Most of my artwork is me telling visual stories inspired by data from my real-life. A kind of “creative nonfiction”. When I do art commissions the client provides the life-data and I tell their story. A kind of “biography”. Elements from a persons real-life are woven into the portrait of their dog or cat. I love helping people tell their stories!
Like this commission I recently finished… pictured below… the coffee cup is special to the owner, the tee-shirt logo is important… and of course the dog looks like their very special dog, Potter.
I had such fun drawing this dog – (those ears!!!) – and working with the client who commissioned this portrait. They gave me such good data to work with!
“Potter” by Clancy (ink and gouache on handmade paper)
If you’re curious about some of my other commission work you can see them here.
Here’s hoping you have a Happy Holiday! For your amusement (or if you find yourself in need of dog therapy) here are some assorted chocolate labs – and one yellow lab. Cheers!
For more dogs look for the book “Dogs By Sue Clancy” on Amazon.
My mini guide has been published!!!! It’s called “How To Draw Dogs” by Sue Clancy. I’m so excited about this – and can’t wait to see my printed copies! Below is a photo I took back when I was creating the guide – before it got published. Then I forgot to post the work-in-progress photo… Anyway…
Here are the 6 pieces I created last night during my 3 hour demo at Burnt Bridge Cellars. I worked on these dog portraits while people talked, drank wine, watched me work and asked me questions. One of the staff at the winery took a brief moment to watch and said “Oh! Each of your pieces have either a glass of wine or a wine bottle in them!” I grinned and said “Yes, I’m aware of where I am!” And everyone laughed. It was a fun evening! Thanks again everyone!
Dog portrait’s Clancy did during a demo at the Burnt Bridge Cellars winery
Tomorrow at Burnt Bridge Cellars I’ll be signing copies of my book “Dogs by Sue Clancy” and doing a dog drawing demonstration. This means you can drink wine while watching me work. Here are 5 things I think about when getting ready for a dog drawing demo:
- What dogs shall I draw? I plan in advance, sketching lightly in pencil, what dog breeds I’ll draw during the live-action demo. In other words before I even go to the demo I’ve already done the largest part of the “creativity” and double checked my dog-breed drawing accuracy. This way people can talk to me while I’m doing the demo and I don’t need to be concentrating on getting a dog breed drawn correctly.
- Locate my demo apron. Ink is messy. ‘nuf said.
- Pack all necessary materials in one portable container in a “push-here-dummy” fashion. People will often start talking to me while I’m setting up to work. So I make sure to have all of my necessary materials packed – but I also take care to pack in such a way that I can unpack in a distracted manner and still be set up correctly to work. Keep it simple!
- Remember to smile and talk to people. A demo is about sharing – not about zoning out into creative never-land. So if a drawing isn’t “perfect” because I was answering someone’s question and not paying attention to where my ink was dripping – I don’t sweat it – in fact I’ll freely tell people that 90 percent of being an artist is knowing how to fix mistakes.
- When the demo is done I make sure to thank everyone for coming, for hosting the demo – for doing anything anyone did that helped me out. The world doesn’t owe me a thing. In fact I’m grateful I get to do what I love for a living – and people around me help make that possible. So in advance: THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Here’s me in my demo apron
And if you’ve just arrived at this party you can find copies of (or info about) my book “Dogs by Sue Clancy” on Amazon or here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy
Other relevant links:
Burnt Bridge Cellars http://www.burntbridgecellars.com/
Caplan Art Designs http://www.caplanartdesigns.com/
Next week at Burnt Bridge Cellars the evening of the 27th I’ll be doing another art demo and signing copies of my book “Dogs by Sue Clancy”. This means that you can drink wine while watching me draw dogs in permanent ink.
