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Featured Artists

Adin Shade


In 1954, Adin moved from Ohio to the Phoenix area and began studies at the Kachina School of Art under the direction of Jay Datus and other noble faculty artists. After a move with his family to Southeastern Arizona in 1972, he furthered his art education by attending Eastern Arizona College at Thacher. It was his enrollment at E.A.C. that encouraged him to take his talented drawing and watercolor techniques seriously. He now works exclusively in the medium of watercolor. Unique handling of space and a variety of textures compose each painting of Adin's. His work is a reflection of the man and his everyday view of life. His watercolors depict soft hues in a tranquil form of beauty, which is always pleasing. His style also displays a feeling of mystical depth and warmth found both in his Native American images and his textured landscapes. "I'm happy to explain my methods and techniques; I believe that having secrets breeds stagnation. Each painting is a new learning experience, and has, I hope, expressed my enthusiasm for the medium. It is a privilege to apply paint to paper and achieve results that people accept and enjoy," says Shade. Adin Shade is a member of the Southwestern Watercolor Society, the Arizona Artists Guild, and is an associate member of the National Watercolor Society and a signature member of the Knickerbocker Association. His work appears in galleries throughout the Southwest.

Adin uses a hot-pressed watercolor paper that is a smooth paper with an extremely tight finish. Adin does not predraw or sketch his work; instead he begins a painting by spraying the central area of the paper with water. The droplets of water are effected by the distance in which they are sprayed. The weather plays a great part in achieving the final result due to humidity or dryness in the air. The weather causes the water and the pigment combination to evaporate at a different rate; thus creating a texture that is always unique. It is never necessary to use salt, as a resist, as most watercolorists find necessary. Adin chooses three to five complementary colors, mixes very concentrated solutions of these, and begins applying them to the dampened paper one color at a time, dripping color onto the surface of the paper from a large brush. As the concentrated color comes into contact with the large water droplets, the color begins to dilute and disperse. If any areas remain uncolored, Adin can overspray or touch in with a wet brush. Once he has the background laid in, he allows everything to dry. He may study the paper for several days, looking at it periodically until he gets a sense of what lies within. At the appropriate moment a decision is reached and Adin picks up his brush. He now has the image that will become his painting.

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