Alphapets Too: M, N, O and P

A Creative Life, Abecedarian, Alphapets, Alphapets Too, Ambassador for Small Frames, animals in art, art gallery, art techniques, Art Word Combinations, artist book, artistic inspirations, author illustrator, books, ebook, fine art, illustrated poem, illustrated shorts, miniature art, pet portraits, poetry, story, words and pictures, writing and illustrating

Here’s the latest work on Alphapets Too my sequel to Alphapets by Clancy at the request of my fans and Storyberries – the publisher/distribution house I’ve been working with! (See my last post for details)

The Alphapets Too pet portrait project this week is brought to you by the letters M, N, O and P. Here’s my abecedarian poem to go with these letters and artwork :

Major makes do with a rock

Nala nibbles the clock

Opie oogles the big blue sky

Paco pokes the large pink tie

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

I did portraits of a green lizard (basilicus plumifrons), a pygmy goat, a squirrel monkey and a parrot.

The thing about this green lizard that makes me smile is its ability to run on water for short distances which has given it the “jesus lizard” nickname. This lizard lives in trees, around water and will, as I depict Major doing, bask on a sunny rock.

Pygmy goats are just cute. But like all goats they’d eat almost anything. This week my time dissapeared all too quickly. So I imagined my clock-time was eaten by a pygmy goat named Nala.

As I thought about what character to portray for the letter O, I remembered climbing trees a lot when I was a kid. Grandma even called me her “monkey”. I loved to climb to the top of the pear tree in Grandma’s yard and look at the sky. Squirrel monkeys eat fruit…so, here’s Opie!

Memories of my childhood reminded me that I strongly disliked the color pink and would “pick at” such clothing especially when it had bow ties or itchy lace. Why that memory merged with a large parrot named Paco I’m not sure – but it’s fun – so here it is.

Like my first series “Alphapets” this artwork, too, 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 at the Aurora Gallery.

I will also be making an artist book titled Alphapets Too – in a format like “Alphapets by Clancy”. You can see print and ebook versions of “Alphapets” by clicking here.

And when I get it all done “Alphapets Too” will be available on Storyberries.com (Btw: there are two different stories by me currently on Storyberries.com- search the site by my name)

You can follow my progress during the week on my Instagram pages and see the full details of my creative process here in my Monday blog posts.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement as I work on this project!

Starting Alphapets Too

A Creative Life, Abecedarian, Alphapets, Alphapets Too, Ambassador for Small Frames, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, Art Word Combinations, artist book, artistic inspirations, author illustrator, books, creative thinking, ebook, fine art, illustrated poem, miniature art, pet portraits, printed books, sketchbook, words and pictures, writing, writing and illustrating

As I mentioned in my last post my book Alphapets by Clancy has been such a hit at Storyberries.com that they want a sequel – and my fans do also! So this week I’ve begun Alphapets Too.

For several days I looked for popular house pets that are not cats or dogs. I made a list of over 26 kinds of pets: parakeets, hedgehogs, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, turtles, lizards…and so forth. I didn’t realize there were so many house pet options! Here’s a photo of me doing some of this research work – with the help of my dachshund.

As I saw images of hedgehogs, turtles, newts, frogs, gerbils and such I practiced drawing the animals in my sketchbook. I just drew the animals and had fun with them in my sketchbook – merging the animal drawing practice with whatever thoughts I was having at the moment. I regularly post my sketchbook pages on my Instagram page (@artistclancy).

Also in short bursts over several days I wrote a new poem for Alphapets Too. I write in longhand on a legal pad with a fountain pen. Typically I sit in my dining room near a collection of books on writing and several dictionaries. I view this as play-time and since I’m just writing drafts I take nothing seriously. It’s all play. So I make sure to have a fun beverage at hand. Milk and cookies. Coffee or tea. Or as in one of the photos below a yummy steaming hot mug of “lemony lucious luck”.

To make “Lemony Lucious Luck” heat water in a tea kettle, cut 2 to 3 generous slices of a fresh lemon and remove the seeds. Put the lemon slices in a mug. Put a bit of honey onto the lemon. Pour hot water over all. Let it steep a bit and enjoy!

That’s my creative process in a 12 ounce mug-size description.

Also this week I varnished all of the original artwork for Alphapets and delivered the art to the Aurora Gallery for framing and exhibition. Since the coronavirus pandemic is what it is, the delivery-to-the-gallery process was very different. In addition to wearing a mask it was arranged that I would leave the art just inside the gallery door, holler that I was there and then go home. Details about the framing and exhibition were arranged via phone and text.

Since all of the Alphapets artwork is small – 3.5 x 2.5 inches – all 26 pieces fit into a box that fit into a gallon size zip bag. It was rainy the day I delivered the art so I put the box in the plastic. Having everything in one box made the art delivery easy.

Due to the novel coronavirus the exhibit will likely be online only and will be on the Aurora Gallery social media pages – https://auroragalleryonline.com – All of this is very different – but quite doable! Here’s some photos of me spray varnishing and then, days later after the varnish was dry, delivering the Alphapets…

Its been a busy week. As mentioned in my last post I hoped to start creating the new artwork for Alphapets Too. That didn’t get as far along as I’d hoped. Ah well. Something to look forward to posting about next Monday!

Hope to see you then!

Here’s the link to both print and ebook forms of “Alphapets by Clancy”

Thanks again for reading and riding this ride with me!

animals in my art

A Creative Life, animals in art, art commissions, art gallery, art techniques, artistic inspirations, Authors, psychogeography, visual story

Last evening I was looking up something in a book called “Drawing Masterclass” and I read this (again): “Animals as subject matter for the visual arts have a longer history than any other subject. The first images drawn by the human race depicted the animals that were hunted for survival [cave paintings]…. There is no period in art when animals have not played a major role.”

In my fine art animals become characters; my creative process is much like the way a novelist creates a character, a compilation of authorial thoughts and observations  – a “collage” of them you might say – merged into one person/character within their story. I create anthropomorphic animal characters because I see humans as part of the natural world and the natural world as part of humanity.  I’m inspired by both nature and culture.

So when I do animal portraits, people are there too.  When I do a portrait of a particular dog, for example, a particular person (someone, or several someone’s I saw in real life) is also reflected.  It becomes a visual story of that animal and that person. I define “story” as a plot where there is some surprise. The surprise in one of my visual stories might be the realization of how a human can be like a dachshund.

For example in my artwork titled “Happy Hour” (see image below) inside I sometimes feel happy and excited like my dachshund Rusty looks when he is bouncing around wagging his tail and dancing for his supper. (Places and objects enter in to my visual story creation too but that’s another discussion.)

My gallery agents often explain to clients that I create (as special commissions) portraits of pets as their pet owners; an imaginative merging of pet and person.  And that’s true.

Here, so you can see what I’m talking about, are some of my animal portraits currently available at either Caplan Art Designs www.caplanartdesigns.com and at Joseph Gierek Fine Art www.gierek.com  – please contact each gallery for more details.

Creative Digest profile of Sue Clancy

A Creative Life, animals in art, Artist interviews and profiles, illustration, published art, words and pictures

I was contacted about a week ago by a magazine located in the U.K called Creative Digest – http://www.creativedigest.co.uk/ – they wanted to do a profile about me and my artwork! They sent me a bunch of questions, and requested art images… it went back and forth…. and now the magazine profile is out!

Here’s the direct link: http://www.creativedigest.co.uk/keep-list-things-make-glad-alive-charming-animal-illustrations-sue-clancy/

They titled the profile “Charming animal illustrations by Sue Clancy” – how nice is that?  This is one of my artworks they chose to feature on the front page.  Going to go happy dance!  I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts….

The Read Wagon

The Read Wagon by Sue Clancy, 14 x 11 x 2 inches, hand dyed paper, hand stenciled paper, handmade paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board.

 

 

fun art at Joe’s

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, artistic inspirations, fine art

Here are two of my fine artworks that were recently shipped to Joseph Gierek Fine Art http://www.gierek.com/sueclancy – these pieces and more will be in an upcoming exhibit opening Dec 1!!  Joe, the owner of Joseph Gierek Fine Art encouraged me to do more of my “free associative” paintings – and boy did I have fun!  Several of these new ones are inspired by music. Others were inspired by helium balloons or my questions about how the stars got in the sky… you can click the above link to see my other artworks currently at Joe’s.  Have fun!  (And yes, art shipped to the gallery – can be shipped anywhere – just contact the gallery ….)

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“Cool Licks” By Sue Clancy 6 x 6 x 2 inches hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board

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“Pour Me A Song” By Sue Clancy 6 x 6 x 2 inches hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board

 

artist meets author

A Creative Life, Authors, books, illustration, visual story, words and pictures, writing

As promised in my previous blog (http://sueclancy.com/2015/10/13/with-dog-as-my-co-pilot/) here is the not-too-long awaited interview with Lorna Lee!

I met Lorna as part of a fundraiser for the Ridgefield Community Library. Lorna taught a 5 week writing class for the library and since I’m a big fan of libraries and always on the prowl for stories to illustrate I took the class. Yes, I have high hopes of having stories of my own to illustrate someday. Plus it raised money for a library! Viva Libraries! Yippee authors, artists and fun times with words and pictures! Hip, hip, hooray! But enough of context – let’s get to the interview.

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Sue Clancy (artist): What book would you like to shamelessly promote here – along with a flattering sketch of you that I’d draw and post along with this question? (Any photos I could use as a reference for my sketches?)

Lorna Lee (author): You’d think I would be well beyond shame, having written a memoir that reveals just about every secret I ever had, but I’m not. So I’m here to sheepishly (but earnestly) promote said memoir and first book I ever wrote: How Was I Supposed to Know? The Adventures of a Girl Whose Name Means Lost. And, yes, “Lorna” really does mean “lost.”

Sue: How did you come to write the book? Did you just wake up one morning and think “Hey, I’ll torture myself with words and punctuation for a few years?”

Lorna: Ah, if only it had been that easy…This memoir took me a lifetime to write, but that makes sense, doesn’t it? Here’s what I mean. As I little kid, I knew I wanted to write a book; but what kind of book would I write? I had no clue. As I grew up and had some rather unpleasant experiences, mostly with male bosses, I decided my book would be titled, “Little Men, Big Problems.” I haven’t written that one…yet. The story of how I came to write the memoir is really in the memoir, so I don’t want to spoil the book for all of you who will surely want to read it. Let’s say I looked at my life after having been through some very rough times and realized that maybe showing how I use humor and a positive perspective to navigate this often challenging journey we’re all on might help people who are struggling. So I decided to tell my truth with humor and compassion. That took a few years. I could write a book about that!

Sue: What is your favorite part of that book? Why is that your favorite?

Lorna: Oh, that’s hard. That’s like asking, “What’s the favorite part of your life?” I love the beginning for two reasons. I struggled with how to start my memoir. You’d think this would be easy, right? It’s about me, so start at the beginning. Nah. Too obvious. When I decided to start with my first, then second, close-encounter-of-the-personally-electrifying-kind with lightning, I knew I struck (pardon the pun) gold. Opening with a story of being hit (or almost hit) by lightning twice is a great hook and it sure explains a lot about all that comes after.

Sue: How about a quote from your book to post after this question mark? (Or if not a quote from your book will you say something silly or clever here about yourself, your book, the writing/creative process?)

Lorna: There are so many clever and poignant moments in the book. How can I pick just one? I’ll let you ponder something I continue to discover, meaning I need to relearn constantly: no matter how bad (or good) things are at this very moment, you can count on the fact that things are going to change. Accept this, and you don’t have to go seeking out peace; peace will find you. Someone please remind me of this next time I’m frustrated!

Sue: Do you have any visual descriptions of people, pets or places within your book? Were the visual elements easy or hard to write?

Lorna: I describe the “Broken House” in more detail than any other place and I describe me more than any other person. Because I include photographs at the beginning of each chapter, I give readers visual cues. I wanted the other people in my memoir to remain as anonymous as possible. Also, I find that readers enjoy conjuring up their own notions of places and people, so giving them a few details is enough—they color within the lines the way they wish.

Sue: What did you do to keep your creative juices flowing as you worked on your book?

Lorna: I never forced myself to write like some writers do. When the words wanted to come, I let them flow—golly, I couldn’t stop them! But when they were hiding, there was nothing to do but wait.

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Sue: Are there any illustrations in your book? If so, who did your illustrations? Got a photo of the page with your favorite illustration?

Lorna: No illustrations, just photographs. Gee, if I had known you then…

Sue: Good thing we fixed that huh? But, since you didn’t know me then, who did your books cover design? Got a photo of your book?

Lorna: My “husband” (we’re not technically married because my divorce agreement bars me from marrying anyone until I turn 67—long story) learned PhotoShop so he could create the cover based on a photograph of me when I was four years old.

PhotoOfLornasMemoir72

Sue: Good job “husband”! Where/how can people get a copy of your book?

Lorna: Both paperback and electronic versions of the book are available at Amazon. To learn more about the book and for links to Amazon, visit the page on my website devoted to the book: Lorna’s Voice, How Was I Supposed To Know? A Memoir (http://lornasvoice.com/how-was-i-supposed-to-know-a-memoir)

Sue: Besides yourself do you have any favorite authors?

 Lorna: Oh yes! Haven Kimmel wrote a very funny memoir inspiring me to finally write mine (A Girl Named Zippy). Laura Hillenbrand writes historical nonfiction as if she were writing action-packed fiction. She, too, has chronic fatigue and both of the books have been made into movies (Sea Biscuit and Unbreakable). I imagined that I, too, would be a chronically fatigued famous author. I’m still imagining. Ann Patchett writes fiction and is a wordsmith extraordinaire. I marvel at her command of words and phrases to paint a mood or movement. Her most famous work is Bel Conte. Finally, I love, love, love Stephen King’s mastery at telling a compelling, complex tale. I prefer his more down-to-this-earth work (Misery, The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers).

Sue: Do you have any favorite animals or colors? Are they in your book?

Lorna: All of my adoptees, which is to say every animal companion I’ve ever had the privilege to share my life with, are my favorites. Not all of them made it into the memoir: the bevy of stray cats and a few dogs who were more family dogs than “Lorna soul mates.” I love horses and donkeys but never had the honor of being a mom to one. Colors? I love all colors—can’t pick just one or even a few.

Sue: What is your idea of a good meal after you’ve been working hard all day writing? Is there any food described in your book?

Lorna: I’m vegan, so it’s going to be veggies, grains, beans and fruits. My favs? Again, too many to list—I don’t like to be limited! They vary by season and mood. And, yes, there is a food mentioned in the book. Meatloaf. Odd, right? Well, I wasn’t always vegan and this was one amazing and memorable meatloaf!

Sue: Any past or current pets you’d like to share with me and your other adoring fans? If you share a photo can I draw a sketch of the pet and post it with this question?

Lorna: The pets that have a special place in my heart are (in order of appearance in my life): Humphrey, Wolfer, Jazzy, Reggie, and Scrappy.

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Sue: Any other website, CB radio handle or Smoke Signal Stream you’d like to share?

Lorna: My personal (and zany) website is Lorna’s Voice, (www.lornasvoice.com ) so named because for most of my life I did not dare speak my mind for fear of making waves that might drown me. Now I know I’m quite buoyant! I’m also integrally involved in the Ridgefield Community Library and the Friends group. I built their website (www.folridgefieldwa.com) as part of their efforts to raise awareness and support for their new library building project.

Sue: Thank you for this interview and for all you are doing for the local library! All the best of luck to you personally and, of course, to the Ridgefield library!

Lorna: And thank you, Sue! This has been a delightful interview. I’m looking forward to having you over to my place soon to talk about your talent and projects!

Sue: Wahoo! See you later then!

from the Coffee Table

art exhibit, art gallery, ebook, fine art, sketchbook

Here’s a couple of pages from “Coffee, Table, Book“.  I’m posting them because I’ve been doing several fine art exhibits via Caplan Art Designs (www.caplanartdesigns.com) and when people view my artwork they ask me questions like “Why animal subject matter?” and “Where do you get your ideas?” – so I made my “Coffee, Table, Book” ebook as a way to give people access to my private artist sketchbook so they can see for themselves.  It was either create an ebook or tell people “Animals are furry and I hand-pick my ideas from the Idea-tree I have planted in my backyard”.  An ebook seemed more polite… and more accurate.

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More about my fine art here: www.sueclancy.com or here: www.facebook.com/sueclancy.thisartiststudio