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.

Forsythia, 12×12, oil on panel

Spring is in the air! Driving my daughter to and from a sleepover I settled on the idea of moving away from orange paintings, for a while, and paint the lovely bright yellow forsythia dotting the neighborhood landscape.


Thank you for reading about my painting process.

My best,
Emily Warren

Published by Art Belongs to Everyone

Remember Reflect Reform In this work, I have been exploring phenomena of memory augmentation. I experimented with reflections and cinematic images by juxtaposing photographs, paint, wood, and mylar. The direction of the work includes painting intimate, reflective, observations of augmented memories.  I began by building a cabinet of curiosities as a way to form a tableau painting and experiment with different media. Inspired by the relief paintings by artist Sally Han, I built a model of a Victorian cabinet using tenets of Darwin's theory of evolution. I painted on a variety of surfaces including wood, photographs, and adding raw lumber to the pieces. In this process, I disassembled the cabinet to give autonomy to each piece. Although I diverted from the original idea of a final installation, there was an impulse to paint larger. Adding mylar was yet another way to accentuate reflection as a part of the critical dialogue with the work. The final result offers an opportunity to remember, reflect, and reform.

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