Pink Roses in a Vase, oil pastel

A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places.” Paul Gardner

Pink Roses in a Vase, an oil pastel (8.5 x 5.5) was done on a gesso-prepared hardboard.  The underpainting background was painted with acrylics and the main medium, oil pastels, were mainly Senneliers (creamy) and Holbein (soft) oil pastels.  Tools used to manipulate and spread the OPs were my fingers, clay shapers and a palette knife.

I’m fascinated with 19th century florals, whether they are painted in a traditional style or impressionist, I feel nothing but admiration for those master artists.   Their ability to control the details, mix colors and manage the technicals like values and edges, etc. is the reason they are considered the top class of their time.  Simply put, their work is fascinating to analyze and learn from.

In the case of my painting, I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Gardner.  I was ready to go in and make a few minor adjustments and realized an “interesting place” was achieved so it was time to stop and let it be.

Thanks for checking in ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

Pink Roses in a Vase




About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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76 Responses to Pink Roses in a Vase, oil pastel

  1. So altogether lovely Mary! I’m so proud of you!

    • Mary says:

      So wonderful to hear from you Vickie – thank you for your kind thoughts. Hope you are well and ready for the cooler temps and knowing you, many wonderful snow paintings ready for your paintbrush!!

  2. I of July says:

    The light is inviting… I can see it hanging in the conservatory. Lovely

  3. Heartafire says:

    Perfection in light and perspective!

  4. Madhu says:

    Gorgeous pink bouquet!

  5. Those are beautiful. Very different from your red rose.

  6. jvandervlugt says:

    Mary, I’m just catching up with the blogs I follow. The pink roses are beautiful. I also like the vase! I have such an admiration for artists who paint glass well and you paint glass, amongst other things, very well.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Joanna – thank you so much. I understand about being behind with reading blog posts in my Reader, hopefully one day I’ll catchup. I really appreciate your feedback on these roses and the glass vase – I really enjoy working with simple glass and reflections (cut glass would be another thing though, lol). Hope you have a lovely week – thanks again!

  7. Resa says:

    Simply gorgeous, Mary! I always view the larger image, and I am always rewarded. Great quote!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Resa! Very cool, glad you opened the image sometimes you can get a totally different impression of the painting.

  8. Hi Mary,
    This is beautiful. I opened my reader, and didn’t know it was yours and thought, “now there is a really lovely piece!” And then I saw it was yours. No surprise of course! Glad to see you painting again. 🙂 ~Rita

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Rita for your generous and encouraging words here – can’t tell you how much I appreciate it! I’m glad to be painting again, feels good to use the oil pastels ~

  9. restlessjo says:

    Very pretty, Mary,and yes, that quote hits the nail on the head (very gently 🙂 )

  10. This is a beautiful piece of art work. Lovely, soft, just makes you smile to look at it. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Judy – love your response. I hope that you keep right on smiling, especially with all the beautiful flowers surrounding you these days!

  11. davidjrogersftw says:

    Mary, it’s a beautiful painting of roses in a vase, and the comment about things often being more sufficient than we realize applies to all art, it seems to me. It certainly applies to my writing. Sometime I have the experience of adding, modifying and embellishing only to realize I went much too far. Then I have to backtrack and try to recapture the original inspiration, which isn’t easy.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much David for your thoughtful comments. It doesn’t surprise me that writers feels this tug of war within their writing, as you expressed so eloquently for your own work.

  12. Don’t touch it, Mary! It’s perfect. A dreamy, lovely quality to what is otherwise a realistic still life.

  13. Ahh! These are exquisite – I can almost smell their delicate fragrance.

    A great quote as well. That’s the trick, isn’t it, to stop at an interesting place and resist the temptation to overdo it. At least, that’s how it is for me.

    • Mary says:

      So right Ruth, often times I do go back in – sometimes it works and sometimes I should have left well enough alone. Thank you so much for your description – loved it!

  14. Nice contrast to the last painting regarding colours. We have purchased some Senneliers, wish us luck!

    • Mary says:

      Well now that is very good news – they work beautifully on pastel papers and gessoed hardboards if there is enough tooth. Best wishes and just enjoy the experience of painting with those fantastic slick sticks!! Thanks very much for your kind words.

