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February 2, 2011

Custom Wedding Paintings and Drawings by Dina Argov of Dacha Studio

Dina Argov
Wedding portrait painting has become a lost art in this culture of digital photography, but many young couples and their families desire a wedding portrait that will be passed down to children and grandchildren in the form of a vivid, painted masterpiece. Today I want to introduce you to an artist with a rich appreciation for symbolism as well as an incredible talent for realistic representation in her custom wedding and portrait paintings and sketches. Dina Argov comes from a family of artistic talent and tells stories about her time spent as a little girl in Russia, sketching under the table while her mother painted folk art for tourists. Now Dina is married and has her own little girl. She lives in Israel, and spends her days painting heirloom masterpieces that represent the purity and joy of a godly marriage. If you'd like to contact Dina for a custom request or take a look at more of her artwork, go to the Dacha Studo on Etsy. Also, don't forget to tour the Weddings Section of her studio! 
(Note: All photos copyright Dina Argov, Jan. 2010)

Custom-made humorous wedding painting

Tell us about your custom wedding portraits and what makes them unique.

My custom wedding portraits are special artwork made by custom order. During history there were times when wedding portraits were very popular, and included marriage and wedding symbols like pearls, which indicate fertility, or palm leaves, which indicate pureness of the bride. My wedding portraits are inspired by this tradition, but they can be more versatile in theme and style. The premium portraits I make are with oil on canvas, or pencil on paper. I prefer monochrome when the style is classic, but full color when it is humorous.

The special thing about my wedding portraits is the high quality artwork as well as the unique symbols that can be included by request. These symbols can be special objects the bride will hold in her hand that remind her of the first date with her husband-to-be, like a rose he gave her, or even an old school bag she had when they just started dating. The amazing thing is that the portrait can be hung in the married couple's house, and/or be the artwork on the wedding invitations. 
One of Dina's custom wedding portraits.

What inspires you in your creative process?

The first thing I must say is that I get inspired all the time. It can be by an old photo I see, a small flower from my yard, or of course by traditional artists and their methods. I love folk illustrations and sometimes they sneak into my artwork. I am also a photographer, so light is something fascinating to me. Inspiration gets into my way wherever I go, so I collect images during the day, and in my sleep they start floating and create new original ideas.

When I got married I wanted a very simple, happy wedding. The wedding invitation I designed was made of a photograph I took without thinking it would be for the invitation. I took it on one of the winter days (in Israel we have few of these...). It was of a lamp in the dining room of my mother in law. The romantic magical light and atmosphere were the message I wanted to pass to my guests. 

Custom wedding portrait on box

How did you learn to draw and paint?

I come from a family of artists. I never wanted to be one, but It was always around me, naturally. When I was a baby and a small child, my mom was painting some folk paintings for tourists (we lived in St. Petersburg, Russia), and I was sitting under the table, trying to paint like she did.

Later I studied visual communication, specializing in illustration, at the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem, Israel.  Portrait painting was something I did long before starting studying, so during my studies I got custom orders and painted in between working on the Academy assignments. 
Custom portrait painting

What do you love best about what you do?

Painting is like meditation. I just dive into the precise work, and the painting comes to life as if by itself. 

I find many new techniques and methods of work, so I am never bored. I work in my beautiful studio in the countryside of Israel, I am a stay-at-home mom of an adorable baby girl. I love living and creating, and when I do it for a wedding, it is a great pleasure because I work within an exiting time period of a family-to-be. The ceremony of the wedding and the preparation process involve many people who send their good intentions, talent, and blessings to the couple, and I am honored to be part of this movement.

A preliminary sketch

What is the Bible verse or principle you live and work by?

1. Get inspired from simple things as well as from great works of art.
2. Work with full intention, even if you do it quickly.
3. Live a beautiful happy life as much as you can, and when you see or make something beautiful, share it with others.

-Dina Argov

Thank you, Dina! 
There is one more thing that we wanted to give you, our readers, a special sneak-peak at. Dina just opened a new shop featuring folk-art inspired magnet letters for your fridge. Check out her Love Letters in Magnets (see photo, below). I heard a little bird say that the first buyer from her new store will automatically receive four free letters, so hurry on over there!
-The Christian Bride Resource
"Something Old" refrigerator magnet letters

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