I’ve a whole exhibit’s worth of artwork hanging in Burnt Bridge Cellars. My exhibit is titled “Dogs In The Winery” and in this post are a few examples of what you’ll see at the exhibit. The new artworks I’ll make on the 27th while you watch will be like the black and white ones you see in this post – and in my book “Dogs By Sue Clancy” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy
Larry by Sue Clancy (brush and ink on handmade paper)
Pierre by Clancy (ink on handmade paper)
“Café Paix” by Clancy – 14 x 11 inches – hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper and acrylic on cradled board
“Maestro Houndsinger” by Clancy – 24 x 12 inches – hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board
Surround Sound By Clancy 10 x 8 x 2 inches Hand dyed paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board
“Paws for Coffee” – by Clancy – 16 x12 x 2 inchesHand dyed paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board
Pup Fiction By Clancy 24 x 24 x 2 inches Hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board.
Lad by Clancy – 30 x 22 inches – sumi ink on handmade paper
Page spread from “Dogs by Sue Clancy” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy
More relevant links: www.burntbridgecellars.com www.caplanartdesigns.com
I spent most of the day at the “Words and Pictures Festival” at a branch of my local library – doing a drawing demo and promoting my artist book “Dogs by Sue Clancy”. It was a good day – only came home with 3 copies of my book all the rest have happy new homes! People were talking and asking me questions before I could even get set up and they continued to come and talk with me constantly even when I was packing up to go home! What fun!
Needless to say I didn’t have time to take photos of the crowd I was so busy! I did manage to do these drawings while talking to people. Yes, that’s a bit like rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time. Going to go have some wine after I post this.
In my last post I mentioned that I was looking through my sketchbooks for drawings I’ve done of restaurant waiters and posted one sketch. Then, inspired by one of the sketches I found in my various books, I drew this finished drawing using ink and watercolor on handmade paper. By ‘finished’ I mean it could be framed and hung as it is.
Tomato Brisk by Clancy – 4 x 5 inches – ink and watercolor on handmade paper
Posting about this got me to thinking about how I define the term “sketching”. Some people might call the drawing posted above a “sketch” because it is done using a fairly loose and simple style. But I don’t call it a sketch and here’s some of why…
Sketches are: Drawings made on-site that capture and document observed surroundings.
Sketches are: Drawings that communicate a thought/feeling/story that reflects the reality the sketcher perceives at the moment (however accurate the drawing may/may not be).
Sketches are: Drawings that can serve as a reminder of observations and thoughts. As in the drawing and writing is legible enough that I, or someone else, could recognize and understand what I’ve observed even though the sketch/drawing doesn’t contain as much detail as a more finished artwork may have.
Sketches are: Drawings that are documentations of one’s day (auto biographical data) – a personal visual diary collecting both words and images reflecting the associative thoughts of the sketcher at that day/time.
Sketches are: Drawings that are studies in preparation for later more finished artwork. Practicing to “get a particular shape right” etc.
Sketches are: Drawings where the sketcher is “working out” thoughts and ideas along a theme or series concept.
Sketches are: Drawings that are done in a bound book (usually) and not intended for framing or display.
In my last post I told a bit about using sheet music in my fine art – you can see more about that and a photo of work-in-progress here: https://sueclancy.com/2017/04/27/sheet-music-in-fine-art/
While I worked I thought of the music and musicians that I’m honored to know personally – those I get to hear in small places, like cafe’s and homes – where I get to be surrounded by their music, love and friendship…
And here is what the work-in-progress, many more layers of paper and all those thoughts has become:
I’ve titled it “Surround Sound” – it’s 8 x 10 inches – made with hand dyed papers, handmade paste paper and “found papers” (the sheet music my musician friend gave me).
Now it has to dry before I can varnish it and get it ready for exhibit.
I’ve been very busy with art commissions and upcoming art exhibit work lately – but thank goodness for my practice of making a creative appointment with myself. When I do this I set aside 5 to 15 minutes to do a “quick study” on one of my regular themes…. it’s a way to take a breather, meditate/think on a topic while doing something creative.
Here’s a recent “quick study”:
“Arlie” by Clancy – ink on handmade paper.
You can see more art like this in my recent book “Dogs by Sue Clancy” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy