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, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Season's Greetings
"Blue Gate (Winter)"
Photo by Carol Adamec

Hello, Dear Readers,

It's been so long since I published a new entry on my blog...and there's much news and new paintings to share with you. I resume posting on Monday and look forward to connecting with you again in the New Year.

Please accept my Holiday Greetings and Good Wishes to you for 2010!

Hugs & Best,
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Almost show time!

I am in the throes of finishing up paintings and framing for my exhibit at Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, Missouri, which opens July 17 to the membership and guests, and on July 18 for the general public. The image above is from Spiva's website: www.spivaarts.org.

My exhibit, Catching the Light is a one-person show in Spiva's Regional Gallery and will feature many of the original paintings you have seen posted here on my blog over the past year or more. If you're in the Joplin area on July 17, please! come to the free opening reception (6-8pm) as my guest!

Brave New Art is a group exhibit in Spiva's larger Main Gallery, and includes digital paintings by my friend Lisa Rivas whom I introduced to you last summer in my July 29, 2008 blogpost. I am looking forward to see what new exciting work Lisa will have in the exhibit.

And to the Anonymous Friend of the Arts who has donated to Spiva in support of my exhibit, many thanks and muchas gracias. I can't thank you enough!

I am suspending my blog for the next several weeks while in Joplin, and will resume posting in mid September. Thank you for your readership and support.

Text copyright 2009 Carol L. Adamec

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Original painting
Oil, alkyd on panel
5" x 7"

I don't know if it's the heat in Albuquerque or because I've been mixing up a lot of red colors to finish another painting, but this image of an Orientale poppy was nagging me to be painted. So here it is!

I took some photos of these blossoms a few weeks ago when the poppies were in full bloom; and I'm glad I did, since the flowers don't last all that long.

Happy Fourth of July! See you next week.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Final view of the pond

Homage to Monet #4
Porcelain paint on ceramic tile
4.25" x 4.25"

As the last post for June, I'm posting the fourth and final porcelain painting on ceramic tile that I've completed, inspired by Monet's water lilies.

Meanwhile, back in the studio, I am starting a small flower painting. Maybe it will be ready for Thursday. See you then.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bassin trois...a la Monet!

Homage to Monet #3
Porcelain paint on ceramic tile
4.25" x 4.25"

From the emails I've gotten in the past week, it seems that many of my readers are enjoying these Monet-inspired porcelain paintings of water lilies on ceramic tiles. So, here's a third view of "the pond"...inspired by Monet.

Some of you have mentioned that these painted tiles could be a great decorative touch in a bathroom, either incorporated into the tile wall, a sink back splash, or just framed as a piece of "bathroom art." All good ideas, I think, although poor old Claude might be taken aback!

Nevertheless, if you think of a use for these paintings on ceramic tile, let me know. I'd like to hear your ideas!
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another View...a la Monet

Homage to Monet #2
Porcelain paint on ceramic tile
4.25" x 4.25"

Now that we are "officially" into the summer season, here's another view of "the pond"...inspired by Monet. Enjoy! See you Thursday.
Text and image 2009, Carol Adamec

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Pond...Monet style

Homage to Monet #1
Porcelain paint on ceramic tile
4.25" x 4.25"

Rather than painting this week, I have been going through my studio, checking my inventory, and framing, getting ready for my July exhibit at Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, Missouri (which you'll hear more about soon).

I came across a box of ceramic tiles--the kind that you install in a bathroom or kitchen--and found some that I had painted on with porcelain paints. I did these tiles several years ago, inspired by a large water lily painting by Monet that I had seen in a museum. The porcelain paints are fairly transparent and dry within minutes, so you have to work quickly and loosely.

These were fun to do and I'll probably be showing a few others next week. I think they have a "summery" quality to them.

Thanks for taking a look today. Have a great weekend, and "Happy Father's Day" to all the Dads out there, too. See you Monday.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 15, 2009

What's Up, Doc?

Bugs & Roses
Original oil, alkyd on canvas panel
12" x 16"

Today's post begins with another apology to my faithful readers. I missed posting on Friday and, once again, my internet was down over the weekend. So, here's Monday's post, a bit later than usual!

Meanwhile, I did complete the painting you're seeing on today's blog. My friend Sondra brought home a wooden cutout of Bugs Bunny which she rescued from a dumpster and leaned it against the adobe wall where the roses were in full bloom. When I saw it, it was instant inspiration. And I hope it makes you smile!

Thanks for taking a look today. See you Thursday.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Success en plein air

Cottonwood Reflections
Original oil, alkyd on canvas panel
7" x 5"

When I go out to paint, I usually prefer a sunny day....better to capture distinct lights and darks/sunlight and shadow. Saturday began as an overcast day with thick clouds overhead. Oh, well, as a plein air painter, you go anyway. That's part of the challenge, to see if you can get a decent painting out of whatever weather and natural elements are available on a given day.

Sandia Lakes is just a few miles north from where I live. I met my friend Carmen there and we drove around to select a spot with a good view. Because of the clouds, the great view of the Sandia Mountains was pretty hazy. So I picked a closer view of old cottonwood trees reflected in one of the man-made lakes. The issue was to keep the colors subtle yet interesting.

