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Posts tagged ‘reflections’

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.

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Inspired by the Wetland

Wetland Dunbarton Compare 3

How many options are there with a photo reference such as this? So many I still haven’t exhausted the possibilities and I have done at least 12 paintings of all sizes to try to capture the essence of this scene. So much to work with. So much to leave out. The trick is which is which. And that is the most fun and challenging. Some landscape images thrill me, others do not. I use my sketchbook to work on figuring this out. Lots and lots of pages. Each one getting closer to what my sensibilities say is right. Yours, and any artist’s will be different. Isn’t that great? Visit my website to see more www.anntrainordomingue.com or email me at domingue@comcast.net to receive my newsletter.

Painting About More Than Reflections

Reflections at Work story

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

One Sun, Two Loves

One Sun, Two Loves sm

This is the final day of the 30 paintings 30 days challenge from artist/blogger Leslie Saeta. Although I didn’t get all thirty paintings posted, the challenge has jump started my year and I am happy for that little push. I have posted more on my blog than usual finding that I could actually write faster and show a work in progress or final piece. I tend to wait til it is totally finished before letting it out in the world. But there is something to be said for letting people see the “struggle” of a piece too. This piece was conceived while sitting in an airport waiting for a flight back to cold NH. I thought how lovely the warm air had been in Florida visiting my gallery Galerie du Soleil in Naples. So this snowbird idea came to me–how could I show both FL and NH landscapes in one painting. And here is my first effort at doing just that. Let me now your thoughts!  24×48, acrylic on canvas, One Sun, Two Loves.

Waiting for Tomorrow

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/

Waiting for Tomorrow sm

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.

 

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