This week I will highlight the story of one the eight winners of the Best Onondaga County Tree Photo Challenge, an Interactive art project that asked Onondaga County residents to go into nature, find the most beautiful trees in our county, and send their suggestions to me with a photo.
I asked Ray Trudell to share with us who he is, what he does for a living, what are some of his hobbies, why was he compelled to photograph these scene, if he knew what type of trees they are and how did he found out about this challenge. Here it's his response:
"I’m 60 years old and live in Solvay now, however I have lived in Central New York all my life. I work in a paper plant on the corrugator that produces corrugated boxes. My hobbies are photography, reading, and writing poetry to go with some of my photographs. When I retire I hope to do more in the arts. This photograph happens to be an old favorite of mine that was taken in Franklin Square. The street is Plume St. and was on a Sunday morning just after a snow storm in February. While having coffee at Freedom of Expresso I was asked if I had my camera with me because the snow looked so beautiful. That’s when I went out and shot the picture. I know that two of the trees are Marigold, but I’m not sure what the trees are that line the street. I know that they have beautiful flowers in the spring and that the leaves are the last to fall in the autumn. I seen a posting on facebook and thought that this would be a very nice thing to be a part of."
- Ray Trudell
The making of 'Trees on Franklin'
What I found striking about Ray Trudell's photo was the unbelievable beauty of the tree in the foreground and its dancing shape against a spectacular urban winter wonderland's background. This is the very 1st painting I started in 2014 for the Best Onondaga County Tree Photo Challenge and probably the most difficult to paint due to the amount of details and me being a perfectionist... which is a curse, really! I'm glad I took my time with this piece and I hope you do enjoy it, too. Trees on Franklin is a 24x30x1.5" acrylic on canvas that I painted in April and May and finished in December, 2014.
This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.
~ Maria Rizzo