Artist: Rich Flynn, San Juan, Capistrano, CA

Art has the intrinsic ability to uplift us and offers a welcome, differing perspective to the ordinary or mundane. Personalize a piece of art such as a painting, and you have a keepsake that can be enjoyed through generations. This is exactly what a talented network of artists sets out to do when commissioned to create a custom painting on your wedding day.

Artist Agnes Csiszar Russo, of Wedding Event Paintings by Agnes, describes what she does simply as “I paint live on location at a variety of events, providing clients with a fine art piece to keep as a unique memento of their occasion.”

While the size of the painting, the medium used, or the composition may vary, “The goal is to capture the feel of the event, with all the elements of the day…” notes Rich Flynn, artist and owner of The Painter of the Moment.

The idea has gained wide popularity and more and more couples are embracing it, adding a unique element to the wedding day and a treasured result thereafter. But how, one might ask, does all this work?

Usually, the artist is hired by the couple or sometimes by a close relative or friend. Once the logistics are established via email, telephone and sometimes in-person meetings, the couple’s vision of the painting is discussed and arrangements are made about what will be painted—such as the ceremony, the reception or some other aspect of the celebration such as the first dance.

The artist will arrive at the location two to three hours before the guests and start painting the overall scenery. As artist Joan Zylkin of The Event Painter notes, “I begin painting before the guests start to arrive so when they do, I start putting them into the painting. When the bride and groom arrive, they walk into the painting.” Rich Flynn explains “The painting in itself becomes a story within the story of the wedding celebration. The first dance, the unique items in the ceremony, the veil that flies away, the dog who runs after the bride; it makes it special because you had to be there to understand it.” At the request of the couple, some artists, instead of creating one large painting, will paint a series of smaller size paintings like vignettes of the day, capturing different scenes of the wedding.

Miles Pelky owner of Live Event Artist, a company that offers a network of artists across the US, explains that the artist will complete a painting in approximately five hours and it will be on display at the reception ready for the bride and groom to take home that day.

Although the presence of the artist is unobtrusive, the process of the painting “building” during the event presents a source of entertainment for the guests. STYLEAs Agnes Csiszar Russo notes “Everyone seems to enjoy watching the painting come alive. I believe the purpose of live event painting is the entertainment it brings, the interaction with the guests, and capturing the ambiance of the night on the canvas before the guests’ eyes.”

Miles Pelky best expresses the idea behind this unique service when he says: “There truly is no better way to preserve one of the most memorable days of your lifetime, than to have a one-of-a kind painting created and presented to you on your wedding day.”

> Written by Yanni Tzoumas