15 Paintings Challenge – Flowers: Forsythia’s in Winter, #14

I really planned to have this painting finished yesterday, but you know how things go ~ happy to say that #14 is completed.  Forsythias forced to bloom indoors during Winter is a perfect way to brighten up even the coldest and darkest days of the season.  So when I saw a little mention of this by my friend Cynthia Jobin, well I couldn’t resist the urge to surprise her!

#14 Forythia’s in Winter is an oil pastel (10×8) painted on a prepared gesso hardboard, starting with an acrylic underpainting first and after it dried two coats of “clear” gesso was applied to give the surface tooth.   Click onto the image for a larger view ~

Forsythias in Winter

Hope you enjoy Cynthia, especially now that Spring has arrived in your neck of the woods!


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
This entry was posted in Challenges: Subject Matter Studies, Flowers, OPs New Paintings and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to 15 Paintings Challenge – Flowers: Forsythia’s in Winter, #14

  1. pizzuti says:

    I was trying to pick a favorite and then I scrolled down and saw this one 😉

  2. lesliepaints says:

    This is beautiful. The whole idea of them blooming while winter is carrying on outside the window really ads to the feeling in this.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Leslie, thank you so much for your feedback and thoughts. Cynthia’s comment on her blog set the whole idea in motion for the painting – when winters drag on we need that something extra to make the days a bit warmer and colorful inside. Glad you enjoyed!

  3. Beautiful painting. Love the warm colors.

  4. farbvielfalt says:

    Very interesting and lovely painting! But for me totaly confusing! Is the story true? In Germany it is always spring when the Forsythias bloom.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much for your feedback and comment. The story is true – because winters are so long and cold in Maine (only just getting daffodils now) typically during February and March people will cut bare branches off Forsythia bushes and bring them indoors to force them to bloom. There is a simple process that you do to create the blooming (I’ve seen some youtube videos on this) and in a short time the branches are blooming – the effect is really beautiful and a wonderful way to offset the winter. You’re right they do bloom in the Spring, but you can force them indoors which is great offset in winter.

  5. Susan Feniak says:

    Superb! I love this one.

  6. I really LOVE this one! Each branch glows with personality. Wonderful!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Elena – this was one of the most interesting scenes to work out with the OPs. Thank you I really appreciate your enthusiasm!

  7. Oh lordy.. Prospero is right! There is the grand piano, stood-up on its keyboard edge! I am nonplussed! We have poetry, painting and music all at once!

    • Mary says:

      Ah and don’t you just love it Cynthia! Leave it to Prospero to give a whole new definition to your scene and one that I have to say I love. Okay someday the surprises will continue – for now enjoy your weekend and hope it is beautiful in the wonderful world of Maine!

  8. exiledprospero says:

    The window–oh so gelid–seems to outline a grand piano, adding a touch of musicality to your yellow flames.

    • Mary says:

      Oh my Prospero just love your interpretation of the scene – hmmm a piano you say? Well now I suppose that could be decorating the corner and really lending way to a grand time making it oh so warm inside and leaving the chilling winter outside! Perfect description in yellow flames against the magical time of musicality! Thank you so much for joining in the fun! Have the most pleasant weekend – hi to Ariel!

  9. Light and airy, love the softness of the yellow and blue against the hard wood table. Wonderful contrasting. The reflection on the table is just super delicious, the properties of the glass vase is just perfectly executed. All your flower paintings with a window cell are my favorites, the incoming light lends such a beautiful aura to the set up scene, just delightful to see. One more to go and I’m wondering what will be your choice of flower for no:15.
    Have a most wonderful weekend!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva, hope you have a wonderful weekend too! Thanks so much for your analysis and perspective on this floral – a lot of the pieces came together the more I gave thought as to the focal point, secondary subjects and bringing the magic of a winter scene outside. This piece was a lot of fun to work out. Thank you and #15, well I had all kinds of plans and then . . . well you have to see for yourself. All the best for a great weekend!

  10. Angie Mc says:


  11. Beautiful and striking colours , the yellow is really zinging

  12. Jackie says:

    Lovely work, Mary! I love the composition and your idea for the Forsythias. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  13. Amy says:

    Beautiful, delightful, and romantic! Love this one, Mary. 🙂

  14. Beautiful and refreshing…. 🙂

  15. Heartafire says:

    this is an excellent work of art, the vase, the water, the folds of the blue curtain, splendid!

  16. What a nice surprise, Mary! And I am really very touched. I love everything about it. The suggestion of heavy snow drifts outdoors while spring insists on flowering indoors is very successful. There is a masterful contrast of the primaries…the soft cool blue of the drape and the deep warm reds of the wooden table, set off by the delicate branches of yellow blooms give it a Japanese, Zen-like feeling. It would be the perfect illustration for my poem “Among Other Things.” Thank you for a most wonderful painting!

    • Mary says:

      I’m thrilled Cynthia that you enjoyed this painting – how could I not paint you the Forsythia’s after your muse about them? Totally love how you described those parts of the painting that speak to you – I had fun planning this out and actually sat on it a while until I could think through the process of creating the snowy outdoors again the warmth indoors. Actually loved working the scene – thanks for the thought! Have a wonderful weekend.

  17. That’s absolutely beautiful, Mary! You can do it all!

  18. Lee says:

    Very beautiful.

  19. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Oh, I do enjoy this one! Such a lightness about it and that blue in the curtain is the perfect foil to the brightness of the yellow. And….I love the little tieback on the curtain and how you used a darker colour to kind of tie it all together (excuse tie-back pun!) 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi A!, thanks very much – I do appreciate your nice description. Your analysis caught a whole lot of the nuances of the painting!! Have a great weekend.

  20. Beautiful as always, Mary. The yellow flowers are super.

  21. So lovely, Mary. The drapes look as pretty as the flowers. 🙂

  22. Painting for Joy says:

    Love it! The color contrasts are beautiful.

  23. I didn’t know Forsythias could be forced to bloom indoors, Mary. Thanks for the tip! And thanks for sharing your beautiful painting.

    • Mary says:

      Oh yes Geralyn, there are lots of instructions on the internet for this technique. It’s especially nice when you deal with so much cold weather – a bit of a warmth to the indoors. Thanks ~

  24. Very nice Mary. You have really captured the forsythias well!~Rita

  25. Lovely… And a refreshing idea for warming a winter’s day! 🙂

  26. Delicately beautiful, Mary! 🙂

  27. Marick says:

    Brrr 😦 After the long hard winter where I live, this reminder of the season has come much too soon for me! I like the icy blue colour of the curtain… nice touch.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Pauline, I do understand (especially those that live in the Northeast and experienced the brutal effects of this past winter) – the snow was a gesture for a special blogging friend. Thanks for your comment on the curtain! Have a wonderful weekend.

  28. John says:

    Always lovely work 😊

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