My friend Kevin and I were talking about local Pacific Northwest music, feral cats and handmade musical instruments. We also talked about the “found object” instruments we were both aware of in the Southeastern parts of the U.S. – guitars made out of cigar boxes or banjos from cookie tins. Our conversation drove me to the library to research “handmade music instruments in the Pacific Northwest”. (I’ll post a picture of some of my book research on Instagram) I discovered a long tradition of using local wood scraps to hand-craft musical instruments. The native woodgrain was often a prominent decoration. These instruments were works of art not at all like the “found object” instruments of the SE. I also discovered that here in the PNW playing music in public, on porches, patios, anywhere outdoors was, and still is, the norm during “nice” weather. There has also been a strong connection between music, food and community no matter what the weather. But I could only get so much into one painting.
Below is the finished painting I titled “Purrfect Entertainment”. I’m hoping you can see the woodgrain – both in the background and on the guitar. It was a challenge to do the woodgrain pattern. And to get a “screen door” appearance too.
For my cat character I was inspired by a photo I happened across in an article about a feral cat rescue – the cat was white with grey-brown-ish markings, huge pink ears and dark blue eyes. The long-skinniness of the cat in the photo reminded me of some of the traveling musicians I’ve had the pleasure of hearing.
Purrfect Entertainment By Clancy 24 x 24 x 2 inches Hand dyed, hand stenciled paper and acrylic on cradled board
I finished the cat portrait I’ve been working on and have titled it “Strad O’Varius”. It is already scheduled to be shown in upcoming art gallery exhibits. My last post – here – tells a bit about what inspired this piece.
“Strad O’Varius” by Clancy – 30 x 24 inches – hand dyed paper, acrylic and color pencil on cradled board.
I’ve been very busy lately and mostly off-line because I’ve been creating a portrait of a Russian Blue cat. You can see my preliminary drawing beside the painting. My idea for this piece came from watching my fellow Pacific North-westerners braving the rain and cold in order to perform – or to attend a performance – of music.
Here’s “Mandolin Man”, a piece I finished that tests my new red gouache color. On the musicians neck strap you can most clearly see the new red I’d mentioned in my last post. I also used the red as a “mixer” in the brown of the Labrador fur – so it’s more of a dark red brown. I also played with the opaqueness of the gouache – and tried to leave some colors “transparent” in places too. I’m enjoying working in gouache. Of course “Mandolin Man” also has ink and color pencil (besides the gouache) and is on vintage sheet music.
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.
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:
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?
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…
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/
More progress in my sketchbook for the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project. As per my recent reading I’ve been thinking about time… and how food and music utilizes time. So does sequential visual art. Anyway here’s some photos of my progress – and yes, I’m indulging by drawing some of my favorite recipes (for drinks and soup) as well as drawing metaphoric portraits of some of my favorite local musicians.
Here’s a link to the last post about this project (so you can follow my progress): https://sueclancy.com/2017/08/14/story-strands-in-my-sketchbook-project/
And here’s a post listing the books I’m currently reading (that I alluded to above): https://sueclancy.com/2017/08/07/reading-books-making-art-eating-popcorn/
In my last post I told a bit about using sheet music in my fine art – you can see more about that and a photo of work-in-progress here: https://sueclancy.com/2017/04/27/sheet-music-in-fine-art/
While I worked I thought of the music and musicians that I’m honored to know personally – those I get to hear in small places, like cafe’s and homes – where I get to be surrounded by their music, love and friendship…
And here is what the work-in-progress, many more layers of paper and all those thoughts has become:
I’ve titled it “Surround Sound” – it’s 8 x 10 inches – made with hand dyed papers, handmade paste paper and “found papers” (the sheet music my musician friend gave me).
Now it has to dry before I can varnish it and get it ready for exhibit.
I’ve been creating fine art towards a one-woman exhibit in June at Burnt Bridge Cellars, a winery in Vancouver WA. I’ve also been going to music events and cafe’s when I can. These kinds of events have been inspiring lots of the artwork I’ll have at the exhibit. You can see some of my sketch-work towards my exhibit in my book: “Dogs by Sue Clancy” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy
Also a musician friend gave me some old sheet music. I’ve been using it in my mixed media cut paper collages along with my hand-dyed papers – and I intend to do so with this piece too…
Here’s what’s on my work table:
Getting a few questions about my new artist book “Dogs by Sue Clancy” – https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy – one of the questions: “Where do you get your ideas, that ‘something pleasant’ you speak of?”
While I’m living my ordinary life I make notes and drawings in my sketchbook of everything pleasant that I experience. Then when I’m starting a fine art piece, as I said on the book jacket, I “think of something pleasant”. What I didn’t spell out in my book “Dogs…” is that I sometimes flip thru my sketchbooks as a creative prompt for that something pleasant.
For example just prior to making this piece pictured below I’d flipped through my sketchbook and come across a sketchbook page which sparked the pleasant memories of a house concert I’d gone to and made sketches during…
Fuzzy by Clancy (ink on handmade paper) – and yes, this dog is in the book “Dogs by Sue Clancy”
Here’s the sketchbook page I did at the concert. See Coty Hogue’s website www.cotyhogue.com for some samples of the music that inspired me…
I’ve been learning that I enjoy and am inspired by the small intimate concerts that I’m lucky enough to attend here in the PNW. A small venue makes hearing the performance much better for me and, since I’m having a good time, I do a lot of “music” drawings while at a performance. Several of the art pieces in my new book are music inspired. Heck, much of my fine art is musically oriented…
Anyway, I’m hoping that when people look at “Dogs by Sue Clancy” that they’ll have a pleasant feeling even if they don’t know the specific details, like I’ve just shared with you, about my thoughts behind each piece.
As alluded in my post titled “Just Looking and artist details” https://sueclancy.com/2017/01/30/just-looking-and-artist-details – In everything I do I try to give enough information without being “too much”. It’s a challenge. Which is why I like questions from people about my artwork. It gives me a clue what you’d like to know more about. Keep the questions coming! And thanks for them!
BTW – my book is now rolling out now on Amazon.com and becoming available via most bookstores. How fun is that?!