Orchard Blossoms, oil pastel

I grew up around apple and cherry orchards, most summers you could find me out there picking the fruit for a summer job.  Nice way to earn extra money, but oh it was exhausting and dirty (from the sprays and cherry juice) work, I loved it.  The stories I could tell!  Where I lived in the Spring all you could see were these beautiful white and pink orchards – really was breathtaking.  I think they would make for a great subject and may do a new series (to be painted over time) of orchards.

Orchard Blossoms (8×10), an oil pastel painting, was painted using a gesso-prepared hardboard.  It’s the first time that I’ve painted tiny blossoms on a tree, a first for everything, but the subject appeals to me considering I grew up with them. These trees are so interesting, gnarly and gorgeous in the Spring – cherry trees have white blossoms and apples are pink.  If you notice this painting has both cherry trees (left-side) and apple trees (right-side).

Hope you enjoy a little of my childhood pastime  .   .   .  click onto image for a larger view.

Orchard Blossoms

My friend Irini Adler, artist and photographer from pmp provided this reference image. 



About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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65 Responses to Orchard Blossoms, oil pastel

  1. Eva PoeteX says:

    This is so enchanting! 🙂

  2. A picture from a storybook childhood. Wonderful!

  3. Mona says:

    What a lovely piece. So serene.

  4. the pages are loading! yes! this captures a dreamlike quality as well…it’s very soothing.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Z! Thanks so much, happy that you enjoyed the piece. Did you purchase a new laptop while in the States w/Windows 8?

      • i waited until i was back in ecuador – there was little time to do any shopping, believe that or not!

        i’m not too crazy w/8.1 – i have extra energy/electricity i my body at times, and maybe that’s affecting the touch screen.. i had to turn the touch screen off on my big desktop (windows 7) but this one (notebook) freezes.. sometimes the mouse doesn’t work so i am glad the touch does.. or sometimes they both freeze… i don’t like that ‘they’ are going to so many trouble shooting/help prompts available while online.. i’ll get ‘you must be connectde to the internet…’

        my email pages are not loading as well; ditto for ‘new post’ which has yet to open when using the usb.. i have to wait til i am in town… it might be new computer vs old computer and has nothing to do with 7 or 8, but the old was quite old and quite slow but out performed the new one when online….

        • Mary says:

          I totally understand the computer is really touchy, my husband hates it when he has to use mine. I’m so not a fan of the left and right sides popping into view when you just glance the top corners with the mouse – the most annoying. I’m still learning about the system and by time I’ve got it figured out, they’ll be announcing a new operating system and no longer supporting version 8! (hope not!)

          • ha! you’re right.. of course, all of these frustrations are beneficial to our brain’s health! when we’re 100, we’ll reminisce on how we witnessed the changes in how we record the written word – from hand-written letters of correspondence to ‘perfect’ carbon type-written copies (gasp, please, never again!) and then to word processors and windows and apple and eventually – i wonder what it will be like when i reach 100?~! back to hand-written correspondence?!

            • Mary says:

              I reminisce now – if you can believe it, we have one of the first electric typewriters in our attic. Very cool, but oh the memories of correcting mistakes, LOL~ Sometimes I’d rather write handwritten letters, they hold a certain personal touch and refined elegance.

  5. dorannrule says:

    Oooooh! This is perfectly charming. I love it.

  6. It’s really lovely, Mary.

  7. Jess says:

    Bautiful! Must have been amazing to live so close to such pretty orchards. And I’m sure all those flowers smelled amazing too!

    • Mary says:

      Jess, thank you! There are about two weeks when the orchards are in full bloom, as far as the eye can see of whites and pinks and is gorgeous. Farmers always hold their breath hoping that Mother Nature doesn’t deal them a blow with a harsh late-season frost. Surprising the blossoms have no fragrance, only beauty for the eyes.

  8. Love, love this piece! You perfectly captured with your soft strokes the time of the year where everything is in full blossom! The pink shades are absolutely delicious just like the promise of good crop to come, the whole scene makes me feel romantic all over!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva, thank you very much. It was a scene that captured so much about my childhood, that I wanted to see how OPs would translate with the blossoms – I’ve got about 4 or 5 more scenes to paint, but will have to wait until the snow scenes are done. I agree with you, there is something very romantic and optimistic about those little blossoms.

  9. Sharon K. says:

    I can almost smell the sweet, clean fragrance of the cherry and apple blossoms.

    This takes me right back to childhood.

    Beautiful, Mary.

