Sunflower III: You Are My Sunshine
ORIGINAL SOLD | GICLÉE PRINTS AVAILABLE
This giclée print is taken from my original oil painting on linen canvas.
This piece is dedicated to the amazing Dr. Marc (Marco) Orlewicz. I hope it brings light to the Chichilas and the entire Orlewicz family.
I met Marco when I was 14. He was my best friend's brother. High school was such an awkward time in those sweet, sensitive teenage years. Marco welcomed my quirky energy with open arms. He always made us laugh and feel valued. He was a charismatic, outgoing college student who was friends with everyone. He approached all social situations with ease and grace. His drive to succeed was an inspiration.
Culturally, my parents were a bit funny about sleepovers. It's not a part of some cultures. But the Orlewicz home was an exception. These sleepovers were always a happy time. As a light sleeper and a bit of an insomniac, I’d often lie awake hearing sizzles and clinks from the kitchen. Marco would brew one pot of coffee after another and immerse himself in his nursing studies. He inspired us all when he ultimately reached his goal of becoming an anesthesiologist. Sometimes I would join him at the table and help quiz him well into the night.
When not studying, he’d be loving fiercely on his son, Marcus, or working out vigorously with his punching bag, or practicing karate. I can still see him dressed all in white in his karate gi. Marco always had a warm smile. It was healing to be in his presence. His warm energy made you feel so cared for. He was a special force and a big, bright star to me. I can't help but think he's shining bright in the sky looking in on his loved ones loving us wherever he is. That brings me to this piece.
Flowers are a wonder. They're nature's works of art. Before I could even pick up the paintbrush I was inspired by the light that was Marco. What else could provide such richness of color and form to represent his expressive personality and his amazing family? So when Marco’s sister mentioned a sunflower, I had to paint a family of sunflowers. This would be the perfect dedication to the Chichila household and Orlewicz family. Just as my friend grew up with her older brother and younger sister, she has created her own family. Each family member’s uniqueness was embraced… so they were all able to shine. What better way to honor the bright star of Marco’s light than with flowers that celebrate the sun?
Sunflowers naturally bend to face the sun. That’s something I already knew. What I didn’t know is on cloudy days they lean towards each other. They feed off the energy of one another. While the latter is not proven scientifically, it is a beautiful sentiment to think that they come together when in need. Sunflowers also purify the soil by eliminating heavy metals. I can't help but think about how this beautiful family came together, filled with light, and helped eliminate a lot of heavy emotions. They created a safe place to be happy. That inspired this latest piece, “You Are My Sunshine.”
This painting features 5 open-face sunflowers representing a father, mother, daughter, son, and pup. A 6th sunflower turned outward represents a forever young and spirited, light-filled angel. The tall, strong stems are intertwined and illuminated by the spirited light that gives them the energy to rise and bloom. While not facing us, and looking at all the mysteries on the other side I know Marco's still tied to his family. And I hope the warmth radiates off the canvas.
The sunflower family lives against a background palette of reds, yellows, and orange, to evoke the warmth of a happy hope. I hope they serve as a reminder of the sunlight that stokes the fire in our souls. The deep purple is meant to evoke a cooler feeling and represent the water of life that nourishes our thirsty souls and for our deep faith in the Holy Spirit.
Like sunflowers, this family has the unique ability to provide energy in the form of spiritual nourishment and energetic vibrancy. These loving attributes mirror the sun's heat and light on a soul level.
“Even on the darkest days, I will stand tall and find the sunlight.” Sunflowers do not stay withered and sad. They look up to a higher power with their faith. They look to each other for strength and support. They stand tall with a beauty that radiates. Nature teaches us if we do not get to have the sun every day, we can always have the light of each other. Never forget that. You are my sunshine.