17 April 2012

Bradenton, Florida: The Place to Paint, Paint, Paint

Here is my follow up after painting for 5 days in Bradenton, Florida. 

It was truly fabulous, even more than I had imagined! There are so many wonderful places to paint, I never would have guessed. Five days seemed like just the tip of the iceberg of exploring this diverse place.

I was a little nervous to say the least. There were so many great painters and talent amongst us and this was my first competition. I knew that I wasn't supposed to think about any of that, but I couldn't help it, sometimes the thought, "you better make some good paintings!" popped in uninvited.





8x10"
Oil on Linen Panel
(c) Kelly Medford, 2012


But I did keep painting, thinking that if I just kept going, I was bound to paint something I liked naturally and not under pressure. But the next day went pretty bad. As a group we went to a wonderful place called Anna Maria Island where there were a wide range of subjects to choose from, but about the time I had got my painting laid in, or the canvas covered, a big truck pulled in to power wash the entire building, what luck! That's the name of the plein air painting game, so the few painters that were there in the same spot decided to move on for the afternoon. That painting was a scratch too, and by the end of the day I was pretty hot and tired and had little to show for myself.

The next day we had the opportunity to go and paint at a local family farm. This place was gorgeous and silent as a mouse when you got back to the river. There was a small group of us hovered around the most brilliant red barn. The sun was hitting it perfectly, giving us the chance to paint the intensely colorful light and the deep, cool shadows going into the barn. I was a little intimidated by all the stuff piled up around there, but the color was just so inspiring, I knew that this had to be the morning's painting.



Junk in the Barn, King's Farm
11x14"
Oil on Linen Panel

(c) Kelly Medford, 2012
not for sale

How could someone like me who loves intense color pass up this opportunity? It made days of searching for the "right" thing to paint worth it. I loved painting here, there must have been at least 10 paintings to be potentially captured in this place. I realized here that I love to paint buildings, probably from my last year or so spent doing so in Rome.

In the afternoon I debated what to paint, knowing I wouldn't have the chance to come back. I roamed and roamed, debating and with the sun beating down, I headed to the peach orchard. I knew I didn't have much time left in the day, so I got out a little board, thinking that this would be fitting as a small intimate moment, the last of the day.



The Green Shed, King's Farm
5x7"
Oil on Panel

(c) Kelly Medford, 2012
sold

This ended up being one of my two entries into the final exhibition. And wouldn't you know it, this little one won honorable mention, I was truly honored!

On the final day of painting my friend and wonderful painter Susie Covert suggested that we go to paint in a local Historical Village. I can't even tell you what a wonderful place this is, full of preserved old Florida style buildings. I wanted to paint inside the cracker house, but we needed to stay outside with our easels, so I chose the chicken coop. We were in good company as the little banty roosters crowed their hearts out all morning as we painted.





Oil on Panel
8x10"
(c) Kelly Medford, 2012

I ended up putting this as my second entry into the final show, I just loved this place- the light and the feel of old Florida. The two paintings I chose, this and "The Green Shed" expressed for me the feeling that is Florida.

You can still see the exhibit "Paint the Town Bradenton, 2012" on exhibit until the 28th of April at ArtCenter Manatee. There are so many wonderful paintings, I was blown away and truly honored to have the opportunity to paint with so many talented people. The experience was entirely positive and I got the chance to get to know a little better the natural beauty of Florida.





3 comments:

  1. You really captured the essence of the place! Great stuff. Everyone viewing the show will appreciate those great little treasures you created.

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  2. Lovely paintings. I especially like the red one, seems more you and consequently seems to have more feeling.

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  3. Thank you so much for your comments- I guess you can tell how much I enjoyed painting in this place, mostly for that old Florida feel. And yes, maybe you are right Sue, the red of that barn with those deep shadows really got me excited to paint!

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