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Posts tagged ‘painting’

Fish Tale Come True

Fishermen are famous for fish stories. But not this one. Bill Sisson, Editor-in-Chief of AnglersJournal at aimmedia.com was true to his word. A stroll in downtown Portsmouth, NH resulted in this collaboration of poetry and art. Poetry by Elizabeth Bishop https://www.poetryfoundation.org/podcasts/75635/at-the-fishhouses  (available as a podcast in this link), was in the process of acquiring approvals to be published in an issue of Anglers Journal. My artwork happened to be on display at Kennedy Gallery in Portsmouth when Bill walked by already thinking about imagery to support Elizabeth’s poem, ‘At the Fishhouses’. Serendipity happens. He walked in to the gallery, viewed more of my work and asked for contact info. I was thrilled to receive the phone call and quickly said yes to this collaboration with such a prestigious author. I had not known her or her work but loved it when I read the verse. Almost as though it was meant to be.

My series of artworks featuring fishhouses began with my first painting workshop trip to Monhegan Island with painter Stan Moeller in 2003. The two fishhouses on the beach began a years-long semi-obsession with what they represented for me–two stalwart structures standing strong year-round, constantly being shored-up to withstand whatever came their way. As two people might also do.

67407 Moonlight Friends sm

Thank you Bill and Anglers Journal for patiently going through the years long process of receiving approvals to publish Elizabeth’s work. And especially for giving me, Ann Trainor Domingue, this unique opportunity to be paired with a giant in the poetry world.

Lesson learned: Do the work, show the work. You just never know. 

Embracing Family, Embracing Series

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Every Which Way, 24×36, acrylic

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Pattern in Blues, 24×36, acrylic

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Time of Day, 24×24, acrylic.

Its taken me some time to really embrace the idea of working in a series. I understand the concept and can readily see it in other artists’ work, but have consistently had difficulties adopting this idea in developing my own work, until now. The examples above show my recent attempts at exploring elements of my work and producing new works that embody aspects related to one another. Sort of like a family of children who look very similar, but are unique in their own way. Here’s where it has been tough for me. My background as an illustrator has given me broad skills to create just about anything. But that is not necessarily helpful in my career as a painter. Here’s what I’ve learned.

My extended family reaches far into the world as we have welcomed the changes life brings, and all is well. Marriages, divorces, friends, godchildren, distant relatives–not unlike many of you I’m sure. As relationships relate to my artwork though it sometimes appears as though I’ve adopted children from another planet, never mind my own world. So I have found it helpful to model my new found attention to working in a series after my family. Now it makes a bit more sense as I develop new art—as I choose which aspects to retain, and which to remember as an important lesson.

Finding the core element of the New England landscape (my lifelong home area) has been key to creating an armature/home where I can then change details while keeping a foundation in place. I’ll proceed into the New Year 2017 with a blueprint–one where I will still be able to enjoy serendipitous happenings as I evaluate new ideas to keep my family of work warm and cozy.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year. And as always, thank you for your continued support.

Ann

(If interested in any of these artworks, consult my website http://www.anntrainordomingue.com or contact me directly.)

 

A Painter’s Holiday

IMG_7304You 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.

IMG_7314If 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.

IMG_7561Lesson 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.

Last week for ‘Along the Waterfront’

 

16493 Meeting Up acryl canv 18x18 sm

Meeting Up, 18×18, acrylic on canvas.

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.

Copley Society of Art Boston opening

16467 Autumn Near and Far acryl fabr on canv 54x36 cs

Autumn Near and Far, acrylic and fabric on canvas, 52×32, gallery wrap, Ann Trainor Domingue

Opening reception for Copley Fellows exhibition, Thursday, May 19, 2016 at Copley Society of Art, 136 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 5:30-7:30. Meet six Copley Fellows who were selected to complete an artist residency at either Cape Ann, MA or the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. Talk with the artists and discover how our experiences have influenced our current works. Some of us have realized big changes while others are more subtle. We’d love to have you visit the opening, chat about our work, and learn a thing or two about what makes each of us unique. Thank you.

Participating artists are: Ann Trainor Domingue,  Barbara Leiner Greenstein, Eli Cedrone, Abby Lammers, Page Railsback and Gail Sauter.

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.

Endings and Beginnings

15460 Repeatedly acryl fabr on canv 24x24 sm

Repeatedly, acrylic and fabric on canvas, 24×24

And so ends 2015, a tough year with losing elder family members, illnesses, and generally a sense of starts and stops, of undecidedness (is that a word?) Ever the optimist I look forward to 2016 with a renewed sense of hope for peace in the world, good health for all, and the ability to work on my art to create with the gifts God gave me. Blessings to you all for a Happy New Year.

The artwork above is a defining piece created late 2015 that combines my ideas of using recycled material, weaving together family and friends, finding the abstract imagery that speaks to my soul, and boldly going where I have never gone before. I know I know. It’s Star Trek not Star Wars. Cheers to 2016

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.

sketches20150306_125047     20150306_151725

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.)

15407 Redheads acryl fabr canv 12x12 sm

One Red Boat, Endless Painting Options

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

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

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 24x24 painting depicting the simple drama of red against blues.

Closeup look at detail of a 24×24 painting depicting the simple drama of red against blues.

Springtime Sketching in Boston

comparison May 2015 Trinity Church May 2015

In a city like Boston, there are so many beautiful options for sketching and painting that it takes quite some time to make a decision. In a plein air event like this–painting direct from nature outdoors– painters must decide quickly where they will spend their day or risk running out of time. For a painter, the chance of losing the shadows or lighting conditions are what pressures us to settle on a view and get to work. I spent about 30 minutes walking near Trinity Church looking for a position detail of drawingthat gave a me a broad view of the main facade, was away from dangerous traffic, had some shade for me to sit in if need be, and was not located too far from the Copley Society of Art gallery in case nature called. I had great fun doing this piece although it was chilly and windy. Nice to hear that someone bid on this piece at the Auction held May 8th. Thank you to whoever you are. Visit my painting website at www.anntrainordomingue.com

JoP Research Journal

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

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

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