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.
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
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.
Overcast spring day provided some glimpses of sunshine that lit up the magenta rhodendrons on the back side of an historic barn in Goffstown, NH known as the Captain Carr House. Sun stayed out long enough to capture the beautiful neutrals of the greys and spotlight some grass in the background. I could have done without the bugs and falling leaves but all in all a good day to paint. I enjoyed trying to keep focus on the flowers while balancing the design with the soft greys of the barn. I didn’t have a bright pink color in my plein air palette so I added the flowers with quinacridone magenta when I got home. Acrylic on canvas, 8×16. Applied with palette knife. Hope you enjoy this piece. Contact me if interested in purchasing. To see more of my work please go to http://www.anntrainordomingue.com
Here’s what happens when hoping for a perfect day turns into hoping for a somewhat not rainy day. And that’s what I got. No sunburn, no bugs, no heatstroke. Instead of whining about the weather, I made the most of the light mist by letting it help me create the inexact lines as I drew with my whittled stick dipped in ink. This approach kept me from being too cautious as I drew the Christian Science Center building and reflecting pool –designed by I. M. Pei–world famous architect. Awestruck. Good thing I didn’t know this before I started. I did a quick pencil sketch in my sketchbook to assess the overall design of my painting. (Each participating artist was working on a square 14×14 format in their choice of medium.) Because the weather was so poor and threatening to downpour at any moment, I got right to work and drew directly with onto my Arches cold press watercolor paper for approximately two hours. A few ducks checked out my progress as I worked next to the beautifully reflecting pond with white caps at times. It appeared the sky would hold off so I added the subtle tones of neutral colors suggesting the stone surfaces and highlighted some of the reflections in the water at the bottom of this drawing. I flicked my brush a couple of times to add the raindrips as a memory of the day. Hope you enjoy my messy, uncommon, friendly view. Art is available at Copley Society of Art in Boston. http://www.copleysociety.org