an unconventional cookbook artist book

A Creative Life, Art Licensing, artist book, artistic inspirations, comfort food, creative thinking, food for thought, functional art, Kim Cooks Sue Draws, kitchen art

Followers of my artwork already know that I like to play with the book format. Does a book always have to be bound on one edge? I don’t think so. It also doesn’t have to be conventional-book-shaped. With this in mind I’m working with Chef Kim Mahan (www.class-cooking.com) to create an unconventional cookbook titled “Kim Cooks Sue Draws”.  More details here:  https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/kim-cooks-sue-draws/

Here’s the logo-label I drew using ink and color pencil. (and yes, this is a caricature of the Chef Kim and me)

KImCooksSueDrawsLable72

Our book is not, and will not be, conventionally bound. In fact it might not be called a “book” by some people because it has recipes as tea towels, art prints and greeting cards.  Eventually individual recipe-cards will be available (curated by the Chef for particular purposes) for home cooks to use on clipboards or under refrigerator magnets.

Though “Kim Cooks Sue Draws” is not bound along a spine it is a collection of related thoughts connected together in an obvious way. Which, in my opinion, is what a “book” really is.

So “Kim Cooks Sue Draws” is another artist book from me – and I’m lucky that Chef Kim is willing to play with me in this unconventional way. We both see this “book” as a set of playful yet practical artworks that you can use at home to cook, eat and share with people you love.

If this cookbook is to be considered “bound” in any way it would be on this website https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/kim-cooks-sue-draws/  – I use the word “bound” here to signify “collected together in one spot”.  I’m sure the Chef will have additional places to put “Kim Cooks Sue Draws” both online and in her classroom.

The Chef and I are in the appetizer-days of this project and we have a full multi-course menu of plans… oh boy do we have plans! Please stay seated at the table… more yummy to come!

more from time tavern

A Creative Life, artist book, sketchbook, The Sketchbook Project, visual story

I’ve been very busy lately on several major projects that I can’t talk about publicly yet. Which is why you’ve not seen much of me online. I have managed to squeeze in a bit of work, 5 minutes here or there, on my sketchbook for the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project. I’m still thinking the title of my sketchbook is “Time Tavern”.

Anyway, below are pics of what I’ve gotten done.

And yes, when I can I’ll post about the projects that I can’t talk about yet.

time tavern sketchbook progress

A Creative Life, artist book, sketchbook, The Sketchbook Project, visual story

The sketchbook I’m working on for the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project now has a name, a working title: “Time Tavern”.  As you can see from previous posts I’m thinking about time – and uses of time in cooking, food service, music and in telling wordless visual stories.

When I began this project I’d thought “Time Tavern” would be the title but I held off declaring it until I’d drawn a few pages.  Things sometimes change as a drawing progresses – particularly when I’m working on a wordless visual story.

In my earlier posts (see below for links) I’d shown close-ups of musicians and a chef at work. I’d also shown a birthday party in progress.  These 3 story strands are main ones – but they also need context in order to become a story.  The association or juxtaposition of images – and the sequence of them – is how I’m crafting my tale visually rather than by written words in a row.

The issue is how to do the same things writers who use written words do – plot movement, foreshadowing and character development – but in my case how to do those using only visual imagery.

As part of my original planning for this story I created a “layout” of the “Time Tavern” the pub setting where my story takes place.  This layout is part of my story strand weaving strategy.  Here you see my architectural layout:

TimeTavernLayout72

This architectural drawing won’t be included in my sketchbook – that’s just to help me organize my story.  The book to the side in the above photo is included as it shows me referring to my architectural drawing during work on that sketchbook page.

Below is one of the first setting drawings within my “Time Tavern” sketchbook – it shows the chef looking at his recipe cards. In the background you see the bartender looking at her recipe cards. You also see a bit of the stage area the musicians will use.  Perhaps you can see how I’ll be using my setting drawings as story context – and foreshadowing?

