The Supplier Interview Series – Charlotte Atkinson Art
It’s been a while since our last Supplier Interview Series post, but we’ve got a great supplier from the wedding industry for you to find out more about, who provides a unique service! So without further ado, let’s get into it…
First things first, can you introduce yourself and give us a snapshot of what you do as a wedding artist?
For the last 20 years I have painted and illustrated professionally, being a published artist with an international fine art publisher and voted in the Top 10 Best Selling UK Artists by The fine Art Trade Guild with my figurative style prints. I have also taught watercolour for the National Trust. I have always enjoyed the challenge of painting directly from life on location and painting a wedding reception creates the perfect composition: the stunning venue and romance of the happy couple, surrounded by the love of their friends and family. Live painting is also a performance as the creation of the painting entertains guests, engaging people is what art is all about and I feel very lucky to have always known I wanted to paint and be doing something I love.
Can you give us an overview of how you work with your clients? Is there a process from start to finish?
My wedding paintings are created live on the day so each one is totally unique! It’s a very personal bespoke commission and an exciting experience. I usually meet the couple at their venue beforehand or chat on the phone to find out what they would like me to include to make their painting special.
How does it work on the day itself that you’ve been commissioned?
I always take my box easel, paints and canvas and start off observing from the chosen vantage point. There can sometimes be several changes to the room throughout the day so I start with the special details of the venue in the background and add the significant figures throughout the day including the happy couple as the focal point. I normally spend seven to eight hours painting one canvas with acrylics and the work is completed on the day. I work intensely and the wonderful thing is that I can add thoughtful details about the day as they happen. For example, I can paint the cake, add in hints of the colour scheme, and paint significant key members of the family surrounding the bride and groom in the centre of the piece. At the end of the evening the painting is finished and displayed for the couple and guests to admire.
What do you love the most about what you do?
I love creating bespoke original commissions and working with the client. Whether I am painting live or completing a commission in my studio it is knowing that I am creating something unique and personal for the recipients and seeing their reaction when it is unveiled which is so rewarding.
Is there anything in your job that is challenging? If so, what do you do to overcome it?
It’s the point near the end of a commission where you are adding lots of elements and deciding what to leave out can be tricky. I have found that the skill in painting and drawing is in elimination. What to leave out, in order to leave out a mark first you have to put it in, or at least understand how the composition works without it. When I’m in the studio there is time to discover and explore ideas. Sketching drawings initially then taking the best from each one improves my understanding of a subject. When the drawing looks right I start de-constructing until it looks spontaneous not overworked.
Describe your ideal commissioning?
A Portrait commission in oils. Whatever the commission, the aims are always the same, simplicity, fluidity of line, the illusion of effortlessness. There is also the added dimension of capturing a likeness which is very important. To make a successful painting it is all about fluidity, it must be spontaneous to capture a moment, but most important of all is strong drawing, it is the foundation and you can’t practice enough.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I particularly like to paint people and I have always been inspired by the skill of the early fashion illustrators, there is an immediacy and personality with their drawings that I love. I have always loved fashion.
What else do you provide as a supplier?
- Live Portrait Painting Package
- Perfect entertainment tailored to suit your day for up to 3 hours.
- Beautiful cameo portraits
- Created on archival watercolour paper, signed and dated with guests name.
What advice can you give anyone looking to get into the wedding industry?
I think play to your strengths, offer something totally unique and personal that you enjoy doing. All couples are looking for that extra touch of magic to make their day memorable.
Tell us 5 fun facts about you!
- I love all things Italian..the food, culture, scenery, art and of course Gelato!!
- I go canoeing near my home in South Devon.
- I’m addicted to my sketchbooks.
- I love log cabins and want to live in one…one day!
- My favourite day would be a beach day, rock pooling with my son!
Get in touch with Charlotte to find out more using one of the following: