My sketchbook page from Sunday’s concert… I used ink and watercolor.
My sketchbook page from Sunday’s concert… I used ink and watercolor.
People attending my fine art opening at Burnt Bridge Cellars have told me that they enjoyed seeing my free ebook sketchbook as part of my exhibit and several have asked me: “What does your sketching kit look like?”
Here’s a picture of it.
The bag is new to me recently – but this is the contents of my “running around loose” sketching kit: a mechanical pencil, an eraser, ink pens, a small watercolor set, color pencils and my bound sketchbook. The sketchbook is 5 x 3 inches. My new bag measures 9 inches by 7 inches and about 3.5 inches deep. My old bag was bigger but had the same contents as above plus half the library and the kitchen sink. This new smaller bag weighs much less because the only “extra” thing I add to it is my sunglasses.
I call this my “running around loose” kit – because I take it along with me wherever I go and make 5 minute or less drawings with it. This name also distinguishes it from my studio sketchbook – which is a different breed ….
You can download, for free, my recent “running loose” sketchbook here: https://sueclancy.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/gladtobealivedrinkmusiced.pdf
Other sketches – and artist books by me can be seen here https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/
In my last post I mentioned that I was looking through my sketchbooks for drawings I’ve done of restaurant waiters and posted one sketch. Then, inspired by one of the sketches I found in my various books, I drew this finished drawing using ink and watercolor on handmade paper. By ‘finished’ I mean it could be framed and hung as it is.
Posting about this got me to thinking about how I define the term “sketching”. Some people might call the drawing posted above a “sketch” because it is done using a fairly loose and simple style. But I don’t call it a sketch and here’s some of why…
Sketches are: Drawings made on-site that capture and document observed surroundings.
Sketches are: Drawings that communicate a thought/feeling/story that reflects the reality the sketcher perceives at the moment (however accurate the drawing may/may not be).
Sketches are: Drawings that can serve as a reminder of observations and thoughts. As in the drawing and writing is legible enough that I, or someone else, could recognize and understand what I’ve observed even though the sketch/drawing doesn’t contain as much detail as a more finished artwork may have.
Sketches are: Drawings that are documentations of one’s day (auto biographical data) – a personal visual diary collecting both words and images reflecting the associative thoughts of the sketcher at that day/time.
Sketches are: Drawings that are studies in preparation for later more finished artwork. Practicing to “get a particular shape right” etc.
Sketches are: Drawings where the sketcher is “working out” thoughts and ideas along a theme or series concept.
Sketches are: Drawings that are done in a bound book (usually) and not intended for framing or display.
Woke up today thinking about waiters, restaurants and cafe’s. So I’m looking back through my sketchbooks for drawings of waiters…. and thinking about designs for new fine art work. One of the sketchbooks I’m looking through is my “Coffee, Table, Book” – which has also become an ebook https://store.bookbaby.com/book/coffee-table-book – along with some other sketchbooks for sketches like this:
I love having a resource collection of sketchbooks to pull from for new artwork ideas!!
I’m getting ready for a one-woman fine art exhibit held at Burnt Bridge Cellars and set up by the Caplan Art Designs gallery – and part of getting ready is writing an “exhibit statement”. I prefer creating pictures to writing non-fiction/prose so I’m making my exhibit statement as visual as possible. One thing I’ve done is collect some of my sketchbook pages into a free downloadable eBook. This eBook relates to my exhibit… more about that in future posts. Here are pages from my “Glad To Be Alive Sketchbook – drinks and music edition 2017″… you can see more information and download it from my artist book webpage here https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/ or via this direct link: GladToBeAliveDrinkMusicEd – Enjoy!
Here are a few more coffee (and tea) cups collected in my sketchbook. Will use this page as reference for future fine art pieces aka dog portraits.
As you know from previous blog posts I was intending to publish another ebook of my recent sketchbook pages oriented around the saying “Stay close to anything that makes you glad to be alive”. I was even going to call it my “Glad to be Alive” sketchbook. It was going to have scenery, people, food/drink, books, games and dogs… you know, pages like this:
Yeah, well that sketchbook publication ain’t happening.
The short explanation is “technical difficulties”. The longer explanation is much much longer. So never mind. For now.
I still want to do the book. And I’ll still be posting pages from it here on the blog – and on my sketchbooks webpage https://sueclancy.com/sketchbooks/. The mountain of technical difficulties will have to be conquered first before ebook publication and that’ll take some time. Because you know, fine art commissions and exhibits and only having 24 hours in a day.
In the mean-time tho there are my dogs! I’ve been half-working in spare moments towards the dream of a printed book – an artist book – of my dog drawings/portraits. I thought that project was a year or so out. It was a distant dream. Or so I thought. But it turns out that this dog-art-book project may be more do-able – with fewer technical issues. The creative life’s funny like that. Always throwing curve-balls. So I’m going to concentrate on a dog-book!
I’ll focus it around “pleasant things”, like I would have done the “Glad to be Alive” sketchbook… because dogs are very pleasant – and as characters dogs can be creatively combined with the various things I’ve enjoyed and sketched in my sketchbook. And dogs certainly make me glad to be alive!
I’d have pages like this:
So… to publish my dog portraits as a print book?! Dogs in Art!! Animals in art !!! That’s my genre baby!!!
Oh yes, to cook supper tonight.
Doing some sketching on location for 2 different projects; one is a fine art commission project that has water and a sailboat in it (and a dog!). The other is a possible new artist book (maybe ebook?) that I spoke of in this “alive and sketching” post. Anyway… here are today’s sketchbook pages …
I have an ancient Sufi saying posted on my studio wall “Stay close to anything that makes you glad to be alive”. So when I go sketching I’m looking for things in the world that catch my eye, gives me an artistic thought or two – and yes, makes me glad to be alive.
Which dovetails nicely with the Thanksgiving season. I’m glad to be alive and to be able to be an artist – and thankful for living in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by so much natural beauty and so many artistically inspiring places, people, dogs, cats and things… food and drink too…
So I’m flirting with thoughts of publishing my sketchbook as an ebook/artist book. Here are two of the potential pages about a place I hiked called “Hamilton Mountain”.
What do you think? To publish or not to publish. That is the question to take up after the holiday.
Sue Clancy’s sketch on Hamilton Mountain (pen, ink and watercolor)
One question I get asked; “how do you stay inspired creatively” especially when you spend 8 or more hours a day working on art projects? My short answer is “make time to artistically play, everyday”.
I try to draw every day something that “catches my eye” – something that at the time I’m drawing it has no relation to any art project I’m currently working on, it’s not being done for money or for any purpose. It’s just for fun – and that qualifies it as “play”. These are quickie drawings that take no more than a few minutes, accuracy, neatness are not concerns. Having fun, being observant and responsive to the world around me are the main things.
Sometimes what catches my eye is my lunch. Or some product seen in a store – like the eye shades intended as a sleep aid that actually looked like small bra’s. Sometimes it’s something someone said that gets “illustrated”. Here’s a sketchbook page example of these 3 kinds of “play-times”: