“… home was not just a cabin in a deep woods that overlooked a placid cove. Home was a state of mind, the peace that came from being who you were and living an honest life.” ― Kristin Hannah, The Great Alone
We all have such different ideas of what home is. The quote above was one I found while doing a bit of searching for a quote by an author that resonated with me and reflected the small family vignette of one of my large paintings I have selected for this post.
This image is part of a 40″x60″ acrylic painting titled ‘Village in the Pursuit of Happiness’. In this ‘village’ series I have incorporated several different visual ideas of what living in a village feels like for me. I am careful to not be too precious with shapes and color and detail rather letting all the vignettes live together peacefully as a painting. View a full image of ‘Village in the Pursuit of Happiness’ with this link.https://anntrainordomingue.com/Art/Detail.php?artid=1211296
Lesson Learned: Home is not only the shelter we live in, but also how we create a life together in the shelter of home.
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.
My show titled ‘Homecoming’ –the interplay of coastal communities— will be on display through June. Opening reception to meet the artist will be held on Friday June 8th, 5-7. If you are in the Camden Maine area please stop in to Camden Falls Gallery, 5 Public Landing, to see many of my new works all inspired by the seacoast and relationships of people, architecture and landscape of New England. Sizes range from 6×6 to 40×60, acrylics on canvas. Ask for Howard Gallagher, gallery owner, for assistance with viewing my work. Thank you for following my blog and I ask you to share with friends.
‘It Takes a Village,’ a few words from an African proverb, was the inspiration for developing this new series of work. The first in the series is shown above–an imagined area of a small fishing village where activity is the norm and people know each other. By the sound of voices, dogs barking, children playing, and engines running. Subtle sounds of life happening as it does day after day in small American villages all over our country.
Preliminary drawing to design the square canvas shape.
I have taken this theme and worked to bring aspects of different villages in New England together in individual paintings. One painting may have a cupola from Monhegan or Portland and a fish shack from Kittery or Camden, or a beautiful home in Goffstown to a Victorian era mansion in Laconia or New Boston or Cape Cod. There are many ideas rolling around in my head to create new ‘villages’ this summer. Stay tuned.
Drawn line using fluid acrylic with red wash under painting.
Lesson learned: A pair of historic fishing shacks on Monhegan Island, Maine has proven to contain a watershed of ideas for my art journey. Little did I know my first painting trip there in 2003 would offer such a huge amount of inspiration and direction. A big thank you to Stan Moeller a wonderful plein air painter from Kittery Maine was the instructor who opened the door to plein air painting and studio painting. www.anntrainordomingue.com
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.
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
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
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 24×24 painting depicting the simple drama of red against blues.
From snapshot, to sketch, to final painting–here’s a sample of how I create my paintings. Not all happen this way but this is a process I find captures an inspiration, allows me to mull over the possibilities, and then sketch options and try out with various media. I generally do not know the color palette I will use when I begin to paint. I will have one key idea about the focal area that I want to retain and then I let the process of painting take over. I’ll make many decisions on the fly. some good. Some not so good. Exploring without knowing my end goal is my idea of great fun while creating each artwork. Visit my website to see more www.anntrainordomingue.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive my newsletter.
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.
Schooner Backlit is an 8×10 study based on sketches I completed while on a whale watch boat in Provincetown Harbor, Cape Cod, MA. The whale boat was positioned so several artists could get a close up look at a schooner race from Gloucester, MA to Provincetown in September 2014. I loved seeing the beautiful curves of the sails, and subtle and various whites as they they glided by. Lucky for us the wind was light so we had a good amount of time to stare and record what interested us. Not sure I will go larger with this one but I enjoyed using more subtle colors than I might usually select.
This post is day 29, part of the 30 paintings/30 days challenge presented by Leslie Saeta on her blog,http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com I didn’t post all 30 but I have done many new small works as a result of this challenge.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you'll learn a bit about my art process and then visit my website or gallery links to see if you find a painting that speaks to you. I appreciate your support and for sharing my art.