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The Pass

Here is my last oil painting "The Pass", oil on canvas, 40x60 cm finished yesterday. And scatch "Old willow", oil on carton, 21x32  cm made 25 years ago from nature (there is my old signature in Ukrainian)..  Actually I did not touch brushes for 25 years.  "The Pass"  I constructed  with the help of my different photos. I tried to keep in mind old Holland masters...I'm sorry I didn't make a larger picture, at least 60x90 cm. Painting reproduction is not perfect, but in my conditions I did everything I could. I will be very grateful for every feedback and harsh criticism.


  • @tassieguy, @Kaustav, @dencal, @BOB73, @Hilary, @MyArtsClub, @MikeDerby I'm interested in your opinions, so I mentioned your names to draw your attention to this post. 
  • I don't have any harsh criticism, @roman. They are beautiful.

    The first is wonderfully realistic and the composition is superb. It looks so natural but you obviously put a lot of thought into it.  The second is very painterly. I love the colour and the brushwork and texture.  :)
  • HilaryHilary -
    edited June 22
    I know you’re looking for critique on your painting of ‘The Pass’ but I don’t feel qualified to do what you ask. 
    I’m sure you planned out the composition very carefully and you certainty captured the billowy clouds to perfection. 
    The truth is that this sort of painting with two thirds grey skies doesn’t appeal to me at all. I hope you understand that this is is a purely personal response.  Other people might think it’s  fabulous. I need more colour , more vibrancy , more contrast in a painting. When I look at all the artists I admire and whose work speaks to me , it’s obvious that I’m attracted to drama and contrast and rich , vibrant colours. 
    The Pass just doesn’t evoke a positive response from me. It’s too bland for my liking . Perhaps I’m bored with looking at the grey skies of Ireland and trust me , we get plenty of those. 
    The second painting is much more to my taste with the bold brushstrokes and high chroma. 
    Looking at both paintings together , it’s hard to believe they were painted by the same artist. Such totally different styles. 
    I hope you don’t find my comments either rude or harsh. If you hadn’t asked me directly for my thoughts , I’d have stayed silent. 
    But you did ask ! 😊

  • @roman the first painting looks beautiful.  I like the lighting on the green hills.  The colors you chose look perfectly natural.  I like that you widened the truck path just as it goes over the hill.  That makes it look more realistic.  The lonely tree on the right looks great with branches shaped naturally.  Even the three birds in the sky are comfortable floating there in the clouds.   

    I have a question for you about the second painting what is carton?  Is that just cardboard paper that you painted on?
  • @tassieguy Many thanks for your kind words and support. Did you read my answer posted in June 5 discussion 'FASO' just before my poem? I would repeat those words here too. 
  • @GTO I'm happy you mentioned things that I worked diligently. I see in dictionary 'carton' means the same as 'cartboard', sketch is painted on cardboard. 
  • romanroman -
    edited June 22
    @Hilary I'm grateful to you for your bold and honest comments. It's quite natural when young lady at the beginning of the pass sees  and feels differently than old man at the end of the pass. My feeling of my life path I summarise in my poem posted in June 5 discussion 'FASO'. P. S. In my opinion all one need to paint successfully fruits and vegetables and millions of other things is love and basic set of five colours. I'm convinced you have all this . The front of the apple and faint flare on it are fantastically truthful.   :p
  • All I ever use @roman is the Geneva palette of five colours.  I find it keeps things simple.  

