Live Event Paintings

I paint oil paintings, live, at wedding receptions and events, anywhere in the world. Click my profile to find my email, or call (206) 382-7413.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Zinzanniversary! Painting at Teatro Zinzanni’s 10th Anniversary Celebration November 1, 2009



For their anniversary, Teatro Zinzanni held an auction in their Spiegel Tent to benefit the Zinzanni Institute of Circus Arts, with performances by Ann Wilson of Heart, El Vez, Francine Reed, and the great cast that regularly serves up Love, Chaos and Dinner at this wild and wacky place. (The Tom Douglas designed five course meal is as good as the show.) I painted the cocktail hour and silent auction in the lounge. The gentleman in the hat bought the painting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Urban Unveiled at Benaroya Hall, Seattle, October 15, 2009


Urban Unveiled is a high-end wedding show created by ├╝ber wedding planners Jesse Brix and Travis McBurney of True Colors Events. With a limited number of exclusive vendors and a fabulous couture fashion show in the grand hall at Benaroya, the home of the Seattle Symphony, this show had more of a party atmosphere than the feel of some marketing event. This painting now belongs to Jesse and Travis, who appear in the lower left. A few steps toward the center is their lovely friend, the couture designer Luly Yang. It was a delight to meet Ms. Yang (who just opened a new boutique in Beijing), and have her stand in front of me for five minutes to put her into this painting.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fisher-Sirota Wedding, Seawane Country Club, Hewlett Harbor, New York, September 12, 2009




I love New York. I really, truly love New York. But I didn’t get to go into the city; I stayed near JFK airport, and had my canvas and citrus thinner delivered to my hotel from an art store in Manhattan.

As my Trinidadian livery driver carried me east out onto Long Island, the neighborhoods gentrified almost from one block to the next. Rows of working class houses gave way to lawns and comfortable homes, then mansions with water access to Hewlett Bay.

Tucked away behind these shrub-lined gardens, the Seawane Country Club could pass for another stately home. But its magnificent ballroom looks out over the greens and fairways that stretch down to the bay. A salt breeze wafted in over the patio, decked this day with a chuppah, or marriage canopy, and white flowers. A larger white tent covered the guests from the predicted rain.

Inside, tables were set and the band tested their sound system while I mixed paint and prepared to depict the room. After cocktails were served in an adjacent room, a white curtain was swept aside, the band got funky, and the dance floor filled with celebrants before dinner.

And what a band it was. They played everything from klezmer to jazz and funk. They finished the evening with 80s rock.

As for my part, I knocked this painting out in four hours.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Update: Prices and Travel Fees

I’m delighted that I’m getting requests to paint weddings in beautiful and exciting places. I’ve recently been contacted by brides and grooms in San Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, and Rhode Island. I’ll be doing my first New York wedding next month.

As even the most lavish weddings have to carefully manage costs, the second question I’m asked is always about price. (The first is “do you travel to ______?”) To be fair to my local clients, I charge for travel costs separate from the price of the painting. Painting prices are as follows:


2009 Prices


24 x 30 $2000

24 x 36 $2300

24 x 40 $2650

30 x 40 $3750

36 x 48 $5000

48 x 60 $6000

48 x 72 $7500


For out of state clients in North America, I charge for air fare and lodging, and car rental if necessary. There is an additional fee of $1000, which covers two working days of travel time. If you would like me to travel out of the country, I’ll need to know more about your specific location before I can quote a final price.

As is common in the wedding industry, I need a non refundable deposit of 50% to reserve your date. If you contract this year for a date next year, you get this year’s price.

Monday, July 6, 2009

YouTube vid: 25 Event Paintings

This new YouTube video has a short narrative about how I got started doing wedding paintings, and showcases more than two dozen paintings over the last five years.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Video: Tutta Bella Painting

I blogged about this event earlier, but the YouTube video is new.
Thanks to the Tarantellas, who let me use their recording of Godfather's Tarantella. They appear in the lower left of the painting, and are regulars at Tutta Bella, which serves authentic neapolitan pizza the way its done in Italy.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Time Lapse Photography, Lake Las Vegas Wedding

Time lapse photography of me painting a wedding at Lake Las Vegas, courtesy of Jason Roberts at Digs Studio, LasVegas. The first video shows me painting the landscape background before the wedding, which took place on the beach at Reflection Bay. The second video is in the ballroom for the reception that evening— two paintings in one day! Thanks to Digs for excellent work, and for letting me share this.


Sam Day Timelapse 1 from Digs Studio- Jason Roberts on Vimeo.


Sam Day Time Lapse 2 from Digs Studio- Jason Roberts on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Painting a Lake Las Vegas Wedding



Vegas is the epicenter for destination weddings. Most of those happen on or near The Strip, but this one was on a beautiful choral sand beach in a golf resort southeast of town, just a stone’s throw from Lake Mead.

The bride had carefully orchestrated a fantasy wedding, and the planners at Green Orchid Events made sure it all happened with precision and grace. There were so many elements in the event, a little editing had to determine what would end up in the painting. Could I paint fast enough when the bride and bridesmaids arrived on the yacht, and paraded around Reflection Bay to the waiting groomsmen? What about the gondola that picked up the couple after the ceremony? Neither vessel made it to into my composition. But I got the gospel choir and one of the ribbon dancers.

The landscape was the easy part. Just as when I’m painting an event in a room, I showed up early enough to have the background done before the guests arrived.

This was a first for me. Not only was it the first time I painted a wedding ceremony, but also the first time I painted two canvases at the same event. It was an afternoon wedding, and the whole evening was ahead of us. So as the couple embarked on their gondola cruise and the guests migrated into the clubhouse for cocktails, I moved my easel into the ballroom to paint the reception.

The photography and cinema professionals at Digs have beautiful pix on their blog.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Six Foot Painting at Tutta Bella - Wallingford




On April 26, 2009, my client rented out the restaurant Tutta Bella in Wallingford, Seattle, Washington, for a 60th birthday bash. This was my greatest challenge to date, because of the enormous size. At six feet wide and four feet high, the canvas is nearly eight times the size of my regular 24” x 30” event paintings. But I had to complete the painting in the same amount of time— a four hour party, plus three hours of set up.

I actually spent days preparing. I stretched the canvas myself, because I’m rarely pleased with off-the shelf products this size. I also built a special carrying case to transport the painting when wet.

I arrived at 8 am to set up for an 11:30 event. After about an hour of set up and mixing paint, I began painting the background.

I was trying to include about a 150 degree view, so I had to visually bend the architecture like a fisheye lens. As with all these paintings, lot of quick brush work has to be done in the beginning. Even very thin washes still take a lot of paint at this size. Everything is umber and ochre at first. Areas I want lighter are altered by lifting out paint with citrus thinner. Detail is added later in thicker layers.

After lunch, core family members stayed til nearly 4 pm. The clients' grandchildren stood for their portraits in the foreground.

Music to paint by! Richard Sclafani and Peter Cicero, of the italian folk duo the Tarantellas, serenaded the finishing touches.

The excellent planning was orchestrated by Jesse Brix and Travis McBurney of True Colors Events. The event was photographed by the talented staff at Imigri, and all the photos I have of me at this event are copyrighted by them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Video: Time Lapse of 5th Avenue Theater Painting

On April 18, 2009 I made my 5th Avenue debut at their annual gala auction. My painting from that evening will be reproduced in promotional materials for next years’ gala, and the painting will be sold at that auction (2010)—while I’m painting the image for the 2011 auction. It’s nice to be asked to start a tradition!
Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater hosts Broadway musicals, often featuring world premieres, such as the upcoming Catch Me if You Can.

Thanks to ProMotion Arts for the video. http://www.ProMotionArts.com
http://www.5thavenue.org/