I’ve often heard people say they love the titles of my work. Thankfully they love the work too, but they also make it a point to mention how much they love the title. It happened so often I needed to understand why it was happening with such frequency. I wish I could remember at what point my titles went beyond describing what was in the painting–to the idea of what it could say if it could speak. As though I am divulging a secret of some kind.
As I recall comments about my titles happened when I gave my fisherman a girl in 2014 or so. I began to think of the people in my work and what situation I had positioned them in. I developed a little story between them and thought it would be interesting to look at the work in light of the title. Sometimes the title would be a bit philosophical, hint at a religious sense, or be playful or hopeful. Or even what the painting might say about itself.
It’s not easy to choose one to six words as a title (my personal preference for word count). It’s similar to designing a brandmark or logo that I have done for many years as a graphic designer. There is something both difficult and satisfying about winnowing down multiple options to just some key shapes and letterforms. I think finding thoughtful words that work as titles is a similar process–before, during or after the painting is completed. For sure though, by the time the painting is wrapped and shipped off to a client or gallery.
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.
Have you been starving to see original art? Your chance is here. Saturday, August 1, 9-3 in Goffstown, New Hampshire. View 23 artists’ work in a variety of media. Our 12th annual outdoor show in Goffstown village. Hope you will join us. Covid precautions will be in effect for artists and visitors. Thank you. Follow #Uncommonartonthecommon group on Facebook.
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.
While the USA and world are getting their act together on this Covid19 virus and its effect on our health and economy, I have been focusing on being ready when our previously strong economy is again unleashed to get Americans doing what they do best. Work. And at the same time solve the mystery of this virus. We need to work and make the world go round again. Its time to be with our family and friends, safely and smartly. Peace and good health to all. We are smart enough to do this well.
Looking for an art workshop that works? That will help you decide what you should be making? Please join me in 2021 for an art workshop that will make you think and give you the confidence to create YOUR art. More details to come in early 2021.
It’s easy to fall into a stationery hibernation mode for too long, especially after a busy year of art-related commitments. One way I try to move along and actively find new elements to incorporate into my upcoming work is to sit. But sit at my computer with a nice cup of coffee and review images that I captured over the past months and think about why I stopped to take the shot. If the interest is still simmering in my mind I bring some images to the front of the line and consider how I might use an aspect of it–from color, subject and texture to feeling, memory, and movement. All this goes in to my mind as I work to keep my work fresh for my fans and fresh for my own hands to enjoy as I create new artworks for 2020. Ann Trainor Domingue
As the snow comes down I’m continuing in hibernation mode with a purpose.
Lesson learned: I have enough visual resources, take time to review.
At these times it’s always important to take a few moments to appreciate all we have in life. The people and things that bring us joy, the conversations and interactions with our most loved, the feelings that let us know we matter and are loved. I wish you all a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude for being able to live a life we’ve chosen. Be sure to tell the ones you’re most thankful for that they are just that. Enjoy your Thanksgiving.
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.
Perfect day for maple sugaring open house/barn
Wood fired maple boiling
Aged beautiful barn–one of many nearby
Beginning to love horses…
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.
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.