New Blog – Archiving the Old


As I move into a new phase of my career, I have decided to close my plasticpumpkin blog (the blog you’re reading right now).

It will remain up as a readable archive since I know many visitors enjoy the older articles, but I will no longer be adding fresh posts to it.

If you’re looking for the newest content from me, please drop by:

Ren Adams MFA –

Or my Cascade Project sandbox site –

Hope to see you there!

A Review of the Affordable Art Fair in NYC

Christie Scheele was kind enough to review pieces from The Alchemy of Image series at the Affordable Art Fair in April. Thanks, Christie!

I had a fine time at the Affordable Art Fair in NYC recently. Edgewater Gallery of Middelbury, Vermont featured my work along with eight other gallery artists, so I decided to attend to meet up with friends and collectors.

The quality of the work was overall higher than I had remembered from my last visit, and as I wandered around and connected to the work of several artists on view, I decided to write about some of my favorites.

These bodies of work bring up some thoughts about mixed metaphor in art.  Aspects of complex combinations found in a given piece or body of work are often hard to name individually, since the references are myriad: historical, art historical, nature-based, daily visual stimuli; art forms such as music and literature; and they source many personal experiences and memories embedded in the mind and body.

With representational work, there is a narrative, at…

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More Artifacts – Ink Line Drawings

New art by Ren Adams Art.

Ren Adams - Blog

I always work on little ink drawings I refer to as “artifacts.” They are abstractions of stone, tablets, architecture and archaeological sites, each penned on 3″ x 3″ paper. I have hundreds of them, all waiting for a final presentation form. They also serve another purpose: they get scanned and incorporated into my digital work, or exposed on silk screens and photopolymer plates.

Here are a few I recently completed:


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Spring Drawing Classes in Nob Hill

Drawing Classes

College-Level Art Instruction for Adult Students.
Ongoing classes available for enrollment now.

Instructor: Ren Adams, BFA
Location: Art Studio in Nob Hill (Albuquerque, New Mexico).

Current courses include:

Introduction to Drawing
Intermediate Drawing
Introduction to Pen & Ink
Pointillism (Stippling)
Drawing Studio (Advanced)

Ren Adams Art – Studio Class Listings

Introduction to Drawing
(Drawing Fundamentals)

Current time slots:
Saturday Afternoon Workshops, 1-2 and 2-3 pm.
Thursday Evening Workshops, 6-7 and 7-8 pm.

Ongoing classes! Join in for only $15 per session.

Sign up now!

Whether you’ve taken a class or two on drawing and just want to refine your skills, or if you’ve never even tried to draw a stick figure-this engaging, hands-on course will acquaint the interested student with all the things you need to know to start pencil drawing like a pro! Students will learn about different pencil types, and when to use them, shading, cross-hatching, ellipses, shadowing, layering techniques, lead techniques, erasing techniques, the elements of art, the principles of art, traditional techniques and more. Supplies are provided, but students are encouraged to bring their own pencils, and a drawing pad so that they can practice at home.

This is an energetic, hands-on art class for people of all artistic levels.

The content of this course is college-level, but don’t let that scare you away if you’ve never drawn before. When I say that, I mean you will receive intelligent, useful, thoroughly practiced and researched information of the caliber you might receive in a college-level drawing course, without the pressure to be perfect!

We will primarily use pencil (including discussion of various pencil densities), but will also cover charcoal and drawing crayons and some ink.

With all workshops, some materials are supplied. You will have access to a variety of drawing materials and papers, but students are encouraged to bring their own favorite drawing sets, or a new set if you think you will be doing this for a while. Also, students are encouraged to buy a sketchbook, but paper will be provided. The sketchbook will encourage you to work outside of class.



Intermediate Drawing

For intermediate to more advanced students who are past the basics. This course focuses on developing an individual vocabulary of mark-making.

We will investigate more advanced techniques than the fundamentals classes.

Thursdays, 5-6 pm. Additional times will also be available.

