Artist StatementCreativity is chaos; it’s a desperate and important affirmation. My thoughts, when they are my own, are fixed on a moment in time, always when I know I’ll jump from a nervous anticipation into a frenetic fit of limitless energy, the kind needed to embark on the next piece. When I feel it I need to push forward and release what I know will result in some entirely unknown direction, but with an intuition that propels me from one moment to the next. My process is experimentation with little or no preparation from the beginning – just an indescribable need to explore further. At times I find myself completely taken over by a process so powerful it seems to hijack my efforts at any careful control, so I relent, and that’s when it happens: a freedom from concern, timeless moments of confident automation I only dream I could have in the rest of my life. Initially its pace is quick with only moments of study. I become an observer in a sense, with little or no input into the direction of the process. An intuition overtakes any doubts and then a concrete direction reveals itself with endless possibilities to choose from; then the pace quickens and I emerge from the first stage of the process. I may scrutinize my work for hours or days or even months before deciding I’m finished. I believe, at 44, I’ve just begun my journey as an artist. The direction in art is infinite and limited only by the imagination, yet propelled by the will to believe that beauty and meaning in art waits to be revealed by those willing to explore it.
My name is Mark Raymond Adams and I’m an artist. At 47 I am young at my craft. Basically, I feel I’ve really just started out and that’s what I’ll continue to believe. My efforts have been set back by my circumstances many times over. I’m referring to my ongoing battle with mental illness and the challenges it forces me to cope with. I am very guarded about this subject because of the stigma associated with being mentally ill. The truth is, the intensity of my artwork may be directly related to these struggles, even if I choose to deny them. I see the world in a different light than most people I know. This perspective shaped my childhood in rural Massachusetts, and continued to influence different stages of my life in Florida, New Mexico, Michigan, and finally Maryland. Currently I live with my family in western Maryland, where I’m employed as a part-time maintenance worker at a higher-education facility – a job I thoroughly enjoy, since I love to fix/build things and I’m good at it. Secretly, though, I spend my days fantasizing about my next painting or sculpture. My dream is to make a living as a professional artist and to have one of my pieces on display at a fine arts museum. My first show was a solo one in Michigan in which I exhibited 25 paintings and did very well. I’ve exhibited at several other galleries, and have had some success. In regard to professional training, I’m mostly self-taught except for a year of art courses at a community college. I’ve been the recipient of three different grants aimed at furthering my attempts to become a professional artist as an occupation. All were met with lots of enthusiasm and huge expectations, but as fate would have it, I’m still looking for whatever it is that I need to move forward and excel. At present, I’m working primarily in acrylic on canvas. I have done works in charcoal and colored chalks which I enjoy very much. Sculpture was my first preoccupation – an obsession, I would call it – working in clay, wood and stone. As I said, I believe that my story is really just beginning. I am eager to see how it will unfold.