On giving art demonstrations

A Creative Life, art techniques, Authors, books, dog portrait, Dogs in Art, fine art, published art, words and pictures

On Saturday I’m participating in a “Words and Pictures Festival” at my local library.  I’ll be signing two of my book titles (more about my books here: https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/ ) and doing some of my dog drawings and talking about how I create my images. I’ll talk about my ideas, show my tools and discuss methods.

The challenge for me is the talking-while-drawing part of the demo equation. So to help myself I’ve done a video of me drawing… this way I can watch myself and think of what I need to talk about.  When you watch the video do you have questions that you’d like me to answer?

 

 

Upick Book Farm Art

A Creative Life, animals in art, art exhibit, art gallery, books, fine art, handmade papers

Finished a new art piece destined for the Caplan Art Designs gallery one-person exhibit I’ll be having in October!  The opening party will be a 3 course wine dinner party at The Daily in The Pearl. You can get more info about that on the Caplan Art Designs events page  – look at “Cooks, Corks and Co-conspirators”. Yep, I’d be a considered a co-conspirator. Anyway, here’s the info about this newbie art piece:

U-Pick Book Farm

By Sue Clancy

12 x 9 x 1.5 inches

Hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, hand woven paper, found paper, acrylic on cradled board

And, if you missed my prior blog post where I told and showed about this artwork in progress here’s a bit about my thinking behind it:

U-Pick Book Farm by Sue Clancy

Combining the concepts of local u-pick fruit and vegetable farms with local libraries that have baskets for a patron’s book harvest and adding the burrowing, digging instinct of a dachshund.

UpickBookFarm72

U-Pick Book Farm By Sue Clancy 12 x 9 x 1.5 inches Hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper, hand woven paper, found paper, acrylic on cradled board

 

quiet books noisy thoughts

A Creative Life, art techniques, artist book, books, handmade books, visual story, words and pictures, writing

I made my first ‘artist book’ when I was about 6 years old. I had become deaf when I was about 4 or 5. It happened in summer and my birthday is in the summer so was I still 4 years old when it happened, or had I turned 5? At any rate the world became silent. This was not a problem for me. It was just my normal life before I got my first set of hearing aids. I lived with my grandmother and life was good. Except for the brief times when I was taken to visit my biological parents. During the weekends at their house an angry yelling adult frequently appeared in my field of vision shouting “BE QUIET!”

This was a mystery to me. What did the phrase “be quiet” mean? I had already learned to read, write and draw. I already knew that the public library was a place full of wonderful magical books full of mysterious things that other people knew. Books were how people collected and kept what they learned and how they made it available for kids like me to see! (Wow!) So after a few weekends of two adults taking turns shouting “BE QUIET” I began my investigation.

I gathered several sheets of paper together and stapled them along one edge. I began to record, mostly in drawings, what I had just been doing when the “BE QUIET” message was delivered at the top of grownup lungs. Between these weekends I went with my grandmother to the library. There I asked a librarian how I would find out what the phrase “be quiet” meant and how someone did that ‘be quiet’ thing.

I don’t recall the exact encounter with the librarian, I mostly remember having a lot of trouble explaining what exactly it was that I wanted to learn. I remember eventually being introduced to the Dictionary and other books containing information about ears, hearing and sound. I wrote and drew, in fat-first-grade pencil, everything I learned into my stapled handmade book. When I was done, and back at home with grandmother again, I created a yellow colored construction paper cover for my book, glued one edge of the construction paper to the staples and titled it, in red crayon, “The Be Quietness Book”.

Long story short I had created my first entry into what, as an adult, I’ve learned is a genre within the Book Arts world: “Books that help you think about and make sense of your experience in the world”

And I’ve been making artist books ever since. You can see some of them on my artist book page here: https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/

Photo of me laughing and drinking coffee while working in my studio.

Photo of me laughing and drinking coffee while working in my studio.

my artist books and libraries

A Creative Life, artist book, ebook, handmade books, words and pictures

My one-of-a-kind artist books have been included in several library special collections (most recently at the UCLA Fine Arts library – thanks to the 23 Sandy Gallery) – well, I’ve newly been included in the Washington State Indie Book Collection!  This means that two of my artist books that I’ve created in eBook form can now be accessed by the general public via libraries that subscribe to something called the Biblioboard! https://www.biblioboard.com/

The two of my books that have been made available for libraries are: “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” and “Coffee Table Book”

Both of these books are talked about at the top of the artist book page on my website – with links for more info etc.

