Yesterday I chatted with my very Russian pilates teacher, Yulia, about the fact that we have Peter the Great to thank for our crops of sunflowers even though the seeds came from America, the Indians having long cultivated it. I had heard this on NPR driving to the gym. Seems sunflower oil was not on the forbidden list of oils during Lent in the Russian Orthodox church and so the clever Russians hybridized the plant to satisfy their palettes and produce the lovely oil which is today used all over the world. Virtually all American potato chips are now fried in sunflower oil.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Nature And the Russians Have the Upper Hand
Winter skies from my hilltop, as this one two nights ago, implode my senses. They are the jewels which make living in this old house a fair trade-off. They give me visual orgasms. In the last moments before sinking behind the hills San Francisco Bay takes on all the colors spread in the canopy above it. Yet I've never painted even one of them. I think I feel inadequate to the task. Nature has the upper hand. Instead I paint people and old buildings and sunflowers. Musing on this picture I realized it is the same color pallette as many of my sunflower watercolors. How curious.