One Amazing Live Wedding Painting by Tesh Parekh

Rod and Amy. Watercolor. Painted live. 16×20 on Saunders 140 lb rough paper.

I did this painting yesterday at the White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. What could be a better way to spend my day than painting?!

When I received an email from Cara  Zuehlke of A Southern Soiree about painting live at a wedding for a guest of the Bride and Groom for a unique gift, I was excited! This was just 2-3 days ago! A friend of the Groom wanted to give the painting as a gift to the very special couple.  So, after discussing the details,  it was left up to me to decide on the final size and format of the painting.

I went a day in advance to check out the church.  Based on the interior of the church, I decided to use 16×20 format, which worked out to be perfect size for the painting.  For me, the biggest decision was which paper to use.  I paint on variety of papers.  Given the current weather conditions, (steamy and hot!), I decided to use Saunders 140 lb paper.  I also used Holbein paints and my usual mop and Escoda brushes.

After completing the painting, I  matted and framed the completed painting and delivered it to the reception.   I also like to carry extra supplies in case there is a quick fix need.   So, I asked my wonderful wife to help me!  She was my attentive assistant while I painted.

The wedding start time was 6 PM. We arrived at the church at 3 PM. I setup in the balcony, next to Toni and Chris of Barton Creek’s videography setup. Shane Snider was the photographer and I look forward to seeing the shots he took while I was working. Beautiful flowers were provided by Lyn Graves, owner of Fresh Affairs.

The church is spacious with lot of little architectural details. The amount of time I had and the format of the painting allowed me to capture it all! I setup immediately and sketched the background in pencil. Painting interiors is not always easy – especially when your main subjects are yet to arrive! So, I painted some of the background and details in light washes and waited for guests to arrive. The ceremony began right on time and lasted around 20 minutes! The wedding party was big and I had to sketch everybody in quickly!

After the ceremony was over, I kept on painting. I completed the painting after 8 PM. We photographed, framed and delivered the painting to the Carolina Country Club.  The friend of the Bride and Groom loved the painting and signed it on the back, wishing the Bride and Groom well.  I am certain that they will enjoy this special gift.

The church was spacious and well-lit: a luxury for me! However, my easel was a step below me, so, I had to constantly bend as I painted! I will be on the road for couple of days, photographing a wedding ceremony.  So, I was ready to go home to rest and enjoy some family time.

I look forward to painting live: could it be your special event?

– Tesh Parekh

Artist and Photographer

www.raleighweddingpainter.com

www.teshparekh.com

iwpphotography.wordpress.com

919-622-5399

email: tesh@teshfineartphoto.com

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

www.teshparekh.com

www.raleighweddingpainter.com

919-622-5399

Email: tesh@teshfineartphoto.com

Departed- a watercolor painting by Raleigh NC artist

Departed. 15×22. Watercolor on Fabriano 300 lb HP paper.

Some painting ideas are like a splinter under your skin! This one came to me when my wife was in a hospital several years ago. From the hospital room window, I could see a helicopter sitting on top of a building. originally, I wanted to somehow include it in the painting, but, then dropped the idea. It would make the painting too busy.

To me, painting is a visual language. And I am still learning. So, it has taken me this long to finally make the painting. In between, I made quick pencil sketches while visiting some folks at hospitals. Last month, I made little more detailed pencil sketches when my wife was in hospital again. I wanted to paint on the spot. But, hospitals aren’t an easy place for that sort of thing! The final painting is done from a combination of my sketches, memory and imagination. It took me a while to find the right composition, too. And of course, the influence of Andrew Wyeth is obvious. Someday, I will master the medium of watercolors the way he did.

I know it is not a pretty painting. Certainly not the kind anyone will want to hang over mantle! But, it is a truthful depiction of my emotions. When you are sitting alone in a hospital room, watching your loved one, it is not always a happy feeling…

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

www.raleighweddingpainter.com

919-622-5399

email: tesh@teshfineartphoto.com

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

www.teshparekh.com

www.raleighweddingpainter.com

919-622-5399

email: tesh@teshfineartphoto.com

Memorial Day 2010- An original oil painting by Tesh Parekh

Memorial Day 2010. 16×20. Oil on linen.

I did this painting for Jerry’s Artarama’s Lukas paint competition. I had done one painting earlier for this competition “The Cloud”. It is currently on the display for sale at Cary Gallery of Artists.

