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Artist Reproduces Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” on Wheat Field Canvas

August 15, 1991 GMT

LONDON (AP) _ A young Scottish plant nursery manager has reproduced van Gogh’s ″Sunflowers,″ using bedding plants for paint and a 46,000-square-foot patch of wheat field for a canvas.

Andrew Scott’s version of the 19th-century Dutch artist’s masterpiece was planted by 20 volunteers working for 10 days in early July, mostly with donated materials. It required 250,000 plants and is best seen from the air. It is also visible from satellites, according to a press release.

Scott’s van Gogh will be around for only another week or so, when the field will be plowed under and returned to agricultural use.

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Until the 24-year-old Scott gets aerial photographs, the location of the field in Scotland remains a secret.

″I flew over it with a helicopter yesterday, my first time in a helicopter, and it looks good,″ Scott said in a telephone interview from Scotland. ″It’s probably needing a little while longer to flower, but it looks great as it is.″

The volunteer planters will fly overhead Friday, he said.

Scott has received many compliments and much press attention for his rendition of ″Sunflowers.″ But he’s still waiting to hear from one connoisseur:

″It’d be interesting to see what Elizabeth Taylor thinks about it,″ Scott said. ″But I don’t know her number, so, oh well.″

The actress owns van Gogh’s ″View of the Asylum and Chapel at St. Remy,″ depicting the asylum Vincent van Gogh entered after cutting off his ear.

The original ″Sunflowers″ was sold in 1987 at Christie’s auction house for just under $40 million to a private collector.

Taylor bought her van Gogh in 1963 for about $165,000.

Van Gogh painted ″Sunflowers″ a few months before his death in 1890 at age 37. He told his brother he hoped to sell the painting for 500 francs, then worth about $125.

Van Gogh was supported by his brother, an art dealer who said the money came from sales of van Gogh’s paintings. When van Gogh found stacks of his paintings under his brother’s bed and realized his work wasn’t selling, he committed suicide.

Unlike van Gogh, Scott doesn’t count on his art to support him.

″I’m a commercial bedding plant grower. I grow bedding plants, I sell bedding plants. This was really just a bit of fun,″ he said.

″Once you get too serious with the commercial side of things, you lose track of what you’re doing. There’ve been no commercial gains from this at all, which actually makes it nicer.″

Scott’s next project?

″I’m thinking about painting a hotel pink, but with flowers, everything covered with flowers except the windows. So in effect I’d be changing concrete into flowers. That appeals to me. But it would probably take a wee bit longer than planting a field.″