Meet Caitlin Beidler

By Leslie Moore

Meet Caitlin Beidler

Faith brought Caitlin Beidler to Myrtle Beach. She moved here from Virginia with friends to start a new, non-denominational church, to start a new life and to begin to support herself through her art. Five years later, she is a successful artist and businesswoman with a growing number of clients eager to book Caitlin to perform her signature live painting at their wedding or other special occasion.

Caitlin, please explain live painting.

I actually started doing live paintings in churches, and I still do that, but now I’ve added weddings and other types of events. There’s really no limit to the kind of event I can paint. I heard about live painting in college, and I loved the idea of painting in front of people. After I moved here, I met Kim Clayton, a local artist, and she helped me loosen up my style and have fun with it.

People enjoy watching my paintings evolve. They love the speed and how it starts from nothing and ends up art. But, I don’t want to be the center of attention; I want to paint out the spirit of the event and add to, or enhance, what’s already happening.

Recently, I’ve travelled to Kansas, Louisiana and New York to do live painting. Each client wants something different. I usually paint on wood and start with a black surface, bringing out the image from there.

How long does it take for you to create a painting?

I can work within most any time limit. Once I was painting on three recycled doors at a Christian leadership event, and I only had 15 minutes to finish my work. The doors were on stands and one of the stands broke right before I had to get on stage! It was really nerve-wracking, but I managed to complete the painting. I believe the ability to stay calm and focus is part of the strength of any leader. Things will go wrong. Unfortunately, there are stigmas attached to being an artist. People think you’re flighty and not a good businessperson, but I am organized and always fully prepared.

It’s neat that I’m able to sustain myself through my art. I was an art and psychology major in college and this is a way to combine both things that I love. I really enjoy doing weddings and hope that part of my business will continue to grow. I believe it adds meaning to a special day. I’ve also done live painting for non-profits. I paint at their event and then they auction off the completed piece of art. Even with my fee subtracted, they can make a profit.

It is hard to decide what to wear though! I have to wear my paint-covered jeans, because I get really messy. I use my hands a lot, and then I wipe them on my legs. By the time the painting is complete, I’m covered. I do try to wear a nicer top, though, at dressier weddings.

How much do you charge?

Currently, I charge $350 for everything except travel expenses for a wedding. I usually do a 2′ x 4′ acrylic painting on wood. I customize the entire experience; some brides want the ceremony painted, some want the reception or some other part of the event highlighted. They tell me where to set up and I create!

Contact Caitlin at 843-655-4151 or www.caitlinbeidler.com.

Photograph by Carmen Ash Photography

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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