Michael Adams Solo Exhibition at BAYarts: Chiaroscuros

Michael Adams, Fate, new media mezzotint-30 X 24 inches.

I received a BFA from Washington University School of Fine Arts in 1984 with a major in illustration and minors in painting and printmaking. I currently teach adult watercolor and middle school graphic design at BAYarts. I have spent the last 39 years working in commercial design while continuing my own creative explorations. The one constant in my work was realism. I left nothing to the viewer’s imagination. As I’ve grown older, I’ve felt a growing need for a new artistic challenge: to break free from the constraints of realism and delve into the realm of imagination and emotion. The decision to explore abstraction at this time in my career may seem unexpected or even unconventional. However, this new direction in my artistic journey comes from a deep desire to push the boundaries of my creativity and challenge myself as an artist.

Michael Adams, Solitude, new media mezzotint 30 X 24 inches.

I left behind the traditional methods of printmaking to explore the world of digital or new media printmaking. I bring my intimate knowledge of presses, inks, tarlatan, and solvents to the computer. I developed layers of texture to create different aquatint and mezzotint effects, just as we would on a zinc plate with acid. I cover my image in a solid black and use erasers to wipe my “plates,” or images, to get that soft glow of the print being wiped correctly. I usually start with a photo or drawing, working and reworking to achieve the mood and depth that I envision. However, as in traditional printmaking, I do proofs to see how the image prints and usually need to make adjustments. This new digital process gave me the confidence to work abstractly.

Abstraction, with its emphasis on form, color, and expression, provides the perfect avenue for this exploration. It allows me to venture into new territories and play with texture and shape in ways that I never have before. I can let my intuition take over. This newfound freedom has allowed me to tap into a deeper level of creativity, sparking a renewed sense of passion within me. I no longer control every aspect of what the viewers see, but allow them into the image to make conscious and unconscious decisions about what they see. Viewers experience not only the image, but also the marks on the surface of the “metal” plate that constructs the image, thus evoking an emotional connection between the viewer and the artwork.

28795 Lake Road

Bay Village, Ohio 44140




Michael Adams Solo Exhibition: Chiaroscuros, October 13–November 4

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