Thursday, May 28, 2009

Moonshine, Starburst Aura, Chianti


Every year I take a little time to grow hybrid sunflowers. I have a small plot on the north side of our yard that is just right for morning light and the sunflowers seem to explode as soon as there is warm weather.


These hybrids are so easy to grow. They provide dramatic cuttings for a couple of months until the zinnias take over.

It's so hard to grow any flowers in the desert, so this is a huge treat for us. Some frustrated gardener, William Alexander, wrote a book about how expensive it is to grow food anywhere and titled his book, The Sixty-four Dollar Tomato. I haven't read it, but would have to agree that keeping plants alive until they bloom or are ready to harvest and eat can be a very expensive proposition.


This 9" x 12" oil on panel painting is of three of the hybrids. They are called Moonshine, Starburst Aura and Chianti.

19 comments:

Barbara Muir said...

Wowee. I love these flowers and this painting. You are wonderful. How fascinating. It would take a whole summer up here to get a sunflower going. There's some great advantages to not living in a colder climate.

xoxoxoxoxBarbara

Melinda said...

Thank you, Barbara! I'm glad you like the painting and the photos. It's pretty amazing how 90 degrees and up will get them to grow like crazy weeds. The desert finches love chewing on their leaves, waiting for the seeds to form.

You're very kind...virtual hugs.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

I'll have some Chianti under the Moonshine and hope to see some Starburst Aura!!!
Wullie Alexander sounds like a Scotsman looking out for his bawbees. But I agree with him, and you - tomatoes in a greenhouse are far too time consuming and costly (too cauld here in summer to grow them ootside).
Excellent wee picture, Melinda, with great colours :o)

laura said...

I love this painting--each flower has so much individuality, and the way you have them lined is great, full of bravura, which is so appropriate for a sunflower!
I try to grow them every year, but mostly the squirrels eat the seeds!

Karen said...

I admire your gardening so much...we have a difficult time enough keeping our minute patch of grass ("front lawn") green. The flowers are beautiful. And the painting, well, something seems to be happening lately with your work...is it confidence? There really is something different showing, in the images as a whole, and in the brushwork specifically.

Edgar said...

Melinda,
These flowers are really saying something. You've flattened the picture plane in a way that Thiebaud never did: pictorial but expressionist and minimal. Kind of a blend of Thiebaud and Rothenberg. This could be your Flag...?

Melinda said...

Hi David,
Good grief! You are so very clever. You keep me hoppin', trying to create smart rejoinders. Thanks for the challenge.

Sounds like a plan--your recipe for a good evening. Just don't "drink and draw". It'll just make a mess.

Yes, better to buy them there tahmatus from an organic farmer who hasn't figured oot yet thet he's losing money!

Virtual hug to you too. Glad you like this wee paintin'.

Melinda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melinda said...

Thank you, Laura! I didn't really think there was much bravura in this, but you've got me thinking...

Wish you could keep the squirrels away long enough to grow these. They are fun.

I think I'm relaxing about painting, just a bit. Painting feels a little easier, even though my left hemisphere is still a bit unkind.

Melinda said...

Hi Karen,
Thank you so much! It could be that I'm making better color choices and might be feeling more confident in some ways. You know, an artist always works at quieting the internal super critic while joyously playing with paint.

It would be absolutely hopeless for us to attempt to grow grass, or any of the gorgeous flowers you have around you. It's a trade off, for sure!

Melinda said...

Thank you, Edgar. Are you suggesting that my work is becoming indexical? Or perhaps, this implies a movement into one of Pierce's Trichotomy of Signs. Either way, or in addition to, and moreover, I appreciate your generous comment and will proceed with exuberance.

Ha. There. :)

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Far too clever for ma ain guid, by the way!

I agree with Karen's observation - you certainly display a growing and easy confidence which is there for us all to enjoy :o)

ps: Ah've jist throttled the negative parrot on my shoulder. Anyone want to buy some lovely blue and green feathers?

Anonymous said...

I just love how you showcased the three cousin sunflowers to project their individuality and still look like they're family.

A beautiful homage to the endless varieties of flowers and how they inspire us.

r garriott said...

I like how the flowers are lined up at attention. They have such distinct personalities.

Melinda said...

Hi David,
I think you deserve the last word on this. You're so very funny, clever and such a fine feathered artist. ;)

Thank you, bonnieluria! I really want to paint them all. They are so dramatic and fun.

Hi rgarriot!
Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your comment. I'm not really a flower painter, but these guys inspire me to consider more interest in them.

Jala Pfaff said...

LOVE the painting. Wow!

I have read the book, and in spite of it, The Husband and I are doing a lot of gardening this year... :)

Melinda said...

Thank you, Jala! I understand. Gardening is just too much fun.

Linny D. Vine said...

It's all so much fun! These are three "delighters", Melinda!!!

Melinda said...

Thank you so very much, Linny! I am feeling the encouragement and hope to do lots more.