TimeTavernSettingView172

I’m sure you’ll also note the large clocks in my settings – I’m using those as a story device to show the progression of time…

TimeTavernSetting72

Lots more to work to do…

My past posts regarding this project (so you can follow my progress) are here:  https://sueclancy.com/2017/08/10/sketchbook-project-progress/    https://sueclancy.com/2017/08/14/story-strands-in-my-sketchbook-project/  https://sueclancy.com/2017/08/16/sketchbook-progress-time/

General info about the Sketchbook Project is here: https://www.sketchbookproject.com/

reading books making art eating popcorn

A Creative Life, art techniques, artistic inspirations, Authors, books, creative thinking, food for thought, Sustainable creativity, The Sketchbook Project, visual story, visual thinking, words and pictures

Below are some books I’m currently reading that are “feeding” many of my upcoming art projects. That’s art exhibits, illustration projects and yes even my sketchbook work for The Sketchbook Project I blogged about last post.  Even though it may seem that I produce a random variety of things – there’s a uniformity to my randomness and it begins with what I read. I see all of the things I make as telling a visual/tactile story about being human, enjoying life and living well.  And to help me develop my visual story I read…

BooksReading72

In case you can’t see all the titles in the picture they are:

“Wonderland; How play made the world” by Steven Johnson

“Books for Living” by Will Schwalbe

“The Creative Spark; How imagination made humans exceptional” by Agustin Fuentes

“The Foundations of Mindfulness” by Eric Harrison

“Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel

All of these books relate to themes I’ve been working with artistically for some time now:

How being willing to try new foods, to eat diverse foods, has helped us develop biologically as physical human beings. And how it helps us still.

Playing music, playing games, “playing” with our food – each kind of play in it’s own way has helped humans as a species develop and maintain physical and mental structures as individuals – and also social structures as communities. This is still true today. When we do not take time to play we hurt ourselves and each other.

Reading books (and writing them) has helped us – as a species – to pass on information so that each generation doesn’t have to completely reinvent the world from scratch.  This ability to collect information, and learn from it, informs our abilities to play – to playfully combine/recombine things – helping us to develop and maintain our mental skills.

Which leads me to mindfulness. Mindfulness for me is the human ability to pay attention, to focus attention and also to have a state of open/non-judgmental acceptance – curiosity even. This is essential to developing, having and keeping our human ability to imagine and be creative.  Mindfulness is part of being able to play and learn…and being able to play and learn is a way of being mindful. And for me, keeping a sketchbook, making art, is at it’s heart an exercise in playful mindfulness – but more about that in another post.

The novel by Esquivel is included in my current reading list because woman does not live by non-fiction alone.

Now please pass the popcorn. Thank you.

memory music mountains and living rooms

A Creative Life, artistic inspirations, food for thought, music in art, sketchbook, travel art and writing, travelog, travelogue, words and pictures

Sweetie and I did a short road trip to Mount St. Helens in Washington. We hiked around, saw a lot of birds. Sweetie heard the birds singing and said they were quite a musical chorus.  At the visitor’s center people “danced” about getting photos in front of the mountain. I drew this in my sketchbook using ink and watercolor:

MtStHelens72

Sketchbook page by Sue Clancy

Then at the visitor’s center we went into the Mount. St. Helens gift shop. From past experience we’ve learned that their collection of books for sale on the topics of botany, zoology and biology is a gold mine. Several books come home with us each trip. This time was no exception. One of the titles that came home with us is “Natural History of the Pacific Northwest Mountains.” by Daniel Mathews.

On page 429 I read (about birds caching food) “Phenomenal ability to remember precise locations evolved separately in the chickadees and the jays that cache food for winter, and in many migrating species. Some of these species have nonmigratory or noncaching relatives whose powers of recall don’t amount to diddley squat.  Another kind of memory that must be worth holding on to is a male warbler’s memory of conspecific males’ songs.  As long as each singer remembers his neighbor’s song from the year before, and stays on his own territory, both are spared a fight. They remember songs from year to year as they return from Central America to reclaim their old haunts.”

