Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter

Egan’s Creek Greenway IV

No. 205 is the last of the Egan’s Creek ones for a while. When I put the underpainting down on 203, I also did the underpainting for this one. Instead of a light, loose version I opted for a darker version of the exact color that would be eventually visible. So, instead of just seeing the Burnt Sienna through the broken color you can see a darker version of what is there. I think it works really well on the sky and helped to keep the light and shadows defined.

One other thing to note is that I’ve started putting these back on Etsy. You should see an “Available” button beneath the painting which that will take you over to my Etsy store. Since I was last posting the’ve added “options” as well, so I am now offering the paintings framed or unframed.

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!

Fernandina Beach Courthouse

Number 54 is an early morning image of the Fernandina Beach courthouse. Amelia Island is such a weird place because you have the beach, the marsh and then this perfect little downtown – Fernandina Beach.

Before I left for the trip Chris reminded me to get up early at least ONE morning and go take some photos to paint. I’ve learned from Chris that if you don’t get the shot before about 9:00 then you’ve missed your window.

So I dragged myself out of bed at 6:00 AM, on vacation, to go take pictures. It sucked getting up early but was totally worth it. I caught the sun hitting the courthouse and the buildings downtown at just the right time.

I’m really happy with the way this one turned out. I know I’ve done a lot of fruit this year but my heart is really in landscapes. It was a nice diversion to try this and get close to what I was aiming for. My problem earlier in the year was trying to make things perfect and here all I was trying to do was zero in on the light.

Amelia Marsh

Number 53 takes us back to Amelia Island. This shot came from the same day/walk as number 36. I had struggled with 36 but this one felt a lot more natural. I was a little nervous trying this after just barely getting back into the grove but it just happened without a lot of hand wringing.

One thing I don’t think I’ve mentioned is the fact that I am painting these into a “wet” canvas. Back with the sepia ones I was struggling with getting the paint to do what I wanted. I tried laying down a thin coat of Yellow Ochre that was super diluted with Liquin and it was like magic. This eliminates white spots in the painting and has made it so much more fluid to paint.

This one was done like that and you can still see a little bit of the ochre at the base of the clouds and in the sky. I’ve got another one from Amelia for tomorrow as well but it’s a downtown shot.

Morning Sail

So I got behind the last couple of months and have been trying to figure out the best way to catch up. What I’ve come up with is to do a series of smaller paintings within the 100 that are quicker and easier than my main ones. Since these are smaller and faster I am selling these for a flat $15.00. These will (I think) all be 8″ x 6″ and will be studies for the larger and tighter ones.

Number 34 is the first of these new ones and is the first real step into the next set I am working on. We recently took a trip to Amelia Island and while I was there I took a number of photos. There are some beautiful places there and I can’t wait to see what comes out of these. This particular shot was from a boat as we went around Cumberland Island. I have a large (16″ x 8″) version of this in the works and it should be interesting to see how they compare.