postcard from the dogs with 4 tips to avoid being sick

A Creative Life, books, Dogs in Art, published art, Sustainable creativity

As you know I’ve a new book being formally released Feb 17th titled “Dogs by Sue Clancy”. This means in addition to creating the art that is in the book, designing and creating the book itself, arranging for its publication… now websites about it are rolling out: There’s the bit about “Dogs…” on my website, there’s this web page here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy and there’s now an entry over on Amazon.com (search for “Dogs by Sue Clancy”).

It’s been a long long long car ride…and we’re not even there yet!

Now I’ve done a postcard about the book. Yep, did the graphic design for the card all by myself too.  Here’s a photo of the front and back of the card:

dogsbookpostcard72

Postcard with details about “Dogs by Sue Clancy” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy

So go on. You know you want to. Ask me how I avoid getting completely and heartily sick of a project by the gosh-darn-long end of it. Go on ask me.

Here are my 4 tips:

  1. At the start of a project when I’m all enthusiastic about it I write down in my journal all of my thoughts, hopes, dreams – what I’m excited about and why i want to do the project!  Then, later on, when my enthusiasm lags I re-read it. Usually that does the trick!
  2. I take care to remember that by the time the project has exited my head (i.e. there’s art to hang on a gallery wall etc.) that there are other people involved with my project now. And their salary depends on me doing my part well! In other words the project is no longer “all about me”!
  3. I make sure to spend quality time with my sweetie, my friends and my dog and cat who love me for other reasons besides artwork, books and whatever else my creative mind outputs. My sweetie and friends love my art stuff too but that’s not the ONLY thing! (Whew!) And we can talk about things besides my current project. (Whew!) And my dog and cat… well, my dog Rusty thinks I’m pretty darn special anytime I make a lap for him. And my cat Hawkeye thinks my ability to use my thumbs is swell – even if I do use them to draw those silly canines so much – I do come to my senses now and again and apply my thumbs in service to the CAT! (Whew!)
  4. I start work on a new art project pronto! I get curious about something in the world and get to self-educating… which involves books and art supplies…and creative appointments with myself…and…

And now I’m going to pull this car over for a bite of dinner.

 

9 ways to make more art and why

A Creative Life, art techniques, artistic inspirations

My response to difficult times, whether personal or in the wider culture, has been to make more art. This is a concept I’ve adapted from my past work on Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit  – a book I did some time ago in which Dr. Bob says “The best response is living well” and also “Feelings are guides not gods”.  These concepts have stood me in good stead and helped me to make more art.

Creative people tend to “feed good wolves” to use their imaginations and think of what is possible, needed, hopeful, helpful, necessary – this is kindness, this is ‘living well’, and it is most needed during difficult times. The issue is that sometimes during the difficult times when the creative persons activity is needed most they don’t ‘feel like’ creating.  So the question becomes how to do it anyway.

I define “creators” broadly as any one who writes, sings, acts, draws, films – any technique or medium that uses a human mind and heart to (re)imagine the world. Creativity can be done by anyone – you don’t have to be a professional artist or have fancy equipment.  That said in my list below I’ll refer to fine art making as that’s what I know best but please know that this list applies to any artistic endeavor at any skill level.

9 ways to make more art

  1. Find a regular time daily or weekly – whether 15 or 30 minutes at first – when you’re awake and alert and set it aside as a ‘creative appointment’ with your self and your art supplies. Set it in your schedule/to-do list. This way it’s an appointment not an activity subject to how you feel at a given time. (Obviously if you’re throwing up then please stay in bed so as to not get sick on the art supplies.)
  2. Stick to this appointed time for 2 weeks. Evaluate. If that time period seems to not work. Set a different one. Stick to that new time for 2 weeks. Do this 2 week trial period until you find a time/day that works for you. The same with the length of the appointment; start off with a short time like 10 minutes – keep testing until you have set a duration that feels playful. Be religious about doing this testing. Once you find the best time/day that works for you then successfully meet your creative appointment with your self for 45 consecutive days minimum. (after that it’ll become  a habit)
  3. During your ‘creative appointment’ step away from the phone, social media and any other “in boxes”. Don’t answer the doorbell. Take the dog out for a potty break before you start your appointment. Tell your spouse, kids that you’ll be having 15 minutes (or 30) of uninterrupted creative time. (Remember to say please and thank you to them.)
  4. Have your art/creative supplies at the ready. This can be an entire room set aside for the purpose of creativity. It can be a corner of one room. It can be a box or tray of supplies kept in a drawer or cupboard to be pulled out during your appointment. It can even be as simple as a single sketchbook and a few pens kept in one spot. But whatever arrangement works – keep it well stocked!  You don’t want to run out of your favorite ink pen in the middle of a ‘creative appointment’!  Re-stock during non-appointment times. At the end of each ‘creative appointment’ re-sharpen your pencils or put your color pens back in their box etc. Make sure everything is ready for use at the next appointment time.
  5. Keep a set of creative prompts handy to get you started. (One of the ones I like “The Tricksters Hat” by Nick Bantock.) Look at art blogs, how-to books for prompts.  As a ‘creative appointment’ exercise one thing I do is sit and list as fast, as I can, 10 or 20 topics that interest me or are on my mind at that moment. From such a list I often get ideas for artwork projects.  I also enjoy using a set of “Story Cubes” (yes, the kids dice game) as creative prompts. Don’t be afraid of the genres – explore any of them related to your creative prompt/topic!  Whatever kind of creative prompts appeal to you  collect them outside of your ‘creative appointment’ time and have them accessible (like your supplies) when your appointment starts.
  6. You do not have to complete anything during your appointment. You can continue to work on the same project from one appointment to the next. You do not have to make a “masterpiece”. You can make a mess!  If after a few minutes you’re not having fun feel free to start something else creative!  All you have to do is something of a creative nature for the entire 15 minutes (or whatever duration of time feels fun and natural to you) of your appointment time. As Dr. Bob said “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first”
  7. When trying a new medium or a new subject in earnest set aside a block of time longer than your typical creative appointment so as to really get into the spirit of your new medium or subject. After that you can continue work on your project in short bursts during a regular ‘creative appointment’.
  8. Gather data from the world. Visit art galleries, museums, other artist studios, listen to another artist talk about their work or read a book about an artist or art medium – and take notes, write your responses, your thoughts about what you see. Note what you like and why you like it. Ask yourself questions.  Or if you’re interested in a certain topic – investigate that (for example; I’m interested in dogs so sometimes I go to dog parks). Find and pursue whatever your interests are that make you glad to be alive. Surround yourself with things that remind you of them.  This type of ‘data collection’ can count as a ‘creative appointment’ activity.
  9. Keep a list of what you’ve created – no matter how small or silly you feel your creation was write it down in a log book. Keeping a log book of your creative activity (whatever you did during each ‘creative appointment’) is a weirdly effective incentive to keep creating!

I’ve posted this page from Dr. Bob’s Emotional First Aid Kit before – but it’s my favorite page and is a “prompt” that I put in the front of each one of my new sketchbooks.

TwoWolves72

page from “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit

 

drawing on grandmas pillow

A Creative Life, Art Apparel, pattern design

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.

Mostly.

Until now.

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

You can see a video of me making the blue star pattern on YouTube: https://youtu.be/cAx88mwARqo

Irish art and pub food

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, comfort food

Long ago now I was in an art exhibit in Wexford Ireland (my last name is Clancy, in case you’re wondering about the Irish connection). Communications regarding shipping my artwork to the Wexford Ireland Arts Centre http://www.wexfordartscentre.ie/ – happened via email and chat. Anyway, at one point the director said that he was going to go get a bowl of “Dublin Coddle” and would be back shortly. I replied “Great, talk more soon… and when you get a chance; what is ‘Dublin Coddle’?”

A bit later my food-education arrived via email: Dublin Coddle is a traditional Irish stew, almost every Irish family has “their” version of it and almost every Irish pub has “their” version and it’s a sort of stew that is easy to make and gets better the longer it cooks.

Mr. Collins kindly shared his version of a Dublin Coddle recipe – which used Irish Sausage. I haven’t been able to find Irish Sausage for sale at a grocers here in the U.S. tho I have had some great Irish Sausages in some local Pacific Northwest Irish pubs – but I’ve had good success with the good quality sausages I can find.

I’ve been grateful to Mr. Collins, for many years, for sharing his recipe and by now I’ve developed my own version. I find it’s easy to chop ingredients, throw ’em in a pot of a morning, then get to work in my art studio. Only occasionally do I go to the kitchen to stir the stew. Whenever I’m ready to stop my studio work and eat – it’s yummy, warm and feels like home! And the leftovers are even better!

Here’s my recipe:

DublinCoddle172

page from “Coffee, Table, Book” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/coffee-table-book

exhibiting art

art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, artistic inspirations, fine art

All of my artwork has been delivered to the Caplan Art Designs gallery for my one-person exhibit opening Oct 1st at The Daily in the Pearl in Portland Oregon! Here’s a pic of me handing one of my new artworks to the owner of the gallery (yeah, okay we’re posing for a photo):

sue-and-amy

Sue Clancy (black shirt) with the owner of Caplan Art Designs. Sue was delivering several new artworks for her upcoming one-person exhibit.

I took all of my work to the gallery and a few days later the gallery owner sent me an image of the exhibit – my artwork installed! Looks nice huh? There will be a 3 course dinner with wine pairings on opening night – Oct 1st – hence all the tables and chairs.

14494652_10154426323918213_8165430186245522163_n

Sue Clancy’s fine art installed by the Caplan Art Designs gallery

I had no clue as to the order the artworks would be hung – that I left up to the gallery owner’s considerable experience – so as I created the works over the last year I tried to make sure all of the art pieces would “make sense” when grouped together no matter what the order turned out to be.  Essentially I worked to a “theme”.

In a blog post titled “pleasure patterns” I talked about my theme development process so I’ll not repeat that here. But here is a photo of the exhibit statement as it is posted on the wall of the exhibit. It’ll give you a clue about the theme I worked toward.

14495504_10154426325358213_1442553237460574057_n

The fine art exhibit statement by Sue Clancy

Now all that’s left to do before the exhibit opens Oct 1st is the “shouting” – i.e. the P.R., social media stuff, email invitations etc…. here’s an example: http://dailyinthepearl.com/events.html

Thank heavens the Caplan Art Designs gallery and the Daily in the Pearl are also doing P.R. and social media – it’s not completely left to me! This is a prime example of what I’ve talked about before (like in this post titled “riding the P.R. train“) about how the life of a professional artist becomes about many more people than just the artist. It’s a team effort. Thank goodness!

Actually I misspoke – it’ not just the P.R. that’s left to do – I’m also writing and practicing a short 5 minute talk that I’m giving during the opening dinner party.

So… speech-writing… public speaking…. hoo boy, that’s a topic for another day.

back to the wire

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques

In my last blog post, titled ‘down to the wire‘, I listed 10 tips for prepping art for gallery display  – and someone asked me to post some photos of the finished backs of my artwork. So here are those requested photos:

backofcupcake72

The finished back of my artwork “Cupcake” – see the coated wire, the d-rings put in with screws, and the clearly typed label?

To make my labels I type up a Word file with all of the data then print it out on full sheet label paper that I get from an office supply store.  I’ve heard from my various gallery owners that they appreciate the legibility.

Here is a close-up photo of the D-ring held on with a screw – and the coated wire on the D-ring.  Extra wire is left on so that the gallery or the client can adjust it if necessary.

wiredringcloseup72

A close up of a D-ring and screw with the coated wire on it – and a tiny bit of the label showing on the left side of this photo.

Here’s another photo of the back of a different artwork – this one is a larger, heavier work so I put the felt “feet” on the bottom to help protect the wall. Also whenever there is a ‘makers mark’ on the back of my cradled board (in this case this board was made by Ampersand) I place my label so I won’t cover up the board makers mark.  If some art conservator someday had to do a repair on my artwork that information could be helpful.

backoffortunestoad72

The finished back of my artwork “Fortunes Toad”

I’m sure you’ll note that the back of this piece also has the coated wire, the D-rings with screws and the printed label.  I strive for consistency as much as possible in both the kind of artwork I do on the front and the kind of work I do on the backs.

And did I mention that the wire is coated? Yep! Coated hanging wire is as essential in the art studio as water is in a kitchen!

 

 

 

down to the wire

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, fine art

Soon I’m taking more new artwork to the Caplan Art Designs gallery. I’ve put the hanging wire on the backs of the latest 3 new works and as I worked I thought of various things I’ve learned, over the past umpteen years as a professional artist, about prepping artwork for display and delivery.

Here are 10 tips along with a picture of me wiring one of my new pieces:

  1. Assemble all necessary tools before beginning. Having to stop and hunt for something interrupts the Zen-cool I find is necessary to do a good hang-wire job.

2. Place the artwork face down on a soft surface large enough to hold my art and my tools.

3. Put the clearly typed label on the back of the artwork in the correct position so that I always know which end is “up”.

4. Use quality “D” rings and screws – NOT the saw-tooth hangers or any other cheap-o hanging method that will come loose over time and let the art fall to the floor unexpectedly.

5. Pre-drill the holes in the wood where the screws will go. (Measure for hole placement at least 2 times)

6. Carefully remove any drill-dust so it will not transfer to and/or mar the art surface.

7. Put a bit of Liquid Nails onto the tip of the screw just prior to screwing it into wood so that the screw will not come loose.

8. Use coated hanging wire – even if it is more expensive –  it is kinder to my hands, my gallery owners hands and ultimately my client’s hands. Leave enough slack in the wire that a hand can easily reach behind and position it over a hook.

9. Do the best to make the backs of the artwork as neat as the front. The wire and label matter because without them there will be nothing on the wall for anyone to see. Without a clear label the gallery owner won’t know what art is what – and thus won’t display it. How art looks on the wall is often all down to the wire. Literally.

10. During delivery – aka stacking art in the car in prep for driving to the gallery in a Zen-cool calm fashion – nest the artworks together face to face – i.e the face of one artwork next to the face of another artwork – with some soft padding between them like a towel or blanket, using the Russian-doll method of stacking; largest on bottom and in succeeding sizes until the smallest is on top.  (Shipping art is another topic…)

mewireingart72

Sue Clancy in her studio wiring her fine art in preparation for an exhibit

Details about my upcoming exhibit is here: 

 

pleasure patterns

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, artist book, artistic inspirations, books, ebook, fine art

About a year ago I began working towards my upcoming October exhibit at Caplan Art Designs. From a book I’d created years ago with Dr. Bob Hoke titled “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” (aka The First Aid Kit) I selected a ‘living well’ aspect to explore via fine art.  Then I spent the next year making art.

The aspect I’d selected from The First Aid Kit was: (and I’m paraphrasing) “happiness is not about getting what you want from the external world – it’s how you interpret the things you perceive in the external world”.  (You can see some sample pages from The First Aid Kit  here: https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/  – and you can see links for getting either an ebook copy or a print copy of it there too. )

So fast forwarding to now: a year’s worth of artwork has been created and/or selected by the gallery and I’m working on the paperwork  for my exhibit. The gallery likes to have an “exhibit statement” i.e. they want me to create some text based handle by which people visiting my exhibit could have a framework, a context, for understanding my work. I came up with this:

Pleasure Patterns

By Sue Clancy

(exhibit statement for exhibit at The Daily in the Pearl October 2016 via Caplan Art Designs)

I read somewhere that “Happiness is a skill to be practiced like the violin” and I asked myself “How do I practice happiness?”  Then after attending a friend’s mother’s 90th birthday party I began thinking about how our lives are made up of patterns; patterns in nature, patterns in culture, as well as our own mental patterns or habits of mind. So I began to collect, from my daily life, “pleasant patterns” of happiness and have recreated those moments for you.

firstluncheonofladiesredhats72

First Luncheon Of The Ladies With Red Hats by Sue Clancy

riding the PR train

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, fine art

Kurt Vonnegut once said “Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted” and I’ve taken those words to heart. I even have Vonnegut’s statement pinned to the wall above my art studio work table. I believe that my creative out-put is not about me. Art-making is not some self-indulgent ego-trip on my part. It’s about the kind of world we are creating together; me and all my friends, pre-friends and strangers. We are all in this together.

