Doing some sketching on location for 2 different projects; one is a fine art commission project that has water and a sailboat in it (and a dog!). The other is a possible new artist book (maybe ebook?) that I spoke of in this “alive and sketching” post. Anyway… here are today’s sketchbook pages …
I’ve been busy working on art commissions – and some extra special “dog-drawing-for-Christmas” requests – none of which I can talk about in public ’cause, you know, they’re somebody’s present! So I took a very short time off from being one of Santa’s elves and did this short-narrative poem plus illustration practice:
Molly – By Sue Clancy –
Molly sat combing her hair
Tangles she had here and there
It took some might
But she set it a-right
Then got dressed and went dancing somewhere.
I have an ancient Sufi saying posted on my studio wall “Stay close to anything that makes you glad to be alive”. So when I go sketching I’m looking for things in the world that catch my eye, gives me an artistic thought or two – and yes, makes me glad to be alive.
Which dovetails nicely with the Thanksgiving season. I’m glad to be alive and to be able to be an artist – and thankful for living in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by so much natural beauty and so many artistically inspiring places, people, dogs, cats and things… food and drink too…
So I’m flirting with thoughts of publishing my sketchbook as an ebook/artist book. Here are two of the potential pages about a place I hiked called “Hamilton Mountain”.
What do you think? To publish or not to publish. That is the question to take up after the holiday.
Sue Clancy’s sketch on Hamilton Mountain (pen, ink and watercolor)
Last evening I was looking up something in a book called “Drawing Masterclass” and I read this (again): “Animals as subject matter for the visual arts have a longer history than any other subject. The first images drawn by the human race depicted the animals that were hunted for survival [cave paintings]…. There is no period in art when animals have not played a major role.”
In my fine art animals become characters; my creative process is much like the way a novelist creates a character, a compilation of authorial thoughts and observations – a “collage” of them you might say – merged into one person/character within their story. I create anthropomorphic animal characters because I see humans as part of the natural world and the natural world as part of humanity. I’m inspired by both nature and culture.
So when I do animal portraits, people are there too. When I do a portrait of a particular dog, for example, a particular person (someone, or several someone’s I saw in real life) is also reflected. It becomes a visual story of that animal and that person. I define “story” as a plot where there is some surprise. The surprise in one of my visual stories might be the realization of how a human can be like a dachshund.
For example in my artwork titled “Happy Hour” (see image below) inside I sometimes feel happy and excited like my dachshund Rusty looks when he is bouncing around wagging his tail and dancing for his supper. (Places and objects enter in to my visual story creation too but that’s another discussion.)
My gallery agents often explain to clients that I create (as special commissions) portraits of pets as their pet owners; an imaginative merging of pet and person. And that’s true.
Here, so you can see what I’m talking about, are some of my animal portraits currently available at either Caplan Art Designs www.caplanartdesigns.com and at Joseph Gierek Fine Art www.gierek.com – please contact each gallery for more details.
Doing my short narrative – poem plus illustration – practice again. Perhaps I should call it “dog drawing plus words”?
Ponder – By Sue Clancy –
There once was a dog named Ponder
Who was full of curiosity and wonder
“What’s it like in the lea?
or for people at sea?
Oh what is it like over yonder?”
I was contacted about a week ago by a magazine located in the U.K called Creative Digest – http://www.creativedigest.co.uk/ – they wanted to do a profile about me and my artwork! They sent me a bunch of questions, and requested art images… it went back and forth…. and now the magazine profile is out!
They titled the profile “Charming animal illustrations by Sue Clancy” – how nice is that? This is one of my artworks they chose to feature on the front page. Going to go happy dance! I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts….
Being a busy professional artist I’m fond of “quick fix” meals that are both yummy and fairly healthy – I’m feeding my creative-mental-beast after all! So, by special request (Thanks Laura!) here in this post is my favorite nacho’s recipe.
I like to make my nachos as artistically colorful as possible so as I’m piling the ingredients on – sometimes (in addition to the ingredients below) I’ll include spinach leaves, and chopped red bell pepper chunks to make it have a colorful contrast. I like the dark olives against the white mozzarella too. The “ready to use beans” mentioned in the recipe are described in this blog post here: https://sueclancy.com/2016/10/17/best-artistic-life-trick/ and make a nice background color along with the yellow corn chips and the light green onion and the dark green jalapeno…
And yes, this recipe is written like you see here in ink and color pencil in one of my sketchbooks.
Oh, and the cast-iron griddle technique really is the “secret sauce” for my nachos! Enjoy!!
Here are two of my fine artworks that were recently shipped to Joseph Gierek Fine Art http://www.gierek.com/sueclancy – these pieces and more will be in an upcoming exhibit opening Dec 1!! Joe, the owner of Joseph Gierek Fine Art encouraged me to do more of my “free associative” paintings – and boy did I have fun! Several of these new ones are inspired by music. Others were inspired by helium balloons or my questions about how the stars got in the sky… you can click the above link to see my other artworks currently at Joe’s. Have fun! (And yes, art shipped to the gallery – can be shipped anywhere – just contact the gallery ….)
Today’s short narrative practice… original poem and art/illustration to follow:
Danny Joe – By Sue Clancy
There was an old dog named Danny Joe
who played a lively banjo
and sang folk songs
about rights and wrongs
and all the things a body should know
“We need art and beauty because survival is insufficient.” Emily St. John Mandel
I’ve been thinking about that quote today and thinking about my responsibility as an artist to create beautiful, delightful, joyous – and even funny – things. Creations that are my own small way of helping myself and other people to live well, to feel and give love, to reach deep down into that playful place of the heart and mind where deep genuine laughs and gracious smiles come from.
Art making is my way of sitting down near the fearful wolf hiding under the mental bed – within myself, within all of us – and reaching out to soothe it, give it a favorite snack and even play with it until it (hopefully) giggles.
Here’s one of my fine art pieces containing a dog – a wolf ‘cousin’ – that is currently at the Caplan Art Designs gallery:
And here’s why I think it important to sit with the wolf…
page from “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit