Hugh was born in Goroke, Victoria but has lived in Adelaide for nearly 60 years. After graduating High School he went to Teachers College and became a secondary school art teacher. He taught for 15 years at various high schools around South Australia. He always felt that he would rather be making the art not just teaching it, but it became a part time affair although it was always in the back of his mind that one day he would 'get back' to painting. He only really began painting again in about 2004/2005 and is attempting to move away from the use of photos for inspiration in th e'Drawn From Life' series. His works show changes in technique and style as he searches for the direction that the art is showing him. Recent paintings show a vibrancy in colour in an effort to capture something of the mood of the moment represented.
Hugh says this about his art: "People and what they are doing has always been fascinating to me and is a major part of what is in my artwork. I consider the depiction of the human form to be the pinnacle and greatest challenge in art. And I am discovering that it is the passion and vitality of life that I want to capture in my paintings. So I use acrylics because they allow me to 'underpaint', then quickly, dry or semi-dry to 'overpaint' in transparent colour or opaque. Multiple outline and form enables me to suggest the vibrancy and energy of living, moving things. People are a major focus of my paintings. Those moments of total absorption and passion with which people do things. The people depicted are not stationary, but moving and vital. They are alert and passionate. The colour and texture, the rhythm and the composition built up through vigorous paint application aim to capture some special moments."
James Hazell Adamson b1829 (Scotland) - d1902 (Adelaide) (Relationship great uncle)
Portrait and marine painter, lithographer and professional photographer. Worked mainly around Adelaide and Melbourne. 1857 awarded a prize of 10 guineas at the inaugural exhibition of the South Australian Society of Arts. Victorian Industrial Society 1857 awarded a certificate of merit for ambrotypes (Pictures on glass). Early 1870's, Adelaide Society of Arts awarded the society's major annual prize of 10 guineas. to J.H. Adamson for an oil painting of the 'Ladybird' steamer near the wreck of the 'Admella'. Awarded a certificate of merit in 1875 by the NSW Academy of Art for a 'still life of melons'.
Gwen BARRINGER (née ADAMSON, Gwendoline l'Avance) b1882 (Adelaide) - d1960 (Adelaide) (Relationship: great aunt) Painter | Printmaker | Teacher of Art | Artist (painter)
Painted mostly water colours, still life and landscape. Stood up for artists rights around the end of the second world war, claiming that artist's incomes should be averaged over a few years, similar to farmers.
Ross Fifeshire Adamson (Relationship grandfather) b1852 (Kapunda) - d1952 (Adelaide)
Drew cartoons for The Bulletin, The Express, The Journal, (latter two merged), The Register and the Prince Alfred College Chronicle. Studied painting under Hans Heysen (later Sir) . My family still holds some of his paintings and he sold several.