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.
Lesson learned: Saying thank you always matters.
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.
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.
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 began this painting several years ago and after being seen and exhibited it found its way back to me. I looked at it again with a new point of view gathered along the way on my art journey. The overall design of the piece I still liked but some of the details especially in the figures were not defined enough. The colors were more muted than I felt the piece now needed. So, next step was to hang it on the studio wall and rethink my previous effort. The earlier work is not a wasted effort though, its just that my point of view and my ability to ‘see’ how all the parts relate to each other has improved.
One way I make renovations/changes/improvements is by testing my rework idea by drawing with chalk first to envision the new shapes on top of the dry paint. When I see better shapes and interactions I then begin to reevaluate color and layer over the old paint. I have more confidence in this approach now because I use Golden Open slow dry acrylic to layer paint knowing I can easily wipe off the change if needed. This ability to make changes and edit on the fly is really a game changer for me.
‘Forever Arm in Arm in Power Boots’ 36×36 on canvas is now one of my favorites. My charismatic neighbor saw it and noticed I had put her red gardening boots on the woman figure–she called them ‘power boots’ so I adopted the idea and lengthened the title of the piece. She so embodies the power boots idea. Thank you Friede!
Lessons learned: Pay attention to your neighbor’s gardening boots. And renewing older work puts my newest learning into action.