Rainier cherries are still available for sale here in the Pacific Northwest. They’re everywhere. Yesterday I saw a father and his young son eating cherries from a bag. The father was coaching the son on how to carefully chew the cherry, extract the pit and spit it into a cup.
Watching that reminded me that we have to be taught how to deal with the adversities in life, how to focus on and enjoy the good things, how to pull off the unwanted stems, to watch out for the pits and learn to cope with them – but to remember the enjoyment.
Here’s a painting I just finished titled “Life’s A Bowl Of Cherries, Stems, Pits And All”
“Life’s a bowl of cherries, stems pits and all” – by Clancy – 8 x 10 inches – acrylic and gouache on board
I’ve been thinking lately about the various ways that language is used and how that usage relates to being human.
For example: it helps human relationships if people are sincere, honest and as clear in their verbal communications as possible. Deliberate efforts to use language so as to mislead others to one’s own advantage is the opposite of helpful human relating.
Being a language-using human means to try to make mental connections between ideas/concepts and that includes trying to connect with other humans. Human existence and experience are about making connections and evaluating the qualities of those on-going connections, selecting the helpful and meaningful ones, expanding the number of “good relationships”. We create the world together.
Bullshitting is an effort to avoid making meaningful connections. To bullshit is to manipulate language so as to avoid relating directly with people in fact-based, rational, practical ways.
To share a drink (whether alcoholic beverages or not), to share food and to share books is an expression of a strong desire to meaningfully connect with someone. Sharing drinks, food, books, sports and many other collaborative/cooperative activities are ways we develop relationships and nurture on-going connections.
I’ve recently re-read “Bullshit” by Harry G. Frankfurt, mused on it’s contents so much (see the above verbiage) that I’ve included the book in a painting. And yes I really did use lots of sticky-notes in my copy of Frankfurt’s book, my effort to make connections between the concepts I found there.
Now that we’ve discussed “Bullshit” – what beverages do you like to drink?
“Need More Bourbon” by Clancy – 8 x 10 inches – acrylic and gouache on board.
It’s my birthday so you get a present! Because you’re a regular reader of my posts, here is a free downloadable e-book copy of my “Running Around Loose” sketchbook. It’s a pdf file, click RunningLooseVanEd1byClancy to download the book for free (it’s a birthday gift!). I’ll include a few sample pages in this post so you’ll have some clues as to what you’ll get when you open the file. Enjoy! And thanks again for looking at my stuff!
Now please pass the strawberries and whipped cream.
pages from “Running Around Loose in Vancouver WA” by Clancy
Oh yes – you can find more of my artist books here: https://sueclancy.com/shop/ and here: https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/
I’ve been thinking lately about how much our lives are reflected in the objects we own, save, give away or dispose of – and the many mundane moments out of which a life is made. Perhaps choosing carefully what we focus on, choosing what encourages our “better angels”, choosing what becomes mundane is what makes for a good life.
These thoughts began when I was having coffee at one of my downtown coffee shops, staring at the highly polished surface of the ceramic coffee cup which reflected the surrounding city-scape. It was an ordinary moment that elevated my spirit. I carried it in my mind back to my studio where, to savor the feeling, I created this:
Coffee City – by Clancy – 5 x 7 inches – acrylic and gouache on board
Today I practiced some very basic mint math. You know, if you have four mints and you eat one…
Mint Math by Clancy – 5 x 7 inches – acrylic and gouache on board
I first “met” the Pacific Northwest in the novels of Tom Robbins. His book “Another Roadside Attraction” has a wonderful description of the grey-blue skies, the abundant rain, the soil and how the “…strawberries grow lustily…”.
Fast forward a number of years and on one of my first visits to the region I saw a field of strawberries growing wild near the ocean. I was enchanted.
Then after many years of vacations to this land of enchantments we moved from Oklahoma to the Pacific Northwest. One of the first things my wife and I did as new residents was to buy 4 Rainer strawberry plants and plant them in our back yard.
Each year those 4 plants multiplied themselves. And each year we share strawberries with neighbors, friends, family and try to think of new ways to use them.
This year’s new recipe is a strawberry daiquiri. Here’s the recipe I used – http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/frozen-strawberry-daiquiri-99140 – I went lighter on the lime juice than they suggest. It was quite yummy!
