Showing posts with label Kelly Medford. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kelly Medford. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lucy Medford's 70th Birthday.

I know Lucy Medford through her daughter Kelly Medford. Kelly is an expatriate painter living and painting in Rome. Her Mom lives just north of Orlando. It was a rare frigid night so it was nice to get inside for the warmth. Every Medford in America muss have been at the party. Before the potluck Before the potluck dishes were opened on the dining room table, I settled into the comfy couch and started to sketch.

There was a station set up for goofy photos with feather boas, pink hats, antennas and a frame announcing Lucy's 70th. Some relatives were adventurous and wore the props throughout the party. I wanted to speak to Kelly about how she markets her Rome Sketch Tours. I want to offer more Orlando workshops and her insights would be invaluable. With every relative in attendance, I only had a few minutes to speak to Kelly. I'm hoping Skype, or just a few e-mails might answer my many questions.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Valentines Day Sketch Tour notes.

These are thumbnail studies made at the Valentines Day Sketch Tour. Kelly Medford from Rome was offering advice on making simple value studies. I used a blunt black colored pencil to quickly fog in some grey valves and line work. Although the exercise wasn't about color, I couldn't resist adding a few watercolor washes. The color swatches were added to show the colors available with the palette we gave each student. First a thick swatch us added with plenty of pigment. Then the color was thinned with to of water to show how light values cool be achieved. Our lakeside classroom felt a be in like a Colosseum with the gentle arch of the shoreline.

After all the mornings sketches, we all took a lunch break an found food from vendors in the Mennello Museum's Folk Festival. After lunch it was my turn to inspire artists to try and populate their sketches. I posed and the had several students pose to give everyone an idea of how to quickly block in a figure. Then I explained one and 2 point perspective and had student create a for grid plane. They then took the figure studies the Did and added them to the grid plane. Large figures were is the foreground and small figures were is the background. Then we all explored the crowded Folk Festival, with the objective to incorporate as mane figures in one sketch as was possible. We agreed to return to our quiet lakeside classroom to share the results.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Valentines Day Sketch Tour.

On Valentines Day, Kelly Medford, a plein air painter from Rome came to Orlando and co-hosted a Valentines Day Sketch Tour at the Mennello Museum Museum of American Art. The Mennello Museum was having it's annual Folk Festival. All the artist met by the lake close to the foot bridge.

We gave each artist a Strathmore Sketchbook, a travel sized watercolor palette, a pencil, pen and water brush. Kelly began the morning by introducing the supplies and getting everyone started doing Blind contour drawings. From there we started doing simple thumbnail studies. It was nice to sit back and be a student again.  I did these two sketches using just watercolor washes followed by minimal line. I usually finish the whole drawing in line be for I start adding watercolor, so this was a liberating departure. of course with more time, I could refine and ad detail, but I like the freshness of splashing watercolor first. My challenge now is finding ways to mix larger puddles of color to cover more of the sketch at once. I'm considering just using a bowl as a palette.

We had a good crowd of artists show up for the day. It is wonderful to see everyone unique approaches. The Folk Festive was just setting up as we were doing these sketches. You can see the first tents popping up just on the on the other side of the wrought iron fence. All of these loose instructional sketches were shared with everyone in the workshop online. I will not post them all on this site. There are far to many events and news to report on.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Moon Jelly illuminated the In-between series.

On Saturday March 5th, Moon Jelly performed at the Gallery at Avalon Island as part of the monthly In-between series. When I arrived at the upstairs theater, Kate Shults was setting up the lighting and video effects. Hanging vines had their branches wrapped in foil as if to protect them from harmful radiation or alien attack. A vibrant green lamp caught my eye to anchor the scene and I sat in the front row to start sketching. Steven Head, the guitarist made a comment about all the "foiliage".  He let me know that his family would be sitting to my left. He was also surprised that I was working digitally. He got ready to perform by putting on a pair of glitter socks. A photographer asked all the band members to hold plants and she photographed them before the show.

