Sunday, 23 February 2014

Dramatic art with a sense of mystery

We are lucky to have many gifted artists in the North Bay area, and Claire Domitric is one of them.

Claire creates expressive paintings, drawings and prints, with which she aims to "evoke thought and discussion".

I recently visited her home studio to learn more about her work. Here are the highlights from our discussion:

How did your interest in art begin?
CD: I've always been drawing and doing art, and I always enjoyed school art projects. I started painting in high school and moved on to get a Fine Arts degree, and later a Bachelor of Education. For some years, I was teaching art and drama to high school students.

Underwater, acrylic on canvas, 16”x 16”.
What is it about painting and art that you're attracted to?
CD: I like the materials and I like colours. Painting is a good way to process things you see and experiences you have. I like the discovery part of the artistic process, and never know what my pieces will look like in the end. I like not knowing. I follow a narrative and let the story develop as I'm painting.

You describe your work as “representational with an expressive brushstroke”. How do you achieve that style?
My art is representational but not photographic. There's a story behind every painting, about the place and the people. The starting point is almost always a photo, or various photographs, which I transform into a painting. There is often a sense of mystery and stillness in my pieces.

“Cards”, acrylic on canvas, 12” x  16”.

How are those feelings noticeable in your art?
CD: I don't think about it so much when I paint. That's more what I see in the painting in retrospect. The sense of mystery comes from the fact that I leave some things out, I don't completely finish parts of the painting.

"Dog Day", acrylic on wood, 6” x12”
Your pieces often include water, sky and outdoor activities.
CD: Yes, I'm drawn to water and I like being outside. I also think it's good to follow a general theme and limit the colour palette - it keeps things together. People and animals are also often in my paintings.

Waterfall, monoprint on paper, 17” x 20”.
“Meet you at the Horizon”, monoprint on paper,
20” x 26”. Monoprints are made by applying oil based inks to a plexiglass plate. After a process of rolling, brushing, scraping and wiping inks on the plate, Claire puts the plate through a printing press to transfer the image onto a prepared sheet of paper. In this way, she creates one original print at a time.

The series of paintings “Summers spent” have a very impressionistic feeling. How did that collection come about?
I found photographs from my childhood summers, which my family and I often spent in northern Ontario. They were taken by parents and friends and depict a carefree, relaxed summer feeling with youth playing in nature.

"Hide and Seek", acrylic on canvas, 30” x  30”.

"The Raft", acrylic on canvas, 16” x 16”.

Claire, with Pepe, in front of "The Cutting Garden",
acrylic on canvas, 30” x 30”. Claire likes to use
big canvases.
Can people buy your paintings directly from you?
Yes, my paintings are available on my website. I'm also open to commissioned work, I like the challenge.

Claire is a member of the North Bay Art Association, and frequently participates in art exhibitions in North Bay and area. Make sure to visit her website

Also check out my previous post "Looking at art from the start". Claire's colourful, contemporary paintings make for wonderful "jumping off" pieces for any room!

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