No Sunflowers This Year

Last year I planted a bunch of sunflowers  and only one came up and grew into an actual sunflower. The rest either never sprouted or were eaten immediately after they did. Birds love sunflower seeds and sunflower shoots, obviously! I was pretty disappointed in my green thumb. Or lack of a green thumb. I mean, I couldn’t even grow something that grows on the side of the road like a wildflower. That’s saying something, right? The only way I could grow these flowers would to try with all my heart not to let them grow.

I try to grow things I might want to paint later. So I can photograph them and have a nice collection of reference photos for my stash. So far, my collection consists primarily of seeds and photos of scrub brush masquerading as trees.

Anyway, instead of growing sunflowers this year,  I’ve decided to just stick to painting them. It takes less water and they never die. I can’t imagine a better compromise! Thank goodness there are people willing to let me use their reference photos. I call these people my “Art Angels.”

No Sunflowers This Year.
Sunflowers 11 x 11.5 alcohol inks on yupo paper inspired by a photo taken by Brenda Morgado

I really like how these came out. They seem to glow and have an energy about them. I like the life in them. For a while I have been trying to move away from the batik look. I experimented with blending, but I’m never as satisfied with those blended paintings as I am with the batik-like paintings. I miss the contrast those white spaces offer. I really like the batik look. It feels more vibrant to me. I think I am just going to embrace it. I’ve finally found my alcohol ink painting style. Well, maybe I’ve just finally accepted it!

We’re right in the middle of gardening season over here. Between the bunny that keeps sneaking into the garden to eat up the squash plants and the pepper plant that refuses to grow I am not sure we will have a big crop this year. It seems like we start out with the best intentions and over time our devotion begins to dwindle.

I may need to start painting tomatoes and cucumbers too in the near future. Maybe I can trade my art for fresh produce, right? I mean, we can’t be good at everything. Sometimes you just have to accept your strengths and weaknesses and find a way around them. This brings new meaning to the term “starving artist.”

Are you gardening this year? Having any luck or pest problems? I’d like to hear about them.


4 thoughts on “No Sunflowers This Year”

  1. I adore the batik look. You should stick with it! As far as the centered composition, each negative space is shaped differently, so it doesn’t bother me. 😉

    1. I sometimes worry that my flower paintings will look like they came straight out of a Home Interiors catalog. I’m not sure that would be a bad thing necessarily, but it still bugs me for some reason.

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