Saturday, February 6th (2016) was a great night for Live Painting at the Omni Hotel in Nashville, TN! The Junior League of Nashville invited me to be the live entertainment. I was to 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 on the stage (that's where I was) 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, 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 figured that I would have 3 hours to work on the piece. But it turned out that I had just the one hour while the guests were having their dinners. So, to make a time-frame like that, I had to paint like the wind. Luckily, that's how I usually do my best work. While I was painting there was a great jazz band playing. Towards the end of dinner, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean came up to say a few words.
Then came time for the auction, which was handled by former Sotheby's auctioneer Edward Playfair. If you've never heard anyone glowingly talk about your work with a smooth Australian accent, it's quite nice. I worked on the painting up until he started his pitch about it. Then I lifted it from the easel and held it up for the crowd to see and bid on. It wound up bringing in $800 which I thought was great and I hope is 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 this meant adding in some shades of purple to the buildings for a sense of depth. After that, it was varnishing, wiring, scanning, cataloging, wrapping up and delivering it to the lucky winners.
Since I scanned this painting of the Nashville skyline, that means you can order prints of it. I can also have it printed on canvas. The quality of the reproductions is so good that it's often hard to tell the difference. I can take it a step further for you, too. In two ways, actually! First, I could print it and embellish it so that it looks exactly like the original, including paint drips and all. Second, I can literally just repaint it. What's your preference? Just contact me and let's talk about what you want.
So, now the painting sits above a beautiful mantle at its new home. 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!