31 May 2010

Sarasota, Florida: Awesome place to paint!

Boats, Sarasota Bay 10x8" oil on panel

This was painted yesterday in Sarasota with a group of painters who got together to paint by the bay. This last week here has just been fabulous and a great opportunity for learning, growth and meeting new people. (and not to mention the weather here is fantastic and the landscape just gorgeous).
This week I had a new challenge. I was in a workshop with Marc Hanson where we were learning to take our field studies and turn them into larger studio paintings. I learned a lot about myself in this process, and not all of it wonderful... I'm not including a picture of my studio painting, it was not a success, but I really saw how important it is to have the vision of the painting and then to take the time on location to work out the values, drawing, what I really want to include (or edit out), and to take my time and do that, otherwise there isn't enough information for the larger studio painting. This in and of itself is an invaluable lesson. I felt a little frantic, like I didn't have enough painting time to really work out the painting, so even though I learned a lot about the process I wasn't able to produce a successful studio painting. Now I am really excited to use the whole process that I learned with Marc and to take the time on location to make the studies needed to take with me into the studio.
Sunset, Wild Oak Bay 7x11" oil on panel
Outside of the workshop I did get some other painting in and have been throughly enjoying painting in Sarasota. This was painted as the sun was setting and was so awing and inspiring: these are the moments I really enjoy and live for in painting. As the sun is setting the light is changing by the minute, and just the silence and all that sky and water with just me, my friend Susie, the birds and us with our easels, we seemed so small capturing such a big moment.. well, there's no real way to describe the experience but awesome and I felt lucky just to have the opportunity to be out there.

I'll be painting out in the wilds outside Sarasota for the rest of the week and am really looking forward to sharing what I produce with you, it's beautiful, wild and full of gators, exciting!

You can see more work (as I couldn't bombard you with everything that I've painted here) on my website here. You can also see a few larger paintings that I'm finishing up under the heading works in progress.

Thank you again for your interest in my work and I'll keep you posted on my adventures. For the second half of June I'll be painting in Alaska with a small group of friends and just can't wait to see what kind of paintings we will be doing there..
In the meantime I'll be indulging in the Florida landscape with it's bugs, burning sun and gators!

24 May 2010

Charleston


This one is not quite finished, but wanted to share something of what I've been doing in Charleston. This cemetery is so cool and not in the least bit morbid.. The garden is rambling and overgrown, making it seem that much more stereotypically southern, fantastic!
I had a great time in Charleston, and could have stayed even longer.
I got the chance to catch up with friends and make some new ones. I even happened to be there while the Ferguson's gave a talk about their private collection which is currently on loan to the Gibbes Museum.
Anyway, Charleston is a great place to paint. I did a few other small paintings that you can have a peek at on my website.
Today I'm off to Sarasota, Fl. to take a workshop with Marc Hanson, can't wait, really looking forward to it and to sharing with you what I've learned.
Happy trails!

17 May 2010

South Carolina Fun


This painting was not painted in South Carolina, but in Fucecchio, a small city between Florence and Pisa. The reason I'm in South Carolina was for a show for the 100 Day painting project hosted by Carola Elderidge. The show was fantastic, with lots of new and interesting faces, I really had a blast meeting so many people.
This painting was the only one outside of the project that I exhibited, but was originally a painting in the project. This is a more finished version that the original and is 14x20" on linen.
I just love this place, the light, the colors and how the stretching flat fields butt up against the mountains.
I'll be in South Carolina all week painting, so I'm really looking forward to sharing work that comes out of it.
The weather is calling for a lot of rain and clouds, but we'll see what happens!

06 May 2010

Afternoon at the Smithsonian



Here's a sketch from a gorgeous day spent on the mall in Washintgon, D.C. Although it's my hometown, I've never painted here, which seems strange. I spent the day visiting museums and lolling about in the shade under trees, but I was also excited and inspired by the gorgeous day to paint something.
It's funny how I've mostly painted things and places that are foreign or exotic, so painting at home has a whole new flavor. I'll be back in June to do some more painting, but in the meantime I'm headed to Beaufort, SC to show paintings from the 100 day project.
If you're in Beaufort, stop by!
You can get a better look at the painting here on my website.

03 May 2010

Day 100: Self-Portrait in the Garden


In keeping with the theme of daring to paint things I've never painted before, I went for it and chose to finish out the project with a self-portrait. It was actually really fun and exciting in it's newness. It's an odd sensation to look in the mirror and paint yourself painting, I got confused about which one was "real" sometimes.

I've never painted a self-portrait (that I showed anyone anyways) for my lack of practice and skill in painting the human figure. Like all of the other subjects I am intimidated to paint, I had to let go of thinking it would already be bad (will it look like me? will the drawing be terrible?, etc.) and just go for it. I knew I wanted to paint this as my last painting in the project, so I just did it and now that the initial fear is gone, I want to keep practicing.

