Followers of my artwork already know that I like to play with the book format. Does a book always have to be bound on one edge? I don’t think so. It also doesn’t have to be conventional-book-shaped. With this in mind I’m working with Chef Kim Mahan (www.class-cooking.com) to create an unconventional cookbook titled “Kim Cooks Sue Draws”. More details here: https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/kim-cooks-sue-draws/
Here’s the logo-label I drew using ink and color pencil. (and yes, this is a caricature of the Chef Kim and me)
Our book is not, and will not be, conventionally bound. In fact it might not be called a “book” by some people because it has recipes as tea towels, art prints and greeting cards. Eventually individual recipe-cards will be available (curated by the Chef for particular purposes) for home cooks to use on clipboards or under refrigerator magnets.
Though “Kim Cooks Sue Draws” is not bound along a spine it is a collection of related thoughts connected together in an obvious way. Which, in my opinion, is what a “book” really is.
So “Kim Cooks Sue Draws” is another artist book from me – and I’m lucky that Chef Kim is willing to play with me in this unconventional way. We both see this “book” as a set of playful yet practical artworks that you can use at home to cook, eat and share with people you love.
If this cookbook is to be considered “bound” in any way it would be on this website https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/kim-cooks-sue-draws/ – I use the word “bound” here to signify “collected together in one spot”. I’m sure the Chef will have additional places to put “Kim Cooks Sue Draws” both online and in her classroom.
The Chef and I are in the appetizer-days of this project and we have a full multi-course menu of plans… oh boy do we have plans! Please stay seated at the table… more yummy to come!
My current fine art exhibit is still up and available during the Burnt Bridge Cellars winery hours (www.burntbridgecellars.com) and will be through the end of July. I’ve designed it as an experiment in layers of story – layered like a lasagna. Judging by responses and comments, both to me and to the staff at Burnt Bridge Cellars, people have been having fun with my experiment!
Layer 1 – as I worked toward this exhibit, starting well over a year ago, I took notes on my experiences of ordinary daily life and recorded them in my sketchbook. You can see this sketchbook as a free ebook here: https://sueclancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/gladtobealivedrinkmusiced.pdf
Layer 2 – I spun my sketchbook notes through my imagination creating characters (dogs) that helped me describe my thoughts and feelings about ordinary life visually and metaphorically. I created a series of sumi ink pieces on handmade papers – dogs drinking, playing musical instruments and etc. Some of these pieces got framed and are in my exhibit. Others became part of a printed book titled “Dogs by Sue Clancy”. You can see that book at the exhibit or via this link here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy
Layer 3 – I created a series of items aka “illustrated things”; scarves, napkins, tea towels, phone cases and many other items that relate to this exhibit – return full circle to the “ordinariness” of life – these items are available via the links found here https://sueclancy.com/pattern-design/
Layer 4 – A group of 17 of my artworks are hung on the walls at the winery. But in addition to the artwork itself which can be viewed up close in person I wrote short “blurbs” – very short descriptions of what inspired the artwork. You can literally walk around (wine glass in hand) the exhibit “reading” my story of living my life. Additional details – the layers above – are there if people want to see more.
Here are four of my artworks along with their stories that you could read on the wall next to my artwork at Burnt Bridge Cellars:
Click on the above images to see the title I’ve given them and then find the story below –
Maestro Houndsinger by Clancy
I attended several musical concerts and noted a consistency of a moment, that moment, just before the music started, when the conductor, the soloists, the performers took a deep breath. All performance, all of life, starts with a breath – and that’s what I wanted to remember – to breathe.
Surround Sound by Clancy
I’ve gotten to hear some “hairy” (complex) guitar music. I’ve also enjoyed seeing locally hand-crafted music instruments. I’ve also thought of the local music and musicians that I’m honored to know personally – those I get to hear in small places, like cafe’s and homes – where I get to be surrounded by their music, love and friendship… all of these thoughts are combined in this piece.
Paws For Coffee by Clancy
I can sometimes get so busy that I forget to take time to be present in the moment, to pause and smell the coffee. This is me – remembering.
Pup Fiction by Clancy
I was thinking of how curiosity and imagination are the “muscle” and “bones” of a healthy mental life. Perhaps curiosity, imagination – and coffee – are what makes us human?
