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, October 22, 2015

Rehearsal Dinner at The Ruins

Philips-Schweickert Rehearsal Dinner by Sam Day, 24 x 36 inches, oil on canvas
At the foot of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, not far from the Space Needle, opera and ballet, there’s a old boxy warehouse with the elegance of Europe inside. The Ruins is a private dining club, where it seems we’ve entered the treasure hold of some keen-eyed collector’s rummaging trips to the continent. There are several comfortable sitting rooms for small parties, and a great dining room that feels like a trip to grandmas— if your grandma lived in a villa. And then there’s the ballroom.
The ceiling and walls of the ballroom are covered completely with murals of northwest scenes, by Jennifer Carrasco. All of her years of careful labor are loosely limned in about two hours’ work in my painting.
But that’s just backdrop to my client’s event.
This couple were married two days later at the Rainier Club. But this more intimate, unrushed evening was just for family and bridal party. The bride’s daughter, who spent a good deal of time serenading us at the piano, appears in the lower right with her flower girl friends, and her dog.

The couple

Canal Wedding

Johnson Wedding at The Canal, by Sam Day, 24 x 36 inches, oil on canvas
The Canal is a popular event venue overlooking the locks on the Lake Washington Ship Canal, which connects Lake Washington, Lake Union, and a sizable Alaskan fishing fleet to Puget Sound.  I’ve painted several weddings here, and my stepson and his wife had their reception here. The view from the dining hall is usually filled with boats queuing up to ascend the locks, and regularly includes both pleasure and commercial craft of many sizes. The view also includes a train bridge, and the sound of freight and Amtrak trains crossing adds ambience to the venue a couple of times an hour.
But the challenge for a wedding painter is to pair this amazing view with the one inside: the dance floor, the dinner, the spectacular bride and her lucky groom. So we have just a glimpse, at the right of the painting, out the south and west facing windows, to the bright, late sun reflecting on the water. The perspective is bent wide, more than 180 degrees, to the dinner on the far right. And, of course, the center of the painting focuses on the reason everyone came.

The couple — Wedding painting by Sam Day

A Back Yard Wedding — Eatonville, WA

The Trenter Wedding, by Sam Day, 24 x 30, oil on canvas

Eatonville, Washington is a small town in the morning shadow of the tallest volcano in the United States. Once a lumber town, it now serves mostly as a gateway to Mount Rainier National Park, and as a nest of vacation homes around several lakes. The groom’s parents built their retirement home here, and the couple chose to be married in the large, wooded back yard.
An outdoor wedding in October, in the Pacific Northwest, wouldn’t be complete without rain. Several tents and awnings were readied for guests to move dryly from wedding to table. Fortuitously, sunshine made an appearance during cocktail hour, and people chatted on the lawn. Children played among the trees, and dogs romped and begged. (A pit bull in a bow tie appears in the painting, lower right.) Two great food trucks parked in the drive, one Filipino (the bride’s heritage), and one with a classic pizza oven.
I shared an awning with the DJ. The clouds did open again, and it rained the rest of the evening.

A Rainy Seattle Wedding

Lyon-Mickiewicz Wedding, by Sam Day,  24 x 30 inches, oil on canvas

Labor Day weekend is most often sunny in the Seattle region, but moisture is never entirely unexpected.
The Lyon-Mickiewicz wedding was held in Issaquah, Washington, an eastern suburb. The weather prediction was partly cloudy, with a minority chance of rain in the late evening. What we got was a booming late summer thundershower at the end of the cocktail hour, followed by a downpour, which settled into a steady rain. Fortunately, we all fit under this lovely party tent, and the festivities continued cheerily
Reception detail
But moving my easel, after I’ve commenced a painting, changes my view.  So I made a rare exception and finished the painting back at the studio. Happily, the couple had had time before the ceremony, after picture taking, to stand for a few minutes for me to paint them. Al I needed to do was a little touch up, some recognizable faces in the distant crowd, and finish the puddles of rain on what was meant to be the dance floor.
The very practical couple felt it was representative of a memorable night.