First Friday at Raleigh City Museum- A Live Event Painting by Tesh Parekh

First Friday at Raleigh City Museum. 11×14. Watercolor. Painted live.

Raleigh City Museum is hosting an exhibition of Plein Air paintings. This is a juried exhibit which includes paintings of different parts of the Capital city. My two watercolors are part of this exhibit- “State Capitol, Raleigh” and “Raleigh Downtown”. The “State Capitol, Raleigh” was also earlier juried into 2009 NC State Fair and Halle Cultural Center’s  juried exhibit in Apex.

The museum’s curator- Ladye Jane Vickers had requested artists to paint live for the First Friday opening reception. I volunteered to paint but had no idea what I was going to paint! I arrived at the museum around 6 PM. The museum is on Fayetteville Street which was busy. There were many folks out for the First Friday. It was a beautiful evening which I would have loved to paint outside. Inside, I had the opportunity to see and admire works of my fellow artists. One other artist was doing a still life painting demonstration.

I decided to paint the musicians who were providing evening entertainment. I used 11×14 Saunder’s 140 lb Rough Waterford paper. Nowadays I exclusively use Holbein watercolor paints and Escoda brushes. Although I paint on different papers. I have learned this system from Joseph Zbukvic and it works well for the location work. It took me around 90 minutes to finish the painting. Many folks stopped by, and I also met Rick Bennett. Rick is a watercolorist and heads Visual Art Exchange’s Plein Air group.

It is a nice little painting. I am going to frame it and give it to the museum store.  I have enjoyed plein air painting for last few days. I did a small painting on the Mother’s Day and a half sheet painting today. I will be posting those on my blog as well.

I accept commissions for live wedding & event paintings and studio work. And I travel!

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

919-622-5399

Sasha Souza at the Cobblestone Hall- a live event painting by Tesh Parekh

Sasha Souza at Cobblestone Hall. Live Event painting. Watercolor. 11×14.

Sasha Souza is one of the premiere event designers and a top innovator in the wedding industry. She is one of only a handful of wedding designers who have been named a Master Bridal Consultant, the highest designation given by the Association of Bridal Consultants. Souza is the recipient of numerous awards including the Special Events Magazine Gala Award winner for “Best Dining Tabletop Design”, Event Solutions Magazine “Designer of the Year” and three ISES Westie Awards

The Greater Triangle North Carolina Chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES) hosted “Emerging Trends with Sasha Souza ”

This event was held at the Cobblestone Hall in Raleigh. This is a brand new venue- ideal for weddings and events.

ISES had invited me to paint live at the event. Earlier in the day, I had photographed Sasha’s lunch with ISES and TWCE members at 18 Seaboard Restaurant. We will be posting images of that event on our photography blog: iwpphotography.wordpress.com

Sasha was scheduled to present at 7 PM. I setup earlier to get started with the drawing and composition. Due to the length of the event, I decided to use 11×14 format. I used Holbein watercolors, Saunders Waterford 140 lb rough surface paper, and mostly Escoda brushes- my new favorites!

Image below shows completed drawing.

As with many indoor events, the difficult part is the lighting. In the beginning I had outside light on my setup. Once the Sun went down, there were many sources of light- each with different color temperature! But, live event painting is like a roller-coaster ride: once you are buckled-up and rolling, all you can do is have fun!

I enjoyed meeting my friends at ISES and many nice folks who stopped by to see me work. I wouldn’t say this was the easiest painting, but I think I have captured Sasha well- see the image above! This painting was presented to Sasha at the end of the event. She shared many kind words. I enjoyed listening to her while I was painting.

We have her latest book “Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design”- I look forward to reading it!

This has been a good week for painting. Today I drove to Kinston for the Kinston CCA annual paint out. I did two paintings: 16×20 oil on linen and 13×19 watercolor on paper. I will be posting those later.

