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Posts from the ‘fine art’ Category

The Big Day

17675 The Big Day acryl canv 18x18 sm

The Big Day, acrylic on canvas, 18×18. 

This recent painting was inspired partially by the wedding of my granddaughter combined with a sense of how I feel about marrying my husband more than 20 years ago. Just a sweet feeling of the joy of the day and being able to share it with someone I truly love. I’m not one to let my emotions out easily but in this case it has turned into a bit of a series of works that lets me bring some of these memorable moments to life.

My ongoing series of fishermen and women and their families have been a way for me to present sentiments such as togetherness, love, support, family, constancy, persistence, fun, optimism and faith. It is an authentic-to-me way of adding figurative/people into my work which I have been searching for for years.

I allow real life situations to provide a moment–it just nudges me with a notion of ‘hey, that might make a good way to imagine a relationship’ and away I go. Pick up a sketchbook and draft some designs, then on to a quick watercolor sketch of a composition.

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Sample rough sketch of idea

Once I decide on a design I move quickly to develop a painting and usually paint it in one sitting–or standing. I like the process of committing to an idea and working it through in a day or so. Then I might rework areas after a good night’s sleep. If I feel something is not quite right I wait a few days, stare at it from my old stuffed rocking chair in the studio. I’ll make the adjustments and then it is done. And I move on to another idea.

Here are two other paintings in the series of relationship paintings:

The big day continues to be the best day of my life. I hope you’ve experienced one that stays with you forever, too.

Read about the details on these pieces on my website at www.anntrainordomingue.com

Lesson learned: It’s never too late to have a Big Day. In life, in art. 


NOTE: OPEN STUDIO 2017, NOVEMBER 4 & 5, 10-4. Details/directions on website.

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Cultural Conversations

 

17618 Woven Into Life mixed media acrylic 12x12 sm

Woven Into Life, mixed media acrylic, 12×12 

Its amazing how many things in the news, on television, on websites, on social media feeds, in email, on tablets, and on our phones seem so much more important than things that really matter. Like face to face conversations, talking out loud not in the silence of a phone text, listening to the tone of voice in a conversation can be more meaningful than a long winded conversation. And when looking at artwork a quiet thought about what the artist was intending can be an interesting way to spend a moment or two.

In our digital impersonal age I try to remember to be sure to communicate with family, friends, and strangers in the old-fashioned way. With a smile and a hello, it surprises me how many people don’t expect you to say hello today. But they reply in kind and usually continue the conversation even if it is small talk. Small talk can lead to bigger and better things. And interacting with the thought process of an artist can yield something that matters as well.

Lesson learned: I asked a collector what drew him to this piece of art and he responded with something I didn’t intend in this piece. I intended a couple inside their ‘home’ awaiting the birth of their child and how wonderful and amazing it is. He recognized that too but also more importantly was the dark-skinned ethnicity of the male figure exemplifying a broader world view was what touched him. I just never know. I’m sure the impending birth of another grandchild this week has prompted this post.

 

Real Work of Art Outdoors

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The outdoor art show season is here in New England! Beautiful settings in towns, along the sea and in beautiful parks. But do the attendees appreciate the amount of work it really takes as they wander through the tents? I’ll speak to participants here but attendees will get an idea of the work involved in participating in an outdoor show.

Firstly, decide if these outdoor venues are for you. As an artist, is this how you’d like to spend your time–working in your home studio, or driving to a location maybe hours away, setting up a display in the very early morning, talking and repeating yourself to untold numbers of visitors, or patiently waiting for the occasional visitor to stop by, wondering if the weather will cooperate–sun, rain, wind or other, and of course preparing enough work for your display. Entry fees range from $30.00-over $300.00 per show. Professional tent setups range from 1200. -2000. depending on configuration.

Secondly, decide if your family situation is suited to your traveling and being away every weekend of the summer or at least many weekends. This will obviously impact your relationships with spouse and children. Its best if they are on board with this decision as it will mean a lot of time away and may be stressful on the family.

Thirdly, is your work appealing enough for visitors to purchase on an ‘impulse’ buy? Or do they need more than one interaction with the work and decide not to buy at the show. You can consider doing a series specifically for shows that may be a bit different than your other series or studio work.

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Fourth, are you ready to do the work to learn to sell your work?–since it doesn’t sell itself. Learning how to approach visitors during a show is critical. Visitors like to interact with the artists as you build your fan base. A simple–‘hello, what kind of art are you usually interested in’, or ‘what kind of subject matter do you find appealing’? Yes, you will keep the entire price you receive for a painting rather than splitting a gallery fee which can be as high as 50/50. This is a great part of doing direct sales to your customers. Some shows can be very successful financially for artists who have worked at finding just the right ‘work’ that sells.

