CHRISTINE OLMSTEAD | VENDOR SPOTLIGHT
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these vendor spotlights but I wanted to get back to it! Over the next month or so, I’ll be featuring a new vendor on the blog every week! Why? Because it’s fun to keep the blog fresh and have different voices from all over the industry AND because all of these artists are so talented and I believe, can enhance anyone’s wedding experience! First up on this vendor spotlight kick, my friend, the talented painter, Christine Olmstead! Christine paints custom paintings and backdrops that are SO cool. I’m not just saying that because we’re friends. I actually met Christine’s artwork before I met her. I had seen a piece of hers that had been featured in a styled shoot about a year ago and thought the backdrop was GORGEOUS.
Anyways… a few months ago I was asked to photograph an event for another friend (Alicia of The Welcoming District) who was launching her new business and had set up a styled shoot prior to the event starting. When I had seen that Christine Olmstead’s name was on the vendor list for the styled shoot I got really excited to see Christine’s work in person and also MEET Christine! On the day of the event I was excited to see which piece I got to photograph! I fell in love with her style and how it reminded me of a gray/gold/blue version of Monet’s waterlilies. RIGHT??!!! The one featured below is called “Black and White Beautiful”
The painting made for a PERFECT cake backdrop! I’m waiting for the next time I get to photograph a cake in front of one of Christine’s masterpieces! Hop on it, brides!
Unfortunately, Christine wasn’t able to make the party and I was super bummed. As an artist myself, of a different medium (obvi)… I always appreciate and like to show recognition to artists who are doing a kick ass job at their craft… so after I finished editing the photos of the styled shoot and sent them to all the vendors, I reached out to Christine to see if I could feature her, and her gorgeous works on my blog! She said Yes! A few weeks later, we actually ended up deciding to meet up for drinks and ended up talking for 4 hours… we obviously had nothing to talk about…
Anyways – without further adieu, here is a little Q&A with Christine Olmstead!
(Photo courtesy of Rachel Lyn Photography)
So, Christine, what inspires you to paint?
I’ve always painted. Since before I can remember. My mother was an artist and stressed the importance of art history in our education growing up. She had us recreate the masterpieces when I was a little girl and I had art lessons all of my growing up years. I’m mostly inspired by life around me, music, and the French impressionists.
How long does it take you to paint?
Do you mean how long does it take to finish one piece? It depends on the piece. The size, and the subject matter. A painting can take me anywhere from 2 weeks to several months.
What are your favorite colors to paint with?
I love pink. Haha! I cannot deny it! And grey. I mostly just love pastels and how to pull emotion from a piece using shadows and light. And gold, I love it’s warmth.
How big or small do you go? do you only paint on larger canvases?
The Biggest piece I’ve made was 6ft x 9ft. But I’d like to go bigger. I feel more at home on big canvases. I guess I just take up a lot of space. Haha! big piece are always my favorite. I feel a little cramped on small canvases, but most people want smaller pieces, so I do make small pieces too.
(Photo courtesy of Rachel Lyn Photography)
How does the custom process work? What do clients typically use these paintings for? cake backdrops? photobooth backdrops?
Great question! The backdrop process starts with a selection of colors with the couple, or their wedding coordinator. I use premium, high quality, unstretched canvas and lay it out. First I iron it, to make sure it lies flat. I then prime the canvas and let the artistic vision take over.
Painting a large-scale wedding backdrop usually takes 2-3 weeks, depending on the detail and coverage of the piece. Once dry, gold leaf is applied. The piece is then carefully wrapped and shipped.
The piece usually wears many hats during and after the wedding. First, it is usually the ceremony backdrop, then brides usually have it moved to be the photo booth backdrop. Backdrops are first usually used at the ceremony space backdrop (similar to like a flower arch) It frames the space well in industrial or outdoor spaces. Then the couple usually uses it for a photobooth backdrop. I have seen people move to behind the sweetheart table though too. Then after the wedding the piece gets cropped stretched and kept as a piece of wedding memorabilia. But they can pretty much be used for whatever creative imagination the bride or groom may have!
(Photo courtesy of Anna Wu Photography)
Any other info that you think I should mention!? Hmm, the only other thing I can think to mention is if a couple is thinking of having a backdrop I need a minimum of two months advance notice and that is pushing it! 🙂 Timing is everything when it comes to big custom pieces!
You can visit Christine’s website here at ChristineOlmstead.com! Visit her website to shop, inquire for custom pieces, and learn more about her marvelous work on her blog!