You can’t keep from smiling

You can't keep from smiling

Little Kaylan came by to have her 3 year old portrait done. We were both giggling by the end of the shoot. Best compliment ever given by the grandmother…”You should take more photos of children…you are great! I attribute my skill to my grandmother who loved children. I also will give myself a little bit of credit…..because every time I’m around a kid, I want to be one again.

Want to book a session with us?

I’m Back!!!

Announcement ! Part 1 of 2 Big Changes.
1st “I’m Back” Simply put, I missed photographing weddings way too much. We have restructured our coverage after months of analyzing what our clients love and what I love.
Now more than ever, I can finally offer what I want as an artist. We remain affordable, and will continue our tradition of showing the best of Eureka Springs. After having some health problems last year, it helped me realize what is important to me. Our services are more streamlined and more in keeping with what today’s bride wants. I am happy again and excited to do my best for my town and my clients. We will take a limited volume of weddings allowing me the time to give my family and clients the best parts of me. Stay tuned for announcement #2 coming soon.

New Changes for Purdy Art Co.

Upcoming EasterBelles Parade!

Photo by Purdy Art Co.

Be sure and call us about the EasterBelle parade.  We can provide you with information on how you can participate in this fantastic Easter Parade.  This is a fund-raiser for the Merlin Foundation.


St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Watch the parade tonight online

Sad, but true.

Got a call from a bride who had talked to me about 6 months ago.  We hit it off so well.  She loved my work, she thought my prices were fair, I could see myself at her wedding and delivering a product she and I would be proud of.

Then I never heard from her again. Until today.  She called me in tears.  I took a deep breath.  I knew it was not going to be a good story.

She had hired another photographer.  Based on price alone.  That and a bit of pressure from a bridesmaid who insisted she use “her” photographer.  And then the sadness and the tears.

Her photographer was not aware of the lighting at the Thorncrown, had not worked at a Crescent Hotel wedding, and the result was disastrous.  Safe to say the photographer was overwhelmed with the rhythm that a Eureka Springs wedding demands.  As the tears fell she went over point by point of all the mistakes she had made that day in planning her photography.  After listening to her “list” I was keenly aware that nothing I said would be of comfort to her.

Your wedding memories are one of the most important pieces of your big day.  I forget sometimes how much I guide people on timing, lighting, fellow vendors, traffic, where to eat, what works well here and what doesn’t.  I’ve worked with some of the top vendors here and we are not only professional associates, many are my friends.  It’s that relationship that provides me with a knowledge and an insight that out-of-town photographers are not able to offer.  Sure there are photographers who work in the corridor, and service this area.  I think the largest difference between myself and others is the volume of work and the knowledge I have of my hometown.  That separates us apart greatly.

My sweet Bride will never recall her day in a beautiful way.  Not in photography, nor in memories.  My heart just broke.

We will be shooting bridal portraits and taking them on a photo safari next month…fun times ahead.  I hope to help heal her experience.

Wedding Follows Reunion for Carthage Couple

Wedding Follows Reunion for Carthage Couple

by Judy Montgomery, staff wedding reporter, Purdy Art Co.

Twenty-five years after they dated the first time around, Karen Lieberman and Chuck Davis were married on Saturday, May 28, 2011.  The “East Lawn” at the Crescent Hotel was the location for the 2:00 p.m. wedding.  Though it had been raining frequently, the skies cleared and the weather was gorgeous.

Rewind 25 years:  “He was my first boyfriend.  I was 15 and he was 22, which is why it didn’t work after he left for college,” Karen says.  So how did they reunite?  Last June, after Karen went through a divorce, she thought of Chuck.  “I went on Craig’s List to look for him, and the next day I had a friend request from him,” she says.  “We went to dinner and started seeing each other again.”

Karen lived in Seneca, Missouri at the time, about 40 minutes away from Carthage where they both grew up.  Chuck had returned to Carthage just three years earlier.  He works as a controls engineer, building and repairing computers for power plants.  Karen had worked on the neurology floor at St. John’s and for a neurosurgeon in private practice.  She is currently in school, studying radiology technology at Missouri Southern State University.

The pair had seven weeks to prepare from proposal to wedding day.  “We wanted a small wedding.  We knew if we did it at home in our church, it would be huge,” Karen says.  They searched for locations online and found the Crescent Hotel.  “We went to see it and fell in love with it,” Karen says.

On their wedding day, the Crescent Hotel gardens “were really pretty,” Karen says.  “You can see in our pictures, the sky was the exact same cornflower blue as the girls’ dresses,” Karen describes.

Her three bridesmaids were Jennifer Lucian, Karen’s best friend; Sharon Jones, her twin; and Kim Wilson, another friend.  Chuck’s best friend, Randy Muranski, served as best man.  His nephew, Aaron Harris, and Justin Davis, Karen’s 12-year-old son, were groomsmen.

“My younger son, Payton, who is 10, was our ring bearer and my 4-year-old niece Addyson Jones, was flower girl,” Karen says.  Skyler Jones, Karen’s twenty-year-old nephew, with whom she is very close, walked her down the aisle.

Karen wore a white, strapless chiffon dress, floor-length with a two-foot sweep train.  She carried blue hydrangeas and white roses, while her attendants held matching blue hydrangeas.  She met with Michelle Burks, owner of Eureka Flowers, once, “and she knew exactly what I wanted,” Karen says.  Her attendants wore strapless, knee-length dresses of cornflower blue that did indeed match the sky that day.

 Their attire was complemented by the black five-button Ralph Lauren tuxedos worn by Chuck’s groomsmen.  The groom a white necktie, as did Payton. Skyler, Karen’s escort, wore a black tie and the groomsmen’s ties were silver.

Performing the ceremony was Karen and Chuck’s friend from their church, Brother Garver, who was also Chuck’s minister in childhood.  Approximately 50 guests attended the wedding and the following reception, was also on the lawn of the hotel and in a tent set up for that purpose.

The Crescent Hotel supplied the white on white three-tiered wedding cake, but Karen herself decorated it the morning of the ceremony.  She used blue ribbons, along with white roses and blue hydrangeas that matched those festooning the reception area.  Karen also made the butter mints before leaving home.  Other reception fare included light hors d’oeuvres, finger sandwiches and fruit, vegetables and chips, all with accompanying dips.  Though punch, tea, coffee or water were served to their guests, the couple did toast each other with champagne.  A local violinist provided by the hotel played for a half hour prior to the ceremony, then segued into the wedding march at the appropriate time.  He also played during the reception.

And there through it all, there was Melodye Purdy from Purdy Art Co., who had been recommended by the Crescent Hotel staff.  “We called her and fell in love with her,” Karen says.  “Melodye made everything run so smoothly.  We couldn’t have asked for a better photographer.”

Karen and their boys stayed at the Crescent Hotel the night before.  Justin and Payton now have Davis as their last names, too.  “Their dad died in November 2010 and Chuck has stepped in for them,” Karen says.  The couple ate at Local Flavor with both boys Friday evening before the wedding, then took the Ghost Tour at the Crescent Hotel.  “I wanted to take the boys and my sister’s family went with us.  Payton thought it was the neatest thing he had ever done,” Karen adds.

Apparently the ghosts were on duty the next day.  “Melodye took photos while we were getting ready on Saturday in our suite on the second floor.  My niece was sitting with me while my makeup was being applied.  In one of the pictures, there is a white shadow floating my head and you can see a face in it,” Karen says.

Chuck and Karen spent Saturday night at the Crescent Hotel following the ceremony, then drove to Joplin to fly out to Las Vegas.  “We were trying to get to the airport in Joplin, but that was the day the President was there to see tornado damage,”Karen says.    “After we finally made it to the airport, we were delayed again waiting for Air Force One to take off.  We made our connection in Dallas just in time.”  They spent five days in Las Vegas, taking a brief honeymoon since they plan to go to Hawaii in December with Justin and Payton.

Thinking back to their May wedding, Karen says “I don’t think I could have asked for a more perfect day.  This was meant to be.  God has truly blessed us.”

Groom Gives His Wife Wedding She Deserves

Groom Gives His Wife Wedding She Deserves

By Judy Montgomery, staff wedding reporter, Purdy Art Co.

