Here’s the finished artwork I was working on in my last blog post art-of-a-peel. I’ve titled it “Purrfecting Happy Hour”. Now… on to the next painting…
I’ve been busy lately working on a new fine art piece that has an orange peel in it. And a cat of course. Here’s a picture of me at work…
Between 7 and 14 of us get together once a month for happy hour in one of our local pubs, and the trays of drinks that arrive at our table often reminds me of a jewelers tray. So I’m trying to capture that festive feeling in my painting.
This has meant, as I’ve worked on my composition (the to-scale drawing you see to the right in the above photo), a practice of sketching various drinks in my kitchen sketchbook. I used ink and gouache in my sketchbook – and I’m using acrylic in the painting. Below is the first sketchbook practice drawing; the drink recipe, an orange hot toddy, turned out very well in the real-life tasting of it – the drawing in my sketchbook of the orange-peel didn’t turn out so well.
But I remembered the phrase “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first” from my book, Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit, and kept going.
In other sketchbook pages I tried more orange-peel attempts and here below is the last sketchbook orange-peel drawing – and the drink recipe that I decided to use within the painting.
Below is a close-up photo of the drinks I’ve put in the painting – including the one with the orange peel:
I’ll post a photo of the finished art when its, well, finished – there’s still more to do on the cat.
I’ve finished my sketchbook for the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project, packed it up and put it into the postal slot. But before I did that I created an ebook version of the book – and a video. I was going to post more photos of work-in-progress and such – but I’ve gotten very busy so… you can download-to-own an ebook version here. And below is the video…
As you know I’ve been playing with my new gouache paints in my various sketchbooks and art papers, practicing for my work on “Time Tavern”, a book I’m doing for the Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project. https://www.brooklynartlibrary.com/ Now that I feel I have gouache skills under my belt – it’s time to work on my wordless story “Time Tavern”.
Here are some pages in progress:
The gouache is working well on the paper – and I’m getting the bold colors I’d wanted! Now, to keep at it….
In the quest of keeping artistically inspired I like to haunt bookstores and libraries. Then I make time to sit and read the books – often with a beverage at hand. Recently in a local independent bookstore called Ampersand, http://www.ampersandgallerypdx.com/ – I found several inspiring tomes. Specifically a book in Japanese that I can’t read.
The book is in Japanese but has occasional bits in English. For example the books English subtitle says “A Dictionary of Color Combinations” by Sanzo Wada (b 1883 d. 1967) and this book was published in 1933. (its the book to the left in the photo) It was well worth my time to look at deeply and dreamily for several hours. I think it’s helped my color-game in my recent fine art pieces – at any rate I’m having fun with new color schemes and that’s what counts! Now to practice them in my sketchbooks and more fine art….
I’ve been working on an exhibit statement for my upcoming one-person exhibit at Burnt Bridge Cellars http://www.burntbridgecellars.com/ via Caplan Art Designs http://www.caplanartdesigns.com/index.htm and making it as visual as possible. Here’s what I’ve come up with (with slight variations for my on-line only audience):
Dogs In The Winery by Sue Clancy
I’ve been inspired by many of the drinks, restaurants and music events in Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest. Whenever I am inspired I make notes in my “running around loose” sketchbook – real-life observations – that often end up on a page looking like this:
Back in my studio I run those notes through my imagination and do a new sketch, in black and white, that uses elements of what I’d seen in real life but transforms that real-life data symbolically. In this way, my work becomes a visual story about enjoying something. For me drawing is thinking – and storytelling. My newly imagined art-sketch becomes something like this:
Then I add to my story concept thoughts of color, patterns and textures – to create a surface design on handmade paper that reflects my thoughts/feelings. In this step, I’m designing and creating hand-made patterns onto handmade papers using a number of techniques. Each pattern is designed to be another story element.
I put together the real-life data – my re-configured imaginary sketch idea and my color/pattern surface design thoughts – by cutting shapes out of my handmade papers and literally gluing the cut paper pieces together to create my fine artwork.
