I've been sewing sunflowers this week. As I was sketching designs I was thinking about Van Gogh's famous paintings and ended up doing some research on the sunflower paintings. I was surprised to find that there are so many. I was not even aware of the series of paintings of cut sunflowers on a flat surface! Sunflowers are such interesting plants. They seem so unlikely, such a tall stem supporting such a ridiculously large, heavy flower. I grow them in my vegetable garden to attract the birds which help keep the bugs under control and for the bees which help with pollination. When I drive across the Central Valley here in California on my way to the mountains, one of the summer crops is sunflowers. There are fields and fields of them, all with their heads turned to follow the sun.
This is my favorite of the Van Gogh sunflower paintings. I love the vibrant blue background, such a great contrast with the color of the flowers themselves.
One of my favorite Dr. Who episodes is the the one where the Dr.(Matt Smith) and Amy visit Van Gogh, I always get a bit teary at the end! In this picture, the Dr. and Van Gogh visit an exhibition of his work. It's crazy of course but fun. I like that the subject of Van Gogh's depression is not ignored but included in the plot and handled with sensitivity.
So back to sewing! Here is the first finished pincushion. It is not available in my shop yet because I haven't photographed it properly. I found a great quote to embroider around the side band. It reads "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows" and is attributed to Helen Keller.