Sunflowers in oil

Five Sunflowers, 12×12, oil on wood panel

Work in progress on the easel. Still working on this painting but I can’t help but share it. It’s bright and happy. The vivid yellows pop against the black background but the painting still evokes feeling of calm and stillness.

The middle of the flowers are called disk flowers. The ones in the painting are dark because the flowers were cut and shipped, etc. These disk flowers would normally mature into fruit we call sunflower seeds. These flowers are arranged spirally. Generally, each floret is oriented toward the next approximating the golden angle, producing a pattern of interconnecting spirals, where the number of left spirals and the number of right spirals are successive numbers. Think 1 +2 = 3. Then 3 +2 =5, and 5+3 = 8, 8+5= 13…These are called Fibonacci numbers. Typically, there are 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other.  This pattern produces the most efficient packing of seeds mathematically and biologically possible within the flower.

Early stages, on the easel

The way the light and flowers were placed caused the warmest of the five flowers on the far left. I took lots of artistic liberties and deviated when rendering the petals and greenery. It was difficult to stay focused and not just throw yellow and green around.

early yellows and reds

This early pict shows how I struggled with the correct values in the yellows and greens. I started laying down paint on the left flower. This area became the ‘practice’ flower. I had to solve visual problems. I think I worked them out by the time I painted the 5th flower on the far right.

drawing…the begining

And here is the toned panel with the drawing only. Look at that nice clean palette!

Also, I listed this little painting for sale.

Thank you for reading about my painting process.

My best,
Emily Warren

Published by Art Belongs to Everyone

The work is inspired by an engagement with play and making peace with uncertainty. I work experimentally, using a digital video to explore painting. I use sound and moving images in non-traditional ways to reverse expectations of horror and comedy. I am drawn to the whimsical nature of self-discovery. I construct repeating narratives, often depicting varying scenarios of serenity, silliness, and reflection.

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