My friend Kevin and I were talking about local Pacific Northwest music, feral cats and handmade musical instruments. We also talked about the “found object” instruments we were both aware of in the Southeastern parts of the U.S. – guitars made out of cigar boxes or banjos from cookie tins. Our conversation drove me to the library to research “handmade music instruments in the Pacific Northwest”. (I’ll post a picture of some of my book research on Instagram) I discovered a long tradition of using local wood scraps to hand-craft musical instruments. The native woodgrain was often a prominent decoration. These instruments were works of art not at all like the “found object” instruments of the SE. I also discovered that here in the PNW playing music in public, on porches, patios, anywhere outdoors was, and still is, the norm during “nice” weather. There has also been a strong connection between music, food and community no matter what the weather. But I could only get so much into one painting.
Below is the finished painting I titled “Purrfect Entertainment”. I’m hoping you can see the woodgrain – both in the background and on the guitar. It was a challenge to do the woodgrain pattern. And to get a “screen door” appearance too.
For my cat character I was inspired by a photo I happened across in an article about a feral cat rescue – the cat was white with grey-brown-ish markings, huge pink ears and dark blue eyes. The long-skinniness of the cat in the photo reminded me of some of the traveling musicians I’ve had the pleasure of hearing.
Purrfect Entertainment By Clancy 24 x 24 x 2 inches Hand dyed, hand stenciled paper and acrylic on cradled board
While I’m living my ordinary life I make notes and drawings in my sketchbook of everything pleasant that I experience. Then when I’m starting a fine art piece, as I said on the book jacket, I “think of something pleasant”. What I didn’t spell out in my book “Dogs…” is that I sometimes flip thru my sketchbooks as a creative prompt for that something pleasant.
For example just prior to making this piece pictured below I’d flipped through my sketchbook and come across a sketchbook page which sparked the pleasant memories of a house concert I’d gone to and made sketches during…
Fuzzy by Clancy (ink on handmade paper) – and yes, this dog is in the book “Dogs by Sue Clancy”
Here’s the sketchbook page I did at the concert. See Coty Hogue’s website www.cotyhogue.com for some samples of the music that inspired me…
I’ve been learning that I enjoy and am inspired by the small intimate concerts that I’m lucky enough to attend here in the PNW. A small venue makes hearing the performance much better for me and, since I’m having a good time, I do a lot of “music” drawings while at a performance. Several of the art pieces in my new book are music inspired. Heck, much of my fine art is musically oriented…
Anyway, I’m hoping that when people look at “Dogs by Sue Clancy” that they’ll have a pleasant feeling even if they don’t know the specific details, like I’ve just shared with you, about my thoughts behind each piece.
As alluded in my post titled “Just Looking and artist details” https://sueclancy.com/2017/01/30/just-looking-and-artist-details – In everything I do I try to give enough information without being “too much”. It’s a challenge. Which is why I like questions from people about my artwork. It gives me a clue what you’d like to know more about. Keep the questions coming! And thanks for them!
BTW – my book is now rolling out now on Amazon.com and becoming available via most bookstores. How fun is that?!
As a kid I remember drawing on almost anything I could. In self defense my Grandmother kept a stack of paper, pencils and a few crayons in her kitchen and encouraged me to stick to those surfaces. Oh, and there was a small blackboard with some color chalk.
I loved those materials but now and then I strayed; I drew in chalk on the wall, the porch and the sidewalk, I drew with sticks in the mud, I drew on paper napkins, I drew with berries in the kitchen sink, I drew with a blue crayon on a pillow case.
I think the blue crayon on the white pillow case upset Grandma the most.
So let’s just say that after the “pillow case incident” I got the message about staying on paper or chalkboards.
Recently (as an adult professional artist I might add) I’ve had the opportunity to do some pattern designs for pillows! White luscious pillows covered with my art! Childhood dreams do come true! Or perhaps people now-a-days are simple more okay with me drawing on the pillows? http://www.shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy
Pillow with a pattern design by Sue Clancy http://www.shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy
Pillow with art by Sue Clancy http://www.shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy