Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter

Making Hay

Here’s a Plein Air piece featuring a field near Duluth, GA. It was painted as part of the Paint Duluth event in 2017. The odd thing about Plein Air events is that when the sun comes up you just go paint. There are really only two full days to paint and you’ve got to get out and make the most of the time.

The weather was threatening rain all day but I got my gear together and proceeded to try and get something in. Out of nowhere the clouds parted and for a nice two hour window it was just perfect painting weather. So I was literally trying to make hay while the sun shined.

This was one of those moments too where things just clicked. I had been working like crazy on painting in the months leading up to this and it was so refreshing to be able to let it flow out and onto the canvas.

Adam Houston Plein Air painting

Here’s a view of the painting in progress. I had stamped a 12″ x 16″ linen panel, but when I saw the view I felt like doing a strong horizontal would work better. So I focused on the middle, knowing that I’d trim off the top and bottom.


Brimscombe Hill Cow

I was in England a couple of years ago and we spent a good bit of time in the Cotswolds. We stayed near the Minchinhampton Common which is managed by the National Trust, and one wild feature of that area is that the cows go wherever they want. Hundreds of years ago, as the story goes, the commoners negotiated the ability to graze their cattle on the land and it’s a right that the locals have held onto since then.

There are countless footpaths in that area and I met this guy while on a walk. I painted this a few times but ended up editing out some of the other cows to make the overall composition stronger. I love the way the cow emerges from the shadows and faces the light.

Sunlit Barn

Here’s a painting of a barn not too far from where we live. I had every intention of painting this on-site but it was so incredibly windy that there was no way to make it happen. I’m talking a “blow your easel over immediately” type of day, so I grabbed some photos and worked on this a few times in the studio.

This particular painting was fun because of the leafless trees in the back. The light was really hitting those but because it’s essentially a bunch of twigs from 200 feet away you have to view it as a mass. To achieve the transparency and luminous look of the branches I used a warm underpainting and then painted the sky around the underpainting.

Waffle House #127

This painting is of a Waffle House, #127 to be specific. My family took a trip to Bald Head Island last summer and stopped outside of Columbia, SC to refuel and get a bite to eat. This beauty was right by where we stopped. I love painting Waffle Houses (what is the plural of Waffle House BTW?) This one in particular features some pretty thick paint. I’m trying to stay loose and keep things painterly.

Man, it’s good to be back. It’s hard to believe that the last time I really posted on this site was over two years ago. That’s crazy! I’ve been doing a lot of painting and it’s time to get back in the groove. My goal is to post a new painting each week. So no more 100 per year (whew) but I’m still gonna stay in the groove.

Barnyard Rooster

I had a few other chicken shots from 2011 and wanted to try this guy. I loved painting the high key colors on this one. The colors looks crazy if you focus on them but it works (I hope) as a whole.

Well, this is it for 2015. Another 100 in the books. I’m going to take a week off and then try to keep on painting. I feel like I feel like I’ve learned so much over the last 45 days and don’t want to lose that momentum. Happy new year!!!

Orange with Two Leaves

I was running out of gas with the cows and saw this orange at our local grocery store. The orange color on this was so intense that I had a hard time mixing a color that was accurate.

Sunlit Cow

Here is the last of the cows for the year. These were so fun to paint and I’ll be revisiting them in 2016!

Cows in a Field

Mixing it up a bit, here are two cows in a field. These guys were so much fun to paint and I’m loving the warm and cool grays when painting these cows.

Lovely Lane Chapel

I wanted to revisit No. 320 from earlier in the year and redeem that awful painting. This one is just a little bit better. I’m gonna be posting daily through the end of the year to hit 100.


Here’s the last painting I did during my workshop with James Richards. I felt a little goofy painting something like this during an event like that, but my daughter had requested a painting of “bunny” and I wanted it to be a good one. As with the others, James helped me see the colors that I did not pick-up on and made it better in so many ways.

This painting takes me back to No. 18 from way back in 2010. We’ve moved on from baby shoes, but all I can still see is her growing up way too fast. I’m glad we’ll have this one as a record of these days.