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Art Opening ‘Shining Through’ by Ann Trainor Domingue, York, Maine

opening postcard web 5x5 GMSG

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.

 

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Time to Play

Testing a process

Working with hard molding paste, drawing into it, letting it dry overnight, then beginning a teal-colored underpainting. 8×8’s on cradled panels.

I find it is important to have time to play with materials and motifs that I have been working with for a while. Despite having done over a hundred paintings of all sizes, I continue to find new ways to use the images that I find so appealing. I have been able to do this because I give myself ‘play time’. Meaning studio hours devoted to working with materials in a different way–either applying it in a new way, scraping or drawing into it in a new way, or mixing materials to see if I can slightly shift the outcome. I’m not looking for wholesale changes just a slight step to the side or forward that feels connected in some way to previous steps. This way I won’t lose my way. Sort of like artistic breadcrumbs.

(Paintings shown are on my website, ‘Through and Through’ and ‘Sharing’, 8×8. 

Lesson learned:  Baby steps count big.

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.)

 

Lesson 1: Finished Before Starting

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Changing my mind early on before I go too far

Sketchbook work is the foundation for almost all of my paintings. I depend on small scale sketches to discover the design foundation of each piece before I proceed to finish–or at least that is my plan. But sometimes just a few lines on a canvas derails even the most promising sketch. Here is a good example. The black lines–done first just didn’t make as strong a design as I hoped when I scaled up from a thumbnail to this 18×18. I first sketched on the grey gessoed canvas surface with soft charcoal, then added fluid black acrylic to further solidify my design.

Then I sat back in my comfy yellow stuffed swivel chair given to me by a painter friend, the wonderful watercolor painter, Judy S. McLean. These few black lines on the canvas quickly voiced their opinion that I was NOT to proceed any further. Think again they said. Try another sketch today. Don’t you just hate pushy sketchbook voices? So, I  went back to my sketchbook, flipped a page or two and out jumped a much better idea to pursue.

I then flipped the black line painted painting upside down and grabbed my white fluid acrylic paint bottle and drew the white lines right on top. This was a better start and I felt able to continue with the process toward the finish line. You can still see some of the white lines in final piece below.

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Coming Through, 18×18, acrylic on canvas

Lesson learned through this particular painting process was to be decisive when I feel something is amiss. Being honest with yourself as an artist and letting your intuition guide your moves will improve your chances of finishing strong.

How do you solve your painting design issues? I’d love to hear from you.

Delicately Powerful

Our local florist shop, Apotheca Tea Shoppe and Flowers in Goffstown, New Hampshire, allowed me to browse and spend an afternoon sketching and photographing (actually taking snapshots) of their beautiful displays of flowers. Quite a colorful afternoon it was. I was developing a new series paintings using flowers, florists, gardeners as my inspirations.

gerber redspeonies In following with my decidedly unconventional approach to design and color, I was looking to work with the color, forms, patterns and textures in an uncommon way. A way that would have viewers say, hmmm, I’ve never seen that before. I was doing as much thinking as photographing and sketching during this process. I don’t begin a process like this with preconceived notions of what I am going to do with the information. What fun would that be? Of course I realize plenty of artists pre-think and I find myself overthinking frequently. But this time I tried NOT to solve the puzzle ahead of time.

I am a bit demanding of my muse–whenever she shows up–I want to have plenty of input for her to work with. A couple of the florists at the shop wound up being part of my inquiry as well although not my intention of using them in this work. But I never know. Even the worst photo can offer the best idea for a painting. 

The photos shown above are great as a reference for shapes, colors, flower angles, reflections and refractions of stems through glass. Not perfect lighting conditions for copying exactly what is shown but more than enough information for me to use to incorporate into a fresh design.

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The concept of design is first and foremost in my mind when I approach new work. I enjoy the quick process of sketching possibilities for a larger piece. I feel at during this stage I am efficiently running  through ideas before I ‘waste’ time working large on a weakly designed idea. Again my background in graphic design and advertising concepts fit seamlessly into my process.

The final artwork shown below was inspired by this process along with twenty others for a recent show titled, ‘Sunstrokes’. Less detail, sketchy in its application of paint. Not looking labored over. Fresh. Direct. Friendly.

Can’t wait to get back to the studio.

(‘Redheads’, 12×12, acrylic on panel, available at Sullivan Framing, Bedford, NH.)

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One Red Boat, Endless Painting Options

As artists we are always on the look out for things that capture our attention. We may not know what we are going to do with that little tidbit at the moment but we file it away for future use. And yes, we forget about them sometimes. But as an individual artist we tend to notice similar things, over and over. And therein lies the key.

