If you’ve visited Maine Center for Acupuncture recently, you’ve surely noticed the striking new artwork gracing the walls of our treatment room! This wonderful new addition comes to us from artist Dominique Krasow. Read on for a Q&A with Dominique to learn more about the piece, and how it all came together.
What’s your history and experience with MCA?
A friend knew I was trying to quit smoking and recommended acupuncture, which I had never heard of as a remedy for that. I found MCA, listened to an interview with Ryan, and made an appointment that day. I’ve been going once a week for the past few months or so, and I love it.
What do you find special about MCA? What does the Center mean to you?
There’s something very calming, a feeling like meditating that I get when I arrive at MCA. Ryan is super friendly and aware – almost intuitively – of what people need. I am kind of a “Type A” personality so anything that centers me is wonderful. I look forward to my appointment every week and don’t think I will ever go without having acupuncture in my life.
How did this project come about?
I talk about my artwork anytime I get to know someone – it’s a huge piece of my life – and as Ryan got to know me we talked about the art I was creating. I showed him some pictures of the different work I do, and at the beginning of September he asked me if I would be interested in creating a piece for the acupuncture room. I was totally excited because I knew what the room felt like, so creating this piece was also internal.
When did the project start and end?
I started to work on the piece at the beginning of September. I actually had another idea originally of using reclaimed wood, but after looking at the wall I decided to use 3×2 wooden panels, which is often what I use in creating my pieces. I finished the piece toward the middle of October.
What tools and materials did you use?
I am a total child when it comes to creating a piece, because everything excites me. I’m a Mixed Media artist – which, let’s just say, is both exciting and challenging – and on this piece I immediately could see glass, material, rocks, so many different layers of texture that I wanted to use. Overall, I used paint, glass, rocks, beads, material, alpaca glue as texture and the three wooden panels. I love texture – it is what I am all about.
What was the process of conceptualizing and executing the work? Were there any challenges you encountered?
When Ryan asked me about creating this piece he gave me total freedom, which is such a gift as an artist. I immediately had a feeling of flow and freedom and empowerment. I wanted this piece to embody a sense of calm and being centered, since this is my experience when receiving acupuncture. I loved that I could see – almost immediately – the colors and feeling I wanted to portray. I often use Google to look at pictures of what I’m seeing or feeling and so I found a picture of the wave, the flow, and brought it to Ryan, and we also talked about colors. Both the size of the piece and the colors were very important – too much yellow and it would jump out at people; if the blues were too bright it would feel overwhelming. I painted and re-painted the piece three times before I was happy with the background. In my head I could see exactly what I wanted, but until it came out exact I couldn’t begin to add texture. I eat, sleep and live in a piece when I create it, so sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with how I want something to be. I am a piece of my art work, and that is very important to me.
What does the finished work symbolize and embody to you?
It was very exciting to create this piece, but the real excitement was looking at it once it was hung. I had this vision the entire time, but once it was hung I saw the vision totally come to life. The flow in the wave and the textures and colors were what I was hoping to embody. The lighting and the shadows in the room hit it just right. It was even more exciting to have Ryan’s positive response and to hear about the reaction of others. I love hearing the stories of how people describe the piece. It feels like a success, and that’s the point.
Is there anything else you want to add about the project?
I am very much a child at heart. Getting dirty while working is my favorite thing ever. I love to get deeply involved in a piece and I’ve learned that often times I have to sit – sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks – watching and thinking about the next step before I can continue. My vision is usually clear in my head, and sometimes I just have to stop and know that I will create exactly what I vision. It is humbling.
Where else can people see your work?
I have some small pieces of “veggie” artwork for sale at Fiachre on Pleasant Street, and two large pieces for sale at Knaughty Hair Salon on Commercial Street. At The Bar of Chocolate on Wharf Street I have a seven-foot panel hung, called “A Day In Paris”. Hair Innovations on Fore Street commissioned me for a piece that is hung behind their front desk. I am also in the process of creating a website of the work I’ve done and the work I hope to create. I can be reached via email at email@example.com.