I finished the artwork I was working on in my last blog post! https://sueclancy.com/2017/04/06/art-of-the-onion/ and then I applied the illustration to some things… a framed print, greeting cards and other items you can find here: https://society6.com/sueclancy
If you have ever enjoyed a margarita – or as I’ve recently discovered – a Mexican coffee remember to thank a bat. The lesser long nosed bat, yes the night flying critter, is very important to the pollination of plants that produce tequila. This bat’s health affects human culture and humans affect the bat. Fortunately the lesser long nosed bat has been removed from the endangered species list recently because lots of humans returned the bat’s favors and helped the bat’s habitat etc.
All of this goes to my on-going thesis that we humans are interconnected with the world. It only seems like human culture is separate from the natural world. Just like sometimes it feels like we are alone as individuals. But the way I figure it even when I’m physically alone in a room there are thousands of humans with me; several people made my furniture, some made my window blinds, others make the inks, brushes and all the art supplies I use. The books that fill my studio and home were written, edited, published and distributed by lots of humans. And I’m grateful to them.
Then I back up a notch and there are mammals, insects, plants as well as water, air and sunlight that also contributed to the materials all the humans used to make everything in my life. And I’m even more grateful.
Which brings me to the dogs. For me dogs represent a “joy at being alive” and dogs are very much a part of our human world. For me they are a direct link to the natural world – they are our “interpreters”, our therapy guide dogs, that help us remember our humanity. You know, enjoy your food, sleep well, be sociable, be kind, go for walks and play like you mean it.
I also enjoy the diversity of the dog-world. The smallest dog and the biggest dog, the hairy dog and the smooth-coated dog are all able to co-exist peaceably (most of the time) in the same dog park. Good examples for the humans I think.
It takes all of us – every being – to create our world. Sort of like a drink recipe, leave out one item and you don’t have the same drink. As Dr. Bob Hoke often quoted “We bring forth the world together”
So for many of the above reasons I depict dogs doing human culture-like things such as having a Mexican coffee.
And here is one of the best Mexican coffee recipe’s I’ve found so far.
I never knew there were so many coffee-drinks until I moved to the Pacific Northwest. Lately I’ve been “collecting” such drinks in my sketchbook (like the above recipe) as well as many different shapes of mugs and cups. All of this research is ending up in my fine artwork… I’ll share more about this in another post.
Do you have a favorite dog? Or favorite coffee drink?
In the meantime you can see more of my dog portrait artwork in my new book “Dogs by Sue Clancy” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy or at one of my art galleries: Caplan Art Designs http://www.caplanartdesigns.com For more of the “Dr. Bob Hoke” I spoke of earlier see also my artist book Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit
I’m re-blogging this article because it describes very well something I’ve been thinking about for some time. It describes one of the reasons (shining a light on the human part of humanity) why I’m an artist, and why I do art the way I do it. Yet this article also highlights for me the tightrope we professional artists walk. On the one hand the Internet, and social media, make it easier for us to get the word out about our art projects and that’s a wonderful, necessary, thing. On the other hand it is a challenge to remain human while you’re doing all that ‘getting the word out’ that you have to do in order to keep being a professional artist. It can be hard to remember to be just a human who happens to share publicly what they create. Best I know to do is try.
The story is one of those bizarre ‘small world’ moments that happen from time to time on the internet, but over the course of the last few months, Valerie and I have been instant message pen-pal-ing, sharing stories and articles, histories and theories. When she told me she was coming to Copenhagen to visit her sister, of course I wanted to meet her in person.
On the surface, we have little in common. I’m from the Northeast, and she’s from the deep south. She’s retired, no kids, likes dogs…yet we connected through a commonality: looking for a little bit of orientation in a world that to many, seems to have turned upside down.
Sitting across from one another rather than across a computer screen, we talked about many of the same things–politics, women’s rights…
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Being a busy professional artist I’m fond of “quick fix” meals that are both yummy and fairly healthy – I’m feeding my creative-mental-beast after all! So, by special request (Thanks Laura!) here in this post is my favorite nacho’s recipe.
I like to make my nachos as artistically colorful as possible so as I’m piling the ingredients on – sometimes (in addition to the ingredients below) I’ll include spinach leaves, and chopped red bell pepper chunks to make it have a colorful contrast. I like the dark olives against the white mozzarella too. The “ready to use beans” mentioned in the recipe are described in this blog post here: https://sueclancy.com/2016/10/17/best-artistic-life-trick/ and make a nice background color along with the yellow corn chips and the light green onion and the dark green jalapeno…
And yes, this recipe is written like you see here in ink and color pencil in one of my sketchbooks.
