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 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.

Touristing, a happy hippo, and a pink elephant

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We went touristing and drove 20 minutes from our house to Camas WA independent bookstore called Its Bookish. It’s a delightful store focused on children’s books up to young adult with some adult books too. Here’s some views of what we saw on our way to Its Bookish. Not pictured, because I wasn’t able to get pics due to intermittent clouds and terrain, were fleeting views of distant snow covered mountains.

The door to Its Bookish was warmly welcoming and was a delight to see!

Naturally I made a beeline for the poetry section and then had a more general browse. Both my wife and I found books/authors that we’re always looking for that are sometimes hard to find. The store was quite crowded with lots of kids of all ages and their grownups but during a brief quiet moment in the young adult section I snapped this selfie with my wife in the background. It was a pleasant experience. No bookstore cats though which was understandable given the high level of children’s activities.

After we finished at Its Bookish we walked around downtown to a locally owned pub Grains Of Wrath. On our walk we passed by sculptures and many more locally owned businesses with welcoming to everyone signs in their windows or doors!

At Grains of Wrath we had really good beer and the best mac and cheese ever! Here in the Pacific Northwest every pub has their own version of mac and cheese and it’s fun to discover how much variety mac and cheese can have! My spouse and I split the dishes so we each got enough but not too much. We felt quite indulgent!

Back home I photographed our book haul from Its Bookish.

On my email newsletter I shared my sketchbook page of a dancing hippo … and as you can see by the above tourist play I followed the hippo’s advice

By request I made an art print of my sketchbook page… https://society6.com/product/dancing-hippo-reminder_print

Dancing Hippo Reminder – by Clancy – https://society6.com/product/dancing-hippo-reminder_print

Here’s the gouache painting I finished last week titled “Pink Elephant”. More details and the sketchbook page leading up to the painting are on my email newsletter here.

Also last week I released my entire 38 page year 2016 sketchbook as an ebook download. It’s part of my “book of the month club” paid ($7) subscription series on my Substack. My 2016 “Glad to be alive” sketchbook contains drawings from walks in nature and visits to various Vancouver WA and Portland OR area restaurants libraries and other places. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
https://sueclancy.substack.com/p/my-glad-to-be-alive-sketchbook

My friend Bernadette Laganella shared my Magic Beans on her New Classic Recipes blog ! Thank you Bernadette! Besides my beans recipe I shared how I learned during college women-supporting-women supperclub how to survive and thrive as an artist by knowing beans https://wp.me/pcAug8-kR

I’ve really enjoyed sharing both my art images and my stories via my email newsletter and also as a guest on blogs and other people’s email newsletters! I want to create more artist books and learn more about merging words and pictures together… and do more sharing of both my words and images… πŸ€”

This week, Mar 14th, Amie McGraham from Cook and Tell interviews me and includes my sketchbook pages for St. Patrick’s Day!! You’ll be able to see it here.

I hope your week contains happy hippos. See you next Mondayish.

Marinating in the fun stuff

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This week I finished the painting I was working on in my last post and I continued playing around in the fun too!

I played with the new inks (see also my last post).

I made postcards for friends with these 2 inks as seen on my Substack newsletter. As you know I see art as a way to connect with people.

Playing in my sketchbooks is a way to explore and experience new art supplies as well as my own thoughts and feelings. I used on of the larger 8 x 10 inch sized sketchbooks as seen in this recent post when I got a batch of new sketchbooks.

This week we visited a locally owned bookstore called Broadway Books. I love their curated poetry section and got two books of poetry and some “haikubes” for added wordplay fun!

Another day this week we went to a 2nd Powell’s bookstore location on Hawthorne street. They have completely different book selections in each of the Powell’s bookstores so it’s fun to visit the curated collections for a good browse.

And we celebrated our anniversary of 27 years together and 10 years married at one of our local craft brewpubs!!

What a great week of soaking up the fun and celebrating life!!

Much love to you all and thanks for sharing in the fun!!

See you next Monday!