I was a little nervous at first. Its December, there is nothing in bloom in Rochester and certainly no lilacs. Its cold, too cold for me to stand outside and paint even the leafless bushes and trees at Highland Park where the infamous festival takes place. So, I began with what I knew I could do. First thing was to google lilac trees, next google Highland Park, next go to the park and take pictures (of dormant trees) then, pull from memory the feeling of being there on those warm days.
The Lilac Festival is a huge deal here, why I didn't feel pressure is beyond me, must be my zen mind ;). The festival is the most attended festival of the year, and has a huge impact on our community. The poster is used for publicity everywhere (this clearly escaped me).
Highland Park is in all its glory during the festival with literally hundreds of lilac trees in bloom. The air smells incredibly divine. The pathways and hills in the park, each has its own personality. It is a gentle, peaceful, and inviting park where people stroll and meander.
I think that is what I wanted to capture most. The sense of walking through the park and also the sense of a rolling landscape and discovery as you walk the paths.
There is one pine tree that stands boldly against the sky and I knew I wanted to include that in the scene. A path to lead you into the park seemed important, like an invitation. And, of course the lilacs. I wanted to celebrate the lilacs most of all. Put is all together and this is what I created. It is what is called in art terms a composite, but I'm am positive when you go there, you will feel like you are this very path at some point during your visit.
I'd like to thank the Springut Group, Inc. for commissioning me. This has been a very interesting process and I learned so much from working with them. I was also honored with an unveiling along with our fine city and county officials. Casa Larga even used the artwork for a wine label. Plus, T-shirts!!! Who could have asked for more. If you happen to be at the festival on May 19th, I'll be signing posters at the events tent. Come see me.