Meet Who’s Live Painting the Best of Maryland Weddings
By Kimberly Dean
I like color, and I like faces,” said Patricia Bennett.
Since the age of 12, Patricia enjoyed drawing people’s faces, chuckling that, back then, she really had no idea how to draw.
Well, some things you just don’t outgrow…
While attending a math and science boarding school in North Carolina, she often drew on the back of her homework to procrastinate. Although she was quite competent in math and science, they weren’t really her thing… art was her thing.
Everyday, Patricia visited the studio on campus and painted whatever came to mind; her studio time served as an outlet.
Eventually, one of her instructors – so impressed by her work – decided to campaign for her application to a summer art program at the Governor’s School of North Carolina helping her select paintings for her portfolio. She got in, and so began her journey within an official art program… and quite a prestigious one nonetheless.
The next time she found herself in art school was at the age of 22. Patricia spent 40 hours a week at Shuler School and carried her foundation into painting professionally.
Faces continued to inspire her as she went on to paint real life portraits for people inside her home studio in Mt. Washington. She owes the origin of her event painting career to Suzin Boddiford, former fashion editor for Style Magazine, and painted her very first wedding at the Four Seasons.
“I needed to practice, so I painted my Grandmother’s birthday party,” said Patricia.
But, it wasn’t until her second event, held at the Cylburn Arboretum, that Patricia really felt the positive response generating from her live art. She also realized how much she loved working outside of her studio.
Five years later, she paints approximately 30 live weddings a year, which account for 95% of her work. When you see a painting of Patricia’s, it’s obvious that color is her fancy. With a post impressionist style, her color choices make her work uniquely distinguishable. She often incorporates the ceremony, reception, and even other aspects of the event all into one painting.
“I see it all, so I paint it all,”
Taking pictures of the moments and spaces help her to gather all the elements into one piece of art. Sometimes couples even request for their pets to be added to the scene (since pets aren’t always allowed at many venues). Patricia is always happy to oblige as an animal lover herself.
Once complete, Patricia presents the couple with their live painting on canvas as well as a digital file so that family members can print copies to enjoy. It feels like no matter how many times you look at one of Patricia’s paintings, there’s always something new to find hidden in the details.
What all started with a love of faces at the age of 12 has transcended into a love of people that inspires this colorful artist most of all.