• Emily Gustafson

Pro Portraits - Heather Wolfe

I'm beginning a brand new thing today, which is to profile some of our amazing, local wedding vendors. I am beginning with Heather Wolfe, an amazing artist who live paints special moments from her clients' weddings.

Heather is a Knoxville native who comes from an artistic family (jealous) and began her career as a potter. I asked Heather how she made the switch from pottery to paint and told me that a teacher told her that a "potter who loves the glazing process is a painter at heart." This resonated with Heather, as creating the exterior of her pieces and she followed that passion and made the switch to canvas.

After teaching art to high school students, Heather's path took a decidely different turn into the world of pet portraits in 2012 when she opened her business, CollageAPet. She had the incredible opportunity to attend to Westminster Dog Show in New York City in 2016 and she watched her business explode from that opportunity! Her mixed media portraits, made from paper, paint were incredibly well-received at the dog show and she found herself creating portraits of champion pups known around the country!

It was through her pet portrait business, that new doors began to open for her professionally. A client for whom she had painted a pet asked if Heather might be open to painting her son's wedding. This was a whole new world for her, but Heather was brave enough (and super talented) and she jumped right in after a bit of research and planning. Thus, her live wedding painting was born.

I was fascinated about how she creates such a complex piece of art in such a short time window, and Heather was kind enough to let me in on the process. She and her client choose the "moment" that she will paint (i.e. first dance. ceremony, cake cutting, etc) and Heather receives photos of where that moment will take place, if possible. She pre-paints the setting of the moment, fills in the surroundings and then during the events paints in guests, wedding party, bride, groom, flowers, details, and documents your moment as it happens. How amazing! I know that if I were a guest, I would just watch and be mystified watching the painting take shape during the wedding and reception festivities.

Heather and I discussed how this was such a precious treasure to hand down to children or family members. Not only is it a stunning piece of art, but one that is so deeply personal. I cannot imagine a more heartfelt way to immortalize your wedding day and many couples that I work with agree. I am so pleased to see that many of my clients have hired or are considering hiring a live wedding painter to capture a moment of a momentous day in this unique and elegant way.

I had so much fun chatting about the wedding business with Heather too. We both see a lot of trends towards couples favoring a more boho vibe in their design and styling (which we both love). And we are seeing couples bucking a lot of traditions to create meaningful and personalized celebrations (which we also love)! But beyond wedding stuff, I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Heather. She is such a sweet, genuine, and gracious person. I can't think of a sweeter person to work with and to incorporate into your wedding day.

Thank you so much for chatting with me, Heather! I can't wait to see you in action at a wedding soon!

Happy planning,

See more of Heather's work and contact her via her website at: https://heatherwolfeart.com/

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