The enviably-talented Bradley Kerl recently swapped his Texan home for Tuscany, completing a month-long residency in Villa Lena, “and the experience has already been so fruitful!”
A world away from the surroundings we associate Bradley and his work with, the artist has used the opportunity to indulge in the possibilities of Italian inspiration, but his work has the same charm and painterly motifs we know him well for. “To be honest, I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the sights, history, culture, food, people, landscape, etc,” he tells It’s Nice That. “You could choose any one of these subjects and spend a lifetime dedicated to depicting it.”
Rather than get understandably overwhelmed by the influx of possible painting start points, Bradley has used the residency as a chance to take a little bit of a step back, “to take everything as it comes”. This began by Bradley taking “a tonne of photos” before returning to paint “small, quick watercolour studies that border on illustration,” he explains.
Sticking to Bradley’s regular subject matter of painting plants, delicate household objects built up in a frame to create a towering piece of artwork on canvas, the artist’s new surroundings haven’t steered away from this approach. Instead, Bradley’s picked up on the omnipresent details anyone who’s visited Italy will know well. “I’ve been most taken with the colours and light of Tuscany,” he tells us, “so I’m spending a lot of time just looking at the landscape and trying to be as accurate as possible with the colour.”
During the process of painting, Bradley also notes how “there’s something slightly metaphysical about painting the Tuscan landscape with burnt sienna, Tuscan red, olive green and terra cotta on my watercolour palette.” Sounds like an absolute dream – as is Bradley’s work, as always.
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