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:
Sue Clancy’s “Glad to Be Alive” sketchbook page; ink and watercolor done on location.
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:
“Ponder” by Sue Clancy (brush and ink on handmade paper)
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 …
“Warehouse 23” sketchbook page by Sue Clancy
“sailboat on water” sketchbook page by Sue Clancy
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)
Sue Clancy’s sketch of things found on Hamilton Mountain
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”:
I sketch in order to find out what I want to say. I make fine art, artist books etc. in order to say it clearly. This means I sketch a lot. What I’m looking for when I go walking about with my sketchbook in hand is whatever “catches my eye”. Often when I do sketchbook work I don’t know at that time what I’ll use it for. I’m just stocking my mental pantry. Other times I go out in the world looking for a particular thing to make sketches of for a project I’m working on. Whichever it is, later, during a studio work-day I’ll flip back through a filled sketchbook for ideas or resource-images – much like a cook uses a collection of recipes.
Anyway, recently I was on a street in Portland Oregon and I was delighting in all of the dogs with their people. I drew this, first with pencil and then with an ink pen:
Sue Clancy’s sketchbook street scene; people with dogs
As I walked further I passed a store called Artichoke Music which had gorgeous musical instruments that I could see from the window. I went inside and asked if I could stay a while and sketch. “Why would we say ‘no’ to that? That’d be awesome!” said the guys working at Artichoke Music. So I sketched this (in pencil, then in ink pen):
Sue Clancy’s sketches from Artichoke Music in Portland Oregon
Then I showed the guys at the counter what I’d sketched. “Oh that’s such fun!” they said and then they pointed out another delightful area in the store – so I drew this:
More of Sue’s sketches in Artichoke Music
I promised them that I’d post my sketches to their Facebook and Twitter pages – so I’m doing that now. Thanks again Artichoke Music for letting me hang out and draw!!! You guys are awesome!!!
Followers of this blog, and my artwork in general, will probably not be surprised to hear that I’m now thinking a lot about dogs, and musical instruments…
Here are my sketchbook pages containing the raw data for my collage “Soup Moon” Soup Moon by Sue Clancy 36 x 24 inches, hand dyed paper, handmade paste paper and acrylic collage on cradled board