Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Learning from Others

As I noted, I had the opportunity to attend PAUL JACKSON's workshop in Ocean Springs MS. Paul has been a renowned watercolor artist for years.

I wanted to include his bio information from Squidoo because any description I HAVE WOULD NOT DO IT JUSTICE...but on top of it all...he is an incredible, down to earth person who loves teaching other artists to find their gift:

Paul was honored by the American Watercolor Society with signature membership at the age of 30. He is also a Signature member of the National Watercolor Society. Paul was the Grand Prize winner in the "Paint Your Way to Paris " competition and has been featured as one of the Master Painters of the World in International Artists Magazine.

Jackson's artwork has been on the cover of the Artist's magazine four times in recent years. Other media featuring Jackson 's work include: American Artist, Watercolor magazine, Watercolor Magic, Watercolor Artist, Forbes Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, NPR, CBS News, The Baltimore Sun, The St Louis Post, The Kansas City Star, and TWA's Ambassador Magazine.

Many of Paul's works hangs in private collections, but you can see some examples on display in museums and public buildings.

Although Paul Jackson has an unequalled passion for watercolor, his creative genius has not been limited. In 2001, Jackson unveiled a 30' diameter tiger mosaic on the University of Missouri campus. Paul led hundreds of volunteers in assembling more than 420,000 Italian glass tiles for the project. Jackson 's painting, "Not Exactly Front Row Center" was recreated as the stage design for the musical "Porterphiles" at the York theatre in NYC. Paul has also thrice designed Easter eggs for the White House and he designed the Missouri Commemorative State Quarter for the United States Mint.

In 2008, Jackson was the featured speaker at the International Watercolor Masters Invitational in Lushan , China , during the Olympic Games. In 2009 he served as the invited juror for the American Watercolor Society's 142nd annual international exhibition.

Years ago I attended his first book signing. Throughout those years I continued to create acrylic paintings, using bright, fully saturated color but could not seem to get the effect I was looking for when painting water and glass.

This year, next month actually, I turn 45. While reading through my journals I was reminded of the impact Paul's work made on me, more probably then as a writer than an artist, when I lived on the Gulf Coast. My son who is now 17, was five years old.

After researching his whereabouts I saw that he would be holding a PAINTING LIGHT AND GLASS WORKSHOP near my hometown, not to mention on the Gulf Coast. I felt it was a GREAT opportunity to slip away with my husband (we have four children) AND fulfill a life dream...or at least something that had been giving me a huge "nudgin" over the years.

So I went. And since I returned home I have been transformed as a painter, even look at trees and leaves differently.

Two weeks after going to Paul's workshop, I guess because of the '45" thing, I attended an acrylic workshop taught by a fellow artist in my hometown of Birmingham.


She has a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STYLE AND TECHNIQUE. I loved her texture and layering of color.

Once again, in my studio, I found myself looking at MY work in different ways.

HOW EXCITED I was to find an artist site called FINE ART AMERICA where not only can I sell my work, create a blog, a web presence, but
I can CONNECT AND LEARN FROM OTHERS. (Click on the title of this blog to go there)

The internet can consume us, I find myself engulfed in great ideas every day.

The KEY is to ABSORB influences from others but the CRUCIAL PART is to TAKE IT TO THE 'DRAWING BOARD/easel/pad" and

Blessings to my fellow CREATIVE ARTISTS. I look forward to learning from and sharing with you here and on fineartamerica.

Allison Adams

Thursday, April 21, 2011


It has been about a month since my workshop with Paul Jackson and watercolor has sucked me IN. (THE TOP PAINTING

The process is completely opposite that of acrylic, where you start with darks and add highlights.
With watercolor there is as much to the planning as there is to the process of building up from lights to darks.

I wanted to share a few of my latest. These photos will be updated when I actually scan the paintings.
(a bit of glare on the glass of one) but none-the-less....A NEW START.

This month I will be working on some architectural ones as I get back to my "interior design" roots.
I think back to how much I enjoyed completing my senior renderings when I was at Alabama. I had forgotten how much
time I spent with markers and colored pencils bringing spaces to life.

Sometimes to RE discover what you might have known all along you have to venture off into the WORLD to find your way back.

Oprah yesterday had a brilliant producer,Tom Shadyac (Nutty Professor and numerous other hits) who CHECKED OUT OF THE WORLD and into LIFE. He has done a documentary called I AM. He has given most of his millions away, sold his 30,000 sf home and lives in a little ONE ROOM house down on the beach...where he says he has everything he needs. His house was filled with nicknaks and furniture, paintings and closets filled with clothes. He said he was ADVISED to death. (had a live in house staff, a career advisor, a financial advisor). He tossed them all to live HIS LIFE.

How refreshing it would be to not have to spend time overseeing mundane "household organizing" and to wake up, hop on a bike (no more worry with these gas prices), and see where God leads you that day.

I was sold on the idea that I was to graduate college, get married, have 2.5 kids (boy first girl second), live in a nice home (with the right antiques~ which I rebelled and have NOT), drive a BMW (I opted for the 280ZX because it talked), collect silver and dress the children in french hand sewn gowns (oops is it EASTER? looks like we will be wearing JEANS AT THE LAKE).

WHO ARE WE? And what else could we do with all of this STUFF.

I gave away a pair of jeans the other day to someone who looks far cuter than me in them...she was so appreciative..been evicted from her apartment. Turned her life completely around and is on fire for God. She just got a job and was precious in an outfit she put together from a thrift store. (plus some SEVEN jeans I had inherited from my sister). (Mom recently expressed her concern that I HATE TO SHOP). Must have been all those KIDDY CORNER TRIPS that turned me off every year before school started.

I have cleaned out my closet ONCE since I was 18 (moved it quite a few times (average of once a year since college) but never threw much out. When I lived in Gulf Shores my sister came to help me CULL. We threw out ball gowns (used for the countless MUNT-GUMRY functions), and a long leather coat (still wish I had that one...think my ex husband's wife coveted that one and the worn Louis Vuitton bags I was tossing-I let her have them) (yes, quite ironic I know). I still have a blast every month when I get my IN STYLE magazine and can go in and pull out SOMETHING that is similar...even though it might be from 8 years prior!

But I wonder, WHEN DID I BECOME THIS person who follows the fashion trends, who bought two BMW's? who dresses up when flying "just in case" (still never figured out in case of what) (lessons drilled in my head by former "influences")

This past weekend, Chad and I were at Talladega, in our RV for two nights (parked beside his dads luxurious motor coach)...two glorious nights...living out of a duffle, with a fridge and a cooler, no kids, no worries, no dress code, cowboy boots and jeans, music, a full moon. I wasn't even really a racecar fan, even though one of those drivers was in our hunting club. But we happened upon two tickets for the front row at the starting line and I have to say, even with scrapnel (sp?) flying and engines blaring enough to make my ears hurt, it was another of those experiences I will never forget.


Someone asked me recently, "don't you wish you had saved your money when you and Chad did all that traveling to Europe (twice), Costa Rica, California, Miami...wherever else some "event was taking place"?"

My response was "UH NO, so that we could have watched it slip away in an account when the stocks went down? Because Chad and I are BOTH and would have invested similarly to the way we EAT, TRAVEL and RELAX. It would have been high risk and GONE."

After our camping hiatus, we came home to a house that has been house-keeper LESS for two weeks, not to mention the mess the kids made while we were away...the dogs tracking in and out, grumpy attitudes from lack of sleep.

As my oldest son plans for college, wishing for a career in music, I see what a GREAT talent he would be as a doctor. Everything, including his AP Biology grades (and the fact that he LIKES it), say so. Yet I have to step back and say, what will that do to the person God made who at 8 years old knew he could create incredible music and proclaimed "I want to be a praise and worship leader".

Only time will tell, but for now...I am saying FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS! Because no matter what, whether at midlife or later...


I know I intend to dig out and dust mine off~