Show and Tell: The Wedding Party

Painting: Wedding Party 01


My parents, Rodney and Phebe (Fleming) Bennett, were married on March 25th, 1955 at the First Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon. They are still together! When they had been married 50 years, I had the great blessing of visiting the church and videotaped a tour.

This is one of my favourite paintings I have ever done! I learned this technique in a workshop in 2007 taught by my art professor/mentor at Chemeketa Community College. Jane Lieber Mays taught me to draw. She gave me the foundations and beginnings of a beautiful relationship with ART. To this day I still hear her voice when I draw and I still use this painting technique as one of my favourites. Jane also taught this wonderful workshop in which I learned that, contrary to popular belief, oils and acrylics can work together successfully... if done right.

Painting: Wedding Party 01 photo 1
Cropped photo

Painting: Wedding Party 01 photo 2

I did this painting from a photograph I took from my mother's wedding album. I cropped it to give the desired perspective. I was later heartbroken to learn that the old woman I cropped from the image was in fact my dear great grandmother Phebe Maud Montgomery Stearns. Gramma... I am so sorry!!! If I had known, I would have left you in!



Here are the different stages of the painting. I worked on it in the studio at school and I had a few fellow classmates who enjoyed stopping by to see my progress. It was a labour of love!


Painting: Wedding Party 01 progress 1

Painting: Wedding Party 01 progress 2

Painting: Wedding Party 01 progress 3

Painting: Wedding Party 01 progress 4






Painting: Wedding Party 01


It was submitted it to the student gallery exhibit and was rejected. There were a few people/admirers quite upset about that. BUT... I had my justice... this painting was accepted and shown in two juried art shows that same year.





The Wedding Party was first exhibited at the Arbor Cafe (no longer existing) downtown Salem. Mom and Dad both came to the opening.



Painting: Wedding Party 01 Fair1
Me with both paintings


The second showing was at the very prestigious Oregon Art Annual at the 2007 Oregon State Fair. Here I am with the painting. I had two in this show... the other “Out of the Gate” is the lower one on my other side.

Painting: Wedding Party 01 fair2

Mom came to the opening with me and we had a good time!

Painting: Wedding Party 01 gallery 2

I also included it in my first solo exhibit at Silverton Arts Association's 

Borland Gallery in 2008.

The original is 24" x 36" on gallery wrapped canvas, painted with oil and acrylic. It now hangs in my parents home (but still officially mine) and it is available as prints on FineArtAmerica.

If you are interested... I would be happy to do something similar on commission. I could render any family photograph into a family heirloom. Contact me!


  1. I LOVE this painting, as I'm sure your parents do! You are so talented. The subtle colour that you added reminds me of an old movie, colourized from B&W. As always, it's interesting to see your work as it progresses.

    1. Thank you Donna! Yes, I was going for the hand-tinted photo look with this one. And yes... Mom and Dad like it. It took them a while in the beginning to see I was serious about being an artist but they came around.


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