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Member Spotlight: Patricia Bennett

This month our Member Spotlight focuses on Patricia Bennett, from Patricia Bennett Live Event Painter.  See the Membership directory for her contact information.
Member Patricia Bennett
1) With live event paintings being a newer trend, can you explain exactly what you do and what the finished product is?
I aim to create a painting that is a memory of their day.  Beforehand I generally speak to them about what they especially want included in their painting, whether aspects of decor, certain people, even a pet.  On the day of I arrive several hours earlier and paint the scenery.  Often weddings are at stunning locations which deserve to be included.  When the guests arrive, I add them to the painting.  Its easiest when people are standing still, like eating or having cocktails.  And generally the couple will request to be painted during their first dance.  But sometimes they dont mind being depicted several times in the painting, getting married, their first dance, dining with their family and friends.  Its up to them.  At the end of the night I generally take the painting to my studio to touch it up, and will email them an image to see if theres anything they want added or changed.  I try to deliver it to them by 3 weeks, sometimes sooner than that and sometimes later, depending on how busy I am and how much I need to touch it up.  And they have the option of ordering prints, even full-sized giclees, which are a nice gift to other relatives.
2) What was your background in painting/art before you started to paint weddings?
I attended the Art Institute of Chicago and then the Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore.  And I painted en plein air for a few years, painting scenery outside, and I was hired to paint dozens of portraits for clients in Baltimore and Pittsburgh and North Carolina.  I had several solo shows of my artwork as well, still lifes, landscapes, and portraits.  
3) What is your favorite part about painting weddings and the event industry in general?
I love the people in the event industry.  My favorite part is first the people.  Event planners, floral designers, the decor-people, photographers, location coordinators, kitchen staff, everyone is trying to make a successful event.  Everyone is a problem-solver, and so positive in what they do.  I find it inspiring.  I also love the beauty, and it’s so special to see and be able to try to capture these special moments in peoples’ lives. 
4) How do you think your NACE membership/leadership has or will affect your business?
Nace has been such a positive experience for me in my business and just my awareness of the event industry.  It’s my chance to really meet the people who I see at events.  It’s been incredibly beneficial.  

5) Tell us something people might not about you (family, hobbies, etc)?
I like animals a lot.  So I have been painting at a horse farm nearby which also has chickens.  I also am trying to get better at swimming, I take a class at Meadowbrook.  I also like to read novels, and most of my other free time is spent raising two children.

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