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.
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.
Playing with heavy textures in my customary coastal theme.
Last summer I did a painting titled, Raking Light, a 36×36 that described a late afternoon low tide at a sandy beach in Provincetown. One small area of the painting approx. 5×5 inspired this enlargement at 24×24. I loved how the coarseness of the under-texture allowed the acrylic paint to sit up on top of the raised areas. And adding other color layers allowed those underneath to still peek through. Having fun creating new works this endless winter using this idea. No title as of yet. Ideas?
Detail that inspired new work
Here is a quick look at what happens when I am not happy with the progress of a painting. I start scrubbing out areas and mashing others together looking for something that unifies the separate pieces that are not working well together. And the version on the right is the result. What for me is a resolved image and one that is a keeper. This sunsplashed scene is inspired by a snapshot of a building on the grounds of Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, NH.
Preliminary sketch on canvas of segments/chapters
Determining color scheme along the way, not pre-thought.
Final look at the painting process 36×36, acrylic on canvas.
In this painting there are 8 segments, each could be a small painting on its own but I have opted to build all these into one large 36×36 to see if I could unify all pieces together on one panel. I have done small paintings of the segments in the past using other color schemes and slightly different designs. But putting them all together in a block-like fashion and hoping to retain a sense of order–not in a chronological or book style– but in a way that allows the viewer to make up their own idea of what this piece is saying to them. See more of my art at www.anntrainordomingue.com or sign up to stay informed on my FB Art Page at www.Facebook/anntrainordomingueart Ann Trainor Domingue, messy, uncommon, friendly contemporary art inspired by but not beholden to the New England landscape.
detail of 30×24 painting
Scenes like this in coastal Maine–full of shapes and color, lines and forms, complex details and light–are scenes that I enjoy sorting out and abstracting elements to work with. I don’t know the exact outcome when I begin just that there are enough things that interest my imagination and then I begin the process of building a painting. See website for recent works http://www.anntrainordomingue.com