$20 per class.

Sign up now!

Intro to Pen & Ink Drawing 

Ongoing workshops. Thursdays, 6-7 pm. Additional times will be available.

$20 per class – (Includes all materials

Start using pen & ink and open a universe of possibilities.

Students will learn about different ink and pen types, when to use them, and how to improve existing pen & ink skills.

Techniques covered include various forms of shading, cross-hatching, ellipses, shadowing, layering techniques, mixed ink techniques, composition with ink, dynamic light and shadow, adapting pencil drawings to ink, and more. Pens and paper are provided, but students are encouraged to bring their own pens and drawing pad so that they can practice at home. This is an energetic, hands-on art class for people of all artistic levels. Classes forming on demand. Ages 17+ For students of any level. Improve existing skills, or acquire new ones! We will also cover brushed ink and India ink techniques.

Sign up now!


Drawing Studio – Advanced

A rigorous, college-level open studio course which encourages the advanced drawing student to develop work within a personal style and with consideration for conceptual and art historical purpose.

Advanced drawing students only.

The open studio format allows students to bring project proposals, then work to achieve their ideas with college-level assistance and critique. Anything is possible!

Current students who have worked their way through fundamentals classes may be invited to be part of the advanced class. Otherwise, to be considered for a spot, sign up for the class to indicate interest.
You’ll be asked to submit a small portfolio of work for consideration. Instructions will be emailed to you after signing up.

Current time slots:
Saturdays, 4-5 and 5-6 pm. Plus individualized scheduling on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Course fee: $20

Sign up now!



Print, Printed, Printing III – Printmaking Conference, 2014

Ren Adams - Blog

IMG_2606 Viewers watching a trace monotype demo.

On February 21 and 22 I attended the Print, Printed, Printing III Printmaking Conference held at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico. It’s a two-day demo fest, with exhibition, networking and general printmaking fun hosted by Todd Christensen and the Highlands Printmaking department. 

I also gave an artist talk and a lithography demo as part of the program.

Attendees this year were from a number of regional universities, including:
University of Colorado – Boulder
University of Colorado – Denver
University of Arizona
Highlands University
University of New Mexico
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
Estrella Mountain Community College
University of Wyoming
Lesley University (Art Institute of Boston) – (me!)

IMG_2566 The Highlands University main administrative building.

The Plaza Hotel in the Las Vegas, New Mexico square is where most of the attendees stay. It’s within walking distance to the university.


Downtown Las…

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The Cascade – Integrating Color Palettes (Digital and Natural Collision)

A few notes on color.

Ren Adams - Blog

Color is integral to the formal and conceptual production of my work.

My central palette, a specific, warm range of earth tones,  has parallel roots in the sacred lotus and the ubiquitous desert landscape that permeates my relationship to geographical space.

In developing color, I start with a root value (usually a warm, light yellow with a touch of pink) and modify continuously and fluidly through the printing or painting session. The same core color takes on new character and form as it is manipulated spontaneously (within an understood framework), much like the “atomic” or “informational” units I see in the pieces themselves. The atoms coalesce to form new expressions, then fall back away into components laden with possibility.

The Cascade brought a new angle to my palette:


The nature of video (and the unique time period in which my core material was filmed, with its own  technology-influenced, regional colors)…

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Virtual Gallery of Fall, 2013 Semester Work

Ren Adams - Blog



I’ve created a virtual thumbnail gallery of the mixed media pieces I completed this Fall. You can click on the thumbnail versions to enlarge the work–and I’m adding medium and measurements as I complete documentation.

I am adding all of the work that feels fully resolved / complete this semester, whether I like it, or want to continue pursuing its elements, or not.

The virtual gallery satisfies my left-brained, list-making, coordinating INTJ personality (and offers a nifty way of seeing commonalities that emerge between disparate works).

The Cascade project (over 110 pieces as of this writing) can be viewed any time, as always, in its fluctuating, online gallery-ness.

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