pop-up pet portraits

A Creative Life, art commissions, art techniques, artistic inspirations, cat portrait, Cats in art, dog portrait, Dogs in Art, fine art, handmade papers, public art, sketchbook

Dec 7th during my pop-up shop at Vintage Books https://www.vintage-books.net/ from noon to 4 I’ll be doing some “live drawing”; I’ll work in my sketchbook and if anyone wants a small portrait of their pet I’ll happily do one using a phone photo as inspiration.

PortraitPractice

These portraits I’ll do at the pop-up shop are what I call “quickie sketches” – less complex than the portraits I’m often commissioned to do via the Caplan Art Design Gallery or the Joseph Gierek Fine Art Gallery – more like what I do in my sketchbook and still a fun gift for the holiday.  Each portrait I do will take about 20 minutes more or less.  A command performance art piece! (What fun!!!)

Since I’ll be doing these portraits on-site at the Vintage Books bookstore I’m currently in the process of testing my portable art kit to make sure I’ll have everything I need.  A dear friend let me come to her house with my art kit and do a practice session – on her kitchen table – with a pic of her dog on her phone! (pictured in this post)

I’m using my ink pens, my Pentel Water-Brushes (to minimize the need for a water source) color pencils and my gouache colors on handmade paper. During the practice session I discovered I need to pack a few more items – like more paper towels, some wax paper… –  so I’ll practice some more between now and Dec. 7th!

absurd things on rainy days

A Creative Life, animals in art, art techniques, artistic inspirations, Books In Art, Cats in art, Dogs in Art, magic realism, mundane and magical moments, pattern design, reading in art, sketchbook, travelogue, visual story, visual thinking

For this new painting I’ve combined several thoughts together: rainy day activities, the contrast between rainy Pacific Northwest and the Southwestern (USA) desert region (Arizona), and the Bonneville Dam’s fish ladder. I’ve found the fish ladder fascinating – here’s a video of it – and have done some fun sketching at the Bonneville Dam  trying to capture the patterns I see.

I enjoy the patterns the fish form as they flow by.  I also enjoy the patterns of the needles/leaves on cactus and succulents which seem visually similar, in my eyes, to the “flow” of the fish as seen from various angles.

Yes, I spend a lot of time thinking about visual fractals in general and specifically fractals in nature

Plus the absurdity of comparing fish with cactus tickled my funny bone. At any rate those were some of my thoughts as I created this gouache painting I’ve titled “100 Things To Do On A Rainy Day”.

100ThingsToDoOnRainyDay300

“100 Things To Do On A Rainy Day” by Clancy – 11 x 14 inches – ink and gouache on board

from my Various Cat Sketchbook

A Creative Life, animals in art, art techniques, artist book, Cats in art, creative thinking, ebook, sketchbook, visual thinking

I’ve just finished making an ebook – 34 pages derived from my hand drawn, hand written, sketchbook on the topic of cats. It’s titled “Various Cat Sketches by Sue Clancy” – and can be found here on my Art Ebook Shop page.  Warts, scribbles, mistakes and all have been included – so you can see how my mind works – and for your amusement. I worked in ink, watercolor and gouache. In this post are a few pages from the ebook. Enjoy!

EarsEyes

Absynnian1

ColorFurVar

 

four topic sketchbook keeping

A Creative Life, art techniques, artist book, artistic inspirations, creative thinking, drawing as thinking, ebook, kitchen art, psychogeography, sketchbook, sketchbook suppers, Sustainable creativity, travel art and writing, travelog, travelogue, visual thinking

Oh I’ve had an excellent question asked of me! Here’s the question: “Do you keep separate sketchbooks for different subjects/projects/media or do you use one sketchbook for all sorts of art experiments and ideas?”

My answer:  I used to keep one sketchbook but I found it hard to find the bit of research I needed because I’d have to flip through the whole book to find something.  Now I keep sketchbooks by topic.

