11/17/2006

Sunflowers

"For Clytie", 14"x18", oil

Another broken arm painting. I like some of the looseness of the brushstrokes and yet it still feels too tightly rendered. I plan to work on this issue in full force over the coming year.

I was inspired to paint sunflowers after seeing them displayed at a store selling Italian antiques. Sunflowers have long been a popular subject for painters. It's understandable. The way their contrasting yellow petals look against a dark brown center is very striking. My interest in them lies not only in their attractive qualities, but also in their historical significance.

The Sunflower has been depicted throughout history in Europe and South America for thousands of years. The symbol the Incas used for their god was a sunflower. The Romans carved sunflowers on buildings and the Greeks told the story of Clytie, a woman who turned into a sunflower after falling in love with Apollo. In 17th Century Europe, the Sunflower represented the vanity of the royal court and by the 19th Century, Van Gogh painted sunflowers to reflect the warmth he felt in the south of France. Although the symbolic meaning of the sunflower has evolved throughout history, the power of it's image endures. I find them quite inspiring.

5 comments:

kevin said...

hey , not bad for a one armed bandit.
now that you're painting with 2 arms, you'll be twice as good, or twice as loose, or twice as fast. I can't even paint that good with four hands.

dad said...

Another great one, Jul!

LOOCH said...

I really love the last 2 paintings, very rich and expressive.

ryan said...

damn youre a good painter

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot said...

sorry mate, i never did keep up with your blog after you had the injury but WOW its hard to imagine doing that with 2 arms even !

While the sunflower aint depicted too much in our culture ive grown up around so much of it just looking at your work makes me homesick !