Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter

Next up…

Howdy. I finally wanted to take a minute and post the plan for this year. I’ve had most of the month to decompress and think about what to do next. It’s been a nice break to not have the pressure of a schedule but I am ready to jump back in with both feet.

I was debating what to do (and honestly if I even should keep painting) but as I was working on that Edward Hopper copy (see #46 from last year) it became really clear. He could paint. He knew it well enough where he could say something. Sitting there looking at it I was just blown away and really want to harness whatever that is. The thing is it will take years, if not decades, of hard work to get there. So, am going to do another 100 paintings this year. They may be a drop in the bucket but it’s what I can commit to for right now.

My plan is to focus on small ones (6″ x 8″ types) and then use those to test out a few REALLY big ones throughout the year. You learn so much from the little ones and if something is going to stink I think it’s better to know it before you spend tons of time and money on a large canvas. I’m also going to focus more on the landscapes and mix in a few still life ones here and there.

I had gotten so behind last year and got so much faster that doing the 100 should be much easier this year. During the break I’ve actually painted 5 or 6 new ones so I’m pretty much on schedule.

We have a few crazy weeks here with birthdays and work so I will start posting back on February 15th and then roll out a couple a week like last year.

Alright, deep breath and… here we go.

Retreat to Move Forward

So, here we are. It’s nearly the end of August and I hit an eight week speed bump. Part of it (a BIG part of it) was being overloaded at work but I think I was also getting totally burned out. The break gave me a chance to step back and take a fresh look at it.

Here is what I learned:

  1. I was going about it totally backwards
    The whole purpose of this was to push through a hundred paintings, move quick and not let perfection get in the way of progress. Honestly, the first 20 should have been train wrecks and I should have blown through them in a few weeks. Instead, almost from day one, I locked down and tired to make these “good” and worth selling.
  2. I forgot I did not know how to paint
    That may sound crazy but it is the truth. I assumed I could decide to do this, pick up a brush, and they would just appear. I do not know how to paint. That is why I am doing this. It’s OK if they suck. I am learning. And apparently I am starting to sound like Stuart Smalley here. Moving on.
  3. I was afraid of what people were going to think
    I generally have an approval problem and thought if I started posting junk paintings people would think that I (rightly so, McFly) did not know how to paint. So I would torture myself and beat them into submission. The problem is, this is supposed to be fun and a learning experience. You may like them, you may hate them. I do need to not worry about that and focus on getting better.

So there you go. I started back last week and should be posting new ones this week. I’m probably not going to be selling them (maybe so) but we’re going to start really clipping along. I’m still committed to getting to 100 by December 31 and with some changes I can do it. Because I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!

Title is lifted from the wonderful 30 Rock episode.

Watching Paint Dry

I had number 25 almost ready to go but got way too much paint on the background and can’t fix it until it drys. The colors are too similar between the apple on the left and the background and it needs to pop. So. we. wait…

In the meantime, here’s a preview of what’s coming up. I have another two started and a couple more for this weekend…


Please stand by…

I have No. 21 done. Promise.

It’s a long story but tonight has basically gone like a country music song. My camera died, MobileMe is down and the internets are barely working. Check back Friday – it will be worth it.

Got Nuffin

So I have no painting tonight. My Thursday one is about 40% done and I am out of gas. Sorry. My plan is to finish this one and post two on Sunday.

I am onto apples and am taking the backgrounds / settings up a notch so some more fun stuff to check out. As an olive branch I’ve posted where it is now so you can see a little bit of how they come together. Should be fun to compare this to what is live on Sunday…

Also, part of what has eaten my week is the mighty Peachtree Road Race T-Shirt contest. I am painting the main image for my entry this year and it’s starting to come together. They are due March 1 so I have to pretty much finish that too this weekend. Here is a sneak peek:

See you Sunday. And yes, that is a pizza pan.

And here we go…

The canvas is primed, colors bought and subject matter has been identified. I am ready to go and starting this weekend the first bad boy of the 100 will be live and ready for viewing.

I am going to start with still lifes (is that the right way to write that?) and fruit in particular. It’s not very imaginative or exciting but it’s fixed and as easy as it gets. And remember, these paintings cost $1.00 and $2.00 folks so you can’t be too picky. I have been warming up with pears and had no idea how difficult a simple pear could be. I am REALLY tired of painting pears but have realized that painting fruit is the “sit-up” of oil painting. A pain in the ass but gets you in shape.

One note on my pears. I have spent so much time looking and working with this group that it felt wrong to eat them. They had moved from simply being fruit to quasi-alive little fruit people. Though I will say that Leslie did the killin’ and made quite a nice Gorgonzola and Pear salad.

The Clock is About to Start Ticking

So, here is how this is gonna work. This year I am going to paint 100 original oil paintings. Two a week roughly. I am going to post them to this blog so I can track my progress and (hopefully) get better as I get back in the groove.

But wait, there’s more!

After I finish each painting I will be posting them to my Etsy store – and this is where it gets fun. The first painting will be sold for $1, the second for $2, on through number 100. So, some insane cheap deals on what should be nice paintings and by the end let’s both hope they are worth bigger bucks.

January 1, 2010 will be around the corner so I am warming up. Here goes nothing…