Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter

Lemon Aid

Here’s number nine. I’m finally feeling 100% and it’s good to be back at it. Had some space yesterday to finish the final lemon and that is who is on the docket today. This is another one of those that was essentially painted three times before I was happy with it.

The green background was actually Leslie’s idea. I’m already starting to lose it so it took me a minute to figure out that “pimento” was not the color I was aiming for. That was pistachio…

Fun stuff lined up for next week too. I got an Origami book and am already experimenting with the creatures. That and lots of cherries.

This is an 8″ x 8″ oil painting on canvas board. Here is the Etsy link if you are interested in purchasing my friend the lemon.

The Crane Wife I

Late Thursday but at least I made it. And look, it’s a bird – an origami bird.

I was sick this week but am finally feeling better and was able to get this guy complete. There is still one more lemon but it was still too wet to work again and in lieu of trying to sell a hot mess I opted for the crane.

So, Origami. Some people get it and some people scratch their heads. Hang with me and let me see if I can make you a believer. I like this painting but in some ways it’s a warm up. I think these are going to be really fun.

And the cranes too… so much there. This story. It’s awful sad but inspiring at the same time. I had a thought to paint 1,000 cranes and then quickly pushed that aside. File under: insane.

Title is from the great Decemberists album but you already knew that right? Now it’s time for NiQuil.

You can purchase this painting on my Etsy store at this link.

I Should Have Quit You, Long Time Ago

For those of you paying attention that’s a wink and a nod to The Lemon Song. It was just a matter of time before that Led Zeppelin tune popped-up here somewhere. It’s (almost) too easy but in this case it’s ironic.

Truth is, I should have quit number seven a long time ago but I worked it and worked it until we got here. Normally that is an express lane to an awful painting but in this case the texture kept getting better and better so I let it go. The background was white, then blue, then white again but now you see all that showing through. I did this one too with that orange underpainting I’ve been playing with and it’s showing through the lemons.

This is an 8″ x 10″ painting that was done using oils on canvas board. If interested, you can purchase the painting at this link.

The Squeeze

Here’s number six – lemons again but a little different. This is a straight on shot and I was trying something different with the underpainting. For this one I painted the entire background black and then laid the paint on top of that. The shadow under the lemon is actually the underpainting and I left a lot of gritty texture showing through. Also, it’s on a gallery wrapped canvas so I painted the sides black and it looks nice even if it’s not framed. That’s all for now – see you Sunday…

You can purchase this painting at my Etsy store at this link.

Man Makes a Picture

Any self respecting U2 fan would instantly know we could only be talking about one thing. Lemons. It was nice to part from the pears but who knew that lemons could be so hard to paint.

For starters, they’re not yellow. Well, not like you would think. They are almost green in places and very reflective leading to weird shadows and reflected light. The first ones I tried ended up looking like golden eggs. But I pulled it together and ended up with the painting above.

This one was interesting. I started with a strong orange undercoat. You can still see pieces of that poking through around the edges of the lemons. Then I put a green background in which did not work but instead of gessoing over it I left it and put the blue one right on top of it. Leslie had the idea to not go edge-to-edge with it and let some of the green stay on there which I really love.

So, there you go. Number five is in the can and we will be dealing with lemons for a week or two. If you want to buy this guy here is the link.

The Couple

Here’s No. 4 and the last of the pears for a while. These are the same two as the previous painting but I was able to push them a little bit. I was scared of the red on the first pear but got over it and I think it worked out.

Not to get too philosophical here, but it feels that way a lot of times in life. You have something that is OK and you could push it and it might make things even better but it could also screw the whole thing up.

The nice thing with painting is that you can nut up, try something and if it does not work out there is always Gesso (look it up, Beavis). The only Gesso life offers is time.

I’d say you could buy this but it was an inside job. Mr. Rank asked ahead of time (read: “Houston if you don’t sell me the next one I will beat you silly) and so it was sold before it hit the streets.

Stay tuned on Sunday for No. 5 as we move on down the road to underpainting magic, COLOR and lots of lemons…

Love Pears

Here we are with number three of the 100. This was done a little different than the first two. First off, I was working with two pears instead of the one and I also added little more detail to the background. Plus, instead of using a photo I also painted this from real life to see how that went.

The one on the right would not sit up straight but it ended up working because they look like they are hugging. It’s hard to imagine fruit having feelings but they do look like they are in love. Which is weird.

This is the second to last set of pears for now. I have one more of this same couple and then we are moving on. The pear on the left had a splash of red on it and I was already stretching to make this work. Check back Wednesday to see how that one turns out…

The Pear, Part Deux

So, the first painting sold in 30 minutes. Sure, it was a dollar but that’s what I’m talking about. The second painting of the 100 is our friend the single pear again. This time I gave it a moodier, darker background to see how that worked.

The funny thing about this painting is how much abuse I have put it through. It was originally an 8×10 but I cropped it funny (too far to the left) and so I decided to cut it down to an 8×8. The background had to be worked three times all to the cries of Leslie saying things like “leave it alone” and “it was better before.” But, last night I think I got it right and we were all happy.

You can purchase this one at this link but if you want it hurry.

Thanks for all your comments and encouragement. I think this will be the last of the single pears and will try to start mixing it up starting Sunday. Oh, and thanks to Rank the signature is now a *little* smaller. 🙂

Numero Uno

Here is the first one. As you can tell we are working with a still life here and as referenced in the last post I am currently dealing with pears. I’ve probably painted six or seven different variations on this guy but he was chosen to go first. This was alright after the first pass but I came back and worked it some more to get it where it is today. I’m trying to limit the number of moving parts so I can focus on seeing what works and what does not work. So here we have a single pear on a simple background.

So there you go. One down, ninety-nine to go. If you are interested in purchasing this fine pear painting you can head over to my Etsy store and pick it up for ONE DOLLAR.

I know you can buy a junior bacon cheeseburger for that kind of cash but this is something you will ideally admire for much, much longer than the cheeseburger. Maybe.

Thanks for looking, and I will have the second in the series ready later in the week.