24 1/2” x 22” oil on panel
28 1/2”x 26” framed
I have two sons and a daughter. They occupy my thoughts 24/7. So I can imagine that those thoughts find their way into my paintings. And when I paint anything that can be personified, be it an animal, a flower, a tree, or even a building in a landscape, I always work to portray a human emotion. After all, I see each of my paintings as a part of me that leaves to go continue its own life story in the world.
Yellow symbolized happiness for Van Gogh. He rented four rooms in a yellow house, and really enjoyed painting his sunflower pieces. He created amazing depth using shades of yellow oil paint, including the newly available chrome yellow. He created two series of sunflower paintings. This one that inspired me is from his Arles series, painted for his friend Paul Gauguin who visited in 1888 so they could paint together. Paul appreciated the sunflower pieces so much that he and Vincent worked out a trade, one of Paul’s paintings for one of Vincent’s. Van Gogh painted sunflowers sun up to sun down for over a year, preparing for Gauguin’s visit. I’ve got to believe that he was thinking of his friend, and various human emotions as he rendered each bloom.
Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings have been spread out all over the world in museum and private collections. This allows access to many fortunate art patrons. Each artwork has continued its own life story in this world well beyond the imaginings of their creator.
by Vincent Van Gogh
Oil on Canvas
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam