On one of my walks near the Columbia River I had the pleasure of seeing, then meeting, a mutt. She was a beautiful white and buff longhaired dog, larger than a Labrador, stockier than a Greyhound and hairier than a Golden Retriever. I asked the owner what breed she was and the owner didn’t know. The dog and human had rescued each other. The dog was friendly, beautiful and let me make drawings of her in my sketchbook.
Fast forward to my currently in progress reading and books in art series – and the wonderful mutt I’d met made an appearance:
“Meditations For The Metrosexual Mutt” by Clancy – 16 x 20 inches – acrylic on cradled board – image copyright 2019
Yes, in “Meditations For The Metrosexual Mutt” I’ve spoofed a famous painting by James Whistler along with two of my own still life paintings. If you look at the titles I’ve used for each of my paintings you’ll get a hint about my theme…
“Life’s a bowl of cherries, stems pits and all” – by Clancy – 8 x 10 inches – acrylic and gouache on board
The still life, pictured below, is on the deep cradled edge of “Meditations for the Metrosexual Mutt”, where it will only be seen if you’re able to see my work in person.
“Gala” by Clancy – acrylic and gouache on board
The selection of Whistler’s famous painting to spoof was deliberate as the art history around Whistler’s work is part of my meditation on life, beginnings, origin stories etc.
I imagined that the dog in my painting is reading a book titled “Meditations For The Metrosexual Mutt” – which is why I used that as the title for my work.
As you can tell I’m still thinking about “nesting ideas” and stories within stories…
I’ve begun a new series of fine art pieces intended for exhibits later this year. (Yes, I’ve a deadline dragon) And I’ve been thinking of how when I walk into a library or bookstore I feel like I’m entering a galaxy. Words and ideas that are interrelated with other words and ideas, like an array of planets and stars, or like nesting dolls or stuffed vegetables.
Also in my thoughts; the way I can experience something first hand but when I read about that same experience in a book I have a delightful momentary shock of recognition and I better understand my experience.
So I’m exploring these thoughts, as best I can, within my new series.
Here’s one of my new pieces:
“Good Smells: A Memoir of A Lifelong Pursuit” by Clancy – image copyright Sue Clancy 2019
You’ll notice, I’m sure, the “nesting” ideas of the coffee and mints. There’s a real still life, also by me, which is spoofed within the above painting that I will also include in my upcoming exhibit. I love the idea that a viewer could find the real-life painting that is referred to within another painting – sort of a “find the image” puzzle exhibit.
Here’s a picture of the still life referred to in the painting above:
“After Dinner” by Clancy – copyright Sue Clancy 2019
I’m also thinking it’ll be fun to also include at least one artist book version of an imaginary book depicted in one of my paintings – so the viewer could look at the painting and then leaf through a copy of the book depicted in the painting. But we’ll have to see how that works out.
Posting progress as I go… thanks for staying tuned.
Dealing well with deadlines is a topic often discussed among my fellow artists and writers. So I wondered “could I make a poem about deadlines, make it funny, illustrate it and create a book format that would accent the concept?” Fun challenge.
And here for a free download is what I came up with: Deadline Dragon Dance by Clancy. It’s a pdf file and will print using 2 sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper. One sheet is my 8 page book. The other sheet is the instructions on folding the book. Have fun! And yes, feel free to color the dragon before you fold it into the book.
Below is what The Deadline Dragon Dance looks like when you print it out, the “cover” is on the right at the top by the dragons nose, page one is on the left at the top behind the dragons head and the content proceeds counterclockwise from there. It’ll make more sense as a book once it is printed and folded. If you wonder, yes, I’ve somewhat bastardized the graphic design concept of layout for physical commercial printing.
Anyway, here is what The Deadline Dragon Dance looks like as a flat sheet-book:
And here is the instruction sheet on how to fold the above “book”:
The pdf file for free download again: DeadlineDragonDancebyClancy
Yep I had a lot of fun taking a stodgy concept like deadlines and combining it with humorous poetry, illustration and book arts! I used brush and ink as well as my fountain pen on Bristol paper.
What do you think? How do you deal with deadlines, both the ones you set for yourself and those set for you by others?
In a previous post Caution: Artist At Work I posted pictures of me working toward a “Verrry Big Project” that had a deadline. Here are more photos of me at work – I’m meeting my deadline handily! Included in this post is what I keep in mind when dealing with deadlines. These tips may also apply to holiday stress.
positioning cut paper, gluing the pieces together
Sue Clancy’s recipe for the Care and Feeding of Deadlines:
Set a schedule, break a project into small chunks and put each chunk on the calendar/schedule. Make lists.
Work at the project a little bit every day until done. Read the lists.
Work first. Deal with the “inbox” when time permits. Unplug.
Work according to schedule not according to mood.
Prioritize self-care: remember to eat good nutrition, get enough sleep, hydrate and exercise. Remember to breathe and relax.
Practice Good Mental Hygiene Habits*.
Build in rewards. Game-ify things. Make it fun.
Remember; other people’s expectations/desires that you come do something, during the times when you need to work, are just that – other people’s expectations – their expectations are not your priority, your work is!
*My mental hygiene habits are listed in more detail here: Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit – https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit
Here are assorted photos of me working on my huge hairy fire-breathing deadline – mentioned in earlier blog comments – also known on my Facebook page as my “Verrry Big Project”.
Dying paper green
Dyeing paper yellow
Cutting dyed paper into a shape with an Xacto knife
Cut paper shapes have glue on them and are being “rolled” flat
This project is a public art project and the organization that it’s for will do publicity at the appropriate times. So I’m using “Verry Big Project” as a pseudonym for this project on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sueclancy.thisartiststudio/ and on this blog. That pseudonym name came because I needed a new “big brush”. I got one from a local art supply (Dengerink Art Supply http://www.dengerinkart.com/). The tag on it says “Verry Big Brush” – and that became the name… More on all of this later. I’ve got to get back to work! But now you know why I’ve not been posting much here.
A “Verrry Big Brush”
I’ve got a lot on my plate these days; fine art deadlines, illustration deadlines, some writing deadlines. In the photo above I’m at work dyeing paper for one of my in-progress collages … yep, one that has a deadline attached. I’d say I’m dye-ing along dead-lines but Halloween is over and I don’t want to scare you any more than necessary.
But if you’re worried; yes, I’m still sleeping and eating. Good sleep and good home-cooked food feeds the creative life, soul and tummy. So I gotta keep doing that – especially during a busy time! In fact – here’s something I’ll be putting on my plate and eating later today after a whole lot of work gets done:
What I keep running out of time to do is to update all of my social media bwahaha. So I’m accepting my super-busy reality and going to take some time off from social media. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. I’ll catch up with you later. Cheers dears!