From my recent trip to Asheville NC. I love Asheville! I had done live wedding painting there recently. And also photo sessions in the surrounding area. Simply beautiful. I did this painting while on a trip with my wife. She was photographing AENC’s annual meeting. One evening we went to the downtown. It was busy! I loved the energy of that place. Needless to say, I will be painting cityscapes and street scenes of Asheville downtown.
When painting mountains, Thomas Moran comes to mind. I admire his brilliant oil and watercolor landscape paintings. His drawings are amazing as well. We are fortunate to have one of his seascapes in North Carolina Museum of Art. While his paintings are breathtaking to look at, artists like myself always get amazed by his techniques. Many of his oil paintings are on large-scale and perfect in every way. How did he achieve those results? Only life-long dedication to art will hopefully provide answer to that question…
This was a special commission for many reasons. The venue was beautiful Camp Wayfarer in Flat Rock NC (outside of Asheville). I was commissioned by Ashley’s parents to paint the first dance in watercolor. I thank Amy Wood and Shay Brown of Shay Brown Events for introducing my service to the Strickland family. This was also my birthday weekend and I got to spend it doing what I love- painting!
This was going to be an outdoor wedding. But, the weather turned South so, ceremony and reception took place inside dining hall of the Camp. I arrived couple of hours ahead of the reception to set up. The venue was setup for the ceremony. I love those flags and chairs!
After the ceremony was over, the hall was transformed into reception venue. I found a spot that will give me the best composition and set up my easel.
There was a change in the schedule- the first dance took place later in the reception. So, I kept on painting. I keep my painting setup and process flexible. It was cold! And it was raining hard outside, raising the humidity. Being a plein air artist, I enjoy the challenge of painting on location. Every element makes location paintings special.
I sketched Ashley and Ben’s first dance in pencil. I make sketches and then use those as reference for my paintings. I also sketched wedding guests enjoying the first dance. Below is the first dance sketch which I made in few seconds.
I had approximately an hour to finish my painting. By now, the dance floor was open. Everyone was having a great time dancing to the live band. I kept on painting next to the dance floor. Many guests stopped by to look at the painting-in-progress. Once the painting was finished, Amy Wood of Shay Brown Events helped me present it to the Strickland family. Bride loved her painting! And that is my ultimate reward. I matted the painting and it was displayed on an easel.
Back home, I am working on a studio commission of Kathe & Todd’s All Saints Chapel ceremony. That will be a watercolor painting. And another live painting commission this weekend: Ashley & Chris’s wedding ceremony. That will be an oil painting and another All Saints Chapel ceremony! What more can an artist ask for…