I just wanted to be sure I was fine where I was seated before committing to the sketch. Moriah Lorraine Russo sat next to me, and I felt at ease since she is an artist herself. My concern was that the room would go dark and I would be be the jerk with a giant illuminated tablet. People have been shot in Florida for turning on their digital devices in a dark theater. She reassured me that she enjoyed watching the sketch develop. Hopefully others felt the same. 

Timothy Murray, the other Moon Jelly guitarist, held up the small purple vase to let people know that they could place any tips inside since they were not getting paid for this gig. He was good about reminding the audience that he would be making the announcement multiple times.

Anna Wallace, the lead singer also performed on an Omnichord. She had on giant eyelashes and plenty of glitter around her eyes. The bands music is classified as pop psych. "Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots can't stay alone; like the communicative life of people, two or three polka-dots become movement... Polka-dots are a way to infinity." - Yayoi Kusama. Before the show, band members joked that it was hard to be weird but accessible. 

The music flowed and ebbed with a mysterious electron vibe. One song flowed seamlessly into another. The lyrics were quirky and fun. I absolutely loved the show which took me back to the brooding seamless concerts of Pink Floyd. Moon Jelly however had a much light flair. Blurred and pixelated images flickered on the screens. Listening was like a dream in which you find you are floating, a bit out control, but certain that things will work out. The audience went wild when the music found its resolution. Moon Jelly was the opening act for Mutual Benefit. I felt satiated when their set was done and decided to slip out before Mutual Benefit was set up. It was a great concert in a great venue. 

After the show, I got to see the plein air art show now hanging in the gallery. Kelly Medford, an American Artist has been living in Rome where she does a plein air painting every day. We collaborated on an Orlando Sketch Tour workshop on Valentines Day weekend and it was such a fun experience.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Golden Body Painting at Nude Nite.

If you missed Nude Nite here in Orlando this Valentines Day, keep in mind that it will also be happening on March 3-5 in Tampa Florida. The sketch opportunities are clearly limitless. On my second night going to the venue, I decided to focus on Base Orlando body painters. I know Lori Babson Jessup, the body painter in the foreground from sketching dancers in town. Spiraling filigree were painted in Lori's cleavage making it hard not to look there. Base Orlando is a group of Body painters who gather regularly and paint their models with a given theme. A recent Base Orlando event had a steampunk theme. It was clear the steampunk inspired Lori's body painting on this Nude Nite. The model had golden chain mail on her shoulders and breasts and gears interconnected on her  legs.

Lori had an assistant to help with the work. Photographers would move in for their shots and the disperse like waves crashing against the shore. Some couples were concerned about the paint, perhaps because of the scene in Goldfinger in which a gorgeous woman died because she was painted head to toe in gold paint. Lori would reassure people that the paint water based theater paint that. completely non-toxic. Lori would at times stand on the platform with the model and other times she stood below on the floor. One time she was on the platform and so focused on her painting, that g almost tumbled off the platform. She laughed and then curtsied to the assembled crowd. "Thanks folks, I'll be here all night." As if the slip was all part of the act.

With my sketch done, to was tempted to try another, but I was exhausted. t had been teaching an Urban sketching Workshop all day with Kelly Medford at the Mennello Museum. We had 14 students and it was such a gorgeous day. Nudc Nite was the icing on the cake of a perfect day.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sketching swans and ducks at Lake Eola.

This is the last sketch I did at the First Orlando Sketch Tour. Instructor Kelly Medford and touring artist Gay Geiger set out to sketch the black swans and ducks. It had been threatening to rain all day, so it was nice to have a moment to enjoy a break in the weather. I decided to only use line in the foreground of the sketch. The far shore and city scape I left as bold blocks of watercolor. Since I had just done a demonstration on watercolor of the pagoda using no line, I was loosened up to try the same technique here. By verbalizing my thoughts as an instructor, I ended up learning something new. This is a technique I should be using more often. It is far more experimental and leaves much more room for discovery during the process. I am very much a creature of habit however so change comes slowly. Eight artists came out for the sketch tour and I had a blast collaborating with Kelly Medford sharing our sketching techniques. I hosted a second Sketch Tour at the Orlando Fringe and will probably host another one in September or October as the Florida heat dies down.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Orlando Sketch Tour explores color.

