Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter

Pomegranate I

Made it to number 80 – just 2o more to go and I’ve got roughly one month. I may make it! When looking into what to paint next I decided to try Pomegranates. I had heard they were tricky to paint and it’s true. They are weird little fruits and are this strange mix of shiny and dull, smooth and lumpy. Weird. So to start this run of them I wanted to do a single one on a background I felt familiar with. They are a lot of fun but very challenging.

Early Bird

No. 79 is the last of the ones from Amelia Island for the year and features a lady hunting for shells early in the morning. I had gotten up early to try and catch the sunrise and she happened to be walking by. She was a long ways off but I was able to crop in and not look like a stalker.

This is the first real one of the year with a person in it and for good reason. It’s really hard. In your head the colors you choose to paint people are totally different from what is really there. This lady is a bright orange paired with a muddy orange/brown but that’s what was there and following it makes it look real.

Egan’s Greenway

No. 78 is from the Egan’s Greenway on Amelia Island. Same walk as No.’s 36 & 53 from earlier in the year. This one is on a 9″ x 12″ so it’s considerably bigger than the smaller ones.

Painting these landscapes feels totally insane for about the first 60% of it. Even if you stand back things look insane and while I know it will form up it still looks like an abstract painting for a good chunk of the process. Then, if you stick to what you see it all starts to come into focus and you can see a path, a tree, some water, etc. Every time it feels like a leap of faith that works out. Most of the time.

Heavy Hitter

No 77 is the first of three more from Amelia Island. This was taken from the docks on the Cumberland Sound and I edited out all the other boats to give this one some more space. I had no idea what the boat was called but zoomed in on my shot and was able to make out the name of the boat as “Heavy Hitter.” After a little digging on Google and I found their web site which is cool to see after the fact.

This one took a little effort to make the sky and water really work. I’ve been doing all the ones since I started back in one sitting but this was the first where I went back and tightened it up. The only way to really paint the water is to do a real blurry undercoat and then come back on top with the short wave strokes.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Orange Bell

Number 76 is an orange bell pepper. I still had some of the blue left over from the Persimmon yesterday and decided to add a little more teal and see what happened. I was still out of my canvas panels so this one is on a gallery wrapped, 8″ x 8″ canvas this time. It was a little unnerving to work larger (even though we’re just talking about 2 inches) but it also felt good to get back to where I was earlier in the year.

I had trouble getting the persimmon nice and orange and decided to do a bright yellow base on this one to start so that the orange would be nice and bright. It’s poking through a little on the background which adds a nice touch.

We’re leaving to visit family tomorrow and I am not 100% sure about the internet situation in L.A. (Lower Alabama) so it may be Friday before I post 77, 78 and 79. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Hachiya on Blue

I made it to number 75. Just 25 left to go and it’s going to be a busy month. This one is the Persimmon again – just a single this time and I switched over to a blue background. I was originally hoping to make the blue a little more teal but I like the way it ended up. This was one of those where you feel like it’s a train wreck while you are up close at it and then when you step back it’s there.

Three Pears

Here’s Number 74. It’s another of the 16″ x 8″ ones and probably the last of the pears for this year. I was a little worried about trying one this big with three pears but it in the end it came together. I am going to miss painting them while I finish the others but will revisit them next year and hopefully on a larger canvas. This one was getting comfortable on our wall but a friend bought it and so it’s off to another home.

Los Habaneros

Back to the new stuff. For number 73 we have some Habanero Peppers. I had run out of my canvas panels and decided to use a 16″ x 8″ stretched canvas that was purchased earlier in the year. I bought several of them back in April but ran out of gas trying to do the larger paintings.

It’s hard to really judge the size on the web but it’s four times the size of the 6″ x 6″ ones I’ve been doing. This was a little bit of a challenge but it was also nice to have a little room to paint. I laid them down on some light blue fabric and looked straight down at them while painting. My favorite part is the shadows of the stems on the fabric.

Ballad of a Limping Man

Here No. 72 – It’s a painting of Matthew Ryan at the Living Room in New York. It started so good but when it came to the face I worked it, and worked it and worked it until I finally gave up. It just does not look like him and seeing as how I’ve never really painted people it was a nice experiment. I may try it again next year after some practice. We’ll see.

Eric introduced me to the music of Mr. Ryan thirteen years ago (yikes) and since then he and I have had the pleasure of sharing a beer with Matthew and even opening up for him once at Eddies Attic. His music is so freaking good that it just hurts sometimes. Dear Lover, his latest album, is one of the albums I listen too almost constantly while painting and has been a part (indirectly) of a lot of these paintings.

If you like to think I’d recommend picking it up. And read this article. And watch this. That’s where the image came from. I’ll leave you with this line from a song on that album:

The world is held together with lies and promises. Broken hearts, brand new days, for you to start all over again.


Here is an oldie but not-so-goodie from earlier in the year. I don’t know what it is but this one bothered me and I never felt compelled to properly finish it. It started out well enough – the left one came together nicely but it was that bottom one and the background that we just awful.

On the first pass I totally got the shape totally wrong. It was all wonky and I had to go back in and try to corrected it. Then the background. I tried green, then blue, then gave up and used white. This was back when the background were just giving me fits. So there is No. 71 – a peek inside the ones that did not make it all the way.

I think I have more of these kind for tomorrow and then will be back into normal stuff.