Here is one of my “kitchen sketchbooks” – recipe inspired art – where I am inspired to draw by a recipe I’m cooking. This book is 5 x 4 inches in size, sewn binding and paper that can handle ink and water-media.  This way my favorite recipes are all in one spot – and when I have an ingredient I can flip through this one book to find a recipe that I know works and that my family likes.  This sketchbook, additionally, is my “testing ground” for ways to combine food, drink and art together – ways to interpret food/drink artistically.  This sketchbook is also a place where I’ll try new-to-me art media or methods. I’ve been trying gouache lately and I posted a few pages from this book the other day https://sueclancy.com/from-my-kitchen-sketchbook/ – Here’s what the outside of my current kitchen sketchbook looks like:

MouthpieceFourCover72

I have been working on a new series of fine art paintings with Cats as the main characters. So I have one sketchbook that collects my cat related painting practice and research. In it I’ve been studying cat shapes and experimenting with lines, colors. I’ve also experimented with combinations of collage, ink and water-media. This sketchbook is called “Various Cat Sketches” and is 8.5 x 11 in size, with a sewn binding. Here, below, is what the outside of it looks like. I’ll post more of it’s pages on this blog soon because it will contribute to an upcoming fine art exhibition

VariousSketchesCover72.

Another current sketchbook is my “Running Around Loose” book. This is the sketchbook that fits in my small go-sketching bag and is 3 x 5 inches, with a sewn binding, water-media ready paper in a landscape format. In this book I record my observations of the world around me; places I go, people I see, food or drink I have. It could easily be called a travel sketchbook  but I call it my “running around loose” book because that’s what I try to do as I run around town with this book – be loose and free with my lines, colors and thoughts. Here, below, what this book looks like. I’ll post more of it’s pages here too.  (I’ve posted my last sketchbook like this as an ebook titled “Glad To be Alive” available for download here)

RunningLooseCover72

And the 4th topical sketchbook is called “The Forked Tale: thoughts about creative life”.  This one is a hardback book 6 inches tall by 8 inches wide and over an inch thick. In it I’ve collected my thoughts, readings, quotes etc. about this business of being creative.  I’ve shown pages from this book to friends before who enjoyed it and found it helpful. But recently my friend Liesl was over for dinner and asked me a question about art-studio furniture. We kept talking about aspects of living a creative life and eventually I got out this book and shared it with her. She very strongly encouraged me to publish this book. So I will. After all she’d brought a very good wine to dinner. Here, below, what the outside of this sketchbook looks like.

ForkedTaleCover72

Yes, this method of sketchbook keeping helps me to organize and find things but keeping topical sketchbooks is also helpful when I only have a short span of time to work. I can select a topic and can get right to it because I don’t have to wonder what topic to paint/work on. 

Thanks for the question! I’d not thought to do a blog post outlining this method of mine before!

oh gouache its cold

A Creative Life, art techniques, artistic inspirations, sketchbook

As I posted on my blog here I’ve been experimenting with Gouache, a new-to-me art media. Well, I’ve been enjoying my efforts in the studio that I decided to add gouache to my “running around loose” sketching kit. I took an old Altoids mint can – the mini mint size – and put some of my gouache colors in it and slipped that into my go-sketching bag. I also took my watercolors. The watercolors are in a flat tin about the size of a small I-phone but just a little wider.  My bag is about the size of the unabridged hardback version of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. (one of my favorites!) The sketchbook is 3 inches by 5 inches.

Here’s a photo of my kit and my sketchbook – with the page I did while out-in-the-world.

GouacheKit1 Judy and I walked along the Columbia River. It was so cold that about half-way through our walk we popped in to a coffee shop for hot chocolates. I did the sketch of the boats on the river quickly while drinking my hot chocolate. It took 10 minutes or so. The paint dried fast in the cold wind.