Which is why, even after all these years of being a professional artist, I still have mixed feelings when I see PR stuff with my name prominently as the “featured artist”.  On the one hand a one-person fine art exhibit is a culmination of at least a years worth of daily work on my part – so I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. Yet at the same time I’m very aware that while it may be my name on the marquee, so to speak,  there’s a whole host of people behind me, believing in my artwork, working hard to make the event successful; the gallery owner, the gallery director, the interns and assistants in the gallery to name the obvious ones.  When the opening reception (as it is for my October exhibit) is also a 3 course dinner with wine pairings – there is also the restaurant (Daily in the Pearl!), the chef, the winery (Hip Chicks Do Wine!) – all working hard too.  And I didn’t mention the art supply stores in my beloved Pacific Northwest that provide materials for me to work with… or my spouse, friends, neighbors…. I’ve so many people to be grateful for that I’m not sure the Internet has enough bandwidth to hold my entire list.

So let it suffice to say that while my name may be the most prominent in the PR materials being circulated currently – like this email flyer (below) that the Caplan Art Designs gallery sent out – as well as all the other stuff on Facebook and Twitter etc. This whole exhibit is really about an overall aesthetic experience we’re creating together; my artwork is just the focal point.  Still I have endeavored to use the time of my gallery owners, friends, supporters and strangers as respectfully as I know how… and now I’m riding the PR train, doing my best to support my supporters efforts, prepping for the next stop; the night of the opening. And all the while remembering; It’s not about me, it’s not about me, it’s not about me… choo chooo!!!!

Having trouble viewing this e-mail? Click here to view in your browser.
Please let us know if you no longer wish to receive these emails. You can unsubscribe instantly.
Caplan Art Designs
Cooks, Corks and Co-conspirators

Saturday, October 1st @6:30

Daily Cafe

Featured Artist

Mixed Media

View More Art

Art
Menu
 
 
 
 If the menu is not current, please check back, special diet needs are available upon request.
 
Wine pairings by Hip Chicks Do Wine and a special three course dinner.
 
Featured artist, Sue Clancy will be raffling a modal scarf with one of her design pattern used in her work.
Caplan Art Designs
 
1323 NW 16th #1001/entrance on Pettygrove
Portland, OR 97209
503-319-6437
Send to Friend Twitter Facebook
If you no longer wish to receive these emails, unsubscribe instantly.
Powered by Weiner Design

more star stuff

A Creative Life, Art Apparel, art exhibit, art gallery, Art Licensing, art techniques, artist book, fine art, psychogeography

I alluded in my last blog post  about my newest fine art piece “If It’s Any Constellation” that when I start with one pattern design I tend to do several creative things with it. It’s my way of examining my thinking. You know, like any good philosopher is supposed to do; think about ones own thinking.

That star pattern paper I made in this YouTube video https://youtu.be/cAx88mwARqo became 3 different creative things: a fine art piece (see my last blog post for the image and details), a scarf, and an artist book page.

Here’s the scarf which I titled “Starry Summer Sky”. As I was creating it I was thinking “we wrap ourselves in stars…” and cozy romantic evenings, wrapping oneself up as the summer evenings begin to become chilly autumn nights. You can get a custom made scarf with this design via this link http://shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy 

57c7791afe4238ce36a37b70_grande

Pattern design titled “Starry Summer Sky” by Sue Clancy for VIDA http://shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

And here is the artist book page:

cityandsky72

“City And Sky” by Sue Clancy – 8 x 8 inches – handmade paper, hand stenciled paper, found paper and acrylic on paper

In “City and Sky” I was thinking of how the same starry summer sky shelters all of us….

Anyway, my artist book page is currently on its way to Constellation Studio Gallery in Nebraska. It will be on exhibit there for a few months and then become part of a collaborative artist book – and eventually end up in a library/museum – the entire project is titled “Invisible Cities”.

The overall thought I was pondering with my star pattern design was “What ways do we/can we all live with a vast starry universe at the end of summer?”

Maybe that’s too simple a sentence but do you see what I’m talking about? How a single pattern design – with variations –  can be used as a metaphor, a theme, in different ways. How a pattern can be used as a visual story element – or a way of exploring the questions of life from different angles?

This, besides working aortic valves, is what gets my blood pumping! Pattern designs as a way of thinking…thinking in patterns…. patterns of thinking….designs of patterns…patterns of design! OMG!! Wow!!!!!!!!

Okay, okay, I’ll go take a few deep breaths and calm down.