“When we first married, I was a poor man to tell you the truth,” Brian Gesner says.  He and Kristie were married August 9, 2008, in the open atrium at Old Town Springs near their home in Spring, Texas.  “There wasn’t a lot to take pictures of there,” he explains.

“For the past year I wanted to make it up to her, give her the wedding she deserved.  In February 2011, I had a dream about a place we visited when I was 10, about a glass chapel,” Bryan says.  “When I woke up I knew that’s where we needed to go, so I looked it up and got our daughters involved.  They loved it.”

“We planned a vacation to Eureka Springs and to Branson, recreating my childhood vacation.  I planned the ceremony for dusk, like the time I was there as a child,” Brian says.  The date was Sunday, May 29, 2011 and the place was from Brian’s dream, Thorncrown Chapel.  “It was just us, our three kids, my mother and stepfather.”  Harry Hoffman, a minister affiliated with Thorncrown Chapel, guided Kristie and Brian through the renewal of their vows.  His wife, Cheryl Hoffman, played organ for the service.

Kristie wore a white, formal full-length wedding dress with train, and sequins and beads decorating the strapless bodice.  A veil and tiara were both set off by her dark hair.  The girls, Jocelyn, 10, and Celleste, nine, wore lavender dresses and purple hydrangeas in their hair.

Brian wore a black tuxedo with a lavender necktie and their son, Brice, 12, wore a black tux with black bow tie.  Their boutonnières included some of the same flowers as Kristie’s bouquet, which featured purple hydrangeas, blue carnations and daisies.  Brian’s mother, who used to be a florist, put together all the flowers for them.

 “We wanted a beautiful place and extremely beautiful pictures,” Brian says.  After researching photographers for two weeks, they picked Melodye Purdy of Purdy Art Co.  “She stood out as the one for us.  I saw smiles on the faces of people in her photographs.  She thinks outside the box.

“Melodye brought it to life for us,” Brian says.  “She completely delivered.  She picked up on us.  She had me pose like a big studly guy.  That’s an image I try to project,” Brian laughs.  “It was cicada mating season while we were there.  One got stuck on the back of Kristie’s dress and our daughter swatted it.  Melodye caught that in a photo,” Brian says.

“After the ceremony, we all went to dinner at Local Flavor.  It was such good food that, well, I was in a tuxedo a little smaller than I needed and I had to undo a few buttons,” Brian says.  “We were all in our wedding attire at dinner and we got some looks.”

The vow renewal in Eureka Springs was also a vacation trip for the blended family.  “We were both single parents.  Both our exes walked out on us,” Brian says.  The couple met on the internet.  “She actually lived about two minutes from my house,” Brian says.  “On our first date, she professed to me she wasn’t going to marry any one.  After one month of dating she said ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we got married?’.”

They traveled to Eureka Springs three days before their ceremony.  “We’re big winery buffs and we stopped at several on the way.  Keels Creek Winery in Eureka Springs was our very favorite one in all of Arkansas,” he says.

The family stayed at Cherokee Mountain Log Cabins Resort in a cabin overlooking a big hill, Brian recalls.  “It was beautiful,” he says.  They went to Catfish Cabin for a meal because it was close to their lodging.  “I’m a catfish lover, but we didn’t have high expectations.  But it was great.

“And we ate at Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse.  I’m still telling people about that,” Brian says.  They also shopped in downtown Eureka Springs.  “I spent way too much money in the Tommy Bahama store (The Emerald Forest),” Brian admits.  “ We tried hot sauces at Silly Chile and I kept coming back for more of their lemonade,” he says.  They also enjoyed the art at the Morrison-Woodward Gallery.

The day of the ceremony the family ate breakfast at the Crescent Hotel.  “Then while the girls had their hair and makeup done at the New Moon Spa, Brice and I went to see St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church.  We liked the statues,” Brian says.

After their time in Eureka Springs, the family continued their vacation in Branson, Missouri before returning home, where Kristie works with Brian in his company Prestige Heating & Air Conditioning.

Crescent Hotel Boardwalk is Venue Chosen by Couple

Crescent Hotel Boardwalk is Venue Chosen by Couple

by Judy Montgomery, staff wedding reporter, Purdy Art Co.

