Here’s hoping your New Year is a purr-fectly good one! Cheers – with assorted cats!
“Harold” by Sue Clancy (ink on handmade paper)
Some of these artworks are in galleries currently. Caplan Art Designs www.caplanartdesigns.com and Joseph Gierek Fine Art www.gierek.com
I’m planning in 2018 to create more cat themed fine artwork with an eye towards a printed artist book of my cats. Towards my book idea I’m beginning a Patreon page here: https://www.patreon.com/sueclancy – this page isn’t officially launched yet… you heard it here first.
Here’s hoping you have a Happy Holiday! For your amusement (or if you find yourself in need of dog therapy) here are some assorted chocolate labs – and one yellow lab. Cheers!
For more dogs look for the book “Dogs By Sue Clancy” on Amazon.
As I posted recently (here) I’ve been playing around with a new-to-me art media: gouache.
Here’s my process of learning a new art media:
- Read 3 or 4 different sources that describe how to work in the media. While I’m reading I’m looking for “basic best practices” as well as what the “chief virtues” or strengths of the medium art and whether it’s advertised virtues might meet my needs.
- I look at artworks by other artists that use the medium. It’s best if I can see the art in real life – but seeing reproductions online or in books is helpful too. I was lucky enough to get to see some real-life works using gouache at the Portland Art Museum (see my last post)
- Buy the best quality medium materials that I can find. I went with Holbien Artist Gouache. It’s a company that’s been around a while and the primary mixing gouache set I got for the initial test is professional quality. (I did not get the “Holbien Acryla Gouache” as it is more like acrylic and would not be helpful for my purposes)
- When I get new medium materials I do something with them as soon as I get them home. Even if all I do is put some paints on a palette and make a few marks. I find that the sooner I start the better my chances of developing a new habit/ability instead of having “something I always meant to try”.
- Then once I’ve dabbled a bit I’ll take a subject matter that I’ve done fairly well using other mediums. I use that subject for the first 3 or 4 times and render it as well as I can in the new medium. This way I can focus on the details, methods and possibilities of the new medium rather than thinking of subject matter too.
Here’s what I did with my new gouache set (the primary mixing set) plus a few extra colors I knew I’d need (since I draw a lot of animals I knew I needed browns).
I picked the sheet music because the paper is very thin and fragile – even more thin than the paper in my Brooklyn Art Library sketchbook. So I reasoned that if the paints worked fairly well on the sheet music then I’d be able to use them on other thin papers.
I picked Siamese cats as a subject because they’re, well, musical.
The result of my test? Oh my! I think I may be falling in love with gouache!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. And I’m grateful for you. Thank you for following my blog, and my artwork on social media. Thank you for coming to my art exhibits. Thank you for buying my fine art, my books, scarves and my other designs. Here, as a “Thank you” is a downloadable, printable artist book. In the pdf file below I’ve also included instructions for folding the 8 page book. Yes, you can color my book first if you like.
Here is an image of the book folding instructions – I’m including them in this post as a way of giving you a clue as to what the above pdf file will be giving you.
And because many of you have asked for more from me – I’ve been slowly creating a way for you to access my sketchbooks and artist books via subscription. This will allow me to make available new artist books as I create them. You can see what I mean here: https://www.patreon.com/sueclancy
Thank you again for your support and encouragement of my artwork!
My mini guide has been published!!!! It’s called “How To Draw Dogs” by Sue Clancy. I’m so excited about this – and can’t wait to see my printed copies! Below is a photo I took back when I was creating the guide – before it got published. Then I forgot to post the work-in-progress photo… Anyway…
Here’s one of the recipe illustrations I’ve been working on for Chef Kim Mahan’s cookbook. I had lots of fun putting a chicken in Speedo swim trunks! Lol!
You can see more about this project here: https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/kim-cooks-sue-draws/
In my town and region I find a lot of cafes, pubs and bistros that have – for the lack of a better term – ledges as tables. These are swaths of 8 to 12 inch deep “tables”, just big enough to put a coffee cup with a saucer and perhaps a paperback book. Or they’re just large enough for a drink and a small plate of food.
Many of these ledges run along a wall and the edge of a room. Some ledges run down the center of a room and still others run along a window. The ledges vary in length according to the space – I’ve seen as many as 18 people sitting along one ledge – but the ledge is rarely deeper than 12 inches.
It’s especially interesting to walk on a busy street and pass by a window and there, inside the eatery, facing the sidewalk, a number of people sit reading, eating, drinking and talking to each other. I also find it fun to be one of the eatery patrons perched at the window and merely inches from the front of me and my 8 inches of ledge is the whole world passing by!
So I was thinking of such ledges today when I was drawing Burmilla cats. Burmilla’s have impossibly big eyes. All the better for watching the world go by from your cat-perch at your favorite ledge!
In my studies of cats recently I’ve learned that cats are often employed on winery and beer brewery premises – especially here in the Pacific Northwest. There are also several local bookstores and music instrument shops that have cat “staff” members too. So in support of working cats today here are two portraits I’ve just finished that are drying on my table (a Siamese and a Tabby).
I think I’ll call the piano player “Scarlatti” after Domenico Scarlatti, the Italian composer of “The Cat’s Fugue” (google it!). I’ll call my better-mousetrap-builder “Handy”.
I worked today on some British Shorthair cats. I picked this breed because I enjoy British comedy. Silly reason I know. Anyway drawing this breed of cat was a challenge. When is a British Shorthair not a Tabby? The shape of the head, ears…. so many nuances are different. I had to pay close attention to fine details of the breed – I did research – so I kept my overall-artwork composition similar and simple. I used Sumi Ink to do this practice with. Not sure I’ve ‘got it’ yet on drawing British Shorthairs so I’ll try again another day. Still as far as general-cat-art goes I’m pleased with my work. Now I’ll go make some dinner and see if I can talk my Sweetie into watching another British comedy with me.
Last night was the opening of my art exhibit “The Fur Suit Of Happiness” at Caplan Art Designs in Portland Or. Lots of people came. Many nice things were said about my artwork. Many good questions were asked. Several people used the “M” word when referring to my artwork and I still get a warm fuzzy feeling when I hear such evidence that people “get” my work! The “M” word is “metaphor” or “mythology”.
And yes, the work of Joseph Campbell has inspired much of my artwork!
During the opening last night I found it was helpful that I had just given a speech the day before (blog post about the speech here) – so I still had my “talking shoes” on. There have been openings where I’ve gone to a gallery directly from my work in my studio – with a slight pause to change clothes – at such times I get to the gallery and find I’ve almost forgotten the English language. Or any language but pictures. And I need a few minutes to “find my words”.
Didn’t have that trouble last night! I was almost chatty Cathy! Here are a few pics:
And one of our friends came to see my new work and gave me a whole sack full of sheet music for my future collaging pleasure!! Wow!!!
Here is a photo of what the gallery wall of my artwork looked like without people standing in front of it. The pedestal in the photo holds a portfolio of 50 of my small ink dog art pieces.
The way the owner of the Caplan Art Designs gallery arranged the wall proved to be a wonderful way to help people zero in on details within my work. The over-stimulation seemed to help the viewers focus. One person had an epiphany while looking at the wall saying to me “Oh! I get it! You’re talking about human behavior metaphorically with your dogs and cats!”
I almost hugged them. But I didn’t because I’d never met them before last night. Wow! They used the “M” word!