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Posts tagged ‘Ann Trainor Domingue’

Copley Society of Art Boston opening

16467 Autumn Near and Far acryl fabr on canv 54x36 cs

Autumn Near and Far, acrylic and fabric on canvas, 52×32, gallery wrap, Ann Trainor Domingue

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.

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Together on the Road

16471 Life Tapestry mixed media acryl fabr on canv 54x54 sm

Life Tapestry, 52×52, acrylic and fabric on canvas

Some artworks take on a life of their own where they are directing you instead of you directing them. This one is a perfect example. I thought I would do a large piece of a couple walking together toward the woods with light coming through tree branches. Probably using fairly realistic colors and imagery. As I was working my mind went toward a larger idea of ‘lifetime’ and how we all experience different things that add up to our unique experience in life.

I believe because I had been experimenting with fabrics for other works the idea of using the colored swatches at the left of this painting to suggest the colorful experiences of life crept into my psyche as I worked on this piece. It became a focal area and a complement to the verticality of the trees. I repeated colors into the tree branches to echo the swatches. The two figures are purposely secondary as their proportion to the bigness of their life is surprising. I hope we all get to feel that our lives have been well lived and well loved.

Lesson learned during this process, I need to talk with my work to find out how things are going. It’s probably not going where I thought at the beginning. And its ok.

Lesson 1: Finished Before Starting

P1180258

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.

15459 Coming Through acryl canv 18x18 sm

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.

Blame It On New England

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.

sketches20150306_125047     20150306_151725

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.)

15407 Redheads acryl fabr canv 12x12 sm

Bloomin’ Tunes Together

Quick note about starting a new painting series while retaining some of your current art work elements.

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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.

Springtime Sketching in Boston

comparison May 2015 Trinity Church May 2015

In a city like Boston, there are so many beautiful options for sketching and painting that it takes quite some time to make a decision. In a plein air event like this–painting direct from nature outdoors– painters must decide quickly where they will spend their day or risk running out of time. For a painter, the chance of losing the shadows or lighting conditions are what pressures us to settle on a view and get to work. I spent about 30 minutes walking near Trinity Church looking for a position detail of drawingthat gave a me a broad view of the main facade, was away from dangerous traffic, had some shade for me to sit in if need be, and was not located too far from the Copley Society of Art gallery in case nature called. I had great fun doing this piece although it was chilly and windy. Nice to hear that someone bid on this piece at the Auction held May 8th. Thank you to whoever you are. Visit my painting website at www.anntrainordomingue.com

Hidden by the Summer

P1080832The change of seasons in New England covers and uncovers a wealth of beauty. This photo is an excellent example of what is not seen during a spectacular summer day. Thick layers of trees with branches full of fluttering leaves, yellow and blue greens of every tint and tone, neutral grays of tree barks are woven together blocking the distant view of the purple-blue mountains. Early spring reveals the complexity of woods and beauty of the cooler colors of moisture-laden air of the mountain air. You’ll notice this motif in many of my recent paintings.  www.anntrainordomingue.com

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

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