Sunflower Show at Spring Street Gallery

gallery1This evening, the Spring Street Gallery hosted a reception for a sunflower show to benefit Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

gallery2Approximately 40 works of art depicting the cheerful, exuberant sunflower were on display and attendance was strong.

Some of the art was created plein air in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens, 223 West Avenue, where rows upon rows of sunflowers have been in bloom for the past month. And, many still are.

Come see.


Thank you to Maureen Sager and Becky Zeh from the Spring Street Gallery for hosting this event.  Pictured above are images from the reception. The last photo is of Becky Zeh painting the Pitney Meadows Community Farm and a young admirer of her work.

Sunflower Painting Sold!

Thank you, Nancy. May it always bring you joy.

It is deeply satisfying to know it will be in your home.

As an artist it is wonderful when your creation goes to someone who loves it as much as you loved painting it.

This is definitely one of the happiest paintings I have ever done and I love that it will be “living”  in Saratoga Springs.

Natalie Walsh

Sunflower Painting Finished

Here it is.

This is one of the happiest paintings I have ever done.

In case you haven’t been following the blog, these sunflowers are a variety similar to those painted by Van Gogh. I purchased the seeds from Renee’s Garden seeds, grew the sunflowers at the community garden, and created this 20 by 24 oil painting when the flowers bloomed.

I hope you enjoyed following the painting’s progress. Natalie Walsh

Sunflower Painting – Third Post

The oil painting of the Van Gogh sunflowers is coming along.

I’ve been working on the color of petals, the urn-like vase, the overall shapes of the flowers, highlights and darks. It’s not done yet, but I love how energetic and joyful the painting is at this stage. It is coming alive.

I had the good fortune of going to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston last week. There was an exhibit of paintings by Renoir I had to see. In the same room there were several paintings by Van Gogh. I just stood, stared and studied. What a pleasure.

I hope you enjoy watching this painting as it progresses. – Natalie Walsh

If you haven’t been following the blog, I planted Van Gogh sunflowers seeds from Renee’s Garden seeds in the community garden for the purpose of using the flowers as the subject of an oil painting. When they were ready, I harvested and photographed the sunflowers.  I will continue providing updates on the painting until it is completed.  

Sunflower Painting Progress Report

This week my focus has been on tweaking the composition, getting the sunflowers shaped and placed, and starting on the color of leaves, seed head and petals.

This is how it looks today.

It is far from completion, but you can see the painting’s direction.

If you haven’t been following the blog, I planted Van Gogh sunflowers from Renee’s Garden seeds in the community garden for the purpose of using the flowers as the subject of an oil painting. Last week I harvested and photographed the sunflowers.  I will continue reporting my progress through to the painting’s completion. I hope you enjoy watching it evolve.

— Natalie Walsh

Painting from the Garden

Gardens are a source of inspiration for my art.

This morning, I cut the remaining Van Gogh sunflowers and brought them to my studio for a photo session.

In case you missed the blog where I wrote about them, I planted these flowers because they are reminiscent of the sunflowers painted by Van Gogh, who once wrote in a letter “As you know, peonies are Jeannin’s, hollyhocks are Quost’s, and sunflowers, well, sunflowers are mine.” That’s true even more than a century after his death.

It’s my goal to chronicle my oil painting of sunflowers here.

Before I begin to paint I take photos of the painting subject. This time I took close to a hundred images of the sunflowers in various vases and pots.

By the way – Thank you to my girl friends for loaning me large vases. And for those who might be curious, I purchased the sunflower seed from Renee’s Garden seeds.

Day One – Starting with the background and determining the composition.  In this photo, the canvas is tilted on an easel making the table the flowers are sitting on look angled. It is not. 

Natalie, the blogger

I’ve been writing posts about other gardeners at the Saratoga Springs Community Garden and was asked, “So why don’t you post something telling us about you?”

Good idea. Here it is.

In addition to being a master gardener and writer I’m an avid kayaker, hiker, oil painter, web designer and journalist. If I get to combine the things I love doing, so much the better.

For example, I bought Van Gogh sunflower seeds through Renee’s Seeds. These sunflowers are similar to those in Van Gogh’s painting “Twelve Sunflowers.”

I planted a row in between the bush beans in plot #44 and a few near the center of the Welcome Circle. Every time I’m at the garden, I check on them. So far, they are growing strong.

If all goes well, I will do a painting of the sunflowers. And when I do, I will share it here.

In the meantime, here are three oil paintings I recently completed.

The first is of a robin’s nest. Nests are among my favorite subjects.

The second is a still life of Native American artifacts collected by a Mohawk Valley family. The family permitted me access to the artifacts, which included baskets (the tall one in the back that dates to the 1700s) and pottery shards found locally and pieced together. The beaded belt was made by another friend.

The third painting is of an Eastern painted turtle I photographed while exploring Huddle Bay on Lake George in my kayak. Most of the turtles I approached in the boat splashed into the water as I got near. This handsome fellow just watched and I was able to take photos that I used for reference when creating the painting.

I would really enjoy hearing from readers of the blog and encourage you to leave a comment.  Thanks – Natalie Walsh

Monet’s Garden at the New York Botanical Garden


 I  went to see the Monet exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden yesterday. It was wonderful. This photo gives you a long view of the borders in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. There is a lot to see. As you look at these photos notice the heights of plants, the foliage color and texture and the flower color and form. The entire space was created with an artist’s eye.                                                                

In this image you see different flower shapes and complimentary colors. Irises were one of Monet’s favorite flowers. Van Gogh’s, too.

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