  10. patisaac says:

    This is just beautiful, Mary….Reminds me of spring around here.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Pat, means a lot to me. Did I just hear you guys got slammed with another Nor’ Easter and to think that the season has only started.

  11. poppytump says:

    How you’ve captured the brightness and joy in Spring Mary !
    Now why not break open that picnic I know you’ve brought along with you and tell me the stories under the trees there as we watch the blossom petals blow away in the breeze … 😉

    • Mary says:

      Hi Poppy! Thank you and happy that you could experience the specialness of Spring through the painting – so love where you mind took you. Yes we’ll have to have one of those picnics among the trees!

  12. The enlarged view detail is rich and stunning, Mary. We had two cherry trees when I was growing up–the birds beat us to the cherries most of the time–but it was the blossoms that I loved. My favorite time was when they were in full bloom, and your painting reminded me of the afternoons I’d spread a blanket between the blossoms and read my books from the library.
    Thank you.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you Marilyn for opening the image – loved your feedback and comment. Really enjoyed knowing that the piece took you back to special memories from long ago. I have more stories about cherry picking with later paintings – this is a fun subject to paint.

  13. Beautiful Mary, would love to see a series.

  14. Oh to bring the scents and sounds of spring and summer back to us. I love love love this painting. Such delicate blossoms so beautifully presented. The movement, the serenity.

  15. M-R says:

    More of this, puh-lease … (but not an order) 😀

  16. Can we expect a whole series, Mary? I sincerely hope so.

    • Mary says:

      Hi John, thank you! I’m going to try to sprinkle one in here and there as I continue with my other projects. Thanks so much – this was a lot of fun just getting lost in the whole atmosphere of an orchard field.

  17. This one is so lovey, Mary! Hugs, N ❤

  18. Maybe the stains of cherry juice on your hands prepared you for the colors of oil pastels on your hands as you come to the end of a day’s work now? 🙂 These blossoming trees are truly lovely, Mary. We don’t have the cherries, here, in western Maine, but there are plenty of apples to be picked! Do you do still-life paintings of the fruit, too?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Cynthia – did you get snowed under? Heard there was some 20+ inches up there in Maine – I’ll bet it was gorgeous. Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts – ha, actually it was so sticky (sour cherries – picked in June are very juicy and sticky, while sweet cherries [dark purple skins] are more solid and less juicy) the dirty aspect of it was picking the cherries with all the spray on them. But today they have cherry shakers, so funny to watch as they shake the heck out of the tree. I have one painting of cherries under my still life gallery up above – will have to paint more of both.

  19. Leya says:

    my beloved grandparents had an orchard, and here you really take me back to those beautiful old days!

  20. Jane Lurie says:

    Love this one, Mary, and the memories behind the painting.

  21. lulu says:

    I like the painting better than I like the idea of picking either apples or cherries!

    • Mary says:

      So funny, you crack me up. Hi Lulu – thank you and to tell you the truth it was a lot less messy painting (even with my fingers) than what it was picking the sticky fruit!

  22. Gallivanta says:

    A lovely remembrance, Mary. A series of blossom paintings would be wonderful. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Gallivanta and I’ll try to fit one in every once in a while. It was interesting making blossoms with these sticks of OPs – they’ll get better over time.

  23. Francesca says:

    This is beyond lovely, Mary! The colors are so beautiful!

  24. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Lovely memories and a great diversion from your normal artistic venues!

  25. Painting for Joy says:

    I can only imagine how lovely it must have been to be among all those beautiful trees! And the scents you enjoyed! What a fun story. I adore this painting Mary. You’ve captured the essence of the trees in the orchard beautifully!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Rhonda, thank you so much – orchard trees are a part of my past and still in my family’s blood. I had to give OPs a try at these, we’ll do more for sure!

  26. Oh, how I missed your beautiful work, Mary… and this… cherry trees always bring a smile, but yours is like a breath of fresh air! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      I was thrilled to see you again – missed you and have thought of you often. There is nothing better for me to read that the painting takes you to a happy place – Spring has a way of doing that! Take care, big Texas hugs coming your way ~

  27. Beautiful Mary, Thankyou for sharing part of your childhood with us.

  28. Don says:

    The yellow in the grass absolutely sings with the purple in the trees Mary. Really like it.

  29. Beautiful painting Mary. It makes my day feel like spring!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Tim, it is kind of weird to paint a spring painting this time of year – but something struck me about it and wanted to showcase what’s is only 6 months around the corner (ha) before I start on my snow paintings. Hello to Mary!

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