Fortunately I had brought a panel toned with a thin wash of burnt sienna, so I allowed that color to show through in places, providing a warm "highlight" here and there. After a couple of hours, the painting, as seen here, was done. I was happy with it ...a success en plein air for me!

Thanks for taking a look today. See you Thursday.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Piedras Marcadas en plein air

Piedra Marcada
Original oil, alkyd on canvas panel
6" x 8"

To those faithful readers who tuned in to this blog on Monday, I apologize for the missing post. My internet connection was down. As it turned out, it was a good thing.

I had thought that this little painting, that I began last week, was done; it was to be the post image for Monday. However, the painting was so lifeless, "tight" and uninteresting that I almost sanded it down to start all over. Instead I decided to "push" the image....what the heck! It couldn't get any worse.

The version you see today better captures the feel and light of this New Mexico site where I set up my easel. I'm much more satisfied with it. Maybe the painting is even done!

I'll be out again painting en plein air this Saturday with my dear artist friend Carmen Sharpe. Carmen enjoys painting outdoors more than I do, and has a natural affinity for capturing the light and air on location. I hope she'll give me some pointers. And, I have every intention of remembering my white paint this time!

Thanks for taking a look today. See you Monday.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Plein air...stage 2

Piedras Marcadas (WIP)
Oil, alkyd on canvas panel
6" x 8"

Today's post shows what I had hoped my "on location" painting would have looked on Monday, after a morning of plein air painting at Piedras Marcadas. As you can see, I definitely needed the white paint for the pale blue sky, distant mountains on the far right edge, foreground light, and highlights.

Although I took a few photographs of the the view, most of what you now see has been painted from memory and invention, and, in my opinion, better than the "reality" I observed. It proves what Pablo Picasso is famous for saying: "Art is a lie that tells the truth."

Many thanks to those who sent me email comments about Monday's post. I truly appreciate your encouragement!

I'll be finishing up this little landscape and post the final version next week. Thanks for taking a look today. See you Monday.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Plein Air rough

Piedras Marcadas (WIP)
Oil, alkyd on gessoed panel

A few months ago I joined the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico. Due to schedule conflicts I hadn't been out to paint with the group yet....until today. Since I hadn't done plein air since living in Florida, I was really looking forward to this session, since it was clear, cool, and quite pleasant this morning.

I spent part of yesterday setting up my plein air paint box and priming a few 6x8 panels to paint on. So this morning when I left the house at 8am, I thought I was all set to paint. The location was on the westside of Albuquerque, an undeveloped open space, called Piedras Marcadas, meaning "marked rocks", because of the petroglyphs in the area.

I hiked around, lugging all my painting gear, and found a shaded spot with a nice view. While setting up my palette, I discovered that I had forgotten my white paint, a huge deficit when working with a limited palette of 5 or six colors. Darn! Not wanting to completely give up on this opportunity, I worked up a tonal rendering of the scene, concentrating on the composition and lights and darks.

Fortunately I did remember my camera. So this rough start will be completed in the studio.

Enjoy the short work week! See you Thursday.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Potsherd Painting

Blue Diamond
Oil, alkyd on gessoed panel
Approx 3.5 x 3"

Many thanks to those who emailed me their comments and suggestions about last week's potsherd piece. I appreciate the input!

Today's post shows another "mini-abstraction" based on an Indian potsherd.This little "mini" painting began much like the others --by covering the entire panel surface with black paint, then scratching through the paint to make the design, and adding other colors. I do like the blue-green colors.

See you next week. Have a safe and most enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.
Text and image ©Carol Adamec 2009. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 18, 2009

NM Morada revisited

New Mexico Morada (WIP)
Oil, alkyd on canvas panel
9.25" x 8"

This painting has been sitting on a shelf in my studio since I last posted it back on March 9. It didn't quite work, so I've been just looking at it to determine what needed to be done.

The first change was to alter the 10" x 8" format. By chopping off three-quarters of an inch of the foreground, I think the church seems to "sit" better in the composition.. The new size is 9.25 x 8".

The whites were too cream-colored, so they've been lightened and cooled. I put more background space around the morada building and enhanced the distant landscape, adding some clouds along the horizon to relate the sky to the foreground cross and church.

I'm still not completely certain that the painting is finished, but this is where it's "at" for now.

Have a good Monday. See you Thursday.

Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Sherd #1
Oil, alkyd on gessoed panel
Approx 4 x 4"

Today's post shows another of my "mini-abstractions" based on a potsherd. I've heard that folks come across various bits and pieces of Indian pottery on their property, often when planting a garden, putting in a patio, or digging a new foundation for a home addition. Fragments of history can exist just below the surface out here in the Southwest.

I began this little painting by covering the entire panel surface with black paint, scratching through the paint to make the design, and adding other colors.

I have a few of these "in progress" in the studio. I don't quite know what they'll turn into or inspire, but thought I'd share this one with you today.

