I took my artist book “Coffee Please” to the 23 Sandy Gallery today. Had an enlightening visit with the gallery owner Laura Russell talking about the role of the artist’s book in the world… Of course I’m aware of the role of the artist book in my personal life – but to talk about the artist book as it fits into a larger picture was inspiring! I also got to see other book-artist’s artist book work. Wow! All of this reminded me that I needed to define “artist book” as I see it here on this blog: It is a work of fine art that has the form and feel of a traditional book. It is fine art often in a sequential form that tells or demonstrates a narrative or concept. Sometimes an artist book can feel almost “sculptural”, showing ideas in dimensions over page-leaf spans of time.
Do you remember Pop-Up books from when you were a kid? Yeah, artist books are fun like that but are conceptually created for grown ups.
I recently decided that I needed a new easel that would move up and down more easily. My current easel has two small “pins” that need to be unscrewed to allow the mast and the platform to move up or down. As time has gone by those have gotten more and more difficult to work with – hard to unscrew, hard to keep level etc – and I don’t adjust the height of my work when I need to because it’s a pain to adjust things. Which results in a pain in my neck, wrist or knees. So I eagerly looked for options and I’m happy to say that I’ve a new Sorg Easel ordered! http://www.studioeasel.com/ It was super easy to order this easel – David Sorg himself answered all my questions – and so I concluded that this easel is the one for me! There’s an omg dream-worthy video of the Sorg Easel in operation on the studioeasel.com website. I’m excited about the new easel and the possibility of being able to move my artwork up and down with a touch! Imagine that!?! Here is a picture of me on my knees working at my old easel…
Sue Clancy working on a commission for the lobby of a children’s center – using her current easel.
I’ve been reading “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and “Looking at Mindfulness” by Christophe André both books on the topic of caring for and training one’s mind. A friend also talked to me recently about her daughter’s childhood collection of glass marbles. So I’ve been contemplating both of the phrases “collecting one’s marbles” or “losing one’s marbles”. Isn’t it interesting that we use common toy marbles to make references about mental faculties? On my blog you can see a recent sketchbook page (https://sueclancy.com/2016/04/14/pug-mindfulness-sketchbook-page/) where I’m ruminating on marbles and mindfulness. Needless to say all of this thinking has inspired a new artwork I’ve just finished titled “His Marbles” 8 x 8 inches, hand dyed paper, hand stenciled paper, and acrylic on cradled board.
His Marbles By Sue Clancy hand dyed paper, hand stenciled paper, and acrylic on cradled board
I like to go sketching as a way to “gather data” that I’ll use in my fine artwork. I’ll go looking for colors, shapes, patterns and many other elements in the real world from which I’ll draw and make notes in my sketchbooks for reference use – inspiration – later in my studio. Where I’ll go depends on the kind of data I’m needing to collect: is it botanical colors? natural shapes? or urban tile/brick patterns that I need? No matter where I’m heading there is often the question: “What to do about lunch?”
This sandwich is fast becoming my go-to-reliably-yummy-easily-portable fave. I’m calling in my “Let’s Go Sketching Sandwich”. It’s a fave because of it’s yummy-ness but also for it’s portability. There’s no need for a cooler or a way to keep it cold (translation; no need to carry additional gear!), it’s not a messy sandwich and it can be eaten with one hand – all virtues in this artist’s book! I can literally stick this simple sandwich in my art bag and go!
Here in this post is – irony intended – my sketch and notes about my sketching sandwich that I made in my sketchbook!
And yes, it is important to press the sandwich together – it helps meld the flavors. It is also helpful to wait an hour or more between making the sandwich and eating it. This also contributes to this sandwiches portability; I can wrap this sandwich tightly in wax paper, put it in a ziploc bag and put that in the bottom of my art bag – any sketchbooks on top of the sandwich are helping me “meld” the sandwich. If it takes me 30 minutes or an hour to get to where I want to sketch – all the better. Now – let’s go! (Any curiosities about what else is in my “art bag” besides this sandwich can be settled here: https://sueclancy.com/2016/02/18/sues-sketching-setup/)
the Let’s Go Sketching Sandwich – recipe and drawing in Sue Clancy’s sketchbook
I’ve been reading “Looking at Mindfulness” by Christophe Andre – and on my walks seeing and meeting Pugs. I’ve also had several conversations with people about marbles; the childhood game, the glass art techniques, keeping ones mental (ahem) marbles. Here’s my sketchbook page with some thoughts that are likely to become a fine art piece.
Sue Clancy’s sketchbook page – with a drawing of a Pug dog and quotes about mindfulness
Here is number 3, in my new series of related artworks, titled “The Read Hat”. For this one I focused on memory and awareness; the image of a book symbolizes a collection of information, the ancient Greek text represents the beginnings of human philosophical thought… and yes, I also thought of magicians and the hat as a (voila!) vehicle for transformation.
Like the other two artworks “The Read Hat” was also inspired by colors in my landscape, Chihuahua dogs, dot patterns and comfortable pajamas.
The Read Hat by Sue Clancy, 14 x 11 x 2 inches, hand dyed paper, hand stenciled paper, handmade paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board.
Like the first piece in my new series of 3 artworks, my second piece has also been inspired by dots, evening book reading, chihuahua’s and the colors I’ve seen in my local landscape. My newest piece is titled “The Read Wagon”. It, too, is made with my hand dyed, handmade papers, hand stenciled papers, found paper and acrylic on cradled board.
For “The Read Wagon” I thought about how books I’ve read in the past, the experiences I’ve had, have enabled me to understand and appreciate new-to-me books and new-to-me experiences. I imagine myself as walking around with an invisible wagon tagging along behind me full of the stuff-of-memory, education and awareness.
The Read Wagon by Sue Clancy, 14 x 11 x 2 inches, hand dyed paper, hand stenciled paper, handmade paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board.