About The Artist

My photo
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Hello! I am a fine arts painter, with a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My primary painting medium is oil and alkyd, and mostly I work in a representational style. My greatest challenge as a painter is to capture the effect of light; and my greatest joy as a painter is to accomplish that. Many thanks to those readers who have been following this blog since Day 1 (May 19, 2008). To those who are visiting for the first time today...Welcome, and thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Friday's Flower

Orchid Blossom I
, 2008
Oil, alkyd on canvas panel

For the past two months, we've been enjoying a couple of blooming orchid plants that sit outside on the patio table. One plant brought forth 17(!) lovely deep pinkish lavender blossoms. The other orchid, about 12 white flowers.

I plucked one of the white blossoms and floated it in a small white ceramic dish, and then took several photographs of the "mini-still life" in morning light. Today's post shows the first orchid blossom painting. I hope you enjoy it.

Keep cool this weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.
Art, text, and image @2008 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


by Lisa Rivas
"Daffy Down Dilly" 2008
Archival pigment print
8.5" x 11" unframed
$22 + S&H

To purchase, visit Lisa's ESTY shop: http://www.flyingcolors.etsy.com/

Although I have two paintings in the works at the studio, neither was ready for today's post So, I am taking this opportunity to introduce you to a friend of mine who is an artist whom I hold in the highest regard for her incredible creativity, consummate technique, and rich personal iconography. She is a genuine talent, the "real deal", and a natural colorist. To put it simply, I am a huge fan and always look forward to seeing what will come out of her studio next!

I have known Lisa Rivas for twenty years, since I was a gallery director and Lisa was one of the premier gallery artists in Memphis, Tennessee.

At that time she was creating complex imagery on rice paper using batik drawing and watercolor painting techniques. Lisa had studied Surface Design at the Hans Neumann School of Design in Caracas, Venezuela, where she grew up. Later, she applied those skills to painting, while a student at The Memphis College of Art. Often she would also quilt and stitch patterns and image outlines with different color threads to add another dimension to her work. Her art was truly unique, awe inspiring, and gorgeously colorful, and she found many eager buyers and serious collectors wanting "a Lisa Rivas."

About ten years ago, Lisa moved into the digital age of art and image making, teaching herself and mastering Photoshop, Freehand, Illustrator, Quark, Dreamweaver, and a few other programs artists use for creative purposes.

Her latest creative endeavor is eStamps, an ongoing issue of 8.5" x 11" prints presented in stamp format. The nationality of the stamps is "WWW" (for World Wide Web) and the denominations are in "kB" for kilobytes. The images on the e-Stamps can be details from her original paintings or a digital illustration she composed on the computer, just today. Each eStamp print is signed and dated by Lisa.

Lisa publishes a blog, too, http://www.flyingcolors.typepad.com where you can check out what she's doing almost every weekday and see many of the eStamps she has created, like the one shown above.

And, if you see an eStamp you just gotta have, take a quick trip over to her ETSY shop: http://www.flyingcolors.etsy.com/.

I just loved "Vespertina" and bought it for myself, the first one in my collection!

Have a good day. See you Friday.
Artwork and image © Lisa Rivas. Used with permission.
Text ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ah, Roma!

Beneath the Umbrellas (Rome), 2008
Original, oil on stretched canvas
9" x 12" unframed

Private Collection

Last October I enjoyed a fabulous 16-day trip to Italy, with three dear friends, and two of their friends. Our trip was planned and organized, with every detail taken care of, by Daniela Ford, our "tour guide." Among her various credentials: Daniela speaks 7 languages, is a student of history, art history, politics, and many other subjects, an excellent driver, patient, and good natured to boot. We all enjoyed a grand time and became fast friends.

Our trip began in Rome, where we spent a few days seeing the sites and becoming addicted to lattes and gelatis. I loved just walking and riding around the city, looking at the architecture, the fountains, the doorways and window balconies; stepping into the wonderful shops full of real antiques, delectable foods, fancy leather goods; and seeing a plethora of tiny cars, "Smart" cars and mini-trucks winding through the streets.

One of my favorite things to notice were the "umbrella trees" along the hilltops, in the parks, and among the Roman ruins. I took several photos; and when I began painting again a few months later, this painting I am posting today was one of the first completed in my "Italian Series." What artists have always said about Italy is true: The light there is beautiful.

Thanks for taking a moment to read today's post and see this painting. Have a good day.
Text, images, and artwork ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back in the Garden

Morning Light, 2008

Original, oil on canvas panel

10" x 8" unframed


This is another painting inspired by the Eola Heights neighborhood where the Central Florida Plein Air artists had their April "paint out" this year.

I started the painting a few months ago, then let it sit around the studio, unfinished. This week, I was determined to complete it, and I'm glad I did.

The painting challenge of this piece was to convey the "temperature" of the morning light, which is cool and bluer than the warm sunny light of the afternoon. The method is to cool down all the colors while retaining the warmth of the spring season. The other challenge was the interplay of light and shadow patterns on the garage wall and trellis.

For a painting which I had almost given up on, it came together rather nicely. Many thanks to the Muse of Inspiration for all of her guidance!

I hope you have a great weekend planned. See you Monday.
Text, images, and artwork ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Bit of Green....Done!

Leaf Bouquet, 2008

Original painting, oil on canvas panel

8" x 6" unframed

Private Collection

Here's the final version of the painting I started last week. The challenge of doing this painting was working with greens. I found that the trick is to use just "a bit of green" from the tube and to mix it with a variety of other colors, such as cadmium orange, Indian yellow, yellow ochre, cerulean blue, burnt sienna, Naples rose, and alizarin crimson!

I'm trying out some new Italian canvas panels in a 6" x 8" size, which is a format that plein air painters often use. The panel has a very fine weave which I really like, and has a nice proportion to it, too.

Even though this painting has no "flower", I think it still turned out bellissimo, no?

Thanks for taking a moment to read this post and see today's painting. See you Friday!
Text, images, and artwork ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hello, Dali!

Girl's Back, 1926

by Salvador Dali
Collection of The Dali Museum

St. Petersburg, FL


As mentioned in my last blog, my sister and I drove over to St. Petersburg on Friday to visit the Salvador Dali Museum to see the work of this famous Surrealist artist, born 1904, died 1989.

The museum building is a rather modest "modern" concrete structure. (I guess I was expecting something more "Dali-esque."). However, the exhibit, "Women: Dali's View" was quite interesting and educational. The exhibit consisted of 96 artworks, organized chronologically and accompanied by helpful narrative descriptions.

I was keen on seeing Dali's early student work and was not disappointed. The first artwork on display was a fairly accomplished, colorful pastel drawing of a street scene at night created by Dali at age 10! Sketchbook pages filled with figures and fantastic creatures from Dali's young teenage years already evidence his drawing and imaginative skills.

There was a large landscape painting with forms and colors obviously influenced by Cezanne, done while Dali attended the Academy of Art in Madrid, along with other paintings showing his knowledge of Classical Art, the Impressionists, Post Impressionists, and Picasso. My favorite painting from his early work was Girl's Back, 1926, (shown above) depicting Dali's sister as viewed from behind—her dark hair, shoulders, and upper back, bathed in a golden light. The detail in the hair is stunning!

Dali was a consummate draftsman, and his drawings are incredible. His ability to render light, color, and mood is indeed phenomenal. The scale of his work varies from very small paintings—almost precious in size—to huge canvases nearly 20 feet in height. He could manipulate forms into visual "play" where, within a group of forms, another image can be seen. He called this visual transformation "critical paranoia." He developed a language of visual symbols imbued with personal meaning which he employed like a musical refrain in many of his works.

I was very impressed with the scope of imagination and complexity in Dali's imagery. I also found many of his Surrealist era paintings to be scary, where flesh is painfully distorted and raw bone exposed. Then, too, his erotic preoccupations and portrayal of woman as femme fatale at times seem neurotic, blatant, and voyeuristic, even for Freudian times.

Still, it was well worth the $15 admission fee and 90 minute drive to see the exhibit. Oh, and the gift shop was cool, too (although a bit pricey).

Have a good day. See you Wednesday.
Text ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Bit of Green

A Bit of Green
Oil on canvas panel
8" x 6"
In progress.


I began this painting on Wednesday but didn't finish it in time for today's post. So, here's how it looks thus far.

Once again, I started with a burnt sienna & umber underpainting (which means, I covered the entire surface with an even coat of that reddish brown color that you see mostly in the background.)

Then I wiped out the underpainting to provide light areas for the leaves, the tabletop and the inside of the glass. I tried out a green or two on the leaves and added a few details to define the glass, the waterline and reflections. You'll get to see the finished painting next week.

Today my sister and I are going to St. Petersburg, FL to visit the Dali Museum. The exhibit is "Women: Dali's View" featuring 90 artworks created throughout Dali's career, beginning with paintings from his student days. I'm looking forward to our little "road trip" to The Gulf side and will share some details with you about our art adventure on Monday.

Thanks for taking a moment to read this post and see today's painting. Have a great weekend!
Text, images, and artwork ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Details, Details!

Supper Dishes, 2008

Oil on stretched canvas

10" x 8" unframed

Contact Artist to purchase.


Over the past couple of months, I have been working up a larger painting called "The Kitchen Window." The painting measures 22" x 28", oil on stretched canvas. (When it's completed, I'll show it to you on this blog.)

Today's painting, measuring 10" x 8", is a detail from the larger painting, which, I think, it works as a complete visual statement on its own.

In particular, I'm happy with the the light moving across the various objects—the dishes, the rack, the sink, the counter, and the back of the chair—all bathed in a mellow pinkish glow.

Thanks for taking a moment to read this post and see today's painting. See you Friday!
Text, images, and artwork ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Color Caliente!

Late Siesta, 2008
Oil on canvas panel
10" x 8" unframed


I did this painting in February, based on a photograph taken by my Albuquerque artist-friend, Sondra Diepen. However, the colors just didn't have any "zing." So, over the past 5 months, I've repainted the background (the adobe wall) more times than I care to recall.

Nevertheless, it was rather interesting to see how all the other colors were altered each time I repainted just that one color in the background. That single color change could alter the "temperature" of the painting and the time of day.

Last week I got extreme and really pushed the color, and....viola! That did the trick. All those bright, high key colors felt like the heat of a summer day just beginning to fade and cool into a lovely evening in the great Southwest.

Thanks for taking a moment to read this post and see today's painting. I appreciate all the comments that readers have posted. Thank You!

See you Wednesday!
Text, images, and artwork ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July Flag: Done!

"July Flag" 2008
oil on canvas panel
10" x 8" unframed
Contact Artist to purchase.


Last Friday (July 4th), I posted this painting as "in progress." Here is the final version.

If you compare the two, you'll see that there's more sunlight in the foreground in the sidewalk and lawn area; and, in general, the flag colors are more vibrant. There are several other "tweaks" throughout the painting, too—all intended to focus attention on the flag. Do you think it works?

Thanks for taking a moment to read this post and see today's painting.

Keep cool this weekend. See you Monday!
Text, Images and artwork ©Carol L Adamec.
All rights reserved.
BLOG URL: http://www.CarolAdamec.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Colorful Crotons

"On Stage" 2008

8" x 10" unframed
oil on canvas panel
Contact Artist to purchase

My brother-in-law John is an artist and quite the gardener. With a good eye for color, texture, and design, he has created wonderful flower beds around the house, full of very attractive plantings of all kinds. When I am looking for something to take to the studio to paint, I often pinch off a few leaves or clip a few blossoms for the day's studio session.

After doing a few "tonal" paintings recently (Dry Shell; Black Purse, Red Lipstick), I was ready for some color work. These croton leaves were the perfect subject matter for some bright color work. Instead of placing the leaves in a vase, I stood them up and illuminated them with overhead "high noon" lighting. Hence, the title, "On Stage."

Crotons are tropical plants and come in several varieties, dazzling colors, and multiple patterns. There are even a couple with artistic names: The Mona Lisa and The Picasso. You can see several varieties on the Croton Society of Tampa webpage: www.crotons.org.

Crotons are also hearty. Unlike the little one-day rose I showed you Monday, these leaves held up for three days... good for artists like me who take a bit longer to get it on the canvas.

Many thanks for taking the time to look at my artwork and read this post. You are welcome to forward this blog to others, too. Please, do leave a comment!

I hope your week is going well. See you Friday.
Text, image, and painting ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Painting from Memory

"Rose Glow" 2008
Original, oil on panel
7" x 5"


This painting began as a little set up that I was painting from direct observation. I had most of it completed, except the rose. I had the colors right, but not the overlapping of the petals.

The next morning when I arrived at the studio, the poor little rose was limp and the petals shriveled. So much for working from observation!

Having looked at the rose for several hours the day before, I recalled how the rose petals looked and was able to complete the painting. Thank goodness for memory!

One could argue that an artist is always working from memory, whether painting from a photograph, a sketch, or even "live." The image still exists in the mind—not just in the eye—of the artist.

Many thanks for taking the time to look at my artwork and read this post. You are welcome to forward this blog to others, too. Please, do leave a comment!

I hope your Monday is a pleasant one.
See you Wednesday.
Text, image, and painting ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fourth of July

July Flag, 2008
Original painting
Oil and alkyd on canvas panel
10" x 8" unframed

In Progres
Back in April, I photographed this Eola Heights front porch in Orlando, in preparation for the Central Florida Plein Air Artists paint-out event later that month. Many of the homes in this historic neighborhood were built between 1900—1920's. Except for the palm trees, the neighborhood has a Norman Rockwell flavor about it...kind of like this painting.

As I mentioned in Wednesday's post, photographs are very handy for capturing a moment "right now." I saved this photo with the intention of having the painting ready for today.

Well, it's almost done—done enough to share with you on this 4th of July. I'll complete it and show you the "final" version next week.

I hope you enjoy a pleasant and peaceful Fourth of July.

Have a great weekend. See you Monday!
Images and artwork protected by copyright ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Painting from Travel Photos

"Shanghai Goldfish" 2005
Oil, alkyd on canvas
Original: 30" x 36"

While I do enjoy working "live" in the studio, I am quite aware of the limitations of painting only from direct observation. Things change, even indoors: flowers die, fruit rots, the light varies from day to day. Painting outdoors is even more challenging, with shifts in light and shadow, wind, cloud drifting, and weather moving in. So having a camera to capture the way something looks "right now" is very useful for completing paintings.

One of those times when having a camera handy is when one is traveling.

Shanghai Goldfish was developed from a photograph I took in 2000 at at tea house in China. We were on our way out the door when the goldfish in the Chinese porcelain bowl caught my eye. A quick snapshot made this painting a possibility. Without the photo, the idea for the painting would have vaporized into a forgotten memory from the trip. It still took 5 years for the idea to crystalize in my mind as an image to paint. I was glad that I had the photo to keep the idea alive.

The original painting is for sale, along with a giclée on stretch canvas (various sizes) in limited edition, and an open edition art print. Email me for additional purchase information.

Thanks for coming along and looking at my painting.

Have a great day.
See you Friday.

Text, image, and painting ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.