“I always wanted an outdoor wedding and always had Eureka Springs in the back of my mind because it is so pretty there,” says Lindsay Daniel.  “We visited some places, but when we walked around the Crescent Hotel, we knew this is where it needs to be.”

And so it was, that on Sunday, May 22, 2011, at 1:00 p.m., Lindsay (then Ragan) and Adam Daniel were married on the boardwalk at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, with the reception following in the hotel’s Conservatory.  “The weather held off for us that day,” Lindsay says.  It didn’t rain again until that night.

Bill Ott performed the ceremony in front of approximately 60 guests.  “He was great.  We met him the day before and did a quick run-through,” Lindsay says.  Later she saw Ott at a University of Central Arkansas (U.C.A.) graduation, and was pleased to know they were graduates of the same school.

In college at U.C.A. is where she and Adam met during their freshman year.  “Adam’s parents moved from Ohio to Conway (Arkansas) his junior year of high school.  I came to U.C.A. for school from Van Buren (Arkansas),” Lindsay explains.  “We hung out for about a month and then were dating ‘officially’.”  The couple dated for five years prior to their year-long engagement.

“We had been talking about getting married, but on May 5 last year, I think it was a Wednesday, he surprised me,” Lindsay says.  She was “nicely shocked”, she recalls.

The couple booked a wedding package at the Crescent Hotel that included a two-night stay.  Lindsay and her cousin stayed the night before the wedding, as did Adam and his brother.  The second night was Adam and Lindsay’s first night of their honeymoon.

The rehearsal dinner was at Local Flavor on Saturday night.  “We always had lunch there when we visited.  We figured dinner there must be good, too,” Lindsay said.  They offered their guests a choice of entrees:  pork tenderloin, chicken Parmesan or tilapia.

Lindsay chose Michelle Burks from Eureka Florist and talked to her on the phone and e-mailed her about the details.  “We came up and visited once and saw her again on the day before the wedding.  She helped me a ton with types of flowers and did an awesome job from my ideas,” Lindsay says.

They chose Melodye Purdy from Purdy Art Co. for their photographer.  “The first time we visited the hotel, she was there doing a wedding,” Lindsay says.  “So we looked online and liked the variety and quality of her pictures.  She ran the show a little bit, kept us organized for the reception, garter toss and cake cutting.  Melodye was so easy and natural with us that most of the time I didn’t even know I was getting my picture taken.”

Lindsay found what she knew was THE dress after looking in only one store.  “I bought it nine months before our wedding,” she says.  The diamond white dress called “Destiny” by Maggie Sottero barely touched the ground, and came with a modest train.  It had a sweetheart neckline and asymmetrical beading, and it laced up the back.  She wore two-inch heels from Allure, also diamond white, with ruffles up the foot and open toes.

“Adam bought me simple pearl earrings and a necklace with crystal beading,” Lindsay says, and she wore those along with a headband with crystal pearls, a flower and feathers that “I had to have – it was too cute”.

Adam wore a light gray Calvin Kline tuxedo with an ivory shirt, tie and vest.  His boutonnière was a dark purple tulip, echoing those in the brides bouquet of tulips blooms, white roses and white hydrangeas.  Best man Ryan Daniel, Adam’s brother, and his three good friends who were groomsmen wore the same style of light gray tuxes with vests and ties of deep plum.

Fred Mayer, the violinist furnished with the hotel’s package, played “Canon in D” for the Lindsay’s walk down the aisle.  “I LOVE that song,” Lindsay says.  She picked a very different song for the couple’s first dance — “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” sung by Elvis Presley.  “My Dad loves Elvis,” Lindsay says.

Besides dancing the reception included light hors d’oeuvres and punch, with a champagne toast.  The three-tier vanilla wedding cake was iced in white and bedecked with purple flowers.  “Adam is into the gym and working out, so he found dumbbells and a bench press in silhouettes for his groom’s cake,” Lindsay describes.

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel are back home in Conway.  She just finished graduate school and works as a speech language pathologist in a skilled nursing facility in Heber Springs.  Adam is project coordinator for BCI Management, supervising jobs and equipment for loading docks for Wal-Mart stores.

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