the rough bark of culture

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, artist book, artistic inspirations, Authors, books, creative thinking, dog portrait, Dogs in Art, fine art, handmade books, handmade papers, mental health, visual thinking, words and pictures

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Reference material:

“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.

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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!!

finished constellation

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, artistic inspirations, fine art, handmade papers

I’ve finished the artwork I was working on in my last blog post! This one is destined for exhibit by Caplan Art Designs in October. See the events page http://www.caplanartdesigns.com for details. Here’s the nitty-gritty about my just-completed artwork titled “If It’s Any Constellation”.

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If It’s Any Constellation By Sue Clancy 12 x 12 x 1.5 inches Hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board

In my last blog post I wrote that recently I was taking out the trash and it seemed the stars were larger than usual… and that that had inspired a pattern design. All true… and here’s the “official blurb” aka what the gallery is likely to post beside this piece as an explanation of my inspiration:

If It’s Any Constellation  by Sue Clancy

The stars seemed larger and clearer one summer Pacific NW evening just before autumn. That same evening I watched a cat playing with a toy; grabbing it, running with it, enjoying it and I thought of how we all have to “pick something” from the many possibilities within our personal galaxy to focus on and enjoy.

So that above is the official blurb and I’m sticking with it.

Just in case you didn’t see it: here is a Youtube video of me making a star pattern paper that you see in “If It’s Any Constellation”: https://youtu.be/cAx88mwARqo

Now I’ll  do the varnish, paperwork and other stuff that needs to be done before I deliver this new artwork to the gallery. After that I’ll also work on some art apparel designs – and on an artist book page – that also applies my “star paper” design pattern thinking – more on all of that later.

pug a cherry

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, artistic inspirations, collage, fine art, handmade papers, psychogeography

In a recent blog post titled “art inspired by ice cream” I wrote about the unusually hot weather here in WA and posted pictures of some in-progress-artwork, describing my working process and that it was inspired by (ahem) ice cream. Well, here is the rest of that story:

After thinking of the cool pattern of the marble walls in my local post office in Vancouver on the aforementioned hot day I went for an ice cream cone. My ice cream was ‘marbled’ creamy vanilla with dark chocolate swirls.  While walking around with my dripping cone, thinking of snow covered mountains, snow falling, skiing – you know, cool thoughts – a cute pug dog and his friendly person passed by – they were a “cherry” capstone to a very good – tho hot – day out and about.

That’s the full description of the inspiration behind this piece that I’ve just finished and titled “Pug A Cherry On Top”.  I’m sure you can see why I titled it that.  Anyway, it’s destined for my upcoming one-person exhibit in October (2016) at Caplan Art Designs (see the events page at www.caplanartdesigns.com).

I created it with my cut hand dyed, hand marbled papers and… the full description is below if you want it… here’s the art.

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Pug A Cherry On Top By Sue Clancy 7 x 5 x 1.5 inches Hand dyed paper, hand marbled paper, ink and acrylic on cradled board

art inspired by ice cream

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, collage, fine art, handmade papers, psychogeography, sketchbook

As I mentioned in my last blog post – there’s been a rare hot day or two here in Washington. In addition to drinking ice tea and thinking cool thoughts I’ve also eaten ice cream. You are shocked I can tell. But wait – there’s more! The two flavors I had were swirled together in a marble-like pattern – and there were candy sprinkles on top! So guess what I did… yep, before the ice cream melted I sketched the two patterns in my sketchbook.

Back at my art studio I marbled a piece of paper using the Suminagashi Japanese paper marbling technique. When the paper was dry I cut it in the shape of a mound of ice cream. You can see a bit of that paper in the edge of the photo to the left – and then the same paper glued on the board on the right. Then I cut other shapes out of other papers I’d made into a pug (a patron saint of ice cream… right?)… and in the photo to the right you can see me gluing on the sprinkles in a pattern.

I’m loving the contrast of the two random patterns; one swirled and one dotted! The glue will have to dry, more layers glued on… basically lots of work to be done before this fine art collage is finished. So my next blog post or two will probably be about something else – then I’ll post again about this project…anyway, whenever this ice cream piece is done I’ll come up with a fun title, photograph it, do the paperwork – and then it will likely go to Caplan Art Designs for my exhibit October 2016 (see the events page at Caplan Art Designs  www.caplanartdesigns.com)

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Sue Clancy working on a fine art collage inspired by ice cream – and cherries and sprinkles…

 

 

 

Upick Book Farm Art

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, books, fine art, handmade papers

Finished a new art piece destined for the Caplan Art Designs gallery one-person exhibit I’ll be having in October!  The opening party will be a 3 course wine dinner party at The Daily in The Pearl. You can get more info about that on the Caplan Art Designs events page  – look at “Cooks, Corks and Co-conspirators”. Yep, I’d be a considered a co-conspirator. Anyway, here’s the info about this newbie art piece:

U-Pick Book Farm

By Sue Clancy

12 x 9 x 1.5 inches

Hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, hand woven paper, found paper, acrylic on cradled board

And, if you missed my prior blog post where I told and showed about this artwork in progress here’s a bit about my thinking behind it:

U-Pick Book Farm by Sue Clancy

Combining the concepts of local u-pick fruit and vegetable farms with local libraries that have baskets for a patron’s book harvest and adding the burrowing, digging instinct of a dachshund.

