Every Which Way, 24×36, acrylic
Pattern in Blues, 24×36, acrylic
Time of Day, 24×24, acrylic.
Its taken me some time to really embrace the idea of working in a series. I understand the concept and can readily see it in other artists’ work, but have consistently had difficulties adopting this idea in developing my own work, until now. The examples above show my recent attempts at exploring elements of my work and producing new works that embody aspects related to one another. Sort of like a family of children who look very similar, but are unique in their own way. Here’s where it has been tough for me. My background as an illustrator has given me broad skills to create just about anything. But that is not necessarily helpful in my career as a painter. Here’s what I’ve learned.
My extended family reaches far into the world as we have welcomed the changes life brings, and all is well. Marriages, divorces, friends, godchildren, distant relatives–not unlike many of you I’m sure. As relationships relate to my artwork though it sometimes appears as though I’ve adopted children from another planet, never mind my own world. So I have found it helpful to model my new found attention to working in a series after my family. Now it makes a bit more sense as I develop new art—as I choose which aspects to retain, and which to remember as an important lesson.
Finding the core element of the New England landscape (my lifelong home area) has been key to creating an armature/home where I can then change details while keeping a foundation in place. I’ll proceed into the New Year 2017 with a blueprint–one where I will still be able to enjoy serendipitous happenings as I evaluate new ideas to keep my family of work warm and cozy.
Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year. And as always, thank you for your continued support.
(If interested in any of these artworks, consult my website http://www.anntrainordomingue.com or contact me directly.)
You missed a spot. Not what I want to hear when I thought the job was finished. But as a fine art painter, missing a spot can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
At times in my thoroughness to completely finish a work I find I want to rework areas no matter if they are small or large. Just want to go in and tweak or wholesale change that line or edge or shift a color and modify a shape. It is a very tricky thing to do near the end of a painting process. So many aspects have already found a balance–not perfection–just a balance of color, shapes, textures, line and form. To ‘fix’ something after the major phase of developing a painting has passed can invite some real questions–can I match that color, what brush did I use to get that texture, why didn’t I see that earlier, why did I think that bold line looked good yesterday and not today? And many more.
If a painting has a problem ‘holiday’ of some sort, I take a holiday too, and wait a few days before ‘fixing/correcting/adjusting/leaving-it-alone’. My mind has so many things whirring around while painting–so many decisions being made at once–that getting back into that mindset I had while doing the original work is almost impossible. If I could it would help me make the right decisions to push this painting toward the finish line.
So taking a break to reevaluate the piece is my answer. Sometimes its as long as a lunch break or as long as a year. My sort of ‘time out’ for a piece as I determine whether it is ready for prime time or not. Or as in a few cases it has been returned to me unsold from a gallery and I have a new chance to work out the holidays or paint it over if I believe it is just not good enough.
Lesson learned: Take your time when deciding how to improve your work. Sometimes a holiday is actually the uniqueness of a piece and doesn’t need fixing at all. Time will tell.
The finished painting is now available at Gallery Antonia in Chatham on Cape Cod. www.galleryantonia.com Working Days End, acrylic on canvas, 36×36.
Opening reception tonight May 19th, 5:30-7:30 at Copley Society of Art, Newbury Street, Boston, MA. Meet and visit with six recent Copley Fellows who completed month-long residencies in either Cape Ann or Provincetown, MA. Stop in or visit the gallery, show is up through June. copleysociety.org
This piece in the show titled, “Sketched Around” 8×10 ink and watercolor, has a little history but nothing a redraw can’t fix. This is about a view from my studio that disappears in summer with the solidness of fully leafed out trees, and then appears again as the leaves fall in autumn. The tree structures stay while the colors change. This ink and stick sketch/drawing tries to give my impression the this movement of the seasons. If you look closely you’ll see a building/structure through the branches. It brings a bit of geometric contrast to the scratchy branching lines.
Autumn Near and Far, acrylic and fabric on canvas, 52×32, gallery wrap, Ann Trainor Domingue
Opening reception for Copley Fellows exhibition, Thursday, May 19, 2016 at Copley Society of Art, 136 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 5:30-7:30. Meet six Copley Fellows who were selected to complete an artist residency at either Cape Ann, MA or the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. Talk with the artists and discover how our experiences have influenced our current works. Some of us have realized big changes while others are more subtle. We’d love to have you visit the opening, chat about our work, and learn a thing or two about what makes each of us unique. Thank you.
Participating artists are: Ann Trainor Domingue, Barbara Leiner Greenstein, Eli Cedrone, Abby Lammers, Page Railsback and Gail Sauter.
Life Tapestry, 52×52, acrylic and fabric on canvas
Some artworks take on a life of their own where they are directing you instead of you directing them. This one is a perfect example. I thought I would do a large piece of a couple walking together toward the woods with light coming through tree branches. Probably using fairly realistic colors and imagery. As I was working my mind went toward a larger idea of ‘lifetime’ and how we all experience different things that add up to our unique experience in life.
I believe because I had been experimenting with fabrics for other works the idea of using the colored swatches at the left of this painting to suggest the colorful experiences of life crept into my psyche as I worked on this piece. It became a focal area and a complement to the verticality of the trees. I repeated colors into the tree branches to echo the swatches. The two figures are purposely secondary as their proportion to the bigness of their life is surprising. I hope we all get to feel that our lives have been well lived and well loved.
Lesson learned during this process, I need to talk with my work to find out how things are going. It’s probably not going where I thought at the beginning. And its ok.
And so ends 2015, a tough year with losing elder family members, illnesses, and generally a sense of starts and stops, of undecidedness (is that a word?) Ever the optimist I look forward to 2016 with a renewed sense of hope for peace in the world, good health for all, and the ability to work on my art to create with the gifts God gave me. Blessings to you all for a Happy New Year.
The artwork above is a defining piece created late 2015 that combines my ideas of using recycled material, weaving together family and friends, finding the abstract imagery that speaks to my soul, and boldly going where I have never gone before. I know I know. It’s Star Trek not Star Wars. Cheers to 2016.