Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Day 365- Cut and Paste Van Gogh

I have never made a flower from scratch. To all my friends who do, you have my utmost respect because I know how much work a single stalk of flower entails. Most of the flowers I use are made by Thai artisans. Like these sunflowers, for instance. I remember not liking them very much but I bought them anyway because at one time, sunflowers were my absolute favourite flowers. 

I finally took them out to use at the end of last year. I still didn't like the original version so with a pair of scissors, I started to trim the petals by 2, then 3 and at times 4. I was thinking Van Gogh, of course, and audaciously, I wanted my flowers to be just as unwieldy , in disarray and definitely wilting. After trimming, I coloured the edges with a very watery brown acrylic and then I glued leaves on the stalk. 

When I first saw these flowers, I thought they were too big and not for 1:12 scale. The diameter of each flower is about  5/8" and about 2.5" tall. That means a flower of this size should measure about 7" in diameter and 2.5 feet in height in real life. After some research, I realise to my surprise that I was wrong.

Sunflowers are in fact huge plants. Giant sunflowers can grow to over 10 feet and the tallest was recorded to be 20 m. Regular ones grow up to 6-10 ft and what they call miniature ones, which are popular here in Asia, are usually 2-4 ft. It looks like these flowers can be used in 1:12 for the miniature version, 1:24 for regular and 1:48 for the giants.

I started making these flowers on the 30th and by the time these pictures were taken, it was in the wee hours of New Year's Eve. It was a lot of cutting and pasting and my mind started to drift to all things Van Gogh. I even remembered this movie I saw called "Mona Lisa Smile" where one of the lessons the art teacher gave was about how everyone can be Van Gogh because his work now comes in a box, paint by numbers Sunflowers! That was when I thought what I was doing must be the cut and paste version. 

One can dream,right? 


Margriet said...

They are so much nicer now!!! All your hard work on them really paid off!
Van Gogh is one of my favorite painters and when I go on holiday to France the fields with sunflowers are always so beautiful :-)

Drora's minimundo said...

What a great makeover! We also have sunflower fields. It is always amazing how the flowers turn and follow the sun.
Hugs, Drora

rosanna said...

So you did them and till very very small hours;o)
Well done,they are much nicer now and definitely more sunflowery.I like them and you now,you made me think at how Chrysanthemus were created.A mother was granted by the gods as many years of life for her son as many petals a flower might have.
Hence she plucked a flower,got her embroidery scissors and started cutting and cutting and cutting till a new huge feathery flower was born.
You have given new life to those humble flowers and they will go on for years to come
Big hugs dearie and rest well.

PS Here it is still snowing,flakes as big as coins...
Sunflowers would be a most welcomed sight now.

The Old Maid said...

Nice job dear Sam! They look much better now!
Yes, in fact sunflowers are quite high so no worries about their size in miniature.:)
Just like you I admire all people who make flowers in miniature, they must have an angel's patience.;)
Hugs and kisses

Daydreamer said...

Your Sunflowers look So Much More REAL now, Sans!!! So Yes, you are the Artist we all knew you to be! I have never grown sunflowers because they are too BIG!! They are also an annual so you have to start over each year with seeds... I prefer the plants that are perennial for growing... but I have just this year been painting sunflowers on the walls of my RL Kitchen in the breakfast nook!!! Not done yet....:) Not only are the blossoms HUGE, but the seed heads grow bigger as the seeds ripen and the petals fall!

Remco said...

I am impressed, looks so good.
And a Dutch swing to it: van Gogh makes me proud, hahahaha

Well done dear Sans, enjoy your flowers like I do!

Janice said...

You have made them look much more like the ones we grow in the UK which quite regularly grow to ten feet tall!!

BiWuBär said...

I think most people like sunflowers, they are like little suns fallen on the earth and seem to be smiling when you look at them. And they are not only beautiful but also very useful. Sunflower oil is very common around here for cooking etc - and it's always amazing how the birds pick out the seeds of the sunflowers head. But what I love most about them is that you can take one single sunflower seed, for example stealing it from the bird's winter food, and grow your own personal sun in your garden. And yes, they can become real tall, so don't worry anymore about the size of yours. You made a perfect job, they were too pretty and perfect, boring, without any personality - now they proudly wear a coat of magic by Sans!


Sans! said...

Hi Margriet :), yes, Van Gogh was one of your (& Remco's) countryman :). I am going to admit something here. When I was younger, I never really understood why Van Gogh was so popular. I even wondered How a bunch of sunflowers painted in that manner make him one of the greatest artist in the world? I was never a fan of the impressionist art form. In fact, I probably love the anti-thesis of what Van Gogh believed art should be. I love surrealist paintings.

I think I finally appreciate Van Gogh in a big, Eureka moment way in those wee hours of New Year's Eve. It sound silly but it's true. In the sunflowers that he painted, Van Gogh saw beauty in decay, life in death. You may know that I am now obsessed with this whole what do you call it, axiom? That there is always beauty n decay, life in death has become my mantra. In those moments, I felt really connected with Van Gogh.

I know, I know, I am only making paper sunflowers look like they are dying but working in the wee hours does that to people. heh heh :).

Sans! said...

Drora, I have always wanted to see fields of flowers, of any kind but a sunflower field, wow!

I remember once I was watching a cartoon on Heidi and she was prancing in this hill full of really pretty wild flowers. Since then, I have always wanted to go to a place where I will be surrounded by flowers. Flowers from end to end.

I hope to see a sunflower field someday.

Sans! said...

Ohhhh Rosanna, that story is BEAUTIFUL :). Stories about mother and their unflinching sacrifices and unconditional love are always so moving :).

Chrysanthemums are very common here but not sunflowers. I wonder why though because we have so much sun, they should thrive here. Yet, I hardly see anyone planting them here. I heard that they are very difficult to grow here, Maybe it's because they need a lot more space ?

Soon, my dear, I promise you some sunflowers will be coming your way. In whatever style you fancy :).

Sans! said...

Ewalina!!!!!!!!! Did you receive my email ? Ok, reply when you feel like it :). No hurry. I am already thrilled to see you here ! :):)

Sans! said...

I always love it when I write about flowers and you are here, Bets because you are a real gardener and by golly, you have taught me so much about real life gardening. I didn't know for sunflowers, you will have to start from seed every year. Many have attempted to grow sunflowers here in Singapore. Who doesn't love them, right? But many have failed and blogged about their failures :):).

I think we have too much water, not enough space etc etc. All these make them even more desirable here. It's rare to find sunflowers even in big flower shops. Maybe they wilt fast? That was what Van Gogh said to Theo when he was desperately trying to finish his paintings before the flowers wilt :).

Bets, check out this website on giant gardening http://www.giantgardening.com/artcl_measuringsunflowers.php on how big the head can grow. It really looked like Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors , haha! Show us pics of your sunflowers when they bloom this summer!

Sans! said...

Hey Remco, Van Gogh is your country's national treasure! Wasn't he born in a place that bore your family name?

I should have visited a Van Gogh museum when I was in Amsterdam last year. I am kicking myself now!

This morning, I took out an old art book on Great Masters I bought in 1992 and re-read it. This one was on Van Gogh of course and the book made me teared.

Sans! said...

Janice, I think your weather favours growing giant sunflowers. Have you heard of this one in Kent? The headlines went "Sunflower or beanstalk?" and the flower was nicknamed Effel Flower..teehee. It is an amazing sight : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2026191/Sunflower-beanstalk-Eiffel-Flower-soars-23ft-heads-world-record.html#axzz2Kew6cLuw

23 ft and was still growing!

Sans! said...

Birgit, reading your comments is always such a pleasure because it is like reading poetry or lyrics from a beautiful song :).

I am in complete agreement with you on why it is easy to love these flowers. They are both pretty and yet edible. When you are on a diet especially ..teehee :):).

You know when Van Gogh painted the sunflowers, he did so to decorate his room ? I did mine too to decorate the abandoned house. Great minds eh? hahaha :).

Margriet said...

Dear Sans..I love it that you feel connected with van Gogh now...but please....do be careful with sharp knifes...you don't want to cut your ear off ;-)
I'm so lucky to have seen a lot of his paintings for real...and they are so much more beautiful then...you can see the structures and the colors and they are so overwhelming!!!