To show you what I mean here is a picture of me making a surface pattern design on handmade paper:
And here I’m using an Xacto knife cutting out shapes from paper that was previously dyed:
The end result is a multi-layered fine art piece in color – like what you see in this exhibit or that you can see on my website fine art page https://sueclancy.com/fine-art/ Or like this finished fine art piece titled “Café Paix”
This exhibit shows a progression of my artistic thoughts about life in the Pacific Northwest – a visual story collection – with various dogs as symbolic characters. For me a dog represents an exuberance, a gladness, about being alive and is a fitting representative for pleasant life experiences.
You can download, free, 18 pages from my “running around loose” sketchbook – the real-life data that inspired this exhibit from my website here: https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/ I’ve titled this (free eBook) sketchbook “Glad To Be Alive Sketchbook – drinks and music edition 2017”. Direct link to the free eBook here: https://sueclancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/gladtobealivedrinkmusiced.pdf
The imaginative art-sketches developed from the “Glad to be Alive…” sketchbook can be seen in the printed book “Dogs by Sue Clancy” (available in this exhibit or via Amazon and other booksellers or here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy ). If you are able to visit my art exhibit at Burnt Bridge Cellars I’m sure you can identify (in “where’s Waldo” puzzle fashion) which sketchbook page led to which black and white art-sketch and which of those became color fine artwork.
For a “mind map” of my thinking process see the diagram here: https://sueclancy.com/2017/05/16/mind-map-of-a-clancy-art-exhibit/
I’ve been busy getting ready for my one-person art exhibit to open June 2nd at Burnt Bridge Cellars – a winery in Vancouver WA. Part of doing an exhibit is to write an exhibit statement. But before posting my finished exhibit statement I wanted to share my thoughts behind my art exhibit design. Here’s a sketch diagram, a mind-map:
For the last year I’ve been running-around-loose in the Vancouver WA and Portland OR area documenting, in my sketchbook, my experiences at local music events, restaurants, wineries, cafes and pubs. You can see a free eBook of my sketchbook titled “Glad To Be Alive – drinks and music edition 2017” here: https://sueclancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/gladtobealivedrinkmusiced.pdf
Then I processed through my imagination all of that data I’d collected in my sketchbook and for each pleasant thought I imagined a dog character-actor and made a new sketch/visual story, an ink study, using a sumi brush and ink. You can see a printed book, titled “Dogs by Sue Clancy” with of some of these ink sketches via Amazon or here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy
After doing a whole bunch of these dog portrait studies, almost 100 of them, I selected several and refined them, adding color and pattern and shape thoughts to my visual story describing metaphorically my experiences in real life. These refinements have become finished fine art pieces that are in color using my mixed media cut handmade paper technique. Both some of the finished color artworks and some of the black and white ink pieces (framed) will be at my upcoming exhibit.
My artistic inspirations are elements of ordinary life – so I’ve extended my art-exhibit making to the above mentioned books. Books are an important element of ordinary life so having authored two of them and making them available adds another layer to my art exhibit.
After doing some of the fine artworks I’ve also done some “illustrated things”: I’ve applied some of my artistic thinking for my exhibit to real-life clocks, napkins, tea towels, scarves and many other ordinary consumer items. This extends my art exhibit thesis to yet another layer or dimension. You can see some of the items I’ve designed on my web page titled “illustrated things” here: https://sueclancy.com/pattern-design/
To put my exhibit thesis plainly – I think it is very important to remember to enjoy and actively participate in the present moment, to relish ordinary things, places and friendly people. Once upon a time I lived in a place where quality music events, good restaurants, wineries and pubs were rare. Certainly they didn’t exist in the variety and abundance that they do here in the Pacific Northwest. So I’m aware of what a gift, a treasure, it is to have those things now.
It is also fitting to have my exhibit at a winery – where the people who come to see my artwork can also enjoy award-winning wines and food.
But back to my mind-map: generally at the exhibit my thesis will be available only as a visual story, not spoken or written in literal fashion. I have a reluctance to preach or otherwise belabor a point. Besides instead of writing/speaking didactically I’d rather draw.
Now you know.
I’m getting ready for a one-woman fine art exhibit held at Burnt Bridge Cellars and set up by the Caplan Art Designs gallery – and part of getting ready is writing an “exhibit statement”. I prefer creating pictures to writing non-fiction/prose so I’m making my exhibit statement as visual as possible. One thing I’ve done is collect some of my sketchbook pages into a free downloadable eBook. This eBook relates to my exhibit… more about that in future posts. Here are pages from my “Glad To Be Alive Sketchbook – drinks and music edition 2017″… you can see more information and download it from my artist book webpage here https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/ or via this direct link: GladToBeAliveDrinkMusicEd – Enjoy!