As you know from recent posts I’ve been practicing painting “stuff” a little more realistically – so I tried to get the glasses to look transparent and the fruits to look round and full. Here’s the painting, titled “Strawberry Daiquiris”.
Strawberry Daiquiris – by Clancy – 8 x 10 inches – acrylic and gouache on board
It’s Mount Rainer Cherry season here in the Pacific Northwest! After getting fresh cherries at the Farmer’s Market on a warm summer day – we went for a cocktail. Bartenders around here use seasonal produce and since cherries are in season the drink of the day was cherry themed. Well, the drink was so good it inspired our friend to say “Wow, this drink is almost a religious experience!”.
“Amen, sister!” I replied.
“Halleluiah!” added Judy.
Then I went back to the studio and created this piece.
Cherry Season – by Clancy – 7 x 5 inches – acrylic and gouache on board
It ended up being an artistic exercise/challenge in getting the two-colored cherries to look round, and the glass to look glass-like.
Since this one is slightly different than my usual sort of thing I sent an image of “Cherry Season” to the gallery owner at Caplan Art Designs – who said it’ll be included in my exhibit later this year! And I’m to keep ’em coming! Wahoo!!
Anyway, in looking up cherry-drink recipes for this post I found this link – which seems the closest to the drink we had at our local pub. http://www.cookingandbeer.com/2015/06/rainier-cherry-and-orange-campari-cocktails/
It took some doing but I finished the painting I was working on in my last post (here). I’ve titled it “A Novel Morning”. It is 24 inches by 18 inches – acrylic and gouache on board.
The text in the painting was paraphrased from Dona Leon’s book “Death at La Fenice” – the first book in her Commissario Brunetti series. I adjusted the text for artistic reasons too numerous to write about in detail here – mainly because I’m lazy about typing words in a row – the gist being that I wanted to convey visually what I find alluring in Leon’s novelistic work; i.e. I love the food connection.
And I included the Powell’s bookstore receipt in the painting because one of my favorite things to do is go to a local bookstore, find a new-to-me novel, visit the in-bookstore coffee shop and consider the author/book carefully. That’s my idea of heaven.
I’ve been reading a lot of novels by Donna Leon lately. Her Commissario Brunetti series. My wife and I had watched many of the movie versions, I got hooked and sought out the novels. As a result I’ve realized how often the detective mystery is solved by something mundane, trivial and even disposable. The clue that resolves the crime may be found in the wilted flowers in the office, the food take-out container, the receipt in a wallet – or something else really mundane. In Leon’s work the city, the food, the objects are characters in their own right. They certainly add to my perception of her protagonist Guido Brunetti and his cases.
These thoughts led me to thinking about how historians and archeologists both spelunk in the log-books, the diaries and the trash heaps of history to find the clues about life in the past.
And then there’s the concepts of wabi-sabi and hygge…
Amongst all these thoughts I had my cat’s exhibit open at Burnt Bridge Cellars. One of the benefits of doing one-person shows is that I get to see a years worth of my own work all at one time. As I looked around I realized that I’ve focused on creating my characters; the eyes, the fur, their animal-body-shape in people clothing and not as much on the stuff, the objects, they hold.
So I want to see if I can tell a visual story with “just stuff”. A still life basically. But I still hope to tell or imply a visual story. By doing this I’ll be practicing depicting the details of drinks, food and physical objects better so they can become “characters” in their own right. Kind of like what Leon does in her novels. Then eventually I hope to put my object-characters together with my animals…
Anyway, here’s me working on one:
This morning I delivered my cat themed artwork to Burnt Bridge Cellars for the upcoming exhibit, “Purrsuits of Pleasure”, June 1st through the end of July. Below is the unvarnished, unedited, raw, bare-naked video of what the exhibit looked like just after it was hung. The exhibit will look entirely different with a glass of wine in hand and lots of friendly people to talk to. Art is an excuse for a good conversation.
If you wish to actually read the exhibit statement that appeared out-of-focus in the end of the video you can see that in a recent blog post here – and some of the text beside the artwork can be read in the post here.
Here’s the link to Burnt Bridge Cellars: http://www.burntbridgecellars.com/
And here is the link to Caplan Art Designs – one of my galleries that can be contacted regarding my work in this exhibit: http://www.caplanartdesigns.com/
Now I’m going to grab a novel and read a while – generally get rested before the opening party on Friday.