Latest show and news – Raleigh Fine Artist

I hope you are having a wonderful 2013! November and December were busy months for me last year. I made quite a few paintings. It is time to display those paintings now! Last few days, I have been busy matting and framing my work. I even made several frames myself! Honestly, it took me longer to frame my work than to make those paintings! So much for my woodworking skills…

My current show is at the Cotton Company in Wake Forest. There are several watercolors and oil paintings on the display there, including scenes of Wake Forest. The show runs through February 2, 2013.

Evening at Joyner Park. Watercolor. Artist - Tesh Parekh
“Evening at Joyner Park” is one of my watercolor paintings on display at the Cotton Company in Wake Forest (NC).

I am excited to have my work in Lucky Pie Gallery in Cary (NC)! This is a new gallery in Cary where I  currently have my two watercolor paintings for sell. I look forward to displaying more work with this gallery.

“Docked- New Bern”. 16×12. Watercolor on paper.
“Docked- New Bern” is one of my watercolors available through Lucky Pie Gallery in Cary (NC).

I hope to enter my work into more contest this year. I had entered couple of contest in December. Just received an update on one of the contest: my painting “Departed” has been juried into Tipping Paint Gallery‘s Still Life painting contest “Flowers and $#!+”. This is a new fine art gallery located in Raleigh Downtown. The opening reception will be on Feb 1 (6-9:30 PM).

"Departed". Watercolor. Artist - Tesh Parekh
“Departed” has been juried into Tipping Paint Gallery’s Still Life contest.

Happy painting!

– Tesh Parekh

Fine Artist and Live Wedding Painter

Mumbai Watercolor paintings by Raleigh Fine Artist

"Oval Ground, Mumbai". Watercolor on paper. 14x21. By Tesh Parekh
“Oval Ground, Mumbai”. Watercolor on paper. 14×21. By Tesh Parekh

This is a familiar view from the Churchgate area of Mumbai. The Oval Maidan (ground) is popular for cricket and other sports. When I stopped by during my recent Mumbai trip, it was empty except for those birds! I like the English architecture of Bombay High Court and Rajabai Tower in the background. Business district of South Mumbai has many beautiful buildings. More watercolor paintings of Mumbai to come. My recent paintings will be on the display for sale at the upcoming Holiday Home & Gift Show in New Bern, NC. I will be selling my work at the show Nov 10-13 (Fri-Sun).

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding Painter and Fine Artist

Honorable mentions for my 2 gouache paintings! – Raleigh Fine Artist

Two of my recent paintings have won honorable mentions in Jerry’s Artarama‘s Turner Gouache Contest. Originals and prints are available!    Both are gouache paintings but painted differently. “Quilts” was painted in many session using many washes and layers. I painted “NC State Fair 2011” in single session. I am thankful to Jerry’s for their continued support to art and artists. May be in 2012 I will move up from honorable mentions…

NC State Fair 2011. 12x16 Watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. I have always wanted to paint NC State Fair. There is just so much energy at the fair! And the different shapes, colors, smell, the crowd and the movement. If I can find a good spot, I would like to paint en plein air one year. This is a gouache painting on paper. This painting has won honorable mention in Jerry's Artarama's Turner Gouache Contest. Unlike the painting of Burleigh Plantation, this is a freer painting. I painted this quickly.
Quilts. 20x16 Gouache on Aquabord. Artist - Tesh Parekh. This is Burleigh Plantation in Semora NC. I visited the plantation few weeks ago and found it very exciting. I have also done a drybrush painting of a slave cabin door of the plantation. I worked on this painting for many days. This painting has won honorable mention Jerry's Artarama's Turner Gouache contest. Painting in Gouache is quite different from watercolor. This is my first painting on Aquabord. I am not quite sure if I like the surface for my kind of paintings. I may have to try it with watercolors.

– Tesh Parekh

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Event Painting for the launch of NC Wish Upon A Wedding – by Raleigh Live Event Artist

North Carolina Wish Upon A Wedding, Live Event painting. 22x28. Oil on linen. Live event artist - Tesh Parekh

It was quite an honor doing a live event painting for the launch of North Carolina Wish Upon A Wedding. The launch party was held at Top of the Hill restaurant in Chapel Hill (the Great Room). WUW supports such an amazing cause! I met so many wonderful people at this event (I had the privilege of knowing many of them prior to this event). I thank the NC chapter of WUW for giving me the opportunity to participate. I look forward to working with this non-profit- for live painting as well as for photography.

This was a  large live painting- 22×28. Oil on linen.  I paint live in watercolors as well. The event was from 6 PM – 9 PM. I arrived at the venue an hour early to setup. Deciding what to paint and how much to paint are two of the most important decisions. Most weddings have a window of 5-8 hours during which I paint either ceremony or reception. The size of the painting is one of the factors that decides the amount of time needed. Bigger painting in shorter time meant that I would be working quickly. Here is my setup:

My setup for live event oil painting at the Top of Hill restaurant in Chapel Hill. Live event painter - Tesh Parekh

I toned the linen and then started blocking in major shapes and tones. Live painting is an alla prima painting. So, all the concepts of all prima apply when you are painting live. This is similar to painting en plain air. The difference is that many of the weddings and events are indoors (you almost always have to carry your own light for the easel).  Also, most plein air paintings are landscapes or cityscapes, with human subjects being of lesser importance. Wedding paintings (at least the ones I paint) are focused on the bride & groom. Events are different. Some of the events do not have a well-defined subject. So, having the event program was a big help (one of the benefits of working with wedding planning professionals!).

