Katherine Gressel
Gabrielle's bat mitzvah party site (East Meadow Jewish Center)
2011
I was hired to paint at this bat mitzvah's exuberant, love-and-peace-themed reception/dinner at the East Meadow Jewish Center on Long Island. I arrived several hours early to block in the background before guests arrived, then focused on capturing Gabrielle and her family during their family dance segment. I also took care to include key details of the clothing, decorations, and party favors that made this event unique. I took digital photos throughout the event to use as references for portraits. I also enjoyed interacting with guests, especially several children who came over and posed for the painting. By the end of this four-hour event, a finished painting was on display for everyone to enjoy--which was then fine-tuned in the studio with specific portraits of family members.