About my art exhibit opening but mostly about books

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, artist book, artistic inspirations, books, Figures Of Speech, fine art, mental health

My exhibit Figures Of Speech went very well! Lots of people came! So many came that I hid in the kitchen watching the winery chef do her magic! Of course I talked to lots of people and gave art tours so when I say “I hid in the kitchen” that was where I chose to sit, whenever I sat, with my wife, our Fairy Goddaughter and one of our Fairy Goddaughter’s friends who we’ve now adopted. Come to one of my exhibits, stay that long and presto you’re family now!! 🀣

Anyhoo, the chef made a watermelon spinach salad that was incredibly yummy! And yes, I brought a sketchbook and pens with me…

The chef surprised and delighted me with some strawberries (one of my favorites) and some chocolate!!

The chef made apple pork burgers with a brie sauce that I started eating before remembering to take a photo.

There was very good live music too… this was what the winery said about the food and music! πŸ‘‡

I wrote more generally about how my exhibit went on my Substack newsletter and included an ebook of my entire exhibit here πŸ‘‡ https://sueclancy.substack.com/p/figures-of-speech-ebook

I was particularly excited that a poet based in the UK wrote poetry inspired by my doodlebug artwork for my exhibit: https://ivyroseopal.substack.com/p/prompt-4-doodlebugs

After my exhibit was over I spent the weekend resting and catching up on blogs like this one by Liz Gauffreau where she reviewed a book by Steven Baird. https://lizgauffreau.com/2023/05/31/bookreview-asunder-baby-by-steven-baird/

I also read my friend Bernadette’s blog… and Audrey’s blog… and Laura’s blog…and Sherri’s blog…as well as several other blogs… it was so good to catch up with friends!!

I spent the rest of the weekend binge reading printed books! It looked like this…

…the studio supervisor dachshund alternated between sunny spots from which to survey his kingdom and his cushy L.L. Bean patio bed throne beside our chairs.

I’m still reading this nonfiction book even after the weekend…

…but I blasted through the following titles and I highly recommend all of them!

This one was a very good ebook I got from the library. πŸ‘‡

Yes, I’m like this about reading! πŸ‘‡

I hope your weekend was equally pleasant!!

See you next Monday!

Mom, Dad, the books and beers

A Creative Life, art exhibit, artist book, artistic inspirations, books, creative thinking, fine art, hopepunk, mental health, sketchbook

This was the first Mother’s Day without my adopted Mom as she died last year. This month is also the month my adopted Dad died just days after sending us a box of books by mail. So it’s been rough. Also I’m very busy working on an art exhibit. So I’ve mostly been offline away from social media doing work stuff and generally taking care of myself.

Here’s a sketchbook page in which I list a few the the things I learned from Mom.

Because it felt good to do it I put a downloadable ebook version of β€œPembral Forgets” on my email newsletter. It’s a book I illustrated that Steve Tubbs wrote about fall leaves, good food and a boy who forgets something important but is loved anyway. Here’s the link
https://sueclancy.substack.com/p/pembral-forgets

I had dedicated my part of this book to my adopted Mom and she did get to see it!

This week we did take a books and beers break and joked that it was brought to us by the letter V – a local bookstore Vintage Books and a local brewery Victor 23.

My adopted Dad always insisted on having his beer in a glass. So in his honor we too insist on a glass!

I stayed up late several nights reading a novel “Rejoice” by Steven Erickson and would spend all day reading it if I only could. I’m absolutely loving the plot scenario of outer space beings who have made it impossible for any human on Earth to cause harm to another human …

Wow! It’s the perfect read for this difficult weekend.

Now to work on paperwork and framing for my upcoming art exhibit …

See you next Monday.

Of dogs, doodlebugs and damn good books

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art techniques, artistic inspirations, books, cat portrait, creative thinking, fine art, humor in art, life of the mind, poetry, sketchbook, visual thinking, whimsical art, words and pictures, writing and illustrating

This week we took care of 2 dogs belonging to our extended family thus bringing our inhouse pet count up to 2 dachshunds 1 chihuahua Jack Russell mix and 1 cat. Everyone got along peacefully at “Camp Rusty” playing and sleeping together.

Well, the cat did his own thing but wasn’t upset by the extra dogs. In fact I think the cat enjoyed watching them from a window. And one of the dogs enjoyed watching the cat watch the dogs. It was all very meta as they used to say in literature class.

Given all the doggy focus this week I read doggy related poems.

Here’s one I particularly enjoyed.

I got extra canine support this week when I shared my sketchbook on my email newsletter.

My fine art projects for upcoming exhibitions were adjusted so I could more easily work in short bursts around what the dogs needed. As you can see in this video all I have to do is put the cap back on my fountain pen.

Here’s the finished painting. I’ve titled it “Genus: Doodlebug Species: Yellow Short Line Beetle”

“Genus: Doodlebug Species: Yellow Short Line Beetle” by Clancy – 7 x 5 inches- ink and gouache on board

All that time I spent in the biological zoological illustration trenches came in handy when drawing the beetle! 🀣

We sat outside on our patio a lot so the dogs could play in the yard during a rare week of Pacific Northwest sunshine. Besides my portable lap sized art projects mentioned above I read books! Besides the book of dog poems here’s two of the titles I’m reading alongside a cold beer and a pitcher of water.

I’m continually amazed at how similar visual pattern construction is to writing poetry – including the rhythm design scheme “a b a b” and so forth. I’m also still enthralled by how fine art exhibit plotting is so similar to story construction.

And I’m sure you noticed that all 3 of the above books fit into my ongoing Ray Bradbury Reading Program in which I’m reading one poem, one short story and one essay per day. This reading program is easy to adjust around doggy needs too.

The novel I’m reading before bed is one I’ve read before and is a favorite! I picked it because this week had enough challenges without adding a challenging new novel to the mix. So I picked a novel for the spirit lift (pun fully intended) in it.

In the above novel there is a party in which several people take turns singing a “port a beul”. So I looked online for examples to listen to while I read. This was a favorite! πŸ‘‡

Saturday was Independent Bookstore Day so I did this drawing in honor of my local independent bookstores which have provided so many damn good books for me to read!!

Did you notice that my cat book buyer drawing is in a 4-beat “a, b, a, b” form?

Anyhoo, I hope your week is filled with many good things too.

See you next Monday.

Rhythms, a doodlebug and little piggies

A Creative Life, animals in art, artistic inspirations, books, creative thinking, fabric design, fine art, illustrated poem, kitchen art, mental health, poetry, reading, sketchbook, visual story, visual thinking, whimsical art

I recently read “Hare Brain Tortoise Mind” by Guy Claxton and was reminded of how rhythmic things like weeding a garden or doodling can be calming to the human mind. This physical neurological response to “uniformly random rhythms” is also part of the human reaction to rhythms in songs, poetry or prose – we respond neurologically to refrains and repeated patterns, with variations, in all of the arts.

I include cooking here – it too is one of the fine art forms that has comforting rhythms both for the person stirring the stew and for the person eating. I think of how soothing it is for a small child to be held and rocked – what if all of the human fine arts are basically rhythms that can hold “rock” and soothe our physical brains?

So I’ve been thinking more about rhythmic patterns in my own creative efforts. I’ve begun doing doodlebugs… and other projects that involve “uniformly random rhythms” of patterns. I’m also making some changes to my morning sketchbook sessions that involve making more patterns.

As you know things that encourage good mental health skills are important to me and if I can foster my own mental health via rhythmic pattern creativity – and by sharing my work perhaps help others too – that seems a worthy artistic goal.

Here’s a doodlebug I did in my sketchbook and a fabric pattern I made from it.

Here’s my orange doodlebug pattern on a throw pillow.

Orange Doodlebug by Clancy https://www.spoonflower.com/en/fabric/14583100-orange-doodlebug-by-sueclancy

Recently someone sent me some photos of one of my wallpaper designs that they applied to their kitchen island. They were pleased and said it was “just the whimsy we were looking for”! I’m glad they were pleased!! I’ve learned in the process that grids are fun ways to make visual rhythms!

Here’s a painting I finished this week that I’ve titled “This Little Piggy”. It was inspired by the nursery rhyme: (please note the rhythms) “This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed home. This little piggy had roast beef. This little piggy had none. This little pig cried wee, wee, wee all the way home.” As you can see in my painting below I also repeated visual rhythms, like the rhyme, and did a few playful alterations.

This Little Piggy by Clancy

In the video below is a look inside my studio at “This Little Piggy” – I created using ink, gouache and color pencils many of the supplies you’ll see briefly in the video.
It will join my other paintings for exhibits later this year via Amy Biederman Caplan at the Caplan Art Designs Gallery. www.caplanartdesigns.com

In my email newsletter this week I shared my “This Little Piggy” painting and I’ve been sharing my sketchbook pages. I’ve finished sketchbooks C and D and am working on E currently. The doodlebug image above is in book “D”.

This book is my current evening and weekend reading. It has a library in it that is dedicated to poetry… be still my heart!

And because I like to share particularly good things: here’s a link to a good recipe for LENTIL CHILI along with my additional notes and variations: Add a can of roasted chilies and use chicken or veg broth or water (whatever available/handy). Add cumin, dark cocoa, Mexican oregano, chili powder, salt, pepper – cook 30 or more mins on simmer, stir often and add more broth or water if needed.
Variation: add a chopped carrot, frozen corn and or chopped bell pepper

And look at the rhythmic visual pattern of the beans in my cookpot too!!

I hope your week forms a pleasant daily rhythm for you.

See you next Monday or so.

Touristing, a happy hippo, and a pink elephant

A Creative Life, animals in art, art prints, artistic inspirations, books, ebook, fine art, humor in art, kitchen art, mental health, poetry, sketchbook, travel art and writing, travelog, travelogue, whimsical art, words and pictures, writing and illustrating

We went touristing and drove 20 minutes from our house to Camas WA independent bookstore called Its Bookish. It’s a delightful store focused on children’s books up to young adult with some adult books too. Here’s some views of what we saw on our way to Its Bookish. Not pictured, because I wasn’t able to get pics due to intermittent clouds and terrain, were fleeting views of distant snow covered mountains.

