It’s Always Sunny Here is part of my new series, Visionaries: My Tribute to the Innovators of Fine Art. In this image, I explore the work of the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890). Here, I re-imagine his 1888 masterpiece, Still Life: Vase with 15 Sunflowers.
In It’s Always Sunny Here, I’ve painted a postcard of Sunflowers with a solitary still-life sunflower in the foreground. The whole composition is light and sunny.
Duplicating a Van Gogh in miniature is a wonderful experience in patience. The original has so many precise brushstrokes, that had to be done in a parallel fashion - but on a much smaller scale!
Every museum store in the world carries postcards of their most popular works. I have dozens of these cards featuring every style of painting imaginable.
In this new series, Visionaries: My Tribute to the Innovators of Fine Art, I explore the artistry of these painters - marrying their iconic images with both abstract backgrounds and ultra-realistic still life objects to create something entirely new.
As in When All the Stars Come Out to Play, another tribute to Van Gogh that I recently completed, the colors of the original painting guided me to a color palette that I don’t normally use. Very rarely do I use bright yellow in my backgrounds, but here, it was the natural choice.
To achieve the background appearance, I painted a layer of paint, splashed the layer with mineral spirits, and then mopped up the spirits with crumpled brown paper. I repeated this process a few times until I got the cohesive, mottled look I was after.
The blue painter’s tape you see in the painting was created in the ultra-realistic trompe l’oeil style, an optical illusion where painted elements look so real you might think there was actually tape and a piece of paper stuck to the surface of the canvas. (There isn’t!)
If you would like to see a brief video of me working on It’s Always Sunny Here, please check out the video I posted on Instagram: It’s Always Sunny Here on Instagram.