At one point Nina thought she would name the painting  “Do you know what these are?”

We knew immediately these are sunflowers from Pisgah.

David Baker knew his wife, Nina loved sunflowers. That’s why David planted sunflowers on their farm, Pisgah. Nina often a Plein_Air painter loved the sunflower patch.  

Thinking about those sunflowers one night in her studio, David was working on his continuing education project, Nina selected a canvas and was well on her way to creating new art.  

Nina’s collectors, indeed anyone who’s visited Art on the Green knows how much she loves painting flowers, specifically the beautiful simplicity of a sunflower. We have sold many more

than what’s currently in the Gallery, and every painting stands on its own.  

Nina said she had wondered when beginning to paint “Monochromatic Sunflowers” if her sunflowers would be recognized without the vibrant yellows and greens?  

Recently, a friend asked, “how does she make each one look different. They are sunflowers after all?” 

After all? After all, there are 38 species of Sunflowers native to North America. Do you know sunflowers are part of the daisy family? They are known as an All-American weed.

The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture with The Cooperative Extension Service tells us Sunflowers in one’s garden requires special consideration.

Dating back to Communist Russia, agriculturists increased the oil content of selected Sunflowers from about 28 percent to over 50 percent. The oil was used in everything

from cooking to paint, and by 1980 the Sunflower was the second most important crop oil in the world.

The Russians were credited with the rise of sunflowers to agricultural stardom. They developed two types of sunflowers. The large-seeded types were developed as a snack food, much as peanuts were used in the rest of the world. 

The sunflowers grown in the U.S. today are descendants of varieties the Russians sent us at the close of the 19th century.

That’s a lot to think about, consider: one Sunflower contains hundreds of tiny individual flowers.

Now we have the answer. It’s Nina’s thought process she knows her subject. Before Nina puts brush to canvas, she has an idea of what she wants to see upon completion.

Her available canvas that night was large - 36” x  48 - her brushes swiftly took over. Much like an artist of music, writing or creating a new recipe, it’s the Study, the thought process that opens a new creative journey.


“Draw what you live so you will live it more deeply.”

- Danny Gregory


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