Tomorrow I will be in Wilmington to sign limited edition prints of my painting “Building Dreams”. This watercolor was selected for the 2010 Parade of Homes magazine cover. Check my blog later for more information on this painting.

As an artist, I enjoy painting all subjects: portraits, still life and landscape. However, I love painting from life the most. Both plein air painting and live wedding & event painting offer me the opportunity to do just that! I accept commissions and I travel!

– Tesh Parekh

919-622-5399

www,teshparekh.com

www.raleighweddingpainter.com

Wedding Painting of Marci and Brian- Raleigh, NC Wedding Painter

Marci and Brian. 12×16. Watercolor on Arches 300 lb CP paper.

This is my recent studio wedding painting. I had photographed Marci’s wedding last year (when I am not painting, I do professional photography- www.iwpphotography.com). Marci was a wonderful bride. Many brides have their Bridal portraits photographed prior to the wedding. Marci opted to do the portrait session of her daughters. I did that on location at the Pullen Park. These portraits were presented to Brian as a surprise at the reception. Marci was very kind to us and has become a good friend. So, I decided to do this wedding painting for her.

The painting is done from one of my photos of the ceremony at the Meredith College Chapel. The ceremony was special since Marcy’s father walked her down the aisle and was also ministered the wedding! Marcy loves her family and so I decided to paint this scene which captures most of her family.

I did this watercolor painting on Arches 300 lb CP watercolor block. The 300 lb paper has its own characteristics. I have noticed that the washes dry little flat as compared to 140 lb paper. However, I enjoy painting on different surfaces. This is my first painting using Holbein watercolor paints. I am trying those because one of my favorite watercolorists- Joseph Zbukvic uses those. I love the effects which Zbukvic creates in his paintings. So far so good- I am happy with what I have learned.

Below is my initial sketch of the painting. As a practice, I always start my watercolors with a pencil drawing.

I painted this watercolor fairly tightly and over a period of few days (rather late nights!). That is something I won’t do on location!

I presented this painting to Marci as a surprise: she absolutely loved it!

If you are a bride, wedding planner, event planner or a family member, looking for a unique keepsake or gift, I would love to hear from you!

– Tesh Parekh

www.raleighweddingpainter.com

www.teshparekh.com

Live Wedding Painting of Christine and Bob

Christine and Bob. 12×16. Watercolor.

This is my second painting at the Sutherland in Wake Forest this year. Ashley Adams of the Sutherland had invited me to paint at this Wedding which was sponsored by NACE. The Sutherland is a beautiful venue. The ceremony was outside. It was a gorgeous evening. The light was still fading fast, as you would see from the series of images below. Fortunately, there were spot lights- a luxury which is not always available to me! The tree in the back, with the white drapes, provided a beautiful backdrop.

I arrived at the venue at 5 PM, an hour before the ceremony. The image below shows my setup. I chose to compose so the couple will be off the center and I could capture the beautiful tree.

 I used Archies 140 lb rough paper block for this painting, The reason I used rough  surface was to capture the texture of outdoor subjects. I used Winsor and Newton paints. I still use French easel and really wish that I can find an easel that is easier to setup and use! I recently purchased Escoda brushes and love those! I also use Harmony Squirrel mop brushes for laying the washes.

I always start my watercolors with a drawing. Although I sometimes paint without the drawing, I would be lost without a drawing when painting a live event like wedding! I completed most of the drawing (below) and waited for the ceremony to start.

Here you can see my drawing and composition. I keep drawing of the middle ground light, since I will be sketching in bride and groom and the wedding party during the ceremony. I did not draw people in the foreground. To me, background is important since it provides the context and the visual interest. However, I try to not fuss too much with the background since the painting is not about the background! The same applies to the foreground where mostly you have friends and family. To me, the most important part of the wedding painting is the Bride and the specific moment- either during the ceremony or the reception that I want to capture.

Image below shows the completed painting.

Once the ceremony started, I quickly sketched in the wedding party. I made mental notes of colors and tones. I start my painting process with the broad washes. I use mop brushes to cover my painting quickly. Once, I had the washes completed, I refined the colors and tones of various parts. I normally repeat this process until I am happy with what I see. At this stage, I switch to my pointy Escoda brushes, so I can draw and paint at the same time!

I finished the painting with final details. Christine came and peeked at her painting once while I was in the process of finishing it. It was after 7 PM, when I matted and framed the painting! As you can see from the below image, it was completely dark, except for the spots!

Here you can see that the light is gone! Chairs are folded and stacked up! In the ideal world, you have the same light on your subjects and the easel. In the real world, it is on one or the other! But, I was honored to have captured the wonderful moment in Christine and Bob’s life. Now, framed and behind the glass.

I delivered the painting to Jennifer Jones (the Sutherland) for display at the reception. I had the opportunity to meet many NACE members and even some press folks. Many shared their kind words.

Christine was very thankful and that is my reward.

If you are a bride, or an event planner, I would love to hear from you. I accept commissions for both live and studio paintings. I am almost finished with a large studio commissions which I will be writing about next.

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

www.raleighweddingpainter.com

Snow, the Sutherland and Live Wedding Painting of Jeanie & Mark

Jeanie & Mark. Watercolor. 12×16.

Jeanie & Mark. Watercolor. 12x16.

After doing many indoor wedding and event paintings, I had the opportunity to paint a live wedding outdoors. With snow on the ground! Jeanie and Mark had their wedding reception at the Sutherland. The Sutherland is a beautiful historic venue in Wake Forest. I was working with Ashlee Adams and Jennifer Jones of the Sutherland.

It had really snowed the night before and part of the morning. So, everything was covered under a white snow blanket! The place looked beautiful- if I weren’t painting a wedding, I would have painted it Plein Air! The reception was outside the building, under a heated tent. I found ideal location to be in a corner behind DJ Jim’s setup. The heated tent was very comfortable. However, cold air would come in every now and then from under the corner. And standing in one place for a long period does not help. This is where the experience of painting Plein Air came in handy! I had my toe warmers in the bag (thank you, wife!).

I had decided to paint the first dance. Many times, I start drawing and painting immediately. In this case, I did a preliminary drawing but waited for the first dance, so, I could place  couple in an ideal position. The dance went by quickly- I had mere minutes to sketch the couple. Rest of the painting flowed in from there. The sunlight kept on coming in and out, so, I had to glaze the painting couple of times to get the depth.

I was painting on Arches Hot Pressed 140 lb block. Mostly to control the textural effects. I completed the painting in less than two hours after the dance started. As is my practice, I photographed it, and framed it.

Images below show my setup and view from my easel, before the reception had started.

– Tesh Parekh

I accept studio and live wedding & event painting commissions!

www.teshparekh.com

Event Painting for Triangle Wine Experience and ISES

Triangle Wine Experience 2010.  Watercolor. 11×14.  

Triangle Wine Experience 2010. Watercolor. 11x14.

The Raleigh-GT chapter of ISES, in Raleigh, NC,  put together a great event for the Frankie Lemmon Foundation called Triangle Wine Experience on February 6, 2010. The Foundation invited me to paint live for the charity auction. The ISES team created a beautiful ballroom, full of fabulous wine, food and friends.   As usual, my challenge was indoor lighting: not enough light, color temperature of the available light and shadows on my setup! I snapped couple of photos to show how dark it was inside the venue. The first one below shows my easel in the right hand corner at the bottom. The next image shows completed painting: the light on my painting is from my hand-held off-camera flash. 

Maybe I should eat more carrots! Thankfully, I was helped by videographer’s light during the initial stages. He did a time-lapsed recording of my painting- I hope to see it! 

I picked 11×14 format due to the schedule. I used Archies Hot Pressed block. It is good to paint on different surfaces. Each one has different characteristic. 

I love painting at Weddings and Events because I love painting from life. It also challenges me to find solutions for problems I face with location painting. I am never satisfied with the final result- that is a reason good enough for me to keep painting. 

It was good to see all my friends from ISES. I thank all who stopped by and shared kind words. Someday, I will carry portable lighting (in addition to easel, backpack, portfolio to carry paper and framing supplies, camera bag…). 

Well, I am off to eat some carrots- see you at the next event! 

– Tesh Parekh 

I accept commissions for studio and live paintings… 

www.raleighweddingpainter.com 

www.teshparekh.com

Evening at Solas- Event painting

Evening at Solas

Evening at Solas. 9″x12″. Watercolor.

Noreen Allen of NCMA Contemporaries (contemporaries.org)  had invited me to display my art at a wine tasting social at Solas. The North Carolina Museum of Art Contemporaries group is composed of young Triangle professionals whose goal is to promote the Museum and increase membership by sponsoring lively social and educational fundraising events.

Earlier, I had done event paintings for Contemporaries’ Derby Day event. So, I decided to do one for this event as well. Derby Day event was on the Solas terrace during daytime. This event was on January 19, on the second floor and in the evening. Normally, indoor lighting is bit challenging with live event paintings. However, thanks to Amanda Manares of Solas (solasraleigh.com), I had couple of track lights pointing directly at my display as well as my easel!  The color temprature of indoor lighting is a problem but this was huge help!

As with any event, things change quickly, people move and time flies! So, drawing and painting from memory is your best option. Not to mention working quickly! I was painting on Archies CP block. I still use Winsor and Newton watercolors on location, but I am in the process of switching brands for location work. I am considering Holbein as an alternative.

I accept commiossions for studio paintings as well as live Wedding and Event paintings. You can see my wotk at: www.raleighweddingpainter.com

Here is my setup and work-in-progress shots:

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

Live Event painting for ISES/ NACE/ Triangle Bridal Holiday party

ISES, NACE and Triangle Bridal hosted their annual holiday party on December 8 at Marriott in Raleigh. As a professional photographer (www.iwpphotography.com), I am a member of ISES- International Special Events Society (http://www.ises-gt.org/). I did a live watercolor event painting at this party. Carrie Peele of Blue Diamond Limo won this painting in a raffle! This was a great event. Although I painted for the most part, I enjoyed meeting many wonderful professionals. I also had the opportunity to photograph my painting process:

Here I have setup my easel and I am ready to start. I was painting on a 12×16  Arches CP 140 lb watercolor block. This blank rectangle piece of paper can be terrifying! Especially, when you look at what is in front: semi dark room filled with decorations and guests who are constantly moving. The lights are constantly changing. A bright red beam of DJ’s lights danced on my paper every few minutes and blinded me!

I use a French easel. I have modified it for my use. I do not find it easy to setup and would be happy to build my own someday. I paint on watercolor paper of different brands (Arches, Fabriano, etc.), textures (cold-pressed, rough, smooth), sizes and weights (140 lb, 300lb). I use single sheet as well as blocks. I keep an old fruit jar for water. I use Weber’s leakproof palette (this is a recent upgrade from my $2 palette!). I use mop brushes as well as synthetic brushes. I also use Sword liners- with these brushes I can paint really fine lines. It is important for me to have the brushes which can hold their point, as I “draw” with my brushes when I paint. I use Winsor & Newton watercolors. I probably have more colors than I need!

My next step was to analyze the scene and decide what I was going to paint. I spend enough time planning my process: what I am going to include, what I am going to leave out, what color scheme I will be using, what is the tonal scheme going to be, which parts will be painted wet-in-wet, which parts will be painted wet on dry, and so on. I do not start the painting until I have made at least some of these (if not all) decisions in my head. The next step was drawing. I use any pencil which is in my backpack and is sharp enough: HB, B, 2B, etc. (I do not use harder one- H, 2H, etc.). Drawing is very important to me. Success of my kind of painting depends on good drawing. This is one of the reasons I constantly practice drawing. Sorry, there are no shortcuts here! Here is my completed drawing. I am ready to use colors now.

