Waves and journaling

Today’s Writers Almanac features a poem by Jim Harrison, “Searchers,” which inspired this morning’s journal entry. Sometimes it’s easier to draw something than it is to write about it. Somewhere I picked up the idea that I have to fill three pages every morning which makes it feel like a chore and not a meditation. This is more fun. Everybody needs more fun in their life, including me.

The two wave portraits, 105 & 106, are on ebay. 106 is an 8×10″, which will be the new normal, size-wise. I think I’m done with 5×7″s for a while. (I like adding -wise to everything. It makes whatever I’m talking about seem so smart.)

pastel of a wave

Wave Portrait 105, 5×7″ pastel on gessoed mat board, ©Marie Marfia 2014

pastel of a wave

Wave Portrait 106, 8×10″ pastel on gessoed mat board, ©Marie Marfia 2014

morning journal picture

“their eyes fixed on birds and stars,” a line from “Searchers” by Jim Harrison.

Making mistakes

My sister sent me a quote from Neil Gaiman in which he wishes that everyone will make mistakes for the coming new year (this is from a few years ago, so he’s probably changed his mind by now), and I thought it’d be a good mantra for the rest of this year. So, from now on, I’ll be making them as fast as I can.

Here’s a couple more takes on the calla lilies. I like the first one as far as the palette and composition go. The second one, not so much, although it got better once I added blue to the background to neutralize the crazy orange and green going on back there. I think the flowers are starting to resemble Audry II in the movie, Little Shop of Horrors, not a bad thing seeing as it’s one of my all time favorites. And I did a couple of Wave Portraits, too. They’re selling on ebay.

pastel of a wave

Wave Portrait No. 103, 5×7″ pastel on paper, ©Marie Marfia 2014

pastel of a wave

Wave Portrait No. 104, 5×7″ pastel on paper, ©Marie Marfia 2014

Calla Lilies, 14x11" pastel on gessoed mat board, ©Marie Marfia 2014

Calla Lilies, 14×11″ pastel on gessoed mat board, ©Marie Marfia 2014

Calla Lilies, 14x11" pastel on gessoed mat board, ©Marie Marfia 2014

Calla Lilies, 14×11″ pastel on gessoed mat board, ©Marie Marfia 2014

Old Lady Flowers

I wanted to work with the yellow lilies some more this morning so I brought them indoors. I had a piece of black mat board already gessoed so that’s what I used.

I found myself thinking about the phrase, “old lady flowers.” It’s a term a friend used once when she was talking about how another artist painted flowers that were NOT “old lady flowers” and my friend really admired this. I kept thinking about it while I was working.

I thought, I am very nearly an old lady myself. Am I doomed to paint only “old lady flowers”? Would I be able to paint any other kind of flower, even if I wanted to? Is my time to paint other than old lady flowers already gone? What does that even mean, old lady flowers? Are they a variety of rose? Or lilacs? Are calla lilies considered old lady flowers? Who gets to decide? Can the decision be appealed?

It was kind of exhausting. But I think this is a subject that I can explore more, at least with pastels, so I’ll try them again tomorrow. As long as the blooms are cooperating, that is.


That’s how I answer the phone.

I bought a calla lily plant for something to paint. I read somewhere that having fresh flowers every week is an easy peasy way to fill your house with beauty, but it always makes me sad when they eventually droop and die in the vase. So I thought I’d buy some live ones, and then, after I finish painting them, I’ll put them in the ground so that next year I can paint them again.

pastel of a yellow lily flower

“Calla Lily” 7×5″ pastel on paper, ©2014 Marie Marfia

Making do

I went to Guana River State Park last Saturday (April 5), to do some plein air pastel painting with the First Coast Pastel Society, and naturally enough, I forgot to bring my pastels. So I ended up sketching with some charcoal instead and vowed to paint from my studies when I got back home, which I did.

Here are some of the charcoal studies, the small pastel studies and the final picture. I am still undecided whether it’s finished or not, but no harm waiting a while to see if it says anything more to me, like “Hey, you missed a spot!” or something. I liked this point in the woods because the light was just hitting a green wooden bench by a big old tree and it glowed. That’s what I tried to capture with my painting. You can see that I tried a few different compositions beforehand, simplifying it again and again, using different colored papers.

Ultimately, I ended up using black gessoed mat board with the horizon line near the top of the painting and trended all the light bands toward the bench.

pastel of a path through the Guana River State Park

“Trail in Guana River State Park” 14×11″ pastel on gessoed mat board, ©Marie Marfia, 2014.


Back to the water

There’s something very soothing about waves. To me, anyway. I’ve been posting these Wave Portraits on ebay. They’re not selling for a lot, mind you, but that’s okay. I’d rather they were making someone else happy than sitting in a flat file in my studio making me unhappy.

I’ve decided that selling art online is about as simple as it gets and if there’s one thing I like, it’s simple. I don’t have to frame it, I don’t have to mat it, I don’t have to deliver it (the US Post Office does that). I just have to draw it which is the best part.

pastels of waves

“Wave Portrait 101″ and two studies, 5×7″ pastel on paper, ©2014 Marie Marfia

I dreamed I won some money

What does that mean, anyway? I don’t play the lottery. Maybe it was a symbol for something else. Anyone? I already feel lucky that I’m remembering dreams again, so anything extra is just a bonus.

Here’s the latest magic carpet girl. I surrounded her in turquoise because I’m still talking, still expressing myself without censoring. Feels pretty good.

pastel of a woman on a magic carpet

“Still Talking”, detail, 14×11″ pastel on gessoed mat board, ©Marie Marfia 2014