cherry cheers

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, artistic inspirations, still life

It’s Mount Rainer Cherry season here in the Pacific Northwest! After getting fresh cherries at the Farmer’s Market on a warm summer day – we went for a cocktail. Bartenders around here use seasonal produce and since cherries are in season the drink of the day was cherry themed. Well, the drink was so good it inspired our friend to say “Wow, this drink is almost a religious experience!”.

“Amen, sister!” I replied.

“Halleluiah!” added Judy.

Then I went back to the studio and created this piece.

CherrySeason72

Cherry Season – by Clancy – 7 x 5 inches – acrylic and gouache on board

It ended up being an artistic exercise/challenge in getting the two-colored cherries to look round, and the glass to look glass-like.

Since this one is slightly different than my usual sort of thing I sent an image of “Cherry Season” to the gallery owner at Caplan Art Designs – who said it’ll be included in my exhibit later this year! And I’m to keep ’em coming! Wahoo!!

Anyway, in looking up cherry-drink recipes for this post I found this link – which seems the closest to the drink we had at our local pub.  http://www.cookingandbeer.com/2015/06/rainier-cherry-and-orange-campari-cocktails/

Cheers!

community creatures running loose at the Anstine Gallery

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, artist book, artistic inspirations, drawing as thinking, ebook, public art, sketchbook, travel art and writing, visual story

The art was delivered to the Anstine Gallery this morning. The snow I’d worried about in my last post wasn’t a problem! (Whew!) The Anstine Gallery is located in a government building in Vancouver so I’m doing what I often do – trying to make people in serious places laugh.

Adults in general, I find, tend to be focused on day-to-day problems and people in certain professions; in the medical field, in law and in city or county government, in addition to having the regular allotment of adult-hood type responsibilities have entire work-days filled with problem-solving.

So with this exhibit – titled “Community Creatures” I wanted to share humorous artwork that was based on what is, in my opinion, working well in Vancouver.

A community is made up of its social vitality. The physical structures of the place; sidewalks, multi-use buildings, zoning laws, environmental policies, parks, public art and so forth all impact – in a behind the scenes way – the social vitality of a place. I see the city/county as doing well because of what I observe when I “run around loose”.

Where we most often see, or are most easily aware of, social vitality is in the small businesses, I mean the honest-to-goodness personally owned business – where the owner actually works there.  So that’s where I started – I’ve recorded my experiences in my sketchbook of running around loose in Vancouver, then I created characters (the ‘creatures’) and a fine-art-visual-story that transformed my real-life sketches into a metaphoric or literary depiction of an element of life in Vancouver.

Here are a series of sketches paired with the artworks. I’m sure you’ll be able to see what relates to what.

Naturally there is crossover between the different sketchbook pages and each finished art piece. The above is just a sample. You can download my entire “Running Around Loose – Vancouver WA” sketchbook in ebook form here:  https://sueclancy.com/product/running-around-loose-vancouver-wa-edition-1-by-sue-clancy/

from my kitchen sketchbook

A Creative Life, artistic inspirations, comfort food, food for thought, kitchen art, Not-So-Sketchy-Food, sketchbook, sketchbook suppers, words and pictures

Around the edges of working on cat portraits I’ve still been working with gouache. Specifically I’ve been testing it in my bound sketchbooks. Here are several pages, created with gouache and ink, in my current “kitchen sketchbook”.  I have a series of kitchen sketchbooks, they are all small, around  3 by 5 inches, and I give each book a silly name. These books contain drawings of a recipe I was then-currently cooking – or a depiction of something I was drinking and eating. The following pages are from my “Mouthpiece Four” kitchen sketchbook.  I have ambitions of publishing these sketchbooks… but that’s another blog post topic.

kitchen tales and non-traditional notions

A Creative Life, artistic inspirations, creative thinking, drawing as thinking, food for thought, kitchen art, visual story, words and pictures

I’m playfully experimenting again. I’m combining several things: my thought that knowing how to cook is an essential artist survival skill, my not-so-secret desire to illustrate a cookbook and the fact that I’ve been asked to do my fine artwork (dogs and food!) as prints for sometimes messy home kitchens.

So I’m collecting my kitchen art efforts together and publishing them on a web page – https://sueclancy.com/pattern-design/kitchen-tales/ — as you can see I’m doing a series of individual prints instead of printing a series of images in a traditional book.  This way people can mix and match to their liking.

The same with tea towels and napkins… can recipes become something useable like a towel? Can I tell visual stories, that you can wipe your hands with, about enjoying food and drink? It’ll be fun to try!

And lucky for me I have a chef friend – Chef Kim Mahan of www.class-cooking.com – who wants to experiment with non-traditional cookbook notions too! We will do some practicing in public – on my blog as well as on the above mentioned web page.

Here’s a framed print… you saw progress towards this image in earlier posts.

bear-salad-framed-prints

“Bear Salad” https://society6.com/product/bear-salad_framed-print#s6-7068429p21a12v52a13v54

 

 

 

my interactive art exhibit experiment

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, books, ebook, fine art, sketchbook, words and pictures

Some time ago I observed that when people visit art galleries or art museums they often have one hand on their smart phone or tablet. While at a gallery or museum people collect brochures, booklets, books and “artist monographs”.  They sit and read the booklets and look things up on their phones.  They lean in and look at any text near the artwork. If there are scan-tags or headphones or videos or website references – those get used. It’s called an “interactive exhibit”.

And yes, people do still look at the art without any ‘media aids’.  Here’s a picture the gallery owner at Caplan Art Designs snapped and shared with me of a kid who spent a lot of time just looking at one of my artworks in the gallery.

