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

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):

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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!!!!

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Saturday, October 1st @6:30

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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.
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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 

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

And here is the artist book page:

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“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.

finished constellation

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, artistic inspirations, fine art, handmade papers

I’ve finished the artwork I was working on in my last blog post! This one is destined for exhibit by Caplan Art Designs in October. See the events page www.caplanartdesigns.com for details. Here’s the nitty-gritty about my just-completed artwork titled “If It’s Any Constellation”.

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If It’s Any Constellation By Sue Clancy 12 x 12 x 1.5 inches Hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board

In my last blog post I wrote that recently I was taking out the trash and it seemed the stars were larger than usual… and that that had inspired a pattern design. All true… and here’s the “official blurb” aka what the gallery is likely to post beside this piece as an explanation of my inspiration:

If It’s Any Constellation  by Sue Clancy

The stars seemed larger and clearer one summer Pacific NW evening just before autumn. That same evening I watched a cat playing with a toy; grabbing it, running with it, enjoying it and I thought of how we all have to “pick something” from the many possibilities within our personal galaxy to focus on and enjoy.

So that above is the official blurb and I’m sticking with it.

Just in case you didn’t see it: here is a Youtube video of me making a star pattern paper that you see in “If It’s Any Constellation”: https://youtu.be/cAx88mwARqo

Now I’ll  do the varnish, paperwork and other stuff that needs to be done before I deliver this new artwork to the gallery. After that I’ll also work on some art apparel designs – and on an artist book page – that also applies my “star paper” design pattern thinking – more on all of that later.

seeing stars

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

I’ve been busy working on the last fine art piece I’ll be able to finish in time for my October 2016 exhibit at Caplan Art Designs (see the events page at www.caplanartdesigns.com). Recently I was taking out the trash and it seemed the stars were larger than usual. That inspired a pattern design – Youtube video of me making a star pattern paper is here: https://youtu.be/cAx88mwARqo

Now I’ve glued the paper that I made in the video as the background within my artwork-in-progress and in this photo I’m gluing on more paper ….

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Sue Clancy working on a new fine art piece (handmade paper collage) that uses the star stencil paper made in this video: https://youtu.be/cAx88mwARqo

 

psychogeography and me

A Creative Life, artistic inspirations, commonplace book, psychogeography, sketchbook

Generally I try to avoid jargon but sometimes it’s necessary. Especially when you’re working with galleries, libraries and museums as I do. While I may prefer the term “visual stories” as the umbrella term for what I’m doing with all of my artwork – the term “psychogeography” and it’s alternative spelling “psycogeography” most accurately apply.

As I apply the term it means: to wander around the physical world, with a sense of wonder, making artistic notes documenting the intersection of the person of me with the place I am located. To revel in the simple pleasures of being alive. Then back in my art studio I create a work of fine art (etc.) that expresses and presents my documentation in a format intended for sharing with a wider audience.

More plainly: for me “psycogeography’ means that I wander around my life with my sketchbook much like people playing Pokemon Go wander around with their phones. Then I use my sketchbook as a launch pad for developing my thought-of-as-I-wandered-ideas back at my studio.

Anyway, I’ll be posting more sketchbook pages on this blog as we go along…and as described above… elements from my sketchbooks will end up as fine art, artist books or as art apparel. That’s just how I roll.  (You can find more details at www.sueclancy.com)

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Sue Clancy’s sketchbook pages created in Esther Short Park, Propstra Square, Vancouver WA

 

 

pug a cherry

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, artistic inspirations, collage, fine art, handmade papers, psychogeography

In a recent blog post titled “art inspired by ice cream” I wrote about the unusually hot weather here in WA and posted pictures of some in-progress-artwork, describing my working process and that it was inspired by (ahem) ice cream. Well, here is the rest of that story:

After thinking of the cool pattern of the marble walls in my local post office in Vancouver on the aforementioned hot day I went for an ice cream cone. My ice cream was ‘marbled’ creamy vanilla with dark chocolate swirls.  While walking around with my dripping cone, thinking of snow covered mountains, snow falling, skiing – you know, cool thoughts – a cute pug dog and his friendly person passed by – they were a “cherry” capstone to a very good – tho hot – day out and about.

That’s the full description of the inspiration behind this piece that I’ve just finished and titled “Pug A Cherry On Top”.  I’m sure you can see why I titled it that.  Anyway, it’s destined for my upcoming one-person exhibit in October (2016) at Caplan Art Designs (see the events page at www.caplanartdesigns.com).

I created it with my cut hand dyed, hand marbled papers and… the full description is below if you want it… here’s the art.

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Pug A Cherry On Top By Sue Clancy 7 x 5 x 1.5 inches Hand dyed paper, hand marbled paper, ink and acrylic on cradled board

pattern design inspired by Propstra Square

A Creative Life, art techniques, collage, pattern design, psychogeography

I’ve been working on new fine art and as I’d mentioned in my last blog post it’s been unusually hot here in WA so things are taking longer to dry. So rather than do anything constructive like sort out my sock drawer I went and did some sketches in a local Vancouver park. The park, Esther Short Park, has an area within it called Propstra Square. This park has been called “Vancouver’s living room”. And it is! This is one of the many things I love about living here!  Here’s a link for official details about the park http://www.cityofvancouver.us/parksrec/page/esther-short-park-0

When I was there wandering around sketching it seemed that if seen from above the brickwork in Propstra Square would have a plaid or window-pane check pattern. So I sketched the square itself and several “closeup” looks at the brickwork pattern – and got all artistically inspired: wouldn’t it be fun if someone could “wear the square”? My imagination started firing on all pattern design cylinders.

Here’s a photo, taken at my studio, of my sketchbook and to the left in the photo is a tile I created in prep for doing some new apparel designs.  The tile is a collage made with my cut handmade, hand dyed papers, and a bit of color pencil and watercolors.

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Sue Clancy’s sketchbook page of Esther Short Park and Propstra Square in Vancouver WA. Also pictured is the “tile”she was working on in prep for doing an apparel design inspired by the Propstra Square brickwork.

When the tile was finished I photographed it and uploaded it to my Art Director at VIDA. Some computer magic happened somewhere in San Francisco and – Abracadabra – here below is a photo of one of my apparel designs – I trust you can see the relationship between my sketchbook scribble above and the scarf below? If not, please get another cup of coffee and look again. I’ll wait.

If your coffee kicks you into super high gear (Where do you get that super strong coffee stuff? Do tell!) and you just gotta see more of my pattern design apparel work – you can see more at this link: http://shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

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Apparel design by Sue Clancy inspired by Propstra Square in Vancouver USA – you can see more of Sue’s designs here: http://shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy