Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter

Snowy Morning

It’s hard to believe I can finally say this but… here is No. 100! I was cutting it too close and am so glad this one came together this morning. Whew.

We had some snow this week and decided to take a trip around our little area to snap some photos before going sledding. There is this perfect little barn right by our house that I’ve been wanting to paint all year and finally got to it for this one. Because there was naturally so much white in this I decided to paint it on a canvas I had primed with a bright orange. I figured that would help give it some weird color patches and also help me know where I had painted.

And with that we’ll call it a day. 100 paintings in the books.

As this is the final one for the year I wanted to give a special thanks to everyone who helped me get through these 100. I could never have finished with out the help, support and healthy criticism from Leslie, Mom, Dad, Meredith, Tracy & Chris.

A HUGE thanks to everyone who bought paintings from the Etsy site. That was the ultimate encouragement and it’s crazy that most of these are now living with people I’ve never met.

It is a stupid luxury that I get to paint. There are hungry people in the world and I have been given the opportunity to make art. I’m not taking that for granted. It was a blessing to have the chance to do this and I’s so glad I could share it with all of you.

I’m still kicking around what to do for next year but check back in a week or so. I’ve got some ideas but want to gauge what it will take before committing.

See you in 2011!

Passing Time

Alright – here’s No. 99. Another one from North Campus at UGA. There is this little spot with a garden, some benches and this sun dial. When we walked up on it the light was just about perfect. It was beaming right onto the sun dial and make this nice, long shadow across the bricks.

It was about 25% into it when I realized how pastel driven the image is. There is so much pink, white and baby blue in the thing that I had to double check to make sure that’s what I was seeing. The bed of pansies in the front also gave it some color too.

Looking Outside

No. 98 is back at Trappeze. It was a bit of an odd shot but I loved the way the glass and the bottle were sort of looking out at the outside world. It seemed like they wanted to get out there and explore. The reflections were really cool too from the tree, the table, bottle, etc.

I painted this one just like No. 90 where the whole canvas was black and I just added the lights in. It’s so disorienting to work that way but I think it was effective here. The whole act of painting the bottle involved five dabs of white paint – that’s it.

I’m totally down to the wire with 99 & 100. I’ve got them both started but there is still a ways to go so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

North Campus Path

Here is another one from Athens. After shooting some of downtown we headed onto North Campus and tried to find some spots that would make nice paintings. I was originally thinking that the buildings would be the best thing to paint but my favorite spots ended up being out of the way images like this.

It was fun after the bus stop one to be a little more loose. When I am working with architecture I feel like it has to be tight but with organic images it feels easier to have fuzzy edges. I love on images like this where you get those light blue shadows on gravel paths. It seems unnatural that the shadow would be that color but it works.

Three Tangerines

Here’s No. 96. I had not really intended to do any more fruit / still life ones but Mom had a tangerine with the stem still on it and it was too good to pass up. I grabbed that one and two others we had for this painting.

For this one I laid down a bright orange ground and then worked on top of that while it was still wet. The problem was, everything was so orange that the tangerines blended into the foreground. I let it dry a day and then went back into it. That is a tricky situation but this time it worked out. I added some red to the foreground, darkened parts of the background and gave the tangerines a pop of yellow on their highlights. Adding in the extra colors helped give this some depth it needed. I was just glad I did not screw it up.

That’s it for the fruit though. It feels weird to be totally done with them for the year. I feel like I’ve come a long way since that first pear.

Headed Home

Here is the first of the Athens set. As Chris Rank (is that better Rank?) and I were driving back into town we passed by the old bus stop on Broad Street. I said “wow that’s nice” and started to keep driving. We were at a light and Chris, being Chris, jumped out of the car, stood in the middle of the street and got the shot. That’s how fast these things go away. If he had not been there I would have kept on driving and this would have never existed.

The morning light on a place where people leave and arrive just seemed right. It’s a new morning and maybe someone is leaving Athens forever. Or they could be coming into town for the first time. It’s in the eye of the beholder and that’s what makes it fun.

Table for One

No. 94 is from the same day at Trappeze but this time we’re looking at the whole place instead of zooming in on one beer. There is something about that booth in the middle of the afternoon that makes for a good image. Rank has a great shot from a year or so ago from the same exact place and I’ve even seen others on Flicker with about the same composition. Something about the light pouring in through the windows on the dark booth. It just works.

The actual dude in the bar that day was pretty frumpy so I had to give him a hair cut and put him in a little more shadow to make it mysterious. There were also some other people here and there but they were all removed (sounds ominous) in order to make it feel a little more quiet.

I was amazed at how much color was in this when essentially it’s a black and white painting. You have these pretty obvious diagonals of black and white that are cutting this in half but the rest of it is some pretty crazy color. Oranges, greens purples and a lot of light blues here and there. It felt good to use those colors in this kind of painting – unlike an outdoor landscape or a regular still life. Lots going on.

Winter Break

Here’s No. 93 which is the next of the beer ones. This one is a little bit bigger and slightly more complex than 92. I was intrigued by the way the colors at the top of the glass change with the light and how deep the browns are right next to the white at the top.

My favorite part of this one though is actually the wall behind the beer. If you’ve been to Trappeze you know that every wall has some kind of metallic paint. The trim is this green that I’ve only seen there. It was difficult to try and just decipher what green was and even harder to capture the light hitting it.

It makes me want to take a road trip.

Allagash Victoria

Here is the first of a set I am doing from Trappeze, which is owned by my good friend Eric, in Athens. Chris and I went over for the day a week or so ago (when it was frickin cold) and took some shots of Athens at sunrise and then a bunch inside Trappeze. I have thought about painting beer all year and it was good to finally get into it.

Painting these has been a lot more fun than I even thought. I don’t know if it’s the colors in the glass or all the weird shapes but it’s easy to work with. Maybe it’s just because I like good beer. This one in particular is an Allagash on the windowsill. My favorite part of this one is seeing the reflection of the window in the top of the bottle. I’ve got a few more of these in the works.

The really fun part is that we are going to have a for-real show with the finished set at Trappeze sometime next year. It’s not for sale here but will be up during the show. That will be my first art show (sort-of) so it will be an experience.

Sunset, The Meadows II

I think I finally started to feel back in the groove with this one. Same day and basic place as No. 90 but I did it on a longer canvas and did not use the black under painting so the colors could really pop.

There is a business park we pass through all the time where my office used to be and near where my parents live. If there is a great sunset I always take this little cut-through road that is basically the highest point in that park. This painting is right at the crest of that hill where all you can see is the road dipping back down and the sky. No one ever uses that road so I just stopped the car, got in the middle of the road and took a photo.