I finally had my opportunity to paint live at the beautiful Oaks at Salem in Apex NC! I have known owner April Maness for awhile. In fact, when I had painted my first ceremony painting at the All Saints Chapel in Raleigh, April was the photographer for that wedding. I did not have the opportunity to meet Allie before the wedding. What a beautiful bride! Joslin Rodely (Director of Event Coordination) was very helpful and I enjoyed working with her.
I arrived before the ceremony. It was a beautiful day. The cloud cover kept changing while I painted the background, but when the ceremony started, it was gorgeous! Allie had wanted the Oak tree in the painting so I used horizontal composition. This was an 18×24 oil painting on linen (canvas). I painted the background before the ceremony. When the ceremony started, I made several reference sketches in pencil. I used those sketches for reference when finishing the panting. I took some photos to check details later, but, most of my painting was done from the life and memory. I sketch a lot. I carry sketchbook, pencil and painting supplies with me most of the time. And I sketch at every opportunity (there are no shortcuts to painting live!). After the ceremony, I continued to work on the painting. It was time to add all the figures. Once that was done, I applied finishing touches. Allie and Tyler were very happy with the painting! So, Joslin and I set it up on a display easel for the wedding guests to enjoy. A beautiful live painting- started and finished at the wedding!
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!
First, let me introduce Kyle. I never got the opportunity to meet this young soul. All I know about him is from the people who love him. And there are so many! I asked his mom Karen Byrd to share Kyle’s story. It brought tears to my eyes:
“I would love to tell you about Kyle — he was a great kid! Kyle was such a good baby; happy and fun and absolutely adorable. As a toddler and little boy, he was so full of energy — he kept us on our toes ALL THE TIME! That part never changed . . . Kyle was always what I like to call “outside the box.” He was never a bad kid, but he always kept me hopping. As a teenager, he was really smart. He never had to study or work very hard, but always made excellent grades; it just came easy to him. You just had to keep him focused so that he used his power and energy for good and not evil : ) He dabbled in about every sport at some time in his life — baseball, basketball, soccer, football, hockey . . . but his passions were wheels and music. Kyle could drive anything with wheels and he could almost instantly play any musical instrument that he picked up. When he was 2 years old, he couldn’t tell you the difference between a football and basketball or a horse and a cow, but he could drive a go cart with unbelievable skill and name all 40+ NASCAR drivers and sing the National Anthem . . . Kyle had a passion for people and for our community. His entire life, he volunteered along side Jimmy and I at Jaycee events and charity projects — he worked on projects, coached kids’ t-ball, worked with needy kids and so much more. Kyle also had a passion for the YMCA; he planned to be a YMCA counselor in high school. Kyle accepted Jesus in March of 2007 at a youth retreat at our church; and he dedicated his life to God at that time, becoming very active in our youth group and with the youth puppet team. Kyle adored his little sister and he looked after her, even though she drove him totally crazy. Kyle was also very popular. He was known by his friends as “The Byrdman.” He had a beautiful girlfriend, Julieann, who is still and will always be a part of our life. He was famous for his “neon hair” and his love of pink. He wore pink clothes and had a pink calculator, pink notebooks and a pink ipod. One of Kyle’s YMCA counselors said during Kyle’s funeral services “who else but Kyle could get this many ‘manly men’ to all wear pink” referring to all the men and teenagers in pink that day. The most defining trait of Kyle would have to be his sense of humor. He could have me so mad that I would be ready to ground him for life (or much worse) and then he would say something so totally off the wall that I would just bust out laughing…He’d do anything for a laugh. One time, he wanted a funny Halloween costume. That particular year, he was playing football and he had a football game that day; then he came home all sweaty from football and changed into his costume forHalloween . . . as a cheerleader. He was so “pretty” that we had people asking us about our “daughter” — people had no idea he was a boy; and he went out with his peers like that . . . no one could believe he had such guts, but for Kyle. . . anything for a laugh. Tesh, I miss him ever single second of every minute of every day . . . he was just a ray of sunshine, my waller monster, who loved to waller on me and hug me, unlike most teenagers, he was never embarrassed to hug and love me. This world is a better place because of his short time here and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing Kyle is blessed for the experience. Kyle James Byrd 1/6/93 – 6/23/07 Beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin & friend . . . Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God ~ Matthew 5:8″
Thank you Karen, for sharing this and for giving me the opportunity to paint Kyle.
I started Kyle’s portrait about a year ago. I was working from a digital photograph shared Karen. This was one of her favorite photos. It was taken at Kyle’s concert under indoor lighting. Kyle, being cool, had his shades on!
I wanted to do an oil portrait and wanted to do a direct painting. I could not finish my first painting while the initial stages were still wet. I decided not to paint over dried layer of paint.
So, I started a new one yesterday. And below you can see the stages of my progress. I started by painting free hand with neutral color. My plan was to follow John Howard Sanden’s system. However, since his system is for painting from life, I had to make changes as I went along. The main challenges which I faced were the quality of light in the photo and the fact that I could not see Kyle’s eyes. However, it was very rewarding doing this portrait and it was like spending time with Kyle, getting to know him.
It has been busy last few days! Although I have not been able to paint much, I have been really busy promoting my Wedding & Event paintings. My wife and I own IWP Photography (www.iwpphotography.com). We had a booth at Forever Bridal Show for both photography and painting. I received lot of interest in the Wedding paintings and so we will be including that as a part of our wedding packages. If someone already has a photographer (too bad!) or already married (congratulations!), I will accept commission for live or studio paintings. If you are not familiar with my Wedding and Event paintings, I have earlier blogs which I had posted on some of my paintings. I also have samples on my website: www.teshparekh.com
This month I am working on couple of studio commissions- a large family group portrait and a wedding painting. I am also planning on entering couple of competitions.
My two plein air watercolor paintings have been accepted into Halle Cultural Arts Center’s “A Sense of Place” Juried exhibition (Apex). The first painting is “Fall evening, Cary” and the second painting is “State Capitol, Raleigh”. Different cities, different downtowns and different views! Both were painted on location. “State Capitol, Raleigh” was also juried into 2009 NC State Fair. I had written about that painting earlier. I painted “Fall evening, Cary” on Academy Street after my shift at Cary Gallery of Artists where I am a member. I love the view of Academy street from Chatham. The street is always busy with traffic and cars parked on the side. The church adds the visual interest. I may paint there again. What I remember about that painting is the clean crisp fall air, with traffic passing by as I painted. There were some passerby, but not as many as when I painted “State Capitol, Raleigh”. Opening reception is on January 15.