It's springtime somewhere, I'm sure

A friend from high school just had a birthday and her husband asked me to paint a piece for her. He had a general idea of what he was looking for, and this is what I came up with.

The inspiration came from the Japanese tradition of Hanami, or “flower-viewing party”. Hanami is a springtime celebration in which families, friends, and co-workers gather in groups, large or small, and picnic beneath the sakura (cherry blossoms). It’s a time to enjoy food, drink, and good company all under the beautiful pink canopy of the cherry trees. During my time in Japan, I was fortunate to participate in two hanami seasons, during which I went to several parties.
One such party took place in one of the larger parks in Tokyo: Ueno. The trees were truly magnificent, which easily explains why the park was so incredibly crowded with hanami-goers. Every inch of soil even remotely near a cherry tree was occupied by a cluster of people enjoying the spring weather. It was really something to see.
I much preferred the hanami in Tsukuba: quieter and MUCH less crowded. I guess this painting is supposed to reflect this more intimate side of hanami. That is, reflecting on and enjoying the beauty of spring with someone(s) you love.
***Thoughts and prayers continuing to go out to people in Japan dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, and the ongoing nuclear catastrophe.***