The purpose of art, in my opinion, is to cheer people and help them through stuff. My creative challenge during a pandemic has been how to share art during stages of quarantine.
In my last post I described how I’m doing three fine art exhibits in two states, in August and September, during this pandemic. Normally art exhibits are large-gathering social events. The gathering part is canceled but the exhibits will go on. All of us are just being creative about it. One of my solutions to the how-to-share problem has been to create artist books that can be shipped directly to you from the printer. My goal with these exhibits has been to be practical and amusing… and I think artist books help me do that.
One of the books I’ve made is an exhibit catalog, Readings From The Heart, that has the big picture, so to speak, of all of my exhibits. I also created the tiny picture, two alphabet books for children.
And in between there are three of my other artist books that also relate to my exhibit – and to coping with a pandemic:
Dr Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit (mental health coping skills)
Another Sketchbook – more drawings from the heart (developing ones mental, creative life)
Favorites So Far– a kitchen sketchbook (enjoyably feeding body and mind)
In total I’ve made 6 artist books to help cheer you that relate to my recent artwork. Poking about on my website www.sueclancy.com gives you access to everything – including some free ebooks I’ve playfully half hidden on my site.
In typical times when I exhibit art I write a short statement about it. The statement is used by the gallery for promoting the exhibit. In pre-pandemic times the statement would also be put on the gallery wall to serve as an explanation of my motivation for all of the art. People would walk up and read it. I would also be at the opening parties answering questions and talking with people. But since that’s not happening this year I put it all in my books – but in a much less formal way.
Even so here’s what I wrote for this exhibit spanning three galleries and two states: “Readings from the Heart
– It’s been a strange pandemic. Until recently I drew in my sketchbook from what I would see in the real world as I “ran around loose” in Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest. The pandemic altered that. As I stayed home, I began drawing people and animals more directly from my heart; from memory and imagination. This led to acknowledging that I deeply missed the local coffee shops, the winery, the pubs, the great the library, the bookstores, the museums, the gardens, the zoo… So, I began to experiment with how to adapt what it was that I enjoyed out in the world to this new “at home” life. This exhibit, and the artist books that accompany it, are my heart and mind’s adaption process.”
Because I have more space in my various artist books I went into more intimate details of what I was thinking and feeling – including cooking recipes and self-therapy techniques. I used a more conversational tone in my books as if you and I were chatting at an opening.
The galleries – Aurora Gallery – Burnt Bridge Cellars – Caplan Art Designs – will have photos and possibly video from my exhibits on their various social media and websites. Of course I’ve been sharing online too. Speaking of – here below is more of my artwork that relates to the topics within my artist books mentioned above.
As you can tell food, drinks and books are themes. I find it a useful mental health coping skill to be able to focus on small pleasures, to be able to experience subtle enjoyments.
You can see much more of the artwork from my exhibits on my portfolio page. I hope it all makes you smile at least a little.
Here’s a pic of me working in gouache and ink on the largest painting.