“Sunflower Expressions” 20″ x 16″ oil on canvas
The sunflowers keep blooming! I’m slowly finishing up a number of plein air and studio pieces from my visits to the sunflower farm. This is a plein air piece that had a rough start, if I’m honest. I was out there with my 20″ x 16″ canvas and a mass of sunflowers before me not knowing exactly what to take in and interpret. Subsequently focusing on a few blooms among the mass and then deciding how to interpret the surrounding area proved to be a challenge.
Simplifying is one of the hardest aspects for me in landscape painting but it’s getting easier. Sometimes the shapes emerge more on the canvas as I move through the composition and I work them in support of the main subject. In that process I let go of pieces of the reality before me, trading that for what my heart seems to find more interesting.
The upright yellow blooms are easy to enjoy. What I welcomed in this little gathering was the character of the drooping flower within the group. It reminded me of the sunflower’s multi-faceted beauty and the vulnerability expressed through time and exposure to the elements. The heavy center filled with seedlings aiming toward the ground in my mind indicated part of the natural process that allows something to give way to future plantings.