We had Amy Moreno, a live event painter, at a wedding back in November.  She recently sent us over a photo of the finished product and we knew she just HAD to be our next guest on Meet the Friendors!

How did you get into the live event painting business?
I studied commercial art and illustration in Boston over 30 years ago and have been a children’s illustrator for most of that time. I have created illustrations for clients, as well as pen and ink renderings for Bed and Breakfasts and Inns while staying home raising our three children. As they grew older, I began to miss the energy and excitement of painting from life in oil paint. I began to take classes at The Art League in Alexandria to build my skills in portrait painting and began looking into unique ways to paint live in oil paint, and make it a business. I had heard of live event painting and decided to break into it. I enjoy painting people and interacting with families as they celebrate. It’s a joy to celebrate with people at life events and capture the feeling as it is happening. I also paint as a registered copyist at the National Gallery of Art and am learning a great deal there and am honored and blessed to be there.
What are questions you ask your clients before the event?
I ask them what they are thinking and expecting the look and feeling of the painting to be like, for example is there a specific style they want, would they like it to have extra texture and be more abstract or smooth and more realistic.
What color scheme they may want. When they will need to finished product to be done. (I bring the painting home and use photos I have taken during the event and usually have it finished within one month from the event. Who they would like to have featured in the painting, and what sections of the room or scene. Also if they have an outdoor or corporate event, what part of the scene they would like to have featured in the background. If there is a specific location they would like me to paint from. What specific part of the celebration they would like to have me paint, such as the bride and groom’s first dance, or a ceremony, or a sporting event at the finish line etc. I ask them what style they would like, such as more realistic, or a sort of storybook style, fairytale, or more stylized. I also try to find out what the colors of the bridal party will be if it is a wedding.
If they would like anything added or removed from the actual scene. I usually try to go to the venue a few days ahead of time to take photos and sketch, and try to arrive as early as possible before the event on that day.
Aside from weddings, have you painted at any other types of events?
I have painted a baby shower and an elegant birthday party for a 70 year old woman.
I also painted live at a group setting for entertainers and entrepreneurs in Washington DC.
Aside from painting, do you dabble in any other types of art?
I enjoy knitting and singing.
Getting a painting done at your wedding is very unique.  Why do you think brides and grooms should get it done?
I believe a live event painting captures the feeling of a wedding differently than photography. There is an aspect of emotion, color and energy in a painting that will always be unique and is classic. It is a novel entertainment idea and people from all walks of life are fascinated by it. It doesn’t distract from the main event, but provides an unusual aspect to a celebration.
I think brides and grooms should have their wedding painted live because it allows them to have a unique entertainment provided during the wedding, which many guests appreciate and enjoy, as well as providing them with a piece of custom art from the day they were married. There are details that are captured in the painting that the couple usually appreciate in a deep way. In the painting I recently finished, the bride wanted her custom veil captured in detail, and the bouquet. I was able to do a more close-up view of these two items as a sort of border around the main painting of the couple during their first dance. I can also incorporate specific people into the painting even if they did not show up in the photos. This allows for editing, adding, removing things they would not want shown in a photo. I can also add details such as gold leaf, and texture that would not be possible in a photograph. Also, these paintings can be given as a gift by a loved one or group. It is a very unique aspect for any event.
And our most important questions….what is your favorite flavor for wedding cake?!
Carrot cake, which is what my husband and I had for our wedding cake almost 30 years ago!

Learn more about Amy Moreno Live Event Painting at her website here!