About The Artist

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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, 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.