When it rains, I paint sunflowers.
I wanted to bring the most shamelessly happy flower to the workshop that I could think of: The Lovely Sunflower.
A recent study showed a link between flowers and mood—that when a person looks at a flower, they tend to be happier and that even days later, compared to people who didn’t see a flower, their moods tending to be more upbeat. (From Sunflowers: The Secret History, by Joe Pappalardo referring to a 2005 study at Rutgers University p.29)
Doesn’t that make you think about having more flowers around? Fresh flowers seem like a luxury sometimes because you don’t really “need” them; you won’t die… but what if they have an impact on helping you feel better, as the study suggests. It’s like that lift that might make the difference to get you off to do something… what if a beautiful flower could have that power?
Living in the Pacific Northwest, I think about healthy ways to forget that it’s gray outside—again! What if we had a big, yellow flower that was the quintessence of all that is bright and bold; like the sun! –a flower that loves the sun so much that its very existence seems to echo the very sun us Pacific Northwesterners worship?
Master biologist Carolus Linnaeus, in 1742 said, “Who can see this plant in flower, whose great golden blossoms send out rays in every direction from the circular disc, without admiring the handsome flower modeled after the sun’s shape?” as he was thinking of what to call this amazing flower. (p. 19-20 Pappalardo)
What if you had a Sunflower, not just for today, not just for the season, but indefinitely! The artist has the answer to the question. There are so many versions of bold sunflowers by many different artists because to paint a sunflower is to bring joy to the artist and the people who will pass by the painting. Could it be a scientific fact? To paint a sunflower is most nearly a calling.
Love sunflowers because they’re gorgeous or love them because of their contributions to science and agriculture… but for This Virtual Show we’re going to focus on their beauty.
Everyone loves Sunflowers.
11.5″x15″ painting: When it rains, I paint sunflowers; by Rachel Heu; watercolor, pastel on arches hotpress
(This mini show is for my mom. I love you, Mom!)