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Posts from the ‘New England’ Category

Thanksgiving For So Much

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We’re Home, acrylic on panel, 8×8. Available at Copley Society of Art, Boston

I’m thankful for so much in my life that a little post will never convey the appreciation, gratitude, and love I have for all those who I call family. You know who you are :). All of you who believed in me and my work when I was still unsure about it; all of you who are related one way or another; all those who feel related to me in soul and spirit; and all those who feel my artwork has provided a thread of connection from my life to theirs. I hope you each have a wonderful time with family–disconnecting from digital unreality–to connecting with those who matter with a hug, handshake or kiss. Happy Thanksgiving.

Lesson learned: Thank those who matter.   

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The Big Day

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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.

It Takes More Than a Village

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It Takes a Village, 30×30, acrylic on canvas.

‘It Takes a Village,’  a few words from an African proverb, was the inspiration for developing this new series of work. The first in the series is shown above–an imagined area of a small fishing village where activity is the norm and people know each other. By the sound of voices, dogs barking, children playing, and engines running. Subtle sounds of life happening as it does day after day in small American villages all over our country.

sketch for It Takes a Village

Preliminary drawing to design the square canvas shape.

I have taken this theme and worked to bring aspects of different villages in New England together in individual paintings. One painting may have a cupola from Monhegan or Portland and a fish shack from Kittery or Camden, or a beautiful home in Goffstown to a Victorian era mansion in Laconia or New Boston or Cape Cod. There are many ideas rolling around in my head to create new ‘villages’ this summer. Stay tuned.

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Drawn line using fluid acrylic with red wash under painting.

Lesson learned: A pair of historic fishing shacks on Monhegan Island, Maine has proven to contain a watershed of ideas for my art journey. Little did I know my first painting trip there in 2003 would offer such a huge amount of inspiration and direction. A big thank you to Stan Moeller a wonderful plein air painter from Kittery Maine was the instructor who opened the door to plein air painting and studio painting. www.anntrainordomingue.com

Cultural Conversations

 

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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.

 

Same But Different

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Detail: Looking Ahead, 24×12, acrylic on panel. Work in progress…

As I close out a successful 2016—a year of new experiences, influences, opportunities and friendships, I look ahead to 2017 as I incorporate these things into new work. Based on my previous work for sure but handled differently as I work to push my imagery and paint handling into somewhat different areas. Fish and fishermen will be prevalent, coastal imagery and inland will be integrated. Farms and sheep may appear from time to time. Buildings and people will also make an appearance. All in a days work, or should I say year’s work.

In the early spring you’ll see a new ‘animal’ gracing a page of a Maine magazine as I explored a new opportunity via my Camden Falls Gallery. My work will appear in the Art Collector Maine Portland, Art Maine annual guide 2017, and my originals and now prints and cards are available at Kennedy Gallery and Framing in Portsmouth, NH, and I’ll have a solo show there in 2017.

So many things to be thankful for as I head into the new year—another grandchild in March, too. Winter is my favorite time to paint in my studio, no matter how high the snow gets. Hope you have a Healthy and Happy New Year!

 

Embracing Family, Embracing Series

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Every Which Way, 24×36, acrylic

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Pattern in Blues, 24×36, acrylic

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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.

Ann

(If interested in any of these artworks, consult my website http://www.anntrainordomingue.com or contact me directly.)

 

Design New England Sept/Oct 2016

I am so proud to have been selected by DNE Magazine published by the Boston Globe to be profiled in this issue. ‘Painting Joy’ is an accurate take on where I currently am in my art career. Ever evolving and always surprising. This kind of exposure for my work in invaluable and I appreciate the opportunity immensely. Thanks to Lori Ferguson for writing such an engaging article and to Russ Mezikovsky for the beautiful photos. And for bringing his entertaining young kids which helped me relax during the photoshoot.

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Superhero to the Rescue

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My hometown means a lot to me and I volunteer time and effort toward worthy projects. This poster is one of those. Our local Goffstown Main Street Program needed an event marketing poster–fast! My ‘previous’ career as a graphic designer/illustrator/art director kicked into gear. Yes, it took me away from painting and prepping for my Open Studio scheduled for Nov. 5&6, but it was a priority for me to see this local org succeed by helping promote the goodness and fun of our beautiful little town.

P.S. This may answer why I hear so many comments like: ‘I like the whimsy of your art’ or  ‘your art makes me smile’. I just can’t hide it even when I am doing my ‘professional’ painting work.

My treasure, someone else’s trash

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Found along back road of Concord/Bow NH

Broken down, unpainted, overgrown, rusty, messy. All the right elements for me to put on the brakes and stop the car.

Listed in no particular order: variety of warm and cool grays, strong verticals of trees and barn boards, haphazardly placed metal roofing piece, way-passed-usefulness–except for an artist–pickup truck, early fall dried branches of overgrown weeds and brambles that soften the hard edges of the non-natural forms of the truck and trash. And the splash of blue tarp color always a must.

No real plans for this beauty yet, but the wheels are turning…

 

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

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A family farm in Goffstown NH

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