Red Rose Series #1, oil pastels

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Aristotle

Who doesn’t like a rose, I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember – they hold a special meaning for me and that is why I’ve decided to do a series of paintings with a concentration on red roses, the symbol of love ~ thank you Aristotle!

Red Rose Series, #1, an oil pastel (5×5) painted on Mi-Teintes pastel paper (poppy red).  I was looking for a way to really warm the background of this first painting that would soften the appearance of the rose.  Sennelier oil pastels were used because they are the creamiest of oil pastel brands and spread very easily on pastel paper; my fingers and clay shapers were the tools of choice to paint this piece.

This particular rose was from a dozen that I received from my husband.  Hope you enjoy your weekend.  Thank you for checking in ~ click onto the image for a larger view.




About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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64 Responses to Red Rose Series #1, oil pastels

  1. Simran kaur says:

    I just wanted to ask if it was okay for me to use your image in my a level art sketchbook.
    Thank you

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for asking to use my art Simran. Please feel free to use the image for your school art project, but do provide credit and recognize me as the owner/artist of the painting. Thank you for asking – I appreciate it very much.

  2. Exquisite, love the dark red!

  3. I of July says:

    I love the mood you create with this one. The colours are rich – it creates atmosphere.

  4. violetski says:

    Ah, such a romantic, velvet color ! ❤️❤️❤️
    Love all the series of red roses dear Mary. Your paintings are always awesome!

  5. Tammi Kale says:

    Absolutely beautiful art!!

  6. Madhu says:

    Love the rich, sensuous feel of this rose Mary. Those sepals almost look real!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Madhu, thanks so much for your response to the single red rose. It was a special painting that started as an experiment on red poppy paper and half-way into the painting it become one of those pieces that felt timeless. Your description is just the reaction I was hoping for. Thank you!

  7. jvandervlugt says:

    Wow Mary. This is done with oil pastels? Hard to believe. It’s stunning. Rich. Red. Velvet. The light and dark on the stem. Stunning. I’ve always enjoyed your work. I’m really looking forward to this series. 👏

    • Mary says:

      Hi Joanna – thank you so much for your generous comments and compliment! Sometimes the oil pastels can get this beautiful dark, rich feel to them and in this case the red poppy pastel paper helped to set the warm atmosphere I was looking for in this painting. Appreciate that you noticed the details – thanks again.

  8. dsaquarelles says:

    it is like velvet! In french “velours” (velvet) rhymes with “amour” (love)!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you very much Dsaquarelles for your comments on this painting – loved your thoughts on velvet! Have a wonderful week ahead.

  9. I thought this was a photograph at first glance. The colours are so rich and vibrant.

    A previous commenter remarked on the mysterious quality in this work, and I agree. I love how the rose is sideways, and it suggests a romantic candlelit setting. Stunning!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for your kind and generous words Ruth – I’m so glad that you enjoyed the painting. I’m looking forward to develop a whole series around these special roses, hopefully they will compliment my vision for the project. Thanks again ~

  10. preeti says:

    Very lovely marry and your painting always awesome

  11. With the darkness there seems to be a mystery about this work and presenting it horizontally is interesting. You say it is 5×5. I presume that’s inches. Why not try 5ft square?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Graham, thank you so much. 5ft square, if only! The largest I have ever painted was 16″ x 20″, but I’m very tempted with this rose series to perhaps use an entire sheet for one of the paintings that would measure 19″ x 25.” This rose painting was more of a study for the paper to see if I could get the both warmth and darkness that I was looking for. Thanks again – I really appreciate your encouragement.

      • Yeah, go for 19×25 and see what happens – it might be the start of something big. I think the image will be quite arresting.

        • Mary says:

          Thank you for the encouragement Graham. Right now I’m painting an 8×10, of another in this rose series – you could say I’m slowly working up to a larger size. I also think that the single rose would work well on the 19×25, so it might get put onto the list. Thanks again ~

  12. This is no country rose…definitely a city rose, a velvet rose, inadvertently dropped into the endless night by Dracula as he was making his Transylvanian rounds….

    • Mary says:

      I love your description Cynthia, so perfect with Dracula hosting the night rounds! Thank you so much, ah yes a city rose it is ~ hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  13. Oh, I love your series of series, Mary! And #1 is a petal-pushing stunner. Yes, I agree with the others. Like velvet! Very-dramatic looking. (I recently read a story about the re-opening of the Ritz Hotel in Paris. Bartender Monsieur Field is still serving the “Chanel Cocktail.” According to the reporter, it’s a blend of gin, Lillet, and Champagne—served with one long-stemmed red rose. And I bet it costs a fortune!)

    Have a creative and productive weekend!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Theadora, thank you so much for your lovely and thoughtful comments – glad you like the painting. Wonderful story about the new cocktail, not surprising it’s call “Chanel Cocktail” and can only imagine the cost of such. Just starting the next piece in the rose series and hope that it too will remind you of the passion that so lives within the core of your most beautiful city. Have a lovely weekend my friend.

  14. Resa says:

    Mary…. wow…. le gasp!!! No words, only a wonderful physical reaction.

    • Mary says:

      Resa you know how to make my day! Thank you so much for you enthusiastic response to the painting, I’ll treasure this as I begin #2 in the rose series!!

  15. Wow, nice present from your husband 🙂 I really like your not conventional framing and the colors you used! And yes, Aristotle is right (how could he be wrong?)

  16. Mary, wow! So dramatic and beautiful. Man, your work always blows me away. It doesn’t matter high key or low, outside or in, seaside or countryside, they are always gorgeous. Thank you for sharing with us.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Laura, love your enthusiasm and appreciate it more than you know. Especially with this painting, it was amazing piece to work out on pastel paper (Senneliers is like lipstick and lays down so beautifully on the paper). Thank you for always being present and resounding support my friend. Have a fantastic weekend.

  17. Wow! Way to start out with a bang, Mary. This is beautiful…can’t wait to see more!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Jill. I just had this very strong feeling as I was painting the rose and could see the continued series grow in my minds-eye. Appreciate your encouragement for the series!

  18. niasunset says:

    so strong, so impressive. Fascinated me dear Mary. Thank you, have a nice day and weekend, Love, nia

    • Mary says:

      Happy to see you Nia – thank you for your generous and lovely thoughts on this painting. Hope you are well and have a wonderful weekend too!

  19. kerlund74 says:

    Fantastic! Simplicity and deep passion combined. Wonderful painting:)

  20. debiriley says:

    so rich, and lovely and deep!
    and I do 100% Agree with Aristotle. 🙂 cheers, Debi

  21. Tom Donovan says:

    Great start to your series, Mary. Especially like the composition – not the usual rose or flower view – and your choice of a low key and warm dark background really allows the image to pop. The sepals and receptacle are beautifully rendered with perfectly placed highlights. Wonderful piece.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks very much Tom for your generous reaction and analysis of the piece. The choice of paper really helped to create the warm background and that worked well in creating the look I was after – your read helped clarify this for me. I’m looking forward to continuing with the rose-series, several more designs to work through. Thanks again, I really appreciate it.

  22. Really lovely, Mary. I love the glow you’ve created on these rich red petals . Stunning work.

  23. Amy says:

    Mary. Reading this quote, I know why your paintings are so special and beautiful. \

  24. Wow! juicy red and beautiful, roses remind me of my mother, it was her favorite flower. While at the river today, I got this inkling need to get some oil pastels and give it a whirl. I need to save up because I want a good brand. I am tempted with Sennelier but will first try out another brand, at least I think for plein air something that isn’t so creamy and expensive!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Margaret and so glad that the rose reminds you of your mother, roses are my favorite flower as well. Can’t wait to see which brand you decide to purchase, Senneliers – creamy is really hard to control and if it’s warm out they’ll start to melt and get greasy in your fingers. Looking forward to seeing what you do with them!!

  25. Jackie says:

    Stunning work, Mary! I hope you have a lovely weekend. 😀

  26. Oh, this is glorious, Mary. I’m always trying to create something similar digitally but have thus far not succeeded!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Sarah – love your reaction. I’m excited about this rose-series project, I had a good feeling going in and this one painting helped me realize where I’ll be taking the rest of the roses. Seeing what you do digitally, there is no doubt in my mind you’ll succeed in creating what you envision – no doubt. Thanks again ~ hope you have a good weekend.

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