Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sunflower Field in Arles - o/c 29" x 33"



There is something to be said about the welcoming style of French farmhouses in the way they are grouped together compared to other countries. Structures are connected together and placed at various angles in a practical living and working arena. And in doing so, they also provide the close-knit warmth for the family within. 

Windows, however few, are not facing four directions. This is due to the cold northwesterly mistral that passes through in winter and spring. I recall humorously reading that "the mistral is strong enough to blow the ears off a Provence donkey." Of course, not as humorous, if you're experiencing those dreaded winds first hand. 

I have snapped photos over the years of these farmhouses, and leafed through books creating various compositions for these original works. Remaining true to my artistic style, I add the appearance of ivy growing up the walls to give the appearance of a farmhouse antiquity. And trees and shrubbery surrounding the structures for protection from the mistral, and shade from the summer sun. This also provides harmonious color and depth between the sunlight and shadows. Beyond the shadows and structured interior, I evoke more added interest into one's imagination while gazing upon the painting.

The sunflower field is especially inviting when the stalks are tall, and flowers in full bloom. And those in the foreground appear to droop sadly, but due to the weight of their seeds and pedals they are lush and ready for harvesting.

Besides sharing a story about "French Farmhouse with Sunflowers" . . . did you know that while the color yellow signifies HAPPINESS, the sunflower symbolizes LOYALTY and LONGEVITY?