Adam Blanks, left, and his father Marvin pose in front of Adam’s piece which won best in show for a new artist.
Adam Blanks, left, and his father Marvin pose in front of Adam’s piece which won best in show for a new artist.
Philadelphia native Adam Blanks will host an art show at the historic train depot this Friday starting at 5 p.m.

Blanks, the son of Marvin and Mary Louise Blanks and a 1996 graduate of Philadelphia High School, is happy to be host his first solo show in his hometown.

"I did another show in August and won best in show for a new artist," he said.

After graduating high school, Blanks attended Millsaps for a year before transferring to Colorado State University in 1998. He graduated in 2001 with a bachelor's of arts degree in graphic design and illustration.

From there he went to work at a sculpture foundry in Colorado as a metal chaser.

"I had to round out welds and pockmarks," he said. "It was fun and helped me with my shapes."

Despite working with metal, Blanks will be featuring 20 to 25 of his original oil paintings at the depot on Friday night from 5-9 p.m. These works will be a variety of sizes, frames and subject matter.

He calls his work "graphic abstraction impressionism" and describes it as "fast and loose."

"The subjects vary from planes, train and tractors to people and landscapes," he said. "I'll paint anything but I normally look for something that has energy, like a tractor or gunslinger. Something that already has potential energy in it."

Of all the pieces he will be displaying, Blanks says his favorite is always his most recent.

Each one gets better and better, he said, noting he recently completed a tractor piece that could be ready for the show.

He will also feature portraits of famous Mississippi artists George Ohr, Williams Faulkner and Otis Rush.

His works will also be for sale.

Blanks recalls learning to love painting from three teachers: Lynn Ferguson, Jan Thomas and Bill Lauderdale, saying the three were integral to his pursuit to learn.

He started with watercolors, which he says helped "loosen him up."

After college Blanks took a 12 year hiatus from painting but starting this past January has worked to get back in shape.

"I've done one or two a week since New Year's," he said. "It's fun to hit the ground running like that and finding what works and learning on the fly."

Helping him is renowned Colorado painter George Coll, known for his landscape painting.

Blanks visits Coll's studio and paints alongside others under his tutelage.

While Coll is known for his watercolors, Blanks prefers oils.

"The possibilities are better and there's more versatility," he said. "But I still love watercolors."

All in all Blanks is happy with his life and enjoys painting every day.

"I've kept the fire lit," he said. "It's the only thing I would be happy doing."

The public is invited to Blanks' show at the historic train depot on Friday, Oct. 18 from 5-9 p.m.