art of songbirds on blooms

A Creative Life, animals in art, Art Licensing, art techniques, artistic inspirations, creative thinking, drawing as thinking, pattern design, sketchbook

Early one morning I was standing outside waiting on Rusty, my dachshund, to “do his business” and saw several song birds singing in my blooming Camilla bush. I doodled an idea in my sketchbook using a ball-point pen. (Yes, I keep a pen and sketchbook in the pocket of my bathrobe) By the time Rusty had finished up “business” I’d finished my sketchbook work. A few days later I began creating a finished surface design inspired by those song birds. Here is my artwork in progress:

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To create this design I’m using my cut paper mixed media collage technique – the same one that I use to create my fine art.

Then after several more days of “short burst” work on my design I declared it “finished” and submitted it to VIDA for addition to my signature collection: http://www.shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

Here are the two newest “signature collection” apparel pieces with my “Songbirds On Blooms” design:

And of course I’ve a few more plans for this design but more about that later.

 

chic chicory pattern design

A Creative Life, Art Apparel, Art Licensing, art techniques, artistic inspirations, psychogeography, travel art and writing

Recently, end of September or early October my wife and I went on one of our wander-walks – I had my sketchbook in hand. On Officer’s Row in Vancouver WA I walked through a field full of blue-purple flowers… here are some of the sketches I did that day.

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Sue Clancy’s sketchbook page of the overall view of the field on Officers Row.

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Sue Clancy’s sketchbook page – details of flowers seen on Officers Row

The field was full of flowers; a patch here was full of blue ones, a patch there was white, another one there was magenta….it reminded me of curling up under/on a color-block quilt having a hot chocolate and reading a good book with a comforting lap cat/dog.

Then my work and life in general went on at a very busy pace and all the while in the back of my mind I was remembering that cozy quilt-like pattern of flowers seen on our walk…and thinking of how best to re-create that comfy feeling within pattern design and how that could be used in my fine art, or as a scarf or…???

Probably after the last chicory flower had faded from the real-life field I finally found time to create a pattern. In my studio I played around, designing several patterns using the chicory flower as a motif. As I worked I thought of several of our friends who garden, who like to go for walks/hikes and the upcoming winter season so I decided to make my pattern design into a scarf. I’m thinking it might be cozy to be able wear “end of summer” flowers during winter.

I used some paper I’d previously dyed and cut out the flower shape with an Xacto knife and glued it together. Then I cut up that just-created flower and re-glued it together in such a way that my finished design will digitally replicate as an overall pattern on fabric.  The last step is to do a bit of detail here and there on the flower petals with my color pencils. Here are photos of two of my multi-step process of pattern design creation:

Here’s what the finished scarf design looks like -and it is available via this link http://www.shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy :

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Scarf pattern design “Chic Chicory” by Sue Clancy http://www.shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

The pattern seems a bit lighter on the fabric – but that is because it is on a white/sheer type of fabric and the fabric type affects the “look” of the design. I do my best to keep in mind that this will happen when I’m creating my pattern design.

My Chic Chicory pattern turned out nicely … what do you think?

 

 

seeing art in autumn leaves

A Creative Life, Art Apparel, art exhibit, art gallery, artistic inspirations, fine art, pattern design, psychogeography, sketchbook, travel art and writing, travelog, travelogue

I’ve 2 different one-woman art exhibits already scheduled for 2017 – and already there’s discussion of another exhibit for 2018. So I’ve been taking walks to gather inspiration.  Which means lots of sketchbook work, doodling and experimenting with pattern designs. Here’s a sketch I did along the River-walk in Vancouver…

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Sue Clancy’s sketchbook page; ink and watercolor done on location as she walked.

Also in my sketchbook I did some ink and watercolor drawings of some of the fallen leaves during that same walk. You can see that sketch along with a pattern-design tile I was working on in this photo here:

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Sue Clancy’s sketchbook page and a pattern design “tile” she was creating using cut handmade paper.

And here are photos of a pocket square, a scarf and a tote bag I created using my “Autumn Leaves” pattern design as part of my art apparel collection: http://shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

Now I’m thinking and re-thinking this overall-leaf motif and how it may relate to my paper-making techniques. I’m also plotting how to use this design – or variations on it – in future fine artworks.

Between now and the actual paper creation there will be more walks and more sketches of leaves (and probably other things).  I saw some beautiful ginkgo tree’s downtown the other day…

Yes, this is a long-term project.  But, don’t worry, there will be breaks for lunch.

 

Sue’s art speech text

A Creative Life, animals in art, Art Apparel, art commissions, art exhibit, art gallery, collage, fine art, psychogeography, visual story, words and pictures

On Oct 1st I gave a short talk during my fine art opening at the Daily In The Pearl arranged by Caplan Art Designs.  Since I’d recently written a blog post titled “on writing and giving speeches” I thought it only fair to share with you the text of my speech along with photos. This is a rough approximation of what I said as I can’t re-create the ad-libs and audience participation – it was a fun lively evening! Anyway here goes:

Speech given Oct 1st 2016 by Sue Clancy

Thank you for coming!

I create mixed media handmade paper collage.  I start off with white handmade paper and I give that paper color and pattern using a variety of art techniques; I dye the paper, I stencil it, I print on it, I marble it and use a variety of other methods. This is the “mixed media” aspect of my work.

Here are a few scraps of papers I’ve done so you can handle them, along with a postcard containing photos of me in action.

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Paper samples Sue Clancy handed out during her speech; the paper on the far left is an example of the white paper she starts out with – the other 3 are examples of color/pattern she’s given the white paper

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Postcard Sue made, and handed out during her speech, that shows photos of her giving paper color and pattern.

Once the papers are dry I take an X-acto knife and cut shapes out of them. Then I take the cut-paper-shapes and glue them together to make my art images. There are layers of paper glued on top of other papers. Yes, tweezers are involved.

In “The Read Hat” I cut the chihuahua’s head, 4 paws and tail out of a medium brown paper – then other smaller shapes of darker/lighter brown papers were cut to make his face. The clothes the dog wears was cut out of a green dotted paper, the books out of yellow papers – and so forth – until the image was finished.

That’s my construction method.

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“The Read Hat” By Sue Clancy 14 x 11 x 2 inches Hand dyed paper, handmade paper, hand stenciled paper, found paper and acrylic on cradled board

My ideas and the pattern designs within them come from my life. Take “The Read Hat” as an example again; 5 different life experiences went into this concept.

  • I saw some wet, weathered flyers stapled on some telephone poles during a walk on Hawthorne Street in Portland Or. the pattern of letters overlaying each other transparently made me think about the clarity and legibility of information. (This inspired the background of this artwork.)
  • I met a Chihuahua who has the habit of collecting most things found at floor level onto his dog bed. Yet he still showed a preference for some things over others.  So I began thinking about how I have to select which information in the world to spend time trying to understand since it is impossible to “collect all” the available information.(This inspired my choice of a Chihuahua character)
  • On a trip to the Oregon Coast I drove through Oregon wine country. The hills rise and fall so in several places I had an almost aerial view of the Oregon vineyards. (That inspired the green dotted pattern the Chihuahua is wearing.)
  • The “aerial view” of an Oregon vineyard reminded me of my favorite self-indulgence; I like to put on my pj’s early of an evening, have a glass of wine and read a book for an hour or so before bed. (This is why the character is wearing pj’s and not some other sort of outfit)
  • When I indulge myself this way I often take off my hearing-aids so as to completely relax and focus on what I’m reading. My deafness made me think of how important language is as a framework for understanding the world. Language is a container, a hat, that holds knowledge.

This is generally how I work: pattern designs become symbols in a visual story. When I do special commissions I use this visual story method too – only instead of my life experiences inspiring the pattern designs and story symbols it’s your life experiences that do that.

The titles I give my artworks, the “blurbs” and statements I write about them – or about my  exhibits – are clues to my personal thoughts.  But my use of pattern design symbolically and my use of the Animals in Art genre (it’s a classic genre of fine art like ‘still life’ or ‘landscape painting’) takes my work beyond the personal and into the mythological story or fable.

