November 1, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 5:38 PM
October 31, 2013
8" x 8"
Posted by Mark Adams at 10:38 PM
October 17, 2013
The other was Picasso's painting of his lover, Françoise Gilot portrayed as a flower in La Femme-Fleur.
Posted by Mark Adams at 3:08 PM
October 11, 2013
Today's flashback is an early painting from my late eighties "Confetti" series. I was fascinated by fashion in my formative years and had aspirations of becoming a fashion illustrator. This collection of collage-like images, all 40" x 60", flirted with neo-pop and appropriationism. I learned a lot about the portrayal of luscious fabrics, exotic animal skins, rhinestones and beautiful women from this experience. I also learned that I hate lettering! If there is a hell, I'm sure it has a spot in its calligraphy department waiting for me.
Posted by Mark Adams at 6:10 PM
October 7, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 5:57 PM
October 1, 2013
Have you noticed how cheaply things are made these days? We had an impromptu cherry pie party last week and I bought some red glass Christmas ornaments to fill pie plates as part of the centerpieces. At least that is what I thought I bought. When I spilled them into the plates, they made an odd sound. They just felt wrong. On closer inspection I first noticed the seam, then the paint on some of them was sort of wrinkled. Gasp, they were made of plastic!! Has it come to this?! Of course they were made in China, as so much is these days, but I paid as much as I used to pay for the hand blown ones from Germany. Are our children and grandchildren never going to know the joy of quality craftsmanship? Alas, I fear it may be so. Not too long ago, I ordered a gross of faceted purple, green and gold Mardi Gras beads from a company I have dealt with for years; the Mardi Gras Annex. The difference in what was delivered this time and the beads I had ordered just 10 years ago was startling. The paint was thin and poorly applied and the beads were badly formed. It is this way with everything! I challenge you to find a new quality potato peeler, can opener or spatula. It is impossible.
Posted by Mark Adams at 1:46 PM
September 30, 2013
6" x 8"
Posted by Mark Adams at 6:43 PM
September 11, 2013
Jonathan Swift said: “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” True enough, and I thank him and his bravery, for he paved the way for a life time of enjoyment and fascination with these delicious creatures. Actually, it was my father who introduced me to oysters. Dad worked for the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company and was a Legionnaire as well. It seemed to me growing up that, between September and April, he was always going to some sort of Bull and Oyster Roast. I remember vividly the day he handed me a rough shell with this slimy grey glob and bade me try it. At 10 years of age, I was up to the challenge, but with little guidance I just let it slip down without chewing and the whole culinary experience was lost on me. "Like having a bad cold" was probably my response. At 60, I have bushels under my belt. (Sadly, this is a literal statement.)
Posted by Mark Adams at 4:06 PM
September 10, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 10:38 PM
August 27, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 2:26 PM
August 26, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 5:50 PM
August 23, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 10:28 AM
August 20, 2013
The device at present around my head is known as an "OptiVISOR." It has interchangeable lenses available in focal lengths from 4" to 20" and costs about $50 depending on the lens. I use a #5 lens which has an 8" focal length good for 2.5 times magnification. This piece of equipment is invaluable in the studio, especially if you work on small tight paintings as I do. It is also good for removing splinters, fixing broken jewelry, reading the fine print or whatever. I often have a brush stuck behind each ear through the loop which gives me the odd appearance of one of Picasso's fauns.
Posted by Mark Adams at 4:52 PM
August 16, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 1:09 PM
August 9, 2013
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part."
Posted by Mark Adams at 12:45 PM
August 6, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 7:16 PM
August 2, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 11:49 PM
July 31, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 12:39 PM
July 30, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 5:59 PM
July 26, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 4:14 PM
July 25, 2013
July 23, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 9:23 PM
July 20, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 10:21 AM
July 11, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 5:41 PM
July 10, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 1:46 PM
July 9, 2013
I have to admit that I sometimes feel like I've landed the lead in an off, off, off Broadway production of Starlight Express.