Anyway, now that this possibility of library love exists for me as a book artist I’ve created a postcard about one of my books (Hint: the book “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” is my fave…) so I will have a card I can give away just in case I happen to meet a friendly librarian or two in the urban wilds.

Here’s the card:

Postcard about the artist book "Dr Bob's Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit" that I can give to friendly librarians and other people

Postcard about the artist book “Dr Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” that I can give to friendly librarians and other nice people

artist meets author

A Creative Life, Authors, books, illustration, visual story, words and pictures, writing

As promised in my previous blog (https://sueclancy.com/2015/10/13/with-dog-as-my-co-pilot/) here is the not-too-long awaited interview with Lorna Lee!

I met Lorna as part of a fundraiser for the Ridgefield Community Library. Lorna taught a 5 week writing class for the library and since I’m a big fan of libraries and always on the prowl for stories to illustrate I took the class. Yes, I have high hopes of having stories of my own to illustrate someday. Plus it raised money for a library! Viva Libraries! Yippee authors, artists and fun times with words and pictures! Hip, hip, hooray! But enough of context – let’s get to the interview.

PenBoat72

Sue Clancy (artist): What book would you like to shamelessly promote here – along with a flattering sketch of you that I’d draw and post along with this question? (Any photos I could use as a reference for my sketches?)

Lorna Lee (author): You’d think I would be well beyond shame, having written a memoir that reveals just about every secret I ever had, but I’m not. So I’m here to sheepishly (but earnestly) promote said memoir and first book I ever wrote: How Was I Supposed to Know? The Adventures of a Girl Whose Name Means Lost. And, yes, “Lorna” really does mean “lost.”

Sue: How did you come to write the book? Did you just wake up one morning and think “Hey, I’ll torture myself with words and punctuation for a few years?”

Lorna: Ah, if only it had been that easy…This memoir took me a lifetime to write, but that makes sense, doesn’t it? Here’s what I mean. As I little kid, I knew I wanted to write a book; but what kind of book would I write? I had no clue. As I grew up and had some rather unpleasant experiences, mostly with male bosses, I decided my book would be titled, “Little Men, Big Problems.” I haven’t written that one…yet. The story of how I came to write the memoir is really in the memoir, so I don’t want to spoil the book for all of you who will surely want to read it. Let’s say I looked at my life after having been through some very rough times and realized that maybe showing how I use humor and a positive perspective to navigate this often challenging journey we’re all on might help people who are struggling. So I decided to tell my truth with humor and compassion. That took a few years. I could write a book about that!

Sue: What is your favorite part of that book? Why is that your favorite?

Lorna: Oh, that’s hard. That’s like asking, “What’s the favorite part of your life?” I love the beginning for two reasons. I struggled with how to start my memoir. You’d think this would be easy, right? It’s about me, so start at the beginning. Nah. Too obvious. When I decided to start with my first, then second, close-encounter-of-the-personally-electrifying-kind with lightning, I knew I struck (pardon the pun) gold. Opening with a story of being hit (or almost hit) by lightning twice is a great hook and it sure explains a lot about all that comes after.

Sue: How about a quote from your book to post after this question mark? (Or if not a quote from your book will you say something silly or clever here about yourself, your book, the writing/creative process?)

Lorna: There are so many clever and poignant moments in the book. How can I pick just one? I’ll let you ponder something I continue to discover, meaning I need to relearn constantly: no matter how bad (or good) things are at this very moment, you can count on the fact that things are going to change. Accept this, and you don’t have to go seeking out peace; peace will find you. Someone please remind me of this next time I’m frustrated!

Sue: Do you have any visual descriptions of people, pets or places within your book? Were the visual elements easy or hard to write?

Lorna: I describe the “Broken House” in more detail than any other place and I describe me more than any other person. Because I include photographs at the beginning of each chapter, I give readers visual cues. I wanted the other people in my memoir to remain as anonymous as possible. Also, I find that readers enjoy conjuring up their own notions of places and people, so giving them a few details is enough—they color within the lines the way they wish.

Sue: What did you do to keep your creative juices flowing as you worked on your book?

Lorna: I never forced myself to write like some writers do. When the words wanted to come, I let them flow—golly, I couldn’t stop them! But when they were hiding, there was nothing to do but wait.

