Sunday, July 29, 2018

Painting Portraits at a wedding at Chateau de la Tour, Chantilly

July has been quite the month. First the terrific surprise of seeing my watercolors in the Paris Metro. Then playing performance artist at a champagne tasting painting bottles and pastries onsite. When MING from my pool asked if I'd like to paint guests at a Chinese wedding at CHATEAU DE LA TOUR in Chantilly, I thought why not? Ask me to do the tour de France this month and I'd have said OUI!
But how to dress rehearse for this event? I needed a sample piece to show the groom.
First I bought a bunch of French wedding magazines - useless. Then I sketched guests at Duchess Megan's wedding like Amal Clooney...getting nowhere fast.
Have you seen KILLING EVE, staring actress Sandro Oh. Thank you Sandra for getting me on the right track.
How to draw Chinese men? Luckily I found a story on China's top 10 billionaires! Perfect sketch material. Love you Google.
Voila my wedding guest sample watercolor of Sandra Oh + billionaire. We decided a small vignette of the chateau should be on every portrait and they could be painted ahead of time. 25 chateaux drawings later, once on the premises on Tuesday I realized this was not going to work.
First of all it was a morning brunch the day after the wedding. Everyone was dressed casually in shorts and polo shirts. Did I mention it was a 'destination wedding'? Half the guests had come in from Shanghai. Sebastien, my taxi driver from the train station told me he was taking many back to CDG later. Oh.
The red striped awning became my portrait setting. I simply used the backs of the prepared sketches.
When you're a performance artist you have to improvise seat-of-the-pants style.
And perform and entertain. Guests gathered round my little table watching me draw every line like I was a magician.
I couldn't possibly say, Hmmm..you're standing in my light. I just kept drawing.
And prayed a little...
They seemed to like them fortunately
The bride and groom are on the lower left. Doesn't he look like the Mongolian warrior, Genghis Khan? Chinese men are handsome and have the most fabulous hair and haircuts! I still have to tell you about my Friday watercolor class held in my studio, but that's another July story. Meanwhile I'm celebrating. I survived painting wedding portraits. You can get the Champagne of your choice among other Paris goodies on Etsy. Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast.  If you liked this post please share. Bon Dimanche

37 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful! So nice your exciting July continued and will:)Beyond July!Love those new champagne bottles and glasses too!

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    1. THANKS Monique. It was a fun experience I hope to repeat again ❤️

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  2. This is the most brilliant wedding idea ever. Completely unique and special, plus undoubtedly fascinating to watch. It IS magic to see somebody create a picture on paper. And it's so impressive that you churned out 25!!!

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    1. I only churned out around 20 sketches but some had 3-4 figures per sketch. Once you get into the flow, things can go fast. It helped to listen to the Irish folksong, ALL AROUND MY HAT over and over again. What if I had not overheard that song while drawing? Perish the thought. Also I was unable to do all the sketches onsite, since I was also shooting the reference photos. That kept me hopping...not a bad way to escape my table and chair...ahem I pretty much forgot to eat. If only that would happen more often whilst sketching! Mamma mia 🙏🏻 🤪

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  3. Elaine Sciolino10:00 AM

    Love this! Bravo...

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  4. Sally V10:02 AM

    Incredible gifts for the guests....so special. SLV

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  5. Oh Carol,it is great to see that your wonderful life in Paris continues.You deserve every moment of it.
    Thanks for sharing your talent and life with us.
    Cyndi from San Diego

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  6. JULY must be your month - you have had so much fun and we got to come along, lucky us. Your portraits for wedding guests was a brilliant idea & who could possibly not love receiving that over a few pieces of candy. Can't wait to see what August brings your way.

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  7. Congratulations Carol, that was a huge challenge and you did beautifully.

    Have you been to the Joan Mitchell homestead in Vethieul? Wondering if it’s being preserved by the Mitchell Foundation.
    Paris Breakfasts is great fun, have forwarded it to many. Best wishes.

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    1. I LOVE Joan Mitchell's paintings Ella.
      I'll look into it

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  8. Lynn S2:08 PM

    What a wonderful experience!
    You were really learning on the spot. I think you did a real good job, don’t you?

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  9. Chef Ann2:10 PM

    It is all well deserved due to your talents and personality!

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    1. Thanks very much Ann 😄
      One has to adapt to the situation.
      I bet its the same with your catering!

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  10. Judy J2:16 PM

    Carol, you are a brave, brave woman. Instant portraits. These are soooo good.
    You amaze me. Loved this post!

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    1. Thanks Judy,
      I used to do profiles at sweet 16 parties...a dress rehearsal I guess

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  11. I think painting\drawing an ethnicity piece can be very difficult. Trying not to end up with a cartoon figure. You caught individual expressions very nicely. Kudos.

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    1. If I can get the eyebrows right on any portrait, dogs included, the rest falls into place.

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  12. Cynthia2:26 PM

    Wow! Our son is getting married the end of Oct if you get a hankering to visit Oklahoma!
    Love the post!

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  13. Carol, I think you did an amazing job! I think the guests will absolutely cherish these! I would love to go to a wedding where there was a performance artist!

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    1. At least I didn't have to strip 😄

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  14. Genevieve3:51 AM

    J'apprécie votre site, mais vérifiez le français avec les gens du pays qui connaissent la langue. Ne dites pas "Bonne dimanche", mais "Bon dimanche" car les jours de la semaine sont masculins. Vous pouvez aussi vérifier avec des applications gratuites comme Reverso ou Word Reference. C'est rapide.

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    1. THANK YOU Genevieve!!
      Much appreciated ❤️

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  15. You are a magician Carol! These are amazing and done on the spot too. Maybe you'll have a holiday in August or are you having too much fun? :)

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    1. I could def use a holiday RIGHT NOW. But there are letters to do.
      I will go to Maine to paint in September for a week but that will be working + lobster...

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  16. What a fun assignment and I'm really impressed with the ones you shared. That awning was inspired, too!

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    1. Desperate times call for desperate measures Jeanie.
      You never know what you're capable of till put to the test!

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  17. Class, in your studio? I’m gonna cry! I so much want to take classes with you!

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    1. Yes Please
      And for ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS !!
      The basic are the fun part anyway IMHO 👍🏻 👍🏻 ❤️ 🎨

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  18. Wow what a gig. These are amazing! You’re living the dream ��‍�� ����. Oh I want to join your class! The Perrier Jouet bottle etc. also lovely ��

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    1. Please come to my little garret to paint Geri!

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  19. Sorry ... my little emojis didn’t show

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  20. Your post about the wedding portraits is amazing!!! I can’t believe you could work like that! The pressure! Bravo!!!
    and don’t you love “Killing Eve"?

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    1. KILLING EVE is the best thing I've seen this year!!
      Loved it big time!

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  21. Jefchan8:26 PM

    FYI Sandra Oh is not Chinese and neither was Genghis Kahn.
    Only joking

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  22. Love this! Love the wedding portraits!

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  23. Judy S12:10 AM

    Wow Carol! You have spunk and did beautifully. If these guests were as pleased as Harb and I when you did our portraits then they are overjoyed, and will have loved this beautiful experience.
    Congratulations!
    Another halo to making people happy goes to you!

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