Tuesday, July 14, 2009

hospital update.

Hi this is Athena,

Adam was hit by a car that ran a red light while the driver was talking on her cellphone this week.  He was ridding his bike and he had a bike helmet on that we think saved his life.  He is hurt pretty badly and we aren't sure what is going to happen next.

All upcoming events, exhibitions and commissions will be put on hold until Adam recovers from his injuries.

Thanks for your understanding.
Athena (his love)

(This post was copied from an email sent to Adams mailing list in 2009.)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Artwork of the month: Berthe Morisot.

I have paused periodically in front of this paining for the last 6 years.  I don't find it to be a masterwork, nor do I see it as a great stride within an ism.  As far as the subject matter of this work goes, hello boring.  I do however truly admire the painterly brushstrokes, their precision in intent, and the way dark under light under dark is executed.  

You can see this painting at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  

Berthe Morisot
French, 1841-1895
"the Artist's daughter, Julie, with her Nanny"
1884, oil on canvas

"Real painters understand with a brush in their hand."
-Berthe Morisot

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Artwork of the month: Willem de Kooning.

I discovered Willem de Kooning in 1992 browsing through a book store.  Immediately I found myself admiring his philosophical originality within his works.  He outlived his contemporaries, the living hard and fast generation of artists that burned life out.  Although he completely rejected movements, de Kooning was the best out of the abstract expressionists.  His work was original,

There is so much on the net about Willlem de Kooning that I decided not to go too deep into his life, but express what inspired me about his work.

This is the one that started my admiration of his work.  Compositionally it is impeccable, and as to his color selections I could see that de Kooning was ahead of his peers.  This painting transformed how i view abstract works.
Willem de Kooning
"Seated Woman"
1040, oil and charcoal on masonite

As we take a look at his portfolio we see that de Kooning's career is a long climb back to peace of mind.  Looking chronologically at his works we can see the passionate beginning, the decent into some form of madness, and the slow and steady climb back to peace of mind.  I can say that because I know him through his work.  

"Queen of Hearts"


"Untitled XII"

"Untitled #2"

"Art never seems to make me peaceful or pure."
-Willem de Kooning

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Artwork of the month: The Death of Germanicus.

There are parts of human history that I obsess one simply because they reveal a portion of truth about the nature of mankind, as to what we are capable of.  I like to paint these important events in history, repurpose them and link them compositionally to a historical work of art about the same event.  Nicolas poussin did the same thing here.  

Poussin took the history of Germanicus's murder and used as a compositional model a sarcophagus from Rome.  Brilliant conceptual, compositional oil painting; Albeit there are so few that can and will connect the dots to read this painting as it was intended to be read by Poussin.  

This oil painting is a Masterwork example of compositional oil painting.  Go spend some time reading its imagery at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Nicolas Poussin
French, 1594-1655
"The death of Germanicus"
1627, oil on canvas

Germanicus was murdered out of envy and fear...
...fear always has and always will destroy mankind's future.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Since I have been working on improvisational oil paintings as late, I thought that I would post some of my older writing on the subject.  As I paint I write; I write about my thoughts on my own work and experiences.  So some of it might make sense, other parts your just going to have to say "good lord whats wrong with him" and move on to the next section that makes sense to you.  As all of my writings on oil painting was written in the moment, some of it is always going to change over time.

3.8.1  Improvisation.

     The improvisational oil painting is completely honest work, in that it cannot lie, because it does not go through an editing process.  That is not to say the editing process is a lie, but to elaborate on the dependance of immediacy and reaction of the improvisational oil painting.  Improvisations of any kind are the first thought, line, brushstroke, or action, expressed by reacting to one’s environment and creative process.  The improvisation is honest because it is the first unedited reactions to both environment and the work itself.
     The improvisational works an artist completes exposes the work of his character, sense of being, and mastery of the relationship between himself and his chosen medium.  Improvisation is the finest means to tutor the student of oil paintings natural ability for composition as its practice teaches him to be bold, balanced, and visually organized immediately.  Improvisational oil painting instills in the artist the foresight to see bold compositions as they are being revealed in the moment.  Personally for the oil painter improvisation is an unconscious method toward a logical and complete understanding of one’s disposition, finally revealing to the artist the implications following his thoughts.  

