A few of you have already garnered via Instagram that I have added live painting to my list of services.
To be honest, I was rather nervous about this one.
I'm normally happy as a clam working in my own little studio with my black kitty cat curled up in a corner watching me flip my paintbrush in the water and the paint and boldly lay in an indigo shadow. Usually listening to Taylor Swift on repeat-- and more recently Agatha Christie audiobooks. (Don't judge me. My office assistant is my cat, alright?)
So to paint in front of a live audience- standing up with watercolors (think about that one-- it's actually a big challenge!) was quite the new venture for me.
To add pressure to the situation- my first two events were WEDDINGS. Only the most important day of these couple's lives and all I could envision was myself being the cause of some ridiculous catastrophe. The painting process would start out strong...and then in my excitement to capture a color- somehow I would push my easel just a littttle too hard and causing a domino effect: Easel falls over paint side down into the dirt where my water glass inevitably follows. And in my desperate attempt not to disturb anyone I would make the BIGGEST and most distracting racket ever and drawing all attention to the hot mess artist in the back.
Can't you just see that happening?
THAT DIDN"T HAPPEN!!!!!
It actually went so beautifully and I really love getting to paint "en plein air" as they say. I wanted to share a few details about the first wedding I painted with you today.
The first event I did was at for Nina and Moon at Bartram's Garden. While there you can hardly believe it is in the city of Philadelphia. The ceremony was set by the old farm house among the gardens just beyond and an old tree's expansive branches above shaded the guests from the afternoon sun just beautifully.
I arrived on scene about two and a half hours ahead of time, and began setting up my scene and sketching in the known elements of the composition. I knew that color speaks louder than graphite and if I was going to be able to show any progress to guests between the beginning and end of a twenty minute ceremony, I was going to have to start ahead. So I began painting in the trees leafy branches and the light blue of the sky. The shadows I knew would begin to deepen and change as the afternoon went on and I wanted to be careful not to lock myself in to anything until the bride and groom were there.
As guests arrived I began to realize my brush strokes were going to have to get way faster. The crowd was literally a blur. Looking at how it is depicted in the final product- that's actually how it felt. And to some degree as you focus in- the seated guests all become shapes as you focus on the setting and the bride.
I wanted the painting to be about the bride and the groom and all the emotion of the moment in the place where they took their vows.
Each wedding is special in a different kind of way, and at Nina and Moon's I wasstruck by the minister's explanation of how he knew the couple and how the pair decided they were ready to get married because of their shared faith in Jesus. I really felt like it was a true coming together of families into one, not only in a wedding ceremony, but in Christ.
It was a hot day, and as I worked away one very kind guest came up and fanned me with her program for a moment. I thought this was particularly adorable, because we hadn't met or spoken before this. I loved this little display of kindness and very much added to the feeling of two families who were now one. Congrats to the newly weds!
Hope you enjoy my final painting from Nina and Moon's ceremony!
A big huge thank you to Alison from Alison Dunn Photography for making the introductions and capturing these beautiful photos from Nina and Moon's wedding. Check out more photos from the nuptials here.
Ceremony + Reception – Bartram’s Garden \\ DJ – No Macarena \\ Florist – Triple Tree Flowers \\ Cake – Cynthia Sung \\ Rentals – Ocean Tents & Party Rentals \\ Hair – The Jeckyll & Hyde Co. \\ Makeup – Jaehee Lee \\ Dress – Madison James \\ Shoes – Lulu Townsend \\ Suits – Bar III \\ Favors – DIY \\ Bridesmaids’ Dresses – Alfred Angelo \\ Caterer – Diverse Catering \\ Photographer- Alison Dunn Photography