I love the way evening light falls through front door of our home. My son Ian loves to stand there and watch the world outside. Originally I wanted to do his watercolor painting. So, I did a pencil sketch couple of days ago. The weather has been cloudy for last few days, so I could not make an exact sketch of what I wanted to paint. I also had paintings due for Jerry’s as well as North Hills competitions. I did a Plein Air watercolor for North Hills last week (see my earlier post). I wanted to do an oil as well, but, couldn’t get out to paint (North Hills competition is Plein air). So, I decided to work on at least one more painting for Jerry’s.

The painting was due today. And when I was being run over by the day yesterday, I finally saw the sunlight! I tried having Ian pose the way I wanted. Hmmm… Try that with a two-year old! So, I gave up and snapped few photos to use as reference.

I used linen as a support. Although I paint on both canvas and linen (sometimes on board), I prefer linen. Lukas paints are different from other brands I use. Those are all good paints and I enjoy discovering characteristics of each brand. I started to paint at 10:30 PM and stayed up to finish it this morning at 2 AM. When I was finished, I didn’t care if I will win anything. I enjoyed my little painting. One thing was certain: I will have dozen brushes to wash next day and Ian will be up in the morning! He did get up at 3 AM! And I still have brushed to wash!

Ian’s middle name is West. His grandfather was James West Hadnot. A fine fighter pilot and Col. in the US air force. World War II veteran. Today, when I remember him (he passed away in 2007), I remember many war stories he had shared with me. Some of those can make hair on your arms stand up. And here I was. Worried about little things. I had a very upsetting and bizarre incident involving one of my professional photography clients yesterday. Kept me busy all day. I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I painted. And there are some fine folks who are sacrificing their lives for this country. There is no secret message in my painting. It is a little painting done on the Memorial day. May be Ian will grow up to be like Col. James West Hadnot.

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

919-622-5399

“Concert at North Hills”- A live event painting by Tesh Parekh

Concert at North Hills. 13×19. Watercolor on Saunder’s Waterford 140 lb Rough paper. Painted live.

I had dreaded about making this painting! I frequently paint live at weddings & events, however, what worried me here was the complexity! I painted this as a part of North Hills plein air competition. The competition has now been open for two months. And for me, it has come down to almost last two days to get couple of paintings done. I hope to do an oil painting as well.

I had done three paintings last year, for the same competition. One painting had even won top prize in one of the categories (it was a rarity, considering that it was a watercolor!). Today, while scouting for a painting location, I met James Park. James, who is a General Manager at Mura Restaurant, had purchased one of my paintings last year. He shared a wonderful story related to my painting! Last year I had painted fountains. This year, I wanted to paint something different that would capture what goes on at North Hills. My original plan was to go out and work on couple of paintings for a week. North Hills competition is different from other competitions in that, you can paint anytime and as many times during the competition. This can potentially allow you to refine your paintings (or cheat, if you are into that sort of thing!). However, I had many other obligations which kept me from my lofty ideals. In fact, the title of this post should have been “life comes at you fast, paint faster”!

This was my first time at the Thursday evening concert. It was packed! Let me just say that people were having a good time! I had many folks who stopped by to admire my work (thank you, all!). Couple of folks even showed interest in buying it. This was not an easy painting for couple of reasons. First, the scene in front of me was really complicated. I liked the view from the other side, but, I did not like the composition that way. The light was also fading quickly. It took me around two hours to paint it and I enjoyed the experience.

I used Holbein paints with mostly subdued palette. There are no strong warm colors.

I am still working on a commissioned family oil portrait and also hope to finish couple of oil paintings for competitions. In next couple of days. Wish me luck!

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

919-622-5399

“Secret Creek”- A Plein Air Painting by Tesh Parekh

Secret Creek. 15×22. Watercolor on paper. En Plein Air.

This is my latest watercolor. I painted this plein air at the Durant Nature park. I had been painting outdoors for last few days. My hope was to have at least one new painting which I can submit to Watercolor Society of North Carolina (WSNC). I decided to submit this along with the “Beaufort Sunset”. “Beaufort Sunset” is a gouache painting on a board.

I have made several paintings at the Durant Nature park and hope to make many more. Visiting the same place to paint has been helpful: it has taught me to view the reality in different ways. Of course, the challenge is always to capture on the paper what I visualize. So, the development of skills is very important to me. It is a long process.

