Two of Memphis' fine musicians got married last night, with many more fine musicians in attendance. The bride had asked me to sketch the wedding, and it was my very first time to do such a thing. I'd never even thought of sketching a formal wedding before, but apparently it's becoming something of a thing, since there was a recent New York Times article about just that phenomenon.
I was honored to be asked as well as both pleased and a little scared that the bride trusted me with her special day. I don't do faces much at all, but she had loved the opera sketches I did a while ago (very quick and impressionistic), so I said I'd do my best.
It was quite a whirlwind -- partly because of the short ceremony (fortunately the rehearsal beforehand let me do some extra sketches of the ceremony poses) and partly because it was my first time to try to capture such a broad, changeable event.
Here were people signing the guest book before the ceremony. The wedding was in an art gallery with gorgeous black and white photos all over the walls, which made for a great backdrop.
There was wonderful music. Sean Murphy played a wooden flute, bowls, and drum for the ceremony. I recently sketched his brass band playing at the end of a race. I think this is my favorite sketch of the whole group.
In addition to six finished watercolors (more to come as I get them scanned in), I also did 23 quicker pencil sketches in a book that the bride can keep. Here are the first two. Again, I'll post more as I get them scanned in. It was an intense three hours, but also very rewarding.
First the front piece. (I should have gotten someone else to do the lettering.)
And the bride arranging her own flowers. I loved the laid-back, easy feel of this wedding. It was a delight to be included in the festivities.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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