Here’s the finished artwork I was working on in my last blog post art-of-a-peel. I’ve titled it “Purrfecting Happy Hour”. Now… on to the next painting…
Several of my artist books are in a permanent collection at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and will be in a new exhibit, in March 2018, titled “Artist’s Books – Chapter 13 – Lyricism And Laughter”!
Here are a few photos of one of my books in the exhibit. It’s titled “Self Portrait As A Wicked Book”. I made it with handmade paper, hand-marbled paper, ink… and two original limerick poems.
The poems, on each side, are:
There was a young lady in Linen
who really loved laughter and sinnin’
She made wicked books that if given a look
you’d see that they’re often quite winnin’
The lady in Linen was known,
for the books she is said to have sewn.
But when very hard pressed she began to protest
“Oh come now it’s quite over blown!”
When I exhibit my artist books I’m asked to write statements about them
Here, below, is what I wrote about “Self-portrait…”
Artist statement about the work: By personifying herself as an open book – (or more precisely, as the linen thread binding the books within this book) – with original limericks and pop-up book elements the artist pokes fun at self-styled “moral” groups who personify inanimate objects; books, movies and other art objects by describing them as “immoral”, “wicked” or “sinful”. By writing “clean” limericks the artist is poking fun at the idea that a poetic form like a limerick could be defined as a “naughty” art. An object or art form is just that, an object or technique – what people do with it may have a good, bad or neutral effect. But even the effect depends on the viewer’s perspective. Thus “Self Portrait as a Wicked Book” is enclosed in a hand-marbled envelope – implying that the contents could be hidden from view, that the viewer has a choice to view it or not. The book is intended to be displayed accordion style so that the viewer can see it from different angles of their own choosing. The textual reference within the limerick to “overblown” refers to the ways self-styled “moral” groups would ascribe moral qualities to the entire personhood of an author as a result of one written object the author had created. The content also refers – both textually and by using colorful marbling and pop-ups – to the ways that censorship (or a “wicked” designation) actually increases interest in the object banned.
Artist’s back story for this book: A religious segment of the Oklahoma population has a penchant for banning books and a history of doing so. To name two dramatic examples; In 1997 the book “The Tin Drum” by Gunter Grass and the movie by the same name was banned by Oklahoma City in such a way that the banning received national attention; Oklahoma City police went to the houses of adults, over the age of 21, who had rented the movie and seized it. In 2005, the year I made “Self Portrait As A Wicked Book”, the Oklahoma House of Representatives banned all books – for children and adults – that had references to gay characters or gay people. Around that time period I remember noticing that (in Oklahoma) the commercial bookstores “gay book sections” got smaller and were hidden the back corner of the store. Books that questioned religion, or discussed censorship in anything but a positive light were also few and far between. There was a general perception – as evidenced by what was offered on library or bookstore shelves and what wasn’t, what books were reviewed in the Oklahoma media and what ones weren’t – that there were “good” books and there were bad, sinful, “wicked” ones – and this one group of self-styled “moral” people would tell you which books were which and few people in Oklahoma dared (or even thought) to question that group.
The art was delivered to the Anstine Gallery this morning. The snow I’d worried about in my last post wasn’t a problem! (Whew!) The Anstine Gallery is located in a government building in Vancouver so I’m doing what I often do – trying to make people in serious places laugh.
Adults in general, I find, tend to be focused on day-to-day problems and people in certain professions; in the medical field, in law and in city or county government, in addition to having the regular allotment of adult-hood type responsibilities have entire work-days filled with problem-solving.
So with this exhibit – titled “Community Creatures” I wanted to share humorous artwork that was based on what is, in my opinion, working well in Vancouver.
A community is made up of its social vitality. The physical structures of the place; sidewalks, multi-use buildings, zoning laws, environmental policies, parks, public art and so forth all impact – in a behind the scenes way – the social vitality of a place. I see the city/county as doing well because of what I observe when I “run around loose”.
Where we most often see, or are most easily aware of, social vitality is in the small businesses, I mean the honest-to-goodness personally owned business – where the owner actually works there. So that’s where I started – I’ve recorded my experiences in my sketchbook of running around loose in Vancouver, then I created characters (the ‘creatures’) and a fine-art-visual-story that transformed my real-life sketches into a metaphoric or literary depiction of an element of life in Vancouver.
Here are a series of sketches paired with the artworks. I’m sure you’ll be able to see what relates to what.
Naturally there is crossover between the different sketchbook pages and each finished art piece. The above is just a sample. You can download my entire “Running Around Loose – Vancouver WA” sketchbook in ebook form here: https://sueclancy.com/product/running-around-loose-vancouver-wa-edition-1-by-sue-clancy/
I finished the cat portrait I’ve been working on and have titled it “Strad O’Varius”. It is already scheduled to be shown in upcoming art gallery exhibits. My last post – here – tells a bit about what inspired this piece.
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!
Today I gave a speech during the unveiling of my public art piece for Salmon Creek Journal and Washington State University Vancouver. The artwork is titled “Heroes Journey”. Here’s a full image of it (up till now I’ve only been posting teaser bits on my blog) and below the image is more-or-less the text of my speech. I adlibbed bit. And below the speech are two statements I was asked to write for this project; One is about “Heroes Journey” and the other is a document related to the days event at WSU. I include them here for additional information’s sake.
Speech (roughly) for Oct 4th Dis(covering) Ability event by Sue Clancy
Thank you, Amanda, Sky and Washington State University Vancouver, for asking me to create something to help you celebrate Dis(covering) Ability – and diversity today!
I’ve created an art piece for you titled “Heroes’ Journey”.
To create this piece, I consulted both my inner world and the external real world of the WSU Vancouver campus.
When Amanda contacted me about possibly doing this for you I began thinking of what parts of my inner world might be relevant for this project.
Here are parts of my inner world that I pulled from:
As a Deaf kid growing up in Oklahoma in the 1970’s I didn’t know any other deaf kids – or even any deaf grownups and I didn’t see myself, or any deaf people in any of the storybooks. Books were very important to me. Television was not closed captioned back then and I didn’t become aware of subtitled movies until I went to college. So, for my grade-school self, books were my link to the wider world. As an 8 year old kid I asked the school librarians and the public librarians for books with deaf people in them. One librarian finally came up with a book on Helen Keller. The book was slightly above my reading level and it only had a few black and white photographs – but I read it anyway. While I appreciated the librarian finding the book my 8 year old self found Helen Keller to be terribly old-fashioned. Where was the action? The adventure? The fun? I decided to create my own storybooks with my own characters. I began making small hand drawn books and learning about creating stories, and drawing people and action as realistically as I could. I traded my little books with my grade-school classmates for pencils, erasers and crayons. In the process of growing my “subscriber list” I learned that other kids didn’t see themselves in books either. So I included them in my stories. The school-yard bullies became the villains in my books. My books (zines really) were popular with some of the kids and not so popular with some adults.
Another element of my inner world: Fast forward to the mid 1980’s: I went to the University of Oklahoma on art scholarships and I was working as a graphic designer/ photographer. Still college was expensive so I also sold my fine artwork and freelance illustrated every chance I could.
At one art exhibit Dr. Bob Hoke, a psychiatrist, and his wife Penny bought some of my fine artwork and commissioned me to make a companion piece to the one they bought. Over the course of working on that project Dr. Bob asked me to illustrate some of his teaching stories that he used in his “Emotional Repair” seminars. One of his stories that I illustrated became my favorite. I’ll tell it to you now because it has direct bearing on this artwork I’ve done for you. The story goes like this: Once upon a time there was a grandfather who was asked to entertain the kids. He gathered all the kids around and said “Kids, inside every one of us are 2 wolves and they fight. One wolf is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other wolf is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, charity, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, patience, goodness, gentleness, self-control and faithfulness.” Then the grandfather was silent. After a bit one of the littlest kids asked “Gran’pa, which wolf wins?” The old man replied “The one that you feed.”
From Dr. Bob (psychiatrist, medical science guy) I learned that human brains often respond better to stories than they do to flat statements however factual and true the flat statement may be. Telling a person “You’re being mean” is likely to be met with resistance because people, no matter how cruel their actions, often don’t think of themselves as “mean”. But a story-like description of how someone can be impacted by an act of meanness – or a story description of people treating people kindly – may have a better chance of getting the point across.
Around that time I began to consider using animal characters in my artwork rather than realistic-looking people so as to be more literary than literal in my depictions of the way I see the world.
Also Dr. Bob had a deaf brother named Dick. I finally got to meet another real-live deaf person! I asked Dick for suggestions of how to deal with being a deaf person in a hearing college/world. He encouraged me to create my own support network in college, including making use of professor’s office hours – to focus on my allies and work with them – to respond to any bullies I might encounter by leaning on my support network and going on and living well.
A 3rd element of my inner world: When I started college in 1986 I joined the GLBA social club – Gay Lesbian Bisexual Alliance – the rest of the alphabet had not been discovered yet. Remember this was the 1980’s. The world was just becoming aware of HIV and AIDS. The GLBA group – which wasn’t allowed to meet on the OU campus – partnered with ACT UP, a world-wide Aids awareness group formed in 1987 – a chapter of which met in nearby Oklahoma City. At the time – in the 1980’s – gay people were regularly shunned from their biological families (I was). Gay people risked expulsion from school, eviction from apartments, being fired from their jobs and being denied healthcare. Most of all they risked being beaten up, shot and killed – and their cases not fully investigated by the police. In the face of all of that ACT UP was focusing on empowerment, urging us to come out, to be visible, to tell our stories, to write poems, create plays, write essays, to have polite conversations, to make music events, fashion shows, art exhibits and to sew quilts. We were encouraged to get creative and find ways to remind people that gay people were still human, we were still sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors and coworkers. We were encouraged to form our own families of choice, to form alliances, to care for each other. We were encouraged to fight injustice not with violence or shouts but with love, friendship and stories.
That is some of my inner world which I took with me to meet the external world of Amanda and Sky and the WSU Vancouver campus. During our meeting I took notes from what Amanda and Sky said, my wife – who has better hearing than I do – also took notes. We went on a campus tour. I took well over 45 photographs. Some of the things that I noted were: that WSU Vancouver is a commuter campus, it’s people-focused, campus is on a hill, you can see distant mountains (on a clear day), there are clear lines of sight from most areas on campus, there’s a walking trail around campus, lots of trees, a network of squirrels, the gridded columns on some of the buildings… I also learned that the mascot is a cougar and that Clark College is a major “feeder” school. After our campus tour was over I asked the Ambassador who’d led our tour what kind of animal he’d be if he were an animal. “A Squirrel!” He said.
Back at my studio I consulted my inner world: I looked at all of my photographs. I read my notes and my wife’s notes and in a bound sketchbook I worked on possible designs and possible characters that might reflect aspects of the external world, meet the project needs and also include my inner world. There’d be a cougar, a penguin and a squirrel – and who else??… I also sat and brainstormed listing in my sketchbook word associations (so to speak): commuter campus, hill top, grids (tile/brick), sight lines, mountain views, squirrel network, groups of people from all over the world. All of these concepts pointing toward “travel” “movement” or “Journey” – which led me to think of what I know of story formation – specifically the archetypal story format.
Heroes Journey is an archetypal story – a plot style – has been used from Homer to Star Wars and nearly everything in between. It generally goes like this: very different characters meet, somehow they get a mutual goal, as they work toward the goal they learn about themselves, each other, they discover ways of working together and somewhere along the way they form a community.
The physical attributes, flaws, strengths, weaknesses of individual characters play a role in driving the plot and those things drive the discovery of what’s important and how to listen to and work with each other. In fiction at least the characters individual traits, once discovered or accepted, eventually become an asset to the success of the journey.
In my artwork design – because it was said that people are the focus of campus – I created a crowd as the focal point and designed the crowd as an overall shape. For obvious reasons I made the Cougar the tallest character, Penguin (Clark College mascot) is another big character. I balanced those two large characters with a large Dalmatian dog. The attributes of those animals led to my choices of the other animals. All of the animal characters have obvious and not obvious abilities – If this were a storybook as readers we would discover their abilities as the characters did within the unfolding story. Since this is a fine art piece and a single visual story panel so to speak I’m working with your imagination and your knowledge of animals/animal zoology to tell my visual story. Just as you can’t tell by looking at a person how smart or kind they are – you can’t tell by looking at one of my animals exactly what capabilities they have you only have hints. This is my way of reminding us that all we have of each other are hints – to really know another person we have to allow for discovery time, an unfolding of words and actions over time to reveal who we are. We create the world, the community, together.
