Some twins I’m lucky enough to know turned one year old today. So in collaboration with my wife, I wrote a poem and illustrated it for them. It was a good opportunity to practice art word combinations. And I think they’ll like it. Their parents and grandparents seemed to. Anyway here’s a picture of the birthday card:
I used a fountain pen to write the poem text this time. Last time I’d illustrated one of my poems I’d used brush and ink. For this birthday poem lower case letters were used. I like the lower case style. At least for this poem… The fountain pen was easier to control (and something I’m used to) and the neatness of the type and the softness of the lower case style are pleasing to me.
When I’d finished lettering the poem I then drew the illustration in brush and ink. After that dried I used gouache to give it color. That method too was an experiment in using ink and gouache in combination.
I am pleased with the resulting art word combination and will likely do that again; lower case letters and all.
What do you think of this lettering style?
I’ve decided recently to practice my poetry and short-short story writing by writing something, no matter how bad, every day. If there’s anything illustration worthy I’ll illustrate it. Out of all I’ve done thus far this seemed worthy:
poem and illustration by Clancy
Doing the poem text with a brush was new and different for me. It was looser and I think I like it. Typically I’ve used a dip-pen and been “tight” about it. I’ve also tended toward handwritten capital letters as you know from my illustrated recipes. It’s a text-style habit that harkens back to my years as a professional cartoonist and biological illustrator.
But for this poem when I used capital letters via ink-and-brush the text seemed too thick and shout-y. I’m now thinking I’ll experiment with all lower case writing. And a smaller brush. Or maybe a fountain pen rather than a dip-pen.
I’ll try a different hand-written style, and technique, if I happen to write another illustration worthy poem. We’ll see… I’ve got a lot of bad poetry to write between now and then I suspect.
What do you think about the all capital letters via brush style?
This weekend I caught up on the news – and this poem and illustration came to me:
The Little Brat
By Sue Clancy
Clueless Jack Horner
stood in a corner
eating a stolen pie
saying “Oh what a good boy am I!”
His classmates had cried.
His teacher had sighed.
But Jack, little Jack, didn’t ask “why?”
Instead he said “What a good boy am I!”
As he ate the pie…
As he stood in the corner…
Clueless: Jack Horner.
(Illustration, by Clancy, for the poem “The Little Brat” by Clancy.)
Delighted that my artist book “The Rabbit” has been published in its entirety in Issue 7 of Small Po[r]tions journal! You can see it directly here: https://smallportionsjournal.com/2017/02/10/sue-clancy-the-rabbit/
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.
“Strummer” by Sue Clancy (brush and ink on handmade paper)
I’ve been busy working on art commissions – and some extra special “dog-drawing-for-Christmas” requests – none of which I can talk about in public ’cause, you know, they’re somebody’s present! So I took a very short time off from being one of Santa’s elves and did this short-narrative poem plus illustration practice:
Molly – By Sue Clancy –
Molly sat combing her hair
Tangles she had here and there
It took some might
But she set it a-right
Then got dressed and went dancing somewhere.
illustration and poem “Molly” by Sue Clancy
Doing my short narrative – poem plus illustration – practice again. Perhaps I should call it “dog drawing plus words”?
Ponder – By Sue Clancy –
There once was a dog named Ponder
Who was full of curiosity and wonder
“What’s it like in the lea?
or for people at sea?
Oh what is it like over yonder?”
Sketch and poem titled “Ponder” by Sue Clancy (drawing made with pen and ink)
Today’s short narrative practice… original poem and art/illustration to follow:
Danny Joe – By Sue Clancy
There was an old dog named Danny Joe
who played a lively banjo
and sang folk songs
about rights and wrongs
and all the things a body should know
art illustration to go with a poem by Sue Clancy called “Danny Joe” – the art is pen and ink on handmade paper
Here’s some more short narrative practice, or poetry practice, or words plus pictures practice or if you want to be really accurate you could call it “Sue’s playing around again”. Whatever you want to call it – here’s the poem and illustration:
Card Times by Sue Clancy
A sly old dog named Muffin
Sat on a cushion of stuffin’
While playing cards
And sweating hard
He said firmly “I aint bluffin’”
Card Times – words and illustration by Sue Clancy (the pen and ink on handmade paper artwork is titled “Aint Bluffin”)
Was contacted this morning by one of my gallery owners, Barney, of Downtown Art & Frame, in Oklahoma to tell me that my work “Lettuce Peas” had sold! This work was a highly experimental piece, different from the “typical” work I do. For this project I worked with Judy Sullens, a writer, and created this words+art piece inspired by and based on her word-play. Judy’s original poem was titled “Gardener’s Prayer”. I took Judy’s words and created an original cut-paper illustration in my style and wrote out her poem by hand using pen and ink calligraphy.
Technically this piece is an original “broadside” as it would be called in the book-arts world. And normally I might have submitted it for exhibit in a book-arts kind of gallery like the 23 Sandy Gallery. But, Barney, who runs a frame-shop-gallery in Oklahoma saw the piece in my studio here on the West Coast, liked it and wanted to frame it and exhibit it along with the other artwork of mine he was selecting for delivery to his gallery.
I do my best to keep my gallery-owners happy so I agreed. All the art he requested got shipped – including “Gardener’s Prayer”. He was happy. I was happy. Judy was happy. Then life went on.
When he told me today that the work had sold he also said of this piece “it’s a gem”. He talked of how much attention this particular piece had gotten, how the client who ended up buying it had come to ‘visit’ it multiple times before buying. He went on to say that he thought it might be a good idea for me to do more such things, maybe make a book of such poetic-artistic-meditations-on-daily-life.
So now I’m thinking about doing that. Over the many years I’ve worked with Barney he’s had a number of great suggestions for my art/career… so I take his suggestions seriously. And I think Judy will play poetry+art again with me … and I write poems sometimes myself… and I’m also flirting with thoughts of collecting some other poet/writers very short thoughts (ideally word-play) about some aspect of daily life.
My question is how to go about it? Must ruminate more on this topic… Please share your comment/thoughts too.
Anyway here is the “Gardener’s Prayer”:
Poem by Judy Sullens. Art (cut handmade paper) and Calligraphy by Sue Clancy.