“… home was not just a cabin in a deep woods that overlooked a placid cove. Home was a state of mind, the peace that came from being who you were and living an honest life.” ― Kristin Hannah, The Great Alone
We all have such different ideas of what home is. The quote above was one I found while doing a bit of searching for a quote by an author that resonated with me and reflected the small family vignette of one of my large paintings I have selected for this post.
This image is part of a 40″x60″ acrylic painting titled ‘Village in the Pursuit of Happiness’. In this ‘village’ series I have incorporated several different visual ideas of what living in a village feels like for me. I am careful to not be too precious with shapes and color and detail rather letting all the vignettes live together peacefully as a painting. View a full image of ‘Village in the Pursuit of Happiness’ with this link.https://anntrainordomingue.com/Art/Detail.php?artid=1211296
Lesson Learned: Home is not only the shelter we live in, but also how we create a life together in the shelter of home.
Are you sensing something similar to what I’ve presented in this artwork? A very large gap between differences and similarities? A space between two people that seems permanent? An inability to reach across time and space to reconnect with someone who was special to us? A sense that the space is getting wider? An idea that life as we knew it is not likely to return in a familiar way? During this pandemic I believe we’ve all been forced to adjust and accept certain changes. And I believe we’ve also tried to retain and keep close to our hearts people, things, and experiences that we are not willing to let go of–ever. They hold too much meaning and are part of our souls. To let go would mean failure and giving up on something that matters most.
This painting is my thought of what it may look like to build a simple bridge. Even though it may seem too delicate or hard to see, its a start. A way to reconnect with another soul who’d like to be touched by an honest peaceful gesture of friendship. Especially when differences are known to both individuals. We should reach out to one another because we believe in individuals being just that. Individually absorbing life and times, choosing a point of view and forming opinions. I hope despite core differences, we can each find our core similarities. And use these to make our way back to civility and respect of all people.
Lesson learned: If a friendship is formed on foundation of respect, holding different viewpoints should not matter.
In this new painting, ‘Village Under the Sun’, the imagery is filled with all kinds of transitions— from line to gradient, warm to cool colors, curves to angles, light to dark values, textured to smooth surface, not to mention the imagined overlapping and off-kilter architecture. And the changing unreal scale of buildings and people. Yet if handled well, all these juxtapostions can live peacefully together. Creating a kind of balance that despite its quirkiness and unusual views, still does create a recognizable world where we live well in the peacefulness of a place we call home. Contact Kennedy Gallery in Portsmouth NH for more information. Visit Ann Trainor Domingue website for more info.
Lesson learned: Living together in peace despite differences matters most. Let’s hope the upcoming election results in a peaceful transition or continuation for America’s sake.
This is my first calendar and I am excited to let you see it just before it is ready for sale! I am distributing it through one venue only– Kennedy Gallery and Custom Framing located at 41 Market Street in Portsmouth, NH. Please call to reserve yours at 603-436-7007 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The calendar is quite different from standard art calendars in that I have included a story and inspiration behind each artwork to let you in on the behind the scenes work and thought process of each of 12 frameable images. Several images are also available as blank notecards and prints also only available at Kennedy Gallery. Just ask, they will be happy to help. See sample page below.
Thank you for your interest in the calendar. the image above shows the 12 different artworks included in the 2021 calender. This will make a great gift for someone who loves art and the thinking behind an art work.
Lesson learned: Take a risk and the rest will work itself out in due time.
We all share a common sense of confusion and offkilterness in 2020. So many aspects of our lives have been jolted into an unsettled sense of being. We fix one thing and another thing jumps up like a whack-a-mole game but it’s truly no game at all. It’s exhausting. And discouraging. And without a way to bring back a sense of calm and peace, it will continue on through the fall and into 2021.
I’m addressing this ongoing problem in a few different ways.
Being sure I am prioritizing listening to people who are positive influences–not pollyannas or debbydowners, but realists who seem to have found a way to manage these unsettled times.
Taking a hard look at my commitments and removing those that are causing more stress than they are worth.
Refocusing my efforts in practical matters that are key to my successes as an artist. Going deeper into the items that will benefit from my complete uninterrupted attention.
Doing small things that matter for people I love.
Reining in the scattered interests that take time away from my core interests and values.
Finding time to be ok with doing nothing but thinking about how blessed and grateful I am and will be in the future.
Good luck as you find your balance again.
Lesson learned:I could have done all this without a pandemic.
Whew. What an odd, stressful late winter and early spring. Now 2020 is one year that I’d love to put in the way back of my mind. Nonetheless I have been working on new ideas using images collected over the last year or so. I’m just stopping, taking a breathe, checking in with my galleries, praying that my art friends and acquaintances are healthy. Also taking care to check in with my family and especially my mother who lives in a nursing home in a secure ward as she has Alzheimer’s. Strangely enough she is happier not knowing what is going on in the world today and worrying about her husband, her nine grown children and their families. Very grateful for this blessing.
I’m also optimistic that the world and our small area of it will recover and rebound to smartly begin to live in communities being our friends and family again. We need to be social, visible, connected and able to once again hug those we love.
Peace to all and here’s to safely opening up our lives again.
Lesson learned: Stopping is important but starting is essential.
Last month my 8 year-old granddaughter visited a small farm to do some horse stall chores and ride our friend’s pony. A brave little beginner with a fascination for horses is proving to herself that she can do just about anything. Even on two occasions when she slid down and off the pony onto the ground– the second time scraping her elbow. A little tear or two and a gentle talk with the pony-loving friend encouraged her to wipe herself off, put her foot into the owner’s hand and climb back on the painted pony’s back.
And off they went slowly allowing time for getting a feel for the sway of the pony and regular heartbeat to return. There’ll be more riding I’m sure of it.
And so it is for me after spending the better part of a month preparing for my Open Studio art event–ordering, packaging, sorting, cleaning, placing, making signs, replacing, tagging, titling, taping, and on and on… After 7 years of working full-time on my art career, I need a rest to savor the blessings of being an artist. And there are so many. Freedom to set my own schedule, time to take granddaughter to ride the pony, time to walk in the Halloween parade here in town, time to visit family who live near or across the country, taking advantage of unusual opportunities such as sailing on a schooner, saying yes to family and friends by being available for coffee and a chat, and being there for my lovely husband when the convertible is ready to go for a ride.
November and December are a winding down time as I take a breath to slow down and have no plan in particular other than to count my blessings. And begin thinking about how to climb back on the pony.
Once a year I open the doors of my little barn studio to the public for an Open Studio event. This year ‘For Spacious Skies’ is the theme and the title of the artwork in the image above. #nhopendoors.com #clarkridgefarmdunbartonnh
I’ve worked for many years using imagery I discover along the seacoasts of New England and also incorporate imagery I find nearer to home here in New Hampshire. Farms and barns abound in just a few miles from my home and I’ve begun a new series dedicated to exploring the shapes, colors, textures and people that capture my attention in a similar way I have in my New England coastal series.
Beginning to love horses…
Wood fired maple boiling
Perfect day for maple sugaring open house/barn
Aged beautiful barn–one of many nearby
Here’s a bit of a heads up to what is in store for my muddy art journey in 2020. It will include some manure, muck, maple syrup, blue jeans, boots and plenty of sunshine. Hope you’ll follow my journey inland.
Lesson learned: Pay attention to what captures my attention.
Fishermen are famous for fish stories. But not this one. Bill Sisson, Editor-in-Chief of AnglersJournalat aimmedia.com was true to his word. A stroll in downtown Portsmouth, NH resulted in this collaboration of poetry and art. Poetry by Elizabeth Bishophttps://www.poetryfoundation.org/podcasts/75635/at-the-fishhouses (available as a podcast in this link), was in the process of acquiring approvals to be published in an issue of Anglers Journal. My artwork happened to be on display at Kennedy Gallery in Portsmouth when Bill walked by already thinking about imagery to support Elizabeth’s poem, ‘At the Fishhouses’. Serendipity happens. He walked in to the gallery, viewed more of my work and asked for contact info. I was thrilled to receive the phone call and quickly said yes to this collaboration with such a prestigious author. I had not known her or her work but loved it when I read the verse. Almost as though it was meant to be.
My series of artworks featuring fishhouses began with my first painting workshop trip to Monhegan Island with painter Stan Moeller in 2003. The two fishhouses on the beach began a years-long semi-obsession with what they represented for me–two stalwart structures standing strong year-round, constantly being shored-up to withstand whatever came their way. As two people might also do.
Thank you Bill and Anglers Journal for patiently going through the years long process of receiving approvals to publish Elizabeth’s work. And especially for giving me, Ann Trainor Domingue, this unique opportunity to be paired with a giant in the poetry world.
Lesson learned: Do the work, show the work. You just never know.
I hear people say that New Englanders tend to be unfriendly and closed-minded, set in their ways, or unwelcoming. Not sure where they live or may be from, but I find the opposite to be true. Maybe its because as a lifelong New Englander I am willing to say hello, smile a bit, or offer help when I see it may be needed. Granted I am not one to seek the spotlight and cringe a bit when it happens in my life as an artist. I am also ok with people and strangers needing their space, needing time to adjust to a situation that is unfamiliar, or unexpected. And this may be what is taken as unfriendly behavior.
As a visitor to Provincetown MA over the last few years I’m consistently finding a friendly helpful vibe when I am there doing a return artist residency. It is a laid back place that is awash with strangers and visitors from June through September and beyond. I am able to wander around and watch a whole lot of life happening from tourists being tourists, to locals being locals.
But mostly its a friendly New England experience when you walk slightly beyond the wild and lively heart of Commercial Street. Take a side road toward the water to experience a view not often taken in by fast moving on-the-surface visitors. You’ll find a bit of peace and quiet among the seagulls and the locals who go there to recharge.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you'll learn a bit about my art process and then visit my website or gallery links to see if you find a painting that speaks to you. I appreciate your support and for sharing my art.