The door to Its Bookish was warmly welcoming and was a delight to see!

Naturally I made a beeline for the poetry section and then had a more general browse. Both my wife and I found books/authors that we’re always looking for that are sometimes hard to find. The store was quite crowded with lots of kids of all ages and their grownups but during a brief quiet moment in the young adult section I snapped this selfie with my wife in the background. It was a pleasant experience. No bookstore cats though which was understandable given the high level of children’s activities.

After we finished at Its Bookish we walked around downtown to a locally owned pub Grains Of Wrath. On our walk we passed by sculptures and many more locally owned businesses with welcoming to everyone signs in their windows or doors!

At Grains of Wrath we had really good beer and the best mac and cheese ever! Here in the Pacific Northwest every pub has their own version of mac and cheese and it’s fun to discover how much variety mac and cheese can have! My spouse and I split the dishes so we each got enough but not too much. We felt quite indulgent!

Back home I photographed our book haul from Its Bookish.

On my email newsletter I shared my sketchbook page of a dancing hippo … and as you can see by the above tourist play I followed the hippo’s advice

By request I made an art print of my sketchbook page… https://society6.com/product/dancing-hippo-reminder_print

Dancing Hippo Reminder – by Clancy – https://society6.com/product/dancing-hippo-reminder_print

Here’s the gouache painting I finished last week titled “Pink Elephant”. More details and the sketchbook page leading up to the painting are on my email newsletter here.

Also last week I released my entire 38 page year 2016 sketchbook as an ebook download. It’s part of my “book of the month club” paid ($7) subscription series on my Substack. My 2016 “Glad to be alive” sketchbook contains drawings from walks in nature and visits to various Vancouver WA and Portland OR area restaurants libraries and other places. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
https://sueclancy.substack.com/p/my-glad-to-be-alive-sketchbook

My friend Bernadette Laganella shared my Magic Beans on her New Classic Recipes blog ! Thank you Bernadette! Besides my beans recipe I shared how I learned during college women-supporting-women supperclub how to survive and thrive as an artist by knowing beans https://wp.me/pcAug8-kR

I’ve really enjoyed sharing both my art images and my stories via my email newsletter and also as a guest on blogs and other people’s email newsletters! I want to create more artist books and learn more about merging words and pictures together… and do more sharing of both my words and images… πŸ€”

This week, Mar 14th, Amie McGraham from Cook and Tell interviews me and includes my sketchbook pages for St. Patrick’s Day!! You’ll be able to see it here.

I hope your week contains happy hippos. See you next Mondayish.

Flying pigs, pastries and doodlebugs

A Creative Life, animals in art, artist book, artistic inspirations, books, creative thinking, fine art, humor in art, poetry, reading, sketchbook, Storyberries, whimsical art, words and pictures

One pig leads to another it seems. On my email newsletter I shared a flying pig and what inspired it. The finished painting was called “The Plot”.

The Plot by Clancy

That in turn inspired another pig with wings to appear in my sketchbook.

Which then became a painting titled “Higgledy-Piggledy” which I also shared in my email newsletter along with other things not mentioned here because I’m trying to not repeat myself too much across my social media, but … this is what’s going on in my world.

Higgledy-Piggledy by Clancy

My artist book “We All Count” is on Storyberries now!!!
Freely available via this link as an #ebook !!!! https://www.storyberries.com/bedtime-stories-we-all-count-by-sue-clancy-experimental-art-books-counting-books/

This is now my 20th #childrensbook !! (There’s a search bar on Storyberries.com where you can type Sue Clancy to see all 20 of my books!!)

We All Count by Clancy

In case you missed my video flip-through…

Over on my email newsletter I had shared my original idea book notes in my poetry sketchbook… but so you don’t have to click away here it is below. My sketchbook is where everything begins…

We went out for pastries and coffee earlier this week before the snow descended. While there were muffins (like in my Higgledy-Piggledy painting above) I opted for a croissant. I thought about drawing these delectable morsels but instead of drawing I just enjoyed eating.

In an earlier post I shared about getting a set of Haikubes … well, this was the playful poem absurdity that happened this week…

…followed by a doodlebug dancing. Instead of being a “violet grace” color though the bug ended up grey blue-green with a purple shadow. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

I agree with Austin Kleon here when he says “Books are toys”. They are! Art supplies are toys too. So are cooking utensils. Here’s a stack of books I’m playing with.

Reading about creativity and how it works neurologically is fascinating to me. Creativity is what creative people do – whether the artistic method used for expression is writing, drawing, music or any of the other arts – and regardless of the mood or topic expressed. Much like heating food is what a kitchen stove does – whether the stove is used to boil, bake, saute or in any way apply heat to a soup, a sandwich or a casserole.

Anyway, hope your week is full of grace and playful creativity in whatever colors or flavors.

See you next Monday-ish.