  15. Amy says:

    You are showing us your beautiful painting stopped in an interesting place.
    Thank you for sharing, Mary! 🙂

  16. Absolutely gorgeous, Mary. The roses are so delicately portrayed here. They look so cosy, nestled together in the beauriful vase. Love your background too. 🙂

  17. So beautiful Mary. Perfect place to stop!

  18. What a beautiful piece, Mary. So alive and free. I wouldn’t change a speck. Lovely work. Not that that’s anything new over here at your place! 💜

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Laura for your generous reaction to the painting. This painting was a good challenge and a lot of learning along the way. Thanks again!

  19. Exquisite work, Mary [as always]! 🙂 xx

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Marina. A strawberry full moon last evening, last one to see for some 40+ years – moon was behind our trees so we couldn’t get a view of it. Hope all is well my friend.

  20. This is stunning, Mary! Your talent continues to amaze me.

  21. Beautifully, delecately, rendered, Mary

  22. Beautiful as ever….and yes I love the quote. Janet:)

  23. Ogee says:

    Your fingers make beautiful brushes. 🙂

  24. Arts & Rhymes says:

    This is just beyond gorgeous, Mary! Your oil pastels really inspire me to try them myself! 💕

  25. My heart flutters when my eyes look at this – stunning

  26. Painting for Joy says:

    Soft and romantic. 👍🏻👏🏻 Did you paint from life?

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Rhonda – I like your description. A great question – with a long answer. I had a picture that had only a vase with several roses, the background was a blank green wall with the vase sitting on a green wood shelf. I had some interest in this but saw it in a totally different environment, more of an impressionist style.

      So I developed a background (first layers were done in acrylic) that I thought would support the vision I had and then worked the whole still life with oil pastels – continued to develop the background, the roses were accentuated with additional baby roses and buds not yet opened, and finally some additional petals were added to the table top. The table top became two slabs of rough stone.

      This painting wasn’t an exercise in painting from life, beyond the vase with roses it became a challenge of creativity – in developing what I could see in my minds-eye.

      Thanks so much Rhonda.

  27. Susan Feniak says:

    Mary, I have nothing but admiration for your ability to manipulate OPs!! Another stunner and you have indeed achieved its “interesting place”.

    • Mary says:

      You are so nice Susan – thank you for the amazing compliment. Okay lets get real, there are two paintings I just did and they will probably not see the light of day – the opposite of stunner, if you know what I mean! I find my results all depend on loosing tooth too soon, mixing/blending too much, or just bad drawing skills. When I go bad, I go bad all the way! So thank you my friend for your generous feedback on this painting – means a lot to me!

  28. Very beautiful, your paintings really entice me towards trying oil pastels. I need to do my research, I think another artist has given me her recommendation but I need to seriously look into it. I like the idea that you used an acrylic underpainting, that makes it so tempting because it sounds like you can do some experimenting.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Margaret – I really appreciate your thoughts and hope one day you try out oil pastels. There are a lot of fascinating facets to the medium and luckily lends itself to some really neat underpaintings. Thanks again, appreciate it!

  29. Very lovely, Mary…such a delicate pink. Indeed it’s a good thing to learn–in any of the arts–the difference between “finish” and “stop.”

    • Mary says:

      Thank you very much Cynthia – it’s a hard one to learn, I always want to keep on going after “it”, whatever “it” is when I’m painting. Before the Rosette disease wiped out nearly all our rose bushes, we had a pink bush that was the most gorgeous of all our roses bushes when it was in bloom. You would have loved it ~ have a wonderful evening. Happy Summer to you ~

  30. Perfect just as it is!

  31. Excellent! Very beautiful.

  32. neihtn2012 says:

    Thank you for sharing this insight on your painting process. I like this one, and the previous tulip painting very much.

  33. John says:

    Seriously beautiful work Mary! ❤️👍🏻

  34. Exquisite, Mary, and a great quote!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Sarah for being so generous in your reaction to the piece. Yes the quote really struck home with me, sometimes I go back and “oh no” why did I do that happens! I would imagine the quote applies just as much for when you are creating art as well?

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