Monday, June 29, 2009

Old Courthouse in Cleveland, Ohio

I had the distinct honor of painting a lovely reception held in the Old Historic Courthouse in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. The interior was like a museum, with exquisite marble pillars, marble walls, carved marble mouldings, and a ceiling that took my breath away!

Here is where I was stationed to capture the wedding dance on canvas.

And this was my view. I couldn't wait for the festivities to begin!

This shows another view from my vantage point, slightly to the right. You can see how an artist would be overjoyed at the prospect of making a painting with such wonderful architectural details!

By the time the guests arrived, I had "mapped out" the composition and background of the painting. Soon the wedding party arrived and the reception was in full swing.

The first dance wasn't scheduled until after dinner was served, so I asked the bride and groom to pose for me.

But, I'm glad I waited to see them actually dancing their first dance-- notice the changes; the groom took off his jacket, and the bride's train was tucked up; making for a completely different look on the dance floor.

Here the painting is almost finished as the clock is ticking...

And this is why I do this-- I just love to see the reaction! If I can spend the rest of my life creating paintings that bring people so much joy, and to memorialize the most important day of their lives-- then I am living an artist's dream!

For more information on the Old Courthouse:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Alpine Country Club, Demarest, NJ

I painted a very colorful wedding reception at the historic Alpine Country Club in Demarest, New Jersey. When I arrived at JFK the afternoon of the wedding it was pouring down rain. Thank goodness this was not an outdoor wedding!

The groom hired me to capture the reception for his wedding gift to his bride. And it was a surprise! She had given him a painting by NY artist named Peter Zonis:, and he asked me if I could do something really "pop art" in a similar, more animated style. He also commented that his favorite wedding painting of mine was "Sunset Wedding Studio" because of the exaggerated proportions, really bright colors, black outlined elements, etc.

And the ballroom at Alpine Country Club was indeed colorful! Bright yellow, and lavendar lights literally painted a wash of color on the walls. The draperies shown as golden-orange. The golf course greenery and turquoise blue fountain outside the window was a wonderful complimentary backdrop; and floral arrangements of fuschia, purples, blues, pinks and greens; gave me the ideal palette to work with!

The cake had a wonderful "quilted" texture in the icing, was decorated with flowers and surrounded by candles, sitting on a beaded tablecloth. The cane-back chairs were metallic gold.

When I asked the groom for the details that were important for me to include in his painting, he specifically mentioned the decorative elements in the room; the fireplace, French doors, draped windows; and of course, the wedding dance as the focal point. He really wanted something bright, colorful and lively to compliment the Peter Zonis piece. And then he said, "For the rest-- use your imagination." I love a challenge!

I began the underpainting "sketch" about an hour and a half before the guests entered the ballroom, laying down the basic room composition. Before long, the show began and the bride and groom were on the dance floor.

The groom came over to show his wife her wedding gift, and then suggested that I also capture both their parents. I threw in Grandma and Grandpa as a surprise from me!

Here are the mothers of the newlyweds looking at the finished painting. They both thanked me with tears in their eyes for making their son and daughter so happy.

Here is the beautiful bride. Can't beat a smile like that! Oh, how I love my job!
I flew directly home after the reception ended, without passing "GO" (but I collected more than $200!), and arrived home in time to spend the entire day with my dad, husband, son, daughter and daughter-in-law for Father's Day brunch. The East Coast-West Coast time change always works in my favor!
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Yepremian Banquet Hall, Glendale, CA

I painted a beautiful Armenian wedding reception held at the lavishly decorated Yepremian Banquet Hall in Glendale, CA.

I loved capturing all the decorative elements in the ballroon; the ornate guilded mouldings, rich draperies, and even ostrich feather centerpieces!

The bride wanted me to be sure and include the silver wedding cake and crystal tree on the cake table.

Here is the lovely couple on the dancefloor during their first dance.

With many important family and members of the wedding party surrounding them on the dancefloor, the newlyweds were delighted with the finished painting! I had a great time and especially loved the music I got to paint to!

For more information about the Yepremian Banquet Hall:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Laguna Beach Diver's Cove Wedding

I recently painted a sunset wedding at a very beautiful location in Laguna Beach, California called Diver's Cove. Despite a few cold and drizzly days that week, the weather cleared up and was nearly perfect!

I arrived a few hours before the start of the ceremony to begin the scenery. The lifeguard stand "marked the spot" for a small, intimate wedding soon to take place.

The bride and groom love the ocean and wanted me to capture the expanse of the setting. Here is my view looking south. She specifically requested that I get the palm trees at the top of the bluff.

About an hour before the wedding was to start, the alter and decorations showed up in my field of vision. The boxes contained flower petals which were to be strewn on the sand, to create an aisle. Her colors were of the glorious sunset skies that Southern California beaches are well-known for.

The first "figure" to enter the picture was the guitarist.

Finally, people gathered and the big moment arrived! The flower girl, maid of honor and bride came down the stairs leading to the sand, kicked off their shoes and proceeded down the aisle.

I put down my brushes and picked up my camera. Knowing the light would be gone soon, I took pictures to work from later. The crowd was invited to gather 'round.

Although the standing guests obscured my view, I was able to capture some good shots as the ceremony took place. I loved the simple elegance, bright colors, and breezy freshness of this beach wedding!

The bride held her bouquet the entire time, full of fragrant, tropical flowers. Gentle waves lapping nearly at their feet, made such a beautiful backdrop for the exchange of vows.

Here is my view from behind my easel just after the ceremony ended.

This is what I accomplished on the canvas up to the ceremony. I "marked" where the wedding itself should be positioned, and then finished the painting back at my studio.

This is a detail of the finished painting. Although the Spirit in the Sky did not deliver the explosive sunset we were all hoping for, I added a subtle glow to illuminate and emphasize the bride and groom and touches of sparkling reflections on the water in the distance.

When I delivered the painting to the newlyweds, they both had the most awesome reaction and it just made my day! Oh, how I love my job!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wedding at Seasons, Washington Twp, NJ

I had the distinct pleasure of painting a beautiful wedding at Season's, an upscale catering facility in Washington Township, New Jersey. The bride specifically wanted me to capture the dramatic windows, floral centerpieces, styling of the chairs, and of course-- their first dance!

The beautiful drapery was on the opposite side of the room from me, but was reflective of the grandeur and I knew would it make the best background for their painting, and really capture the essence of the ballroom.

I began with my underpainting "sketch" to layout the composition. People always ask me if I start with a pencil. No, but I "draw" with paint.

I loved the gesture of the bride holding her train, as her groom twirled her on the dancefloor.

The first dance quickly became the "family & wedding party" dance in one fell swoop. With the important people surrounding them, it seemed fitting to include them, although it was not requested.

There was also a magnificant waterfall along the entire length of the ballroom, in front of which I had seen pictures taken of the wedding party. I felt this would be a nice, subtle feature in the painting. That's what you see out the window of this cropped detail of the painting. The bride and groom loved it, and I really enjoyed creating this painting!

For more information about Seasons Catering :