Saturday, February 6th was a great night for Live Painting at the Omni Hotel in Nashville, TN! I was invited by the Junior League of Nashville to come and create a piece of work that would be auctioned off at the end of the evening. The proceeds from the silent auction in the main corridor and the live auction up on stage all went to the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.
To start off, I had never been to The Omni before and let me just say, that place is nice! I think I need to go back and check it out when I don't have a deadline hanging over my head.
Anyway, so the event was a Masquerade Ball and it was also a black-tie affair. Not wanting to befoul a nice suit or ruin a rented tuxedo, I sprang for a vest to cover up my nice black tie and a dress up shirt. However, I had to go with my regular painting jeans and shoes for the rest of the ensemble. You have to be ready to make some sacrifices to the art gods when it comes to clothes, but I didn't quite want to total an entire outfit.
The event itself was amazing, and of course everyone looked like a million bucks. I originally had figured that I would have 3 hours to work on the piece, but it turned out that I had just the hour while the guests were having their dinners. So, to make a timeframe like that, I had to paint like the wind, but luckily that's how I usually do my best work. While I was painting there was a great jazz band playing and towards the end former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean came up to say a few words. No pressure.
Then came time for the auction, which was handled by former Sotheby's auctioneer Edward Playfair. If you've never had your work glowingly talked about in a smooth Australian accent, it's quite nice. I worked on it up until he started his pitch about it, at which time I lifted it from the easel and held it up for the crowd to check out and bid on. It wound up bringing in $800 which I thought was great and I hope it's put to good use.
The next day I got the painting back up on the easel at home just to give it some touch ups, mostly adding in some shades of purple to the buildings in order to give them some depth. After that, it was varnishing, wiring, scanning, cataloging, wrapping up and delivering it to the lucky winners.
So the painting is now in it's new home above a beautiful mantle. I'm hoping it becomes a conversation starter for years to come. Not many times you get to watch a painting on your wall be created live!