What exactly was my experiment you ask? I wanted to create an exhibit that would have something (actually several somethings) for my friends and fans who are not able to come in person to my exhibit – and also to give people who are able to come to my exhibit in person an extra treat. As in while they’re waiting for their friends to meet-up at the winery they can down-load my sketchbook to their phone, or read blog posts like this one https://sueclancy.com/2017/05/16/mind-map-of-a-clancy-art-exhibit/ that describe my creative process or look at a printed book of my dogs… Of course they can look at my fine art on the walls and imagine themselves enjoying the simple ordinary things in life.
And have I mentioned that the wine at Burnt Bridge Cellars is very good?
In my last post I mentioned a new project I’m working on – “Bear Salad”. Well, in general my new project is a series of art-prints art-illustrations related to the kitchen.
The evolution-tree of this new project goes like this:
When I was in art school I learned from some of my older-wiser fellow art majors how vital being able to cook (and mix your own drinks) was to survival in business as an artist.
Since my college days my hobby has been cooking. Specifically easy-to-fix meals that are often one-pot or two-bowl wonders. As a busy professional artist I don’t have lots of time to do multi-dish crazy-complicated menus but I also want my food to be “artistic”. I want it to be colorful and look good on a plate – and taste yummy. Why leave my artistic creative self in the studio? Why not bring my eye-for-color, texture and pattern into my kitchen – and add the art of flavor?
I love and collect cookbooks – especially the visually beautiful ones. Additionally I take cooking classes for fun and relaxation. I have secretly harbored a desire to write, illustrate and design a cookbook. (You can see evidence of this in my ebook “Coffee, Table, Book” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/coffee-table-book)
Consequently food and drink has been a theme in my fine artwork for years. It’s been such a constant theme that I’ve gotten requests, as I did again recently, asking if I have “…art prints with dogs and food?”
It seems that people want my lighthearted colorful art for their kitchens but some people are afraid to put an expensive original artwork in a place where cooking-mess sometimes happens. So I’d begun a series of art prints for kitchens. You can see this here: https://society6.com/sueclancy/prints
As I’ve mentioned I take cooking classes… well most recently Chef Kim Mahan of www.class-cooking.com has kindly let me illustrate some of her recipes and kitchen tips! So you’ll be seeing more of these illustrations a little along as part of my new kitchen-art project. I’ve turned Chef Kim’s recipe for “pear salad” into a kitchen print called “Bear Salad”. Here’s a link for the giclee art print – https://society6.com/product/bear-salad_print#s6-7068429p4a1v45
Here is my finished illustration of “Bear Salad” – and yes, I’m still playing with words and pictures – My goal is to create a series of lighthearted visually fun kitchen art pieces that just happen to be practical too.
P. S. – My experience of life as a professional artist has proven that my art school peers were correct; knowing how to cook and mix drinks has been a vital business-of-art survival tip!
As you know from other posts I’m getting ready for a one-person fine art exhibit to open June 2nd at Burnt Bridge Cellars www.burntbridgecellars.com. For this art exhibit I’ve been meditating, you might say, on how important it is to practice enjoying ordinary life. When I have a glass of wine I’m reminded to breathe, taste and savor everything – not just the wine. I chose a Labrador dog as my “character” actor in my art (pictured) because a Labrador’s restrained-alert-excitement reflects how I feel while tasting some wines.
Here’s one of my artworks for the show:
On my website page https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/ you can find a link to a sketchbook titled “Glad to Be Alive Sketchbook – drinks and music edition 2017” where you can download, for free, my sketches that inspired this work.
You can also see some greeting cards with this image – and others – here https://society6.com/sueclancy
I’ve been busy getting ready for my one-person art exhibit to open June 2nd at Burnt Bridge Cellars – a winery in Vancouver WA. Part of doing an exhibit is to write an exhibit statement. But before posting my finished exhibit statement I wanted to share my thoughts behind my art exhibit design. Here’s a sketch diagram, a mind-map:
For the last year I’ve been running-around-loose in the Vancouver WA and Portland OR area documenting, in my sketchbook, my experiences at local music events, restaurants, wineries, cafes and pubs. You can see a free eBook of my sketchbook titled “Glad To Be Alive – drinks and music edition 2017” here: https://sueclancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/gladtobealivedrinkmusiced.pdf
Then I processed through my imagination all of that data I’d collected in my sketchbook and for each pleasant thought I imagined a dog character-actor and made a new sketch/visual story, an ink study, using a sumi brush and ink. You can see a printed book, titled “Dogs by Sue Clancy” with of some of these ink sketches via Amazon or here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy
After doing a whole bunch of these dog portrait studies, almost 100 of them, I selected several and refined them, adding color and pattern and shape thoughts to my visual story describing metaphorically my experiences in real life. These refinements have become finished fine art pieces that are in color using my mixed media cut handmade paper technique. Both some of the finished color artworks and some of the black and white ink pieces (framed) will be at my upcoming exhibit.
My artistic inspirations are elements of ordinary life – so I’ve extended my art-exhibit making to the above mentioned books. Books are an important element of ordinary life so having authored two of them and making them available adds another layer to my art exhibit.
After doing some of the fine artworks I’ve also done some “illustrated things”: I’ve applied some of my artistic thinking for my exhibit to real-life clocks, napkins, tea towels, scarves and many other ordinary consumer items. This extends my art exhibit thesis to yet another layer or dimension. You can see some of the items I’ve designed on my web page titled “illustrated things” here: https://sueclancy.com/pattern-design/
To put my exhibit thesis plainly – I think it is very important to remember to enjoy and actively participate in the present moment, to relish ordinary things, places and friendly people. Once upon a time I lived in a place where quality music events, good restaurants, wineries and pubs were rare. Certainly they didn’t exist in the variety and abundance that they do here in the Pacific Northwest. So I’m aware of what a gift, a treasure, it is to have those things now.
It is also fitting to have my exhibit at a winery – where the people who come to see my artwork can also enjoy award-winning wines and food.
But back to my mind-map: generally at the exhibit my thesis will be available only as a visual story, not spoken or written in literal fashion. I have a reluctance to preach or otherwise belabor a point. Besides instead of writing/speaking didactically I’d rather draw.
Now you know.
I’ve been inspired by many local coffee shops – as well as the local dogs – and I’ve been making notes in my sketchbooks and creating fine art in prep for my upcoming art exhibit opening June 2nd at Burnt Bridge Cellars www.burntbridgecellars.com. (Free downloadable eBook sketchbook full of my inspirations available via this link https://sueclancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/gladtobealivedrinkmusiced.pdf)
As part of my upcoming exhibit I’ve also created some dog-art-as… napkins and tea-towels. It fits with the dogs and drinks theme…
Here is a photo of the cloth dinner napkins – available via this link only https://roostery.com/p/amarela-cloth-dinner-napkins/6388800-two-dogs-coffee-by-sueclancy
The tea-towel looks like this (photo below) and is available via this link only:
A photo of a fabric swatch with this pattern is on my blog here: https://sueclancy.com/2017/05/11/coffee-dog-art-on-fabric/
You knew, I’m sure, that it was only a matter of time until I tried putting my dog drawings onto fabric… and you were correct! Look what came in the mail just now – a fabric test swatch for my approval. (I approve!!) Tea-towels and napkins here we come…
Here’s the swatch as it came out of the mail-envelope… the rulers are to show scale:
The grandmother I grew up with was a quilter. I spent many a childhood day going through Grandma’s carefully-organized-by-color fabric collection and re-sorting them into different color combos. (Not sure Grandma approved.) Later on my adopted mom was also a quilter.
In my fine art I’ve been designing the “fabric” my characters “wear” in my artwork (as well as the wall paper, the china tea cups, the clocks, chairs and whatever else is part of my visual story).
So it seems fitting that I begin doing art-designs for real-life fabric that can be available for quilters and seamstresses of all kinds. You can find my designs on Spoonflower here – https://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/sueclancy
More designs will be coming online soon – and I’m making more… I’ll keep you posted.
I figure I owe it to my grandmother – and my adopted mom – for all the times I “messed about” in their fabric collections! And I want to give my currently-using-fabric quilter/fabric artist friends something new to create with…
Here is a photo of my first test swatches (8 x 8 inches) with my designs on fabric. What you see is exactly as the swatches came out of the envelope a few minutes ago – they’ve not been ironed or anything. The ruler is there to show scale.
These designs, after I officially “approve” them in about 5 minutes, will be available as fabric cut by the fat quarter or by the yard. Also these and other fabric designs I create – will soon be available for application on home-furnishings like chairs or tea towels via another Spoonflower related company. But more about that another day.
Five years ago I’d done an original artwork, inspired by beers here in the Pacific Northwest, titled “Chip Monk”. Well, the original sold about 10 minutes after it was hung on the gallery wall. Fast forward 5 years and I’m still getting comments about and requests for that particular image. Some even asked me multiple times “Will you please make a print of the Chip Monk?”
So, because I love my fans, I’ve done an art print of it now, titled “Chip Monk Beer”, via Society 6 – https://society6.com/sueclancy – and I also applied the art image on a few other items. Enjoy! And thanks everyone for your support of my artwork!!