Saturday, November 10, 2012

Indian Weddings

I have painted a number of Indian weddings recently and it has been a visual joy and pleasure! The colors, the details, the culture-- all of which has always held such a fascination for me.

I can't wait to paint my first elephant* during the Baraat!**

Ceremony / Houston, TX


Reception / Houston, TX

Ceremony, in progress / Manhattan Beach, CA

 Ceremony, detail in progress / Manhattan Beach, CA

Reception / Manhattan Beach, CA


Sunday, February 19, 2012

MURALS for a change of scenery!

Since my new website is under construction, and I have been asked about other things I have painted, I thought I'd show a series of murals. Beginning with restaurant murals. This is in George's Greek Cafe on the popular Second Street in Belmont Shore, Long Beach. Cali-- not New York.

Not only is the food absolutely delicious, the atmosphere is pretty tasty, too! Live music, dishes lit to the cheers of "opa!" and well, there is the fun wall decor to enhance your overall experience.

Here's a bit of language trivia:
opa! (ō`pä). interjection, opaa!, oopa!, oompa! are used in Turkish and Greek cultures to denote encouragement or approval, describe a jubilant time; or for us Americans can mean "let's party!" or "get down and dance!"

However you use it, "George's Greek Cafe" gives you a reason to say it.

As you enter the first dining room, the Athens scene greets you. The stone tablet resting on the fallen column appears as if carved by ancient artisans. It reads, "George's Greek Cafe, Est..."

You'll have to look at it for yourself to see the year the family restaurant was established. The walls further into the eatery contain framed articles describing the history of "George's" along with black & white family photos, giving a real sense of warmth and belonging. George treats everyone like family!

The wall across from the bar is as if you could walk right into a Santorini neighborhood, and discover it's brilliant blue and white buildings with their unique architectural details. I've never been to Greece, and Jimmy kept telling me, "More blue!" From what I understand, it really is that blue! If this is as close as I ever get to the real thing, every visit to George's helps me create a sense of seeing that glorious cerulean and cobalt blue. Sigh!

A wall map of Ancient Greece adorns the wall in the quiet back area, where diners can be seated for a more intimate (or romantic?) meal. The Island of Cyprus is accentuated. That is where George and Mama learned their authentic family recipies. Fortunately for those in the LBC/LA/OC and surrounding areas (and visitors), the family shares their culinary delights, each restaurant overseen by one of George's offspring.

Upstairs, the faux* finishing on the walls appear as aged plaster, and the trompe l'oeil** statues seem to be three-dimensional. The area can sometimes be used for private parties, as I did one year for my birthday.

When I was a child, with my first trip to Disneyland-- I saw the magic of what paint could do to completely change an environment. The magic of it all came alive in my mind's eye. Though I never got to work at Disneyland as one of their artists, it remains a fantasy on each subsequent visit!

Here's a little more language trivia for you:

* faux (French)
fō/adjective: artificial or imitation: "faux pearls," not real; fake or false: "the faux finish on that wall appears to have cracks in the plaster."

**trompe l'oeil (French)
1: a style of painting in which objects are depicted with photographically realistic detail; also: the use of similar technique in interior decorating 2: a trompe l'oeil painting or effect 3: something that misleads or deceives the senses : illusion

And what is illusion? MAGIC!!

Visit George's Greek Cafe at:

Tell 'em Karen Wall Garrison sent you!

Speaking of French... next blog will be about the murals at "La Creperie Cafe."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wedding Paintings & Other Fun Events--

In addition to painting weddings (the above is a detail from a wedding at the Del Coronado in San Diego, CA); I am often asked to paint other events. Here you'll see some of those events, too.

I am working on my NEW WEBSITE, but in the meantime, you can visit portfolios of all my event paintings; weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, charity events) at the folowing:

Aquarium of the Pacific Sea Fare / Long Beach, CA

The Houstonian / Houston, TX

Taste of the Coast / Long Beach, CA

50th Birthday Party / Northridge, CA

Sea Cliff Country Club / Huntington Beach, CA

Nanina's in the Park / Belleville, NJ

Loyola Chapel / Los Angeles, CA

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or interest in private work for sale:
Thank you for looking!

