Though now remembered for his luminous watercolors, Mark Adams began his career as a designer of tapestries, as well as stained glass pieces for liturgical buildings in America. He was also skilled in a variety of art forms, including mosaics, printmaking, drawing, and oil painting. In 1975, Adams grew frustrated with his craft and his lack of complete control over the creative process, and devoted himself to painting in the hopes of creating small, intimate works. Adams realized that with watercolor, he could best apply his knowledge and techniques of working in flat planes of luminous and translucent color. His favorite subjects were quotidian or nostalgic objects or scenes borrowed directly from his own life and memories.