pastel of autumn leaves in the woods

Fire in the Woods

I walked every day in the school forest back in Ludington, Michigan, where we used to live. I always brought my camera with me in case something caught my eye. Today, as I was looking through iPhoto for inspiration, this picture of the red and orange leaves over the forest canopy with a bright blue sky jumped up and down in front of me. “Pick me! Pick me!” it said. So I did. It’s available on ebay.

pastel of autumn leaves in the woods

Fire in the Woods, 4×6″ pastel on sanded paper by Marie Marfia ©2015. Available on ebay.

Here are some more work in progress shots of Cheyenne, too.

pastel portrait, work in progress

Cheyenne, WIP, 10×8″ pastel on Canson paper by Marie Marfia ©2015

pastel portrait, work in progress

Cheyenne, WIP, 10×8″ pastel on Canson paper by Marie Marfia ©2015

pastel portrait, work in progress

Giants in the Woods and Cheyenne, WIP

My new pastels came! I ordered a portraiture set of Senneliers because, duh, I needed them.

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I immediately started on a picture of one of Nick’s best friends back when we lived in Ludington, Michigan. Her name was Cheyenne and she was an awesome kid. I used to ask her to please keep Nick out of trouble, and truly, I think she probably egged him on to do all kinds of things he wasn’t supposed to do, like crawl around the storm sewers (“I dropped something down there,”) and break into the county health department building (“The door was wide open, Mom!”). She was a straight A student and I remember hoping it would rub off on Nick. It didn’t. But that’s another story.

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You can see that I used a grid after trying to get a likeness without one. Just not happening, but I tried, so I’m happy about that. A little loose vine charcoal never hurt anybody. I’ll post more progress shots of Cheyenne as I go along. I didn’t get her finished today, but probably tomorrow.

And here’s the warm up pastel that I did this morning, available on ebay. This is a picture that I took while walking in the Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was absolutely humbled by the size of these trees.

pastel painting of trees

Giants in the Woods, 7×5″ pastel on Canson (sand) paper by Marie Marfia ©2015. Available on ebay.

Dappled Path and Hello Sailor

Here’s another small landscape available on ebay. I think of them as woodscapes, ’cause that’s where I am when I take the picture. This one was pretty quick to do, maybe twenty minutes. And then I was on to the next thing…

woods scape in pastels

Dappled Path, 5×7″ pastel on Canson (sand) paper by Marie Marfia ©2015. Available on ebay.

…Which was another skeleton painting. Mer-skelly. Skelly-maid. Something like that. She’s sitting on a rock and waving to all the boaters. She’ll be available at the Starving Artist Gallery in St. Augustine. Give me a day or two to frame her up and I’ll run her out there along with more cards and prints.

pastel of a skeleton mermaid

Hello, Sailor 14×11″ pastel on Canson paper by Marie Marfia. Original available for $150 at the Starving Artist Gallery in St. Augustine, Florida.

pastel of a skeleton mermaid

Hello, Sailor (detail) 14×11″ pastel on Canson paper by Marie Marfia. Available at the Starving Artist Gallery in St. Augustine, Florida.

Good morning

I was inspired this morning by a video of one of my favorite pastel artists, Karen Margulis. So I dug out a reference from Julington Durbin Preserve and did a quick painting of a particular stand of trees. The dogs and I always stop here, them for a sniff around and me for a picture. I’ve probably taken this same shot at least a hundred times. The light is always different and I’m always drawn to the way the tree trunks are lit up on the sunny side and how dark they are against the morning sky.

pastel painting of a stand of trees

Good Morning, 5×7″ pastel on Canson (sand) paper by Marie Marfia ©2015. This painting is available on ebay.

I’m still working on portraits, so there will be more of those coming along. They’re harder to do, so I’ve begun doing some “lighter” studies as well, just to give the ol’ melon a break.

Flicker

I remember this guy. Steve and I were busy getting lost on St. George Island last year, stopping and looking at all the feathered friends along the way. So many birds! This flicker’s bright red cap felt like a helpful flag pointing us in the right direction, and we did manage to make it back to the car without having to swim for it after all.

pastel of a flicker

Flicker, 8×10″ pastel on Canson (sand) paper by Marie Marfia ©2015

Portrait number 15

“I see you seeing me.” This portrait of my darling husband Steve is from a picture I have of him on the beach. We had just come out to spend an hour or two at Mickler’s and the sun was low enough that Steve was in shadow and the water was lit up behind him. I was sitting a good distance away with my camera propped on my knees and taking endless pictures of him in his orange shirt, his head down as he searched for shark teeth. Then he looked up and smiled and I got a nice photo.

man's portrait in pastel

I see you, 9×12″ pastel on Canson paper (sand) by Marie Marfia, ©2015

Portrait number 14

This time I limited my palette to 9 colors until I was mostly done and then I added another four to complete it. This is Sam, my middle child.

man's face in pastels

Labyrinth, 7×5″ pastel on Canson paper (sand) by Marie Marfia ©2015

I think that I will be doing some of these again. So, if you see the same face another time, it’s not you, it’s me.