Alphapets: Q R S and T

A Creative Life, Abecedarian, Alphapets, Ambassador for Small Frames, animals in art, art exhibit, art techniques, Art Word Combinations, artist book, artistic inspirations, author illustrator, books, cat portrait, Cats in art, dog portrait, Dogs in Art, ebook, fine art, graphic design, illustrated poem, miniature art, pattern design, pet portraits, words and pictures

The Alphapets portrait project this week is brought to you by the letters Q, R, S and T. Here’s my abecedarian poem to go with these letters and artwork :

Quincy is rarely upset

Rufus requests a 3 egg omelet

Snickerson eats all the whitefish

Tippy, age 2, is still kittenish

Here’s the artwork (somewhere on each piece is an alphabetical letter):

I did portraits of a Maine Coon cat, a pug dog, a Sphynx cat and a tuxedo cat. This seemed to be cat week.

The world also seemed a bit topsy-turvy this week so when setting out to work on this pet portrait project I sat and thought of calming pets, including some professional therapy cats and dogs I’ve done portraits of in the past.

While thinking I remembered a pre-quarantine visit my spouse and I made, several years ago, to a cat show in Portland Oregon. It was a tumultuous event, generally, but one area seemed particularly chaotic: a group of small kids were clamoring around a large Maine Coon cat, taking turns holding the cat who was almost as big as the kids doing the holding. The cat was poured from lap to lap, he was hugged, kissed, patted, fur ruffled, his tail and ears were tugged – and through it all the cat serenely meditated. A Zen monk would surely be impressed. I certainly was. Still am.

Anyway I combined those thoughts with memories of a long ago trip we took to Maine where I discovered thick “fisherman’s sweaters” with shawl collars and big pockets. I feel serene when wearing one. So all of these thoughts combined for Quincy.

For Rufus I was thinking about omelets; omelets with veggies, omelets with cheese… and Pugs are fun to draw. The background pattern was just playful fun – thinking of oval eggy shapes.

A dear friend of mine suggested Snickerson and Tippy – suggesting both the names, the breeds and giving me some resource photos for each cat. As I looked at what my friend shared I thought of fish, and the fishing in my local area – and I can imagine that with Snickerson’s big eyes he’d charm any fishmonger out of all their whitefish.

I combined my friends info about the tuxedo cat Tippy with my awareness that lots of people are doing school at home now – including teaching and learning to write. Writing seems a thing to learn and practice one’s entire life anyway … which keeps one kittenish. ūüėĄ

As usual all of this artwork was created with ink, gouache and color pencil. I do these portraits on board, size 3.5 x 2.5 inches. The original art will be framed…eventually and be a miniature art exhibit. But since the pandemic I’ve decided that rather than wait for the physical art exhibit, (I normally wait to release a book in conjunction with an art exhibit) to go full steam ahead with the book. Since these posts of my Alphapets, especially on Instagram and Facebook, have seemed to cheer people….perhaps it will also cheer people to have the choice of a printed or an ebook of these portraits? Anyway, now that I’ve reached the letter T my thoughts are turning more firmly towards book design – and that’s fun for me too. Art, in my opinion, is there to give us solace, to help us get thru whatever is happening in life.

If you’re just joining the fun the previous set of letters is here. My Alphapets project is still aimed to be an art exhibit. With framing eventually done by Aurora Gallery and Frameshop. https://auroragalleryonline.com/ as part of the Ambassador for Small Frames program. More of the poem will be revealed on each Monday’s post as I get more of the artwork done. More of my artist books are here.

Anyway, I’ll have more letters for you next Monday. See you then!

stocking local love

A Creative Life, animals in art, Art Licensing, artist book, artistic inspirations, author illustrator, books, Books In Art, business of art, Dogs in Art, fine art, graphic design, mental health, pattern design, product design, publications - publishing, reading in art, small things, Sustainable creativity

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…

DrBobAndGiftsSM

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 ‚Ķ 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.

absurd things on rainy days

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For this new painting I’ve combined several thoughts together: rainy day activities, the contrast between rainy Pacific Northwest and the Southwestern (USA) desert region (Arizona), and the Bonneville Dam’s fish ladder. I’ve found the fish ladder fascinating – here’s a video of it – and have done some fun sketching at the Bonneville Dam¬† trying to capture the patterns I see.

