Thursday, December 4, 2014

Art Market this Saturday

Lots of quality artwork will be on offer from the membership. See you there!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


My "Sno-Cone Cart" in the recent ASTT Annual November Exhibition received the "Best in Show" award. It was totally unexpected and a great honour.

Sno-Cone Cart, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 14". © Mary Adam
The painting is from a photograph I took back in 2005. It's the first time I've painted a car for public viewing, something I wouldn't attempt without a photo reference because I'm clueless about cars. I've painted a couple more since then because they are everywhere in our lives. I'm actually getting to like painting them but doubt I'll ever be able to identify makes and models by sight. I'd quicker identify a bird or a flower, cars are a step too far!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

November exhibition

These two are on show in the ASTT annual November exhibition until November 22nd. There's an online catalogue for the exhibition here.

Untitled, 2014, oil on canvas 12 x 12 ins.
© Mary Adam

Sno-Cone Cart, 2014, acrylic on canvas 18 x 14 ins.
© Mary Adam

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Newsletter due soon

Newsletter #6 is underway and should be emailed out in the next few weeks. If you are not already a subscriber, click here to subscribe (it's free). Sample issues are available here.

The Drawing etc blog has taken a bit of a back seat lately, partly because of the newsletter, and also because of the ASTT quarterly newsletter for which I'm writing a short piece. Somehow there's just less time available for everything. The online courses I've been doing are taking time as well, more about that in the newsletter.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Who shall say ...

Walden Pond, image from Wikipedia

 "Who shall say what prospect life offers to another? Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?"

-- Henry David Thoreau for the whole book. The quote is from the first chapter, "Economy".

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Next newsletter soon

Newsletter No. 5 will be going out early next week. If you would like to receive it and are not already subscribed, you can sign up here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Art Market this Saturday

I will have a table at this Saturday's Easter Art Market with selected work including some new work. Why not come on down, it should be an enjoyable event.

When: Saturday April 26, 2014, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: The Trinidad and Tobago Art Society's headquarters, Jamaica Boulevard, Federation Park

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mystery tree

Mary Adam, photo of fruit of Mahogany tree
Mystery seed pod
In the grounds of the ASTT building in Federation Park,  there's a tree with an unusual woody seed pod or capsule. I picked one up from the ground under the tree some time last year and asked around but nobody knew what it was. This is the seed pod:

Mary Adam, leaves of the Mahogany tree

I was there again a couple of weeks ago and tried to reach a sprig of leaves to help with identifying the tree. The branches were just beyond my reach but fortunately there was a man nearby and I asked him if he could break off a piece for me, which he kindly did. Not only that, when I asked him if he knew what the tree was, he absolutely did ... he said it's a Mahogany tree! This was a great surprise and unexpected, like meeting a famous person. I looked it up later on the internet and scanned the leaves as a record.

Evidently mahogany in general has been overlogged and is on the verge of extinction in many areas.

(P.S. If the blog seems to be more about botany than about art lately, this is temporary, just a few observations which I wanted to share).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Reflecting on the time-based Plumbago

This mini-project consisted of taking a photograph of one flower-head every afternoon from about the same place until it finished flowering. Flowering lasted for twelve days and I photographed it every day except Day 11. If the light wasn’t good from one angle I would move slightly to get a better view. The branch moved around a bit too. On one occasion a gust of wind blew it up against another branch where it stuck because of the stickiness of the sepals. Later it freed itself. Also it grew longer and sank down nearer to the ground over the twelve days of observation.

Time-based Plumbago Days 1-12, click to enlarge
I was curious what the daily photograph would elicit, if anything. One obvious conclusion is that it’s a form of observation with the main value being that the photographs form a record. Just the existence of a record has value because usually there is no record.

I observed something I had not noticed before, which is that the flowers come out in tiers starting at the base, approximately one tier (or turn of the spiral) per day. On this flower-head some of the earlier flowers died off before those at the tip came out. Some of them were knocked off by rain. On sunny days the small butterflies noted a few months ago were out in force.

I thought about how plants operate on a different time-scale to us, how they work over an extended time period of days, months and years, which makes some changes almost imperceptible without a written or visual record.  I thought of Stone Age people in Ireland five thousand years ago who worked out the movements of the sun throughout the year and recorded their observations and predictions in various structures and rock drawings, an incredible feat considering they had no sophisticated instruments. To a Stone Age astronomer, the fact that certain flowers come out at the rate of one tier a day could be crucial information. All sorts of seemingly minor changes in the environment could contribute to the ability to arrive at correct conclusions which would then enable them to predict seasons and prepare for them. To observe the changes in the angle of the rising sun over the course of many years, to draw the correct inferences – it’s nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Back to the Plumbago … the buds opened, the flowers came out and lasted for a few days before withering. That brings to mind the cycle of life and the flow of life. Life flows … as long as there’s flow, there’s life. When the flow stops the organism dies. Everything must keep moving. Can one say that life equals flow?

Geranium opening by Andrew Dunn, from Wikipedia

Finally, time lapse photography is a wonderful tool for observing plants. As the Wikipedia article says, “The effect of photographing a subject that changes imperceptibly slowly, creates a smooth impression of motion.” Above, a time-lapse photograph of a geranium courtesy Andrew Dunn. It shows the flower opening over two hours compressed into a few seconds.