Painting Ho

by Lisa

          Marc Chagall 

       I have a confession to make. I once pimped my artistic services. I am, therefore, a painting ho.

       Right before we moved from Tennessee in 2001, I was contacted by the fiancée of one of the Tennessee Titan’s coaches. They were planning their wedding, and they had come up with a right spectacular idea. To make their wedding ceremony complete (more complete than any ceremony I have ever heard of) they decided it would be truly wonderful if a painter could paint their portrait capturing their initial moment of wedded bliss as soon as they were pronounced husband and wife.

       As stunned as I was by the ingenuity of this plan, I had to inform the love blind couple that it would be one LONNNNNG ceremony if I was to paint a double portrait of them on stage in front of the throngs of well wishers which would include the entire Tennessee Titans team as well as the head hunk coach Jeff Fisher. Not to be derailed by this logistic, they came up with a very clever solution. If I could paint the portrait ahead of time, and then set up AS IF I were going to paint on the spot, I could then reveal the finished portrait to the audience, and they would think it was magic, or I was a freaking genius.

       The day of the wedding arrived. Working from a photo taken by a wedding photographer (bless his heart) I had completed a head and shoulders portrait of the happy couple posing together in their wedding clothes (apparently their desire for the portrait superseded the tradition of hiding the blushing bride until wedding day). I had agreed to dress in a long blue gown I had that would go well with the colors of the wedding, and over the gown I was to wear, are you ready? A PAINTERS SMOCK…over the GOWN.

       The wedding took place at a beautiful antebellum mansion in the country. The ceremony was on the steps leading up to the great columns at the front entrance before an audience of very big men and Jeff Fisher. After the minister pronounced them husband and wife, the band began playing something sentimental. This was my cue to hustle on “stage” with my french easel, my blue gown and my smock, and feign painting. The idea was I had the length of the song to deceive the audience as the couple struck the same pose they were holding in the already completed portrait. It took quite a bit of swashbuckling strokes with the paintbrush to affect the illusion. (David Copperfield, I have a patent on this.)

       In the end, I got quite a round of applause for my virtuosity, and the happy couple rode off into the sunset with their wonderful dry portrait tucked safely under their arms. As difficult as the commission was I felt good about making their day complete. It probably hangs over their fireplace and I’ll bet they look at it every day if they’re not divorced.

       Unfortunately, I never took a picture of the painting to post here, perhaps a bit of selective oversight going on, and instead I have posted a wedding portrait by Marc Chagall above.

       I can’t help but to mourn the fact that had I stayed in Nashville, my reputation as a wedding painter may have grown and I could have captured a niche that has been untapped until today as of this post when I am sure that a number of you viewers are going to run with the idea.

Pssst–please don’t tell anyone I did this…

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16 Responses to Painting Ho

  1. Susan Carlin says:

    I laughed so hard at the idea of you going along with this- painter’s smock over long blue gown and all. Wonderful!

  2. Dianne Mize says:

    That one takes the cake. (No pun intended.) Guess we’ve all been a ho at one time or the other, but this tale makes you Queen Ho. Congratulations for surviving.

  3. lbtowers says:

    Yep, could you just die? I truly wish I had a picture that showed me up there “painting” this thing.

  4. Rhonda says:

    Well, this was too funny! And I don’t think you’re a ho at all – I’d call this brilliant!!! Just think where this could have gone – if you’d survived. I would have thought the happy couple would send you a photo of the painting, even if no one got a photo of you “painting” the painting! haha

  5. Susan says:

    That is a crazy story Lisa. It reminds me of a story about a guy who “hoed” himself out to paint a ceiling in a church, Ha! I think he painted a biblical theme.
    All I can say is God must like art and he or she gives the gift of art to a select few…

  6. It’s getting to the point where you two write such funny stories, I don’t know if I believe any of them any more…
    Did someone REALLY want you to paint a wedding picture before they got married?? … and a SMOCK over the gown??? How strange your friends were!
    At least she didn’t have you paint the wedding gown the color of her sofa!!
    Be well.

  7. lbtowers says:

    That’s a riot Marian!!! Wished I had thought of that one.

    And it is absolutely a true story. Now Bill on the other hand…

  8. wrjones says:

    Ok, Lisa, it is just this kind of pure whiffledust, that gives me a new sense of admiration for you. If you can lie like this and not go directly to hell, you have connections with the Vatican. Do you think they might consider hanging some Taos area landscapes in the Sistine chapel?

  9. Well whether it’s a true story or not, I think you’re on to something here, Lisa.

    When times are hard for artists, this idea could keep food on the table. It would work for graduation parties too. For these your artist’s smock and beret could be fashioned after a graduation cap and gown.

  10. Wow I just saw that photo of me posted with my last remark. Where’d you find that? I thought I burned all those PMS pictures.

  11. lbtowers says:

    Diana, at least all your teeth were clean.

  12. 01varvara says:


    I just posted Chagall’s “Wedding” (1910) on “Art and Faith”. I think you’ll appreciate it. The story… a painter’s smock over a formal frock…. that’s a new one on me, but, “you learn something new every day”. I hope it wasn’t rubber chicken at the reception!


  13. gypsy-heart says:

    Loved the story Lisa!

    Hmmm…if they are divorced you may be able to get it back or at least photograph it. I am sure one of their Mothers has it hidden somewhere in her home.

    I was looking up something about Marc Chagall how interesting to see his work on your post!!

    Don’t feel bad we are all HOs at heart! :)

  14. nathaliewithanh says:

    I was reading your story and all along, all I could think was: “Oh my goodness, this chick totally ripped off Chagall. That’s so wrong!” I’m glad my indignation and outrage did not prevent me from reading until the end. Very entertaining! Thanks.

  15. lbtowers says:

    Oops! I guess I should have put ol’ Marc’s name directly underneath HIS painting. Thanks Natalie for pointing out my faux pas! Correcting that now…

  16. Pingback: Painter of Presidents « On Painting

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