That got me to thinking about the traveling troubadours of ancient times.  And from that thought I migrated (pun intended) to thinking of how, here in the Pacific Northwest, there is a “new” tradition of traveling musicians who give what is called “living room concerts” in private homes.  The home-owner hosts the musicians, putting them up for a night or two, and invites a number of family and friends to come to a concert. A certain amount of money is collected per attendee and most of that money goes to the musician.  The musician also sells their CD’s and what not during the evening.

I’m quite addicted to this ‘living room concert’ tradition. I find that even though I’m deaf I can “hear” the music better in a small intimate setting. There are also several local small independent theatres – and there’s fairly good hearing there too. My point being that the music I’ve heard since we’ve lived here in the Pacific Northwest has inspired a lot of my recent artwork. And I suspect this trend will continue.

The concept of a birds ability to remember where they put their food also made me think about the seasonal offerings at the local Pacific Northwest restaurants.  When I say “seasonal offering” I mean it. There’s a short time when a certain fruit or veg is available at the local farms so the pubs and restaurants will offer special dishes that use that fruit/veg and then when it’s gone. It’s gone.

We’ve lived here long enough now that I’m beginning to remember, for example, what pubs will offer the “fresh asparagus ‘fries’ ” during peak asparagus season. I’m also remembering which farmers market stands sell the freshest berries and apples. I love the seasonal randomness it’s like a perpetual surprise party but the ability to remember what is ripe during what season is helpful to know.

Needless to say I’ve been artistically inspired by the food. And that’ll prolly (as they say here) continue too.

There’s something about memory and food and music…. something that I just itch to make fine art about. So stay tuned. (pun intended again)

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 http://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.

 

 

 

Strummer

A Creative Life, animals in art, artistic inspirations, dog portrait, poetry, Sue Draws Dogs, words and pictures

I think often about “artistic purpose” – and while, yes, I do get money for my work (I’m a professional, this is my full-time job) that’s not my only purpose for creating art.  Today when I was thinking about this topic I had my tongue firmly planted in my cheek… and I did this poem and illustration.

Strummer – By Sue Clancy

Strummer played music for money,

Ribs, rolls, butter and honey

Or any other tasty dish

Like beef or lamb or fish

A scrambled egg would even do, if not too runny.

strummer72

“Strummer” by Sue Clancy (brush and ink on handmade paper)

looking during lunch

A Creative Life, art commissions, artist book, ebook, psychogeography, sketchbook, travel art and writing

Doing some sketching on location for 2 different projects; one is a fine art commission project that has water and a sailboat in it (and a dog!). The other is a possible new artist book (maybe ebook?) that I spoke of in this “alive and sketching” post. Anyway… here are today’s sketchbook pages …

warehouse2372

“Warehouse 23” sketchbook page by Sue Clancy

sailboatonriver72

“sailboat on water” sketchbook page by Sue Clancy

feeding the beast

A Creative Life, Art Apparel, art commissions, art gallery, books, ebook, fine art, graphic narrative, Not-So-Sketchy-Food, sketchbook

A problem I’ve had as a professional artist who does fine art commissions – is that often the project is a secret. Which means even though my day (and mind) is filled with drawings, paper patterns and colors related to my commission I can’t talk about it online. No posting “in progress” photos because it’d spoil the surprise for somebody.

But still the Social Media Beast must be fed.

I’ve solved this problem – in hopefully an amusing way – by posting my short-narrative work (see my last post as an example), or something about one of my artist books…Here’s a page I particularly like today from my book Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit:

SWIFTtherapyremedy72

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

Or posting a page from my sketchbook – like this one – which also happens to be an ebook page from my Coffee Table Book – (by the way, it is also a very good recipe for lunch):

DublinCoddle172

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

Or posting something about one of my pattern designs: The art apparel with my pattern designs that I do for VIDA really do have my signature on them!  You can see my entire signature collection here: http://shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

scarfwithsignature72

Sue Clancy’s “signature collection” of art apparel really does have a signature!  See the whole collection here: http://shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

And now that I’ve told you my secret – and fed the Beast a bit – I’ll get back to work on my art commission.

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…