Eva - tatalamaru said...

Han quedado fantásticos después de pasar por tus manos. A mi me gustan mucho más ahora y es cierto que los girasoles pueden llegar a ser enormes, así que la proporción es buena para la escala 1:12. Un beso

AM said...

Hi Sans, the flowers look beautiful. I wish i had the patience to make such beautiful mini flower. wishing you a lovely day! gr. AM

Ilona said...

Dear Sans! Yes, they can grow very tall, sunflowers come in different sizes! All is said in the above comments, so........I only can say: your sunflowers are like the the sun for all of us :D!!
Warm hugs, Ilona

Sans! said...

Only if you upset me, Margriet and then I must try to kill you twice! I will then feel so remorseful that I will cut off an ear. Perhaps one of my dolls'.

You are hilarious, woman!!!!

But you got me thinking ...why ear? In Chinese culture, (at least in our kungfu movie) the heroes like to go for their own eyes to show remorse. Ask Rosanna. Brought her to watch one of those and she was so mortified. Told her its very common here. teehee

Sans! said...

Muchas gracias, Eva por su cortesía :). La versión original es bastante bueno en el 1er lugar. Me gusta bastante la cabeza que se hizo de la bola de espuma. Así que no es difícil para que sea ligeramente más realista :).


Sans! said...

Hey AM, it's good to see you here! Its so funny how we see each other as being more patient than the other. I watch your work and think wow, that's a lot of patience :):) Guess it never feels like work when you are having fun. Who needs patience to have fun :):).

Sans! said...

Ilona! Now you are truly one of those I must pay my tribute to * bow! Apart from Van Gogh, I thought of you too whenever I work with flowers :). You are the Fairy Godmother of Mini Flowers, dear Ilona :)

Fabiola said...

I like your sunflowers, now. You made an excellent work.
In real life these flowers are often big, so yours are perfect for miniatures.
Bye Faby

carmen said...

que hermosos tus girasoles....

Margriet said...

I don't know why an ear...they say van Gogh cut off his ear lobe because he was ill, others say it was Gauguin who did it! I rather would cut off an ear then go for my eyes!!! But...I will try not to upset you hahahaha

Kim said...

what a transformation! They are beautiful- and look so very real. I plant sunflowers in the vegetable garden each year- the birds love them and I usually leave the seeds for the birds rather than for us :)

CWPoppets said...

I once got carried away and bought some packets of tiny flower petals. Once home I could only scratch my head on how I ever came to think I could make flowers out of them.
I leave that to the "gardeners" out there. ;-)
But the idea to make this rather boring sunflowers into your own thing is fabolous, Sans. They look perfect.

Maria Ireland said...

Hi Sans I love what you did with the sunflowers they are beautiful. Some of the schools here get the children to grow sunflowers in a pot as they grow fast they then take them home to finish growing in the garden not always successful though lol
Hugs Maria

Rosamargarita said...

Tus girasoles son mejores que los de Van Gogh!

Elizabeth S said...

Hello Sans, When I was in high school art class the first and only painting that I did was of sunflowers Van Gogh style. I liked the effect of layers of paint that gave the painting a textured 3-D effect. My cousin bought that painting and I used to see it whenever I would go over and it always surprised me that I had done it, as I have never done another one. So sunflowers have a connection with my youth and put a smile on my face when ever I see them, much as your sunflowers are doing to me now. You have transformed them beautifully and made them look like they have been cut and sitting in the vase for some time and are just about done. It just goes to show you that you can always make the bland more beautiful and the common- place uncommonly \lovely!

Ascension said...

Los girasoles son las flores que dan mas calor.....como soles pequeñitos...me encantannn!!!
Los tuyos ademas son especiales, porque estan hecho con cariño y paciencia......paciencia algo que yo no tengo para hacer flores de papel jejeje
besitos ascension

Kikka said...

Dear Sans: Your beautiful Sunflowers made me miss summertime so much... I Love sunflowers just for the reason they bring the sun :)
We here have so much snow now that I could send it a lot to you by car cargo...but who knows what might happen to snow in between.. ? ;)
Happy Valentines Day to You ♥

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