I’ve always wanted to make an art calendar. A group of 12 images on a theme. So I did one titled “Reading All Year” – theme of books and reading- I like to read. Maybe you’ve noticed…😁 Happy New Year!!
I’ve been busy working on fine art commissions which are someone’s holiday gift. So instead of talking about that – below is access to a “Reading All Year” calendar I made, and fun socks and playing cards, bookmarks, puzzles, drink coasters and such…yes, it’s all design play using my own fine art about reading and pets. Art is for making people smile – and I like sharing smiles with fellow book lovers and pet lovers. https://www.zazzle.com/s/sueclancy
I’ve been having a blast playing at being a North Pole elf, designing gifts for my upcoming pop-up shop at Vintage Books https://www.vintage-books.net/ Dec 7th from noon to 4pm! The Pacific Northwest social scene has been inspiring and guiding my thoughts.
Here in Vancouver all year long people get together regularly for happy hours, for pot-luck dinners and other social occasions. I love it! Then come October through to the new year there are parties, parties and parties!!! There are cookie parties, apple parties, wine parties, beer parties, cocktail parties, salad parties, game-night parties, pot-luck dinner parties…. and, of course, holiday stocking stuffer parties.
So as I’ve designed my products for the pop-up shop I’ve kept in mind the various stocking stuffer parties we’ve attended – as well as the local trend of giving handmade items and/or small-in-cost-and-size unique gifts to friends and family.
Anyway, I have very much enjoyed designing whimsical gifts thinking of my local friends, family and fans. I’m delighted that my local bookstore, Vintage Books, has asked me to do this pop-up shop and I’m also planning a performance-art aspect to the event – i.e. I’m going to do some “live drawing” pet portraits…. but more on that in another post.
Here’s a stocking with some of the stuff I’ve designed in it.
My local bookstore Vintage Books https://www.vintage-books.com/ is the first bookstore to carry my newest book “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” – and in advance of the Nov 1st release day too!! When I was at the bookstore talking with the manager she asked me if I did my art on “stocking stuffer items” and if I would consider doing a pop-up shop for the holiday season – in late November or early December.
Well, I’m a firm believer in the philosophy “take tarts when tarts are passed” so I said “Yes!” and have been busy doing product designs since then! Nice to dust off my old graphic design/product design skills (what I got a college degree in!). Here’s a pic of my new book and a few of the stocking stuffer gift items I’ve gotten so far…
As you can see in the photo I’ve put one of my artworks onto a 252 piece jigsaw puzzle – the finished puzzle size is 11 x 14 but the box containing the puzzle is small enough to fit into a large Holiday stocking. Another painting I’ve put onto the backs of playing cards and … oh, there are many more items still in production.
I’ve been thinking non-stop about what fans of my artwork and my fellow book readers might enjoy finding as gifts in their holiday stocking; bookmarks, drink coasters, art prints, playing cards, calendars… Is there anything I’m forgetting??
Please let me know and I’ll keep busy working on items that may help spread a little love and joy to my fellow literary fans.
And I’ll update you with my progress here first… btw I’m using Zazzle to produce most (but not all) of my designs and have also created a “store” there.
In between Holiday fine art commissions I’ve been reading about the writers technique of flash fiction and flash non-fiction. And I’ve realized that this is what I’ve been doing all this time – illustrated flash. Or “illustrated shorts” as I call them. Like the short-short story writers do I take a nugget of a thought or feeling and describe it – but using visual art instead of words.
For example: I’ve sometimes looked at bowls of peppermint candies and thought of how fun it’d be to fling the mints up in the air and let it “rain” mints for a second. I’ve never done it – probably wouldn’t ever do it – but it’s fun to imagine. So I’ve been working on a fabric pattern design with that in mind.
I’ve done more of a red emphasis on the mints even though it’s not realistic to the mint examples in the photo because I had some mints recently that had more red on them. They aren’t in the photo because I ate them. All of them. And I’m not sorry I did either!
By illustrating fabric, in flash-fiction style, I’m able to get across my fleeting “tossed mints” feeling/thought but in a way that’s succinct (like a short-short story) and it’s also of practical use.
It suits my sense of humor to combine both the fleeting and the practical…
Happy Holiday’s in advance! Now I’ll go back to being one of Santa’s elves…
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 http://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