Thanks for taking a look. See you next Monday.
Text and image ©Carol Adamec 2009. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday's "Balanced Universe"

Cosmos in Sunlight
by Carol Adamec
Original painting: Oil, alkyd on stretched canvas
6" x 6"

To see a World in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wildflower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand.
And Eternity in an hour.

from "Auguries of Innocence" by William Blake

My mother is a Midwest farm girl who can nurture a dead stick into a mighty oak tree. She always had lovely, blossoming flowers around our house, in every season but the cold, snowy winters of Chicago.

I guess it's one of those genetic things that evidently skips a generation. Thus, my gardening skills are not my strong suit. Usually I choose hardy cacti and the ever-forgiving peace lily for my houseplants. However, I do believe I may plant some cosmos seeds outside my door.

According to various gardening websites, the colorful varieties of cosmos thrive in hot, dry climates and produce more flowers if underwatered. Now this is my kind of plant! And perfect for Albuquerque, too. Cosmos are related to sunflowers, daisies, and asters. Having an even number of petals around a yellow center, the cosmos received its name meaning "balanced universe." I like that concept, too.

In the meantime, I'm posting this 6"x6" oil painting on canvas, Cosmos in Sunlight, to start off the week. I usually don't choose a palette of pinks and lavenders to paint with, as I think of those hues being "softer" or more subtle. However, it seems this painting comes across as a pretty strong image.

I hope your universe stays in balance this week. See you Thursday.
Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Final "Glorious" Version

Morning Glorious, 2009
by Carol Adamec
Original painting in oil, alkyd on gessoed panel
5" x 8"

I posted this painting a few weeks ago as Almost Done. Now it is done ... and re-done!

If you compare today's image with the version on April 23, you can see that I reworked the color of the leaves, lighting and "greening" them up. I also added hints of more foliage in the background. The stamen details in the blue morning glory on the right are now defined, too.

Overall, I think this final version has more illumination, space, and air in it. And, even though the painting is only 5" x 8" it seems to have a larger "presence." I'm thinking I may translate this image into a larger size. Any suggestions or observations from my Readers are welcome. Please leave a comment. Thanks!

My sincere Thank You to those who posted/sent me comments about the lily painting. I appreciate your thoughts. Often your observations help me to better see what I've painted...really!

Enjoy your weekend .... and call your Mother on Sunday!

See you Monday.
Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Magic of Paint

Lit Up Lily
by Carol Adamec
Original painting
Oil, alkyd on panel

6" x 8"

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was in the mood for spring. So here's my first finished flower painting for May. Thanks to the magic of oil paint, last week's Rorschach is this week's lily.... enjoy!

Thanks for taking a look today. Please leave a comment if you would like.

See you Thursday.
Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Little Color

Lit Up Lily (WIP)
by Carol Adamec
Original oil, alkyd on panel
6" x 8"

Well, I think this painting is beginning to look like a lily (rather than a Rorschach inkblot) now that there's some color worked in.

Thanks for taking a look. Have a great weekend. See you Monday.
Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rorschach or Lily?

Lit Up Lily (WIP)
by Carol Adamec
Original Grisaille rendered in gesso & acrylic
6" x 8"

Here's the beginning grisaille of a new flower painting that I mentioned starting last Thursday. Right now it looks like more like a Rorschach inkblot than a lily!

First I laid down a medium gray gesso over an entire canvas panel, which is labeled on the image shown. After that, I mixed up lighter grays to render the lighter values, and then applied a black acrylic for the darkest background areas and the flower center. As you can see, most of the values range towards the lighter end of the scale, since the finished painting will depict a yellow lily in bright sunlight.

It will start to look more flower-like, once the different grays are converted to color...maybe by Thursday, even!

Thanks for taking a look. Have a good week!
Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Morning Glorious...Almost Done

Morning Glorious
by Carol Adamec
Original: Oil, alkyd on gessoed panel
6" x 8"

I worked on this painting late into the night yesterday, so I am posting late today (on Thursday).

This painting of morning glories is very close to completion. I have the center stamens to add. Some of the green leaves seem a bit to dark, and I'll probably light them up a bit.

I have a couple of other small floral closeups that I am looking forward to getting underway this weekend. I have prepared canvas primed with a neutral gray gesso, so this is another new approach for me. We'll see how that turns out.

Have a great weekend. See you Monday.
Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Morning Glorious Progress Report

Morning Glorious (WIP)
by Carol Adamec
Original: Oil, alkyd on gessoed panel
6" x 8"

Well, I didn't go to Santa Fe this weekend. Fortunately, the show at the O'Keeffe Museum runs into May; so I intend to see the exhibit in a couple of weeks.

However, I did work in the studio on my new flower painting, Morning Glorious. It's still "rough." Although I want the blue of the morning glory to "sing" right now it's screeching! The bloom also feels very dense, rather than fragile and translucent. Obviously, I have my work cut out for me.

Many thanks to those of you who commented on Morning Daffodils, too. I sincerely appreciate that you took the time to give me your opinion and response.

Thanks for taking a look today. See you Thursday.

Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Morning Daffodils...done!

Morning Daffodils
by Carol Adamec
Original: Oil, alkyd on gessoed panel
10" x 8"

And here it is....the Morning Daffodils painting all done.

