Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Carrie Eshman / Doug Gesiorski Wedding

Carrie Eshman, a journalist from Washington D.C. asked me to document her wedding on Saturday, January 18th at Casa Feliz, 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL. This is the second time I have been hired to sketch a wedding. It makes perfect sense since I document events every day and a wedding is fairly stationary. I discovered that the actual ceremony would only be half an hour which is too quick for a sketch. I went to Casa Feliz an hour early to sketch in the building and empty chairs. It was late in the afternoon and the golden light of the sun was just clipping the tops of the trees as it set. As guests arrived, I placed then in the sketch. No one ever sat in the front row, so I erased it.

Luis Alfredo Garcia was playing guitar as guests arrived. I have sketched Luis performing once before at the Casselberry House. His soothing music helped me relax into the sketch. Carrie greeted me in her wedding dress before people arrived. She was so much younger than I expected. Doug Gesiorski was just as young, excited to get the wedding started. Tony White was the officiant filling out his long dark robe. He smiled broadly to Doug setting the tone of the ceremony. It was a picture perfect story book wedding with the Spanish style tower looming behind the wedding party.

What was unexpected was how cold it was. For a while I used my Dickens styled glove with three finger tips cut off. The glove made my hand too bulky however, so I took it off and just blew hot air into my fist periodically.  Carrie and her brides maids must have been freezing. At least the groom and groomsmen had suits. Before I knew it, the wedding vows were over. People moved inside the Casa quickly to soak in the heat and get cocktails. I was only half finished with the sketch so I stayed until it was done. The sun set, and the temperature plummeted. I pulled out my book light, but it wouldn't turn on. I finished the sketch in the darkness only seeing bold values. My cold fingers spilled the water in the grass. Fearing I would shiver and ruin the sketch I had, I finally went inside. I sat at a table in a courtyard away from the crowd and looked at what I had. A space heater near the table kept me warm as I added a few more color washes to finish up.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


kimberly mcfadden said...

Hi Thomas, It's Kimberly McFadden from Chalk Shop Events. I am the chalkboard artist that designed all the boards for the wedding. Your work is magical. I so hope one of your sketches includes my boards so that I can post on my site and introduce you to all my clients who love unique hand made details. Please visit my site at

Thor said...

Hey Kimberly,

The intricate chalkboard art was amazing. Unfortunatly they didn't make their way into a sketch. Next time you are working on a particularly nice intricate design, let me know and I will stop by to sketch you at work. My write up will promote what you do. :)