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‘Together In This’ art opening by Ann Trainor Domingue

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You are invited to view my newest artworks in a beautiful gallery in Portland, Maine! Portland Art Gallery on Middle Street in Portland Maine will host a two-person show of my work, opening reception on Thursday November 1, 2018, 5-7. My part of the show will feature at least 12 artworks exploring the idea of ‘Together In This’. That we are each finding our way in a dynamic world where finding our truth or center can be difficult. Finding a special person to share it with can be an honest place to start. These works provide imagery of figures in a coastal environment positioned in ways that provoke a sense of connection or disconnect–or better yet, a chance that something good will happen. Hope you will consider joining me at the opening night. Thank you.


Preparing for an art exhibition can be a stressful time. So many details to complete, artworks to create, and promotional efforts to finalize. Both on the gallery side and my side as the artist. We need to work together in order to have a successful show.

In July 2018 I prepped work for my first solo show at the George Marshall Store Gallery in York, Maine. The curator and gallery director Mary Harding had been following my career along for over 10 years. She encouraged my early efforts as I explored exactly what kind of work I could/would/should be doing. In the end the best advice was simply ‘paint what you love’. Defining what that is was more difficult than I thought. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years since leaving full time work as an advertising agency art/creative director. I’ve explored several avenues of subject matter and paint styles searching for an approach that suited my working style, my personal philosophy, my studio space, my family obligations and my goals for my art. Not an easy task to meld this all together into a cohesive whole.

I worked hard over last winter creating artworks that reflected my sense of optimism about people and relationships that matter. A body of work that challenged me to find design that was both simple yet deep in its ability to carry through my concept of togetherness. One more late-winter studio visit by Mary to curate the show was an important aspect to pulling together the right group of work for the show. I achieved a great result as 18 of 22 artworks in my solo show found new homes with art collectors via the George Marshall Store Gallery! I truly appreciate the efforts by Mary Harding and her group of wonderful gallery assistants who put on a wonderful event–complete with music and food. Thank you for making my work look so good. Grateful to you all.

Lesson learned: ‘Paint what you love, honestly and from the heart. Your own heart.’ 

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‘Muse of the Sea’ Back Story

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Muse of the Sea, 11×15, watercolor on paper

Every once in a while I work on an idea for no particular reason, with no particular outcome in mind. I had done some sketches and small watercolors using a mermaid as the main feature. I continued working to find a look for the mermaid ‘muse’ that for me was more real–but not realistic. Imperfections and all.

The way watercolor works provides beautiful accidental back runs, blooms and bleeds, blends and stains. Its one media that has a mind of its own yet provides unintentional options to an artist like myself who loves the unplanned happenings of color and water. For instance the soft greenish color of the mermaid’s arms appeared as I was scraping the lines of the drawing through wet color. I liked the way they provided a shadow-like sense in the foreground and brought a dusky feel to the piece. I’ll be exploring this further…

Lesson learned: Let water be watery.  

NOTE: Please be sure to follow me on Facebook at Ann Trainor Domingue Art Page. WordPress will no longer links my blog posts to my FB timeline. Thank you.

Design New England Sept/Oct 2016

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.

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Do Your Job, artists. A Labor Day note.

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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.”

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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.

 

Today’s the Day

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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.

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.

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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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Bloomin’ Tunes Together

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

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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

JoP Research Journal

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

clarkridgefarmdotorg.wordpress.com/

A family farm in Goffstown NH

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Messy, uncommon, friendly contemporary landscape paintings inspired by the New England landscape

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Art and creativity with a touch of nature

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Thinking about design every day

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Messy, uncommon, friendly contemporary landscape paintings inspired by the New England landscape

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