Posted by Mark Adams at 1:05 PM
July 6, 2013
Actually not so amusing to we who have reached a certain age. I won't be painting this weekend as we are hosting a celebration of no less than three birthdays here at the studio. Two of the birthdays are milestones. My brother-in-law, Jim, is turning 50 and my niece 13. Her father is also celebrating a birthday and I think next year he bests Jim by a decade. Having reached that pinnacle myself last year, I think we may forgo the black balloons and gag gifts like Geritol and Depends as tasteless and too near the knuckle. I have for years shared breakfast every Wednesday with a group of six or seven retired art professors who range in age from 75 to 84. At 60, I am the baby of the group. The "breakfast club" is a lively bunch of merry men who rotate around town to five or six favorite haunts. We arrive after the breakfast rush, around 9:30 and linger over coffee, telling oft repeated jokes and stories of past triumphs and defeats. I say "oft repeated" but I was informed of a standing rule when I was brought into the fold - you were only allowed to tell the same story three times (you got a warning on two.) I remember the first time, after regaling the others with one of my more amusing anecdotes, Bob smiled seraphically and gently raised two fingers. So much for being the baby of the group. We tip extremely well and the waitresses are glad to see us and keep the java flowing. My wife asked me once what we talked about for all these years. That is a good question. What we don't talk about is our health, recent operations or the inevitability of the next phase of the journey, if you catch my drift. After this year I could almost keep up with them, what with my faux heart attack, cystoscopy and the hernia operation to name a few, but no, we keep it light. We are a think tank of creative intellectuals and, like Picasso's group at the Quatre Gats, discuss our latest work, what's happening at the museums or galleries around town and what is wrong in the world. It may move on to who won last night's Orioles game and the lousy bull pen. I have to say that I have learned a great deal from these men and look forward to each Wednesday. What I have really gleaned from them is a revelation that age truly is just a number.
Posted by Mark Adams at 9:29 AM
July 5, 2013
Got cats? Miss having cut flowers on the table? This may be the answer. Susan pinched back the coleus yesterday and had in her hand a small nosegay of colorful leaves. What to do? Throw them in the compost? Put them in a vase and take a chance the kids will scatter them all over the kitchen at first chance? Enter the large cloche - the perfect foil for curious cats. We found these huge cloches at Home Goods for 15 bucks. Problem solved.
Hey - I said this is the new, improved blog, chock-a-block full of life lessons, fun ideas and who knows. I'm making this up as I go. Heck, I may post my favorite recipes before the dust has settled. Stay tuned.
Posted by Mark Adams at 5:56 PM
July 4, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 5:17 PM
July 3, 2013
Say, haven't I seen this before? Well, yes and no. It's true many artists return to an image now and again to explore new possibilities or variations on a theme. As artists, we (hopefully) never stop growing and one way is to look at something that worked, or didn't work, in a new way. So it is with little Chloe here. I had multiple reasons for returning to this image, one was a long ago faux pas that I am trying to set right and the second is academic. This painting was perfect for me to see the different effects between my old dutch palette with its myriad of umbers, ochres and siennas and my new limited "Zorn" palette of just white, black, cadmium red light and yellow ochre. Is there a difference? I'll let you decide. Personally, I find the new piece richer and more "late nineteenth century" than the older work which, while not without charm, lacks a certain je ne sais quoi.
Posted by Mark Adams at 1:53 PM
July 2, 2013
There are two kinds of painters out there - those who sit and those who stand while working. I fall into the later category. I suppose I kid myself into believing that this makes up for a daily exercise routine. No matter which you group fall into, you have to put your loaded brushes down sometime. I used to keep four or five charged brushes in my hand at once, fencing with the canvas and switching tools as needed. When I started painting on a smaller scale I found holding many tiny brushes confusing and unnecessary. Necessity being the mother of invention, I discovered the beanbag ashtray close at hand was perfect for holding wet brushes. For as long as I can remember I've smoked a pipe while I work, or at least while I step away and reflect on my work. A pipe is the perfect tool for artistic contemplation - just ask Norman Rockwell. I suppose if you don't smoke, you could put art supplies or candy or small change in the bowl. Another use it serves is a pin cushion. Why on earth do I need a pin cushion near my easel, you may ask? The answer is as near as the closest cat, and there are four in the studio. Forget analyzing the pigments to authenticate my work, the historians will be analyzing the cat hair. Siamese hair?...this must be from the 1980's or 90's, etc. Besides, beanbag ashtrays are back! Very mid-century modern.
They can be found on Etsy and eBay. Vintage ones just feel better so try and find an old one. Here's a sample link: Beanbag ashtray
Posted by Mark Adams at 5:39 PM
July 1, 2013
Posted by Mark Adams at 11:03 AM