July 29, 2010


Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 8" x 10"

I was channeling my inner Matisse tonight with this painting of Bella. The jury is out on the contrasting colors and vertical stripes. Again I wanted the paint to show so I didn't get too fussy with it. I may be horrified in the morning. Hitherto I had not painted a vizsla, so it was a challenge on many levels.

July 21, 2010

"Oh Lucy!"

Oil on linen mounted on board 6" x 8"

...you got some splainin' to do! Actually I've got some splainin' to do. Today's painting was an experiment with painting on a more textured surface than I have been using for these little studies. I had an e-mail from someone who liked my work but preferred a more textured surface than my usual ampersand panels . Oddly enough, I find the brushwork is more pronounced on a smooth support, as the stroke has no place to hide and is there for all to see. I'll grant you that you do get an evening out and diffusion of light reflected off the surface of a cloth support but on such small work it is tantamount to painting on burlap if you scaled it up. I personally like the bit of tooth that ampersand panels have.

I met Lucy last week at a friend's house. I assume her appellation was derived from a certain wacky redhead that we all know and love. She is a sweetheart.

I've had to begin comment moderation as I have been getting a lot of spam on the comment page lately. Sorry about that but your feedback is still important to me so keep 'em coming.

July 14, 2010

"Drink Me"

Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 6" x 6"

Before you say "Jeeze, Adams can't paint a round bottle to save his ass." let me say that this particular vessel has the weirdest shape. Flat on two sides with square diamond nipples, then ridged on the adjacent sides with a slightly curved front. Curiouser and curiouser; could this have been the model for the little bottle Alice found on the table in wonderland?

" ... round the neck of the bottle was a paper label, with the words `DRINK ME' beautifully printed on it in large letters. It was all very well to say `Drink me,' but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. `No, I'll look first,' she said, `and see whether it's marked "poison" or not'; for she had read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts and other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked `poison,' it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.

However, this bottle was not marked `poison,' so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.

Until recently, painting a still life was as unfamiliar to me as being 10" tall was to Alice, and sometimes just as frustrating. I have great respect for my fellow artists who can render inanimate objects with precision. That is not where my heart lies. I am much more comfortable painting organic subjects, be they fish or fowl, man or beast. I thought I would step out of my comfort zone to portray this little medicine bottle, which is on loan to me by some dear friends from Virginia. They brought me a treasure trove of miscellaneous brick-a-brack to inspire me during my recent creative malaise. I think it is safe to say they have the largest collection of cobalt blue glass on the East Coast. This panel may be another "unique" as I found the painting of this somewhat tedious and I am afraid it shows. Hey, at least I was swishing paint.

July 13, 2010


Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 5" x 7"

For some perverse reason I wanted to try and paint my sister-in-law's dog, Carmel with a single worn out bristle brush. I was mostly successful, with the exception of a small sable brush for the detail in the eyes. I kinda scrubbed in the oriental rug rather than get too fussy with it. There is some fun greens and blues in her fur. According to my niece's facebook page, Carmel, whom she lists as a sibling, is spelled "Carmel" although I think she was named for the candy (caramel) How does one pronounce caramel anyway? Is it like that town in California or does it have three syllables as in Car-a-mel? This burning question (even more than TP - over or under?) has plagued me for years.

July 12, 2010

"Leo in the sunshine"

Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 6" x 8"

Here is Leo once again in happier days relaxing in the morning sun. Sadly he recently crossed over the rainbow bridge after nearly two decades as my friend Stephanie's constant companion. I have been sitting on this reference for a while, waiting for the right time to use it. I've been in an artistic funk (again) and he has helped me through it. Thanks, Leo!

July 8, 2010

New Orleans Horse and Cart

Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 8" x 10"

So much for coming back tanned, rested and ready. Oh, well. I've always felt a little sorry for the poor horses in front of the Saint Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. It can't be fun in July and August pulling a cart full of sweaty tourists around the French Quarter. On the bright side - it is relatively flat and they know the drill so maybe it isn't that bad a gig. Speaking of sweaty tourists - we set a record here in Baltimore yesterday - 105 degrees! Woo hoo!