At the First Orlando Sketch Tour we were chased inside Panera Bread thanks to impending rain. Kelly Medford and myself made the best of it and the restaurant became our classroom. Here we introduced everyone to the watercolor pallets we had supplied each artist with. We asked everyone to make a color wheel and then to make a light watery wash of each color along side a dark, syrupy wash of the same color. When working on location, I seldom have the time to mix colors, so I mix color washes on the sketch to find the colors and values needed. A sketch always starts out light and then I keep adding pigments to build up the darks. Trying to cover the whole surface except for a few white spots is the first objective.

On this day, students from Elite Animation Academy came out to join the Sketch Tour artists.  My wife Terry also came out to show her support. She is in the center of the sketch in the pink cowboy boots reading a magazine. Her signature sketch is a smiley face and she can finish that in five seconds. Shelby brought her daughter on the tour and together they discovered color and how to compose a sketch. That seems like the perfect way for a family to spend time together. My Elite Urban Sketching students were well into their studies so I let them sketch in peace offering just a few suggestions if they needed help. Between the eight or so Sketch Tour artists and the four Elite Animation students, we pretty much filled up the front room at Panera Bread. A little rain never stops an Urban Sketcher.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A sketch demonstration from the First Orlando Sketch Tour.

I hosted the first Orlando Sketch Tour along with plein air painter Kelly Medford from Rome Italy on March 1st and 2nd. We decided to hold the Sketch Tour at Lake Eola and we gathered with about six other artists near the Japanese Pagoda at the North East corner of the park.

Kelly and I tag teamed, offering advice to get everyone warmed up and ready to start sketching. All skill levels were encouraged to participate, so we each offered one on one instructions to each student to bring them up to speed. We started off the day with blind contour drawings with artists sketching each other without glancing at the sketch. Then we did quick gestures again without looking at the page. I did several watercolor sketches to demonstrate value studies. I painted the Red Pagoda since it was in view.

The clouds moved in and we went to find cover at a lake side restaurant. I didn't sketch at that location. Instead I did thumbnail sketches for each student showing them how I might compose the scene they were sketching. Kelly and I covered a lot of material that weekend and hopefully we encouraged the artists present to take a sketch book with them to document their next vacation. If just one artist from the Sketch Tour catches the sketching bug, then I've done my job.

I'm planning to host an Orlando Sketch Tour quarterly. The second Sketch Tour was held at the Orlando Fringe Festival which offers endless sketch opportunities. I've just started hosting Orlando Drink and Draw (ODD) events every month, so over time I should meet more local artists who love to sketch. Last year, the Orlando Weekly claimed I was Orlando's best Urban Sketcher. Since I'm the only Urban Sketcher, that title doesn't have much panache. I want to meet others who are as passionate about art as I am.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A power meeting at Panera's.

Kelly Medford, a plein air painter from Rome invited me to collaborate on an Orlando Sketch Tour. We decided to meet at Panera's which is on the North East corner of Lake Eola Park. We decided to hold the first Orlando Sketch Tour in Lake Eola. I got to Panera's early and decided to do a sketch of the business men meeting at the next table. The younger gentlemen were seeking funding for their start up company. They were discussing millions of dollars while Kelly and I discussed the most cost effective art supplies to purchase for anyone who came to our Orlando Sketch Tour workshops.

