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.
Ideas for post relaxing.
Cheers to all.
Lesson Learned: Work harder at relaxing in 2020.
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.
Perfect day for maple sugaring open house/barn
Aged beautiful barn–one of many nearby
Beginning to love horses…
Wood fired maple boiling
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 AnglersJournal at aimmedia.com was true to his word. A stroll in downtown Portsmouth, NH resulted in this collaboration of poetry and art. Poetry by Elizabeth Bishop https://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.
Lesson learned: Take the side roads.
I’m happy to begin a relationship with Powers Gallery located in Acton, MA. They are about one hour drive from my home in Goffstown NH making it a reasonable commute to swap work, and my work compliments the group of artists they represent. I look forward to working with them and meeting other artists of the gallery. This summer show opening reception is Saturday, June 22, 4-7. Stop by if you can I’d love to meet you and find out what you like in art. Thanks for your support, Ann.
You are invited to view my newest artworks in a beautiful gallery in Portland, Maine! Portland Art Gallery on Middle Street in Portland Maine will host a two-person show of my work, opening reception on Thursday November 1, 2018, 5-7. My part of the show will feature at least 12 artworks exploring the idea of ‘Together In This’. That we are each finding our way in a dynamic world where finding our truth or center can be difficult. Finding a special person to share it with can be an honest place to start. These works provide imagery of figures in a coastal environment positioned in ways that provoke a sense of connection or disconnect–or better yet, a chance that something good will happen. Hope you will consider joining me at the opening night. Thank you.
Preparing for an art exhibition can be a stressful time. So many details to complete, artworks to create, and promotional efforts to finalize. Both on the gallery side and my side as the artist. We need to work together in order to have a successful show.
In July 2018 I prepped work for my first solo show at the George Marshall Store Gallery in York, Maine. The curator and gallery director Mary Harding had been following my career along for over 10 years. She encouraged my early efforts as I explored exactly what kind of work I could/would/should be doing. In the end the best advice was simply ‘paint what you love’. Defining what that is was more difficult than I thought. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years since leaving full time work as an advertising agency art/creative director. I’ve explored several avenues of subject matter and paint styles searching for an approach that suited my working style, my personal philosophy, my studio space, my family obligations and my goals for my art. Not an easy task to meld this all together into a cohesive whole.
I worked hard over last winter creating artworks that reflected my sense of optimism about people and relationships that matter. A body of work that challenged me to find design that was both simple yet deep in its ability to carry through my concept of togetherness. One more late-winter studio visit by Mary to curate the show was an important aspect to pulling together the right group of work for the show. I achieved a great result as 18 of 22 artworks in my solo show found new homes with art collectors via the George Marshall Store Gallery! I truly appreciate the efforts by Mary Harding and her group of wonderful gallery assistants who put on a wonderful event–complete with music and food. Thank you for making my work look so good. Grateful to you all.
Lesson learned: ‘Paint what you love, honestly and from the heart. Your own heart.’
Two artist friends and I are showing our work together this September!
‘Color Love’– 3 artists 3 visions is a 3-person show of our colorful artworks– intensely-colored abstract watercolor collages by Ethel Hills, bold impressive wildlife-inspired paintings by Rosemary Conroy, and my Ann Trainor Domingue New England life inspired paintings and watercolors. It promises to be a wonderful exhibit of three very different takes on ‘Color Love’ –where we each internalize how color influences our work–and then create an inspiring variety of images for you to see and feel, and then possibly find an artwork so special you must take it home!
Please join us at the opening reception on Friday, September 7th, 5-7 at the Gallery at WREN in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.
I am very happy to invite you to join me at the opening night of ‘Shining Through’ by Ann Trainor Domingue— my new series of work inspired by my longstanding curiosity and attraction of waterfront life and how I connect visually and spiritually with this beautiful space at the edge of the land and sea.
The opening reception will be held at the beautiful George Marshall Store Gallery located at 10 Lindsay Road, York, Maine on Saturday, July 14th, 5-7, exhibition runs through August 19th.
The gallery building is part of Old York Historical Society that works to preserve and promote the rich history of York. The Gallery is located on the York River with a working dock and shack right behind the gallery on the wharf– a beautiful location in any season.
I hope you will join me as I exhibit many of my newest works all tied to my fascination with waterfront spirit. Please share my invite with those you know who love the all things coastal. Thank you and hope you’ll stop by to say hello–it means a lot to me to have your support.
My show titled ‘Homecoming’ –the interplay of coastal communities— will be on display through June. Opening reception to meet the artist will be held on Friday June 8th, 5-7. If you are in the Camden Maine area please stop in to Camden Falls Gallery, 5 Public Landing, to see many of my new works all inspired by the seacoast and relationships of people, architecture and landscape of New England. Sizes range from 6×6 to 40×60, acrylics on canvas. Ask for Howard Gallagher, gallery owner, for assistance with viewing my work. Thank you for following my blog and I ask you to share with friends.
Bridge work has been ongoing for many years as needed repairs and replacements are done over the fast moving waters that join New Hampshire and Maine. We all depend on these critical crossings to get where we want to go. Some inconveniences and longer routes are simply part of living in a seacoast community as residents and tourists depend on the success of these impressive construction projects completed via cooperative arrangements between our two states.
As an artist I am also impressed by the design of the bridges and how they visually create connections from wide expanses of sky and water toward the grounded village communities at the bases. In this painting I have used the arched curve to tower over the village below as work and worship and play continues on daily in the cool shadows. Here’s hoping for a successful bridge-opening this summer as the new Sarah Long Bridge welcomes travelers again.
Lesson learned: Patience in building a strong bridge is paramount.