Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter

Marsh Pines

This painting is the second version of 246. After I got back to the studio I was able to quietly sit and really explore the scene. I edited out a number of the elements that were competing for focus and zeroed in on the main tree.

What I found after looking at the image was that there was this beautiful spot of light that was hitting the tree. The sunlight illuminated a specific spot on the tree and told me what the story was. So then, instead of it just being a painting of a tree it became a painting of how light hit the tree.

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.

Egan’s Creek Greenway III

No. 203 is another version of the Egan’s Creek Greenway painting. I did two additional versions after number 201 to try a couple of alternate techniques. For this version, I painted an underpainting using a really thin coat of the local color in each area. This was so thin it was almost dripping and was intentionally a huge mess. The idea was to paint it like 201, but instead of the Burnt Sienna you would see a lighter, more free version of the same color underneath.

Overall I don’t think it works. It could have been the technique, or I might have been having a bad night. It just feels dull and lifeless compared to the earlier version. Worth a try though.

Egan’s Creek Greenway II

Well, after a one year and seven month absence I am painting again and man does it feel good to be back. I have been painting sporadically over the break but I think taking some time off has helped a lot. Lots and lots of changes too, but everything is really good.

So, with the new one… this is a copy of No. 78 from 2010. I had always liked that image but felt like the first version was lacking a little bit. I tried out my new technique of putting the Burnt Sienna down first and then coming back on top with the color. I think it works a lot better.

I’m still working on the when/why/how of posting but for now I’m just painting and having fun doing it. We’ll see where it goes from here.

P.S. – As you can see, I’ve moved the site over to my own URL. It’s sort of a mess and there are huge chunks that are not done. I’ll be working on it over the coming weeks but excuse the mess for now.

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.

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.

Amelia Morning

Alright, it’s go time. I’ve got roughly 100 days left and a long way to go so things should start moving fast and furious here for the next three months. I’ve done the math and I’ll need to post roughly every other day (plus some extras) to hit 100. I’ve been burning though the canvas the last couple of weeks and am glad to start posting again.

Number 36 is one of the last ones from the Amelia trip. This is done but I was never really ready to let it go. I have a couple others that may re-surface later. I like this one but it feels like something is off. It’s a nice landscape but is missing a focal point or some splash of color.

It’s been suggested that I add a barn. Not really sure what a barn would be doing in a protected marsh area on Amelia Island so… this one is going into the books as is.

Have a great week. See you Tuesday.

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.