About my art exhibit opening but mostly about books

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, artist book, artistic inspirations, books, Figures Of Speech, fine art, mental health

My exhibit Figures Of Speech went very well! Lots of people came! So many came that I hid in the kitchen watching the winery chef do her magic! Of course I talked to lots of people and gave art tours so when I say “I hid in the kitchen” that was where I chose to sit, whenever I sat, with my wife, our Fairy Goddaughter and one of our Fairy Goddaughter’s friends who we’ve now adopted. Come to one of my exhibits, stay that long and presto you’re family now!! 🀣

Anyhoo, the chef made a watermelon spinach salad that was incredibly yummy! And yes, I brought a sketchbook and pens with me…

The chef surprised and delighted me with some strawberries (one of my favorites) and some chocolate!!

The chef made apple pork burgers with a brie sauce that I started eating before remembering to take a photo.

There was very good live music too… this was what the winery said about the food and music! πŸ‘‡

I wrote more generally about how my exhibit went on my Substack newsletter and included an ebook of my entire exhibit here πŸ‘‡ https://sueclancy.substack.com/p/figures-of-speech-ebook

I was particularly excited that a poet based in the UK wrote poetry inspired by my doodlebug artwork for my exhibit: https://ivyroseopal.substack.com/p/prompt-4-doodlebugs

After my exhibit was over I spent the weekend resting and catching up on blogs like this one by Liz Gauffreau where she reviewed a book by Steven Baird. https://lizgauffreau.com/2023/05/31/bookreview-asunder-baby-by-steven-baird/

I also read my friend Bernadette’s blog… and Audrey’s blog… and Laura’s blog…and Sherri’s blog…as well as several other blogs… it was so good to catch up with friends!!

I spent the rest of the weekend binge reading printed books! It looked like this…

…the studio supervisor dachshund alternated between sunny spots from which to survey his kingdom and his cushy L.L. Bean patio bed throne beside our chairs.

I’m still reading this nonfiction book even after the weekend…

…but I blasted through the following titles and I highly recommend all of them!

This one was a very good ebook I got from the library. πŸ‘‡

Yes, I’m like this about reading! πŸ‘‡

I hope your weekend was equally pleasant!!

See you next Monday!

Mom, Dad, the books and beers

A Creative Life, art exhibit, artist book, artistic inspirations, books, creative thinking, fine art, hopepunk, mental health, sketchbook

This was the first Mother’s Day without my adopted Mom as she died last year. This month is also the month my adopted Dad died just days after sending us a box of books by mail. So it’s been rough. Also I’m very busy working on an art exhibit. So I’ve mostly been offline away from social media doing work stuff and generally taking care of myself.

Here’s a sketchbook page in which I list a few the the things I learned from Mom.

Because it felt good to do it I put a downloadable ebook version of β€œPembral Forgets” on my email newsletter. It’s a book I illustrated that Steve Tubbs wrote about fall leaves, good food and a boy who forgets something important but is loved anyway. Here’s the link
https://sueclancy.substack.com/p/pembral-forgets

I had dedicated my part of this book to my adopted Mom and she did get to see it!

This week we did take a books and beers break and joked that it was brought to us by the letter V – a local bookstore Vintage Books and a local brewery Victor 23.

My adopted Dad always insisted on having his beer in a glass. So in his honor we too insist on a glass!

I stayed up late several nights reading a novel “Rejoice” by Steven Erickson and would spend all day reading it if I only could. I’m absolutely loving the plot scenario of outer space beings who have made it impossible for any human on Earth to cause harm to another human …

Wow! It’s the perfect read for this difficult weekend.

Now to work on paperwork and framing for my upcoming art exhibit …

See you next Monday.

The bunnies and the breaks

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, artist book, books, fine art, Sustainable creativity

I’m emulating the bunnies in my recent paintings and artist books and taking a short social media break. I’m busy getting ready for upcoming art exhibits via Caplan Art Designs. I do plan to release a special artist book this week on my email newsletter A.M. Sketching but otherwise if I have any spare time I’m going to read books and cook something. Thank you for your support and encouragement. I’ll be back soon.

Here’s an advance peek at new paintings…

There’s a bunny taking a break in this recent artist book…

There’s a bunny taking a break in this artist book too…

I hope you’ll also have a break whenever you need one!

See you soon.

Of dogs, doodlebugs and damn good books

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art techniques, artistic inspirations, books, cat portrait, creative thinking, fine art, humor in art, life of the mind, poetry, sketchbook, visual thinking, whimsical art, words and pictures, writing and illustrating

This week we took care of 2 dogs belonging to our extended family thus bringing our inhouse pet count up to 2 dachshunds 1 chihuahua Jack Russell mix and 1 cat. Everyone got along peacefully at “Camp Rusty” playing and sleeping together.

Well, the cat did his own thing but wasn’t upset by the extra dogs. In fact I think the cat enjoyed watching them from a window. And one of the dogs enjoyed watching the cat watch the dogs. It was all very meta as they used to say in literature class.

Given all the doggy focus this week I read doggy related poems.

Here’s one I particularly enjoyed.

I got extra canine support this week when I shared my sketchbook on my email newsletter.

My fine art projects for upcoming exhibitions were adjusted so I could more easily work in short bursts around what the dogs needed. As you can see in this video all I have to do is put the cap back on my fountain pen.

Here’s the finished painting. I’ve titled it “Genus: Doodlebug Species: Yellow Short Line Beetle”

“Genus: Doodlebug Species: Yellow Short Line Beetle” by Clancy – 7 x 5 inches- ink and gouache on board

All that time I spent in the biological zoological illustration trenches came in handy when drawing the beetle! 🀣

We sat outside on our patio a lot so the dogs could play in the yard during a rare week of Pacific Northwest sunshine. Besides my portable lap sized art projects mentioned above I read books! Besides the book of dog poems here’s two of the titles I’m reading alongside a cold beer and a pitcher of water.

I’m continually amazed at how similar visual pattern construction is to writing poetry – including the rhythm design scheme “a b a b” and so forth. I’m also still enthralled by how fine art exhibit plotting is so similar to story construction.

And I’m sure you noticed that all 3 of the above books fit into my ongoing Ray Bradbury Reading Program in which I’m reading one poem, one short story and one essay per day. This reading program is easy to adjust around doggy needs too.

The novel I’m reading before bed is one I’ve read before and is a favorite! I picked it because this week had enough challenges without adding a challenging new novel to the mix. So I picked a novel for the spirit lift (pun fully intended) in it.

In the above novel there is a party in which several people take turns singing a “port a beul”. So I looked online for examples to listen to while I read. This was a favorite! πŸ‘‡

Saturday was Independent Bookstore Day so I did this drawing in honor of my local independent bookstores which have provided so many damn good books for me to read!!

Did you notice that my cat book buyer drawing is in a 4-beat “a, b, a, b” form?

Anyhoo, I hope your week is filled with many good things too.

See you next Monday.

The elephant in the room and we run outside

A Creative Life, animals in art, art book review, art techniques, artistic inspirations, books, creative thinking, fine art, mental health, mundane and magical moments, poetry, publications - publishing, reading, sketchbook, small things, Sustainable creativity, travel art and writing, visual story, visual thinking, whimsical art, words and pictures, writing, writing and illustrating

I asked my friends recently for ugly wallpaper suggestions that I could use for a painting I was working on. My friends are awesome and helped so much! The 1970’s avocado, orange and yellow combination was mentioned. So were weird rooster and chicken patterns and prickly cactus patterns. One friend talked about her pet peeve of framed pictures hanging askew.

Here’s me working on the painting and incorporating the suggestions of my friends.

… here’s a look at the painting on my easel in my studio.

Here’s a closer look at it in progress on my easel.

Here it is finished! I titled it “The Elephant In The Room”.

The Elephant In The Room – by Clancy – 8 x 10 inches – ink and gouache on board

Now for “Running Around Loose” aka Montessori time for grownups! The playtime method is fully described here on my email newsletter https://sueclancy.substack.com/p/running-around-loose
But here on this blog I’ll tell what we actually did intermittently over 3 days. Mostly I left my phone off and shoved deep in a pocket with a few exceptions:

First we went outside to walk 5 miles or so on the 7 acre Vancouver waterfront

… and when it rained we sat under awnings and marveled at how it can be sunny and rainy simultaneously!

Coffee shops abound… and I couldn’t resist drawing my coffee and the pastry we shared.

On the second day we spent time at Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukee Oregon. Or as we call it “the petting zoo for people who like to cook”. They have in one building; a restaurant, a grocery store (with many flours, gluten free, specialty ingredients and all sorts of foods to cook with) as well as dishes, kitchen utensils and equipment! We ate lunch here…

.. and while we were there we noticed these cute little one person sized casserole dishes! Yes, we got two of them!!

…and look at these adorable tea pots!! A jade green one came home with us!

On the third day we went for a 5 mile hike in Mt Tabor Park a 176 acre park in Portland Oregon.

On our hike I noticed these ivory-green flowers and liked the color. I want to try to mix paints to match it at the studio later.

It started raining slightly while we were still on our hike. By the time we got home it was raining harder! So it was nice to be home and reading “What To Read In The Rain” an anthology of short stories created as part of a writing workshop between kids (age 6 and up) and adult professional writers in the Seattle WA area. The non-profit that organizes these writing workshops is now called “The Bureau Of Fearless Ideas” and they work with teachers, students and the community to encourage writing and storytelling of all sorts. It’s a fun anthology to read on a rainy day!

Thinking later of things I’d noticed while we were outdoors I wrote a haiku poem and illustrated it in my sketchbook.

I hope you are able to go outside and play some too! See you next Monday.

Rhythms, a doodlebug and little piggies

A Creative Life, animals in art, artistic inspirations, books, creative thinking, fabric design, fine art, illustrated poem, kitchen art, mental health, poetry, reading, sketchbook, visual story, visual thinking, whimsical art

I recently read “Hare Brain Tortoise Mind” by Guy Claxton and was reminded of how rhythmic things like weeding a garden or doodling can be calming to the human mind. This physical neurological response to “uniformly random rhythms” is also part of the human reaction to rhythms in songs, poetry or prose – we respond neurologically to refrains and repeated patterns, with variations, in all of the arts.

I include cooking here – it too is one of the fine art forms that has comforting rhythms both for the person stirring the stew and for the person eating. I think of how soothing it is for a small child to be held and rocked – what if all of the human fine arts are basically rhythms that can hold “rock” and soothe our physical brains?

So I’ve been thinking more about rhythmic patterns in my own creative efforts. I’ve begun doing doodlebugs… and other projects that involve “uniformly random rhythms” of patterns. I’m also making some changes to my morning sketchbook sessions that involve making more patterns.

As you know things that encourage good mental health skills are important to me and if I can foster my own mental health via rhythmic pattern creativity – and by sharing my work perhaps help others too – that seems a worthy artistic goal.

Here’s a doodlebug I did in my sketchbook and a fabric pattern I made from it.

Here’s my orange doodlebug pattern on a throw pillow.

Orange Doodlebug by Clancy https://www.spoonflower.com/en/fabric/14583100-orange-doodlebug-by-sueclancy

Recently someone sent me some photos of one of my wallpaper designs that they applied to their kitchen island. They were pleased and said it was “just the whimsy we were looking for”! I’m glad they were pleased!! I’ve learned in the process that grids are fun ways to make visual rhythms!

Here’s a painting I finished this week that I’ve titled “This Little Piggy”. It was inspired by the nursery rhyme: (please note the rhythms) “This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed home. This little piggy had roast beef. This little piggy had none. This little pig cried wee, wee, wee all the way home.” As you can see in my painting below I also repeated visual rhythms, like the rhyme, and did a few playful alterations.

This Little Piggy by Clancy

In the video below is a look inside my studio at “This Little Piggy” – I created using ink, gouache and color pencils many of the supplies you’ll see briefly in the video.
It will join my other paintings for exhibits later this year via Amy Biederman Caplan at the Caplan Art Designs Gallery. www.caplanartdesigns.com

In my email newsletter this week I shared my “This Little Piggy” painting and I’ve been sharing my sketchbook pages. I’ve finished sketchbooks C and D and am working on E currently. The doodlebug image above is in book “D”.

This book is my current evening and weekend reading. It has a library in it that is dedicated to poetry… be still my heart!

And because I like to share particularly good things: here’s a link to a good recipe for LENTIL CHILI along with my additional notes and variations: Add a can of roasted chilies and use chicken or veg broth or water (whatever available/handy). Add cumin, dark cocoa, Mexican oregano, chili powder, salt, pepper – cook 30 or more mins on simmer, stir often and add more broth or water if needed.
Variation: add a chopped carrot, frozen corn and or chopped bell pepper

And look at the rhythmic visual pattern of the beans in my cookpot too!!

I hope your week forms a pleasant daily rhythm for you.

See you next Monday or so.