  • Roman, both of the above paintings are pleasing to my eyes. The willow is terrific in its painterly, impressionist composition with lively colors and brush strokes. The values don't read true for the willow throughout but that's fine for the kind of painting it is. The artists personality comes through and reflects his dedication. The pass is something I could really love. It has excellent realism and It's atmospheric with the darker cloud impinging on the brighter clouds and the blue of the sky adding drama and movement. The wispy or feathering of the edges of the cloud against the sky are done brilliantly and enhance the movement. The grasses and sparse foliage of the pass are also excellent with enough detail to satisfy any fan of realism. As a composition you seem to make the path the focal point and that evokes a kind of loneliness.  It says don't come down this path unless you are a self-sufficient individual. I can accept that as a purpose and enjoy the painting on those merits but then there is another point of view in my mind that says this is an incomplete composition waiting for a wagon or a barn or an old willow shading part of the path.
  •  @BOB73, many thanks for your attention and unusually deep analysis. It is really great pleasure to read your comments. I am glad to see that you highly appreciate technical aspects of the work - they required a lot of effort. I initially set myself to do something out of nothing: there are no contrasts, large objects, no pronounced center of composition, etc. I wanted to convey the mood of my poem that you recently read. I also decided to make several paintings in a realistic manner, with age, I am more and more inclined to the old Dutch with their simplicity, leisurely, thoughtfulness and the highest technical skill.  My dream is to combine a free manner with high accuracy in  drawing, values and colors, although I understand that the dreams of old people rarely come true. The willow has a large hollow on the shadow side and then I didn’t have enough ultramarine on the palette for a deep purple tone. I thought about returning the next day, but something prevented me, it remained so, and I try not to correct the old sketches. In the final stage, I tried to write a traveler on the road going uphill, but in this composition and perspective, it must be too large and completely change the mood and the intended meaning of the picture.  I wanted the road to symbolize the life that flows between heaven and earth and lead us to a blue break in the clouds, symbolizing the famous tunnel that each of us has to go through. You have no doubt noticed that the sacred number 'three' is used in the composition. Surprisingly, you mentioned everything I was thinking about. Thank you again and good luck.
  • edited June 27
    @roman ,  the realism in The Pass  is just superb but it is the composition that I love most. I love the big sky, the undulating landforms with the central valley,  and the perfect tree on the right and that wonderful track on the left. It all feels entirely natural and yet I know how much thought went into it. Even the arc of the  birds fits beautifully into a Golden Spiral.  This painting demonstrates the art that conceals art. I don't think it needs anything more.  Not another brushstroke.  It is perfection already. The Dutch masters would have loved it. The Pass affects me like the best of their work. Ivan Shishkin would have loved it, too. :)
  • romanroman -
    edited June 23
    @tassieguy My dear friend, thank you very much! Maybe, I am too tired, but I had tears in my eyes when I read your words. There is no greater praise. You are outstanding painter and you are outstanding Man. As I wrote, you often stood next to me at the easel. Thank you so much. Let your paintings please everyone who is able to see and feel. 
  • @roman
    I’m so happy that you have received such high praise for your work. 
    It’s so disappointing when people don’t understand what you’re saying as an artist and I apologise for not understanding the meaning behind this piece. I actually had not , till today , read your poem which was very moving. 
    Art is such a subjective thing but when artists of the caliber of Rob and Bob and GTO are so appreciative of your work , then I know it’s I who is missing out on its brilliance. 
    The truth is I haven’t the first clue about art. I love it but I’ve never studied it properly.  I just react to pieces that move me. My own paintings , as you pointed out , are hardly complicated masterpieces 😉
    As I said in my initial post , I didn’t feel qualified to comment and was actually surprised you asked my opinion. 
    So please forgive me if I offended you in any way. 

  • @Hilary, all is OK. I'll write you tomorrow. Good night and sweet dreams.  <3
  • @Hilary I'm deeply moved by your last post. I'm physicist and mathematician, now professor emeritus and, as I hope, adequate man. Therefore, I could not take offense at your honest statement about your personal perception of the world. The picture is just a canvas stained with paints and becomes a picture only in the head of the viewer. How many heads , so many pictures. Professionals, of course, can evaluate technical aspects of work less or more equally, and that is not always the case.

    Now I want to take this opportunity and apologize for my completely idiotic answer to your absolutely fair remark about my watercolor two years ago. I don’t remember what caused this; my conscience is still tormenting me. So, excuse me once more. How diligently I took this remark into account, you can see, if you want, on the winter pastel at my website 
  • romanroman -
    edited June 24
    @HilaryMany years ago, with my youngest son, I dreamed of visiting Ireland. It did not work out. Now my son has been living for the six years and as a scientist physicist, biologist and geneticist works at the Charite Medical University of Berlin and Humboldt University (thank God I managed to help him break out of our dead swamp). He is 27 years old and will soon receive the title PhD rerum naturalist and next year he will probably visit Ireland with his wife. I will have to be content with rare visits  (very expensive) to the nearby restaurant "To Dublin".

     I could say a lot more in my poor English. For example, that now I like Ireland even more, but I will save your time. So good luck and to the next pictures. 
  • HilaryHilary -
    edited June 24
    Thanks @roman
    You certainty sound like a very intelligent family !! 
    I hope your son will be able to visit Ireland but to be honest , with all this coronovirus panic , the joy has gone out of travelling. 
    Ah yes , I remember my comment about your winter painting and I’m glad you rectified the tiny detail I so honestly pointed out.  
    If you ever need totally honest feedback , I’m your woman . 😂
    It gets me into trouble sometimes as you can imagine.  
    By the way , your English is excellent and your posts very interesting. 
    I look forward to reading more of them. 
    Isn’t it so wonderful how we can all communicate here like this!! Before the internet , we were so restricted in our communication with each other. 

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