News / Arts & Entertainment

Artists Capture Live Events as They Unfold

Forget Photos, Live Events Captured on Canvasi
X
November 25, 2013 4:50 PM
Wedding, birthdays and other celebrations are usually captured in photographs. However, a small but growing number of artists are capturing these events on canvas, right as they happen. VOA's June Soh reports.

Forget Photos, Live Events Captured on Canvas

June Soh
— Wedding, birthdays and other celebrations are usually captured in photographs. However, a small but growing number of artists are capturing these events on canvas, right as they happen.
 
Gina D’Anna and Donald Anderson, Jr.'s first dance at their wedding reception near Baltimore, Maryland, was memorable and, while their guests cheered, Patricia Bennett stood in a distant corner carefully adding details of the event to her canvas.

Bennett is what is known as a live event artist who captures the special day as it unfolds.
 
“I try to focus on what I think is important to the group or the individual who is commissioning it." she said. "For weddings, a lot of times, it is the cake [or the] the dance.”
 
Bennett used to paint portraits and nature. Her first live event painting was her grandmother’s 97th birthday party last year. That party ended up becoming a turning point in her career.
 
"I especially love live event painting because I love to paint people, and I love to paint beautiful things," she said. "And I like to paint happiness and things that are happening.”
 
Bennett usually starts by painting the background a few hours before the event. As guests arrive, she adds them and other activities to the foreground.
 
"What I hope to be captured is just the emotion that is going on this evening. There is a bunch of happiness with friends and family here this evening," said D’Anna, the bride in the wedding Bennett painted.
 
Of course, not every guest can make it into the painting. So Anna Hergenroeder, one of the groom’s relatives, was surprised to find herself in the canvas.
 
“I feel very important. I am a 94-year-old woman. I don’t know why I am in the painting but I am excited to be in there,” said Hergenroeder.
 
Bennett doesn’t mind doing a little touch-up for image improvement.
 
“I don’t call it fictionalized. It is more like if sometimes the wife comes over to me and says, can you give him some more hair?  Then I add more hair in," she said.
 
Bennett charges $1500 for an event painting.
 
“I think more and more artists are starting to do it because it is really fun and it is useful. It is a useful service,” said Bennett.
 
By the time the event ends, the painting is mostly complete but Bennett still takes it home to make any final touches, then signs and delivers it.  

D’Anna was thrilled with the final product.
 
"Oh my goodness, beautiful. It is absolutely gorgeous," said D’Anna. "It came out better than I expected. And I think it definitely evokes a lot of emotion and people can find themselves in the painting, which is really exciting as well. Also, when we have children one day, it is going to be something we can share with them.”

Bennett says she is almost fully booked for events next spring and fall, and bookings for 2015 are already coming in.
 
"A wedding, compared to the rest of the universe, maybe it is not super important. But to the couple it is very important. I feel like...I am capturing history when I am painting,” said Bennett.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."