Oh, and the cast-iron griddle technique really is the “secret sauce” for my nachos! Enjoy!!
People tend to think of “wealth” as things they have yet to acquire rather than things they already have. Similarly people think of “artistic inspiration” as some grand life-changing event rather than a learned-and-practiced way of looking at ordinary life.
I had an art professor in college who would talk, after class was over, of various practical aspects of the business of being a professional artist. He would say “If you can’t find artistic inspiration, something utterly fascinating to you, something you are curious about exploring using art techniques, in your own room, in your own yard, in your own life – then you won’t last long as an artist. So collect every inspiration you have, keep careful notes of what piques your interest no matter how small, protect and pursue these interests passionately, and you’ll have a life-long career as an artist.”
Here’s a fascinating pattern I found in my backyard – which I’m “keeping” for some unknown-at-this-moment future use.
I like to go sketching as a way to “gather data” that I’ll use in my fine artwork. I’ll go looking for colors, shapes, patterns and many other elements in the real world from which I’ll draw and make notes in my sketchbooks for reference use – inspiration – later in my studio. Where I’ll go depends on the kind of data I’m needing to collect: is it botanical colors? natural shapes? or urban tile/brick patterns that I need? No matter where I’m heading there is often the question: “What to do about lunch?”
This sandwich is fast becoming my go-to-reliably-yummy-easily-portable fave. I’m calling in my “Let’s Go Sketching Sandwich”. It’s a fave because of it’s yummy-ness but also for it’s portability. There’s no need for a cooler or a way to keep it cold (translation; no need to carry additional gear!), it’s not a messy sandwich and it can be eaten with one hand – all virtues in this artist’s book! I can literally stick this simple sandwich in my art bag and go!
Here in this post is – irony intended – my sketch and notes about my sketching sandwich that I made in my sketchbook!
And yes, it is important to press the sandwich together – it helps meld the flavors. It is also helpful to wait an hour or more between making the sandwich and eating it. This also contributes to this sandwiches portability; I can wrap this sandwich tightly in wax paper, put it in a ziploc bag and put that in the bottom of my art bag – any sketchbooks on top of the sandwich are helping me “meld” the sandwich. If it takes me 30 minutes or an hour to get to where I want to sketch – all the better. Now – let’s go! (Any curiosities about what else is in my “art bag” besides this sandwich can be settled here: https://sueclancy.com/2016/02/18/sues-sketching-setup/)
I have a gazillion-trillion reasons why I depict animals in my artwork and why I do it the way I do it. These two articles; one titled “Thinking With Animals” and the other titled “Why look at Animals?” lists a few of the issues often within my thoughts. In short within my artwork I contemplate the ways humans think in animal metaphors and our efforts at self-transcendence – and how to go on and living well with all the beings on our planet.
Why I do visual stories is another topic yet one that is intimately intertwined with why I depict animals in art and here is a wonderful article on storytelling titled “Susan Sontag on Storytelling, what it means to be a moral human being and her advice to writers”.
Possibly best of all, and what got me started writing this blog post, is this article titled “Neil Gaiman on how stories last” – In that article at one point Gaiman says “Pictures, I think, may have been a way of transmitting stories.”
Because the Internet likes images I’m including one of my artworks that has – gasp! – animals in it.
Here are the full article links:
I’ve got a lot on my plate these days; fine art deadlines, illustration deadlines, some writing deadlines. In the photo above I’m at work dyeing paper for one of my in-progress collages … yep, one that has a deadline attached. I’d say I’m dye-ing along dead-lines but Halloween is over and I don’t want to scare you any more than necessary.
But if you’re worried; yes, I’m still sleeping and eating. Good sleep and good home-cooked food feeds the creative life, soul and tummy. So I gotta keep doing that – especially during a busy time! In fact – here’s something I’ll be putting on my plate and eating later today after a whole lot of work gets done:
What I keep running out of time to do is to update all of my social media bwahaha. So I’m accepting my super-busy reality and going to take some time off from social media. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. I’ll catch up with you later. Cheers dears!
I have always enjoyed the kinship between visual art and the written word. Both disciplines similarly use plot, character and a story! As a way to develop my fine art designs i have actively read and studied creative writing (in addition to art, art techniques etc.) since college. So imagine my delight to find that I’m not the only one who thinks this way! Check out this awesome article titled “The Writing of Art” by Ben Shattuck http://www.themorningnews.org/article/the-writing-of-art
Additional commentary here: http://therumpus.net/2015/10/on-art-and-writing/