Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"September Sunflowers" (oil on birch panel, 11 x 14") Painted en plein air at Sunshine Herb Farm in Wixom, Michigan. It was an overcast morning, spitting rain occasionally, and with just a bit of a chill to the air. If you're an autoworker like I am, you LIKE this kind of weather! Our group of 4 were in love with the quiet, simple beauty of this place. It was hard to tear ourselves away from the end-of-season, overgrown rows of flowering herbs, patch of 8-foot tall joe-pye weed, delicious ripe concord grapes, and of course, this clump of sunflowers. I'd had a lusting for painting sunflowers ever since last year. Unfortunately, the sunflower field we'd picked last year was owned by an extremely cranky farmer. We were all standing on the public road, setting up our easels, excited about the view of the sunflowers, when this mean-spirited farmer drove up in his truck and practically threatened us with a gun! Maybe he thought we were going to destroy his sunflowers. Rather than argue with a crazy man about the legality of standing on a public road, merely looking at and painting pictures of his sunflowers, we quickly retreated to Kensington Metropark. So this time, we were quite grateful that the owner of the Sunshine Farm is a nice lady. She especially liked us when we bought some of her organic free-range hen's eggs.