The result of today’s adventure: I think gouache is portable enough and is workable even with frozen fingers. My only issue is that I don’t like the red color that came with the kit. It’s too magenta for my taste and not red enough – it’s not fire-engine red.  So I’ll go back to the art supply store soon!

And yes, I took a towel with me on my sketching outing. A paper towel. Douglas Adams would be pleased I think. Note to self: bring gloves next time.

How to draw dogs guide published!

A Creative Life, animals in art, Art Licensing, art techniques, Dogs in Art, drawing as thinking, illustration, Sue Draws Dogs, The Sketchbook Project, visual thinking
My mini guide has been published!!!! It’s called “How To Draw Dogs” by Sue Clancy. I’m so excited about this – and can’t wait to see my printed copies!  Below is a photo I took back when I was creating the guide – before it got published. Then I forgot to post the work-in-progress photo… Anyway…
You can access the finished guide here: https://www.brooklynartlibrary.com/mini-guides/
DrawDogsMiniGuide

my running around loose sketching kit

A Creative Life, art exhibit, creative thinking, drawing as thinking, sketchbook

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.

SketchingKit72

Clancy’s “running around loose” sketching kit

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.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/gladtobealivedrinkmusiced.pdf

Other sketches – and artist books by me can be seen here https://sueclancy.com/artist-books/

of waiters and sketchy definitions

A Creative Life, art techniques, artistic inspirations, creative thinking, drawing as thinking, sketchbook, Sue Draws Dogs

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.

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Tomato Brisk by Clancy – 4 x 5 inches – ink and watercolor on handmade paper

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue’s sketching setup

A Creative Life, sketchbook, travel art and writing, words and pictures

When I’m creating a new body of artwork for upcoming fine art exhibits (as I am currently) I’m sketching constantly as it “feeds” my developing artwork. My full sketching kit as shown in the photo fits in an 8.5 x 11 bag or smaller. What you’re seeing in the pic is a small watercolor set, small water cup, a mechanical pencil, a pencil eraser, two ink pens, one bound sketchbook, one pad of paper and two clips for holding a book or pad open. Sometimes, maybe even most times, I run around with just one pen and my bound sketchbook.

Sue Clancy's portable sketching-on-the-go gear

Sue Clancy’s portable sketching-on-the-go gear

At the bottom of my website www.sueclancy.com if you click on the ” + ” a drop down menu shows up and if you scroll down you’ll see my Goodreads list of recommended books – several are about sketching.

from the Books of Bob

ebook, fine art, sketchbook, writing

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first” – Dr. Bob Hoke

When I’m beginning a new piece of artwork I make thumbnail sketches, I write notes and doodles in my sketchbook, I make small studies, I make to-scale drawings, I draw, draw and re-draw before arriving at something that “works”. Then what “works” is redrawn and refined until it not only works but works well. (Then I dye handmade paper and pattern it … but never mind about that part just now.) When I start any effort the above quote by Dr. Bob Hoke serves me well. I do not have to make a perfect drawing right off the start. I don’t even have to have a perfect drawing by the end of the day’s work session. All I have to do is one line, one stroke, one effort at a time and trust myself that eventually I will have something that works well. And even if I don’t I will have made an honest effort. Ironically by being willing to do poorly, by focusing on my working process, I relax and thereby increase the likelihood that my project will progress pleasantly and ultimately become something my agents, galleries or clients will call a “success”.  And my willingness to enthusiastically do poorly to the very best of my ability and have fun “just making a mess” has become my definition of “something worth doing”. And that, to me, is “success”.

The above quote by Dr. Bob Hoke is included in the ebook “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” http://my.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit – I’ve decided that in addition to my sketchbook pages (such as those from my Oregon Coast sketchbook) I’ll post bits from the “First Aid” ebook here on this blog – and I’ll also start posting pages from a new book effort I’m working on titled “The Artist and the Psychiatrist”.

And here is a photo of me working on a to-scale drawing….

DrawingStevesComm