Weddings: Nuptial Paintings
Artist Caitlin Beidler illustrates weddings as they happen
If wedded bliss could be a color, it would be…Well, that’s all up to visionary painter Caitlin Beidler, who captures wedding scenes with a brush between her fingers as they happen.
A live wedding video isn’t uncommon, of course, but even that “live” is edited and then set to music. However, there are no delete or rewind buttons on canvas, making Beidler’s live painting all the more exciting.
“People tell me they could never be a live artist,” says Beidler. “They say they have to be in their own space—but that’s the whole spontaneity of the act; you have to let go. It’s letting go of the hindrances. The fun part is in the moment, the experiences.”
Beidler’s experiences stem from her degrees in psychology and studio art, earned from the University of Richmond in 2002. “I had always considered myself more academic than artistic,” she says, “but then I studied abroad at the University of Ulster at Belfast my junior year and that caused me to discover my artistic side. I found it was a great way to express myself and my faith.”
Following her education, she worked in Colorado at a residential facility for troubled teens, began painting portraits, then moved to Myrtle Beach, where she met fellow artist Kim Clayton. “I told her I didn’t enjoy doing portraits, and she asked, ‘Then why are you doing them?’” says Beidler. “She told me to loosen up and introduced me to painting over the drawing I was doing.”
In 2006 Beidler obtained her business license for her company name, Redemption Art, which is described on her website as a way to “restore people, relationships and communities through art. If something is in need of restoration, the implication is that it has been broken.”
Experiences and stories, and the people involved in them, are original works of art, so none of Beidler’s artistic creations and translations are the same. “I always had a dream of doing live painting,” says Beidler. “Not me as the focus, but bringing art to life.”
Her live painting premiere was at a youth group night, followed by a string of church services and conferences, until a local photographer and videographer couple asked Beidler to paint their wedding ceremony along the riverfront. Now Beidler has painted so many, she says she can’t keep track. Most are local, but she’s also traveled throughout the Carolinas, Georgia and New York.
Beidler’s style is an impressionist-expressionist combination captured with acrylic-based paints. She gathers all the essential information from the bride before the big day, such as the requested scene and message (the first dance, reception toast, ceremony, et cetera) so that the elements blend on the wedding day.
“There was one wedding where I had started the painting and the mother of the bride informed me that the bride wouldn’t want all the focus on her, because often I center the scene on the bride, so had to rebalance everything,” says Beidler. “That’s the thing, there are elements like this that come up, just like anything in the arts and entertainment industry.”
The cost for a Redemption Art live painting? Priceless, of course. But the actual price tag is $595, which includes tax and materials. What makes this price tag even more valuable is that 10 percent of each painting sold goes toward Beidler’s organization, Making Roots, which she founded with her sister, Leah, to benefit locals and Haitians in need.