2020 & 2022 IWAF Commemorative Artist
Each year the festival selects a participating artist to commemorate the event with an original work of art that is inspired by our beautiful Coachella Valley and reflects the caliber of art featured in the show.
Celebrating the 18th annual event is Commemorative Artist Jan Bushart’s luminous tribute to the desert’s spontaneous burst of color and life, “Superbloom Sunset,” an original large-scale oil painting commissioned to serve as the festival’s commemorative print. Inspired by the superbloom of 2019, Jan memorialized the ‘golden hour’ she witnessed during a hike in Palm Springs’ Indian Canyons, where a setting sun cast a magical glow onto the thousands of flowers in bloom. Vibrant flora in hues of red, purple, yellow and green are saturated with the luminescence of the sun retreating behind the San Jacinto Mountains.
“When I paint a scene, I immerse myself into it. It becomes my world. I want the viewer to step into that world with me,” says the plein-air impressionist, whose work can be found in private and corporate collections around the world, and in countless films such as ‘Million Dollar Baby.’ Serving as the Founder and President of Plein Air Painters of Hawaii, Jan splits her time between her home studio in Maui and traveling throughout California, Arizona and Colorado, keeping her eyes fresh and surprised by different pallets. “When I paint on location, I absorb more than I realize at the time and it restores my spirit,” says Jan.
A signature technique for Jan, who began her career in art as a watercolorist for more than 20 years, is to carry over her love of transparent color into her oil paintings. “I start out a painting with thin transparent oil paints, no white,” Jan describes, “then I paint quickly and cover my whole canvas paying careful attention to my composition. I’m creating impressionistic paintings with this goal: to leave just the right amount of information up to the viewer to interpret.
”In choosing a color palette, Jan notes that a sunset can be tricky because it influences every color in the painting, with the light being incredibly warm, making the shadows cooler. “I wanted a dynamic painting, so I chose primary colors for my most saturated color: red, blue -violet and yellow,” Jan explains, and says that her favorite part about this painting is “the magical light on the incredible superbloom. The desert is transformed by both the superbloom and the sunset.
”Jan’s hope is that “Superbloom Sunset” will inspire viewers to share in her love of nature and support of national and state parks and Indian Reservations like Indian Canyons.