Victoria Autrey has been painting since she was just a young child. “I have painted ever since I could hold a paintbrush,” said Autrey. “I had a very encouraging family growing up, and because of their support I have been able to use those talents throughout my life to paint local murals, gym floors, environmental art for schools, logo designs for some of the larger companies in our area, and have also taught private art lessons for over 40 years,” said Autrey.
Autrey was blessed with a daughter, Holly Perez, and was lucky to pass her love and passion for painting onto her daughter. “When I was little I would ask my mom to draw a picture for me of this or that. I would then take it from her, and run off to my room and try my hardest to redraw it myself. Sometimes I would cry because it wouldn’t ever look the same as hers, and she eventually got pretty wise to that,” said Perez. “I would have to remind her that I spent a long time practicing throughout my childhood and into my adult life to get to where I was. I was very proud of her efforts growing up because she did pay her dues by doing the work, and she is now incredibly talented,” said Autrey.
Autrey and her daughter Holly have spent the last several decades specializing in portraits. They have a studio where they work from at Autrey’s home, and have typically used photo images to paint from. Holly also works with families that have lost loved ones, creating images of children with grandparents or parents they never had the opportunity to meet. Several months ago, Autrey came to her daughter and told her she had an idea. “I told her I think I want to paint live weddings, and it just sort of took off from there,” said Autrey. Perez and Autrey have now painted several live weddings since the start of October, and are hopeful to continue growing their business and sharing their passion for live portrait painting with others around the Texarkana Area, and even through future destination weddings.
The mother-daughter duo has a special niche in their painting: one is left handed and the other is right. “Because we both use our opposite hands, we are able to paint together at the same time. We never cross paths, which makes it easy for us to work together throughout the wedding and reception, so that we finish before the end of the night and can share it with our couples,” said Perez with a smile. Typically, the duo requires between 4-5 hours to complete the entire painting. In order to ensure that their couples receive the perfect portrait at the end of the night, the duo arrives early to sketch the scene, and often use pictures of the wedding dress and outfits beforehand to help sketch the smallest details before live painting.
“It’s honestly really fun! It’s like we are a part of the wedding entertainment at the weddings. We have enjoyed it so much, and we love seeing the reactions from the bride and grooms at the end of the night,” said Perez. The duo offers three live wedding painting options for their clients: The Ceremony, The First Kiss and or The First Dance. “We are available and we are eager to meet with our clients to ensure they get the painting of their dreams. We don’t just do weddings either. We can do any live event, anniversary, or party. We also can do studio portraits if that works best for our clients,” said Perez.
The mother-daughter duo are continuing to bring their passion for painting alive with their new venture in live wedding portraits, but their love for painting hasn’t left. “I have just always loved painting people and portraits. The human figure is something I have loved to paint, and still continue to love it today,” said Autrey. “To me (portraits) are the hardest jigsaw puzzle to put together. If one piece of the puzzle doesn’t fit together, then it doesn’t look right. But taking the time to make sure it all comes together is something that I absolutely love,” said Perez. Autrey and Perez are now booking clients for live wedding paintings.
If you are interested in hiring or learning more about the mother-daughter painting duo, you can visit their Facebook page here, or you can contact them by calling (903)280-4255, or (903) 746-7320. For other inquiries you can reach the two by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Gracies.email@example.com.