I enjoy the patterns the fish form as they flow by.¬† I also enjoy the patterns of the needles/leaves on cactus and succulents which seem visually similar, in my eyes, to the “flow” of the fish as seen from various angles.

Yes, I spend a lot of time thinking about visual fractals in general and specifically fractals in nature

Plus the absurdity of comparing fish with cactus tickled my funny bone. At any rate those were some of my thoughts as I created this gouache painting I’ve titled “100 Things To Do On A Rainy Day”.

100ThingsToDoOnRainyDay300

“100 Things To Do On A Rainy Day” by Clancy – 11 x 14 inches – ink and gouache on board

finished Abyssinian cat with alphabet

A Creative Life, animals in art, art techniques, artistic inspirations, cat portrait, Cats in art, creative thinking, handmade papers, pattern design, visual thinking

Here’s the finished Abyssinian cat portrait with an alphabet pattern background – reflecting my thoughts of multi-lingual book readers, alphabetic “framing” of thoughts and… well, if you look at my last several blog posts you’ll see my thinking as I’ve worked on this one.

It’s titled “Alpha Betty” and is 20 x 24 inches.

AlphaBetty72

I’m particularly pleased with how the alphabet “shows through” subtly all over this piece with varying degrees of transparency or opacity – like our varying degrees of awareness of the linguistic framing of our thoughts.

You can see more of my cat-related thoughts in my ebook “Various Cat Sketches” here:¬†https://sueclancy.com/shop/

 

Abyssinian cat portrait with alphabet

A Creative Life, animals in art, art techniques, artistic inspirations, cat portrait, Cats in art, fine art, handmade papers, pattern design

Having been inspired by all the multi-lingual book readers I see in the Pacific Northwest – combined with the alphabet-as-frame-of-reference thoughts I’d shared in my last blog post, and my on-going collection of cat-related thoughts – I’ve been working on a portrait of an Abyssinian cat. The cat will be reading a¬† mystery called “M is for Mice”. (What else would a mouse obsessed cat read?) I’ll probably title my painting “Alpha Betty” when I’m done.¬† Below you can see my progress along side my to-scale drawing. I’ve still more work to do. Especially on the mouth area on the cat – and of course on the book.¬† This work is 20 inches tall by 24 inches wide.

AlphaBettyProgressWSketch72

You can see more of my cat-related thoughts in my ebook “Various Cat Sketches” here:¬†https://sueclancy.com/shop/

 

cat thoughts with alphabets

A Creative Life, artistic inspirations, creative thinking, handmade papers, pattern design

I’ve been thinking a lot about cats; how they have their own “spaces” or territories. How each has its own frame of reference. My cat Hawkeye, for example, thinks that fleece throw blankets are unreasonable objects and seems offended when a fleece throw is on my lap. But a woven, cotton blanket is a thing of sense and reason in his opinion.

This got me to thinking about the alphabet. Each language has its own – and when we say “the alphabet” we immediately think of our native tongue. Sometimes this presumption can be dismissive of other languages and alphabets. But when we’re aware of bi-lingual people and have a general awareness of the multiplicity of this world – perhaps we are better able to remember that these frames of reference are just that, frames. And that frames can be adjusted.

I’m imagining a mouse-obsessed cat and her frame-of-reference, her possible reading preferences… and creating an all-over alphabet pattern on handmade paper. I speak both English and American Sign Language. I’m more fluent in English so I’m using the English alphabet to make my pattern.

