Red Roses Series, #3 – oil pastel

“A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art”, Paul Cezanne

This painting happened to be based off of a photograph I took of a bouquet of red roses I picked from a gorgeous rose bush we had in our front yard.  It was our favorite bush, but sadly this was the last batch of roses I was able to cut as the bush succumbed to the rosette virus that is deadly to rose bushes.   So you could say that a lot of emotion went into the making of this painting ~ thank you Mr. Cezanne, he was so right.

Red Roses Series #3, an oil pastel (10×8) was painted on Mi-Teintes pastel paper (poppy red).  The paper provided an overall warm undertone to the otherwise dark background that allowed the bouquet of red roses to stand on their own as they are surrounded with a soft warm glow of light reflecting off the table surface.  Sennelier and Holbeins OPs were used because of their creaminess and beautiful array of colors – both brands worked well for the look and feel I was after in this piece.

Hope you have a wonderful week ahead, thanks for checking in ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

Red Roses series #3



About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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85 Responses to Red Roses Series, #3 – oil pastel

  1. Passion! It’s the passion which makes this painting an emotional experience…the roses and the red…what could we ask for more passion?

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Robert – oh yes you got it. I’ve yet to see a bouquet as gorgeous as this batch was when I picked those roses from our bush – passion was in total abundance while painting this piece.
      I’ve actually painted the arrangement before, you can see it in my still/life flower gallery above – the first time the roses were placed on a windowsill with the light streaming in from the outside, a totally different feel to that painting but just as rewarding.

  2. Genie says:

    Such a joyful painting, it’s a delight to the eyes and heart. ❤️

  3. Jet Eliot says:

    Wow, Mary, this painting is exquisite. Rich with color, warm with love. You must be very glad you captured it here, given the sad demise of the rose bush. Although I have always enjoyed all your paintings, I think this is one of your finest yet. Congratulations.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much jet for your lovely thoughts on this painting – it means a lot that you’ve enjoyed the roses. Appreciate your compliment too – hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

  4. Gloria Ester says:

    Beautiful. I’m loving your Rose series. I hope you’ve been well. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      What a wonderful surprise Gloria, so happy to see you. Thank you for your beautiful comment. I’m well, we’ve been away so time to paint has been limited, but I’m getting ready to get back at it. Thank you my friend and the same to you – hope you are well.

  5. Another beautiful rose painting Mary! What I like best in this one is the vase… the reflections on the vase, and on the table are just terrific! ~Rita

  6. These gorgeous roses make me feel for you. How sad to see such a lovely bush succumb to insects. 😦

    I never would have thought to use coloured paper for painting. (This is a non-artiste speaking.) That opens up a lot of possibilities – and the results are stunning, as you’ve shown. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Ruth, thank you!! Using colored paper with oil pastels is very interesting, especially if you scratch at the surface – the colors can be magic coming through. Thanks again ~

  7. aFrankAngle says:

    Excellent work, Mary! …. and you used a wonderful adjective in your words for this one … creamy.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Frank, so happy to see you. Wondering how this summer has been treating you, golfing and the course (bet you are loving it). Thank you so much and glad you enjoyed the painting ~

      • aFrankAngle says:

        Working at the course is different than I expected. It’s a private course, but the pro shop seems like Grand Central Station … a lot going on … and fast. I’ve gotten more hours than I anticipated, and that’s contrary to my wife retiring this past April. So like anything in life, plusses and minuses. All well with you?

        • Mary says:

          Sounds like you took on a busy role there at the course – hope you are enjoying yourself. It’s been busy here – we traveled back East for a Nieces wedding. Was great to see all the vineyards, apple and cherry orchards – all spelt “home” to me. Will be back painting soon.

  8. What a wonderful explosion of red, Mary! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hello my friend, happy to see you. Wonderful to read your reaction to the roses – thank you so much! Hope you are well and that the world around you has settled down. We’ve been away and will be able to get back to painting shortly.

      • Hi, my dear Mary and welcome back! I’m at the moment taking a short break from a very heavy schedule, hoping to be back -full force- on Monday to continue! All the best to you and happy summer painting! 🙂

  9. Paul Beech says:

    Dear Mary,

    I love the Cezanne quote and believe it holds good for poetry too. But your vase of red roses knocks me for six. So gorgeous.

    My mum’s wedding bouquet was red roses and my dad bought them for her every anniversary. It would have been their 70th last week and the family flower arrangement placed on their grave was red roses with gypphelia.

    I placed two red roses more because my first book, coming out soon, is dedicated to their memory. It was a beautiful moment, rather uncanny in a way, and I’ve written a poem about it called ‘A Blessing’.

    My very best,


    • Mary says:

      Hi Paul, this meant so much to me – thank you for sharing. Amazing how many people love red roses and the meaning/memories they bring to them – in your case it was your mother. Very touching to read your message. How special that you’ve written “A Blessing,” because it is a true blessing. Thank you Paul ~ (best wishes on your book).

  10. violetski says:

    So beautiful! Love red roses and love this painting ❤️

  11. Gorgeous, Mary. 🙂

  12. pizzuti says:

    Beautiful, it has a nice glow to it.

  13. Alok Singhal says:

    I felt it has slightly more color around the object, that is taking away the contrast. Don’t you feel so?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Alok, thank you for your feedback. I can see why you would say that, but in person the background color behind the vase and around it is more of a quiet yellow orche and soft grays, unfortunately my photograph doesn’t properly show it. For contrasts, I didn’t want a high-contrasted painting, a more subdued design was developed for this piece. Appreciate your thoughts ~

  14. The whole series is just amazing!! I’m so glad to be back on your blog, Mary 🙂 the pictures made me happy…kudos to you… ❤ 🙂

  15. Ooh this took my breath away Mary. How you’ve grown.

  16. jvandervlugt says:

    Red and lush. 👍👏 Your painting looks awesome. I like the reflection of the vase too. Excellent.

  17. Susan Feniak says:

    I believe the word is exquisite. For lack of another word, your roses are yummy.

  18. Resa says:

    I’m totally adoring & enjoying your most beautiful roses series!

  19. Painting for Joy says:

    This is a wonderful series Mary! So sad the beautiful bush is no longer with you. Have a great week!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Rhonda, thank you for your kind words. The first blush of roses each year were incredible displays of gorgeousness! Have a wonder week as well ~

  20. Heartafire says:

    Oh, that’s gorgeous!

  21. Amy says:

    Truly beautiful, Mary! Love the special red color of this painting. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Amy for your kind thoughts on this painting – always appreciate your stopping by.

      • Amy says:

        Thank you, Mary for educating me to appreciate fine drawings and paintings through your posts and your art works. 🙂 ❤

        • Mary says:

          Such a kind thing to say Amy, and through your photography I’ve been able to discover that which I might not have ever noticed on my own. Thank you my Texan friend.

  22. A great deal of emotion comes across in this one, Mary…especially poignant when one realizes that the beautiful rose bush is now lost.

  23. Absolutely beautiful, Mary. How lovely that you could keep the memory of this rose bush alive through your painting. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Sylvia. Oh you would have loved this bush, several times a year it would have wonderful batches and these particular roses had 120+ petals, just full and gorgeous. Always had these around the house. It was special alright.

      • So sad that it’s gone, but it lives on in your painting. 😘

        • Mary says:

          Two years ago I did a painting of the same reference only this time the setting was in front of the window where the vase was set. If you look in my gallery of flowers above (under still life) you’ll see that painting. This was one of bouquets that could live on and on.

  24. This is beautiful, Mary. I love the fallen petals. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Jill. Something so soft and delicate about fallen petals, they seemed fitting for the composition. Glad you enjoyed.

  25. You are doing so well with this series, Mary

  26. Wow, yes, I do see melancholy in this painting! And beauty, well that goes without saying. So much drama and the forward rose is almost crying, I feel. Such emotion packed in, and totally love that quote, Mary. Really speaking to me this morning, thank you. ❤️

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Laura – I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this painting. You can’t believe how gorgeous these roses were in person. Something about them was extraordinary – packed with 120+ petals, and a brilliant but then deep dark red blossom. Couldn’t help but love them. Thanks again ~

  27. neihtn2012 says:

    The pastel paper gave your painting a warm and rich background. I liked the way the vase came out, not overpowering and subtly detailed.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Hien, thank you for your description – loved it. This tinted paper is very interesting that produces some great results when big areas are covered with lower range colors and then scraped back. Unfortunately the photograph isn’t the best quality, but your read is correct on the vase as a supporting actor in this piece – thank you so much for noticing.

  28. Lee says:

    Love all that red.

  29. Good morning Mary….I can feel the emotion in this painting – it is absolutely lovely. It is filled with depth and passion.
    I have just finished a book which I think you might enjoy…’Let Me Tell You About a Man I Knew’ by Susan Fletcher. It is a novel about the period when Van Gogh was in the Asylum in Southern France. It’s so beautiful and speaks so well of the artist’s passion and intensity to create. Hope you are enjoying your July 4th holiday. janet:)

    • Mary says:

      Hi Janet, it is a beautiful morning here – hope your early evening is delightful. Thank you so much for your reaction to the painting, loved receiving your kind words. I’ve written your book recommendation down, it sounds like one that I’ll thoroughly enjoy. Thanks again for always being present my friend.

  30. The Smiling Pilgrim says:

    Great pastel work 🙂

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