Thursday, March 29, 2007


Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers, Paul Gauguin, 1888

Tomorrow is the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh so we decided to jump our wildflower study ahead to sunflowers. They won't bloom around here until late summer so we obviously haven't seen any this year, but there is a field the children remember driving by last year that was filled with them.

In the meantime, we are content with looking at the paintings and pictures we can find. Oh, and of course, eating sunflower seeds!

The ones we don't eat will be used for a fun sunflower craft.

If you want to learn more about Van Gogh and his series of sunflower paintings you can check out the Van Gogh Gallery online. Be sure to visit the link Real Sunflowers for a comparison and contrast with the sunflowers Van Gogh did and the sunflowers God did.

This BBC website has over 100 paintings from 50 UK galleries in an online exhibition called Painting the Weather but it says that their license to display the artwork expires Friday, March 30 (I don't know what they will still have available after that). They offer a coloring page of Van Gogh's sunflowers that the girls should enjoy later.

The Professor will get to study the state flag of Kansas, also known as the Sunflower State and maybe even the flag of the Netherlands in honor of Van Gogh.I also found a sample chapter from the Photoshop Fine Art Effects Cookbook that shows how to create your own version of Van Gogh's Sunflowers. I have never tried something like this, but it sure looks like fun! The picture above shows the "Van Gogh Effect" you can create with Photoshop.

I hope you have a much sunnier day than we are having thus far. (Again...not pouting...the farmers need the rain!) It looks like our sunshine will have to come from inside today!
Little brown brother, oh! little brown brother,
Are you awake in the dark?
Here we lie cosily, close to each other:

Hark to the song of the lark-
"Waken!" the lark says, "waken and dress you;

Put on you green coats and gay,

Blue sky will shine on you, sunshine caress you-

Waken! 'tis morning-- 'tis May!"

Little brown brother, oh! little brown brother,

What kind of flower will you be?

I'll be a poppy- all white, like my mother;

Do be a poppy like me.

What! you're a sunflower? How I shall miss you
When you're grown golden and high!

But I shall send all the bees up to kiss you;

Little brown brother, good-by.
Edith Nesbit


  1. Great post. I'm going to have to check out that photoshop thingy. And I love the poem!Cute!

  2. I love sunflowers! What a bright post for a dreary SNOWY day here! I second the rec. for that photoshop activity - it is lots of fun.

  3. Well, I can't find the sunflower coloring page (yet) but I like the BBC link to Van Gogh. Such cheerful work for such a sad young man. Such an obvious remark for such a Minnesota mom...


    Hope you're having a beautiful Friday, Matilda. :) Thanks for the great ideas.


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