Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) by Maree  Clarkson

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) by 

Black ink sketch and W&N watercolour on DalerRowney 300gsm

While the vibrant, strong sunflower is a recognized worldwide for its beauty, it is also an important source of food. Sunflower oil is a valued and healthy vegetable oil and sunflower seeds are enjoyed as a healthy, tasty snack and nutritious ingredient to many foods.

Sunflower is an important agricultural crop choice for South African producers and apart from sunflower oil production, the seeds are widely used in bird feeds. The sunflower seed is attractive to so many species of birds because of its high oil content that provides energy for feather replacement, migration, and survival in winter months.

The Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual plant native to the Americas. Sunflower seeds were brought to Europe in the 16th century, where, along with sunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient. Leaves of the sunflower can be used as cattle feed, while the stems contain a fibre which may be used in paper production. A common misconception is that sunflowers track the sun. In fact, mature flower heads typically face east and do not move but the leaves and buds of young sunflowers do exhibit heliotropism (sun turning). Their orientation changes from east to west during the course of a day.

  1. 20th July 2012 – FEATURED in Artists of Still Life
  2. 20th July 2012 – FEATURED in Creative Cards & Calendars

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallalmost 3 years ago

    My favourite kind of painting from you! Thanks so much!

  • Thank you, thank you! Heart-warming comment!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Corri Gryting Gutzman
    Corri Gryting ...almost 3 years ago

    Love it!

  • Ah, pleased you like it Corri! Thanks for the fav, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Jim Phillips
    Jim Phillipsalmost 3 years ago

    Something about seeing sunflowers that just makes you smille and leaves you with a warm, happy feeling. Very nice Maree.

  • They’re not small or exotic or beautiful in the normal sense, yet they always tend to do that, don’t they Jim? Thank you very much, appreciate your lovely comment.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • TokikoAnderson
    TokikoAndersonover 2 years ago


  • Thank you Tokiko!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Jay Gross
    Jay Grossover 2 years ago

    Congratulations. This work is Featured for 20th July, 2012 in the Artists of Still Life group.
    Jay (host)

  • Thank you for this feature Jay, greatly appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELover 2 years ago

    Excellent work Maree… a beautiful image

  • Thank you very much Andrea, appreciate you stopping by!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • MarieG
    MarieGover 2 years ago

    Beautiful and so delicate Maree as always…your work is so fine…!

  • Thank you for your beautiful words Marie! And greatly appreciate that fav!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Dawn M. Becker
    Dawn M. Beckerover 2 years ago

    This is beautiful :o)

  • Thanks ever so much Dawn!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Donna19
    Donna19over 2 years ago

    Maree, you have captured the frailty of this lovely flower in this beautiful work of art and I appreciate your wonderful talent. This is lovely work indeed

  • Oh my word Donna, thank you for your lovely words, banner and recognition, I’m totally thrilled! whoot whoot!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • LoneAngel
    LoneAngelover 2 years ago


    so beautiful .. many congrats on the feature

  • this is absolutely great Angel! Thank you for the feature, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

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