Adam Baker's work to be featured at Karen Wray Gallery

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Like most of Adam Baker’s paintings, it all started with a gunfight.

Baker, a painter who commonly depicts Western themes and is active in the reenactment scene in New Mexico, dreamed he was racing across the desert with a friend. They were reenacting a gunfight scene on horseback, giving chase across a dusty landscape. Guns were blazing and it was a chase reminiscent of any cowboy movie.

There was just one problem: Their horses were metal.

They were also coin-operated.

“I woke up laughing.” Baker explains. “I thought, ‘I have to paint that.’”

Today, the “Quarter” Horse series contains six paintings and will be a prominent part of Adam Baker’s upcoming exhibit at the Karen Wray Gallery. The artist is considering expanding the series out and developing a calendar (the sale of which hopefully won’t require patrons to pay in quarters).

Humor is nothing new to Baker. He’s perhaps best known for his emotional portrayals of Old West cowboys and gunfighters. But he’ll add light touches and humor whenever it feels appropriate. And if a funny Jack Russell Terrier catches his eye, he’s just as likely to make it a subject of his art. His inspiration is strictly “whatever inspires me lately.”

“’Quarter’ Horse Cowboys and Other Cool Stuff” will be Adam Baker’s first solo exhibit. The show will contain about 14 pictures of varying subjects, depending on piece completion date. There will be plenty of gunfighters to appease longtime fans.

But for people looking for something new, Baker’s latest project is sure to please. His next project, an homage to the ghost town Hermosa, will be 3-feet by 5-feet.

Hermosa was a ghost town located seven miles west of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. It was founded by J.C. Plemmons in 1883, who likely saw the potential in building a town close in proximity to the Palomas mining camp. The town was wiped away by a flash flood in 1889. The land is owned by a private party as part of a ranch.

A picture of the now-decimated Hermosa inspired the painter to get to work. Baker was drawn to the photo after seeing it being used in his daughter’s school history project. The photo depicts J.C. Plemmons, to whom Baker is related by marriage.

Baker’s current timeline for completing the painting may lead to the painting not being a part of his first solo exhibit.

Patrons will be able to view the massive project on Baker’s website if it is not completed on the exhibit’s timeline. No matter what pieces are part of the show, Baker’s ready to show his stuff. “I’m just really looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be fun.”

Indeed, it seems there will be plenty of horses (real and mechanical) to appease any Western art fan at Baker’s show.
Baker’s first solo exhibit will be at the Karen Wray Gallery, located at 1247 Central Ave., Ste. D2, Los Alamos, from April 6-May 6. For questions, call 660-6382.

There will be an opening reception from 5-7p.m. April 6 and the artwork will be on display throughout the month.

Samples of the artist’s work can be viewed at Biographies-in-oil.com.