by Max Marbut
Those familiar with painter Elaine Emery Bedell’s work are accustomed to seeing her canvases capturing the primitive landscapes of North Florida in her signature realistic style.
For her latest feature exhibit at The Art Center Cooperative on West Adams Street, Bedell has chosen a new but related subject – clouds.
“I’ve been in love with clouds since I was a child. They are always changing and you can’t control them. Clouds are a force of nature,” she said.
Bedell has also taken a step from her usual color palette and her new paintings or an impressionistic look at how light plays in clouds, some with realistic tones and others with amplified hues not usually found in nature.
“It’s an evolution. I wanted to do something different, so I decided to concentrate on shapes and colors,” said Bedell.
A lifelong painter, she began drawing at the age of 18 months. When she was in the first grade, Bedell said her teacher told her parents their child was destined to be an artist because she was the only student in the class who didn’t draw “stick people,” but instead drew figures with clothing and even fingernails.
Bedell said she enjoys painting because it gives her the opportunity to start with a blank canvas and watch as it’s transformed.
“I think we all have the creative urge, but we can be afraid to express it,” she said.
“The older I get, the less afraid I am.”
The Art Center Cooperative is a member of Downtown’s “Off the Grid” gallery program. It’s at 31 W. Adams St. and open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment. Call 355-1757.