Style Unveiled, a national wedding blog, did this great spread about a wedding I painted in Santa Barbara this year.
See it here: Chanel & Kevin
Many thanks to Melissa Musgrove for great photography and great networking to get this wedding published! And, of course, thanks most of all to the great couple, for such a great wedding.
simplest jobs are the sweetest. This client brought his girlfriend in to the
studio to have their caricatures done, and when they left, she was his fiancé.
It was all prearranged, of course, and it happened just as planned. After drawing their faces, the last
thing I drew was his body down on one knee, and then his hand presenting the
ring, which he pulled out of his pocket just as her face showed that she
suddenly understood what was happening.
a ferry in Seattle, then drove. The Kitsap Peninsula is shaped like the head of
a cuttlefish, cradled on the east by the arms and fingers of Puget Sound, and
on the west by the long, bent arm of Hood Canal. Some fifteen miles from Bremerton,
we reached the muddy tip of the broad Canal (technically a fjord), and tooled fifteen miles more past
the vacation homes that line its oyster caked beaches. It’s a woody, meandering
road, smelling of fir, cedar, and saltwater. The hundred year old Alderbrook is
suddenly there on the right.
say this wedding was a marriage of blondes and beards. I got to paint plenty of
both. There were the two year old twin boys, dressed like the little Dutch boy
on the paint can, with blue pacifiers, who walked down the path bearing a sign
that read “Here Comes the Bride;” there were the blond, freckled flower girls,
in sparkly silver-grayish taupe summer dresses that easily accommodated their
spontaneous soccer playing, and their sparkly feathery pink flapper skull caps
pinned at a tilt. There were feathers in the flower arrangements too— the
bride’s family supplies hundreds of thousands of chicken eggs a day for the
region’s breakfast tables. I guess with that many chickens, you get feathers
well-whiskered groom, who’s family is in the boat business, turned out to be an
amiable conversationalist, as he stood for his portrait. His equally well
whiskered best man/brother stated in his toast that the groom could “talk to
anybody about anything— he could talk to you for half an hour about your belt
It was an
unhurried wedding, in an unhurried place. It feels like a vacation every time I paint here. You can bet I swam in the Canal before we left.
About an hour’s drive north of Seattle, there is a small farm
growing hay and working a few cattle in bucolic pastures on either side of the
Snohomish River. The river flows sleepily here, not many miles from where it
empties into Puget Sound. Pebble beaches and cottonwood trees line its winding
banks. And on a bend in the river next to such a beach, the family maintains
their private campground, shaded by cedars, pines, and those enormous
They gather here every summer for a reunion, lining up their
RVs and tents around an open air dance hall, made from the timbers of the old
dairy silo. A carefully stoked bonfire burns in a steel half-ton mortar from a
nearby rock quarry, once used to crush local stone. The kids twirl sparklers at
the river’s edge, guided by tiki torches from camp to beach and back.Sloppy Joes and s’mores are the
This year, one tent was decorated differently: the words “Just
Married” were spelled out on a hand made sign.
The farm is connected to the bride’s family. I am connected to
the groom by way of having painted his brother’s wedding in 2006. None of us
can remember how the first couple found out about my services.
I have been to some very elaborate weddings. I’ve been to weddings
where a lot of money and effort is spent on creating an appearance of simplicity.
But I’ve never painted at such a straight-forward, come-as-you-are, downright
joyous celebration. The groom’s mother made an arbor of curly maple and flowers
from Michael’s. The bride’s brother went out and got a license so he could
marry them. They said the plans grew from there; four groomsmen wore sand
colored suits with coral ties and boutonnieres, four bride’s maids wore coral
dresses and teal necklaces. The groom’s ten year old son wore a teal bow tie
and suspenders with a white shirt and shorts that matched the men’s suits.
As many couples do, they wrote their own vows. The groom’s
were so earnest and thoughtful as to inspire me to strive to be a better husband. One line of advice from the
officiator will always stay with me. He urged them to support one another’s
dreams, “and if those dreams don’t come true, keep supporting until another one
And when they kissed, the party began. The dancing went well
into the long, warm, starlit night. But by the time of this writing, the couple
will have decamped for their honeymoon in Maui.
I began illustrating my father's articles for local northwest newspapers while I was still in the 6th grade. This eventually led to a career in which my illustrations have been published on four continents. I began doing live paintings at events in 2004.