The Tacoma chapter of the American Heart Association held their 2011 Heart Ball at the Hotel Murano, Tacoma Washington. This is the second year I've been asked to paint at this auction. The 1930 Packard in the corner is courtesy of the LeMay Museum.
Host Hospitality Party and Event Planning put me in the center of the Bicentennial Plaza on a riser the size of a small stage, between the entrance and the ballroom. In the wings to either side of me were the displays for the silent auction. As has become the custom when I paint at auctions, I painted the crowd as they browsed and bidded on the silent items. When the live auction began, I took off my apron, put on my tux coat, and carried my painting to the main stage to parade it around, Vanna White style, during the bidding. After the auction, the buyer and spouse came back to my easel to pose for their quick portrait.
This is not like a presidential portrait, with the smooth finish of a John Singer Sargent— although I can do that too. This is an impressionistic portrait; an oil painting version of the caricatures I honed at events for 20+ years.