Last year I was chosen to create the artwork for the 2016 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival poster. Thursday, November 12 was the unveiling ceremony to reveal the above poster to the public. The big gala event was held at Skagit Valley Gardens near Mount Vernon, WA, all decked out for winter holidays and filled with a few hundred people who braved the wind and rain. They came to taste the treats from the festival sponsors and see all the products that will be graced with my painting of a bouquet of tulips. They honored me in a BIG way, as this painting creates the identity for next spring’s festival. This kind of attention is an unusual occurrence for artists and illustrators who usually hide quietly and invisibly behind their work hoping someone notices the 6 point byline credit on a border. I was interviewed by the Skagit Valley Herald before the ceremony. Here’s the story they published the next morning about the event.
On a small stage I’m being introduced with sponsor Tony Pickering, chairman of the board of directors at Heritage Bank in front of the draped poster.
I even had to give a little speech about the watercolor painting. Then Tony Pickering and I pulled down the curtain. Ta da!
They handed me a bouquet of tulips, hard to see here, and the photographers all gathered around like paparazzi for my “15 minutes of fame”.
The products were then revealed. My painting shows up on lots of stuff for sale…tiles, cups, travel mugs, coasters, cards, T shirts all designed and produced by Jody Bergsma. It was quite an entree into the world of licensed products and fun to see my fine art as illustration and widely utilized in so many forms.
Here I am with Jody in her back room display before the unveiling. Below are several other custom products with various designs from the poster artwork.
Chocolate and wine…I love the cropping for the chocolate box….a very sensuous abstraction of the tulip bloom.
My friend Sophia’s baby Ashley loved the poster that they bought there!
Thanks to my friends who found their way to the unveiling. Their glowing comments and those from many strangers made it a really special occasion for me. I hope to see many more of you during the month of April when I’ll be at the festival all four weekends to sign posters and sell my Floralscapes art. More about this later. The original painting is on display at the Tulip Festival offices in Mt. Vernon, WA. It’s a watercolor, 20″ x 24″ . I hope to see you in the spring!