Friday, January 27, 2012


I typically show just the the painting, but I thought it would be nice to see the proud and happy couples whose weddings I have captured live, during their most special day.

The look on the couple's faces are what I live for!

St. Michaels' Church / Newport Beach, CA

Renaissance Hotel / Long Beach, CA

Nanina's In The Park / Belleview, NJ

Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, CA

Trump National Golf Club / Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

I will be launching my NEW WEBSITE soon!

You can see all of these paintings in further detail here:
Please visit any of the links below, for more samples of my live event paintings:

The interview on describes my process:

Note: The first photo was taken by Tackeff Photography at The Rockleigh / Rockleigh, NJ


Monday, April 12, 2010

New Wedding Paintings

An intimate wedding at the Northwoods Resort in Big Bear, CA gave me the pleasure of driving up on a very beautiful day, with crystal blue skies and even patches of snow! The room had a nice "rustic elegance" and the wedding theme & decor tied-in perfectly with the forest setting. That's the bride's father playing the piano in the foreground, and her mother to the left of him with the video camera. I also painted a wedding "runner" (but round), which the couple stood on while exchangeing vows under the arch. More details on this wedding in the next blog...

A trip to San Antonio, Texas gave me the honor and joy of painting a wedding reception held in the historic Coates Chapel, built in the 1870's, with the most beautiful stained glass windows. It is part of the campus of the Southwest School of Art and Craft in the old, downtown section of the city.

Leonesse Cellars, a winery in Temecula, California, was the unique, festive setting for this wedding reception painting. I loved how the wedding cake was showcased on a wine barrel!

The Bell Tower in Rancho Santa Margarita was the setting for this beautiful outdoor wedding. You'd never know it was raining, and the ceremony was held under a tent. That's the beauty of a painting-- you can leave out the stuff you don't want!

Here are the photos that her photographer (Hazelnut Photography) took during the reception while I was finishing the painting:

For information on any of the venues:

Northwoods Resort, Big Bear, CA:

Leonesse Cellars, Temecula, CA:

Visit the bride's blog for info on the location at the Bell Tower in Rancho Santa Margarita:

She blogged about me, too! Just go to:

Type in my name, and you can find all the blog postings. I really appreciate the cross-promotion that blogging offers.

For information on Hazelnut Photography:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Yorba Linda Wedding Reception

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of painting a wedding reception at a beautiful, exclusive spot; The East Lake Clubhouse; in Yorba Linda, California.

The entire back wall had floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the water.

This cake topper delighted the guests, knowing the couple waited years to get married, and were big fans of opposing hockey teams!

The tight quarters of the room required that I paint from a spot in the foyer. Here is my view under the staircase immediately outside the reception hall. Good thing it had windows!

This is what the view looked like when I arrived at 4pm to begin painting. The challenge of painting an outdoor background is the changing light. My assignment was to capture the bride and groom during their first dance.

Would they arrive soon? The sun was going down fast!

And the Christmas lights were coming on, casting a colorful reflection on the water.

"At last"! No, seriously-- that's a song!

The final outcome contained the many changing elements of the day. The bride was thrilled with the painting, and that I also captured the humorous cake topper, ever-so-subtly painting the message, "Go Ducks" into the tablecloth for the bride's team.

I love my job as a live event wedding painter! It is such a happy way for me to be an artist!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wedding in Hawaii

Often people will ask me if I will paint from photos. This painting was done for an anniversary gift. The couple was married in Hawaii ten years ago.

She wanted to give a very special gift to her husband for their anniversary.

She gave me about 12 photos taken where they got married at sunset.

I studied the pictures for a long time, and put the scene together as I imagined it might have been, had I been there.

She is thrilled with the painting, and can't wait for their anniversary to give it to her husband.

This is from the email she sent:
"Hi Karen!

I can't even come up with the proper words to tell you how much I love the painting that you did for our upcoming 10yr anniversary! I'm so excited to give it to Mark. I drove home after meeting you just thinking how incredibly blessed that I am!

Thank you so much again! I love it!!!!"

And I am thrilled that she is thrilled!