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.
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.
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…
The highly successful football coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, adopted ‘Do Your Job’ as the motivational mantra for the 2014/15 team. You wouldn’t think a statement like this would be necessary for a group of super-athletes to go out and be a winning football team. But the success of Coach Belichick proves that even the big boys—really big boys—still need something to focus on, that cuts through the glut of distractions, and focuses a laser beam on what is expected of them.
Simple, right? Do Your Job. As artists we can be the epitomy of distraction. As author Steven Pressfield writes in The War of Art, “What keeps us from sitting down (to our job/work) is resistance”. Paraphrased, resistance comes in so many forms—avoidance, distractions, low self-confidence. We feel it’s negative force. It prevents us from doing our work. (I recommend reading The War of Art, wish I had found it many years ago.)
For instance the following are my forms of resistance: family, grandchildren, shopping, photography, reading, baseball, basketball, football, exercising, cooking, music, guitar, travel, volunteering, church, sightseeing, gardening, road trips, phone, computers, social-mediaing, marketing, learning about illustrating children’s books, long walks on the beach :), beach combing, sketching, staring, sleeping, sewing, antiquing, cleaning, sorting through art supplies, finding photos, etc. None of the above is my job. They are all important interests and have an influence on my job. But my actual job is not on this list, think of all the time spent not on my job.
“I am a painter. Do My Job. Paint.”
Make a nice clear sign for your art studio. No embellishments. Futura Bold Extra Condensed for my typeface fans out there. ‘Do My Job’ during your most energy-filled time of day, then everything else.
Wishing you all the best in doing your job. Enjoy your Labor Day.
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.
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
You missed a spot. Not what I want to hear when I thought the job was finished. But as a fine art painter, missing a spot can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
At times in my thoroughness to completely finish a work I find I want to rework areas no matter if they are small or large. Just want to go in and tweak or wholesale change that line or edge or shift a color and modify a shape. It is a very tricky thing to do near the end of a painting process. So many aspects have already found a balance–not perfection–just a balance of color, shapes, textures, line and form. To ‘fix’ something after the major phase of developing a painting has passed can invite some real questions–can I match that color, what brush did I use to get that texture, why didn’t I see that earlier, why did I think that bold line looked good yesterday and not today? And many more.
If a painting has a problem ‘holiday’ of some sort, I take a holiday too, and wait a few days before ‘fixing/correcting/adjusting/leaving-it-alone’. My mind has so many things whirring around while painting–so many decisions being made at once–that getting back into that mindset I had while doing the original work is almost impossible. If I could it would help me make the right decisions to push this painting toward the finish line.
So taking a break to reevaluate the piece is my answer. Sometimes its as long as a lunch break or as long as a year. My sort of ‘time out’ for a piece as I determine whether it is ready for prime time or not. Or as in a few cases it has been returned to me unsold from a gallery and I have a new chance to work out the holidays or paint it over if I believe it is just not good enough.
Lesson learned: Take your time when deciding how to improve your work. Sometimes a holiday is actually the uniqueness of a piece and doesn’t need fixing at all. Time will tell.
Last week to see ‘Along the Waterfront’ exhibition at the NH Art Association Levy Gallery at 138 State Street in Portsmouth, NH. See www.nhartassociation.org If interested in a particular artwork contact NHAA or contact me through my website at www.anntrainordomingue.com where you will find complete contact information.
Opening reception tonight May 19th, 5:30-7:30 at Copley Society of Art, Newbury Street, Boston, MA. Meet and visit with six recent Copley Fellows who completed month-long residencies in either Cape Ann or Provincetown, MA. Stop in or visit the gallery, show is up through June. copleysociety.org
This piece in the show titled, “Sketched Around” 8×10 ink and watercolor, has a little history but nothing a redraw can’t fix. This is about a view from my studio that disappears in summer with the solidness of fully leafed out trees, and then appears again as the leaves fall in autumn. The tree structures stay while the colors change. This ink and stick sketch/drawing tries to give my impression the this movement of the seasons. If you look closely you’ll see a building/structure through the branches. It brings a bit of geometric contrast to the scratchy branching lines.
Opening reception for Copley Fellows exhibition, Thursday, May 19, 2016 at Copley Society of Art, 136 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 5:30-7:30. Meet six Copley Fellows who were selected to complete an artist residency at either Cape Ann, MA or the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. Talk with the artists and discover how our experiences have influenced our current works. Some of us have realized big changes while others are more subtle. We’d love to have you visit the opening, chat about our work, and learn a thing or two about what makes each of us unique. Thank you.
Participating artists are: Ann Trainor Domingue, Barbara Leiner Greenstein, Eli Cedrone, Abby Lammers, Page Railsback and Gail Sauter.