I know it's the last day of the project, but it's hardly the last day of painting for me. In thinking about it I realized that I was sad thinking about the end of the project, thinking that it was somehow the end of me as a painter. I know, it's really silly, but that's how I was relating to the whole thing. Instead I see how today is the beginning, the first day of life as a real painter, that this project was my warm-up, my launching pad, my practice for the game that begins now.

This morning I decided to go to the National Gallery. I'm in my home town Washington, D.C. visiting family, which is a great way for me to finish out the project. I went to see a show of Spanish painting and sculpture, but I never made it there. On the way to the show I passed the American painting galleries and veered off to look in. These are paintings that I know like the back of my hand, that I've visited my whole life. Whistler, Eakins, Sargent, Church, Cole, and more. It's been awhile since I stopped in to pay a visit, and today I'm so glad I did. Today I saw these paintings with new eyes. Today I saw for the first time that I want to place myself amongst these great painters. I looked at their paintings and saw how they chose their compositions, how they handled the lights and darks, I looked at their brushstrokes or lack of them and their use of color. I followed their thoughts as if each painting were a book to be read. I saw the gap between myself and these painters, but today I saw that this gap can be closed through a life of dedication to painting. I couldn't have imagined a better way to end the project than with this visit.

So today is the beginning, and I feel prepared thanks to your involvement and letting me share this project with you. What's next is a few things. I've decided to keep painting the small paintings to the end of the year, selling each unframed for $100, while working simultaneously on larger paintings. I will keep sharing them with you via a bi-monthly email the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month. I will keep my Blog (although it will no longer be called 100 Paintings 100 Days 100 Dollars) and will update it weekly with finished small paintings, works in progress along with any news and upcoming events.

I know this is long, but I just want to take a minute to thank each and every one of you. Thank you for all of your insightful comments, words of encouragement when I was tired or down and for just being engaged with me through the entire process. Through the sharing of my work with you I have been able to give life to what I thought was a dream to be fulfilled someday, but no time soon, of becoming a "real" painter. The real part comes in the sharing of work and dialogue with you, and in return makes me work the best that I can.

Thank you, you're really awesome and I can't wait to share more adventures in painting with you!

You can buy today's painting by clicking here. You can view all other paintings from the 100 day project here. All paintings from the project are 6x8", painted on birch, are unframed and cost $100 (+ $15 shipping).
You can buy a paintings directly from the website using paypal or by contacting me at kellyaskey@gmail.com

You can share my work with someone by suggesting that they sign-up to receive the Email Newsletter here or by following the Blog at www.kellymedford.blogspot.com.

Day 99: Helleborus Foetidus




Helleborus is the name of this plant. I have to admit that I'm kind of a plant geek. I love walking around and looking at plants, trying to guess their names and getting to know them better.
This painting is different today, it's dark and a little mysterious. I wanted to try something like this before the end of the project, and it was challenging, all of those green leaves just merging in the background, so I decided to make them more abstract designs. Chances are you can tell that I really just loved the shapes that the flowers make, it was where most of my attention was drawn to.

Well, it's the second to last day. Of course I'm going to keep painting and keep you updated and sharing with you what I'm painting. Today I realized that this project was the jump start I needed to really begin the journey of painting. For myself I feel successful just in the fact that now I want to paint each day, and not to just have the end result of a painting, but I look forward to the time in my day where I can paint something undisturbed and take the time I need to learn to paint and see something new that day. If this were the only thing (which it's not!) I would have gotten from this project, it would have been worth it a hundred fold for this alone: the gift of discipline.

Thank you for following the project and for all of your amazing feedback, you've made the project doable and kept it alive!

To buy today's painting, click here. To view all other paintings from the 100 day project, click here.
All paintings are 6x8", painted on birch, unframed and cost $100 (+ $15 shipping). You can buy a painting directly from the website using paypal or by contacting me directly at kellyaskey@gmail.com.

You can share this project with someone by having them sign-up to receive the E Newsletter here. They can also follow the daily posts on my Blog here or join the 100 Paintings Facebook Group here.

01 May 2010

Day 98: The Old Shed



This isn't the first painting I've made of this shed. I just love it's light and dark sides, looking into the falling down scraps, it's fascinating. Really I wish it would stay around a little while longer, but I know that one of these days when I come back to paint it, it's not going to be there anymore. It's all that's left of an old tobacco farm, and it's really cool to paint.
I'm off because my little cousin is getting married today. I'm excited and it's a perfectly beautiful day for a wedding. Below is a painting of their home that her finace' commissioned me as his wedding gift to her.




Kim and Bubba's
Oil on Canvas
16x24"


Thanks for reading and I'm curious about what tomorrow will bring for painting!

To buy today's painting from the website, click here. To view all other paintings from the 100 day project, click here.
All paintings are 6x8", painted on birch, unframed and cost $100 (+ $15 shipping). You can buy one directly from the website using paypal or by contacting me at kellyaskey@gmail.com

You can share this project with someone by having them sign-up to receive the E Newsletter here. They can also follow the daily posts on my Blog here or join the 100 Paintings Facebook Group here.