I'm taking a break this weekend by going to Santa Fe on the Railrunner this Saturday. I want to see the current show at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, "Modernists in New Mexico."

If I don't have a new painting/finished piece to share with you on Monday, I'll still have a report on my trip to Santa Fe. It's always a fun adventure to travel north to
"The City Different."

Thanks for taking a look today. See you on Monday.

Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just Started

Morning Glory (WIP)
by Carol Adamec
Original Oil, alkyd on gessoed panel
5" x 8"

I was hoping to have the Morning Daffodils painting completely finished by today. However, there were still some reworks and details to do, and then painting was too wet to put on the scanner. So, look forward to seeing the "all done" version on Thursday.

Although I woke up on Easter Sunday to cold weather and fresh snow on the mountains, I'm ready for Spring! So I started another small flower painting of a morning glory, close up. I've blocked in the basic shapes with flat colors. You can still see the burnt sienna underpainting (the reddish brown color) peeking through here and there. I'll be working on this new piece this week and will post its progress, too.

Thanks for taking a look today. See you Thursday.
Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Full Color

Morning Daffodils (WIP)
by Carol Adamec
Original: Oil, alkyd on stretched canvas
10" x 8"

As you can see from today's post, this painting is coming along, with all the major areas and colors well defined. I see a few changes I'd like to make, such as decreasing the size of the kitchen window in the background, and altering a few angles to improve the perspective.

The last stage will be to coordinate all the colors and their "temperatures" so that the light has a consistent feel and "morning" quality as it falls on the various objects and illuminates the space. I look forward to completing this painting over the weekend and posting the finished work on Monday. I hope you'll take a moment to see it next week.

Thank you for taking a look today. Have a great spring weekend, and to those of you who celebrate the holiday....Happy Easter!
Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

First Colors

Morning Daffodils (WIP)
by Carol Adamec
Oil, alkyd on stretched canvas
10" x 8"

As explained in last Thursday's post, I am sharing the day-to-day stages of my working process, from the underpainting to the finished painting, of a new piece "Morning Daffodils."

Today's post shows the first colors I've applied to the light areas, while maintaining the values (the light and dark areas) of the overall image. These first colors are loosely painted into the appropriate shapes...no details or defining hard edges yet. Since I am working from a photographed image, I have also done some re-drawing of the composition.

One lesson to be learned from translating a photographic image into a painting is that the viewer will accept, without question, the "truth" of a photograph and will compensate for any distortion created by the camera lens or angles. At the same time, the viewer is far more critical of the "reality" presented in a painted image, even if the painting is a faithful rendering of the photograph; i.e., it's the artist's fault if it doesn't look "right."

With this awareness, the painter must frequently adjust a painting's composition (and other elements) to resolve those visual distortions in the photographic image. Otherwise, the painter is simply rendering the photograph rather than recreating the reality of what was actually seen at the moment of inspiration.

Well, that's your art lesson for today! Check in on Thursday for Stage 3. See you then.
Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Daffodils

Morning Daffodils (WIP)
by Carol Adamec
Oil, alkyd on stretched canvas
10 "x 8"

It's spring in New Mexico.... one week the weather is sunny with balmy temperatures in the 70's; and then the next week it's cold and snowing! The daffodils came out a few weeks ago, and I photographed a small bouquet of them basking in the morning sun on my kitchen table.

This week I've started two new paintings, one being Morning Daffodils, based on the photos I took a few weeks ago.

Some of you have mentioned that you enjoy seeing a painting "unfold" from start to finish. So, I will take photos of this piece as it develops and post the pictures of the process.

Today's post shows the underpainting, where the composition and basic values (lights and darks) are defined. You can see the table edge and flowers in front of a chair, with a window and cabinets on the right side, and on the left, a bright rectangle of light on the refrigerator in the background.

On Monday I'll post the next stage of the painting. See you then.
Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Chicken Door re-do

Chicken Door
by Carol Adamec
Original: Oil, alkyd on Panel
8 x 10"

Something most of my artist friends know about me is that, until a painting of mine is sold, it's "unfinished." I have most of my recent paintings sitting around the studio to peruse. If something bothers me about a painting, I'll often repaint it...sometimes reworking the entire painting...and usually for the better.

Today's "re-do" is The Chicken Door, which I first showed you last September. After looking at it for several months, I decided that the coloring was too red and too cool. So I lightened and warmed up the entire image. I like it much better now...maybe it's even finished!

If you want to compare the two versions, here's the link to my first attempt. See what you think, and I'd be happy to hear your opinion, too.


Have a good day. See you Thursday.
Artwork and text ©2009 Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Little Southwest Flavor

Bordello Abandoned
by Sondra Diepen
Photo-based Giclée
Various sizes available.
To purchase contact the Artist:

For me, one of the best perks of being an artist is knowing other artists. Then, too, I think the greatest compliment one artist can give another is to say "Gee, I wish I had done that!"

Today's image is by my artist-friend Sondra Diepen. If you have been following this blog for awhile, you may recall the post about Sondra back on October 4, 2008 (Link: http://caroladamec.blogspot.com/2008/10/exhibit-glimpse-4.html). Sondra was the curator and one of the artists in the Be Leaf It or Not exhibit at the Harwood Art Center last fall.

