Transparent. Reflective. Abstract. Real. All at once.
That’s how I view quick snapshots taken while walking along York Beach, Maine last summer when the water was at least 55 degrees warmer than today. I was playing with my compact camera simply letting it do its thing–opening and closing the shutter and allowing light to come in. It’s these impulsive, unscripted images that allow for some interpretation as well as connections to other seemingly unrelated things. A Mark Rothko painting (famous for his color field approach) for instance, seems to have been inspired by a seascape such as the one I’ve posted here. This kind of simplification can be a show stopper when the rest of the online world is showing/displaying an incredible number of images every second of every day. I’m tired just thinking about it. Thought for today is simple, simplify.
Blue Divided by Blue, 1966, Mark Rothko, 1903-1970.
Who would have thought a stroll after a nice dinner at the Lobster Pot would have captivated my artistic eye for so long. A quick snapshot taken one hot afternoon in Provincetown, MA has been the catalyst of many of my artworks. As with many other photos I have taken, as soon as one painting is completed I have another idea to improve/change/renovate the next one. So this one, on the advice of Mary Harding curator of the George Marshall Store Gallery in York, Maine, to “paint bigger” here is one of the results. Raking Light Across at 36×36 gave me the space and opportunity to really dig in and work on the layering of color and texture. It was a blast. More to come.
Scouting out a location in a busy city such as Boston can be an intimidating process. The sheer number of possibilities for making a painting can be overwhelming to evaluate. Choosing just the right location–one with a good view, open space for setting up equipment, safe from traffic, animals, and other oddities is not easy. We found this location on a scouting trip taken with my daughter, Katie Trainor, who lives in Boston and works at Francesca’s Coffee Café on Tremont Street, right around the corner from Union Street Park. Perfect. Her knowledge of the area and my preferences was invaluable to selecting this spot. Just enough area to setup, a beautiful spring day at the pocket park, and of course, proximity to a bathroom :). Sidewalk location was just right to allow me to set up and allow neighbors to get by–and chat. A win for all. The Copley Society of Art PaintOut was one week after the Boston bombing at the Marathon so the city was still reeling. Good to know this event and sale of my painting helped a little to add to the Boston Strong fundraising effort.
We artists have so many options open to us as we design a new piece of art. This one is less real and more abstract or is it more abstract than real. Let me explain. I love working with the landscape–New England, Caribbean and beyond– and that does not always mean working directly in front of it–plein air–as it is commonly known. I enjoy the process of interpreting the things that have inspired me and reworking into artworks that speak the language of the landscape but also let my personal interpretations in as well. Let me know your thoughts on this new piece entered in the Modernist Exhibition at the Copley Society of Art in Boston. Let see if it makes the cut. It was inspired by Amadeo de Souza Cardoso, Portuguese, 1877-1918, “The Leap of the Rabbit.” Pieces entered are required to be inspired by a work or artist own at famous The Armory Show in NYC in 1913.
MacMillan Wharf, Cape Cod fishing boat slowly cruising home
From snapshot, to sketch, to final painting–here’s a sample of how I create my paintings. Not all happen this way but this is a process I find captures an inspiration, allows me to mull over the possibilites and then sketch options and try out with various media. Exploring without knowing my end goal is my idea of great fun while creating each artwork. Visit my website to see more www.anntrainordomingue.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive my newsletter.
I am excited to be part of this inspiring workshop to be held in September 2012. Registration is now ongoing for The Beauty of Light– Plein Air Workshop on Cape Cod.
Looking for a workshop that will challenge your current working approach in watercolor, add energy, and try new techniques under experienced helpful eyes? Try my “Catch of the Day” plein air watercolor session–a very different working approach than working in your studio.
Or are you interested in learning techniques to capture the essence of a scene, using line, color washes and inspiring notes, try my “Sketching on the Run” workshop session for any level artist working in any medium.
Here’s a wonderful example of an analogous color scheme and a great example of camouflage in nature. Analogous colors are those that are found right next to each other on a color wheel, or are very similar in color and tonality such as the leaves and Thomas’ fur. The warm tones of the oak and maple leaves match his burnt sienna-colored fur very well. His darker fur and nose direct your eye toward these areas because they are different tones and color than the rest of the photo–and his face is the real area of interest–as most portraits are. The soft greens at the left side help to bring some variation in the overall color palette yet does not detract from the main area of focus.
There are plenty of examples in nature–and hunters experience this natural camouflage on every outing making it pretty tough to get their prey in the rich textures and colors of the woods. (As an animal lover, I’d rather hunt with a camera.) But I appreciate the challenge of hunting and the skills it takes to be successful. Fishing has the same camouflage effect–every try to find a fish in a stream? The sunlight and shadows as well as ripples all contribute to the complexities of light and form–making it a close to perfect camouflage.
And Thomas, he’s an excellent dog, well-behaved and a very patient model.