May 26, 2021
I often get asked how I got into live wedding painting, especially as someone who does such realistic artwork. My reply is that I began with this painting, a painting of my wife for our 3rd wedding anniversary. I wanted to capture my wife’s rich complexity in a portrait that echoed Gerhard Richter’s over the shoulder portrait titled “Betty.” It is a painting we were able to see when visiting the Saint Louis Art Museum. It seemed that this over the shoulder style gives the impression of someone, which sometimes makes for a more perfect portrait!
I used dark colors to compliment her wonderful curls and walnut brown hair. As a wedding painter I wanted her cool skin tones to captivate the viewer. So I used light tones to pull the highlights out of the shadows. In many ways I let light guide the painting into being something complex and beautiful. As artists this fit both of us and the many layers to our relationship.
The greens of the background I pulled from all of the floral accents of our garden wedding. Ships of the Sea Museum in Savannah, Georgia was not only our favorite garden to walk through but our first choice wedding venue. A garden wedding somehow seems fitting for a live wedding painting too. Both alive with creativity and joy, much like my incredible wife!