CartoonOfLornaScrappy72

Sue: Are there any illustrations in your book? If so, who did your illustrations? Got a photo of the page with your favorite illustration?

Lorna: No illustrations, just photographs. Gee, if I had known you then…

Sue: Good thing we fixed that huh? But, since you didn’t know me then, who did your books cover design? Got a photo of your book?

Lorna: My “husband” (we’re not technically married because my divorce agreement bars me from marrying anyone until I turn 67—long story) learned PhotoShop so he could create the cover based on a photograph of me when I was four years old.

PhotoOfLornasMemoir72

Sue: Good job “husband”! Where/how can people get a copy of your book?

Lorna: Both paperback and electronic versions of the book are available at Amazon. To learn more about the book and for links to Amazon, visit the page on my website devoted to the book: Lorna’s Voice, How Was I Supposed To Know? A Memoir (http://lornasvoice.com/how-was-i-supposed-to-know-a-memoir)

Sue: Besides yourself do you have any favorite authors?

 Lorna: Oh yes! Haven Kimmel wrote a very funny memoir inspiring me to finally write mine (A Girl Named Zippy). Laura Hillenbrand writes historical nonfiction as if she were writing action-packed fiction. She, too, has chronic fatigue and both of the books have been made into movies (Sea Biscuit and Unbreakable). I imagined that I, too, would be a chronically fatigued famous author. I’m still imagining. Ann Patchett writes fiction and is a wordsmith extraordinaire. I marvel at her command of words and phrases to paint a mood or movement. Her most famous work is Bel Conte. Finally, I love, love, love Stephen King’s mastery at telling a compelling, complex tale. I prefer his more down-to-this-earth work (Misery, The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers).

Sue: Do you have any favorite animals or colors? Are they in your book?

Lorna: All of my adoptees, which is to say every animal companion I’ve ever had the privilege to share my life with, are my favorites. Not all of them made it into the memoir: the bevy of stray cats and a few dogs who were more family dogs than “Lorna soul mates.” I love horses and donkeys but never had the honor of being a mom to one. Colors? I love all colors—can’t pick just one or even a few.

Sue: What is your idea of a good meal after you’ve been working hard all day writing? Is there any food described in your book?

Lorna: I’m vegan, so it’s going to be veggies, grains, beans and fruits. My favs? Again, too many to list—I don’t like to be limited! They vary by season and mood. And, yes, there is a food mentioned in the book. Meatloaf. Odd, right? Well, I wasn’t always vegan and this was one amazing and memorable meatloaf!

Sue: Any past or current pets you’d like to share with me and your other adoring fans? If you share a photo can I draw a sketch of the pet and post it with this question?

Lorna: The pets that have a special place in my heart are (in order of appearance in my life): Humphrey, Wolfer, Jazzy, Reggie, and Scrappy.

SheepdogAndBird72

Sue: Any other website, CB radio handle or Smoke Signal Stream you’d like to share?

Lorna: My personal (and zany) website is Lorna’s Voice, (www.lornasvoice.com ) so named because for most of my life I did not dare speak my mind for fear of making waves that might drown me. Now I know I’m quite buoyant! I’m also integrally involved in the Ridgefield Community Library and the Friends group. I built their website (www.folridgefieldwa.com) as part of their efforts to raise awareness and support for their new library building project.

Sue: Thank you for this interview and for all you are doing for the local library! All the best of luck to you personally and, of course, to the Ridgefield library!

Lorna: And thank you, Sue! This has been a delightful interview. I’m looking forward to having you over to my place soon to talk about your talent and projects!

Sue: Wahoo! See you later then!

the artist and the doctor in the library

commonplace book, published art, sketchbook

titleThe Richard Brautigan Library published a story I illustrated – the story was told to me by Dr. Bob Hoke; a psychiatrist, a reader, a father, a grandfather and a baker of very good English Muffins. Over lunch one day he told me a story of a lesson he learned as a young Navy doctor on a submarine during a war – and as he talked I wrote and drew in my sketchbook (much as you see pages in this blog).  The lesson he’d learned turned out to be a good lesson for me too. Later I “neatened up my notes” and created “The Captain and The Doctor” which was put on display in the Brautigan Library!  You can download, for free,  the pdf file of the story here http://dtc-wsuv.org/brautiganlibrary/?p=1344  – enjoy!

And yes, this is the same Dr. Hoke that I did the “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program; First Aid Kit” with – it’s an ebook available whereever ebooks are sold. http://my.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit