Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter

Table for One III

Here’s the last of the Table for One paintings for now. For this one I did the whole painting in one pass using Burnt Sienna to give it more of a cohesive feel. If you’re going to do monotone, do monotone – not white, etc. I’ve always loved the vibe of these paintings but this one really seemed to say what I wanted it to say. Which does not happen often, so that was fun. I don’t think my skill level is to the point where I can translate this into color but it it feels great, at least, to realize it in this form. Got a bunch of new stuff starting this week.

Table for One II

This one goes back to No. 94 from 2010. I had picked it up again in 2011 and tried to do a 40″ x 30″ of the same basic composition but never finished the painting. I could not figure out what it was missing so I ended up painting it a number of times at the 8″ x 6″ size to try and understand it better. This one is really more of a value study but it felt like it clicked.


Here’s the finished version of Eschaton that will be seen on the bottle and packaging. You can click on the image to see a detail view. I think they’ll be printing it next month and so it will probably be in stores by January/February. Thanks to Chris Rank for the shot of the painting and making it look so nice.

I think I am going to paint some Pomegranates next. They were fun to paint last year and I have four or five of these nice square canvases that they would look great on. Hopefully.

Eschaton (Study)

Now that we’re through all the beach paintings I wanted to share a couple of the latest ones for Wild Heaven Craft Beers. Their third, and newest, beer is called Eschaton and so for the artwork I needed to go all “end times” and find something that worked with the name. I decided to base this one on the engraving of the Four Horsemen by Albrecht Dürer. These little studies for the beers are always sort of a mess but this one was REALLY a mess and caused me to slow down and really consider how the larger one needed to come together.


Here is the last of the Wild Heaven ones. This is the full size, 12″ x 9″ that we used on all the packaging. This one is relatively close to the study, just a little tighter.

Below is a great shot of the four pack taken by Chris Rank who incidentally took the photo of the actual painting as well. A whole lotta Rank going on in this post.

This was fun but we will be back to the normal stuff next week. The year is clipping by and I’ve got to get moving.

Invocation (Study)

Here is the second painting I did for the Wild Heaven packaging. This was the first cut at it to see how the concept worked before doing the final one.

For something like this I would typically look for some photographic reference to gauge how the light works. In this case it was so strange (guy in a robe holding a candle) that even Google could not help me out. So I had to improvise. I lit a candle, threw on my robe and set the camera for auto. I felt genuinely weird doing it but I had to see what the light did before doing the painting.

Ode to Mercy

Here is the finished version of the Ode to Mercy painting for the Wild Heaven packaging. After doing the study as a portrait I had to adjust the orientation to work on the packaging so it’s a landscape now.

We used this for the bottles and the four-packs and below are some photos of the actual pieces in real life. If you are in or around Atlanta pick up some at Whole Foods and give it a try.

Ode to Mercy (Study)

I am a full time designer / marketing guy while painting is currently more of a hobby. These two stay separated most of the time but I recently had an opportunity to bring some of my art into my design work.

My good friends Eric & Nick had launched Wild Heaven Craft Beers back at the end of 2010 on draft only but the plan was to sell bottles in 2011. I had been working on a bottle design that had fine art as the central image and the guys liked that basic direction.

I priced out licensing a Nolde and a Schileel for the guys and Nick asked me if I wanted to take a cut at it before we went that direction. I laughed and then thought it would not hurt to try it.

So this was the first of the bunch. The beer this was for is called “Ode to Mercy” and so I envisioned this lonely type of guy playing guitar by himself. I used this painting to vet the concept and see how it would work.

In No. 111 I’ll post the final painting and some samples of the bottles.


This one was conceived last year but never executed for one reason or another. I’m glad that I finally painted it but the truth is I was afraid of it looking like a liquor ad from the 80’s.

The goal was to abstract it to just the raw brush strokes and see if it could read without a lot of work. Most of what you’re looking at is the base black under-painting. I was super happy with the tops of the bottles as those are just a few squiggley lines.

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.