Well this April I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and experienced the joys and stresses of "live painting". It was the first I had heard of it when a friend's daughter reached out to me about painting at her wedding. I'm embarrassed to say that I actually had to look it up online. Turns out it is quite popular now for brides to have artists painting live at their wedding, while their guests can stroll by and watch the painting taking shape on paper or canvas. Such a great way to document a wedding in addition to videos and photographs!
At first the very thought of the pressure made me want to run and hide under the covers. However, as I looked at the work of other "live painters" I began to believe that their pieces were not beyond my scope and level of experience. I'm ever the optimist : ) The more I spoke with the bride, the more comfortable I felt. She's a lovely lady inside and out, who loves art, so it wasn't a difficult leap for me to decide to work for her. This particular bride does art therapy with patients so she has a great understanding and appreciation for all that goes into a painting. I also felt much better knowing I had plenty of time to plan ahead. The bride showed me a photo of the venue so I could do a little sketching ahead of time. Even when painting in-studio I think that creating quick little paintings and value sketches first before creating the final piece are the way to go.
I arrived at the venue hours ahead of time, so I could begin drawing and painting the scene of the ceremony and have something down on my paper before the guests arrived.
As the guests took their seats, they could come and peek at what I was creating. Everyone was very curious about the process and what it would end up looking like (including me)!
As you can see in the photograph below, I was seated at the back of the ceremony. Sitting at this lower viewing angle, however, made it difficult to view the entire bridal party. I could only see the bride, groom and the officiant. I had to rely on photographs to complete the painting in my home studio the weeks following the wedding.
We agreed that I would paint as much as I could on location, breaking for dinner and working through the reception.
Their venue was straight out of a southern novel with the most beautiful waterfront scenery and delicious catered seafood! Oh you can bet that I dove into those crab cakes, fresh red fish, coleslaw and fried shrimp. I know an on-the-job perk when I see one!
I was so thankful and happy to have the yummy break and get to know some of their guests, celebrating along with them.
After dinner I went back to painting while the guests danced and enjoyed the reception. There was a lot of interest in how the painting was coming along.
The kids especially enjoyed looking for their likeness among the guests that were painted. I had wished I was farther along in the piece by this point, but happily the bride and groom were patient and understanding with my learning curve.
While I had some challenges of seriously hot morning sunshine, intermittent spring showers and not being the fastest of painters, all in all it was a very positive experience. The moral of the story is, if you're learning on the job, be honest about your knowledge and abilities. It helps to be brave by doing artwork for great people who will support you in your learning process!
One of my favorite parts of this job was making the bride and groom little thank-you notecards from the final artwork. The bride intended to use these notecards to thank her family and friends for coming and it allowed the guests to see the final painted piece.
I enjoyed meeting many great folks that day and I'm hoping some of them will enjoy seeing themselves worked into the scene!
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear ... look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.. are you not much more valuable then they? ... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.. each day has enough trouble of its own.
- Matthew 6:25-34
In our art class this past week, we started painting bird nests. I wanted to challenge us with just having some soft, washy colors for the background. I started my piece by first sketching loosely the bird's nest and eggs. Next, I masked off some white highlights and the eggs to keep them from getting messy. Now the fun part begins of painting in the background.
This imagery of eggs in a nest reminded me of some magnets I used to make with the bible verse, Mt: 6:25-27 on them. I saved one for myself ...
We mammas do get to worrying, don't we? If it's not about all that we have to take care of, it is often over our kiddos. When raising children, I find that nothing is more true then the old adage, "Do your best and leave the rest." Relinquishing control to our heavenly father is something I'm working on daily. Especially this year, resting and trusting are big themes for Daniel and I as we have a high school senior ready to "leave the nest." Hoping these sweet words taken from Matthew 6:25 - 34 will be a good reminder that God is taking care of us AND our children, whatever stage we are in ... all of his little birdies!
Next step was to put in some browns and warm tones for the sticks. Birds build messy, creative nests all around my house each spring in my garage, in my window boxes and on my back porch, so I actually have a few abandoned nests laying around that I can look at!
After I scanned in the piece, I color-corrected it in Photoshop to look as much like the original as possible, then took it in to Adobe Illustrator to over-lay the Bible verse type over top.
Excited to say that I've been invited to sell some pieces for Mother's Day at our local hallmark store. This piece and others will be for sale next Saturday, May 12th at the Oviedo mall's Hallmark store from 10am to 4:00pm. If you have not been to our mall's Hallmark store recently, you should check it out! Much has changed as they now offer some great lines of gifts and even some fun, funky jewelry. Come visit with me, see some new inspirational pieces and get a few unique gifts for yourself or your mom!
I'll be getting these printed soon and selling them as 5X7" cards, 8X10 and 11X14" prints at the event.
What verses or imagery help you to quiet your mind and still your spirit?
Whether I am painting custom artwork, creating a water colored logo for a client, or teaching art students, I hope to refresh and inspire others with my work. Read more ...