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.
The finished painting is now available at Gallery Antonia in Chatham on Cape Cod. www.galleryantonia.com Working Days End, acrylic on canvas, 36×36.
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 email@example.com to receive my newsletter.
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
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.
It is never a simple thing, painting. It is always a matter of selection–from color and medium, size and proportion, orientation and surface, brushes or knives, scruffy or smooth, thick or thin, garrish or quiet, thoughtful or bold, clean or complicated. This image of a small red dory is seemingly simple but has so many paint overs it weighs more than you think! It was a challenge to make a surface complex enough to be interesting yet simple enough to have the little dory (that sits in Provincetown, MA harbor) still be the star of the show. The actual red-orange color is a good amount brighter in real life but I think you get the idea here. A huge amount of blues balance the hot spot of red at the lower part of this painting. And that’s all this one was really about. But you are always welcome to have your own idea of what you see and feel in a painting. 18×36, acrylic on canvas. This is part of the 30 paintings/30 days challenge presented by Leslie Saeta on her blog,http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com
Definitely in boat mode in the studio today. I have so much reference material from my residency on Cape Cod this past summer. I felt compelled today to dig into my sketchbooks and select imagery to push further along. I started several small format works on various media–panels, canvas and paper. Just one of those high energy, high result days in the studio. Looking forward to seeing where all these starts lead. This piece is titled, “Afloat at the End”, obviously a boat at the end of a pier but suggests that maybe it is getting ready to go somewhere–or maybe just came back. Either way it is still seaworthy and ready for another day. 5×7, acrylic on paper, Afloat at the End.
Working on a motif I had begun while at my artist residency in Provincetown, MA this past summer. The working waterfront area there is rich with image possibilities and this is a bit of an abstracted view of the piers. It may well become a larger painting with emphasis on the verticals of the piers in contrast to the boats. “Waiting for Tomorrow” was done on paper with ArtGraf carbon and colored pencils. Completed as part of the 30 paintings in 30 days project of the blog http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/
I love grays–they are very important colors–foggy, charcoal, steel, cool, warm, and Cape Cod grays. But what I really like in this snapshot is how gray creates background tones that contrast beautifully with all kinds of colors. From turquoise to soft peach to warm orange as in this photo. The various tones of grays of the shingles, boats, sand and misty air all combined to form an unusual color combination and one that I will be exploring in my paintings this winter.