the catalyst for Cat A List

A Creative Life, animals in art, artistic inspirations, cat portrait, Cats in art, fine art, visual thinking

I live in wine country and wine tastings are part of the culture. It’s common to hear comments like “2013 was a very good year for Pinot Noir!” Which means I’ve had my eyes opened to the fact that the same grape variety can taste differently from year to year.

This has prompted me to read books about Pacific NW wine and wine making in general.  It’s amazing how many tiny little things can affect a wine’s flavor; the soil, the slope of the land, whether it’s near water, how warm/cool the temperature average is, the amount of rainfall and of course bugs and animals. Too much wind, or smoke from wildfires can also affect the grape and the taste of the wine.

And there’s the effect of the winemaker, the maker’s many small choices add up: the harvest date chosen, the fermentation temperature, the choice of what kind of barrel or tank to ferment in, the type of cork and bottle to use – and many thousands of other minute mundane decisions.

It seems to be a combination of both art and science.  Which makes me even more curious about wine and more appreciative of the wines I drink.

So rather than writing an essay about what I’ve learned and my thoughts and feelings about it – I’m creating a visual story of a curious cat character – who is investigating a wine list. I did a “vine” background pattern because, you know, grape vines… and I chose a brindle cat breed because wine making is subtle blending of many different elements.

SueWithCatAList72

And here is the finished piece:

CatAList72

“Cat A List” by Clancy 30 x 24 x 2 inches Hand dyed, hand stenciled paper and acrylic on cradled board

I’ve titled it “Cat A List” for reasons alluded to above, plus the definition of the word ‘catalyst’ and because I’ve learned that, just like professional fine artist’s, wine makers typically only offer their “A List”, the selection of what they think is their best work, to the public.  And this best-of list can vary from year to year.

Which makes this region the perfect place for this wine-curious cat (aka me) to live!

 

from pattern design comes

A Creative Life, animals in art, Art Apparel, art gallery, Art Licensing, art techniques, fine art, pattern design, travelog, travelogue

A road trip to the Oregon Coast took my wife and I through the Oregon wine country. Hills flow up and down along the road giving me a view of vineyards from different angles – including a near “birds eye” view from above. The view inspired a pattern design and I made lots of notes in my sketchbook.

Back at my studio I use a number of techniques to make my patterns on paper: marbling, paste paper, stenciling… and more.. then when the paper is dry I make fine art with it, or an artist book, or art apparel or all of the above if the paper is large enough. Anyway, here’s a picture my wife took of me creating that “vineyard inspired” pattern on paper using my stencil-past-paper combo technique:

patterningPaper2crop72

Sue Clancy creating a pattern on paper using a stencil-paste paper technique on hand dyed paper

When I think of a pattern design concept the pattern itself “tells a small story” – so I like to apply that “story” in several different ways. But how I use the “story pattern” depends on the larger story I want to tell. For example: one of my favorite things to do is sit with a glass of wine and read a book while wearing my pajamas – so I used parts of this vineyard inspired patterned paper when I created one of my fine art pieces that is about books/education. The art piece is titled “The Read Hat” and is specifically about how we tenaciously (like little dogs gather toys) collect information into our heads but I’m sure you’ll note the vineyard patterned “pajama’s” the dog is wearing. “The Read Hat” is currently at the Caplan Art Designs gallery in Portland Oregon.

Also I have friends who like scarves – and wine – so, while thinking the fun thought that someone could “wear” a vineyard – like the dog in my fine art piece – I did a scarf design with the same green dot pattern (titled “Vineyard Aerial View) that is now available via VIDA http://www.shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

Here is a picture of both projects:

vineyardview+ArtComposite

The left image shows a fine art piece by Sue Clancy titled “The Read Hat” which uses the pattern design inspired by an aerial view of a vineyard. The image on the right is of a scarf designed with the same green-dot pattern design titled “Vineyard Aerial View”.