Lastly, provide visitors with a way to contact you in the future. Give them a chance to think about how much they loved your work. Provide a flier, web address, social media contacts, note card with art sample or other memorable trinket. A one or two-day show can provide a lot of exposure to new audiences for your work. With so many artists it can be hard to stand out in a crowd of good artists.

Lesson learned: Try the show circuit and decide if all aspects of it make you happy. IF not, find another sales option such as galleries for your work.

You can find me and 40 other artists at the Uncommon Art on the Common, Saturday, August 6th 2016 in Goffstown, New Hampshire. Facebook #UncommonArtontheCommon

Poster UAOC 2016 final 11x17

Blame It On New England

Delicately Powerful

Our local florist shop, Apotheca Tea Shoppe and Flowers in Goffstown, New Hampshire, allowed me to browse and spend an afternoon sketching and photographing (actually taking snapshots) of their beautiful displays of flowers. Quite a colorful afternoon it was. I was developing a new series paintings using flowers, florists, gardeners as my inspirations.

gerber redspeonies In following with my decidedly unconventional approach to design and color, I was looking to work with the color, forms, patterns and textures in an uncommon way. A way that would have viewers say, hmmm, I’ve never seen that before. I was doing as much thinking as photographing and sketching during this process. I don’t begin a process like this with preconceived notions of what I am going to do with the information. What fun would that be? Of course I realize plenty of artists pre-think and I find myself overthinking frequently. But this time I tried NOT to solve the puzzle ahead of time.

I am a bit demanding of my muse–whenever she shows up–I want to have plenty of input for her to work with. A couple of the florists at the shop wound up being part of my inquiry as well although not my intention of using them in this work. But I never know. Even the worst photo can offer the best idea for a painting. 

The photos shown above are great as a reference for shapes, colors, flower angles, reflections and refractions of stems through glass. Not perfect lighting conditions for copying exactly what is shown but more than enough information for me to use to incorporate into a fresh design.

sketches20150306_125047     20150306_151725

The concept of design is first and foremost in my mind when I approach new work. I enjoy the quick process of sketching possibilities for a larger piece. I feel at during this stage I am efficiently running  through ideas before I ‘waste’ time working large on a weakly designed idea. Again my background in graphic design and advertising concepts fit seamlessly into my process.

The final artwork shown below was inspired by this process along with twenty others for a recent show titled, ‘Sunstrokes’. Less detail, sketchy in its application of paint. Not looking labored over. Fresh. Direct. Friendly.

Can’t wait to get back to the studio.

(‘Redheads’, 12×12, acrylic on panel, available at Sullivan Framing, Bedford, NH.)

15407 Redheads acryl fabr canv 12x12 sm

About That Red

14327 Time to Move On 36x18, acryl canv sm

It is never a simple thing, painting. It is always a matter of selection–from color and medium, size and proportion, orientation and surface, brushes or knives, scruffy or smooth, thick or thin, garrish or quiet, thoughtful or bold, clean or complicated. This image of a small red dory is seemingly simple but has so many paint overs it weighs more than you think! It was a challenge to make a surface complex enough to be interesting yet simple enough to have the little dory (that sits in Provincetown, MA harbor) still be the star of the show. The actual red-orange color is a good amount brighter in real life but I think you get the idea here. A huge amount of blues balance the hot spot of red at the lower part of this painting. And that’s all this one was really about. But you are always welcome to have your own idea of what you see and feel in a painting. 18×36, acrylic on canvas. This is part of the 30 paintings/30 days challenge presented by Leslie Saeta on her blog,http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com

In With the New

patterns in the underbrush

Between the Seasons, 24×24, acrylic on panel

Seasonal transitions in New England are not so subtle hints that change is in the offing. Temperatures rising or lowering dramatically, colors intensifying or diminishing, textures smoothing or coarsening, sounds echoing or softening. Heading into winter or welcoming spring are the transitions that I look forward to each and every year. They find their way into my artworks in both subtle and obvious ways through more vibrant or subdued colors, understated or bolder forms, quieter or busier textures, and complex or simplified patterns. This particular painting known as Coming Solstice or Between the Seasons is a reflection on the landscape forms that surround me as well as my use of them in building a painting. It is the start of a new season and this approach will be the beginning of a new series of work for 2015. Hope you have great things on tap for the coming New Year.

Gravity of Grays

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I love grays–they are very important colors–foggy, charcoal, steel, cool, warm, and Cape Cod grays. But what I really like in this snapshot is how gray creates background tones that contrast beautifully with all kinds of colors. From turquoise to soft peach to warm orange as in this photo. The various tones of grays of the shingles, boats, sand and misty air all combined to form an unusual color combination and one that I will be exploring in my paintings this winter.

Open House vs. Open Studio

Open Studio details November 8 & 9, 2014, 10-4. Open to the public, free. 50+ original New England-inspired acrylic paintings. Messy, uncommon, friendly contemporary paintings

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