StencilForAlphaBetty272

Now this paper will have to dry a while. So I’ll work on a to-scale drawing of my thoughts for the next several days. And I’ll practice drawing cats. You can see more of my cat-related thoughts in my ebook “Various Cat Sketches” here:¬†https://sueclancy.com/shop/

 

art exhibit statement in pictures

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I’ve been working on an exhibit statement for my upcoming one-person exhibit at Burnt Bridge Cellars http://www.burntbridgecellars.com/¬†via Caplan Art Designs http://www.caplanartdesigns.com/index.htm¬†and making it as visual as possible. Here’s what I’ve come up with (with slight variations for my on-line only¬†audience):

Dogs In The Winery by Sue Clancy

I‚Äôve been inspired by many of the drinks, restaurants and music events in Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest. Whenever I am inspired I make notes in my ‚Äúrunning around loose‚ÄĚ sketchbook ‚Äď real-life observations ‚Äď that often end up on a page looking like this:

CestLaVie

Back in my studio I run those notes through my imagination and do a new sketch, in black and white, that uses elements of what I‚Äôd seen in real life but transforms that real-life data symbolically. In this way, my work becomes a visual story about enjoying something. For me drawing is thinking ‚Äď and storytelling. My newly imagined art-sketch becomes something like this:

pierre72

Pierre by Clancy (ink on handmade paper)

Then I add to my story concept thoughts of color, patterns and textures Рto create a surface design on handmade paper that reflects my thoughts/feelings. In this step, I’m designing and creating hand-made patterns onto handmade papers using a number of techniques. Each pattern is designed to be another story element.

I put together the real-life data – my re-configured imaginary sketch idea and my color/pattern surface design thoughts – by cutting shapes out of my handmade papers and literally gluing the cut paper pieces together to create my fine artwork.

To show you what I mean here is a picture of me making a surface pattern design on handmade paper:

patterningPaper2crop72

Sue Clancy creating a pattern on paper using a stencil-paste paper technique

And here I’m using an Xacto knife cutting out shapes from paper that was previously dyed:

CuttingCar

Cutting dyed paper into a shape

The end result is a multi-layered fine art piece in color ‚Äď like what you see in this exhibit or that you can see on my website fine art¬†page https://sueclancy.com/fine-art/¬†Or like this finished fine art piece titled “Caf√© Paix”

cafepaix72

“Caf√© Paix” by Clancy – 14 x 11 inches – hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper and acrylic on cradled board

This exhibit shows a progression of my artistic thoughts about life in the Pacific Northwest¬†‚Äď a visual story collection ‚Äď with various dogs as symbolic characters. For me a dog represents an exuberance, a gladness, about being alive and is a fitting representative for pleasant life experiences.

You can download, free, 18 pages from my ‚Äúrunning around loose‚ÄĚ sketchbook – the real-life data that inspired this exhibit from my website here: https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/¬†¬†I‚Äôve titled this (free eBook) sketchbook ‚ÄúGlad To Be Alive Sketchbook ‚Äď drinks and music edition 2017‚ÄĚ.¬† Direct link to the free eBook here: https://sueclancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/gladtobealivedrinkmusiced.pdf

The imaginative art-sketches developed from the ‚ÄúGlad to be Alive‚Ķ‚ÄĚ sketchbook can be seen in the printed book ‚ÄúDogs by Sue Clancy‚ÄĚ (available in this exhibit or via Amazon and other booksellers or here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy ). If you are able to visit my art exhibit at Burnt Bridge Cellars I‚Äôm sure you can identify (in ‚Äúwhere‚Äôs Waldo‚ÄĚ puzzle fashion) which sketchbook page led to which black and white art-sketch and which of those became color fine artwork.

For¬†a “mind map” of my thinking process see the diagram here: https://sueclancy.com/2017/05/16/mind-map-of-a-clancy-art-exhibit/

mind map of a Clancy art exhibit

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, Art Licensing, art techniques, artist book, artistic inspirations, creative thinking, dog portrait, Dogs in Art, fine art, functional art, pattern design, public art, published art, sketchbook, surface design, visual story, visual thinking, words and pictures

I’ve been busy getting ready for my one-person art exhibit to open June 2nd at Burnt Bridge Cellars – a winery in Vancouver WA.¬† Part of doing an exhibit is to write an exhibit statement.¬†But before posting my finished exhibit statement I wanted to share my thoughts behind my art exhibit design.¬† Here’s a sketch diagram, a mind-map:

MindMapOfExhibit

For the last year I’ve been running-around-loose in the Vancouver WA and Portland OR area documenting, in my sketchbook,¬†my experiences at local music events, restaurants, wineries, cafes and pubs.¬† You can see a free eBook of my sketchbook titled “Glad¬†To Be Alive – drinks and music edition 2017”¬†here: https://sueclancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/gladtobealivedrinkmusiced.pdf