I painted some of the background before event guests started to arrive. Once the attendance was full, I made pencil sketches for my reference. I make quick pencil sketches when I paint live. I use some of those in the finished painting. When the chapter president Veronica Foster spoke briefly, I captured that in the painting. I enjoyed talking to many event guests and fellow wedding professionals while I painted. The photographers and videographers of the event have captured my painting progress- I look forward to seeing those images and video clips. I tightened up and finished the painting before end of the event. Here is the finished painting on the easel:

Finished live event painting on the easel. Notice how the ambient light has changed. Wedding and Event painter - Tesh Parekh

The painting is now with NC WUW. I look forward to donating my live wedding paintings to WUW.

I used variety of artist oil colors and brushes for this painting. I currently do not use any chemicals or additivies when I paint live. This keeps the painting process odor-free, toxin-free and the paintings chemically sound. I know some artists use paint thinners like OMS. Just because OMS is odor-free does not make it less toxic! And while it is possible to create giant paintings quickly by thinning the paint, the long-term stability of such paintings is doubtful (not to mention that the paint will look flat soon). I want my patrons to enjoy their commissions for a very long time as heirlooms. So, I strive to use the best materials. That is one of the reasons I use quality linen as a support.

My next project is to create painting for a competition…

– Tesh Parekh

Artist & Photographer

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Live Event Painting for ISES/ NACE/ TBA Holiday Party at Crabtree Marriott- by Raleigh NC Live Wedding and Event Painter

 Leon Jordan’s Continentals Orchestra, Live Event Painting, 12″x16″, Watercolor on Arches 140 lb CP paper.

This was my second year doing live painting for ISES, NACE amd TBA annual holiday party. The party was for Toys for Tots benefit.

As always, I enjoyed meeting my fellow professionals. The party was held at Crabtree Marriott Hotel . My friend Jule Lee is a Sr. Exec at the hotel. The food was fabulous!

Last year I had picked different composition. This year I decided to paint the orchestra. There were quite a few musicians! I had about 30 minutes to do a pencil sketch. Below is my setup before I started the painting:

As with any indoor live painting, the challenge is always the lighting! But, I was fortunate to find a spot with decent light on my watercolor block and palette. I also carry portable light, but, it can be a distraction to the well-designed party lighting. So, I avoid it, if possible.

Of corse, the orchestra folks were in constant motion and were off the stage well before I finished the painting! So, painting from memory was a necessity. I had the painting finished and framed, in time for door prizes. Taylor Pittman of Taylormade DJ Services won it! Below is my finished painting in the easel (orchestra had returned to the stage):

I am excited about 2011! I have received many inquiries about live wedding paintings and also started booking brides. If you are a bride who is looking for something unique, a live wedding painting is worth considering! Most of the wedding budget is spent on guests, while a live painting not only captures the wedding through artists’s eye, but also lasts forever!

I have also been doing plein air work. Below is one of my favorite recent watercolor sketch:

Tesh Parekh

Professional Artist and Photographer



Double honors for my paintings- Raleigh NC Artist

Farmers Market at North Hills. 18×24. Oil on Canvas. First place in North Hills Quick Paint Plein Air competition.

Concert at North Hills. 13×19. Watercolor on Paper. Best in Show- North Hills Plein Air Competition.

This was a good Fathers Day Weekend for me! On Saturday I found out that my plein air painting “Concert at North Hills” had won Best in show award!  I had written about this painting in one of my previous posts. This award was quite an honor since I was in the company of many fine local plein air artists, including members of Paint NC group, Dough Strickland, Dan Nelson and Dan Lee. The competition was held during months of May and June. The paintings were on display at the Commons this weekend. When I reached North Hills in the morning for Quick Paint competition, I was pleasantly surprised to see Best in Show ribbon on my painting!

The Quick Paint competition was held on Saturday 10 AM- 1 PM. This coincided with the Framers Market. It was a hot morning! I walked around looking for a good spot. I liked the busy Farmers Market scene. Unfortunately, the spot from where I painted was in the direct sun! I practically fried myself standing in the sun for two hours! 

This was my largest plein air painting- 18×24. Since I had done watercolor earlier, I decided to paint in oils. The intense heat made the oils soft like watercolors!  I started by staining the canvas in brown tone. This was the only time I used OMS to thin the color. Next, I did a fairly loose underpainting in brown, keeping the paint thin without using OMS. This helped me finalize the composition, drawing and tonal scheme. I used the biggest brush for this part. I use this process sometimes for oil painting. The rest of the painting flowed smoothly and was expedited by the feeling of being a barbecue skewer on a hot summer grill! I finished the painting in two hours. I enjoyed meeting and talking to many nice folks while I was painting.

