The Passage, oil pastel

The Passage is my third submission into the 2013 Annual Oil Pastel Society competition.  The scene is located in Scotland.

The following is a wonderful description of the area from Wikipedia, “Bealach na Bà is a historic pass through the mountains of the Applecross peninsula, in Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands—and the name of a famous twisting, single-track mountain road through the pass and mountains.

“The road is one of few in the Scottish Highlands that is engineered similarly to roads through the great mountain passes in the Alps, with very tight hairpin bends that switch back and forth up the hillside and gradients that approach 20%. It boasts the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, rising from sea level at Applecross to 626 metres (2,054 ft), and is the third highest road in Scotland.

The name is from the Scottish Gaelic: Bealach nam Bò for Pass of the Cattle, as it was historically used as a drovers’ road.”

The beauty of this place was an immediate attraction for me, as well as the distant views.  I knew I would be challenged to properly represent the perspective of distance and steepness of the hillsides – I was thrilled to work on such a piece.  The painting (14×11) has a black and white acrylic underpainting that provided a good guide for laying down values.

The Passage

The reference image was from photographer, Rosemary Marsh of pmp. 

About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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49 Responses to The Passage, oil pastel

  1. cmartzloff says:

    This is breathtaking!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Mamie, I’m so sorry I never responded to your wonderful comment – I didn’t make it into my notifications. Thank you ever so much, I always appreciate your thoughts and feedback.

  2. Francesca says:

    The scenery is really breathtaking. I won’t say anything because I do not want to jinx it but you sure deserve to win.

  3. Pink Saucer says:

    This is beautiful Mary…. The landscape is effortlessly speaking up! 🙂

  4. It’s gorgeous, Mary!! I love the depth and the scenery is stunning! All the best of luck in the competition! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      You are very kind Calee, thank you very much. The reference image really struck me, a fantastic scene to paint oil pastels – appreciate your good wishes!

  5. Petronette says:

    This is also a great painting !
    Beautiful colors, depth, details, …..

  6. This is very beautiful, and I could sit and look at it for hours. This is the kind of artwork that I wish my walls were covered with.

  7. doronart says:

    Mary wow that some painting.. all the series was very serious… You are very talented and that is a great win for itself… glade I found you here to watch and enjoy your work. Good luck.

  8. iarxiv says:

    Lovely sense of depth in this one (and the colours and composition of course!) 🙂

  9. violetski says:

    The is really beautiful , Mary ❤️

  10. Jane Lurie says:

    Wonderful painting, Mary. I am drawn to blues and greens. Love the way the path leads me in.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jane, thank you so much for your kind comments. The reference image showed a very dreary place, I took a little artistic license and brought some life to the scene. So glad you enjoyed the colors.

  11. Mary, this piece is remarkable. The mountain fading in the background give the painting the depth and of field. The road also suggests the viewer the long path and vastness of this place, and brings us into the painting. Wish you much success in the competition 😀

    • Mary says:

      Hi Patricia, thanks so much. I like how you describe the areas of the painting that spoke to you – really appreciate your feedback on this piece. I totally got lost in this scene when painting it.

  12. poppytump says:

    Wishing you the very best Mary !
    This is on a grand scale indeed in all respects . Gorgeous colours and depth reaching into your canvas .
    Makes me feel I want to dash up to Scotland now … and I don’t say that often as I always think it’s raining there .. totally ridiculous of course 😉

    • Mary says:

      Thank you very much Poppy for your kind comments and well wishes! This place is definitely on my bucket list to visit one day. The original reference image was cloudy, I suspect raining the day it was taken – but didn’t show the beauty of the place. So I decided to give this area of Scotland a little Texas sunshine to warm the land and atmosphere.

  13. This is just beautiful!

  14. artscottnet says:

    It seems it could take a week to travel the distance depicted in this painting… so beautiful… the sky is stunning… incredible work, Mary. Best wishes for the competition

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Scott so much for your beautiful comments. This is a place I would like to visit one day – an interesting place featured in major bike races and films, but the history carries itself as well.

  15. dorannrule says:

    This is really beautiful and certainly worthy of winning any competition. The perspective is phenomenal and I love the color and the feeling that I’m far away looking down at all this beauty.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Dorann, thank you for your generous comments – made my day! The perspective in this piece was my challenge questioning whether I could get the feel of steepness, as well as distance – those areas spoke to me the whole time. I appreciate your feedback.

  16. prewitt1970 says:

    Absolutely beautiful.

  17. Madesa says:

    This is beautiful! Like a beautiful passage to something makes me wonder what a beautiful scenery is behind. The small amount of the sea in this picture makes you want to take that road and see it live.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Madesa, your comments are beautiful to read. I’m so glad that you are transported to the spot and want to explore – that’s a real compliment. Thanks ~

  18. Your values are smack on and lead the eye right down the path. The color is terrific and the sky is really wonderful Mary. Great piece I wish you luck in the competition.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Elena, your comments mean a lot – thank you. I consider you a master in the world of color, so to read your thoughts on the values and colors in this piece – well, you made my night! Thanks ~

  19. Forest So Green says:

    I love the colors and the blue lake. Wonderful view, Annie

  20. Great work as always Mary. It amazes me how you can produce so many high quality works in such a short period of time. I would think that each of your paintings would take days if not weeks of work.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Mark, so nice of you – thank you for your wonderful comments. Actually for the three pieces that I just submitted to the Oil Pastel Society it took about three weeks in total to complete all three of them. This was mainly do to the high temps we had in TX, the OPs kept melting and getting soupy while trying to paint with them – so I had to let the paintings rest over night or for several days. Thanks again ~

      • Thanks for the additional information Mary. It helps me understand the craft better.

        • Mary says:

          Hi Mark – you’re welcome. This medium is unusual from the normal oil paints, in that it comes in stick form and never fully dries. You could touch a piece painted with OPs 5 years later and it will still smear, that’s one of the reasons that it’s framed behind glass. Thanks for asking questions and following my blog – appreciate it very much.

  21. A reblogué ceci sur Ink cherry write and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  22. Mary, I love the depth of this painting. Excellent work, my dear.
    Framing, colors, technique, feeling… beautiful!
    🙂 Happy Monday.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Marina, thank you so much for your generous comments – really appreciate your encouragement. I really enjoyed working on this piece, was a bit anxious by the B&W underpainting but the undertones worked out well. So glad you liked it, hope your Monday is perfect!

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