Why A Series: Justifying Sunflowers

You may have already guessed.  I shop at Trader Joe’s for the sunflowers.  How could I pass up these beauties with the curly twisty petals.

Little murderers!!  They are killing my grocery budget.

But I can justify them.  Bob Burridge, my art master guru says, always paint in a series.   

Here are some reasons:

As a way of exploring a subject, a concept, a color combination, a story, a design concept–how many ways can that  be done.   Creativity and practice.

Because you should paint what you are most enthusiatic about.  If you, as an artist, ( this does apply to any other life’s work also), work at what you love, your intentions and emotions will come through to the viewer.  Your work will be fresh,  alive and vibrant because it is your passion. You can’t hide that.

To develop your artistic identity.  An artist is often known by their dominant theme and a series shows a cohesive look.

At this stage of my artistic growth, it gives me a direction.  I already have a general idea of what I want to do when I manage to find a chunk of time to work.  I do not have to wander around, wasting time, wondering what I am going to paint that day.  I have focus.

And I think a series is the most creative way to work.   Doing the same idea over and over, but differently FEEDS creativity.  You can’t help but think, what could I change next time?  How can I do it again and it is still luminous?

Sunflowers have been a passion of mine for quite a long time.  In fact, I painted this 48 x 48 inch canvas probably 20 years ago.   A little smoke tarnished from hanging over fireplaces, it now hangs in my kitchen.

I don’t look at this and think, wow, how good it is, or how bad!   Everytime I look at it, I think, I should paint that again but do this differently or try another color, or a tweak the petals, or….

There is nothing more fun for a creative person than a fomenting cauldron of frothy bubbling ideas!


  1. Your creative brillance is so practical. Love your common sense approach which reminds me of two quotes: “Common sense is not so common.” (Voltaire) and “Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at differenbt speeds”. (William James)

    1. Huh. I have to think about that. I see myself as a dreamer. Never thought of describing myself as having common sense…..ha!
      I do have humor, so that means backwards common sense. I feel better now.

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