After I got my characters developed and lightly sketched onto my “good paper” I asked my friend and next-door neighbor Kevin to come and look. Kevin knows local sports better than I do and I didn’t want to accidentally put in some rival sports team colors. He looked carefully and declared me good to go.
So with the animal characters now in place I put the setting – real world elements pulled from my campus observations – around the crowd but adjusted to emphasize the journey/potential community formation. Then I spent many days working on the characters and the setting to deepen the colors and the details.
I used watercolor, Sumi ink, color pencil and acrylic on handmade paper. To get my lines and angles this way I used a large 20 inch triangle, some rulers and French curves. I worked in my studio on a large easel. I also worked in a bound sketchbook to develop my idea and the individual characters before transferring my idea and characters to the “good paper” on my easel.
There, now in the external world exists an art piece from my inner heart called “Heroes Journey”. As you take it with you on your journey remember to feed the good wolves along the way.
Thank you for listening. Are there any questions?
About “Heroes’ Journey” by Sue Clancy
I think each of us are the hero of our own lives. We’re also the author of our own stories as communities and individuals. As an artist, I practice the art of telling stories in a variety of media. I study how to craft a tale.
For example, I’m familiar with two fiction story device/situations: absurd characters in a normal world or normal characters in an absurd world.
Well, life being stranger than fiction I see another story device: a disabled character in an able-bodied world.
Many fiction stories are archetypal “journey tales”: Characters meet, they travel and encounter villains and obstacles. Along the way they form a family, a community or somehow agree to work together to meet a goal.
Attributes of each character often play a story-role. These attributes may be physical qualities, mental abilities or life experiences. Somewhere along the journey each character discovers some strength they didn’t know they had at the start.
What if one (or more) of the characters were differently abled? How would that affect the story?
As a deaf kid growing up in Oklahoma I did not see stories with deaf kids in them. Certainly not as the story hero or as a subject for fine art. I realized that many other people – differently abled, as well as different ethnicities did not see themselves in stories or fine art either. I knew I could draw well so I began to create visual stories, graphic novel type stories, and fine artworks that featured many “different” kinds of people as characters. I created fine artwork that depicted, somewhat realistically, people who were “different” i.e. not always white or heterosexual or male or able bodied.
Some people loved my work. Other people sent me hate mail, threatened me at grocery stores or at my art openings.
Over time I realized that the people who sent me hate mail were scared by my idea that literal diversity is a beautiful and normal part of life. They were scared by the idea of different kinds of humans sharing the same pictorial space. But these same people were okay with diversity at dog parks, or in children’s books. They were okay with the fact that not all of the dogs looked alike, they were okay that in a kid’s book there could be a cat character talking with a mouse character.
I also learned that sometimes the best way to get a complex idea – especially a potentially scary idea – across was to use metaphors and tell stories that were literary rather than literal.
As a Deaf person in a Hearing world I often have to “read between the lines” – observe body language and actions over time to understand a speaker – so I decided that I would use animal characters in a wordless fashion and leave it to my viewers to “read between the lines”. I would continue to talk about diversity but using animals to depict the possibility of humans getting along, traveling together, enjoying life and along the way discovering that our differences are potential strengths.
That’s what I’ve done with my artwork for “Dis(covering) Ability” – used visual metaphors – I’ve titled my artwork “Heroes’ Journey”. I’m sure you can see why.
Dis(covering)ability: Equity Equality and Justice – statement by Sue Clancy
A friend of mine has a t-shirt that says “Equal rights for others does not mean less rights for you. It’s not pie.” I want one. The shirt nicely sums up my perception of the difference between equity and equality.
Equity, the quality of being fair and impartial, is when you’re trying to fairly divide a Chocolate Cream Pie between pie-eating friends. Equality is accepting your friends as they are, an awareness that not all of your friends want the pie. Some want only the ice cream. And that is okay. They are not “lesser” friends because they don’t want the pie. There may even be – gasp – a friend who doesn’t want either pie or ice cream because they had a 4th slice of the pizza and are quite full now thank you. That friend – if you’re trying to give both equity and equality to all – is given just as big a hug at the end of the evening as the other pie eaters.
Now that we’re full of pizza, pie or ice cream I ponder the question of how artists help support and establish equity in the community thru pairing messages and their creative works. The shortest answer I have is “we do our best”. My longer answer is to tell you a story: Once upon a time there was a grandfather who was asked to entertain the kids. He gathered all the kids around and said “Kids, inside every one of us are 2 wolves and they fight. One wolf is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other wolf is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, charity, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, patience, goodness, gentleness, self-control and faithfulness.” Then the grandfather was silent. After a bit one of the littlest kids asked “Gran’pa, which wolf wins?” The old man replied “The one that you feed.”
We artists provide our communities with “wolf food”; stories, essays, art objects, movies, music – all kinds of creative things and experiences – and artists can help support equity/equality in our communities by being very careful about which wolf we feed. Artists are not the only people who feed wolves by the way.
What facet of my identity as an artist makes me unique? I’m content to let other people define for themselves what they think makes me unique. It’s their story about me. Personally, I don’t worry much about being “unique”. I’m just me and my job is to be the best “me” and the best artist I can be. But since I suspect the question is really fishing for what qualities or definitions are often applied to me here is a list: funny, charming, cute, silly, smart, Deaf, gay, animal-lover, artist, un-apologetic sketchbook user, dog and cat lover, reader, book-lover who practices cooking as a hobby. I think it’s important to enjoy daily life and art-creating is my way of doing that. Also, I think participating in the arts (either as a creator or a viewer) can be a way of practicing good mental health skills. Some people have called these opinions of mine “unique” and sometimes “odd”.
How can we actively create change as a student or community member in furthering an inclusive campus that welcomes people of all abilities? Smile. Say ‘hello’. Listen. Do your best to refrain from pre-deciding about people – or pie – based only on appearances. Be willing to watch a person’s actions and words over time and then decide if being around them feeds your good wolf. Be open and curious about everyone and everything. Choose love. Figure out ways to keep love in your heart. And enthusiasm. In short – feed the good wolf.
And if you know where I can get one of those t-shirts – please tell me. Thank you.
P.S. To support this project and because I thought it would be fun I’ve created some art prints with this image. You can find the prints (and some travel mugs because I liked the pun on “Heroes Journey”) by looking for “Heroes Journey” here https://society6.com/sueclancy/prints
You can see my illustrations (spoken about in the speech) and get more information about “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” by searching Amazon for the ebook or clicking here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit
During the evening of Oct 5 at Caplan Art Designs my exhibit titled “The Fur Suit Of Happiness” opens. There are some cats in this one. Lots of dogs too… but I’m working towards a new book of cat-art….and I’ll resume that work after this exhibit opening.
Anyway, here are a few of the new cats that are framed and displayed in the exhibit:
Today, after delivering one piece of artwork (see the last post here), I’m packing up 24 of my art pieces to be delivered to Caplan Art Designs www.caplanartdesigns.com . Oct 5th, First Thursday, during the evening is the opening of my new exhibit The Fur Suit Of Happiness.
Here’s a picture of some of the artworks ready to be loaded into the car. Yes, there are both dogs and cats in this exhibit!
Here’s the exhibit statement:
The Fur Suit Of Happiness by Clancy
What if being happy isn’t a fleeting feeling to pursue. What if happiness is something to accept? I’ve been watching dogs and cats. They seem to specialize in enjoying a patch of sunlight, a walk in the rain, a warm comfortable lap and a good dinner. They seem to accept and be happy with very small things. I can learn something from this. This exhibit is me taking notes.
This coming Friday at the Joseph Gierek Fine Art Gallery (www.gierek.com) an experimental art exhibit of mine titled “The Rough Bark Of Culture” opens!
Yes, there are dogs. Lots of dogs. About 24 of them. Dog art that is. Clancy style.
The experimental part of this exhibit is that instead of being 24 works framed and hanging on the wall like a typical art installation – I’ve added my artist book thinking to my fine-art exhibit idea. Which means my entire exhibit is intended to be an intimate experience. Think curling up with a book. Or playing with a deck of cards.
Lucky for artist-me the gallery owner is willing to be playful.
Here’s what gallery-visitors will find: a box that looks like a leather bound book. I made the box and covered it with my hand dyed paper, paper that I’ve given a rough physical and visual texture. I designed the cover and the spine and various elements so that it appears like a book. When closed this book-box measures 9 inches tall 7 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep. When you open the top “cover” it opens out to be 14 inches wide.
Below are a couple of different angle-views of the cover so you can see the spine has the typical book-markings and that the edges of the box are painted to look like book text block “pages”.
Inside the book-box cover is a handwritten statement that puts my art-object-exhibit in a context.
Then further inside there are 24 individual hand created dog art pieces done in my ink on handmade paper style. Each artwork is in an archival sleeve so that a viewer can flip through the box-contents like a book. (there’s even a ribbon to help people lift out the ‘pages’) Or the viewer can take out the pages and lay them out on a table and re-sort them.
Below is some of my thinking behind the exhibit – including my resource book list. I referred to some of this book-research-resource mining in an early blog post here.
General exhibit thoughts for “The Rough Bark of Culture” by Sue Clancy
It is said that humans are the only animal that laughs, cooks (using heat and spices/herbs), develops music, creates art, writes/collects/organizes/shares information across time and space, sorts things numerically and devises elaborate rules for playing games simply for amusement. The ability to read and absorb information via symbols in pictorial and written form is also a uniquely human ability.
Humans are curious, they experiment, seeking novelty and creativity. Wanting enthusiasm – not boredom – they play. Play is part of being human. Play is also an essential component of being creative.
Creativity, communication and organization are attributes of being human. But in modern times it can be hard (rough) to carve out time to play, to be creative, to sort and organize information – to do those very things that make us human.
This exhibit is about what makes us human.
Why dogs? Dogs are enthusiastic about being alive – that’s why I’ve chosen them as my character “actors” in my artwork. It’s a way of remembering that humans have the ability to create the world around them in ways that make life more comfortable, more fun – so that we can be more enthusiastic about being alive.
“Wonderland: How play made the modern world” by Steven Johnson
“The Creative Spark: How imagination made humans exceptional” by Agustin Fuentes
A quote I used as a guiding light – so to speak:
“To imagine is everything. To know is nothing at all.” Anatole France
Exhibit statement (which means I neatened up for handwritten inclusion in my book-box the thoughts outlined above):
It is said that humans are the only animal that; laughs, cooks (using heat and spices/herbs), specially crafts beverages, develops music, creates art, writes/collects/shares information across time and space, sorts things numerically, reads books/information in order to learn and devises elaborate rules for playing games simply for amusement. Humans sometimes share with dogs an enthusiasm at being alive – seeking novelty and creativity rather than boredom. Unlike a dog, humans are able to plan and organize our time. We can defer gratification. Yet modern life sometimes makes it hard to carve out time to be creative – rough to do the very things that make us human; play. This exhibit is about remembering to be human and enjoy life.
If you want a flavor, a hint, of what this exhibit is like there’s my conventionally printed and bound book “Dogs by Sue Clancy” – https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy
Creating a conventional book on this exhibit topic helped cement my idea that I also wanted my viewers to be able to physically “play” with my artwork. Even so – I’m proud of the printed and bound book too. It’s playfulness of a different sort. And able to be more widely available than a one-of-a-kind-art-exhibit in a gallery can be. Having both kinds of play available – the team kind or the individual kind – are important to me.
And speaking of teams; it’s almost time for me to go meet up with friends for a book-store browse and then to go to happy hour! Adult team play! Yippeeee!!
Here are the 6 pieces I created last night during my 3 hour demo at Burnt Bridge Cellars. I worked on these dog portraits while people talked, drank wine, watched me work and asked me questions. One of the staff at the winery took a brief moment to watch and said “Oh! Each of your pieces have either a glass of wine or a wine bottle in them!” I grinned and said “Yes, I’m aware of where I am!” And everyone laughed. It was a fun evening! Thanks again everyone!