UpickBookFarm72

U-Pick Book Farm By Sue Clancy 12 x 9 x 1.5 inches Hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, hand woven paper, found paper, acrylic on cradled board

 

big artist pants

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, artist book, books, handmade books, handmade papers, visual story, words and pictures

Well today I pulled up my big artist pants, squared my shoulders, and submitted my artist book “A Fish Story” to the 23 Sandy Gallery www.23sandy.com for an upcoming juried book arts exhibit titled “Pop-Up Now II”.  Wish me luck! I’m hoping to get to play with the big artists in that exhibit!  The juror’s are impressive (intimidating?!) – the artist’s who were in the first “Pop-Up” exhibit at 23 Sandy were OMG awesome (you can see some of their book-work  via this link here: http://23sandy.com/works/product-category/curated-collections/pop-up-movable) – So I have a serious case of the little kid to big kid adoration. You know stuff along the lines of “Oh I wanna play! Pick me! Please? Pretty please? I’ll show you my glue and paper collection…I can do this… I wanna learn that…Show me how… teach me ….let me…aww com’on…”

And this gives you a glimpse into my philosophy of selecting which gallery and which arts events I try to participate in: Does it inspire me to do my absolute best? Does it challenge me as an artist? If the answer is yes – then I get my brave on and go for it! No matter what the outcome is – I’ll learn something in the process and I’ll become a better artist for the effort!

One of the big learning curves – besides making a pop-up book with 4 different movable pop-up mechanisms (whew!) – was making a video of “A Fish Story”! I’m so gosh-darn proud of it I’m posting a link to it again here: https://youtu.be/3gx6QmzXlpM  – and in case you’ve just joined this show here is a still photo of one of the pages of “A Fish Story” – that green tab lets the viewer move the fish into the water away from the fisherman. (Yep, that mechanism was hard to construct… but details about that is a different blog post.)

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page from the artist book “A Fish Story” by Sue Clancy

Finally A Fish Story

A Creative Life, animals in art, art gallery, artist book, books, handmade books, handmade papers, visual story, words and pictures

Here is the long awaited video of my artist book “A Fish Story” – first I had to catch it (make the video), then I had to grill it (edit it down to one minute – the gallery wants all videos at a minute or less) then I had to de-bone it (remove the sound) after a next-door friend said he could hear his electric sander in the background of the video. (Q: How does a deaf person edit sound on a video? A: Verrry carefully with help from spouse and friends!)  But finally… here is A Fish Story!

artist book rabbit

A Creative Life, animals in art, artist book, books, handmade books, handmade papers, illustration, poetry, words and pictures

Practicing my video techniques again in prep for filming my pop-up book “A Fish Story” (see more about that elsewhere on my blog)… this time I’m practicing video with a rabbit. Even had to “trim” my original video. But don’t worry, no actual bunnies were harmed in the production of this artist book or the film of it.

road trip inspired apparel

A Creative Life, Art Apparel, handmade papers, travel art and writing, travelog, travelogue

Recently I took a wonderful road trip to Boise Idaho to visit family there. Drove through the Columbia River Gorge on the Oregon side… saw waterfalls on the way to Idaho, saw the sunlight on the Boise foothills, then on the way home – again through the Columbia River Gorge – there was a spectacular sunset, sun shining on the rocky cliffs above the water.  Needless to say I jotted pattern notes in my sketchbook. (I stopped at a rest stop to do that – don’t worry I did not draw and drive!) When I got back to the studio I created my patterns on handmade paper and then, after the papers were dry, photographed and uploaded the patterns to my signature collection at VIDA. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy  I’m imagining how fun it will be in the middle of winter to wear a waterfall, a summer sunset or the sunlit Boise foothills!

A pattern design I did based on a waterfall I saw on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

A pattern design I did based on a waterfall I saw on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

A pattern design I did based on a summer sunset I saw on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

A pattern design I did based on a summer sunset I saw on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

A pattern design I did based on seeing the sunlit Boise foothills on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

A pattern design I did based on seeing the sunlit Boise foothills on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

 

a fish story progressing dangerously

artist book, books, handmade books, handmade papers, visual story, words and pictures, writing

As I’ve been sharing on my blog today – www.sueclancy.com – I’m working on a pop-up book titled “A Fish Story”. In the photos below I’m living dangerously; I’m taking my now-dry pages and binding them carefully so that the parts that make the movable pop-up parts will be hidden – but will still allow for movement. In one of the photos you can see some of the hidden works before it’s hidden. I call the binding “living dangerously” because I’ve spent months at hand making each page so one slip of my knife now, or a mistake with the binding, and a page is dead! Some people sky dive or bungee cord jump or visit with elderly relatives… me, I bind a pop-up book. Whew!

Living dangerously and binding a pop-up book titled "A Fish Story" by Sue Clancy

Living dangerously and binding a pop-up book titled “A Fish Story” by Sue Clancy

A few of the dry pages from the pop-up book "A Fish Story" by Sue Clancy

A few of the dry pages from the pop-up book “A Fish Story” by Sue Clancy