I started with thin washes of colors. Lights were brightly colored, coming from many directions and changing constantly so the popular theory of “cool light, warm shadows” was useless here! I had to observe the scene long enough and make mental notes and memorize color schemes. It is difficult for me to describe my choices of colors.From Joseph Zbukvic I have learned to think of colors as: light or dark, cool or warm. When I am painting, tone is more important to me than colors. It took me around 90 minutes to complete the entire painting. I had the opportunity to chat with many nice folks (try that standing next to DJ’s fancy music system! However, that was not as bad as being on stage with Salt-N-Peppa snapping photos at G105’s Second Chance Prom! I had serious ringing in my ears after that!).

One good thing about watercolors is the drying: painting was ready for framing almost immediately! I matted and framed the painting and handed over to raffle folks. Here is the completed painting.

If you would like to commission me for your Wedding or Event, please email me: tesh@teshfineartphoto.com (this also makes a great gift!) .I also work with Event planners. You can see samples of my work at: www.teshparekh.com

Happy Holidays!

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

Wedding painting at St. Mary’s Chapel

Leigh and Tony. 16×12 Watercolor. Painted live at St. Mary’s Chapel in Raleigh, NC.

This is my latest wedding painting. I was working with Cara Zuehlke of A Southern Soiree. St. Mary’s Chapel is beautiful. It reminded me of All Saints Chapel where I had done a wedding painting earlier.The chapel was decorated beautifully, both inside and outside (if I had time, I would have painted outside as well!).

I arrived 90 minutes before the ceremony. The spot where I could setup my easel was between the last pew and the heating unit. I had to keep twisting for two hours to look at what I was painting and to reach my watercolor block and painting supplies! At this time of the season, it gets dark quickly. So, the only source of light was the overhead indoor lights: beautiful, but not bright enough for painting. Getting accurate tone and color temperature was not easy! But, that is the fun of painting on location!

When you look at any wedding scene, mere thought of painting so many details, and people can be terrifying. I like to plan ahead, say my prayers and then dive-in! I do my work with complete faith. At one point, I felt I was not going to have enough time to finish the painting. Talk about the stress! But, I am also a professional photographer (www.iwpphotography.com) and familiar with the stress! So, I kept on painting! I work quickly and the only thing important to me is capturing the romance of bride and groom uniting in front of their beloved family and friends. It is a beautiful thing!

I completed the painting few minutes after the ceremony was over. I photographed it, framed it and delivered to Cara in time for the reception. The reception was at Hotel Umstead.

I had the opportunity to meet Rev. Barbara Lodge (www.ncweddingminister.com) and Anne Duncan (St. Mary’s). Nice ladies- I look forward to working with them again.

If you are interested in commissioning me for this unique service, please email me at: tesh_photo@yahoo.com (this makes a great gift to bride and groom!). You can see my work online at: www.teshparekh.com

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

www.facebook.com/teshparekh

www.iwpphotography.com

Event painting: Concert at a Luau

Concert at a Luau. Watercolor. 9×12. This is an event painting I did for Debbie Dart. She is a wonderful friend who owns All About Hair and Nails in Wake Forest. She had hosted an annual event in Wake Forest and the theme was Luau.  It was a beautiful event which I captured on the location. It was drizzling as I painted and I guess that helps the watercolor painting! I love doing wedding & event paintings. Location paintings are done from life, without the aid of any reference material. Light changes quickly and people are constantly moving! So I have to memorize many things. There is not much time, so, I have to work quickly. But, this is what makes painting on location so special and it gives the painting a unique fresh look.I

If you are interested in capturing your special event in work of art, please contact me. I accept commissions for studio work and portraits.

– Tesh Parekh

My art is online at: www.teshparekh.com