Monday, November 20, 2023

A Year of Painting Weddings

Photo courtesy of Jill at Realities Photography

Over the past year, I've done a lot of very different weddings and created some very different paintings of them.  "A lot" is relative, of course: I normally limit myself to about nine per year, while other artists may do 50-70 per year.  I just can't do that and produce the quality of work that I want.  

Part of that is due to the fact that I'm slow.  Go on Instagram or YouTube and you'll see videos of artists cranking out a painting in 60 seconds flat.  Okay, they're sped up, but you get the drift.  There's a reason you don't see me doing videos like that - they'd be an hour long and show only a small bit of development.  Another reason is that I want to know the couple in the painting.  I need to know who they are, see them interact with each other, their family, and friends, how they carry themselves, and so on.  The more I know, the more that comes through in the painting.  Don't know how that happens, but it does.  And I can't get to know them if I'm doing a lot of paintings.  They would get lost in the shuffle.

Since my last post of a wedding painting, I've completed 14 paintings, with two more in progress.  Some of those are among the very best to come out of my studio.   No, I won't tell you which ones.  You decide for yourself.  Some of the things I've seen, experienced, and noticed over the past year and a half are:

- More couples want their dogs included.  As a dog lover, I'm happy to include the furry family.  One of the paintings in progress has a beautiful German Shepherd with a floppy ear. 

- The subjects have been equally divided between the first dance, the end of the ceremony, and just the couple.  There's no single style that dominates because every couple is different.  

- One of this year's events wasn't a wedding, but rather a dinner for a business event.  Sounds boring?  No, it wasn't - I had some great conversations with some very interesting people.  And it's going to be presented as a gift to a really great couple who didn't know it was coming.

- Most have been set outside, regardless of whether it was of the ceremony, first dance, or just the couple.  That brings an occasional challenge with weather.  It can be a beautiful day, it can be Noah's flood, it can be hot and muggy, or cold and very, very wet.  Fortunately, most of the outdoors events had good weather.  

- Kids!  They're a lot of fun.  At a recent reception, a 6-year-old girl at the table next to me saw what I was doing and turned her chair, and her brother's, around to watch.  Never mind that speeches were being made, first dances and parent dances were being danced, and cakes were being cut, all of which were the focus of attention for everybody else.  Nope, she wanted to watch me painting.  If she'd been tall enough, I'd have given her a brush and let her "help".  (Yes, she could have stood on a chair; no, I didn't want to go there.)

There's more, but you get the idea.  Weddings are fun.  Wedding paintings are a challenge, but very rewarding for me to do.  The couples trust me to capture one of the most important days in their lives.  The paintings are very meaningful to them from day one - they're a treasure forever, not just entertainment at the reception.  And that floats my boat.

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