After meeting with Kelly, we both walked around Lake Eola to decide what sketch opportunities would work best for the weekend of the Sketch Tour. We considered places to go in case of rain as well.   About 10 people signed up for the Orlando Sketch Tour. Each person got their own supply kit with a sketchbook, pen and pencil, a watercolor kit and brush. These are all the supplies needed to create urban sketches. All the supplies came in a plastic zippered carrying bag that was water resistant.

On the day of the sketch tour, Kelly and I offered some fundamental drawing tips to get everyone warmed up. The participants then did a sketch of the Red Pagoda or Lake Eola. After that first sketch, it began to rain, so we moved into a sports bar on Lake Eola's South shore and then Panera's to continue working indoors. It was inside where we introduced everyone to their watercolor kit. Everyone made a color wheel and a chart showing a light wash and darker pigmented wash for each color. Then everyone created a complete sketch of the interior.

On the second day of the Orlando Sketch Tour, I invited my Elite Animation Academy students to join us. Once again, rain chased us inside and students recorded the atmosphere inside the restaurant. For those who attended, it was a great chance to sketch the drama that always unfolds in everyday events. The key is to look, listen and pay attention. In this digital age there are so many distractions that divert our attention from the amazing things happening all around us.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Social Media is a brave new fronteer.

I always go to social media meet ups when I can to learn something new. Panelists discuss what they have learned, but they learn by trial and error. I learned that headlines should be catchy and informative. Complete sentences work better when the post goes on Twitter and Facebook. I'm thinking that the best headlines always involve cute kittens. Twitter is a beast I have only started to use. Panelists seem to have Thousands of followers and they accomplish that by looking through lists of followers followers and following them. I can't imagine putting in so much effort to find people I don't know.

Monetizing the blog is a realistic goal that I need to set for myself next year. At a party this weekend, we discussed the idea that a goal isn't likely to be achieved unless you write it down and share it. Soon I will be teaching workshops to middle school and high school students, inspiring them to keep sketchbooks. I hope to start organizing monthly "Orlando Drink and Draw" (ODD) events to meet more local artists. The literary community seems to have a plethora of events every month yet artists seldom get together unless they are vendors at festivals. Frankie Messina had the awesome idea of having a softball game between authors and artists. It is fun ideas like this that can get arts groups to mingle and mix more.

Another goal for the new year is to set up sketch workshops for tourists. I'm sure there are some tourists who would like to escape the theme parks and sketch the real Orlando. In February I hope to collaborate with Kelly Medford who founded  sketch tourism in Rome Italy. Together we will host a tourist sketch outing in Orlando. I'm excited to see this happen.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ringling Protests

On Thursday January 9th, I went to the Amway Center to sketch protestors demonstrating against animal abuse at Ringling Brother's and Barnam Bailey Circus. It rained the whole trip downtown, but my phone radar application showed that the storm system would be passing over leaving a clearing for the duration of a sketch. Protestors gathered under the I-4 overpass at Church Street and South Hughey Avenue. Barricades were set up, but I was told that they were for scalpers who had to remain behind them.

About 30 protesters lined up in front of the barricades and on either side of the street.  A protestor on a bull horn told people taking their children to the circus that they needed to pay attention to see if the animals in the show did the tricks willingly or to see if they were being poked and prodded by the handlers. On a humorous note, he said that the elephants don't show up on the evening of the performance in a taxi excited to perform. They have to perform or they will be beaten and jabbed.

One sign showed a bull hook which is used to injure elephants in the show. Video on a Ringling Cruelty site show elephants being beaten right before going in front of an audience. Handlers try to keep the bull hooks from the audiences view, but as the guy on the bull horn said, "They might feel they are pulling one over on you, but we feel you are smarter than that." Hurricane Maria was handing out information fliers. She did the task with a Disney smile and a warm greeting. Some parents however get upset and argue that they will spend their money how they please. As the guy on the bull horn announced, "The elephants are poked and prodded to perform!" A women who over heard him said, "That sounds like how my husband treats me!"

Kelly Medford, a plein air painter from Rome stopped out to sketch the protest as well. She couldn't find parking and showed up just as I was finishing up my sketch. She was set with an easel and canvas but the protest was almost over. The Ringling show started at 7:30pm and then the protestors packed up. A faint mist settled in as I was putting the final washed on my sketch. I didn't even notice until my hand smudged the paint. I quickly put the sketchbook away but the damage was done. The sketch glistened and when I closed the book paint smeared everywhere creating a Rorshach pattern. I groaned. I'd have to fix it back at the studio where it was dry. Kelly and I took cover under an awning and chatted for a while. She stayed behind to finish her sketch and I walked back to my car where I touched up the sketch a bit.

Monday, January 2, 2012

On the Road

Kelly Medford was visiting Orlando from Rome, Italy. She decided she wanted to do a plein air painting of the Kerouac House. Kelly does a plein air painting every day which is astounding and ambitious. The last time I had sketched the house, I sat on a small patch of grass between a chain link fence and the street. The home owner walked her dog while I was working and when she returned, she yelled at me. I was certain the old lady would call the police. I of course told Kelly the horror story. She decided to set her easel up on the road. Traffic was light on Clouser Avenue but I had to admire her chutzpa. A garbage truck roared by and Kelly waved to the driver. I sat "On the Road" a few yards away from her and started blocking in my own sketch.

The yard around the Kerouac House had experienced a major overhaul. Palmettos and other dense foliage had been removed leaving the side of the building looking naked and exposed. I respected the buildings modesty and didn't sketch its newly exposed flank. The house to me, had a sad worn look to it. Roof lines sagged inward and the tired beams struggled to support the weight of the tin roof. A giant live oak towered over the house, letting in only thin beams of sunlight. What a gorgeous day. I don't sketch outside much since I'm usually sketching indoor events. This was a nice change of pace. Kelly moved the garbage can and recycling bins so they weren't in her picture. I rather liked them, since they show that the place is and always will be occupied and alive, full of creative energy and the buzz of independent minds sharing thoughts and experiences.

A women power walked past us saying, "Hello, how nice to see artists in the neighborhood!" Kelly laughed afterwards saying, "Why doesn't SHE live across the street from the Kerouac House?" As if on cue, the old lady came out with her bloodhound on a leash. I sucked in my breath. She disappeared around the corner, past the STOP sign, without incident. She returned and re-entered her home quietly as well. When my sketch was finished, I walked up to Kelly to see her progress. Her oil painting was completely blocked in and she was refining the details. She extended an open invitation for Terry and I to visit Rome to paint and explore. That is a very tempting invitation. A private Prix de Rome, learning about that ancient city from a resident artist. Jack Kerouac would have certainly jumped at the chance to leap over that vast expanse of the Atlantic and soak in the ancient ruins.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sweetheart Deals - Beth Raymer

Terry and I went to a farewell reading by Beth Raymer at the Kerouac House. Beth had been working for the past month on a novel entitled Sweetheart Deals as a writer in residence. Her first book, Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling was a huge success and it is being made into a film directed by Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, The Grifters), starring Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rebecca Hall who I assume is playing Beth. It is slated to open next year. The success of her first book meant Beth was inundated with interviews and appearances. She confided she wasn't much of a public figure and she found all the attention distracted from her continued desire to write. The Kerouac House writer in residence program came just when she needed a chance to get away and focus on her new novel.

She was charmingly nervous as she introduced her new book, speaking a mile a minute. She curled her hair with her index finger and delicately pointed her cowboy boot inward, twisting the curve of her leg. Having written a memoir, she was used to reporting facts and her new novel recreated her family dynamic when she was six years old. The story is largely about a man based on her father, a boisterous salesman who, as it turned out had a mistress. She described the mistress in loving detail, describing the diminutive qualities that attracted her father's attention. At one point he needed money so he set fire to his business. Beth consulted with local insurance agents to see if the facts of her story worked. The story is set in Florida, so Beth was glad to return to feel the humidity and see lizards dashing under foot. Vivid childhood memories surfaced. She liked to work at the kitchen table in the Kerouac House, often editing in the afternoons. Like Jack Kerouac she has lived a vibrant unconventional life. She is new to Facebook and on a dark evening she got a friend request from a mysterious Jack from beyond the grave.

Beth seemed to enjoy the sketch, although as usual the nose is a bit off. There were so many talented people in the house that evening. Kelly Medford who lives in Rome is a plein air painter who does a painting a day. Authors stood in the open kitchen doorway laughing about local characters. Patrick Greene told me about a harvest of sugar cane that would make a great, "Old Florida" sketch opportunity. Leaning against a stove, a young man in a baseball cap pulled a bright fire engine red flask from a hip pocket and the final drops were emptied into a drink.

Beth offered me some delicious fruit salad she had prepared. In the kitchen, she talked about how odd it was that so many British actors were in the movie version of her first book. The screenplay writer, DeVincentis, brought his background to the story and the director had his personal vision. It must have been hard to give up control especially when it is the story of her life. I told her how I felt I gave up my artistic identity when I worked for Disney Feature Animation, and how I'm just now rediscovering that inner voice. She raised her cup of wine and we toasted.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Medium - Performance day.

Kelly Medford, a plein air painter from Italy picked up the extra ticket I had to see The Medium. Italians love opera. I arrived early knowing I would like to start blocking in a view from the upstairs balcony. This "God's eye view" seemed appropriate for the seance scene. When I arrived, the valet was quick to take my keys. Parking would be tight since this was a private residence. Admission to this rare staging was by invite only. I had my invitation in my bag but by now everyone knew me.

I rushed up the grand staircase and got to work. I leaned against a marble pillar as I sketched. Kelly arrived and I was pleasantly surprised when she pulled out her own sketchbook. She moved a folding chair to where she was working and I decided to grab one myself. I stepped on it and used my horizontal calf as a table to steady the open sketchbook. I had a book-light but realized that I didn't need it since the afternoon sun warmed the room.

Frank McClain announced that they were going to wait a few moments for more people to arrive. Baba said something similar to her guests before the seance began in Act I. Out the top of the tall windows I could see the lake. I joked with Kelly that the delayed guests must be arriving by boat. She said, "Or they are arriving by seaplane!" Frank, seated next to me, dimmed the lights and the room grew quiet.

Monica and Toby began the act in a playful scene of fantasy. Baba interrupted their play when she entered loudly. Monica ran to her room and Toby cowered. Baba's every movement was threatening. She was larger than life. She drank heavily and when she whipped Toby, anger rose in me. Her every frustration was unleashed on that poor adopted boy. The performance flowed effortlessly. I was surprised that I finished my sketch early so I put it away and leaned forward on the railing, looking down.

Baba, played by Susan Neves was singing about the horrors she had witnessed in her life. When she sang, "Oh God, forgive my sins, I'm old.", I identified with her growing madness. "Old Black Swan" is my favorite aria from the show. First Monica, played by Shannon Jennings sang it then Baba sang it in the last act. It is a haunting melody. I was glad the sketchbook was tucked away. I let the music wash over me.

After the performance there was applause. I stood and clapped loudly. The audience below me was hidden. There was deserts and port in the parlor afterwards. The port came in the tiniest little glass stemware. The sweet liquid warmed my throat. I had to raise a pinky to drink it. I couldn't have just one. I couldn't resist swirling the alizarin crimson liquid in my cup. Unfortunately it slipped over the edges into my hand. I did that twice and then finally washed my sticky hand in the kitchen sink. I recognized many of the people in the room from the days when opera thrived in Orlando. Besides the exclusive residential productions, the show will be staged at the Orlando Repertory Theater on December 3rd at 7:30pm and December 4th at 2:30pm. You can get tickets at or call 407 718-4365. Opera is back!