Professional dogs, artist books, unmentionables and hamburger

A Creative Life, art commission, art exhibit, art gallery, artist book, artistic inspirations, author illustrator, books, business of art, children's book, creative thinking, dog portrait, Dogs in Art, fine art, Fine Art Commission, public art, Sustainable creativity, whimsical art, words and pictures, writing and illustrating

My new childrens book, The Professional Dog, is progressing nicely. I’ve been thinking of this as a fine art dog portrait album inspired by the idea of the 19th century parlor game The Minister’s Cat. My book concept is an excuse to talk to my friends about their dogs and see if I can do 40 portraits of dogs whose owners are people I know. It just so happens that I know people occupying an alphabets worth of professions! How fun is that?! Anyway, here are three of the dog portraits together.

Below the larger portrait is the text I’ve written for the book.

The Helper’s dog is a hopeful dog.
The Inventory Manager’s dog is an insightful dog.
The Judge’s dog is a jolly dog.

Besides keeping on my work schedule for The Professional Dog I’ve been working closely with two of my galleries. We’re doing fine art commissions and studio visits in prep for the upcoming gift giving season. It’s beginning to resemble Santa’s workshop around here.

For example I created, then delivered, an art commission to Aurora this week for someone’s holiday gifts (shhhh!). Then while I was in the Gallery I got to see a glorious display of my own work! That sight inspired and encouraged me to keep making my stuff. https://auroragalleryonline.com/

The Aurora Gallery does such a good job displaying my wide variety of differently sized things – artistbooks, greetingcards and fineart – I love it that someone can see my books and around the corner nearby in the art gallery they can see the original artwork in the books!

Since we’re not talking about the fine art commission I just did for the Aurora Gallery here’s the art studio dachshund keeping mum with me.

And as I mentioned in my last post we’re still very definitely not talking about the Caplan Art Designs upcoming holiday box project.

Also there’s another event upcoming at Caplan Art Gallery that… well, we’ll talk more about that later. (There is a hint on my Instagram page about that however πŸ˜‰)

Suffice it to say that I was extremely busy this week, working in both short and long bursts, on several projects I can’t talk about publicly.

Thank goodness I can talk about my childrens book project The Professional Dog! The book is farther along than my posts make it appear. And I’m excited about this book! I believe kids need fine art in their lives too so I’m taking great pleasure in making an album of fine art paintings and producing the work in such a way that while being an art object itself – as in I am personally making an artistic reproduction of my original artwork – my finished book will be affordable and will also withstand little hands with grape jelly on them!

I’ve been so slowly posting about this work because when I run out of time in a day it’s the online posting that drops off my to-do list. Creative work comes first. Talking about it comes later.

Similarly there wasn’t time for one of my Creativity Chats this week. I wrote notes for it though.

Food got simplified this week too. I threw ingredients for this recipe from a blog I follow called In Diane’s Kitchen into my slow cooker, pressed buttons and went to work in my studio. The reheated leftovers were even better the next two days.

And you bet your sweet bippy that I am still taking the time, up to an hour or so every evening, to read books and have hot chocolate before bedtime. It’s the way I keep calm and carry on during busy times.

My secrets to maintaining this level of creativity? In the mornings 5 or 10 minutes daily playing around with my sketchbook. In the evenings 30 minutes to an hour playing with books – print books I own as well as ebooks from my local library. (I especially love cozy mysteries, fiction, short story collections, poetry…)

And between those daily just-for-me fun times I play with whatever project is at hand. I just charge ahead with my project in my best imitation of a child arriving enthusiastically at a playground.

Yep, those are my secrets to a sustainable creative life which could be distilled to “Play and have fun every day come heck or high water!”.

I hope your week is a playful one no matter what else is happening. See you next Monday.

13 thoughts on “Professional dogs, artist books, unmentionables and hamburger

  1. The exhibit looks great! The Aurora Gallery certainly does your work proud. I love your latest three dogs! The Helper’s dog has that air of happiness and optimism. The Inventory Manager’s dog looks like someone trying to explain a spreadsheet to me. (What do you mean that it’s “just a bunch of numbers in little boxes signifying nothing”?!?! Look, can’t you see? This inventory is as plain as the nose on your face, woman!) I would say that the Judge’s dog has some gravitas (unusual for a Chihuahua).

    1. Thank you for your kind words about my art! And I’m glad you didn’t mind my adaptations to your recipe! I browned the meat in a skillet first, then literally tossed all the ingredients in my slow cooker covered with enough tomato sauce and water to cook the noodles. I know mine was more soup-y that the pictures you showed of the recipe but it was so yummy. And buttered sourdough bread dunked in soaked up extra sauce nicely. πŸ˜‰ Thanks again for the yumminess!!

  2. So busy, my goodness!! Thanks for taking time to give us a peek. I think these three are especially cheery-looking dogs, not to mention the lovely mum dachshund who makes me smile each week with a fabulous display of classic puppy-dog eyes. Such a great way to illustrate your quiet impatience in wishing to tell us about the secret projects. πŸ˜€
    Not sure if I am being fully playful, but I guess the overall experience is till fun on the NaNoWriMo writing goal. I was pleased to catch up to 25,000 words on the 15th, and now I’m noodling around with words I know will not be kept, trying to elucidate the next scenes and how to best continue to reveal the secrets of the mysteries at the appropriate times for the reader. In that sense I’m definitely playing, and it’s fun to see what pops out on the page, no matter it’s overall worth in the end.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment!! I will tell the dachshund that you like his eyes and I know he’ll wag his tail in reply! It sounds to me like you are indeed having fun playing!!! Yippee for you!!!! ❀

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!