The paintings of Katherine Bradford offer by themselves like scenes from a aspiration, vivid and instant even as their indicating continues to be mysterious. Fluorescent nude males ring a pool suspended amongst the stars. Disembodied legs carrying dress shoes encroach on a green-haired woman’s personal room. A team of sea swimmers gaze out at lightning on the horizon. “Sometimes I do a portray,” says Bradford, who splits her time in between Brooklyn and coastal Maine, “and then I make it darker, and then darker and then darker. It is mainly because I like the thriller. I like items that happen at night.” Bradford has been painting considering that the 1970s, but her switch to figuration in the ’90s serves as the setting up place for the very first solo study of her operate, now at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. Throughout much more than 40 paintings, the display traces her technical evolution — from single topics to ensembles, from oils to acrylics — as she returns to what she phone calls her “bag of tricks”: swimmers, caped superheroes, floating horizontal bodies. The artist is drawn to these avatars of concern and uncertainty, she suggests, for the reason that “it’s the opposite of individuals outdated stately portraits of royalty, in which they are supposed to seem invincible. I like to do people today who are a little bit slipping aside.” “Flying Girl: The Paintings of Katherine Bradford” is on perspective through Sept. 11, portlandmuseum.org.