Adam O’Day may be best known for his colorfully unique cityscapes, especially those of Boston’s skyline. So much so that in 2016 his painting, “Transit,” won Boston’s “Portrait of a City” contest. The Mayor’s Office purchased his work and gave prints to visiting diplomats and distinguished guests as gifts.
What sets his cityscapes and landscapes apart is his use of lush, thick, bold skylines, often including pastels, like pink, purple, turquoise and burnt oranges. Often the buildings are darker or more solid in color — but the streetscapes, including cars, and the horizons — are wistful, emotional, offering both a vehicle for light and warmth.
“I love painting in oils,” O’Day said. “But I’ll use anything, really. Oils have that traditional feel and look that no other medium comes close to having. Oils are the gold standard in visual art and painting. For me it’s their depth and pigment quality.”
According to O’Day, his process for large-scale work “tends to be very physical and satisfying. I start by stapling a huge canvas to my studio wall. I’ll block in and get the composition worked out. That dries for a week, while I build the stretcher. The following months are small sessions, addressing changes and smaller details.”