So this summer when a San Francisco company contacted me about licensing my designs for use as scarves, bags and other apparel I saw a chance to extend my ‘pattern designs as symbols’ concept into the real world. You can see my full apparel collection here: http://www.shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

Using the same pattern design in multiple symbolic ways – in different fine artworks, in art apparel and in artist books – is my way of thinking about aspects of nature, culture and other things in contemporary life. Thank you!

Here’s a photo of me giving the above speech.

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Sue Clancy giving a short speech about her artwork

 

seeing stars

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, artistic inspirations, fine art

I’ve been busy working on the last fine art piece I’ll be able to finish in time for my October 2016 exhibit at Caplan Art Designs (see the events page at www.caplanartdesigns.com). Recently I was taking out the trash and it seemed the stars were larger than usual. That inspired a pattern design – Youtube video of me making a star pattern paper is here: https://youtu.be/cAx88mwARqo

Now I’ve glued the paper that I made in the video as the background within my artwork-in-progress and in this photo I’m gluing on more paper ….

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Sue Clancy working on a new fine art piece (handmade paper collage) that uses the star stencil paper made in this video: https://youtu.be/cAx88mwARqo

 

road trip inspired apparel

A Creative Life, Art Apparel, handmade papers, travel art and writing, travelog, travelogue

Recently I took a wonderful road trip to Boise Idaho to visit family there. Drove through the Columbia River Gorge on the Oregon side… saw waterfalls on the way to Idaho, saw the sunlight on the Boise foothills, then on the way home – again through the Columbia River Gorge – there was a spectacular sunset, sun shining on the rocky cliffs above the water.  Needless to say I jotted pattern notes in my sketchbook. (I stopped at a rest stop to do that – don’t worry I did not draw and drive!) When I got back to the studio I created my patterns on handmade paper and then, after the papers were dry, photographed and uploaded the patterns to my signature collection at VIDA. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy  I’m imagining how fun it will be in the middle of winter to wear a waterfall, a summer sunset or the sunlit Boise foothills!

A pattern design I did based on a waterfall I saw on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

A pattern design I did based on a waterfall I saw on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

A pattern design I did based on a summer sunset I saw on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

A pattern design I did based on a summer sunset I saw on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

A pattern design I did based on seeing the sunlit Boise foothills on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

A pattern design I did based on seeing the sunlit Boise foothills on a road trip. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

 

finding artistic inspiration

A Creative Life, art techniques, commonplace book, food for thought, pattern design, sketchbook, visual story

People tend to think of “wealth” as things they have yet to acquire rather than things they already have. Similarly people think of “artistic inspiration” as some grand life-changing event rather than a learned-and-practiced way of looking at ordinary life.

I had an art professor in college who would talk, after class was over, of various practical aspects of the business of being a professional artist. He would say “If you can’t find artistic inspiration, something utterly fascinating to you, something you are curious about exploring using art techniques, in your own room, in your own yard, in your own life – then you won’t last long as an artist. So collect every inspiration you have, keep careful notes of what piques your interest no matter how small, protect and pursue these interests passionately, and you’ll have a life-long career as an artist.”

Here’s a fascinating pattern I found in my backyard – which I’m “keeping” for some unknown-at-this-moment future use.

A fascinating pattern I saw of white dew "dots" on larger green clover "dots" on a darker green-brown ground.

A fascinating pattern I saw of small white dew “dots” on larger green clover “dots” on a darker green-brown ground.

 

new papers for art

A Creative Life, handmade papers

Been busy making new handmade papers for some new fine artwork.  Here’s a photo of them and the stencil’s (lower left corner of the photo) that I used to make the patterns on my hand dyed papers.  Sharp eyes will probably recognize the inspiration source (see this post https://sueclancy.com/2016/03/29/garden-of-ideas/) for a few of the patterns.

Sue Clancy's newly hand stenciled, hand dyed handmade papers she'll use to make new artworks

Sue Clancy’s newly hand stenciled, hand dyed handmade papers she’ll use to make new artworks

 

garden of ideas

A Creative Life

Look what I found in the garden! Paper pattern ideas! I’m thinking dots…  blue dots and white dots… for upcoming handmade paper adventures, I mean patterns, to be used in my fine art!

BlueOnGreenPattern WhiteOnGreenpattern