This is another painting done on an overcast day. There is a small trail which runs along the creek and it is called “secret creek trail”. On the one side of the creek is this trail and on the other side is the city street! Trees and wild life on one side and houses on the other side. For the most part, you can hear the water running, but, occasionally, you also hear men and machines. I liked the spot where the light was filtering from the top through an opening. I did this painting on Arches 300 lb CP paper. I have been painting on bigger size papers and have been for fortunate to complete my paintings in 2-3 hours. There are theories in the art world about what size paintings sell better. I am learning to ignore those! For now, I want my artistic preference to dictate the size. There is also a theory that unless it is Oil on linen or gallery wrapped canvas, it is not art! I paint in oils, but, for different reasons. I would rather keep learning to make the best art- regardless of the medium!

I was happy with the painting so I have submitted it to WSNC. Of course, WSNC does not require the painting to be plein air work. It can be done in the studio. But, if I can paint outdoors, why not? I would like to keep photography as a separate career.

This week looks busy with chores and weather- I am planning on painting thorugh both!

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

919-622-5399

Poison Ivy Point- A Plein Air Painting by Tesh Parekh

Poison Ivy Point. 15×22. Watercolor on paper. En Plein Air.

I did this painting last week at the Blue Jay Point county park in North Raleigh. It is a beautiful park with play areas and trails and it is on the Falls lake. It was a cloudy afternoon. I walked  along the Blue Jay Point trail. The short trail ends at the lake. And it is full of poison ivy! There are quite a few warning signs posted. I painted not too far from those! And hence, I made up the name- Poison Ivy Point! Only sound I would hear were the fish jumping and occasional boaters. Very quiet and tranquil otherwise.

I used Arches 300 lb CP paper and Winsor & Newton paints. It is useful for painting techniques which are different from the 140 lb paper. With watercolors, every time I learn something new! I did another painting the next day. I have entered that painting (“Secret Creek”) in Watercolor Society of North Carolina’s annual competition, along with the “Beaufort Sunset”.

I am continuing to work on a fairly complex commissioned family oil portrait. My next projects are the couple of oils and watercolors for painting competitions this month.

I am off to play with the paints!

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

919-622-5399

Moore Square- A Plein Air Painting by Tesh Parekh

Moore Square. 15×22. Watercolor on paper. Plein Air.

I have always wanted to paint Moore Square (Raleigh downtown). It is such a busy place.  And of course, there is the giant Acorn! I had recently done a live event painting at Cobblestone Hall, which is part of the City Market. I did this painting on a cloudy afternoon. The light wasn’t ideal for the kind of painting I had in mind. But, I guess the pain of not painting seemed to be far greater than waiting for ideal conditions!

I used Strathmore 400 series 140 lb CP paper. I had lot of difficulty handling paint on this paper surface. The painting also took longer than normal as there were many people who stopped by to ask questions and give comments! But, that is the fun of painting outdoors!

And these are the reasons for me to go out and paint again!

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

919-622-5399

Game in the park- a plein air watercolor sketch by Tesh Parekh

Game in the park. 9×12. Plein Air watercolor.

This has been a good week- I have been painting everyday! I painted live for the Raleigh City Museum on Friday. We had a Mother’s Day Photo Shoot on Sunday. In the afternoon, I went to the Durant Nature Park. I love this park. It is closer to where we live. It is not the world’s most scenic place! But, it is in my backyard and I love it! Besides, Andrew Wyeth created masterpieces painting his backyard! And he is my hero.

I hiked along the Secret Creek trail. It is a beautiful trail. But, it was too dark to paint on the trail. I did see a portrait photo shoot going on along the trail. Looked to me like the available light was being used for the shoot. As a professional photographer, I always get curious about some of the stuff I see! When the light levels are too low for the naked eyes- can one really get any light on the subjects? I mean I know that fast lenses can help, but, still? May be some folks have magic tricks. I would probably use flash/ strobe- that is my trick. The trail ends near play area. I saw folks playing volleyball and I loved the action and the evening light. So, I sat down there and made this little sketch. I used Strathmore 300 Series sketchbook. I like how this paper handled the paint. Next day I went to Jerry’s Artarama and bought bigger sketch pad. I also bought 400 series paper, but, it handled the paint entirely differently! With watercolors, every painting is a battle- what works today may not work tomorrow! Wind, temperature, humidity, water- they all keep you on your toes!

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

919-622-6399