BoyLookingAtMyArt

Yet the media aids seem useful. So about a year ago I thought “I want to create an ‘interactive exhibit’!” and set about doing it.  The first step was to propose such a thing. My agent at Caplan Art Designs was enthusiastic about my idea and arranged for my exhibit to be located at The Daily Cafe in The Pearl where people could ‘enjoy good food’ while looking at my artwork about enjoying things!

As I worked to create a new body of artwork for this exhibit, titled “Paws to Enjoy”, I kept a sketchbook and a journal writing each thought, no matter how silly, as it related to my theme: pausing to enjoy things.

As readers of this blog you know I’ve been posting these sketchbook pages over the course of the year. Some of the pages looked like this:

DinersDining72

Some looked like this:

AlexieWritingAdviceNPasta72

You can find more of such past posts of my sketchbook pages by scrolling down a page and clicking on the + sign which will reveal an archive list.

My point being that halfway through my year of creating new artworks towards a body of work that could be in this current exhibit I had a LOT of sketchbook pages.  So I selected a grouping of my sketchbook pages and some images of my finished fine art and created an eBook using Book Baby http://www.bookbaby.com/ My criteria for what went into the eBook was that it had to be fun, useful to the reader and would somehow show, by association, how my creative thought pattern works.  The book would be relevant to the current art exhibit but also reflect “how I think” in a more general sense.

I titled my eBook “Coffee, Table, Book” because (spoiler alert) I enjoy coffee, food on tables and books and those are often my artistic inspirations. This fit with my current art exhibit theme nicely – and covers my general artistic thinking (and contains some recipes!).

For my book cover I created a scribbly sketchbook style cover because I wanted to emphasize that this eBook contains my sketchbook pages, the collected thoughts behind my fine artwork. Here’s the cover art:

FrontCoverEbook72w

Because I hoped that people would use their smartphones while looking at my physical artwork my eBook file is in several downloadable formats. The book is obtainable via my website or via Amazon and many other places that sell eBooks. If the reader sets the Portrait Orientation Lock feature “on” in their smart phone or tablet it’ll be fun viewing as “artistically intended”. Here is a direct link for the book: http://my.bookbaby.com/book/coffee-table-book

A side benefit of doing this eBook has been that the gallery has been able to share it with their clients. Once I realized that the gallery was using the book to help explain my complicated artwork I posted on my website www.sueclancy.com a downloadable pdf file that would help explain my art technique using pictures. For simplicity’s sake that pdf file is here: AboutPreyingForPeas

The gallery shared that file with clients and other things that I posted on Facebook and Twitter (see my Home page for links). So that became another aspect of “interactivity” – as I posted (and still do) on my Facebook page, photos like this of me working:

Zpaper

All of these elements have been useful as communication aids for the gallery, as upcoming exhibit “teasers”, and as an interactive part of my current exhibit.

The exhibit “Paws to enjoy” actually went up on the walls October 1 2015.  I’d been working towards it since before July in 2014.  The exhibit looks like this (it’ll be up until Nov 2nd 2015):

exhibitphotobyAmy

There are a few other walls with more of my artwork on them too!

Anyway, as I’d alluded to earlier the gallery promoted the exhibit before it opened. I did too. Someone who saw an image of one of my new artworks online contacted the gallery and bought it before the exhibit opened.  As the exhibit progressed people contacted the gallery, contacted me, talked with the cafe owners – basically there’s been lots of “interactivity” both before and during the exhibit!  And as I’d hoped, people have used their smart phones to interact with my artwork!  Here are just two of the comments:

“Hi Sue! We LOVED your exhibit! The artwork looks wonderful on your website, but seeing them in person was a very different experience. They’re so vibrant, and you can get more of a feel of the depth and layers of materials. WOW! Thanks so much for letting us know about the exhibit. P.S. The food was good too.”

“We took our 2 grandchildren to lunch at the cafe and the youngest one (age 3) kept looking at your artwork, pointing and saying “doggy”, “rabbit” or “kitty”. I don’t think he’d ever noticed art on the walls before. The older one enjoyed your art too. Thank you.”

I heard from a lot of local (Pacific Northwest) people and from people all around the world – thanks to Facebook, Twitter and this blog.  Many people said that they’ve enjoyed getting to “see more” or “follow” my exhibit online and via my eBook. My agent at Caplan Art Designs even extended the time my exhibit was displayed at The Daily Cafe due to the exhibit popularity!

All in all my exhibit “interactivity” experiment has been a success! Now i want to do an even better job of creating interactive exhibits in the future…

wine and other wonders

art exhibit, art gallery, fine art

Once upon a time I got some how-to-be-a-successful-artist advice that said “follow your personal interests and use those for both your art-creation inspirations as well as where you look for art exhibit opportunities”

As a reader of this blog you’re aware that I’m interested in (to name a few things) books, food and drink – I post a lot of my sketchbook pages that contain my interests. My finished artwork is often inspired by books, food and drink. So it makes sense for me to exhibit my art in libraries, bookstores, restaurants or wineries. Here are a few pictures of my art hanging in a winery called Burnt Bridge Cellars – www.burntbridgecellars.com – and during the opening party there will be Italian food cooked on the premises! (the winery has a kitchen connected to it where they have cooking classes)

I also look for galleries and agents and clients that share my interests.  (For example my agent at Caplan Art Designs www.caplanartdesigns.com facilitated this winery exhibit) The above mentioned advice has been working very well for me for a number of years now.

SuesArtAtBBCcopy SuesArtAtBurntBridgecopy