Spotlight On: Adam Adkison

May 15, 2024

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You teach watercolor but also work in oils. What do you enjoy about working with these media specifically?

Each one has its own particular set of challenges and rewards. With watercolor, everything has to be ready to go before you begin. I liken it to making a stir-fry. You need to have everything chopped and ready before you start because when you start cooking everything happens quickly and a little chaotically, that's where the fun is. With oils you have more time to work and rework, go back and change things which is rewarding and a challenge in its own right.

Your paintings cover a lot of different subjects, how would you sum up your artistic practice?

There are so many interesting things in the world. I don't know how anyone could just stay with one subject. I find everything so fascinating from people to buildings to animals to landscapes to still life, everything is amazing. The great thing about art is you're able to study for hours whatever it is you're painting.

What are some of your favorite still-life objects you like to use when teaching watercolor?

There are a lot of really good subjects for still life, I think metals like brass and bronze are really good for reflecting colors and light. I like glass a lot, I like the refractions that you get from glass and water. Butterflies, those are fun. Flowers of course are fun to paint.

You teach the very popular Botanical Watercolors: Painting the Flower class at CCAE. What are your favorite flowers/plants to use?

If I had to pick one flower to paint it would definitely be roses. They just have so much character. Especially the ones that have a large head with lots of variety inside of it. My second favorite would probably be sunflowers.

What do you enjoy about teaching at CCAE?

By far, the best thing about teaching at the CCAE is the students. The people in Cambridge and the surrounding area are such interesting humans. It's great to work with and get to know my students, definitely the best part.