     The improvisational oil painting should be completed in a short amount of time.  Timed improvisational study is a good starting point for the student of oil painting.  Timed study, a method of improvisation, is a necessary stage of development in teaching an artist to be immediately resolved.  Set a time limit to work within, such as five or ten minutes, then increase the amount of time allowed for each study as you progress to one hour.  During a timed study the artist cant truly edit for lack of time, and must just simply react to the subject-matter.  This process should cover the course of a few months while increasing the complexity of the subject-matter.  
     The student of oil painting will start with representation, then progress gradually into abstraction of each subject. To be able to render realistic subject-matter improvisationally is a necessity or prerequisite before beginning abstraction. The abstract improvisation becomes a personal experience where once completed, is retrospective to the oil painter, as it was to me. 
     It is not just the act of painting an improvisational work of art; it is the acts of repetitive improvisational thoughts which allow the abstract oil painter to trust their own intuitive nature.  As time progresses the oil painter will transform at ease with his first thoughts and strengthen those initial ideas learned from the practice of improvisational works.  The abstract improvisational oil painting ends up being about paint, and is considered an expressionist work.
     The abstract oil painter should study improvisation all his life.  However, he must not confuse his improvisational works for complete works of art.  Although each improvisational painting may be a great work of art, the improvisation is an incomplete idea that has yet to go through the discipline of editing and should not be its own ends. Although there are works intended for instilling control through immediacy, an improvisational oil painting finds its usefulness merely is in its act of doing, and leads one to new ideas, a deeper understanding of composition, and the resolution of the complicated relationship an artist has with his medium. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Artwork of the month: Jean Léon Gérôme.

I would like to take a look at two works in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts permanent collection.  Jean Leon Gerome was an amazing oil painter.  His sense of composition and his application of oil paint was profoundly admired and copied.  I do not want to talk much about this because my knowledge of this artist is limited to these two works, and both of which I chose to ignore for a decade.  

Jean Léon Gérôme
French, 1824-1904
"The carpet merchant"
1887, oil on canvas

"Young Greeks in the Mosque"
1865, oil on panel

Theses are surprisingly small works...
...rendering the real is easier when done smaller.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Artwork of the month: My top 10 inspirational artists.

There are hundreds of artists that I enjoy, albeit there are only a few that built a philosophical world with their works that inspired me.  These artists had a monumental impact on my development as an artist.  I followed my intuition, my dreams, and created a path to be who I already knew I was.

With further ramblings...

10.  Salvador Dali.
Spanish, 1904-1989
I put good old Salvador last place because he was an adolescent inspiration.  I thought his paintings were the coolest thing ever (this is after brief fascination with M.C. Escher and Hieronymus Bosh).  I was also a virgin and thought bugs were cool so you can't depend on my early analysis of Dali.  Still I feel his works are great, but I also see them as trite.  I just grew out of surrealism.  Regardless of my conceptual thoughts these days, Dali was a major part in my becoming an artist.

9.  Commander Mark Kistler.
This guy is the biggest dork of all time, and I watched his T.V. show on PBS every day it was on as a child.  He taught me the basics of drawing (okay my grandmother taught me all of that, but this guy liked space ships, dragons and unibears so in the eyes of a child he had my attention).  I owe this guy (amongst many others) a true sense of gratitude for the early influence.

8.  Roy Lichtenstein.
American, 1923-1997
Sometime in the teenager years I was introduced to Lichtenstein, and I didn't like his work at all.  In 1998 my mentor reintroduced his work to me and I grew to admire his social subtlety as his content was both a reflection of his era and a critique.  

7.  Yayoi Kusama.
Japanease, born 1929
She is crazy and absolutely amazing.  I didn't discover Kusama's work until mid 1999.  Her work is the most challenging installation pieces in our time.  I didn't like installation works until I studied Kusama's portfolio.  After studying her work I started seeing my own paintings as a set needing to be installed with purpose and composition as an environment.  I first tested out this composition of  the installation of paintings in 2000 at diStilo art gallery during the "Priority Mail" exhibit.  It worked for me, and I have continued to develop the ideas of installation as composition since.

6.  Piet Mondrian.
Dutch, 1892-1944
I have read everything Mondrian has ever written that is available to the public.  His writing on Neo-plasticism has had a profound impact on how I think about the end result of painting.  Mondrian deserves a place in world history as one of our great master painters.  

5.  Takashi Murakami.
Japanese, Born 1962
If your looking for modern POP art, then this is your guy.  He is the front man for a movement of artists that focus on creating works of art "Super Clean" as in detail, control orientated.  His control of his brushes gave me the drive to be a better painter.  

4.  Francis Bacon.
Irish born, Brittish, 1909-1992
The shear destructive part of man and painting, the violence I understand in the world, and the reflection it all leaves inside us is Bacon.  Francis bacon was a completely honest artist.  For that reason alone he is an admirable artist.  His work, just simply pleasing to me as I can relate to them in a way I can not relate to you.

3.  Willem de Kooning.
Born Netherlands, American, 1904-1997
Willem de Kooning's life and work are a climb back to peace of mind.  His works are absolutely beautiful and perfect as they truly reflect the nature of his mind, how he saw the world, and the underlying truth about the lie of American culture.  I have larded more about pure painting from de Kooning than any other artist.  I followed his retrospective around the nation as one would follow the grateful dead from concert to concert, I went from museum to museum.  It was a great year traveling, visiting museum's and constantly being able to see his masterworks.  Willem de Kooning was the best of the abstract expressionists, and a master painter who I believe found peace of mind at the end (possible only as a result of alzheimer's crippling his memory).  I learned how to forget and remember from him.  

2.  Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
Italian, 1571-1610
Light and darkness were his champions.  Caravaggio's work showed me that space, large open forms (or backgrounds) are as important a part of an oil painting as the subject mater itself.  His blinding focus on reality, and the beauty of light falling across a subject gave me a fascination for classical thought.  before Caravaggio I wasn't interested in classic works of art.  After Caravaggio I see just how much harder I have to work within compositional abstraction to obtain a level of honesty so as to exhibit the dramatic within mankind.  Caravaggio was a bastard of a man and a master painter, so I named my dog after him.

And at long last the artist that influenced me the most...
1.  Wassily Kandinsky.
Russian, 1866-1944
I have read everything Kandinsky wrote ten times or more.  He is the father of abstract art, and a master oil painter who changed the course of art forever.  Kandinsky's "On the Spiritual in Art" deeply forced an evolution within me as to how I produce works of art.  And "On point to Line to Plane" gave me the idea to developed my own language within oil painting.  As most of you know, I have traveled often simply so spend time with his work.

Kandinsky, thanks man...
...I learned so much from you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Zeitgeist the movie.

To begin the new year I give you a controversy to think about.  It is not my intention to cause anyone distress, or hurt any feelings by posting this film.  It simply states very clearly and accurately that which I know to be truth.  None of this is new information to anyone, it is simply presented in a liberating way.

"The more you begin to investigate what we think we understand, where we came from, what we think we are doing, the more you begin to see we have been lied to.  we've been lied to by every institution, what makes you think for one minuet that he religious institution is the only one that's never been touched.  The religious institutions of this world are at the bottom of the dirt, the religious institutions of the world are put there by the same people who gave you your government, your corrupt education, who set up your international banking cartels.  We have been mislead away from the true and divine presence in the universe that men have called god.  I don't know what god is but I know what he isn't and I unless and until you are prepared to look at the whole truth and wherever it may go, whoever it may lead to, the more you educate yourself the more you understand where things come from the more obvious things become and you begin to see lies everywhere.  You have to know the truth and see the truth and truth will set you free."
-a quote, guess who and you win a self awareness prize.

I feel that it is a good idea to allow this movie as much attention as possible.  If you chose to watch this, then chose to view it with an open mind that will not simply believe what is witnessed; but with a mound that will find out what is truth regardless of your belief.  

Just watch it...
...but continue to enjoy life.