Spent a self indulgent morning drinking Irish coffee and reading newspapers, magazines and books – and discussing what I read with my sweetie. Life doesn’t get better that that! I also collected the dishes. Meaning that I went through my various sketchbooks and collected drawings I’d done of coffee cups. Drawings I’d done when we went to various coffee shops or happy hours and had coffee drinks. In my fine artwork I often depict my dogs or cats drinking coffee or tea – so I thought it’d be good to have a collection of “dishes” all in one place to pull from when it’s time to make fine art.
Here’s one page of my coffee cup collection. There are many more pages filled with cups … but one page will give you the idea.
Here below is a “raw” sketchbook page from which I collected one of the coffee cup shapes that was collected into one of my other “all cups together” sketchbook pages – but the above cups came from “raw” sketchbook pages too. I say “raw” pages because these small sketchbooks fit in my pocket and are drawn on the fly as life happens. I’ll refine them or re-draw them later.
Living here in the Pacific Northwest I’ve been fascinated with the variety of coffee drinks available as well as the kinds of cups the drinks are served in. Did you know that there are some 44 different coffee drink types? I didn’t until I started noticing. I’ve not tried them all yet but I have learned to ask my barista questions. Learned a lot that way! And of course while I’m drawing in my sketchbook I write down the recipes as told to me – and then, if I try to make it at home I’ll note in my sketchbook my favorite mix. I think of it as part of my on-going “know thyself” self-education program. The recipes make their way into my fine art too – just less obviously. Here’s my favorite recipe for Irish Coffee.
If you have ever enjoyed a margarita – or as I’ve recently discovered – a Mexican coffee remember to thank a bat. The lesser long nosed bat, yes the night flying critter, is very important to the pollination of plants that produce tequila. This bat’s health affects human culture and humans affect the bat. Fortunately the lesser long nosed bat has been removed from the endangered species list recently because lots of humans returned the bat’s favors and helped the bat’s habitat etc.
All of this goes to my on-going thesis that we humans are interconnected with the world. It only seems like human culture is separate from the natural world. Just like sometimes it feels like we are alone as individuals. But the way I figure it even when I’m physically alone in a room there are thousands of humans with me; several people made my furniture, some made my window blinds, others make the inks, brushes and all the art supplies I use. The books that fill my studio and home were written, edited, published and distributed by lots of humans. And I’m grateful to them.
Then I back up a notch and there are mammals, insects, plants as well as water, air and sunlight that also contributed to the materials all the humans used to make everything in my life. And I’m even more grateful.
Which brings me to the dogs. For me dogs represent a “joy at being alive” and dogs are very much a part of our human world. For me they are a direct link to the natural world – they are our “interpreters”, our therapy guide dogs, that help us remember our humanity. You know, enjoy your food, sleep well, be sociable, be kind, go for walks and play like you mean it.
I also enjoy the diversity of the dog-world. The smallest dog and the biggest dog, the hairy dog and the smooth-coated dog are all able to co-exist peaceably (most of the time) in the same dog park. Good examples for the humans I think.
It takes all of us – every being – to create our world. Sort of like a drink recipe, leave out one item and you don’t have the same drink. As Dr. Bob Hoke often quoted “We bring forth the world together”
So for many of the above reasons I depict dogs doing human culture-like things such as having a Mexican coffee.
And here is one of the best Mexican coffee recipe’s I’ve found so far.
I never knew there were so many coffee-drinks until I moved to the Pacific Northwest. Lately I’ve been “collecting” such drinks in my sketchbook (like the above recipe) as well as many different shapes of mugs and cups. All of this research is ending up in my fine artwork… I’ll share more about this in another post.
Do you have a favorite dog? Or favorite coffee drink?
In the meantime you can see more of my dog portrait artwork in my new book “Dogs by Sue Clancy” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy or at one of my art galleries: Caplan Art Designs www.caplanartdesigns.com For more of the “Dr. Bob Hoke” I spoke of earlier see also my artist book Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit