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.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Adkins-Harris Wedding, The Rainier Club, Seattle

Wedding painting by Sam Day
The Adkins Harris Wedding, Rainier Club, Seattle, ©2012 by Sam Day. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches.

The Rainier Club is the oldest, and arguably the most important private club in Seattle. Founded when the city still had mud streets, the club hosted the first trade delegations from Japan to the United States. A century later, a US president broke bread here in Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings with Japan, China, and other Pacific Rim nations— the first APEC meetings in the United States. Lesser events within these walls are too numerous to mention, with the notable exception of the Adkins-Harris wedding of August 25, 2012.

The architecture is appropriately grand. Designed by Kirtland Cutter in 1904, in what was later called the Jacobethan style— a mixture of Elizabethan and Jacobean architecture; in short, a mash-up of everything. There are curvilinear parapet gables on all facades. The exterior is flash-fired clinker brick. And in room after room, one finds homage to a different age. In this one, ten solid Doric columns as thick as a Douglas Fir are illuminated on the west by peaked, gothic church windows, and on the east by a walk-in fireplace big enough for a half a cord of wood to be stored in the shadows (no longer used). The east walls are painted a dark crimson/Venetian red, from which the clinker brick of the fireplace recedes. But the other walls are a glowing Georgian yellow, trimmed in cream. The Doric columns are a glossy Van Dyck brown, looking chocolate in sunlight, and nearly black at night.
The art collection is one of the best in the city. The lobby has the usual Northwest Masters such as  Morris Graves and Kenneth Callahan, as well as living masters like Alden Mason. The halls are lined with photogravures in their original Art Nouveau frames by Edward S. Curtis, the famed photographer of Native Americans who lived in the club for a time, and paid his rent in original prints. There’s an Albert Bierstadt oil painting of Mount Rainier in the room where dinner was served. Among period seascapes, an incomparable portrait of Emma Frye hangs in the room where this couple was married.
It is into that room that we glimpse on the right side of my painting, and from which the couple emerges to join their guests.
The bride, a high school classmate of mine, wore a gown of pure sunlight refracted by something much softer than sequins— designed by Reem Accra—, and carried a bouquet by ArĂ­a Style. The groomsmen wore carmine colored orchids; the groom’s was white.
On the far left of the painting, the groom’s daughter sits at the Steinway, effortlessly embellishing Beatles songs. His son stands tall in the center with hereditary aplomb, next to the bride’s sister and the father of the groom. The genial best man and his wife are in the lower left, and a niece and nephew hold up a pillar with great interest. The mother of the bride is seated (in white) in mid distance in a room crowded with friends and family.
Along the north wall the band A New Groove belted out 70s R&B and rock classics, and Geoffrey Castle, a soloist on six string electric violin, fused musical styles with unparalleled virtuosity.
It was a great evening, in a great place, with great people. It was great to be there, and a privilege to paint it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Billy and Ingrid at Melrose Market Studios

What can be more elegant than the basement of an old urban produce warehouse, with exposed brick and old growth fir beams? Said basement dressed up by Tacoma based wedding designer Amanda Rose, who’s company Oak & Cyprus Weddings and Events also did the flowers. The small bouquets were simple and colorful, with surprising elements, like succulents. She brought in carefully selected antiques from Vintage Ambiance. Cake by People's Cake. The band played exquisite, understated jazz. The gathering was intimate, with only about 70 guests. There were nieces and nephews aplenty.
 A seven year old named Liam kept me on my toes with questions about oil painting— citrus thinner, linseed oil, the particular use of a four inch wide badger fan brush, and how to erase mistakes. (I can do that with oils, since they stay wet for quite a while.) Perhaps his best question was in response to my comment that I used to have a friend named Liam: “Do you still have a friend named Liam?”
There was a baby in attendance who was just old enough to crawl. As she played with the latches on the antique trunk that centered the makeshift living room, I painted her as fast as I could. One never knows how long a baby will pose for a portrait.
The bride and groom eventually stood for a few minutes for me to paint them, sometime after the first dance. The parents of the bride are on the couch, and of the groom, standing in the lower right.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A 60th Birthday Party at Newcastle Country Club

This celebrant’s friends appreciate her sense of style. They all came dressed in black and white; only the guest of honor was dressed in red. Prestwick Terrace, the permanent party tent at The Golf Club at Newcastle, was likewise festooned with black table cloths and white flowers.
As always, I arrived early enough to get a head start painting the room (big top) and the view. This is a magnificent place to watch a sunset, and the last time I painted here I depicted the evening at dusk. This time I chose the bright summer sunlight. By the time the sun went down, all I had left to paint were faces, anyway. Oh, and one tireless birthday girl in a bright red dress.