I also met nice folks with North Hills Events. Katherine Knott and her team did a great job.

The Quick paint results were announced on Sunday during the award ceremony. I came to North Hills from the Fathers Day brunch with my family. I was surprised to win the Quick paint as well! After the award ceremony, I headed to Raleigh-Durham Airport for a photo shoot! Under the hot Carolina skies…

–          Tesh Parekh



The Raleigh Big Garden Party- a live event painting by Tesh Parekh

The Raleigh Big Garden Party. 13×19. Watercolor on Saunder’s Waterford 140 lb rough paper.

Last year I had done a plein air watercolor painting of Raleigh Rose Garden (see one of my earlier posts). When I heard that Tobi Gowen was looking for artists to paint live at the Raleigh Big Garden party, I was excited!

The Raleigh big garden party was organized to promote Raleigh little theatre, the Raleigh rose garden, Raleigh little theatre productions and the Raleigh garden tour.  The theme of the party was Italian. Many artists painted live at this event: Heather Robinson, Rebecca Worters, Laura Azzi and Winnie-Ferguson. I also had the opportunity to meet Nancy Stolfo-Corti. Nancy is the author of the book “The Other Side of Tuscany”. The live music was provided by Mebanella.

It turned out to be a beautiful evening! The weather cooled down and it did not rain. Many folks stopped by to see my painting. My good friend Robert Johnson kep me company. Robert Johnson is the Principal of Triangle Public Strategies, LLC.  He assists organizations with fundraising, advocacy, and grant writing services.

Watercolor is my preferred medium for painting live weddings and events. I like it for couple of reasons. I like painting people: watercolor allows me to paint people quickly. I am also able to paint on sizes 11×14 and bigger. I am perfecting my oil painting techniques and will eventually paint live events in both watercolors and oils (I do plein air paintings in oils).

I used Saunder’s paper, Holbein paints and Escoda brushes. Although the painting looks colorful, I had used mostly muted colors. I will be donating this painting to Raleigh Little Theatre.

If you are looking for a live event artist for your wedding or event, please contact me!

– Tesh Parekh



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


“Parrot Store” wins 3rd place in Kinston’s annual paint out- a watercolor by Tesh Parekh

Parrot Store. 13×19. Watercolor. Plein Air. Winner of third place in Kinston CCA paint out, 2010.

This watercolor won third place in Kinston CCA’s annual paint out.  I completed four paintings during two days (images of other paintings are below).

The Kinston Community Council for the Arts (Kinston CCA) is a non-profit organization that promotes art in Lenoir County. Kinston CCA’s annual paint out is held each year as a part of the BBQ festival on the Neuse.  This year the paint out was for three days in downtown Kinston, beginning April 28 through April 30th. Paintings were juried and then were for sale as the art gallery next to Mother Earth Brewery during the Festival on the Neuse. They will be on sale at The Arts Center, 400 N. Queen Street, Kinston for the month following the festival.

I painted on Wednesday and Friday. I drove in the early morning from Raleigh on Wednesday. The weather was beautiful for plein air painting! I started my first painting right at the gazebo where Mary Page (Kinston CCA) was accepting registrations. I saw couple of artists painting and decided to paint them! This is a 16×20 oil painting on linen. This is a fairly big size painting for plein air work! I worked fast, too- it took me around 3 hours to complete the painting- “Kinston Paint Out 2010”:

The next painting below- “Parrot Store” is one of my favorite watercolors. I did this painting on the Heritage Street in the afternoon. I loved the way light was falling on the Parrot Store. I had a great time working on this watercolor! Since I painted it on Wednesday, there was no rush to finish it. The only problem was the wind! I had to hold the painting with left hand while I painted! My fellow artists Bernie Rosage Jr. and Mitchell, both members of OOPS, came by while I was painting. I met Bernie and OOPS artists last year. Nice folks to know and to paint with! Bernie’s painting won second place.

I did not paint on Thursday as I was in Wilmington to sign the limited edition prints of my painting “Building Dreams”.

On Friday morning, I did an oil painting on the Neuse River.  Before I started the painting, I had different composition in mind. I wanted to paint the bare tree hanging over the river. But, once I started to paint, I changed my plans. This painting is 16×20 oil on linen as well- “Kinston Nature Center”:

My last painting of the competition was a watercolor. On the Heritage Street again, but, on the different side of the street from where I had painted earlier. This was not an easy painting! There was stress to finish it before the 5 PM deadline! And I had to photograph and frame my paintings before then! I did not enter this painting in the competition, but, the owner of the Mother Earth Brewery bought it on the spot- “Mother Earth Brewery”:

I have really enjoyed both the paint outs in Kinston- folks are very nice! Last year I had sold all four of my paintings there. I hope this year will be as good! This competition is very artist friendly- Sandy Landis and her team does great job! I am looking forward to next year already!

– Tesh Parekh



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:

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