Tag Archives: sky

Dark Clouds

pastel painting of clouds over Lake Michigan with dune grass and snow in the foreground.

Dark Clouds, 6×9″ pastel on sanded paper. ©2018 Marie Marfia

Had a delightful lunch with the woman who used to be our mail carrier when we lived here last. Small towns are like that. You know everyone and everyone knows you. Since we moved back it’s been fun renewing old friendships. Marcie was the person that my daughter Alice brought with her to Special Person day in something like first or second grade. They got along pretty great. I know Marcie was tickled to be asked.

After lunch we looked at pictures of my kids, including a video of Nick playing with fire. And did you know my other daughter Sam has a book on Amazon? I forgot to tell Marcie, but I’ll mention it next time I see her.

This painting is a result of me seeing a bright light out on Lake Michigan while I was driving past the dunes on the way out to the state park. Turns out it wasn’t aliens, which are always a possibility in my mind, but the reflection of the sun peeking through dark clouds. I love living here, have I mentioned?

This painting is on ebay as of 9pm tonight. Bidding starts at 99¢.

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Birthdays

pastel painting of the Lake Michigan beach with snow and clouds

Birthdays, 9×6″ pastel on sanded paper. ©2018 Marie Marfia.

Man, are we getting old. My oldest brother, David, is now 70. My youngest brother, Stephen, just turned 50.

Holy crap. I never expected to get this far. Not that I thought I’d die of a drug overdose or anything like that. I just never really thought about what it would be like to be 57 (now almost 58) years old. I remember imagining how weird it would be to reach 40 in the year 2000 back when I was a teenager. But I never considered what it would mean to live to be so (to me) ancient.

So here we are, all of us older than we feel. Does this happen to you? Do you catch your reflection unexpectedly sometimes, like going past a mirror at Wal-mart or seeing yourself in a window downtown or even bothering to watch yourself brush your teeth, and thinking, “Who the heck is that? Wait, that’s me. How did I get so old?”

The same way anybody does, baby. One fricking day at a time.

At least, if I keep up my daily painting practice, by the time I’m 80 I’ll have hundreds and hundreds of paintings to remind me of every single day.

This painting is on ebay as of 9pm tonight. Bidding starts at 99¢.

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Convergence

pastel painting of a road, snow and lake

Convergence, 6×9″ pastel on sanded paper. ©2018 Marie Marfia

I did not want to come in to the studio today. If you didn’t know, three weeks ago I fell while walking in the woods and my leg has been achy ever since. It’s maddening to still be limping around, gobbling ibuprofen and whining all this time later.

When I woke up today and the pain hadn’t magically disappeared overnight (again!) I wanted to crawl back under the covers and sleep the day away. But I remembered I had a bag of trash that needed to be set out on the alley, and I needed to paint a pastel for the day (hadn’t brought home my travel pastel kit), and oh, half a dozen other things.

On my way to put out the trash I noticed the door to one of the apartments in the building next door had swung open sometime overnight so I closed it because I’m a good doobie. I stopped and caught up with Hannah, who has the dog grooming business up the street from me. I got this painting done and I like two things about it (the line of red brush and the sky).

I named it Convergence because of random events that happen when I set myself on a path and because I’m attracted to compositions that meet up somewhere off center. I’ve noticed that a lot of my landscapes feature roads or paths that end before they reach the horizon and that’s something worth thinking about. I have a pretty good hunch about it. I’ll let you know when I have it sorted out in my head.

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pastel study of a child running along the beach

Sam’s Glee

This is less about the sky, although that’s important, than it is about Sam running freely down the beach. You can’t see him, but Nick is right behind. Maybe I’ll add Nick when I do a larger version of this one. For now, the contrast between skin and sand and sky are what made me want to try this one.

pastel study of a child running along the beach

Sam’s Glee (at beating his younger brother in a race on the beach), 5×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

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Stormy Weather

This study is based on another picture looking out at the end of US-10 in Ludington, probably late fall. That’s the time of year when the sunsets are spectacular and the clouds fly low and dark at the end of the day. I’m really looking forward to being up there again, doing more clouds. This series has been an eye opener for me in a lot of ways.

First, I’ve discovered that I really like painting clouds, and the moodier they are the better I like them. Second, it’s good practice to be looking up all the time instead of down. Just gives you a better outlook on life, I think.

pastel painting of a sunset with low clouds

Stormy Weather, 5×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

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pastel painting of a sunset over a downtown intersection

Sunset Downtown

This study is from a picture I took while driving around downtown Ludington, not sure of the exact year but I know it was probably November. November is when you get the fiery sunsets reflected against heavy clouds rolling in over Lake Michigan. It’s awesome and dramatic, probably why I took the picture in the first place, although back then I wasn’t doing any painting at all. Just taking pictures for some nebulous future time when I’d have leisure to do something with them. Now I know that future time is the same as now time and if you’re going to do something, it’s best to do it now.

pastel painting of a sunset over a downtown intersection

Sunset Downtown, 5×8″ pastel on mi teintes Touch paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

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pastel painting of tree line with clouds

Behind the Treeline

This is a painting taken from a photo of clouds looming from beyond the trees on our way home from the beach one day. I wanted to leave some evidence of the original drawing in this study. I like my initial sketches and sometimes feel it’s a shame to cover them up!

pastel painting of tree line with clouds

Behind the Treeline, 5×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

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Nick and Abby, Warm and Cool

I did these two studies while I was working at the Attic last weekend. I combined two different photos for the reference and then tried it twice, once on warm toned paper and once on a cool toned paper. Which do you like best?

child and dog on the beach on warm toned paper

Nick and Abby, warm, 5×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

Nick-and-Abby-cool-800

Nick and Abby, Cool, 5×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

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pastel of night clouds

Noctilucent Clouds

This sky painting is based on pictures I saw on the National Geographic twitter feed, talking about noctilucent clouds, which aren’t visible this far south in Florida, but which I hope to see once I move back north to Michigan. I didn’t copy the pictures for this painting, but instead I tried to remember what the clouds looked like and devised a landscape from my head to match.

pastel of night clouds

Noctilucent Clouds, 5×8″ pastel on paper by Marie Marfia. $75, unframed. Contact me to purchase.

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