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"There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story."

Linda Hogan

August, 2011

The iris has long since curtsied, bowing low and making her graceful departure and the land slowly evolves, changing its apparel to the warm colors of summer. The sun has reached its zenith as its heat bakes the good earth. Everything pants and seems motionless, even the melody of the crickets is slow and easy. It is the pace of the season.

Through this silent thick heat the stalks of the sunflowers continue to grow, like fairy tale beanstalks prodigiously reaching for the heavens, with large elephant ears poised in adulation to the great Creator. Bees languidly tap-tap against the still covered heads, waiting expectantly for the golden nectar to open its womb as it is only a matter of time before the regal crown of vibrant yellow, enveloped in entwining greens, will unravel like a reflection of the sun itself.

The artist is ready though, with each new season painting out-of-doors becomes more and more demanding. Nature is an excellent teacher and it is a good experience for every student to place his easel "in situ" under the cerulean sky and paint this regal flower in all it various poses. Needless to say, it can also be frustrating as, for the most part, I have been sadly disappointed with my many feeble attempts. Oh, to be Van Gogh and capture the sunflower with his integrity! It seems like such a simple matter, yet its noble simplicity all but fools the eye when one truly tries to portray it. Van Gogh had a love for yellow. (For that matter, he had a love for all color.) And he was able to dig deep within the canvas with globs of paint and a myriad of swirling brushstrokes, capturing both the texture and poetry of the sunflower. Van Gogh would even go so far as to paint the walls of his house in Arles with sunflowers. I sometimes wonder if the landlord was upset with this? Most likely he had them repainted. Oh, that little abode would now be a priceless museum!

I once read that an artist should experiment with painting until he is 65 and then create his masterpieces. Now reaching that golden year, with the sunflowers once again coming into blossom, there is a new wind in my sails and I am tremendously inspired. So, let the painting begin!

Be Blessed,
Mr. Stebbing

Art Lesson
Click Here to download the August art lesson taken from God & the History of ART!

Art History Tid-bit
George Rouault (1871-1958) was one of the first modern artists. He was classified as a "Fauvist" (meaning "wild beast") because his artwork was considered vulgar and crude in its bold and abstract style. Yet, Georges Rouault has one of the boldest testimonies in his love for Christ in the history of art. Broadening our understanding of artists only deepens our appreciation.

August Special

Free Sketchbook A $5.95 Value!
With purchase of any curriculum. Purchase any of the How Great Thou Art Texts (from pre-school all the way to adult) and receive a delightful 9"x11" sketchbook. Order online or call 1-800-982-DRAW (3729).

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