Very coarsely-painted beginning

Very coarsely-painted beginning

Not sure who said it but “notice what you notice” is such a great statement. Especially if you are an artist looking for direction. Randomness is not an asset when it comes to defining who you are as an artist. Maybe at a later more experienced point it will be, but not at the outset. Looking intensely at a series of photos you’ve taken, making notes of what interests you in the landscape or people-scapes around you. Look for the pattern created when you go out for a walk–are you looking at minute details of flowers, or rolling hillsides, or how the light shines through the woods. The sooner you find your personal pattern, the more directed you can be in your artistic development.

Using the rough sketch to develop painting design further

Using the rough sketch to develop painting design further

For me, the coastal waterfront and all its details have been at the very top of my list. Early on impressive sunrises and sunsets were at the very top. I loved them, but did not necessarily want to paint about them. So many people were already doing that. I wanted to paint about things differently and add something that gave the viewer more information about the things I find important.

A red-colored work boat in Provincetown harbor provided the needed intensity to dive into this subject in various ways and create some final paintings. Even after many years I am still intrigued by this working pier in Provincetown. The activity, the aged boats that still work every day, the people who go out on the sea day after day–I admire them for their bravery. I once thought I would like that life but have since come to my senses. Seasickness and I are companions unfortunately but I still love being on the water when I can. So even a landlubber can have great appreciation for things connected to the sea. I have plans to explore this motif and weave in some themes of connectedness, friendship and awe. To be continued…

Closeup look at detail of a 24x24 painting depicting the simple drama of red against blues.

Closeup look at detail of a 24×24 painting depicting the simple drama of red against blues.

Listening to All That Jazz

comparison Mar 2015 smThis post is a recent lesson in listening–no, not to jazz music, but to the sounds of my own improvised thoughts. Hearing what the painting is trying to tell me as I add my part to the conversation–lines, color, shapes, forms, textures. Instead of a straightforward journey this one turned into a ride down a windy country road. Finishing up at a quiet place. Click on the image below to read the details of just how this journey evolved.  And please feel free to share this post or go to my website to see new works.  www.anntrainordomingue.com

Painting About More Than Reflections

Reflections at Work story

It seems to be endlessly interesting for art viewers to learn the story behind a painting. And to tell you the truth I like to dig in and find out this information too when I am gallery hopping. I like to make the link from inspiration to interpretation and put myself in an artist’s shoes/sandals/barefeet and see what they saw, feel what they felt, and hear the little thing that became so powerful it had to become an artwork. It’s these translations that are as varied as there are artists in the world. So enjoy the view and let me know your thoughts on my visual story above. Find me and click the “Like” button to follow me on Facebook at www.Facebook/anntrainordomingueart or www.anntrainordomingue.com

Coexist: Plein Air and Studio Air

June post 2013

We artists have so many options open to us as we design a new piece of art. This one is less real and more abstract or is it more real and less abstract. Let me explain. I love working with the landscape–New England, Caribbean and beyond– and that does not always mean working directly in front of it–plein air–as it is commonly known. I enjoy the process of interpreting the things that have inspired me and reworking into artworks that speak the language of the landscape but also let my personal interpretations in as well. I appreciate the time and efforts–and suffering–many of my painter friends put in for the sake of their art. For me I do plein air for other reasons, not to produce a final piece of art but to learn from the landscape of that day–to practice mixing colors, to see subtle tones, to work despite less than ideal conditions, to sketch quickly my impressions, to get out of the studio and get some fresh air–and perspective. My personal art process uses both the plein air experience and the studio experience to create art unique to me. If anything, I admit I am a fairweather plein air painter.

For purchase and/or more information please visit www.anntrainordomingue.com orwww.facebook.com/anntrainordomingueart for regular updates. Thanks in advance for sharing my work.

Hazy, Hot and Humid Art

July comparison 2013

Who would have thought a stroll after a nice dinner at the Lobster Pot would have captivated my artistic eye for so long. A quick snapshot taken one hot afternoon in Provincetown, MA has been the catalyst of many of my recent artworks. As with many other photos I have taken, as soon as one painting is completed I have another idea to improve/change/renovate the next one. On this one, with the advice of Mary Harding curator of the George Marshall Store Gallery in York, Maine, to “paint bigger” here is the results. Raking Light Across at 36×36 gave me the space and opportunity to really dig in and work on the layering of color and texture. It was a blast. More to come.

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2017 -> Visual Research Journal with spelling mistakes and links to image sources

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