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Posts tagged ‘Copley Society of Art’

‘Muse of the Sea’ Back Story

18933 Muse of the Sea wc on paper 11x15 sm

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.

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My treasure, someone else’s trash

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Found along back road of Concord/Bow NH

Broken down, unpainted, overgrown, rusty, messy. All the right elements for me to put on the brakes and stop the car.

Listed in no particular order: variety of warm and cool grays, strong verticals of trees and barn boards, haphazardly placed metal roofing piece, way-passed-usefulness–except for an artist–pickup truck, early fall dried branches of overgrown weeds and brambles that soften the hard edges of the non-natural forms of the truck and trash. And the splash of blue tarp color always a must.

No real plans for this beauty yet, but the wheels are turning…

 

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.

 

Real Work of Art Outdoors

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The outdoor art show season is here in New England! Beautiful settings in towns, along the sea and in beautiful parks. But do the attendees appreciate the amount of work it really takes as they wander through the tents? I’ll speak to participants here but attendees will get an idea of the work involved in participating in an outdoor show.

Firstly, decide if these outdoor venues are for you. As an artist, is this how you’d like to spend your time–working in your home studio, or driving to a location maybe hours away, setting up a display in the very early morning, talking and repeating yourself to untold numbers of visitors, or patiently waiting for the occasional visitor to stop by, wondering if the weather will cooperate–sun, rain, wind or other, and of course preparing enough work for your display. Entry fees range from $30.00-over $300.00 per show. Professional tent setups range from 1200. -2000. depending on configuration.

Secondly, decide if your family situation is suited to your traveling and being away every weekend of the summer or at least many weekends. This will obviously impact your relationships with spouse and children. Its best if they are on board with this decision as it will mean a lot of time away and may be stressful on the family.

Thirdly, is your work appealing enough for visitors to purchase on an ‘impulse’ buy? Or do they need more than one interaction with the work and decide not to buy at the show. You can consider doing a series specifically for shows that may be a bit different than your other series or studio work.

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Fourth, are you ready to do the work to learn to sell your work?–since it doesn’t sell itself. Learning how to approach visitors during a show is critical. Visitors like to interact with the artists as you build your fan base. A simple–‘hello, what kind of art are you usually interested in’, or ‘what kind of subject matter do you find appealing’? Yes, you will keep the entire price you receive for a painting rather than splitting a gallery fee which can be as high as 50/50. This is a great part of doing direct sales to your customers. Some shows can be very successful financially for artists who have worked at finding just the right ‘work’ that sells.

Lastly, provide visitors with a way to contact you in the future. Give them a chance to think about how much they loved your work. Provide a flier, web address, social media contacts, note card with art sample or other memorable trinket. A one or two-day show can provide a lot of exposure to new audiences for your work. With so many artists it can be hard to stand out in a crowd of good artists.

Lesson learned: Try the show circuit and decide if all aspects of it make you happy. IF not, find another sales option such as galleries for your work.

You can find me and 40 other artists at the Uncommon Art on the Common, Saturday, August 6th 2016 in Goffstown, New Hampshire. Facebook #UncommonArtontheCommon

Poster UAOC 2016 final 11x17

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.

Blame It On New England

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

Copley Society Artist Residency at Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA

Using golden Open acrylics--longer time to dry that traditional acrylics. Work quite well.

Plein air painting as the tide gets closer to my feet.

As I catch up with my necessary duties as an artist (marketing, organizing, packing, shipping, emailing, inventorying, etc.), I am itching to get back in the studio to explore and play with the exciting new approaches to my art I discovered during my month-long residency at FAWC in Provincetown on Cape Cod. From toying with more abstract thinking to working without references, from meeting new faces to meeting famous faces–Paul Resika, Berta Walker, Constantine Manos–I have so much to internalize about my experience. Good thing the winter hibernation season is coming soon. Not that I hibernate of course. But those nice quiet snowfalls will be perfect backdrop as I dig deep into my thoughts.

Spirit of Grit / In the City

Spirit of Grit, In the City

Final painting revised months after I thought it was complete.

As a Copley Artist member I have an opportunity to submit artwork to planned exhibitions. Most recently a call for entries arrived called “GRIT-the urban landscape”. I almost dismissed the idea of entering as my work usually is nature-based with simple structures–certainly not gritty and city-based. The more I thought about it the more I was intrigued by the idea of taking this theme and interpreting it my own way.

version 1

First effort: 48″x24″ Black, grays and touches of warm tones as taillights or street lines.

version 2 48"x24"

Second effort on top of first effort.

My first attempt to sort out my approach is shown here a the left. Bold structure-like forms with window shapes and reflections interconnecting and overlapping in a similar way to how my brain feels when I go into any city especially for the first time. I may a well have jumped into the middle of a weaving loom full of threads and been asked to organize the colors and lines to find my way. Complete overload. Here was one way of visualizing that sensation. I stared at it for a while, overnight too. But it wasn’t speaking loudly enough to me.

In effort 2, I began the process of somehow enriching the experience in a way that made it more complex. Adding lines and areas of color that created a sense of evening, introduces a curved-dome suggesting a church, introduced an intense color area at the bottom suggesting the street level where most of the color happens. And of course added a suggeston of the Zachem bridge in the background.

Another day and night goes by as I evaluate it’s chances of seeing the light of a gallery wall. It could have been a keeper, but I was not satisfied yet. Out came the scrub brush. (I have heard many friends say you wiped that out? I love  that one! How could you? Ughh. It is after all my sense of what is right…right?)  After hours of work it is always a tough decision to either keep it, rework it, or completely smudge and smear til it gets to a point where I feel I have a base to move ahead again.

After the scrub

Third effort: Boldly applied acrylic now creates repeat pattern and underlying structure or foundation for me to play. You’ll notice the final painting is rotated 180 degrees from this version.

And so away it went. Scrubbed into a neutral blue gray gritty-looking background of texture and color. Now that was a surface I could work with. What did I want to say about the city? I am always impressed by the color as it contrasts with the stone grays of building materials found all over any city. Granite, limestone, pavement, cement, dust, dirt, smoke, hazy skies, misty air. Then there are the signs–retail, traffic, business, sandwich boards, all vying for attention while creating a cacophony of noise and distraction and confusion. That’s what I’ll paint about. And while I’m at it I’ll rotate the painting canvas to a bold horizontal where the expanse sideways will be as powerful as the vertical thrusts of the building/street lines. Now we’re talking. Me and my canvas.

detail of Spirit of Grit

Detail of process pic of Spirit of Grit.

I selected complementary colors of oranges and reds to contrast with the blues of the background hoping to heighten the busyness effect of the concept. A night and day notion–where there doesn’t seem to be much difference when living in the city–is represented by the dominant white building/street/subway-like line through the middle linking foreground and background imagery. Curves of a sky area reflects into a waterway representing moonlight blue evening sky. Traffic signal light at lower left adds a playful bit of color suggesting stopping, slowing and going are all part of the city life.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into my process no matter where you thought I should have stopped. Now I must go…

Painting on top of a painting. Almost final...

Painting on top of a painting. Almost final…

Edit October 2014: After looking at this piece, I decided it needed more work. The top image of this post reflects the new final piece.

 

Barnboard and Rhodies

Barnboard and Rhodies

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

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

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A family farm in Goffstown NH

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