Then I processed through my imagination all of that data I’d collected in my sketchbook and for each pleasant thought I¬†imagined a dog character-actor and¬†made a¬†new sketch/visual story, an¬†ink study, using a sumi brush and ink. You can see a printed book, titled “Dogs by Sue Clancy” with¬†of some of these ink sketches via Amazon or here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy

After doing a whole bunch of these dog portrait studies, almost 100 of them, I selected several and refined them, adding color and pattern and shape thoughts to my visual story describing metaphorically my experiences in real life.  These refinements have become finished fine art pieces that are in color using my mixed media cut handmade paper technique.  Both some of the finished color artworks and some of the black and white ink pieces (framed) will be at my upcoming exhibit.

My artistic inspirations are elements of¬†ordinary life – so I’ve extended my art-exhibit making to the above mentioned books. Books¬†are an important element of ordinary life so having authored two of¬†them and making them available adds another layer to my art¬†exhibit.

After doing some of the fine artworks I’ve also done some “illustrated things”: I’ve applied some of my artistic thinking¬†for my exhibit¬†to¬†real-life¬†clocks, napkins, tea towels, scarves and many other ordinary consumer¬†items.¬† This extends my art exhibit thesis¬†to yet another layer or dimension.¬†¬† You can see some of the items I’ve designed on my web page titled “illustrated things” here: https://sueclancy.com/pattern-design/

To put¬†my exhibit thesis¬†plainly¬†– I think it is very important to remember to enjoy and actively participate in¬†the present¬†moment, to relish ordinary things, places and friendly people.¬† Once upon a time I lived in a place where quality¬†music events, good restaurants, wineries and pubs were rare. Certainly they¬†didn’t exist¬†in the variety and abundance that they do here¬†in the Pacific Northwest. So I’m¬†aware of what a gift, a treasure, it is to have those things now.

It is also fitting to have my exhibit at a winery Рwhere the people who come to see my artwork can also enjoy award-winning wines and food.

But¬†back to my¬†mind-map:¬†generally¬†at the¬†exhibit my thesis will be available only¬†as a visual story, not spoken or written in literal fashion.¬† I have a reluctance to preach or otherwise belabor a point.¬†¬†Besides instead of writing/speaking didactically¬†I’d rather draw.

Now you know.

 

what happened with the dog art on fabric

A Creative Life, animals in art, Art Licensing, artistic inspirations, dog portrait, Dogs in Art, functional art, pattern design, surface design

I’ve been inspired by many local coffee shops – as well as the local dogs – and I’ve been¬†making notes in my sketchbooks and¬†creating fine art in prep for my upcoming art exhibit opening June 2nd at Burnt Bridge Cellars www.burntbridgecellars.com. (Free downloadable¬†eBook sketchbook full of my inspirations available¬†via this link https://sueclancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/gladtobealivedrinkmusiced.pdf)

As part of my¬†upcoming exhibit I’ve¬†also created some dog-art-as… napkins and tea-towels. It fits with the dogs and drinks theme…

Here is a photo of the cloth dinner napkins Рavailable via this link only https://roostery.com/p/amarela-cloth-dinner-napkins/6388800-two-dogs-coffee-by-sueclancy

 

The tea-towel looks like this (photo below) and is available via this link only:

https://roostery.com/p/orpington-linen-tea-towels/6388800-two-dogs-coffee-by-sueclancy

A photo of a fabric swatch with this pattern is on my blog here: https://sueclancy.com/2017/05/11/coffee-dog-art-on-fabric/

coffee dog art on fabric

A Creative Life, animals in art, Art Licensing, Dogs in Art, pattern design, surface design

You knew, I’m sure, that it was only a matter of time until I¬†tried putting¬†my dog drawings onto fabric… and you were correct!¬† Look what came in the mail just now – a fabric¬†test swatch for my approval.¬† (I approve!!) Tea-towels and napkins here we come…

Here’s the swatch as it came out of the mail-envelope… the rulers are to show scale: