Ask the Expert: The Raw Truth Behind Live Wedding Painting
Although a relatively new addition to the modern wedding scene, “live paintings” are an ancient concept dating as far back as the Renaissance to express and capture a moment in time without using words. In my few short years as a full-time artist, I have yet to tire of painting live at events. On the contrary, I find the whole process rather exhilarating every time I set foot in a new venue, pick up a paintbrush and encounter people from around the globe.
Around the world, wedding celebrations are a beautiful reflection of an eternal reality, and painting in its purest form is a quiet and gentle expression of grace. To combine the two creates an enchanting experience, and a timeless work of art carrying an intimate truth and promise for generations to come. The concept of a “live wedding painting” is simple, and the entire process seamless…
On the wedding day, I arrive at the reception about an hour early to set up my easel and paints. Shortly thereafter, I begin laying out a loose composition and initial layer on the canvas. As guests begin to arrive, my eyes scan the room and my paintbrush gently glides across the canvas, interpreting the evening with loose brushstrokes and vivid colors. For several hours, my mind absorbs the environment and translates irregular shapes of color to coherent forms of people, chandeliers, tables and chairs, but most importantly, the bride and groom held captive in their first dance.
Glancing behind me, I often notice a captivated audience. Drink in hand, they stand and stare, sometimes initiating conversation, but always gaping, as though witnessing magic happen before their eyes; little do the viewers know, the final result of each painting is as much an unpredictable magic to me, as it is to the them.
Watching a painting evolve from blank nothing into a powerful something has a profound affect on people; like music, painting surfaces something authentic and real within its observers. Art will meet its audience somewhere deep inside and embrace them with real truth and raw emotion.
I do not quite know how to articulate, nor explain, the how behind what I do at a wedding. But, I can confidently confess, every time I pick up a paintbrush something far beyond me works itself out on the canvas specific to each event. For an evening, the experience of a live painting draws people in with elegance and charm, but for a lifetime, the painting hangs in a home, holding captive the timeless, dramatic emotion, vivid memory and powerful symbolism of the meaning of marriage.