Thursday, May 8, 2008

New Jersey Wedding

Last week I flew to New Jersey to paint a wedding at the beautiful Florentine Gardens Estate in River Vale, a suburb just north of Newark.

Here is my set-up in the corner of the vast ballroom.

I begin by establishing the composition about an hour or so before the reception begins.

The bride specifically wanted me to capture the chandeliers and the tree branch/orchid centerpieces.

Here I am working as quickly as possible to get the background painted before the arrival of the wedding party.

The ballroom, tables, lights, flowers, everything-- it was all just spectacular!

She also wanted the cake in the painting. This one had sparkling silver jewels on it, sitting on a bed of orchid petals.

Here is the bride and groom during their wedding dance-- which is the focal point of the painting.

Then I realized the cake had gotten lop-sided. Had to fix that. Since the room was very dark by this stage of the reception, all the guests appeared as silhouettes. I felt it important to capture the two sisters, and mothers of the bride and groom. The important men are scattered around, seated and standing in various places.

Here is the final piece. The bride was thrilled, as it was a surprise gift from her groom. There is nothing like it for an artist-- to paint during the most special and happy occasion of two people's lives.

I had the best time in New Jersey! The people were very friendly and welcoming to the "artist from Cali." It was more beautiful than I could even imagine with cherry trees in bloom; and well, trees everywhere!

I took a quick side-trip into New York City the next day-- actually drove my little rental into Manhatten...
I will share my NYC adventure on my next blog entry.

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