Sondra has photographed many wonderful images. This one, "Bordello Abandoned", is a favorite for many folks and one which made my Gee-I-Wish-I'd-Done-That list. There is something quintessentially "New Mexico" about this image which has captured the eye of many jurors as well as eager buyers.

Sondra has a keen eye for the color, texture and translucence of flowers, photographed up close to reveal the thrilling details of Nature. She also sees great beauty in unlikely subject matter such as rusted surfaces of old abandoned cars and faded artificial flowers on worn graves in small town cemeteries. You can see a sampling of her work at http://www.NMArtists.com. Enjoy!

Have a good day. See you Thursday.
Artwork and image © Sondra Diepen. Used with permission.
Text 2009 ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


"A Chronicle of Cranes, the Finale"
Art Installation by Hunter Levinsohn

I am pleased to devote this post to a longtime artist-friend, Hunter Levinsohn, whom I became friends with while living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1976-1980).

Somewhere in my stored files, I still have a magazine article about Center/Gallery, a women artists group that we were both a part of back then. I was a recent art school graduate, still struggling to figure out what to paint. Hunter, however, was already creating politically and socially conscious art from the stream of events happening in the country that struck a chord within her.

Over the years, her art has addressed injustices, war, patriotism, and corporate power, and has taken on the morés of the Old South, the tobacco companies, First Amendment rights, and the presidency of George W. Bush, to name just a few issues that have prompted Hunter's creative output. Often, her work is created from junk, or "found objects"--like the 44,000 cigarette butts she collected for her installation called "Ground Cover/Cover-Up."

Her most recent project, "A Chronicle in Cranes, the Finale" has been fabricated from the pages of The New York Times. Hunter began making origami cranes from the front page of the New York Times on January 20, 2005, the day George W. Bush was inaugurated for his second term, and has continued to do so until January 20, 2009, when Bush's term ended.

Says Hunter, "I call the cranes 'chronicling cranes' because it is four years of newspapers, four years of news." In one wing of each crane, she tucks in the day's editorials. In the other, she slides in the day's list of war casualties. Sometimes she writes on the wing a date or event of significance to her or her family.

Like all of Hunter's work, her intention is to raise the viewer's consciousness. The cranes are for sale. Buyers are asked to choose one with a date that holds personal significance and to take on the responsibility of learning what happened in the world on that date.

According to legend, it is believed that if one folds a thousand paper cranes, the gods will fulfill your heart’s desire. Over the past 4 years Hunter has folded 1,461 cranes, and as she states, "my heart’s desire is that each crane will carry a hope and a promise. Each of us has to give something of ourselves to make the world a better place, and each of us can start at home."

The final event of The Chronicle of Cranes will take place this Sunday, March 22, in Chapel Hill, NC.

For more information, visit Hunter's website: http://www.hunterlevinsohn.com/index.html. Or Google Hunter's name. There are a lot of interesting articles about her work.

Have a good day. See you next week.
Artwork and image © Hunter Levinsohn. Used with permission.
Text 2009 ©Carol L Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another piece from the past

Dragonheart, 2002
Original mixed media
15" x 15"

Although I worked in the studio this weekend, everything is too wet to put on the scanner. So, once again I'm posting an artwork I did a several years ago.

In November 2000,
I went to China for a 10 day tour. It was quite wonderful and mindboggling, too. For the next couple of years, I did several paintings, prints, and mixed media artworks that incorporated imagery and references to Chinese culture.

This piece is composed with a lot of red, black yellow, and gold coloring, sort of a Chinese palette. The text on the left comes from a booklet of ancient Chinese writings. The dragon in the upper right hand corner is a hand done cut-out made from tissue paper...incredible! I bought a packet of these at the Shanghai Museum for about a dollar. The heart and the rose (another image theme that I favored at the time) and the rest of the piece were painted by me.

Thanks for taking a moment to read this post. And Happy St. Patrick's Day to all! See you Thursday.

Text and image @2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Tulips

Out from the Shadows, 2005
Original: Color pencil on paper

Since I'm working on my taxes this week (ugh!), I'm not in the studio. So, I am posting a drawing I did a few years ago. Enjoy!

See you next Monday. Have a good weekend.
Text and image @2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Progress Report: NM Morada

New Mexico Morada (work in progress)
Original: oil, alkyd on canvas panel

10 x 8"

It's been a few weeks since I began this painting, and it's now fairly well fleshed out in color and composition. It still needs more paint layers and some refinements, but it's coming along.

Many thanks to all who sent me good wishes via email for the Harwood Open House. And I am especially grateful for the local "fans" who came on Friday evening and visited my studio. It was a great evening, with wall-to-wall "arts crawlers." I also met several new folks and sold a few paintings, too.

I did get my studio all spiffed up in time for the event, although it wasn't even safe to open the closet door. Then it took me most of Saturday to get the studio back to a working space again. Creativity and orderliness are definitely opposites!

Have a good week. See you Thursday.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fresh Chiles

White Jar, 2009
Original: Oil, alkyd on canvas panel
8" x 8"

Despite my good intentions to get ready for tomorrow night's Harwood Open Studio Night, I worked on this painting instead. Let's face it: I'd rather paint than clean any day!

Anyway, I went to the grocery store Monday and bought fresh chiles so I could finish the piece. And I ended up mixing up a whole lotta greens to get the right "chile green." I do like the complementary contrast between the peppers and the copper lid. So, it all worked out nicely.

Well, I gotta go now and clean the studio. See you Monday!
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 2, 2009

You're Invited....

This is going to be a busy week in the studio for me...not due to painting, however. This Friday, March 6, is the annual Open Studio Night, when all the Harwood artists throw open their doors and let the general public venture into their studio spaces. This is a big event--with music and openings in the Harwood galleries, too--sure to draw a crowd, as usual.

Like my colleagues, I'll be busy cleaning up my studio so folks can actually get in the door, see my work, and not get oil paint all over themselves. All my (good) finished paintings will be hung on the walls, rather than scattered and stacked here and there. And I'll be serving light refreshments, too.

The hours are 6-8pm. My studio is upstairs on the Main Hall, #3. If you are in the Albuquerque area, please come by to see me and enjoy the evening. You can also peruse the work of the other 21 artists, from emerging to established, who work in a variety of media. Their names on listed on the invitation pictured above.

The Harwood address is 1114 7th Street NW, ABQ 87102, located on the southeast corner of 7th and Mountain Road. The event is free and open to the public.

Thanks for taking a moment to read this post. See you Thursday.
Text ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Original oil, alkyd on canvas panel

I always wondered why artists painted items such as onions and garlic cloves.

Well, I found out while using these chiles as my subject matter last week. After having them under a hot studio light for several hours for several days, the distinct aroma of jalapenos wafted throughout my studio. One pepper turned bright red orange! I'm either going to have to paint faster, or use onions and garlics as my still life items, too. I almost gave up on this painting, but finally got it to work. It's a survivor.

Meanwhile, I got good news in the mail this week. My painting The Kitchen Window posted on Feb 2 (http://caroladamec.blogspot.com/2009/02/light-air.html) was accepted into The MasterWorks 2009 exhibit in Albuquerque. The show is in April.

Thanks for taking a moment to read this post. See you Monday.

Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 23, 2009

NM Adventure: Carrizozo

Movie Set in Carrizozo, New Mexico
Photo: Carol Adamec

No, you didn't miss my Thursday post, last week. I didn't do one. And after working in the studio for the past two weeks and having nothing yet finished to show for the effort, I was glad to get out of town to take pictures over the weekend with my photographer friend Sondra.

We headed out of Albuquerque on Saturday morning toward Carrizozo, a small New Mexico town of 1,029 residents located in the southeastern part of the state. The town got its name from the tall reedy grasses that grow here, called carrizo by the Spanish. The extra "zo" added to that word means "an abundance of carrizo."

The most exciting thing going on in Carrizozo right now is the filming of The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldham, and Mila Kunis. We found that out from a resident when we asked what had happened to business area in town; it looked like a tornado had destroyed it! It seems that the creative Hollywood folks have used plywood, foam, styrofoam sheets, and paint to convert an entire block to look like a small town wasteland. Construction was underway in January, with filming--and the arrival of Denzel Washington and the other stars--scheduled for early March.

I can confirm those Hollywood folks are good at what they do. Sondra and I went around tapping on buildings and various surfaces to determine what was real and what was "Hollywood." The crashed cars and concrete in the picture above are indeed real, part of a huge lot of rubble created for the movie. The film is to be released in 2010.

If you ever visit Carrizozo, I suggest you eat at Manny's--great food, fab pies, and very inexpensive. I hope it stays that way, long after the Hollywood crews leave town.

I'm back in the studio today and hope to post a new painting on Thursday. See you then.

Text and photo ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Win some, lose some

Green Chiles & White Jar (Work in Progress)
Oil, alkyd on canvas panel • 8" x 8"

I am posting late today, after spending the day in the studio and getting nowhere fast.

I had three (very wet) paintings that I worked on over the weekend. One-- I finally just threw away--a total loss that was just too frustrating to continue painting on. Another is a small 5x7" that I hope (and pray) I will be showing you in the near future.

The one you see here is the third one, and the most promising, at least at this point in time. The challenge will be getting that copper lid on the white jar to look like reflective medal. I hope that my "studio angel" will be present and in a good mood when I am working on that part of the painting in particular.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my work. I hope your week is off to a good start. See you Thursday.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

To All My Sweethearts...

When I was a schoolgirl, Valentine's Day was special, usually involving a little party at the end of the school day, when all the students exchanged heart-shaped cards and the room mothers supplied cookies and Kool-Aid for the entire class. But what was really special was getting a "conversation heart" from a shy secret admirer (or giving one to that special "crush of the day").

I don't know if children still celebrate Valentine's Day in school, but I do know that those little conversation hearts are still around. Amazingly, the candymaker, NECCO, produces over 8 billion of these little confections each year to meet the demand for this American novelty.

Even more amazing is that these little message hearts have been around a very long time--since 1902. (Actually, the ones I bought to scan for today's image tasted like they were made in 1902!)

According to the company's website*, the basic recipe has always been the same--sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, gums, coloring and flavoring. After the dough is rolled out, imprinted with sayings, and stamped out in the familiar heart shape, it goes through a 45-minute drying cycle to reach its proper consistency. Some things that have changed are the messages, like "Email me" and "Fax Me", to reflect modern times.

To meet the demand for its SweetHearts, NECCO produces them from late February through mid-January of the following year. The entire production sells out in just six weeks!

Although I was thrilled to get a "conversation heart" as a youngster, I guess my tastes have changed as I've matured. So, I offer a little Valentine's Day advice: If your sweetheart is over 8 years old, get a box of chocolates.

Happy Valentine's Day to all. See you Monday.
*Information Source: www.necco.com/OurBrands/Default.asp?BrandID=8

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Mexico Morada

Work in Progress

When I first moved to New Mexico back in 1994, I did a painting of a "morada." A morada is a small church of The Penitentes, a religious order which practiced self-flagellation, public whipping, and cross-bearing for self discipline and in homage to the Passion of Christ. (not exactly a religion for the faint-hearted, in my opinion!)

Although this Order was founded in 737 AD in Europe, the only known practitioners remaining in the world by the 20th century were located in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Indeed, in traveling around small villages in New Mexico, one can still find old adobe Penitente moradas, which are always accompanied by three crosses.

A few weeks ago, my friend Sondra and I came across a morada during our day trip north of Albuquerque. In the churchyard was a large cross, and up a steep hill were two other crosses--the traditional crosses of Calvary.

I took several pictures and put together (thanks to Photoshop) this composite image that will become a painting in the next few weeks. As you can see from this preliminary image, I have separated the image into four basic values. Once I get the color mixtures right, the painting should come together handily....at least, that's the "theory."

If you would like more information about The Penitentes or moradas, check out this link to this article: http://www.perillos.com/penitentes.html .

Have a good Monday. See you Thursday.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Santa Fe Adventure!

The New Mexico Rail Runner
(I think the "roadrunner" graphics are very cool!)

The Train Station at Santa Fe
(and, Yes! the sky was that blue!)

Last Saturday I went to Santa Fe with a couple of friends. The real purpose of the trip was to ride the new commuter train, known as The Rail Runner, from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.

My friends and I have been wanting to make this trip since before Christmas, when the train began running and was offering free round trip rides. However, the trains were always full--standing room only--so we decided to wait until after the holidays. After all, the round trip ticket only costs $6 on Saturday, and that would barely cover parking in Santa Fe.

Well, the train was packed this Saturday, too, leaving us to stand the most of the 60 mile / 80-minute journey. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the scenery out the window.

Once we arrived in Santa Fe, we made the most of the afternoon, having lunch at the Cowgirl Cafe (just a few blocks from the train station), catching the exhibit at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, and, of course, shopping! As you can see from the photos, it was a lovely clear day with plenty of sunshine.

Fortunately, we all got to sit together on the return trip to Albuquerque...a good thing, since our feet were plenty tired by then. And we're already looking forward to our next trip to Santa Fe on the train.

Have a great weekend, and I'll see you next Monday.
Text and photos ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Light & Air

The Kitchen Window
Original oil & alkyd on stretched canvas
18 x 24"
Contact Artist to purchase.

After posting so many "works in progress" it's nice to start the week off with a completed painting to show you.

I began this large horizontal 22" x 28" painting while living in Florida. It depicts the kitchen at my brother-in-law's workshop in Orlando where I had my studio last year before moving to Albuquerque. I walked into the shop kitchen one evening, just before going home for dinner, and the light and breeze coming in the open window were truly lovely, on both a visual and sensate level.

You may remember that I posted a detail from this painting titled Supper Dishes on July 15, 2008 (http://caroladamec.blogspot.com/2008/07/details-details.html). That was only a 10" x 8" painting but really helped as a "practice" for doing this larger painting.

Technically, The Kitchen Window painting involved interesting color work, ranging from the bright yellow-orange highlights of sunshine to the deep purplish darks of the shadows in the curtains. Then, too, I had to consider how to show the translucent quality of the curtain material as light and air passed through it. The warm and cool gradations of light within the room, and light falling on, passing through objects, or reflected off different surfaces required multiple color decisions, too.

In all, I am pretty happy with the results and have submitted the piece for a local exhibit in Albuquerque. I'll let you know the juror's results when notified later this month.

Have a good Monday, and a happy Groundhog Day (today)! See you Thursday.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Garden gate....Italian style!

Gate to an Italian Garden
(work in progress)
Original painting, 18" x 24"
Oil & alkyd on stretched canvas

This has been one of those weeks of working away in the studio and not (yet) having much to show for the effort. In particular, I have been pulling out paintings that are "stuck in the middle" to see which ones can become finished artworks.

Today's posted image is a painting inspired by my trip to Italy in October 2007. Our tour group visited a farm called Masseria Carestia, a 100 acre property nestle in the rolling hills of southern Italy.

The drive into the complex is via a tunnel of stone archways thatched with thriving grapevines and ferns. The "house" consists of several buildings--the oldest dating from the 1400's--with adjacent vineyards, and multiple gardens abundant with a profusion of flowers: roses of all colors--red, palest pink, creamy white; dahlias, bougainvillea, an original mandarin orange tree with miniature fruits; lantara, with little flower clusters of one color encircling a central cluster of flowers of another color; and many other varieties of plants and flowers.

This painting portrays one of the gates leading to a large garden off the arched entryway. The iron work is truly ornate...and red! Although there are a lot of edges to define and refine, I am enthused about finishing this painting. When it's complete, I'll post the final version.

Thanks for taking a moment to visit my blog. See you Monday, Ciao!
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Courtyard 2...revisted

"Courtyard 2" (in progress)
Original oil & alkyd on canvas panel
10 x 8"

Last time I showed you this painting in-progress (on January 12), I had just the basic values laid down. I've started adding color to determine the "light of day" and the "temperature" of the painting--whether it will have a warmer or cooler feel to it.

While it's my natural tendency to heighten the contrasts, tighten up edges, and add more details, I'm rather liking the overall diffused softness of the image. My challenge, then, is to finish the painting without overworking it. Unlike Photoshop, there are no "un-do's" or "re-do's" in painting....Darn!

I hope you have a good weekend. See you Monday.
Text and image ©2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Blue Gate ... Done!

Blue Gate, 2009
Original: Oil & alkyd on panel
10" x 8" unframed

I enjoyed a very nice weekend, moseying around the Pena Blanca, Santo Domingo and Cochiti areas located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. My artist friend Sondra Diepen and I spent several hours just driving down the road, stopping to take pictures whenever something caught our attention.

The day was warm and sunny, and artistically successful, too, as I took several photos that will lead to new paintings. Already I am working on one that will be on an 18" x 24" stretched canvas. I'll keep you posted as the painting develops.

I did work in the studio last Friday, completing the Blue Gate painting, featured as today's post. This was a fun piece to do and felt "right" from the start, even when doing the grisaille (see January 5 post). A few readers told me that they liked that version, before any color was added. It will be interesting to see what they (or you) think of the completed image. Please feel free to post your opinion below. Just click the "Comment" link just below this text.

Also, I will be leading a discussion, along with ShaRi Brooks, entitled "Creating an Internet Presence/Selling Your Artwork Online" at the Rainbow Artists meeting, this Wednesday, starting at 8pm. The event is free and open to the public, and being held at the Cesar Chavez Community Center, 7505 Kathryn SE, Albuquerque, (south on Louisiana, east on Kathryn). Free parking is available.

Hope your Monday is an easy one. See you Thursday.
Text and image © 2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Painting Light & Adobe

Cactus Wall, 2009
Original: Oil & alkyd on panel
10" x 8" unframed

For the past few weeks, I have been working on three paintings that all feature adobe walls: Blue Gate, Courtyard 2, and the painting posted today, Cactus Wall. I wasn't sure if this painting was going to come together, so I hadn't even shown it to you "in progress." Now here it is, all done, I'm happy to say.

I really enjoyed painting the dappled sunlight effect. I also found greater satisfaction in mixing greens to paint the cactus "leaves" than relying on the tube colors.

Some of you have emailed me about Blue Gate. Well, it's coming along, and I hope to have it posted next week as another finished painting. Thanks for the encouragement and comments.

Have a great weekend. See you Monday.
Text and image ©
2009 Carol Adamec. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 12, 2009


"Courtyard 2" (in progress)
Original oil & alkyd on canvas panel
10 x 8"

My artist-friend Lisa Rivas (whom you met in my post on July 30, 2007) advised me to never throw away a painting. She told me to "…just put it aside and wait until you're ready to finish it."

Today's post may seem familiar to you, since I posted a version back on November 13, 2008. Well, I never was quite satisfied with that painting. So I decided to try a different format. Rather than a square, I chose a vertical 10" x 8."

What you are seeing today is a "tonal" underpainting of 4 basic values. Rather than a purist's grisaille in greys or a monochromatic rendition (different shades of one color), I just used the leftover paint on my palette and mixed up 4 colors--each a different value--to get the basic shapes and the lights and darks down. Since I laid on the paint rather thickly, it will take a day or two before I can begin laying in the true colors.

In the meantime, I hope to finish "Blue Gate"...or I'll be posting another painting that I've been working on, called "Cactus Wall." Either way, tune in on Thursday and see which painting came together.

I hope you have a good week.

Text and image ©Carol Adamec 2009. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Adding Color...

"Blue Gate" (in progress)
Original painting,
Oil & alkyd on canvas panel
10 x 8"

Following an afternoon of painting, my first new piece of 2009 is starting to take shape, now with its basic colors in place. I'm pretty happy with the overall feeling of light and shadow, too. There are still some color refinements, paint layering, and details to work on; so, you'll see the final version next week.

Also, the painting's title is "Blue Gate." (I have no idea why I typed "Blue Door" in the last post....That's another painting, if it comes to fruition.)

Thanks for taking a moment to look at today's post. Have a great weekend. See you Monday.
Text and image ©Carol Adamec 2009. All rights reserved.