Portrait number 8

Here’s Cherryl again, but this time the reference photo is one that I took myself. We’d been visiting a fort and she was peeking out behind a doorway, all of her body in shadow and her face glowing. I was scrolling through possible references and this one spoke to me. I tried to get the subtle play of colors in her face, the pink and yellow and green and blue shades all working together.

woman's face in pastels

Cherryl at the Fort, 10×8″ pastel on gessoed mat board by Marie Marfia ©2015

Skelly O’Malley

This is another work in progress skeleton painting, this time of an Irish dancer on the beach. It’s per the suggestion of my daughter’s partner, who’s Irish. Should be done in plenty of time for St. Patrick’s Day, which Sandra says is kind of a Get Out of Lenten Penance Free day in her family. I only wish my own family had thought of it. It would’ve made those interminable 40 days of doing without so much easier if they came with a built in rest day in the middle.

pastel of a skeleton irish dancer

Skelly O’Malley, WIP, 18×12″ pastel on Canson mi teintes paper by Marie Marfia, ©2015


I used to really like Mexican food

I’m working on some more skellies these days. I need at least six new ones to refresh what I’ve already got out on the market. Here’s one in progress.

two skeletons talking on a street

“I used to really like Mexican food. Now it goes right through me.” 14×11″ pastel on Canson mi teintes paper by Marie Marfia ©2015

Portrait number 7

I finally gave up on the face I’ve been trying to paint for the last week and decided to move on. Life’s too short to spend it being frustrated all the time. This is a portrait based on a photo that a friend sent to me. It’s one of my all time favorite pictures of her and it still makes me laugh. (Thanks, Cherryl!)

woman with a parrot on her head in pastels

What Parrot, 10×8″ pastel on gessoed mat board by Marie Marfia ©2015

Number 6

My daughter kindly organized all the family photos while she was here and I have been going through some old pictures of friends. This portrait is taken from a picture from a camping trip on North Manitou Island in Michigan. We took a ferry from Charlevoix across Lake Michigan and hiked to our campsite. There wasn’t a store on the island so you had to pack everything you’d need for three days. Someone in our group carried in a whole case of beer. We had a great time hiking and camping and howling at the moon. Man, that was over 25 years ago! I still remember it like it was last week.

pastel of a woman's face

Fraser, 10×8″ pastel on gessoed mat board by Marie Marfia ©2015

Number 5

This is a painting of Nick, watching his dad and uncle playing the bean bag toss game. (We call it something else, but I don’t want to type that here.) I tried hard to get his nose right and the angle of his eyes and the curve of his lips. The funny thing is, when I’m concentrating so hard on a small thing, everything else fades away and it’s hard to see the picture as a whole again. The picture was taken in late afternoon.

man's face in pastels

Watching the Game, 10×8″ pastel on gessoed mat board by Marie Marfia ©2015



Portrait number 4

I found the reference picture for this painting from my husband’s last birthday party. Steve’s always up for a celebration. It’s just one of the things I love about him. I read a quote from Toni Morrison (her birthday was yesterday) about how she liked writing because no one was telling her what to do then, and I thought about how I’ve spent the past few years searching for someone to tell me what to do, when the fact is, I hate it when people tell me what to do. So today I tried very hard to paint just how I wanted to, without thinking about how anyone else would want me to do it.

painting of a man's face in pastels

It’s My Birthday, 10×8″ pastel on gessoed mat board by Marie Marfia ©2015