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

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

Turtle Paintings

I worked on both of the turtle paintings yesterday. One is still in progress but – drum roll please – the other is finished.

Reminder: I took a photo of this turtle while kayaking on Huddle Bay in Lake George earlier this year. He was a brave turtle and the only one that didn’t dive into the water when he saw my boat approach. Instead, he posed on a bed of moss and let me take photo after photo of him basking in the sun.

If you are interested in purchasing this 11×14 oil painting. Contact me.

My next painting will be of old garden tools.

I like having something I’m thinking about painting while I’m still finishing up a current painting. Friends of mine have loaned/given me some old tools to use. I also have some images of contents inside garden sheds that I took on road trips.  And, I’m certainly including my favorite trowel.

In my imagination, the painting has a few watering cans (I have my Grandmother’s), terra-cotta pots with patina, a worn green cultivator (Thanks, Judy B.) and my Johnson Brothers trowel. I’d love to include a glass bell-shaped cloche should anyone have one I can borrow.

I’ll start by setting up the still life and tweaking it until I’m satisfied with the composition. I like when the eye travels from a main focal point to another point and another inside the painting. I’ll show you the photo I will work from once it is done. Meanwhile, enjoy Mr. Turtle.