Marie Marfia

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Forever Your Gator Girl is on sale through September 9, 2019!

This is a serving suggestion for one of my 11×14″ prints of Forever Your Gator Girl, now on sale in my shop!

Forever Your Gator Girl is on sale in my shop through next week Monday, September 9, 2019!

All versions of Forever Your Gator Girl are 25% Off, including the original, canvas wraps, prints and cards!

Happy shopping!

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Gold Coast Artisan Fair is this weekend!

I’m kind of excited.

As you can see, I’m still trying to work out the flow in my booth… Flow is so important.
I kind of like the idea of hanging cards on paracord, like little flags waving in the wind. (Oh, god, I hope there’s not too much wind!)
To bring the skeleton table and chairs or not to bring the skeleton table and chairs… It’s a conundrum.

The question that still haunts me

I am still gathering together the inventory for this show. I have never exhibited here so I don’t know quite what to expect. Should I bring mostly Old (Dead) Masters? Or skeleton couples? Skelvis? I just don’t know. I guess I’ll bring a little bit of everything and see how it goes!

I’ll have stickers at the booth!

The giveaway

I’m going to give away a large print of one of my skellies after the show. I haven’t decided which one it’s going to be or whether I’m going to let the winner choose. (Email me your opinion and possibly confuse me even more!)

To enter, just stop by my booth (Section B, space 8) and fill out a form. While you’re there you can also get on my mailing list, but that’s totally optional. You don’t have to be on my mailing list to enter the contest. (But it’d be awesome if you were.)

The important stuff

What: Gold Coast Artisan Fair
Where: Rotary Park, downtown Ludington, Michigan
When: Saturday, August 10, 10-5 and Sunday, August 11, 10-4

The call

Come on out! Say hello! Sign up to win a skelly print! And tell all your friends!

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I am spookily delightful!

Here’s a sweet article about my “Greetings from St. Augustine” series in EU Jacksonville magazine. Thank you, Jennifer! It’s fabulous!

Marie Marfia’s Quirky Skeleton Art is Spookily Delightful

To celebrate, I’m putting “Still Got It” on sale this week in my web shop. All iterations of this skeleton piece are 25% Off through Sunday, October 21, 2018. Happy skelly shopping!

I Still Got It, pastel painting of a skeleton surfing the waves off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida

©2014 Marie Marfia, I Still Got It, 16×20” pastel on paper.

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I’m reading about corpses, coffins and crypts

Corpses, Coffins & Crypts–A History of Burial by Penny Colman

corpses coffins crypts book

Love the pictures and the author’s conversational style. I found it at my local library. Libraries are so cool. Usually I let Steve pick out books for me but every once in a while I make time to visit the library and I’m always amazed by what I find there. Additional craziness about a dutch embalmer, child skeletons and the tsar of Russia here!

inside of Corpses, Coffins and Crypts, a History of Burial by Penny Colman

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Skelvis!

pastel painting of Elvis as a skeleton doing the Jailhouse Rock

Skelvis! 24×18″ pastel on paper. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

Skelvis rocks!

When I was in college I did a lip synch video to Elvis’s immortal “Devil in Disguise.” I enlisted the help of my sister and a friend, dressed one like an angel in a pretty white frock and the other in  red flannel underwear with a tail and horns. They took turns dancing on my shoulders throughout the song through the use of video magic (well, it was magic back then). I was dressed as a tele-evangelistic minister in a sharp suit and tie, with my hair slicked back and holding a leather-encased bible.

Flash forward to this week when someone asked me if I’d yet done Elvis as a skeleton. The suggestion immediately brought back all the fun we had making that video. Truly, it was the highlight of my college career, not even kidding.

When my dad saw it later, I heard he laughed himself silly. High praise indeed.

To paint The King, I needed just the right reference photo. I didn’t find Devil in Disguise but I did find Jailhouse Rock. Looking it over, it occurred to me that a ribcage can look a lot like a striped uniform shirt, and well, he came together pretty quickly after that.

Here’s a couple of videos of the process:

And now all that hip-shaking sexiness is available for you to have for your very own! The original (18×24″ on paper, unmatted and unframed) is $600 and in my shop. You can also have him to grace your walls as a canvas wrap print, paper print, or a greeting card.

Do you know someone who loves the King and skeleton art? Please share.


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Pastel painting of a skeleton posing in a formal gown

All framed up…

….and some place to go. She’s such a little drama queen. I think putting her in an ornate gold frame was a good idea. It’s the perfect finish and gives her a truly Old (Dead) Masters feel. I took a picture of her in the garden behind my house. She’s looks quite the coquette, hiding behind those purple leaves.

Madame X-Ray, framed up and ready for the show! Sold!

Madame X-Ray will be at The Red Sable beginning on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 along with three others from the Old (Dead) Masters series, plus seven paintings from Greetings from St. Augustine and three Skelly Dancers. They’re going to be there all October, along with matted 5×7″ prints and small notecards. I’ve already sold one piece from the O(D)M (I’ll tell you all about it on a later post), but Madame is available for $270, which includes her splendid gilded frame. Contact me if you’d like to purchase her.

You’ve got some place quiet and secluded for her to be, don’t you? She won’t want to compete with anyone else for space. And even though she’s small, just 10 inches wide by 14 inches tall with the frame, she’s going to command a lot of attention. Drama queen, remember?


Pastel painting of a skeleton posing in a formal gown
Madame X-Ray reproductions available!

For Madame X-Ray fans, please note. You can download a pdf or jpg file of Madame X-Ray for personal use in my Etsy shop or you can purchase a version printed on practically anything in my Fine Art America shop. You can also find her in my Signed Cards shop. Enjoy!

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Original art

What’s in my head?

I’m not sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s trying to get out. Up next is my skelly version of a lovely Edward Degas Blue Dancers painting. Since I love them so much, it’s only proper that I flay them down to the bone for my own amusement. Wonder if there’s an easier way to draw a rib cage? Maybe model the thing as a solid form and then put in the negative space? These are kicking my behind for sure. Glad I got the deluxe skeleton model from American Science and Surplus, otherwise I’d be truly lost.

Original art
Blue Skelly Dancers, Marie Marfia, 16×16″ pastel on paper. Sold.

Report on the Steampunk Art Show

Success! My friend’s crafty steampunk “Ladies ARTillery” display drew lots of people who took pictures and signed up for a  mailing list and bid on the silent auction item. This Airship Purse in particular got lots of oohs and aahs all night. Not surprising, really. She makes awesome stuff.

First Coast Pastel Society Member Show at the Jewish Community Alliance, September 4-30, 2015

I’m submitting two recent skelly paintings to this show, Skelly Dance at Bougival and Madame X-Ray. If you’ve never been to the JCA, it’s a beautiful facility on San Jose Boulevard, just north of Baymeadows. Here’s the address: 8505 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32217. There is no opening reception for this show, so check the hours, and then come when you like to enjoy wonderful pastel art by local artists.

Coming up

Here are some pics I took at the beach last night, while out enjoying the cool breezes with my beloved. I will get busy turning them into awesome pastel paintings, so stay tuned. And then after that, I have ideas for about a dozen more skelly paintings, and then there’s the show at the Red Sable in October, plus a half dozen other ideas stewing around in my brain pan. It’s good to be busy.

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